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Is October the Best Time to Buy a Home?
After spring and summer with a surprisingly low inventory of homes for sale, October may be this year's best month to shop for a house. If your real estate prospects are renting and looking to buy, but are on the fence about when to start looking for your new home, share this infographic with them. They'll see the top reasons why they might want to begin their home search now. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
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How to Identify and Track Your Real Estate Competitors
We all face competition in life. As a real estate agent, you're no stranger to the tough process of the competition. Regardless of the difficulties that competition might bring us, it's important to realize that competition is a healthy way to drive the progress of the real estate industry in general and your real estate brand specifically. But what makes you stand out and succeed in regard to your competitors is realizing your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your competitors. This is why it's important to conduct a comprehensive competitive analysis and research your potential real estate competitors. Let's talk about the principles of competition. There are two types of competition: direct and indirect. So who are direct and indirect competitors of real estate agents? Direct - Direct competition consists of businesses that offer the same service as your brand. So in the case of real estate agents, they are in direct competition with other real estate agents. Indirect - Indirect competitors, unlike the direct ones, don't offer the same service, but they still meet the same needs with an alternative way. For example, real estate agents' indirect competitors can be services like for-sale-by-owner. Knowing your indirect competitors is as important as knowing the direct ones. It helps you to further the knowledge on why people choose or opt out of choosing your services. How Can You Identify Your Real Estate Competitors? After identifying your main competitors an important task falls on you to track them. Here's the criteria you should pay attention to: Real Estate Keywords Check what keywords they are targeting for organic and paid search. Knowing what keywords your competitors are targeting, in addition to knowing the general trends, will help you to identify what your competitors are lacking in terms of keywords. Tools like SpyFu can help you understand what your competitors' main keywords are. It's really hard to surprise and engage visitors because of the huge abundance of digital content. That's why content that is shared means your competitors found some niche that wasn't explored yet. Research it, and take your time to analyze why this content is shared. Try to understand it, but don't copy. Google Alerts Google is one of the most popular search engine platforms out there. People strive to make their content rank on at least the first page of Google, if not appear in first place. This is the ultimate goal of every successful business. This can be achieved with a certain amount of luck, but most importantly by being constantly aware of the current trends in your industry and being mindful of competition. Google Alerts helps you to achieve both. It can help you to know what other publications are writing about your competitors, what content pops up for certain important keywords, or even what others write about you. Knowing your backlinks is one way to understand where your SEO efforts are lacking. When you know your own backlinks and understand your competitors' backlinks, you can determine where you need to strengthen your marketing efforts. Tools like Ubersuggest and SEO Explorer can help you with that. Manual Checking In addition to checking your competitors with certain tools, you should also do manual research. The simplest thing to do is check Google with the keywords you want to rank with. Check who's taking first place. That might be an indicator of whether they're your direct or indirect competitors. Pay attention to local searches. You want to rank locally, so use keywords like "real estate agents near me," to help determine who your real estate competitor is, and optimize your own Google My Business profile. How to Track Your Real Estate Competitors and What to Pay Attention to Social Media Social media is one of the most important channels to connect with your potential and existing clients. Knowing the general trends in the real estate market and how your competitors are using social media will make your social media plan more comprehensive. Real Estate Blogs Even though visual content is what people are gravitating towards these days, blogging is still as popular as ever. Blogging brings necessary traffic to your website, while providing useful information to your visitors. Knowing what your competitors are writing about can spark creativity and give you new, fresh ideas to write about. But remember, even though copying is sometimes considered a form of flattery, this is not the case when it comes to digital content. Blogs can inspire you to create content of your own, but don't copy them word for word. Real Estate Newsletters Email marketing is a time tested method to engage and connect with your audience. It's an efficient way to deliver important messages and updates. If your competitors have a newsletter subscription form, subscribe to see what kind of emails they're sending. This will also give you an idea of a new newsletter campaign. Client Reviews Understanding how your competitors communicate with their clients will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and improve your own customer service. Knowing what your competitors' clients lack means you can fill that niche and offer a better service. Tools That Help You to Track and Identify Your Competitors Ubersuggest - Website traffic, SEO explorer, keyword analyzer and much more Alexa - Has a free option for site info and showcases the website rank and compares websites that are determined to be competitors Ahrefs - Has a free option to check domain ratings and showcases website authority (the higher DR you have, the better) SpyFu - Comprehensive keyword analyzer Google Alerts - To know what others say about your competitors, set up a Google Alert for specific keywords Social Mention - Helps you to identify what people on social media say about your brand or your competitors Google Keyword Planner - Also can be used to identify keywords of your competitors, and since the data comes straight from Google, it means the data is more accurate Semrush - Another great tool for checking keywords To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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When Will U.S. Buyers See Relief From Skyrocketing Home Prices?
