Articles

Friday Freebie: Business Planning Checklist for 2020
There are 15 days left in January--and 15 items to check off in this week's Friday Freebie. Today, we're highlighting a free business planning checklist that agents can use to make sure their business is prime, commission-earning shape for the year ahead. Read on to learn how you can end the first month of 2020 poised for success. Free 2020 Business Planning Checklist, courtesy of Homes.com Have you ever heard the phrase, Plan your work and work your plan? It's somewhat of a mantra at the RE Technology office. That's because we know that goals are never achieved without a plan to achieve them. But planning can be intimidating. That's why we like this week's Friday Freebie. It's a 15-item checklist from Homes.com that breaks down the work of preparing for a new year into small, manageable tasks. That way, you won't get overwhelmed and give up before even starting. Aim to accomplish one task every day starting today, and your business will be in tip-top shape once the real estate market starts to warm up again. Here's a sampling of checklist tasks: Update personal information on your website and social media channels Research competitors' advertisements and content for new ideas Add customer reviews to your website Take a new headshot Pretty painless, right? If you're ready to take on the new year, download Homes.com's 2020 Business Planning Checklist today!
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How 3D Tech Is Ensuring Accuracy and Transparency in the Transaction
A residential property was measured and photographed. The living room looked big enough to fit the new owner's suite of antique furniture. The staging photos certainly made it look like the right size. What's the worst that could happen? It's a story all to familiar to most and, as it turns out, a good deal can go wrong. Staging photos can give the impression of more space. Eyeballing a room's size (no surprise) isn't the most reliable system of measurement. Even legacy floor plans can prove to be suspect. There is no substitute for an accurate representation of the space itself, and physically being there has been the only way to get it—that is, until now.
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Must-Have Tools for Online Lead Conversion
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2020 Market Predictions for Real Estate
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 10:00 AM PST Steve Harney, Founder of Keeping Current Matters, will join us for a 2020 Market Forecast Overview. Steve and his team of researchers have reviewed what the experts are saying about this year’s real estate market and will provide you with the key insights on what they’ve found. You’ll walk away with the answers to simply and effectively communicate the truth about what is happening in today’s real estate market. On this webinar, Steve will cover: Home price appreciation over the next 3-5 years What the experts are saying about mortgage interest rates Inventory and demand going into the spring market What you need to know right now Register now!
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Products

Featured Homes (SM) by realtor.com®
Secure one of the most visible and exclusive positions for YOUR listings. What Featured Homes(SM) can do for you: Prominent callouts Help you grab the attention of buyers looking for a specific property type. Attract more buyers More visibility for your listings and more inquires to you. Help generate more interest                Move your listings to the front of the line in a highly visible position. The ultimate listing tool Show potential home seller clients how your exclusive marketing will more their home to the top of the Search Results Page. Create more visibility For you, and for the marketing you provide to clients. Your homes seen first Feature Homes(SM) are seen at the top of the Search Results Page, then seen again when the consumer clicks “next.” Capture market share Display your listings and the marketing you provide your home seller clients by securing zip codes in your preferred farming
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Featured Agent (SM) by realtor.com®
Build top-of-mind awareness in your community. Create an online brand and draw attention to your other online marketing efforts. Market to local, regional, and national consumers  Demonstrate your local market area savviness with targeted ads on realtor.com® Optimize your branding Enable lead capture forms and turn your ad into a complete lead generation system. Work with us to match advertising Link to your webpage and offer guide books and home buying and selling resources. Get referrals Our experts will help you with the creative that will drive the results you are looking for. Get recommendations Our experts will help you with the creative that will drive the results you are looking for. Automatic lead capture Top Producer® CRM can be configured to manage your leads more
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Agent and Broker Training by Market Leader
