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15 Best AI Commands for Real Estate Professionals
As a real estate professional, you know that staying on top of technology trends can give you a competitive edge. And artificial intelligence is shaping up to be one of the most useful and exciting tools out there. So how can you leverage AI to boost your real estate business? This article will explore 15 of the best AI commands tailored specifically for real estate agents. We'll provide actionable tips on using ChatGPT, Google Bard or other leading AI assistants to help you close more deals, create better marketing content, automate admin tasks, and more. You'll come away with practical strategies to tap into AI's potential, saving you time while delighting clients. So read on to unlock 15 AI superpowers that can elevate your real estate career today! Introduction to AI for Real Estate Professionals As AI tools like ChatGPT become more advanced, they open up exciting possibilities for real estate professionals to work smarter, not harder. Whether you're an agent, broker, or team leader, AI can help automate repetitive tasks so you focus on high-impact activities. Here's a quick intro to how AI is transforming real estate: Lead generation – Use AI writing assistants to quickly draft listings, landing pages, emails, and social posts. AI can also identify promising leads by analyzing consumer data. Showing coordination – Automate scheduling, reminders, feedback collection, and other logistics around showings. AI scheduling tools learn your availability preferences. Transaction management – Upload contracts, organize supporting documents, and track progress automatically with AI transaction platforms. Get alerts for critical dates/tasks. Market analysis – Pull real-time, hyperlocal market statistics through AI market tools. Analyze trends and make data-backed pricing recommendations. Administrative tasks – Let AI handle meeting scheduling, calendaring, data entry, and other repetitive admin work that eats up time. The key is blending AI's efficiency with your specialized expertise for next-level service. Approach new AI tools with an open mind, patience through any hiccups, and creativity. The real estate landscape will continue advancing rapidly. AI can help you not just keep up, but get ahead. 5 Best AI Commands for Lead Generation As a real estate professional, generating leads is essential to building your business. AI tools like ChatGPT can help. Here are five AI commands that will supercharge your lead-generation efforts: 1. Write a personalized email for cold outreach AI can craft customized emails to prospects that sound authentic and compelling. Try: Write a professional yet friendly cold email to introduce myself to potential home buyers in my area, around 150 words. 2. Create Facebook ad copy Well-written Facebook ads can attract more clicks and conversions. Ask the AI: Draft 2-3 Facebook ad variations for my real estate services targeting first-time home buyers, include benefits and call-to-action, around 125 characters each. 3. Research contacts for targeted outreach Expanding your outreach list takes work. Let AI assist with research: Provide a list of 20 relevant contacts I can reach out to, including name, company, role, email, with a focus on real estate investors and developers in my city. 4. Optimize website content for SEO and conversions SEO-friendly website copy can increase site traffic and leads. Try commands like: Revise the homepage copy on my real estate website to improve SEO and increase lead capture, around 300 words. 5. Generate ideas for lead magnets Lead magnets incentivize visitors to share contact info. For fresh ideas, ask: Suggest five potential lead magnet offers I could create to attract buyers and sellers to subscribe to my email list. Experiment with different AI commands for your lead gen needs. Add your unique spin and insight to stand out. The key is optimizing your outreach for more conversations and connections. 5 Best AI Commands for Listing Copywriting When it comes to writing listing descriptions that capture attention and drive engagement, AI can be an invaluable asset for real estate professionals. Here are five of the best AI commands for optimizing your listing copywriting using ChatGPT or other natural language generation tools: Describe this [address] home's best features in an engaging, benefit-focused paragraph. This will generate a lively overview paragraph highlighting a property's most appealing attributes. Focus on benefits over features to better connect with buyers. Write three short, unique selling proposition statements for this [bedrooms] bedroom [city] home. Crafting targeted USP statements can help listings stand out. Ask for multiple options to find the best fit. Suggest a catchy, benefit-focused headline and subtitle for this [property type] at [address]. An appealing headline and subtitle will capture interest and communicate top perks. List 10 keywords and phrases buyers would likely search for a home like this one. Incorporating relevant keywords organically throughout listings can improve SEO and search visibility. What interior images would you recommend for showing off this home's best assets? Identifying key rooms and surfaces to highlight through photos can further emphasize a property's top features. Leverage the descriptive power and optimization smarts of AI to showcase listings in the best possible light. Generate multiple headlines, paragraphs, or real estate keywords, then edit and refine the best outputs to suit your needs. With practice, AI-assisted copywriting can help increase click-throughs and showings. 