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Why Builders Can't Keep Up with Home Sales
Once upon a time, the key words in real estate were "location, location, location." Then, the infamous three Ls, at least in the new construction sector, became "land, lots and labor." Those Ls remain important, to be sure. But now, as far as builders are considered, the Ls refer solely to "lumber, lumber, lumber." Softwood is used in structural framing such as beams, joists, and trusses as well as sheathing, flooring and underlayment, interior wall and ceiling finishing. Softwoods also are used in certain manufactured products, particularly cabinets, windows and doors. Since April 2020, the cost of softwood lumber has risen more than 300%, adding nearly $36,000 to the price of a typical house, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The Factors Behind Surging Lumber Costs The primary reason for this price surge is insufficient production at mills across the country. Like most other businesses, pandemic stay-at-home orders greatly impacted the ability to produce products in sufficient quantities to satisfy demand. And even though operations around the country have increasingly opened back up, many mills are still not back to pre-pandemic capacities. Another factor is the import duties placed on Canadian lumber during the previous administration. And now, in a step that has brought a strong rebuke from NAHB President Chuck Fowke, the current administration is proposing to double the tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments. What Else is Stifling Builders' Production? While the cost of lumber is builders' most pressing problem, it is hardly the only one. Here's a brief rundown of the other issues that are keeping them from erecting all the houses needed to take some of the heat out of the blistering housing market: Availability Builders rarely have trouble securing appliances, which they must have to obtain occupancy permits. But now, 95% of those polled by NAHB reported shortages of refrigerators, stoves and the like. Shortages are now more widespread than at anytime sine the 1990s when the NAHB first started tracking. Skyrocketing lumber prices have rightfully dominated the headlines, but prices for steel, concrete and gypsum products also continue to climb at record pace. In a recent survey by marketing and advisory firm Zonda, which monitors some 18,000 active communities nationwide, 86% of builders reported significant supply disruptions resulting in significant construction delays. Among the components that are tough to obtain are interior doors, windows, siding, plumbing fixtures, shingles, insulation and cabinets. About the only item builders aren't having a hard time finding are kitchen sinks — as in, "everything but…" Practically everything else is in short supply; again because production was severely curtailed during the height of the pandemic. And as a result, the costs to builders for many of the products they need have also rocketed. Regulation Another NAHB study found that regulations imposed by all levels of government account for $93,870, or 23.8% of the average sales price of a new house, which is currently $397,300. Of that, $41,330 is attributable to regulation during development, and $52,540 is due to rules that must be followed during construction. Because of the pandemic, builders and their customers aren't getting all they are paying for, though. At least not lately. Local building departments are so short staffed that it is taking longer to get plans approved and the required inspections made. There are other regulatory issues that builders must contend with, too. The most recent was a change in the National Electrical Code, a change that caused HVAC systems to fail. The new rule, the NAHB contends, was hastened unnecessarily during a process that was manipulated by special interests, perhaps trying to sell a particular product. Land "Builders are paying stupid land prices," Zonda's Tim Sullivan told his clients recently. But they almost have to if they want to remain in business. Why? Because the supply of home sites is dwindling rapidly. Zonda says roadwork has commenced on just 165,000 lots nationwide. Considering that some 500,000 new homes are sold annually, that's not a lot. Builders tend to believe the lot pipeline will be most constrained for the rest of the year, but about a third of those polled said finding buildable sites will be an issue next year as well. "The under supply isn't going to go away," said Sullivan. Location Remember the original three Ls? Forgetaboutit. A community's relationship to downtown used to be much more important, but it hardly matters these days in the new home market. Zonda research shows that 70% of the best-selling communities are 30 miles or more from their central business districts as builders move farther and farther out to hold the line on prices as best they can. In Houston, for example, properties within 10 miles of downtown are notching 1.1 sales per month while those 30-35 miles out are grabbing 4.3 deals monthly, up 118%. (READ MORE: Which Markets Will See New Home Builds Ease Inventories?) Higher Prices Zonda's research shows 97% of builders have raised prices, half