Market Leader provides regular webinar trainings for real estate professionals looking to leverage their Vision system. These online seminars allow real estate professionals to participate in a seminar from anywhere with an Internet connection, from their home, or office. The topics of these webinar trainings vary, but all are designed to help real estate agents to grow and manage their business. Market Leader provides a Training Calendar on their website with clickable links to each webinar so professionals can register for the seminar. Topics include: Using Craigslist -Walks real estate agents through a step-by-step tutorial to learn how to set up a Craigslist account, add your MLS ID, and post your listings to Craigslist Vision 1: Getting Started – Where to find top tools in MarketLeader's Vision system, keys to set up an agent website and Vision system, and steps to respond to new prospects Vision 2: Daily Steps to Success – Respond to new prospects, send and reply to email, take care of today's reminders, find motivated prospect Vision 3: Engage Your Prospects – Create listing alerts, send custom-tailored listings, leverage a 15-day strategy to engage new prospects, save time with email templates and import an agent's
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Industry News

Redfin Ranks the Most Competitive Neighborhoods of 2019
Neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, MI; Tacoma, WA; Minneapolis and the Bay Area Rank Highest for the Year SEATTLE -- Bay Area neighborhood White Oaks is the most competitive neighborhood of the year for homebuyers, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Alger Heights in Grand Rapids, MI and East Arlington in Boston rounded out the top three competitive neighborhoods. "While neighborhoods in the Bay Area and Boston are still among the most competitive in the country, robust competition for homes in Grand Rapids, Minneapolis and Tacoma neighborhoods signals the desirability of more affordable areas," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "An influx of buyers from more expensive neighborhoods contributes to competition in these affordable neighborhoods, especially because they can make higher offers than local residents when they sell their previous homes." The report is based on 2019 rankings from Redfin's Compete Score, which uses a combination of proprietary Redfin data and data from local multiple listing services to determine how difficult it is for buyers to win a home in individual neighborhoods and cities. Below are the most competitive U.S. neighborhoods based on an average of monthly stats from January through November 2019. Of the 10 Bay Area neighborhoods among the most competitive in the country, half are in Oakland. Although the median sale price in Oakland is more than double the national median—$720,000 versus $312,000 for the typical home in the U.S. in November—it's still well below that of San Francisco ($1.4 million) and San Jose ($1.1 million). Oakland Redfin agent Katy Polvorosa said the area has been particularly hot this year, partly because it's more affordable than neighboring parts of the Bay Area. "I've heard a lot of people say the Bay Area housing market is cooling this year, but I'm seeing the opposite in Oakland," Polvorosa said. "I'm writing offers that are seeing aggressive competition. Homes that are move-in ready and priced right typically receive offers within 12 to 14 days. The Oakland market is so hot that sellers are still expecting and receiving offers that waive contingencies." Although the Bay Area is still home to plenty of competitive neighborhoods, homebuyers are gravitating toward more affordable inland metros as housing markets in coastal job centers have become more expensive. In the third quarter of 2019, 26% of Redfin.com home searchers looked to move to another metro area, with affordable places like Sacramento, Phoenix and Las Vegas as popular destinations. The appearance of two neighborhoods in Grand Rapids on this year's ranking of most competitive neighborhoods is an example of the trend of migration away from more expensive metros. "Affordability plus quality of life are big draws to the Grand Rapids area. I've worked with buyers from Chicago, California, Hawaii and other expensive parts of the country who are looking here because they can get so much more bang for their buck," said local Redfin agent Shellie Silva, who moved to Grand Rapids from San Diego three years ago. "Homes in neighborhoods with price points below $275,000, like Alger Heights and Creston, are prone to bidding wars and they tend to sell quickly because they're even more affordable that some other parts of Grand Rapids." In Alger Heights, nearly 67% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home was on the market for one week before going under contract so far this year. And in Creston, 59.3% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home went under contract in just six days. To read the full report, including methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/most-competitive-neighborhoods-2019. About Redfin Redfin is a technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country's #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry's lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 90 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has helped customers buy or sell homes worth more than $85 billion.