5 Best AI Commands for Market Analysis Provide a detailed market analysis for the single family housing market in [CITY, STATE], including average sales price, months of inventory, absorption rate, trends over the past two years, and predictions for the next two years. Compare the condo/townhome markets in [CITY 1] and [CITY 2], highlighting key statistics like median sales price, average days on market, list to sales price ratio, and appreciation rates over the past five years. Recommend which market looks more favorable for investment. Give the top five most important economic factors that can impact demand for suburban office space in [REGION], such as job growth, interest rates, and infrastructure development. Elaborate on how each factor influences demand. Analyze the retail rental market in [NEIGHBORHOOD] and provide the current average asking rents per square foot, vacancy rates, new construction, household income demographics, and retail sales growth within a 3-mile radius. Provide a one-page executive summary on current conditions and forecasts for the apartment market in [CITY, STATE]. Include information on occupancy rates, rent growth, new construction, demand drivers, and recommendations for investing or developing. Conclusion You now have 15 AI commands specially crafted to help streamline your real estate business and stand out from the competition. As AI continues advancing at lightning speed, staying ahead of the latest technology will ensure you provide unmatched value when serving clients. Implement even a few of these AI tools for real estate agents into your workflow, and you're sure to increase productivity while delivering next-level service. With the right technology, your possibilities are endless. Note sure to use which most popular AI tools? Check out ChatGPT vs Google Bard. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog. Related reading 3 AI Prompts That Really Work for Real Estate Agents Influencer Approved: 6 Game-Changing ChatGPT Prompts for REALTORS 8 Browser Extensions for ChatGPT
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Transforming Your Listings: The Impact of Renovations on Market Appeal
One of the toughest parts of the real estate business is winning a listing. Yet there is nothing more coveted for an agent's sales efficiency and profitability that will drive long-term success than securing the sales side of a transaction. While the real estate market is always in flux as mortgage rates continue to sway, agents like you know that real estate sales still happen because life happens. Neighbors get a new job, have a new baby, become empty nesters, retire, inherit a windfall, get divorced, or pass away. Life changes can turn almost any homeowner into a seller. Because more people use a real estate agent today than even before the internet, when a life change happens, your neighbors are most likely going to want to hire an agent to sell their home. So, how do you fully leverage your local market connections and knowledge to be that agent and win the listing? As an active agent, you can stand out from your competition and offer greater value if you are willing to transform the listings you bring to market. Rush to list or renovate for more? Home flippers have known for years – perhaps decades – that many homes rushed to market have untapped value. It's how they make their money. Find properties that need some – or a lot – of tender loving care or TLC. Flippers know how, from experience, to invest in the right renovations to resell the home at a significant profit. The flipper business model requires deep local market expertise and experience. Recently, the process of investing in home improvements to maximize a home's value has largely been the preferred method of flippers. But through the emergence of pre-sale renovation firms, it is now available to the average homeowner, as it is becoming a transformative tool being added to savvy agent's listing presentations. The biggest motivation for homeowners considering selling is that it's the fastest, easiest way to maximize the sales price. In fact, Revive research of homes that have gone through the pre-sale renovation process in 2021-2022 found sellers net an average of 236 percent. The average profit gained: $140,000. Of course, individual results may vary, but giving homeowners access to the flipper model is a game-changer for agents, too. Remodeled homes sell faster and for more money. For a commissioned agent, the higher the sales price, the greater the commission. It's a win-win, and that is why agents are transforming their listing presentations to include exploring a pre-sale renovation path rather than rushing the listing to the market. NAR research found that 70% of millennial buyers – a huge part of today's homebuying market – would be willing to buy a smaller home if it is move-in ready. Making the right improvements If there's a secret sauce to the flipper's business model, it's knowing what improvements to make for each home. Making the wrong choices can negate the ability to maximize the home's value. Sure, you could recommend your sellers go it alone and take the DIY approach, but do they have the