of those by $10,000 or more. But, said the company's chief economist, Ali Wolf, "There's virtually no sticker shock." Even as builders restrict supply, prices continue to march higher. One reason: The market is supported in large measure by out-of-towners moving from places where housing prices are out of this world. For example, a 2,500-square-foot house that costs $1.16 million in San Francisco or $1.14 million in Los Angeles runs a mere $450,000 in Austin. That's why locals are buying farther and farther out, where the prices are the less expensive. Labor Experienced carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople are in short supply. But only 49% of builders said that's a big deal right now, probably because they're beset by other, more pressing problems and because they're not erecting houses as fast as they'd like. Slowing Down To protect against getting too far ahead of themselves, a majority of builders are "by design" now taking only a specific number of contracts per month. While 9% said it's still business as usual, 17% said they are accepting offers only as new lots come online, and 13% said they are "pausing" sales or reservations. As a result, new home production slid in April and is likely to continue slowing. Supply constraints, labor scarcity and a lack of buildable lots "are weighing meaningfully" on builders' ability to keep up with housing demand, says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. Builders, he adds, have little choice but to slow the pace of construction. Syndicated newspaper columnist, Lew Sichelman has been covering the housing market and all it entails for more than 50 years. He is an award-winning journalist who worked at two major Washington, D.C. newspapers and is a past president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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How Are Sellers in the Current Market REALLY Doing?
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Spring 2021 Housing Market: Will the Extremes Calm Down?
The 2021 spring housing market can be summed up to two extremes better suited for a primetime TV medical drama than an economic snapshot: the sellers market is on steroids, while the buyers markets are on life support. Why so extreme? Real estate laws of supply and demand dictate that rising demand reduces the number of homes for sale and increase prices. Higher prices then motivate sellers to sell, opening greater supplies of inventories and reducing the pressure on prices. Moderated prices and more homes for sale encourage buyers to buy, and sales increase until supply and demand start their familiar dance all over again. That's how things are supposed to work. Except, moving into the spring 2021 housing market, they aren't working that way at all. Soaring prices and starving inventories aren't motivating enough sellers to sell, nor are they discouraging many buyers from buying. So, we're left with a pair of extremes, whose forces are stronger than supply and demand, and twisting housing markets out of shape. Fear Worsened the Inventory Drought Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and current recession, the housing market was facing a substantial supply shortage. Afraid of missing out on the lowest mortgage interest rates in a generation, extraordinary numbers of millennial first-time buyers jumped into the markets in the first weeks of the pandemic's arrival in March 2020. However, millions of sellers delayed listing their homes at the launch of the spring 2020 sales season. By July, high demand and low supplies drove sales prices to an all-time high, and inventory levels plunged 21.1% below 2019 levels, marking 14 straight months of year-over-year declines. Inventories Are Still Disastrously Low Fast forward to the end of February 2021, housing inventory was a record 29.5% lower than a year earlier. Buyers quickly consumed the new listings, and time on the market fell to 20 days for a home to go from listing to contract, an all-time low. At the end of March, total housing inventory amounted to 1.07 million units, up 3.9% from February but still down 28.2% from one year ago. Unsold inventory stayed at a 2.1-month supply, marginally up from February's 2.0-month supply and down from the 3.3-month supply recorded in March 2020. Inventory numbers continue to represent near-historic lows since NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. housing market is short about 3 million available homes. New Home Production is Still Struggling Looking beyond the spring 2021 housing market itself, a more enduring problem is the chronic underproduction of new homes. For five decades, America's supply of entry-level homes has declined. Production of entry-level construction fell from 418,000 units per year in the late 1970s to 65,000 in 2020. According to NAR's Lawrence Yun, new-home underproduction is the chief cause of today's inventory shortage. Freddie Mac's chief economist, Sam Khater, agrees. "Simply put, we must build more single-family entry-level housing to address this shortage, which has strong implications for the wealth, health, and stability of American communities," Khater says. Typically in a recessionary time (such as the pandemic), housing