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Waning Affordability Contributes to Slower Job Growth
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CoreLogic Reports U.S. Overall Delinquency Rate Lowest for an October in at Least 20 Years
No states posted an annual gain in overall delinquency rate in October CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report. The report shows that nationally, 3.7% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in October 2019, representing a 0.4 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with October 2018, when it was 4.1%. As of October 2019, the foreclosure inventory rate – which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.4%, down 0.1 percentage points from October 2018. The October 2019 foreclosure inventory rate tied the prior 11 months as the lowest for any month since at least January 1999. Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To monitor mortgage performance comprehensively, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency, as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next. The rate for early-stage delinquencies – defined as 30 to 59 days past due – was 1.8% in October 2019, down from 1.9% in October 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due in October 2019 was 0.6%, down from 0.7% in October 2018. The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.3% in October 2019, down from 1.5% in October 2018. The serious delinquency rate has remained consistent since April 2019. Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 0.7% in October 2019, unchanged from October 2018. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2%, while it peaked at 2% in November 2008. "Home price growth builds homeowner equity and reduces the likelihood of a loan entering foreclosure," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "The national CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a 3.3% annual rise in values through October 2019, and price growth was the primary driver of the $5,300 average gain in equity reported in the latest CoreLogic Home Equity Report." No states posted a year-over-year increase in the overall delinquency rate in October 2019. The states that logged the largest annual decreases included North Carolina (down 0.9 percentage points) and Mississippi (down 0.8 percentage points). Eight other states followed with annual decreases of 0.6 percentage points. In October 2019, eight metropolitan areas in the Midwest and South recorded small annual increases in overall delinquency rates. The largest annual increases in October 2019 were in the following metros: Pine Bluff, Arkansas (1.0 percentage points); Dubuque, Iowa (0.2 percentage points) and Rockford, Illinois (0.2 percentage points). Five other metros were up 0.1 percentage points: Columbus, Indiana; Kokomo, Indiana; Manhattan, Kansas; Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin and La Crosse-Onalaska, Wisconsin-Minnesota. While the nation's serious delinquency rate remains at a 14-year low, 14 metropolitan areas recorded small annual increases in their serious delinquency rates. Metros with the largest increases were Panama City, Florida (0.4 percentage points) and Dubuque, Iowa (0.2 percentage points). The remaining 12 metro areas each logged an annual increase of 0.1 percentage point. "National foreclosure and serious delinquency rates have remained fixed at record lows for at least the last six months," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "However, as markets can be much more volatile at the metro level, both late-stage delinquencies and foreclosures have continued to increase at this level in the Midwest and Southern regions of the country." The next CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Report will be released on February 11, 2020, featuring data for November 2019. For ongoing housing trends and data, visit the CoreLogic Insights Blog. About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), the leading provider of property insights and solutions, promotes a healthy housing market and thriving communities. Through its enhanced property data solutions, services and technologies, CoreLogic enables real estate professionals, financial institutions, insurance carriers, government agencies and other housing market participants to help millions of people find, acquire and protect their homes. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.
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Realtors Announce Partnership with Census Bureau in Promotion of 2020 Census
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Companies

Homesnap
      Founded in 2008 and based in Washington DC, Homesnap is a trusted real estate search platform for people to explore homes and search MLS real estate listings -- online or from a mobile phone. Using the Homesnap app (available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices) you can snap a photo of any home, nationwide, to find out all about it. For listed homes, you may be able to see interior photos too! When you’re ready to buy or sell real estate, you can contact a real estate agent within Homesnap to schedule a showing or list your home in the MLS. Homesnap is powered by a specialized homes database that combines hundreds of disparate sources of data. Our data feeds include: over 40 MLS real estate databases, property tax records, census data, geographic boundaries, property polygons, school information, mortgage rates and