design skills or know what features and amenities buyers are seeking in your market? Can they contract with the right professionals, have time to oversee the entire process, finance it all upfront, and finish in six to eight weeks? Probably not. Real estate agents know the value that a pre-sale renovation firm brings to a seller. It's a turnkey process and far less risky because they have the team, resources, knowledge, and skills to maximize the appeal of the home in your local market. You want your listings to stand out from the competition when it comes time to sell. You also know that some home improvement projects go further than others in boosting resale value and appeal. The safest route for you and your seller to make your listings stand out is to involve skilled renovation experts who do this for a living. Market appeal nets higher prices Zillow research found that listings that promote amenities buyers want in a local market help boost the final sales price. Their study shows listings with chef-friendly amenities – such as pizza ovens and professional-grade appliances, can sell for as much as 5.3% or an average of $17,400 more than similar homes without these features. Trendy home features that include "she sheds" and terrazzo floors — the female equivalent of the man cave — can boost a sale by an average of 2.5%. But maximizing a property's market appeal isn't just about aesthetics; it's about making strategic improvements that will attract a broader pool of potential buyers. More foot traffic to your listings equates to a higher likelihood of a lucrative sale. As an agent, this should be at the forefront of your selling strategy. Attract more listings When agents transform their listings when the best path for the seller is a pre-sale renovation, they become the local market innovator. Having a competitive advantage, such as having clients who have gone through a pre-sale renovation and significantly increased their final sale price, can be a market magnet for your business. Happy sellers refer others to you as a forward-thinking agent who guided them to this hassle-free, value-unlocking solution. You'll especially resonate with modern sellers who want to work with an agent who is current on the new ways to sell a home. Introducing the pre-sale renovation option during your listing presentations will help you win more listings as you become the local expert who has proven how well this model works. Delivering more value In a market where buyer preferences and trends are constantly evolving, your value as an agent is higher than ever. Your local expertise not only guides sellers in making their homes appealing but also ensures they have the right market appeal. By leveraging your knowledge and resources, you empower sellers to make the best decisions for their properties, leading to successful sales and satisfied clients. Your ability to navigate the newest strategies effectively is what distinguishes you as adding more value and being the choice of more sellers. Jessica Morrow, a seasoned real estate veteran, is Revive Real Estate's Chief of Staff. Revive's mission is to guide home sellers through presale renovations without upfront costs. Working with Revive, home sellers gain an average of $140,000 in additional profit when selling their homes. Thank you to Revive for sponsoring this article on RE Technology! Related reading The ROI of Renovations: Explaining the Financial Potential of Renovating Before Selling The Role of Agents in Pre-Sale Renovations: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities Meeting Home Buyer Expectations: Understanding the Millennial HGTV Generation and Their Preferences
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Real AI: Evil AI, Holy Gemini, a Great Way for Agents to Use AI, Fast Facts, Top Headlines and Quote of the Week
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Real AI: AI Specializes, 5 Fast Facts, Top AI Headlines and Quote of the Week
Real AI is a 100% human-created weekly roundup of all things AI in real estate and emerging AI innovations in other sectors likely to impact real estate. AI specializes: gets smaller, smarter While Craig Newmark, founder of Craiglist, may not have changed his UI in decades, he has become an advocate of responsible AI. One of the nonprofits he supports, Moms First, announced an AI pilot to help people in New York secure paid leave with benefits: PaidLeave.ai. Via LinkedIn, Craig points out that AI, when used for a specialty such as this, may significantly positively impact customer service. While chatbots taking over initial customer service screening, creating a wall between you and a real person, is still failing miserably (see the FedEx debacle we wrote about), this AI use for CS is highly intriguing. He writes: "PaidLeave.ai acts as a personal assistant to people in New York state to help them figure out what they need to do to get their benefits. The process isn't easy, but PaidLeave.ai creates clear checklists and next steps — even drafts emails to your employer for you — to make the process as straightforward as possible. The best part? It talks to you like a human. There's no convoluted language or insurance jargon to decipher." Now, think about the implications for real estate. OJO Labs has been on this path (simplifying the complex) for nearly a decade. Initially, they set up their AI platform to help answer buyers' basic questions about