demand declines and supply rises, causing inventory to rise above the long-term trend. Khater believes the main driver of the housing shortfall to be the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes. When falling rates led to higher demand, supplies could not keep up, and by late 2020, prices soared at a double-digit pace. Shortages of affordable homes brought the pandemic sales boom to a halt. Sales fell 6.6% from January 2021 to February, and supplies did not increase during February, a month when sellers traditionally begin to list their homes for the spring sales season. Rates and Prices Will Slowly Rise During the Year So far, the spring 2021 housing market has been a mixed bag. During the first quarter of 2021, rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stayed below 3% percent until the first week of March. By April 1, however, they reached 3.18%, which lowered the house-buying power of consumers enough to cost 55,600 potential home sales, according to First American's chief economist Mark Fleming. Freddie Mac's forecasters expect rates to continue to rise slowly and reach an average of 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, as the economy slowly recovers from the pandemic. What We Can Expect Moving Forward As long as the economic outlook post-COVID is optimistic, interest rates should go higher. Despite the nation's continued economic uncertainty, demand drivers will continue in 2021, and rates, though starting to increase, will still remain very low. A gradual return to normalcy will raise incomes, and lenders will discontinue some of their pandemic-era restrictions. More millennials and Gen Xers will enter the market, especially with those low rates. Freddie Mac's forecasters expect the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rate to average 3.4% by the fourth quarter of 2021, rising to 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Fannie Mae forecasts that housing starts will rise 17% by the end of the second quarter over last year's poor performance, then 4.7% in the third quarter. The massive shortfall in unsold inventory will continue, especially for affordable starter homes. Supplies are at record low levels this spring, and they will not normalize until new construction can meet the demands of a growing population. For now, the spring 2021 housing market is just one snapshot of many in a tale that is poised to get worse before it gets better. Steve Cook is the editor of the Down Payment Report and provides public relations consulting services to leading companies and non-profits in residential real estate and housing finance. He has been vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors, senior vice president of Edelman Worldwide and press secretary to two members of Congress. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Will the Great Urban Flight Last?
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The Collateral Damage of the Pandemic on Real Estate
Almost a year into the COVID-19 era, and the collateral damage of the pandemic on real estate markets continues to grow. Overall, real estate sales have fared extremely well, but other aspects of the market have not been immune to economic fallout. In fact, just about anyone in the market who isn't selling has faced headwinds from the pandemic—and for some, relief is nowhere in sight.
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How 2020 Changed Homebuying and Selling
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2021 Housing Inventories: Will They Run Out?
After months of record lows last year, 2021 housing inventories are under the microscope. In real estate terms, normal market conditions see about six months' worth of homes listed for sale at any given time. That means that at the current sales pace, it would take six months to sell all of the resale houses currently on the market. But, as we all know, these are not normal times.
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5 Predictions for the 2021 Housing Market
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4 Factors Influencing the Real Estate Rebound
The data continues to show a promising rebound for the housing market. After a massive halt in March and April due to COVID-19, pending home sales, listings, and solds have continued to increase month-over-month, showing that buyers are back in the real estate market. All-time low interest rates, remote workforce, pent-up demand, and life events (continuing to happen) are just a few of those factors. Find out the four biggest factors contributing to the rebound of the real estate market by watching the video above!
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3 Key Stats that Show Just How Busy 'Busy Season' Was
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27 Real Estate Statistics You Should Know and Understand
Real estate is a data-driven industry. Many statistics and figures are used in daily conversation to describe shifts in the market. As an agent, you need to be familiar with this data. You need to be able to understand what they mean and interpret any changes. To help you get started, we'll review 27 real estate statistics that are essential to any real estate business.
