How Do You Protect Your Real Estate Listing From iSquatters? #474

How Do You Protect Your Real Estate Listing From iSquatters? #474

Hey, everybody, it’s Aaron Norris with The Norris Group. It is October 25th. It’s Friday, and how do you protect your listing from iSquatters? That and much more as we cover the biggest headlines in real estate. Up on the radio show and podcast this week, we have part four of I Survived Real Estate, now on Amazon Prime. So you can ask Alexa or you can go out – if you’re a Prime member – go online and watch the entire show. And while you’re there, we need more votes up. It only stays up as long as people are watching. So if you’re there and you’re enjoying the show, please rate us and rate the show, and that will help us out a great deal. Up on the show this week: how are companies like Zillow making leasing agents obsolete? What technology does everyone think will disrupt the industry in the next five years? What are the panelists most looking forward to in the industry in the next few years? And what black swan events keep them up at night? Don’t want to miss that on the radio show and podcast. The National Association of Realtors reported a 2.2% decrease in existing home sales last month. Home prices increased 4.6% from last month, according to the FHFA. New home sales continue to remain steady in September, having decreased only 0.7%. Freddie Mac reported mortgage rates increased this week with 30-year rates now at 3.75% and 15-year rates at 3.18%. The real estate market is showing all the signs that it should be experiencing a housing boom, but it’s not. First, why should there be a boom? The generation that’s reaching prime home-buying age – well, technically, they’ve been at home-buying age for a while. But anyway, I digress. There’s super low mortgage rates. Housing price growth has leveled off. Historically low unemployment rates exist, and rising wages. So what’s happening? Lack of qualified interested buyers. That’s what’s happening. Prime age potential homebuyers are saddled with debt. They don’t see the attractiveness of having a mortgage, and there’s just not enough affordable single-family residences that are being constructed, and builders are focused more on higher-end stuff that actually pencils, especially here in the state of California. So the National Association of Realtors gives us those explanations, and it makes sense to me. Facebook announced this week that it will be investing $1 billion, that is with a B, to fight the California affordable housing crisis. The package of grants, loans and land will go toward the creation of up to 20,000 new units to help teachers, nurses, and first responders live closer to the communities in which they work. Here’s how the company plans to spend that investment. Two hundred fifty million will go to mixed income housing on state owned land in communities where housing is scarce. One hundred and fifty million for the development and construction of affordable housing. Two hundred and twenty-five million earmarked for land in Menlo Park, previously purchased by Facebook and zoned for new housing. $25 million to fund construction of housing for teachers and essential workers, and $350 million in funds geared towards creating affordable housing in other cities where Facebook has offices. People are moving out of California, but who are these people and where are they going to? Well, so far it’s mostly those nearing retirement and those escaping high-cost metro areas, searching for more affordable waters. Well, Boise, Idaho, is one of those places that’s seeing a huge influx of Californians. Idaho is also no dummy in the matter. They are watching the demographics coming in. They’re focused more on building single-level homes that include low threshold doors that make it easier for owners with disabilities. Spacious hallways, wide showers and maintenance free features. These are perfect features when you’re targeting an older demographic. So, well done Boise. Forbes listed eleven upcoming real estate trends that are sure to impact agents and investors in the next few years, and we’ve been talking about these for at least two years, at least many of them. 1. Coworking space as a shared amenity. 2. Growing sense of community 3. Property Tech and artificial intelligence disrupting the industry. 4. Rise up opportunity zones. 5. Millennials starting to buy houses (finally). 6. Spread of shared living spaces. 7. Short term rentals at higher rates. 8. Rent control with upcoming measures that have just gone through in the last couple weeks. 9. Increased use of freelance workers. 10. Build- to-Rent boom and 11. Modular building, reshaping construction. So all things we have been following and we will continue to do so. If you thought real estate in California and New York was expensive, well, this Hong Kong businessman just sold one of his parking spots for $969,000. Yes, almost one million dollars for a 135 square feet. The spot was one of only 400 total parking spots available in Hong Kong’s busy central neighborhood. The spot is just below the Center, a seventy-nine floor still office tower that houses some of the biggest companies in the world. I just have to know, what did he buy it for? John Burns Real Estate Consulting released findings from their annual Housing Design Trends Summit. This is where they took a look at national homebuilders and things that are trending, going away, staying consistent. But I love this kind of stuff. Still trending are homes with connections to the outdoors, multigenerational living concepts, and modern styling. Waning trends, including farmhouse styling, massive great rooms, and oversized showers. And three emerging trends are the missing middle housing, which has more creative density housing like three units, sort of coolly configured, indoor escapes, and reasonable individuality on design. So apparently I’m going to have to refund all my fake grapes that I’m putting on top of all the cabinets. Sorry about it. Earlier this week, Inman warned us of the invasion of iSquatter. As you can probably deduce, iSquatters are people that are tech-savvy enough to get into these vacant iBuying homes and using them as shelters or for drug use or possibly both. Potential buyers can find homes on the iBuyer platform and enter the home with or without an agent via a code on the front door. I know it’s not that easy, but this is something that we’re all experiencing, I don’t think it’s just the iBuyers, but the iBuyer homes are going to be vacant. So iBuyers acknowledge that their homes pose a risk, and there are things in place like monitoring systems, security patrols and screening systems in place to minimize the risk. But it is a little concern. Inman also had a story this week sort of highlighting this issue, and it didn’t even necessarily have to do with a squatter. Many brokerages are looking to get into the iBuyer space, so you just have to think a little bit more about what these vacant homes mean, especially allowing people in with no supervision and no extra security. Just this week, Inman reported a Riverside County couple suing both the buyer and sellers agent for falling during a home tour, rendering her unable to perform her spousal duties. I can’t make this stuff up. So what do you think about iSquatters? How are you going to prevent them? And what are some of your strategies if you’re getting into the iBuying space? I can’t wait to hear some of your feedback. If you’re on YouTube, please leave a comment below and don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss a beat. If you’re on Facebook, please don’t forget to not only like the Norris Group page, but don’t forget to add us to your See first list and with notifications on. Leave your comments below the video, and if we missed something, share the story on our comment sections on either YouTube or Facebook and we’ll make sure to include it on our blog at We would love to see you out and about. We only have a few more times that you’ll catch us in 2019. October 30th, Bruce is doing the 10 Decisions to Make Before the Next Downturn at South OC REIA. November 21st, I’ll be doing Innovative Real Estate Marketing and iBuyers at Pasadena FIBI. February 1st: Turmoil: The Coming Storm of Negative Interest Rates. We’ll be covering a few topics we’ve never covered before, but trends outside of real estate that might impact us and some of the things you need to know. We’re really looking forward to this all day session in Riverside, February 1st of 2020. And March 19th, mark your calendar. If you’re interested in investing out-of-state in Florida, we have a Florida boot camp that gives you a deep dive into working with us and building homes in Florida and all the research you’re gonna want to see and maybe even consider when you’re going to any market. I think that’s how some people are approaching this. So we’d love to see you. All of these events are on our calendar at If you’re interested in hard money loans, including fix and flip, buy and hold, or new construction, or accessory dwelling units for that matter, hit that Hard Money tab. And for more information on passive investing with mortgages, trust deeds and notes, hit the Invest tab. With that, have a fantastic weekend and we’ll see you next week.


One thought on “How Do You Protect Your Real Estate Listing From iSquatters? #474”

  • Thanks for the info. For awareness, the inconsistent audio is very painful when listening with ear buds. Please consider making the audio the same volume for the entire video. Thanks!

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