Daily Archives: January 8, 2013

YouTube’s Top 10 Lists – Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012 | Bedford Hills Realtor

YouTube Trends announced a whole bunch of other Top 10/Trending lists over the weekend, breaking down the videos into specific genres.  Some of them seem kind of a stretch or too vague, like “Top 10 Eye-Popping Videos” or “Top 10 Awe-Inspiring Videos,” but hey, any reason to bring attention to some more content that may not have been given love by the overall Top 10.  Now, we’re not going to play all the videos here, but we will cover some highlights and provide handy links just in case you would like to see them all.

YouTube’s Top 10 Trending Videos by Genre for 2012

YouTube’s Top Trending Sports Videos

We covered the #1 video in this category, the “Pepsi MAX and Kyrie Irving Present: Uncle Drew” video in the Top 20 YouTube ads post.  Although, that’s weird, because it was #2 on that list.  But whatever.

This 12-second video of a ball boy with amazing reflexes gathered up 16 million views:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

Everybody was in on this Call Me Maybe craze, including the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

YouTube’s Top 10 How-to and DIY Videos

And speaking of crazes, Gangnam Style’s dance was one of the many things about that video that people took interest in, and the ins and outs of the dance was the #1 How-to video of 2012:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

OK…this is just…freaking awesome:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

YouTube’s Top 10 Science Videos

The #1 video in this category is VSauce2’s 47th episode of Mind Blow, which compelled viewers to click due to the “Is that what I think it is?” image, with accompanying text that assures you that it isn’t:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

Science is all kinds of fun with the Slo Mo Guys’ “Rubber Bands vs. Water Melon,” clocking in at #8:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

YouTube’s Top 10 Cover Videos

We’ve spoken many times about Walk Off the Earth’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which easily took #1 in this category.

Jayesslee’s cover of Maroon 5’s “Payphone” took 6th in this category, and it’s real pretty:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

And babedibabidibou did a nice cover of Flo Rida’s “Whistle:”

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

YouTube’s Top 10 Awe-Inspiring Videos

#1 in this category is this absolutely “touches all happy buttons” video documenting a pregnancy in stop-motion time lapse fashion, called “Introducing…:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

Along the same lines, but taking place over 5 1/2 years, is this entry from Mad and Crazy Child, who took pictures of herself every day and put them into this wicked awesome video:

0 YouTubes Top 10 Lists   Most Popular Videos by Genre for 2012

YouTube’s Top Trending Beauty Videos

These could sort of fit into the “how-to” category, but it goes to show how valuable “how-to” information is, and how many people are searching for this kind of stuff.  In the beauty category, bebexo explains how to make the Mermaid Tail Braid, and it’s this category’s #1:

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And, why not?  How to look like a doll, courtesy of Venus Angelic:

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YouTube’s Top Trending Comedy Videos

Why You Asking All Them Questions? was the #1 video, which was also in the Top 10 overall.  Emmanuel Hudson was on that video, and here he is at #2, with his brother Phillip Hudson, on “Ratchet Girl Anthem:”

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Jimmy Kimmel had a huge hit with “I Told My Kid I Ate All Their Halloween Candy,” and then he did it again to tremendous success…and it might even be better than the one before it:

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YouTube’s Top 10 Pet Videos

Amazingly, no animal videos made the overall top 10 this year.  The top one was this “Fluffy kitten does not know what to do” video:

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And this guy is swimming with a polar bear.  I just thought you’d like to know that:

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YouTube’s Top Political Videos

Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney, courtesy of Epic Rap Battles, took #1 here, and it was in the overall top 10.  But, Obama leveraging didn’t stop there, nor did “Call Me Maybe,” as somebody (BarackDubs) found Obama saying each of the words in the song and editing together to make it sound like he was singing it:

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The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns really, really liked Romney, which is a tremendous anti-endorsement:

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YouTube’s Top 10 Gaming Culture Videos

We talked about the #1 video here a couple of times, “Minecraft Style” from Captain Sparklez.  Here’s #2 from Smosh, which created a song for Assassin’s Creed 3:

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FreddieW, of course, makes the list with “Skyrim Badass:”

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YouTube’s Top 10 Holiday Videos

We spoke about the top 3 videos here, ERB’s “Moses vs. Santa Claus,” the “Mistletoe Kissing Prank,” and the Jimmy Fallon/Mariah Carey team-up for “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”  #4 on the list is from the NBA, which got players to dribble the Christmas melody, “Ring Christmas Bells:”

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Can Victoria’s Secret models sing?  Eh, I don’t care I guess:

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There was a little something for everyone last year.