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5 Shocking Yet True Real Estate Statistics
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Understanding the 2020 Real Estate Market
There is one common question every real estate agent needs the answer for: "How's the market?" While it's important to know what's happening in your area, it is also good to know what's happening nationwide. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, "2020 Market Predictions for Real Estate," speaker Steve Harney shared what experts are saying about this year's real estate market.
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Real Estate Agents' 2020 Market Predictions
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Friday Freebie: 2020 Real Estate Market Outlook
A special annual event is upon us—and no, we're not talking about the holidays (yet). It's Brian Buffini's Bold Predictions: 2020 Real Estate Market Outlook, a free live webcast on Dec. 10 that we're telling you about a FULL MONTH in advance so that you can be sure to secure a seat. Why is this event so in-demand? Read on to learn all about it in this week's Friday Freebie. Free webcast: 'Brian Buffini's Bold Predictions: 2020 Real Estate Market Outlook' Reason number one for this event's popularity: Brian Buffini knows his stuff. Among other events, he predicted the Great Recession, the impending automation of the real estate industry, and the housing shortage. "I've been in this business for 33 years, and the only constant I've observed in real estate is the change in market trends," says Buffini. "This broadcast is meant to help agents navigate these shifts so they can better serve their clients and handle anything the 2020 real estate market throws their way." Here's what Brian will cover in this year's webcast: The state of the market How to future-proof your business against industry disruptors Where your best leads will come from in 2020 How to capitalize on current trends to supercharge your business So if you're wondering where the real estate market is headed next year, register for this event before it fills up. Tip: Take notes, because you can share this information with your clients—via blogs, social media, newsletters, or during friendly conversation. Sharing up-to-date market knowledge establishes you as their go-to real estate resource. Don't miss out. Sign up now and secure your FREE virtual seat!
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How to Create a Market Activity Report for Any Neighborhood
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What Does a Possible Economic Recession Mean for the Housing Market?
By now you've likely heard murmurings of an impending economic recession. According to the National Association for Business Economics' Economic Policy Survey, three out of four of the business economist panelists expect a recession by 2021. But let's hold off on the panic button for just a minute, because this does not necessarily mean a downturn in the housing market. In fact, historically, it can mean quite the opposite.
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Don't Make These Mistakes with Your Market Reports
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5 Simple Steps to Share Your RPR Market Activity Report on Facebook
RPR's Market Activity report is an ideal option for agents who want to create enduring and results-oriented relationships through social media. The report presents a snapshot of changes in a local real estate market based on listing and MLS information, and includes active, pending, sold, expired, distressed, new for lease, and recently leased properties, as well as recent price changes and upcoming open houses for a period of up to six months. Here's a quick tutorial on how to post your RPR Market Activity Report to Facebook.
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RPR Reports: A Member's New Best Friend
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3 RPR Report Customizations You Should Be Doing Now
Ready to get more out of the reports you create? Follow these three report customizations to make the reports you create in RPR showcase the exact information your clients require.
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[Infographic] Best Seasons to Sell a Home
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Understanding the Real Estate Market to Generate More Sales in 2019
There are many ways to generate more sales for your real estate business. Learning new sales techniques and understanding different ways to market yourself is important. But what about understanding the local real estate market around you? That's what Pam Ermen did to become a great real estate agent.
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Are You Keeping Home Sold Price Records?
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Research Properties with the RPR Map
The RPR map is a powerful way to visually search for properties and uncover market trends. From aerial, road, and overhead views, to schools, parcels, estimated values, heat maps, overlays and more, we'll show you how easy it is to draw or designate your map in ways that suit every type of interest or need.
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Share This: Market-Driven Graphics Your Sphere Will Love
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Find the Local Market that Offers the Best Growth Opportunity
Selecting and working in the wrong local market is a costly mistake that many real estate professionals make. But with some background knowledge, it's an error that you can avoid. If you selected your current Local Market based on the following factors, you may want to reconsider (and we will show the tools to do this, below): I live in this neighborhood; I like the area, the homes are nice; Other agents are marketing there, so I should too; I've got a listing there The reasons for choosing a local market area above aren't wrong, but they shouldn't be your sole reasoning. In this article, we'll look at how to select the best Local Market area—one that you can master (and be profitable in). To achieve this, we'll need to do some calculations (which we will walk you through step by step). Learn how to: Calculate the opportunity of a geographic area; Calculate the potential future opportunities of a particular market area; Look at other variables that will affect the Local Market you choose. To get started, grab a calculator, a pad of paper, and a pen. Let's get started!