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CRS Data (Courthouse Retrieval System)
With an in-house team dedicated to collecting, converting, updating and verifying the data available through our robust suites, you can make confident decisions that optimize performance, increase revenue and enhance customer experience. Put the power of intelligent data in your hands with CRS
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SentriLock
SentriLock is the leading electronic lockbox manufacturer and service provider supporting the Real Estate industry and other emerging markets. SentriLock is a technology-based company that offers the most secure, durable, and versatile product within the industry. With SentriLock’s reliable, multiple key access method you will never miss a
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VirtualTourCafe
VirtualTourCafe embarked on a journey to completely redesign and redevelop the online software to meet the needs of today’s real estate industry as well as the new “Web 3.0” graphical and responsive designed websites. Eight thousand hours of developing later, VirtualTourCafe 3.0 was launched on June 1 st , 2016. The new and improved service offers many new features and benefits for the real estate agent, but more importantly positions VirtualTourCafe for the future! The VirtualTourCafe difference: An integrated easy-to-use modern solution for every real estate agent! Today we are still a small but growing company based in Pleasanton, CA with a small staff and lots of help from our friends, family and business partners. We work with independent contractors, photographers and virtual partners around the world. We are proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time with loyal customers who have been with us from the beginning! We have been able to maintain our values and moral compass pointed in the right direction, while always treating our customers, employees and associates as if they are family, and living life full of love and gratitude, one day at a
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Webinars

WATCH: Make 2020 Your Best Year Ever with the Best CRM
2019 is winding down and that means it's that time of year: New Year's resolution season. Whatever your specific goals are for your business in 2020, one thing is certain--you're going to need a plan to get there. In a recent webinar, we helped agents do just that. Special guest Shannon McGee of IXACT Contact shared an 11-item checklist for changing your business game in 2020. Shannon ran us through each item on the list and even gave us a brief demo of features in IXACT Contact's real estate CRM that can help you achieve that objective. So if you're looking to make the year ahead your strongest one yet, tune in to the webinar recording below to find out the actions you can take to achieve all your goals in 2020. Webinar Guests Shannon McGee, Sales Director, IXACT Contact Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the webinar topic and guest. 1:59 - Shannon McGee outlines the objectives of the webinar and what a CRM is, what it can do for your business, and how real estate CRM IXACT Contact can help. 7:13 - Shannon shares an 11-point "wish list" for changing your business game. 7:40 - #1: Get my contact list organized. 12:05 - #2: Never again miss the opportunity to follow up with a prospect or past client. 16:53 - #3: Automate my lead capture, nurture, and conversion. 18:22 - #4: Stay in control and have better management of my business pipeline. 21:03 - #5: Become an email and text marketing superstar. 29:15 - #6: Go mobile! 30:30 - #7: Develop your online presence. 35:08 - #8: Turn my social media marketing into a lead-gen machine. 37:58 - #9: Get more referrals and repeat business. 39:57 - #10: Stay organized and in control of your business. 40:08 - #11: Set business goals and achieve them. 45:37 - Shannon talks about IXACT Contact's Concierge service that gets you up and running with no heavy lifting on your part. 48:41 - Shannon reveals an exclusive offer for RE Technology readers. 49:12 - Question and answer segment. A Special Offer for RE Technology Readers For a limited time, RE Technology readers can get an extended free trial of IXACT Contact. Claim your FREE 60-day trial at www.ixactcontact.com/RETECH. Next Steps Learn more about IXACT Contact on their website Claim your 60-day FREE trial here: ixactcontact.com/RETECH
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WATCH: Do You Fear Anonymous Reviews? Take Back Control
The experience of buying or selling a home carries a lot of emotional weight for consumers. Sometimes these strong emotions come out in online reviews in both positive and negative ways. Whatever the tone or the of the reviews you receive, one thing is certain: online reviews of your service or going to happen whether you like it or not. So how can you stay in control of your online reputation? That's a discussion we had during a recent webinar with a panel of active Realtors and industry professionals. Watch the recorded webinar below to find out how you can take advantage of online reviews—and ensure that only real reviews from your real clients impact your professional reputation. Webinar Guests Ashley Young, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty Laurie Davis, Broker/Owner of BHGRE Lifestyle Property Partners, VP of Industry Relations at RateMyAgent Mark Armstrong, CEO and Co-founder of RateMyAgent Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and panelists. 2:15 - Marilyn shares a WAV Group real estate consumer survey on the importance of online ratings. 