their journey in great detail and with a human-like conversational style. It has morphed into much more than that, but this kind of specialization – using AI for a more narrow, specialized task – is now the big trend. Axios just covered "The push to make big AI small," noting the move to smaller, cheaper yet still powerful AI models, showing that even in AI, bigger – at least for specific tasks – may not mean better. Dozens of ChatGPT apps are available, and dozens of other chat AI apps fill Google Play and the Apple App Store. The real estate industry – especially tasks agents do every day that they don't particularly enjoy – is ripe for innovation. The problem is that most of these apps are not simple or as easy to use as they demo. Agents need an AI easy button, and my guess is that, like PaidLeave.ai, it's designed to simplify a complex and difficult process, as more easy buttons for real agents (and consumers) are coming. AI Five Fast Facts Nine of every 10 Americans currently use AI devices, programs, or services featuring some element of AI. 87% of baby boomers are reluctant to use voice assistants like Siri or Alexa because they prefer email as a mode of communication. 83% of businesses claim that AI is a strategic priority in their business strategy. One in every four companies adopts artificial intelligence to address labor shortages and customer pressure. 97% of companies believe ChatGPT will help their business in some form. Sources: Invezz – various sources Top AI Headlines Take 5 1. Top 10 Benefits of AI in the Real Estate Industry | AiThority - 12/3/23Mostly about how generative AI will be used in real estate, not actually being used – yet. 2. With Fannie Mae's adoption, AI's role in real estate is solidified | Inman - 11/29/23When Fannie Mae talks, the lending industry listens. 3. Is AI the answer? The hotel industry grapples with its implications. | Hotels Mag - 12/1/23Insight into how AI may reshape how hotels operate and deliver the customer experience. 4. There's a gap between AI talk and businesses actually using it | NBC - 12/3/23Big business is great at talking the AI talk, but so far sucks at using it. 5. If AI is so smart, why are AI customer service chats so clueless? | ConsumerAffairs - 12/6/23AI-reliant customer service is more about cutting costs than improving one's experience. Quote of the week To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Real AI: Fannie Mae embraces CV, Claude.ai gets better, AI facts and top headlines
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The Role of Agents in Pre-Sale Renovations: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities
Selling a home today can be stressful for the seller and their real estate agent. Interest rates are fluctuating, buyers' needs are changing, as are homeowners' options when they are ready to sell their homes. The emergence of pre-sale renovation firms in the last few years has given homeowners ready to sell a better way to sell a home. Instead of agents rushing a property to the market in an "as is" condition, sellers can renovate now to maximize the sale price later. As an agent, it's vital to present today's pre-sale renovation option to each seller during every listing presentation. While a pre-sale renovation may not suit every client, more often than not, it ensures homeowners receive top dollar for their property. This also allows agents to take home higher commissions. Let's explore the role of agents in pre-sale renovation and the key benefits this innovative service provides to sellers and their agents. Maximizing property value The number one advantage of pre-sale renovations is increasing a home's final sale price, an average of 28%.* With the average US house selling nearing a half-million today, that additional equity could mean tens of thousands extra in the seller's pocket. Rather than accepting offers at a property's current-dated value, strategic renovations tailored to local market trends help homes sell for top market value. Research shows average profit gains can exceed $140,000, with an average return on renovation of a stunning 236%.* The projects also update homes to suit modern buyer preferences. Open-concept kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, and outdoor living spaces often provide the highest ROI. Pre-sale firms manage every aspect of these renovations with in-house or contracted experts. They know the local market and the right improvements to make. Catering to Millennial buyers More buyers than ever desire a move-in ready home, with Millennials making up the largest share of current home shoppers. They don't want as-is houses. Industry research finds that most Millennials would opt for a smaller move-in ready house over one needing work. Pre-sale renovations deliver the modern, Pinterest-worthy interiors this demographic seeks. Homes updated in this manner often sell faster as they check more boxes for a larger buyer pool. This approach helps agents reach more potential buyers. Streamlined process for sellers Navigating a renovation can be complicated, time-consuming, and plain exhausting for sellers or their agents. For years, real estate agents have been offering, often on a limited scale, improvement services to sellers to get a home ready for the market. Pre-sale firms eliminate the hassle by handling everything turnkey from design to permitting to contracting. Rather than helping sellers