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Byron Lazine and Nicole White are two agents in Connecticut who give us their thoughts on the week’s news every Friday in “The Real Word,” a weekly video column on Inman.
This week, Lazine and guest host Lisa Chinatti discuss the tax on single renters, agent dress codes, and the state of inflation in Left, Middle, Right.
Topic No. 1: The cost of love: How money impacts move-in decisions
A recent study by Zillow indicates that single renters pay a “singles tax” of anywhere from $7,000 to $19,500 per year. Another study by Realtor.com and HarrisX suggests that some renters are moving in together to save money, even when they’re not really ready.
Lazine and Chinatti said that going ahead and moving in together not only helps couples save on their housing costs, but it also often saves them on lifestyle costs, like expensive dates, Valentine’s Day celebrations and vacations, and going into debt due to their dating life.
Topic No. 2: I’m a real estate agent. You can’t tell me what to wear on the job
Lazine and Chinatti discussed this opinion piece from Inman contributor Rachael Hite. They reviewed the comments, many of which touted “professional” dress. Chinatti said that the first brokerage she worked in didn’t let women wear pants. She said that there is a middle ground between yoga pants and flip-flops or dressed-up businesswear.
Lazine said that because you represent a broker, you have to take into consideration the dress code that’s required in the brokerage. As an independent contractor, you have the right to go to a different brokerage if you don’t like their requirement. You should be your most well-groomed self and show that you’re taking your professional opportunities very seriously.
“If you can’t market yourself to look your best, how can you put my home in a position to look its best?” Lazine asked.
Left, Middle, Right: Inflation rose 0.5% in January, more than expected and up 6.4% from a year ago
Lazine and Chinatti agreed that this indicates that inflation is going to be with us for longer than we expected. Agents need to take advantage of any demand they can find right now rather than counting on demand later in the year. This is partially due to seasonality and partly due to ongoing higher interest rates.
Chinatti said that Q3 and Q4 are going to be rough, so agents need to be “really fiscally conservative this year.”
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