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Top Job Markets for Real Estate Professionals vs. Top U.S. Real Estate Markets
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Grow as You Go: Searching Your Subject Property on RPR®
Here's where it all begins: the hunt for knowledge. It's what sets a REALTOR® apart from the unrefined data gathered by consumers via national real estate portals. As an RPR® user with an expert understanding of the local market, you have the power to analyze and manage a platform of unparalleled data to the extent that no other search mechanism offers. In fact, no other real estate data sharing website offers side-by-side, listing vs. public record comparisons like RPR. And it's all at your disposal, as a member benefit. In Part II of our eight-step series of Grow as You Go articles for new and seasoned RPR users, we'll talk about how the platform's vast array of search capabilities can become your "go-to tool" for virtually every aspect of your prospecting, listing, buying, selling, and open house business. And how your curiosity, competitive spirit, and compelling desire to succeed all begin with a search for knowledge. So let's jump in. Performing a New Search Your journey begins here, at the homepage search bar, with six unique options—each with their own individual set of drill-down filters. These varied and plentiful tools will get you exactly where you need to be, and also provide opportunities to extend your search beyond what you can imagine.
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Mobile Engagement
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Product Review: RBIntel
RBIntel is a very special data analytics program that is used by agents and brokers to educate consumers on what is happening in the local real estate market. The product is designed to allow MLS member agents and brokers to create almost any kind of market report they need, any time, on any device. It is amazing on the iPad or a smartphone, putting MLS market stats in your hands wherever you are meeting with customers. Today's real estate agent is bombarded by consumers who believe everything they read on the Internet. Unfortunately, even popular television news sites give consumers incorrect information about the real estate market. Consumers often encounter sources like Zillow, Trulia, and Case-Shiller that use outdated and incomplete data to talk about the market. RBIntel is different because it is built on MLS data and published every month to give you the advantage you need to help today's homebuyer or seller. RBIntel was developed by an MLS (MRIS). They fundamentally understand how agents and brokers use real estate market data today. The program supports the ability for reports, or any part of a report, to be communicated between real estate professionals and their customer, including print, website, newsletter, blog, social media, and email. It even allows you to export the raw data into a spreadsheet. Moreover, the market reports can be published as static reports or interactive reports. Think of a static report as a snapshot or photo. You might use this to tell your clients something specific, like today's list-to-sell ratio in their area. An interactive report has two features. First, it allows the customer to make changes to the report criteria. Secondly, the report will update automatically each month.   Update: Showingtime Acquires Real Estate Business Intelligence
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Is there a market for haunted homes?
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How to Use the RVM in a Pricing Discussion
You’ve always known the importance of comps and market trends to setting pricing.  But in today’s market, having an understanding of the lender’s requirements has become just as critical to a successful closing. Watch this short video to learn more about the RVM in pricing.
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Mobile stats stack well for Rand Realty
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HomeGain Releases 2nd Quarter 2011 National Home Values Survey Results
Guest Contributor Louis Cammarosano from HomeGain Says: Fifty percent of surveyed real estate professionals nationwide expect home values to decrease over the next six months; Sixty-five percent disapprove of Obama’s performance as President. HomeGain, the first company to provide free instant home valuations online, announced the results of its nationwide second quarter 2011 home values survey. Over 750 real estate agents and brokers and over 2,600 homeowners were surveyed. Most real estate professionals and homeowners continue to expect home values to decrease or stay the same through the middle of the year. Fifty percent of agents and brokers and forty-two percent of homeowners think that home values will decrease over the next six months. In the first quarter 2011 HomeGain National Home Values Survey, thirty-nine percent of agents and brokers and 30 percent of homeowners thought that home values would decrease over the next six months.  
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How Branding Builds Trust and Familiarity for REALTORS®
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