sort through endless decorator and contractor options, the seller gets matched with specialized experts tailored to their particular property needs. No researching materials or keeping projects on schedule – a project manager handles it all. Renovations can start in as little as seven days, and most renovations are complete in 4-6 weeks, while lighter updates may take only a few weeks or less. Deep cleaning and staging can get many homes to market within days. This accelerated timeline gets properties listed faster. This streamlined process is a considerable benefit for agents too. No up-front cash needed for sellers One significant barrier that often discourages renovations is the upfront costs. Pre-sale firms have also solved this problem. Homeowners no longer need available funds to update their property, as the pre-sale renovation firm finances all improvements. The seller requires no up-front cash – even for major overhauls as all the funds are provided by the pre-sale renovation firm, which recoups their costs at closing. The best part is that any profits beyond the renovation fees and expenses go straight to the seller at closing. Higher commissions for agents Increasing a home's market value translates directly to higher earning potential for commissioned listing agents. If the "as is" price jumps 20-30%, thanks to strategic updates, so too does the agent's total compensation. It's a win-win, allowing sellers and their trusted real estate professionals to maximize profits. Agents key to success: Update your listing presentation Pre-sale renovations have greatly simplified and amplified earnings for those looking to sell residential properties. As an agent, it's important to educate yourself on this innovative new sales path and ensure you add it as a central talking point to every listing presentation. Once aware of the option, the streamlined, cost-free nature sells itself to most sellers. Allowing a property to realize its total market value through smart renovations is the easiest way to win a client for life and ensure future referrals. If you are already talking to your sellers about pre-sale renovations, great. If not, it's time to rethink your approach, embrace innovation, and seize an opportunity that could boost your GCI and change the way you do business forever. *Note: Based on Revive data collected 2020-2023; individual results may vary. Jessica Morrow, a seasoned real estate veteran, is Head of Operations for Revive. Revive's mission is to guide home sellers through pre-sale renovations without upfront costs. Working with Revive, home sellers gain an average of $140,000 in additional profit when selling their homes.   Thank you to Revive for sponsoring this article on RE Technology!
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Strategic Partnerships in Real Estate: The benefits of collaborating with renovation experts
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The Evolution of Pre-Sale Renovations: How the industry has changed over the past decade
Over the last decade, the landscape of pre-sale home renovations has undergone a transformation as significant as the shift from looking at a printed MLS book of homes listed for sale to searching for a home on your phone. Just 10 years ago, the notion of pre-sale renovations was a hands-on, do-it-yourself affair, with homeowners deep cleaning and painting, determined to add a layer of polish before planting the "For Sale" sign in their yards. It was a grassroots approach, often complemented by the resourcefulness of forward-thinking real estate agents, that laid the groundwork for a revolution in the home-selling process. This transition from a do-it-yourself ethos to a more sophisticated, turnkey service approach has significantly altered how modern real estate agents help homeowners prepare their properties for the market today. Early days: The hands-on approach In the early 2010s, the real estate industry's approach to pre-sale renovations was heavily reliant on the homeowner's initiative and investment. Investment-minded sellers would venture into substantial improvements, undertaking projects that ranged from kitchen remodels to adding a bathroom. Yet these efforts required not just financial outlay but also the orchestration of various contractors, from plumbers to electricians, when a homeowner was undertaking a home transformation. The rise of agent-driven enhancements During this time, some innovative real estate agents began to recognize the enormous value that pre-sale enhancements could bring to the closing table. These agents, with a keen eye for a property's potential, began offering to manage cosmetic improvements as part of their services. These agents coordinate for homeowners everything from deep cleaning services to providing professional staging. These services were then seamlessly integrated into the seller's closing costs, providing them the advantage of upfront funding, reimbursed to the agent upon sale. Industry revolution: The emergence of Concierge services The true paradigm shift began in October 2018, when Compass, a rapidly expanding brokerage firm, introduced its groundbreaking "Compass Concierge program." This initiative significantly departed from the status quo by offering home sellers comprehensive pre-sale cleaning and improvement services without any upfront costs. The only requirement was an exclusive listing agreement with Compass. While