5 Basics of a Successful Internet Marketing Strategy | Pound Ridge NY Realtor

Internet marketing is not merely about using platforms offered by the digital marketing space to augment traffic, sales and revenue to the site, successful internet marketing needs to have its own strategy. This strategy has to be well thought of and planned. It cannot be made misusing aspects of cost, time and efforts. Everything needs to be accounted for in order to make internet marketing operate at optimal levels for you. Of course it is easy to use and quite affordable in nature providing results at the rate of 75%-80% but using strategies can take the success rate as high as 90% to 100%. Here are 5 Basics of a Successful Internet Marketing Strategy.

Website traffic

Basics of a Successful Internet Marketing Strategy

If you strategy is to direct more customers to the website to increase sales and thus revenue then what you need to invest in is effective direction of internet traffic to your home website. This could be done by promoting your website on different popular ranked websites where the traffic is already high enough. You chances of getting more hits from such websites are almost double than from any other portal. You can indulge in web development and web promotion practices offered by professional web development firms.

Ranking

Another way to get the same results as mentioned in the above point is by using paid methods to obtain ranking for your home website. For this you will have to use effective and highly successful Search Engine optimization techniques that will push your site to receive a higher ranking. Google and most other search engines offer premium paid ad slots for better internet marketing.

Professional Help

When it comes to your business you do wish to leave no stone unturned. If yes, then you should definitely invest in a profession intern marketing coach who will make you target your own target. Professional help works as the best strategy because professional know each strategy as well as their output in real terms.

Interaction

Interaction in business is a bare essential tool for effective market penetration. Internet marketing is actually a type of communication. Here you can invest in the press releases, blogs, articles, SEO content etc. that can increase click and hit to your websites by readership and other interesting content. Internet marketing if researched shows a great many different routes one can take for operative marketing through the same route.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a great way to be present and increase visibility. Your website products or service can be effectively targeted by narrowing down to a list of the targeted population who can mailed in time or on regular basis, be it , daily, weekly or monthly. Yes, the problem is that it can go in as spam mail but there are methods that an internet marketing coach can help you out with that avoid your email marketing to be registered as spam.

As far as internet marketing goes the best stuff to mail includes, the discount offers and sales ads that attract more attention and avoid deletion before mail viewing. Use it effectively, to get the best results.

Bedford Hills NY 2012 sales drop 3.8% – Prices fall 12% | RobReportBlog

Bedford Hills NY 2012 sales drop 3.8% – Prices fall 12%  | RobReportBlog

Bedford Hills NY Sales
2012 2011
25 Sales 26 3.80% DOWN
$565,000.00 Median Price $642,500.00 12.00% DOWN
$263,000.00 Low Price $291,500.00
$3,995,000.00 High Price $6,250,000.00
3176 Ave. Size 3464
$288.00 Ave. Price/foot $333.00
186 Ave. DOM 176
92.68% Ave. Sold/Ask 93.47%
$1,083,327.00 Ave. Sold Price $1,250,932.00

2012 Bedford NY sales down 1.5% – Prices down 12.35% | RobReportBlog

2012 Bedford NY sales down 1.5% – Prices down 12.35% | RobReportBlog

Bedford NY Sales
2012 2011
67 Sales 68 1.50% DOWN
$986,000.00 Median Price $1,125,000.00 12.35% DOWN
$418,500.00 Low Price $305,000.00
$4,750,000.00 High Price $4,250,000.00
4081 Ave. Size 3995
$322.00 Ave. Price/foot $332.00
198 Ave. DOM 208
93.42% Ave. Sold/Ask 93.52%
$1,356,741.00 Ave. Sold Price $1,377,163.00

About 43% of Americans expect home prices to rise | Pound Ridge NY Real Estate

The share of surveyed Americans who believe home prices will tick up in the next year reached the highest level to-date, at 43%, up 6 percentage points from November, according to Fannie Mae‘s December National Housing Survey results.

The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,002 Americans to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, mortgage rates, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances and overall consumer confidence.

Consumer confidence in the housing industry continued its upswing as home prices, rental prices and mortgage rate expectations increased in November.

Thus, the growing confidence that housing indicators will continue well into 2013 is expected to boost home price activity during the year.

“Combined with consumers’ growing mortgage rate and rental price increase expectations, the positive home price outlook could incentivize those waiting on the sidelines of the housing market to buy a home sooner rather than later and thus support continued housing acceleration,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae.

The average 12-month home price change expectation rose to 2.6%, the highest level since the survey’s inception in 2010.