4:42 - Mark Armstrong takes over and talks about how emotional buying/selling a home is for consumers. He shows us a negative agent review and the agent's response to it. 8:05 - Next, Mark displays a review from a consumer that "loves" their agent. 8:50 - Mark demonstrates how RateMyAgent takes your agent reviews and links it to the real estate transaction so that you can use those reviews as a marketing tool. 11:27 - Ideas on how you can leverage reviews reviews from your clients—on social media, in email marketing or in digital ads. 12:06 - What is RateMyAgent? 13:55 - First in a series of questions for panelists Ashley Young and Laurie Davis. Do you fear reviews? How has your opinion of reviews changed in the last three years? 22:40 - What are you doing with your reviews after you've collected them? 32:08 - What are the elements that make up a marketable or portable review? 41:25 - What results have you gotten from promoting verified reviews? 50:04 - How do you prepare clients for receiving a request for a review to get a better response rate? 54:00 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps Learn more about RateMyAgent on their website Register for our next webinar, Growing the real estate client relationship: Connecting opportunity, community and reality capture
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WATCH: Data Driven Tips to Generate, Convert and Close Your Leads
Pop quiz! A buyer is interested in a home. Who is going to convert them? Is it: The listing agent The website the consumer found the home on The first agent they hear from The data points to "C." According NAR research, 68% of buyers only interview one real estate agent. So what does that mean for you? "We know that speed is critical, but this data here shows that you need to be fast and you need to be first," said Joe Sesso, author of the books Secrets of Top Selling Agents and The Foreclosure Revolution, as well as a Realtor, real estate investor, national speaker and trainer. Joe was our guest during a recent webinar—a special "Secrets of Top Selling Agents" event for RE Technology readers. He not only shared techniques, tips, and tricks to beat your competition to the first contact, but he also outlined some of the new lead generation models—like iBuyers and referral networks—that are pushing their way onto the real estate scene. Webinar attendees got in-depth insight into three resources and strategies for leveling the playing field and generating your own leads. Want to get these insights for yourself? Watch the recorded webinar below! Webinar Guests Joe Sesso, Executive Director of Sales at Homes.com, Realtor, real estate author, speaker, trainer, and investor Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and panelists. 1:25 - Joe Sesso talks about how "speed to lead" is critical to lead conversion. 3:25 - Joe offers an overview of the Referral Network lead gen model. 5:40 - Joe outlines the iBuyer lead gen model. 8:19 - Three ways to own your leads. 11:56 - Resource #1: Lead generation sources 22:38 - Resource #2: Lead conversion strategy 35:07 - Resource #3: Your website 53:35 - The keys to beating your competition every time. 54:15 - How to fill your pipeline with more leads from other peoples' listings. 55:50 - How to get a free SEO website audit from Homes.com. 56:35 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps Learn more about Homes.com Local Connect Claim your free website SEO audit by contacting [email protected] Register for our next webinar, Do you fear anonymous reviews? Take back control of your online profile today.
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WATCH: Growing Your Brand with a Real Estate CRM
There are a lot of misconceptions about what a brand is. For starters, it's not your logo or your website design. So what is a personal real estate brand and your can you build yours? That's what we explored in a webinar last week. A brand is, first and foremost, all about how you can serve your clients and sphere of influence. "The more you have a regular, consistent flow of communication, education, insight, counsel that you provide to your sphere, the better your own personal brand becomes," says webinar moderator Marilyn Wilson. "[Your] CRM can become a guide to helping your create your own brand." That's right—your CRM can be an important tool in building your visibility and influence with your sphere. In this webinar, Rich Gaasenbeek of IXACT Contact shows us how your CRM and marketing automation system can help you build your brand through regular, consistent communication across multiple marketing channels. Watch the recorded webinar below to find out more (and how to claim an exclusive FREE offer from IXACT Contact)!
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WATCH: Win Over Sellers and Close More Listings with This Tech Tool
From wowing sellers during listing presentations, to increasing sight-unseen offers, to increasing your speed to market, there's a marketing technology that can turbocharge essential aspects of your business. We're talking about 3D virtual tours--and during a recent webinar, we took an exhaustive look at all they have to offer. We were joined by representatives from Amy Kite Realty, who gave us first-hand insight into how their business is winning new clients and closing deals faster, thanks to Matterport. If you missed the webinar, no worries. We recorded it for you! Check out the video (and our notes) below:
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