The percentage of those surveyed that believe mortgage rates will rise continued to increase, rising 2 percentage points to 43%, the highest level recorded since August 2011.

About 21% of respondents suggest it’s a good time to sell, down two percentage points from last month’s record high. However, this is still a 10-percentage point increase year-over-year.

The 12-month rental price expectation hit the highest level since the survey’s inception in 2010, at 4.4%, up 0.4% from last month.

About 49% of those surveyed said home rental prices will go up in the next year. Also, the share of respondents who said they would buy if they were to move declined slightly to 66%.

However, consumer outlook toward the economy and personal finances due to the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling caused volatility in perceptions of the larger economy.

“This uncertainty seems to be prompting a growing share of consumers to expect their personal finances to worsen and may contribute to weaker near-term economic growth,” Duncan said.

Those who expect their personal finances to worsen over the next year increased to 20%, the highest level since August 2011.

About 37% reported higher household expenses compared to last year, a 3-percentage point increase from last month and the highest level since December 2011.

via housingwire.com

Multilender websites let borrowers see pricing | Chappaqua NY Real Estate

This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on a mortgage in 2013. The first article was directed to those with an existing mortgage carrying an interest rate above the current market rate who could refinance profitably but haven’t — for reasons that don’t make sense. This article is directed at those looking to find the best possible deal on a refinance or home purchase loan.

Importance of posted prices: Mortgage lenders every morning reset their “posted prices,” which are the prices they will commit to at that time to a borrower who meets their qualification requirements. On a given transaction, posted prices will vary from lender to lender, and in a well-functioning market the shopping borrower would find the lender posting the best price on her deal and grab it. But that turns out to be quite difficult to do.

Agents don’t necessarily quote posted prices: The problem is that posted prices are not public information. Lenders deliver them to their loan officers, brokers and others authorized to offer their loans to the public. But these agents are not obliged to quote posted prices to mortgage shoppers, and in many cases they do not.

Agents looking to snare the shopper as a customer may price below the posted price (called “lowballing”). It is a common practice because it is often the only method available to the agent to separate herself from the others. After the customer is committed, the agent may price above the posted price (“highballing”) to increase the profit margin.

If the market price subsequently declines, the shopper will receive the early price quote instead of the new and lower posted price. If the market price increases, the shopper will pay the new posted price or higher, probably with an explanation and perhaps even an apology.

Why lowballing works: Agents can’t be held to the prices they quote to shoppers because market prices will change before the price is locked. The information provided by a borrower upon which a price quote depends must be confirmed by the lender before the price is locked.

Validation of some features, such as credit score, is quick, but others including property value usually take days to complete, and sometimes weeks. While the applicant is waiting for the lender to validate her information, the posted price is likely to change with changes in the market, making the early price quote obsolete.

Why highballing works: The typical applicant has no way to know whether she is getting the lender’s posted price at the time the price is locked. By that time, furthermore, the applicant may be committed to the transaction, having invested in an appraisal that is not transferable to another lender, and possibly paid other fees as well. Indeed, if the transaction is a home purchase with a firm closing date, there may not be time to start the process again.

The key to effective shopping is access to posted prices: To avoid lowballing, mortgage shoppers must have access to the posted prices of the lenders being shopped. This assures that their selection of the lender with the lowest price is correct. To avoid highballing, they must have access to the posted prices of the lender they have selected when that lender locks the price. This assures that they are receiving the correct price.

The only way that shoppers can compare posted prices of competing lenders and check that the locked price is the posted price is to access a multilender website that obtains the posted prices of participating lenders for disclosure to shoppers in real time. There are three: mortgagemarvel.com; zillow.com; and mtgprofessor.com, which is mine.

Don’t confuse multilender sites with lead generation sites, such as LendingTree.com and LowerMyBills.com, which do business with hundreds of lenders. These sites do not collect price data from lenders. Rather, they collect financial information including Social Security numbers from shoppers, which is sold to the three or four lenders who will pay the most for it. The shopper remains completely vulnerable to lowballing and highballing by those lenders.

Next week: saving interest on the mortgage you have now.

4 affordable improvements to make to your home now | Armonk NY Real Estate

Samuel Johnson once wrote that “[t]o be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends.” Unfortunately, over the generations, we have managed to figure out loads of ways to be very unhappy at and because of our homes, whether because we overextend ourselves on our mortgages, procrastinate on needed repairs or live in homes with features that are less than optimally functional for our lives.

Now’s a perfect time of year to create a plan for how you can tweak and hack your home to be a happier place. Here are a few inexpensive suggestions:

1. Paint like a scientist. Studies show that painting rooms colors that are consistent with their purpose actually makes a home’s residents happier than they were before the paint job. Spending a weekend shifting to crisp and clean green bathrooms, soothing blue or cream bedrooms, and warm browns, golds, oranges and reds for dining and living areas turns out to be one of the least expensive ways you can use your home to give your family an emotional boost.

2. Fix (or toss) what’s broken. If your coffee machine has been sitting on the counter for four months waiting on a trip to the repair shop, you have drawers that don’t close all the way, your dining table wobbles or your shower needs regrouting, you are incurring a little drain of energy, getting a little injection of frustration every single time you look at or try to use these items. Throw out or repair items that don’t work — stat. Just let them go.

Then, create a little inventory for home projects that need to happen, and get a handyman or the appropriate contractors on the horn and get bids so you can budget and plan for getting them done.

If someone in your home is a big do-it-yourselfer, negotiate an agreement that she will have X items fixed by Y date or you will call out a repairperson.

In any event, at least get the bids on the repairs; you might be surprised at how quickly and inexpensively they can get five or 10 little repairs done on a weekend, and your in-house do-it-yourselfer might decide that her time is more precious than the repair costs.

Same goes for situational setups that are simply not working for your life and your activities: If your office space or your kids’ rooms are overflowing with clutter, after you purge (see No. 4, below), explore the many built-in and off-the-shelf storage solutions that are affordable and can render this space much more functional.

Generally, get aggressive about setting up each of your home’s rooms to help your family optimally experience whatever purpose that room is designed for: Research how you can maximize your bedroom’s restfulness, your living room’s conversationality, your office’s efficiency and your dining area’s coziness.

3. Trick out your trims. If you’ve ever done a soup-to-nuts remodel of your home’s exterior and/or landscaping, you know that there’s nothing like the feeling of driving up to your house at the end of the workday and simply loving the way it looks. But what if you don’t have a ton of cash to drop on a complete curb appeal overhaul? I believe one of the most underestimated ways to change the way your home looks is to focus on the trims:

  • Get a new door or just paint the door and get a new knocker, handle or kickplate.
  • Refresh with new house numbers.
  • Install exterior shutters, or paint existing shutters an entirely new color.
  • Get new outside lights.
  • Paint all the eaves and trims in a bold new color scheme.

You’ll be amazed; painting a home’s front door, eaves, shutters and trims can make the entire home look like it’s had a fresh paint job.

4. Purge. I used to buy my homes around my stuff. Since downsizing by 1,000 square feet a few years back, though, I’ve learned the delights of constantly pruning my possessions. Books, papers, clothing — these things accumulate as if through their own volition, and can create clutter and claustrophobia, the feeling that you have much less space than you truly do and the feeling of being trapped under a daunting pile of stuff you rarely, if ever, use.

If you crave to purge your stuff and simply seem to never get started make a game of it. Last year, I decided to get rid of 100 things in one month. The number 100 is uber-accessible, and if you give yourself a full month to do it, that can also help you feel confident that this is a mountain you can tackle.

Ultimately, I stopped counting at right around 250 items. The feeling of clearing and the sensory rest all that empty space in your home will create are both addictive sensations — once you get started, I believe you’ll find it easy and even exciting to get rid of things you no longer use or need.

Why new agents fail | Mount Kisco NY Real Estate

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What are the correlates of “new agent” success? Two studies from the Texas Association of Realtors reveal intriguing results for both new agents and those who hire, manage and train them.

On Aug. 28, 2012, the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) sent a Zoomerang Web survey to 13,000 of its broker/manager members with the purpose of identifying how to improve the quality of the homebuying and selling experience for Texas homeowners. A second purpose was to assist TAR in identifying the factors that contribute to sales success of new agents, as well as those factors that result in agents leaving the business. A total of 277 brokers/managers participated in the study: 265 in the online survey and 12 in the one-on-one interviews.

Office size
The large majority of offices (70 percent) had 10 or fewer agents. Another 16 percent had offices with 11-25 agents. In other words, 86 percent of all offices had 25 or fewer agents. This matched a secondary finding that 71 percent of the respondents classified themselves as small independents, boutiques or family-owned businesses. Ten percent were virtual (no physical location), and 19 percent were affiliated with a national/international franchise.

Training
Seventy-two percent of all survey respondents currently offer sales training. Of that group, 43 percent created their training in-house. Another 47 percent relied on one-on-one mentoring/coaching. The remaining 10 percent relied on outside vendors or their local association to provide training. Only 7 percent charged a fee for their training vs. 93 percent that had no fee.

In 72 percent of the offices, the broker/manager was responsible for training. In the other 28 percent of the offices, GRI, CRS, and/or an outside training company provided the training. Of these, 8 percent relied on online (video and webinars) for their primary source of sales training. For those who did offer in-office sales training, 72 percent assigned a mentor, trainer or other point person to assist new agents.

Attrition
A major challenge nationally is the high turnover rate for new agents. Broker/managers cited the four issues below as the primary reasons new agents leave the business.

1. Lack of adequate startup capital
Broker/managers cited insufficient startup capital as the main reason new agents leave the business. Most new agents were uninformed about the initial startup costs that range from $1,200-$2,000. (This includes local association, MLS, state association fees, NAR fees, plus signs, cards, lockboxes, etc.) They also are unfamiliar with how commission splits work as well as how long it takes to ramp up a new business.

2. Unrealistic expectations
Many new agents view real estate as a job rather than starting a new sales-based business. They believe their broker will generate leads for them rather than having to do it themselves. They are also unprepared for how difficult the business actually is.

As one broker put it: “(New agents) are naive; they lack the knowledge of what it will take to succeed. They enter the business believing that real estate will be an easy way to make money, and the difficulty is way beyond what they expected.”

3. Part-time vs. full-time
The survey respondents were virtually unanimous on this point: Real estate is a full-time career that requires a full-time commitment; anything less usually results in failure. The challenge is that part-time agents represent a sizable proportion of all Texas agents. Fifty-five percent of the survey respondents replied that at least 25 percent of their agents were part-time.

4. Mindset/preparation/competence/confidence
Mindset is an important predictor of real estate success. The most damaging mindset is one were the agent takes shortcuts. This often starts with pre-licensing training. Ten of the 12 of the brokers who were interviewed on a one-on-one basis agreed that agents who had taken face-to-face training were much better prepared for the business.

As one manager observed: “Agents who took the shortcut versions of pre-licensing training or who attended online licensing training know next to nothing. They probably have never seen a completed contract. They come out of real estate school completely unprepared to work with the demands of buyers and sellers in today’s highly complex market.”

Previous careers
Overall, the people entering the Texas real estate industry come from virtually every walk of life. The broker/managers identified the top two careers that their two most recent hires had worked in as being either “teacher” or “homemaker.” Other high-probability hires were those who had been in sales-related careers or in another aspect of the real estate industry — i.e., title, new-home sales, or mortgage.

A number of broker/managers drew a distinction between those who had corporate sales experience and were accustomed to generating their own leads versus those who worked in retail sales positions in stores where they took orders at the cash register. Those who had the corporate sales background fared significantly better.

Short-sale platform can prevent property ‘flopping’ | North Salem Real Estate

A software platform that allows mortgage servicers to receive all offers submitted on a short-sale property directly from buyers’ agents has won an award for Release of the Year from Mortgage Technology magazine.

The Release of the Year award, one of 12 mortgage tech awards given out by the magazine in 2012, recognizes a new software, platform, alliance or initiative that is expected to have the broadest future impact on the mortgage industry.

VerifiedShortSale, a Web-based platform from Southfield, Mich.-based Woodward Asset Capital, launched in April 2011. The platform delivers every short-sale offer to all parties in real time, ensuring lenders see all offers, not just those listing agents or sellers want them to see.

“Woodward’s technology closes the gaps between mortgage servicers and the real estate marketplace by providing information about distressed assets that can help address uncertainty about property valuations and proactively deal with potential instances of fraud in the short-sale process,” Mortgage Technology magazine said in announcing the awards.

Lenders that don’t employ preventative measures may be vulnerable to short-sale “flopping” schemes in which real estate agents help investors obtain distressed properties at deflated prices.

Woodward says VerifiedShortSale also prevents delays by allowing lenders to approve sale terms before a buyer and a seller execute a binding contract that may not meet the bank’s requirements.

VerifiedShortSale is based on Woodward’s first product, OfferSubmission, a platform for real estate owned (REO) properties released in 2009. In 2013, Woodward plans to roll out Purchase Pipeline, a Web-based acquisition and transaction management system for institutional investors, real estate investment trusts (REITs), hedge funds and REO-to-rental firms.

Mortgage Technology also named Woodward to its 2012 list of the top 50 service providers in the mortgage tech industry.

Equifax’s Verification Services Platform and loan origination system LendingQB were included as honorable mentions for the Release of the Year award.