other brokerage firms like Redfin had dabbled in similar programs, their offerings were restricted to a limited number of markets. Compass Concierge, on the other hand, was a first-of-its-kind, wide-reaching service available in every one of the 22 major markets it then served. The move by Compass marked a significant shift towards a more homeowner-friendly model. Startups paving the way Following in Compass's pioneering footsteps, 2019 saw the emergence of specialized startups like Revive Real Estate. These companies dedicated themselves to refining and expanding the concept of home improvement services. The difference? Pre-sale renovation firms provided access to a network of vetted, high-quality contractors or, in some cases, offered their own contracting services. By providing centralized budgeting, design, and project management, homeowners could experience a streamlined, hands-off renovation experience. For the first time, there was no cap on the extent of the renovations; the scale of the work was solely based on the projected return on investment and the agreed-upon budget plan between the renovation firm and the homeowner. Pre-sale renovation services become a standard option Today's pre-sale renovation firms have taken the concept to the next level. By covering all renovation expenses upfront, homeowners are freed from a potentially daunting financial burden. Now, the seller's journey to market is smoother and more strategic than ever, with no initial financial outlay from the homeowner. Once the home sells, the investment in renovations is recouped by the pre-sale renovation firm at closing. Why do agents recommend homeowners use a pre-sale renovation firm? In today's real estate market, the strategic advantage lies with modern real estate agents who embrace innovation. These agents know that instead of rushing to list a home for sale, they can help their sellers unlock the hidden value within their homes. Among the specific benefits that a pre-sale renovation firm can provide include: Enhancing home value through professional expertise Using a pre-sale renovation firm brings the insight of professional designers and contractors to maximize the appeal and, consequently, the value of their property. These experts apply their knowledge of current local market trends and local buyer preferences to ensure that renovations will yield the highest return on investment. They can pinpoint which upgrades will add the most value, from kitchen remodels, bathroom tiling to flooring remodels, ensuring that every dollar spent is strategically invested. Strategic financial planning with no upfront costs One of the most important benefits to many homeowners is the financial flexibility a pre-sale renovation firm offers. Homeowners no longer bear upfront costs, worrying about what investments to liquidate, as the renovation firms cover all these expenses. This often allows for more comprehensive upgrades that might have been financially prohibitive. Because the payment for the improvements is deferred until the home sells, this alleviates any immediate financial pressure a homeowner would otherwise experience. Market-ready homes are more desirable Professionally renovated homes tend to sell faster as they are desirable to more buyers. Moreover, pre-sale renovation firms use market data and even artificial intelligence tools to align renovations with what's selling. This reduces the time a property spends on the market. A home that's been professionally updated and staged will often have a more immediate appeal to more potential buyers – especially Millennials who want move-in ready homes – and that leads to quicker sales. Reduced stress and time commitment for homeowners The renovation process can be overwhelming, with homeowners juggling multiple contractors and timelines. Pre-sale renovation services simplify this by managing the entire project, from initial design concepts to the final touches. The convenience factor cannot be overstated: a turnkey approach minimizes the homeowner's involvement, saving them time and shielding them from the stress of day-to-day project management. Higher quality improvements Because the top pre-sale renovation firms only work with vetted, professional contractors, homeowners can be assured of high-quality results. Moreover, established pre-sale renovation companies stand by their work, often offering guarantees or warranties. This assurance means that the work will not only be completed to a high standard but will endure. Attractive and competitive property listings A home with professional renovations will have a competitive edge in the market. These properties stand out in listings because of their newly updated features. The better a listing looks online, the more interest it can generate, leading to more in-person visits and, potentially, competitive bidding among potential buyers. Customization to maximize profit By tailoring their services to the unique aspects of each property, a pre-sale renovation firm ensures that the improvements made align with the homeowner's goals and the property's potential in its local market. This customized approach maximizes the likelihood of a profitable sale, as renovations are specifically designed to enhance the most valuable selling points of the home. Home improvement has come a long way What was once a patchwork of DIY efforts has evolved into a streamlined, digitally managed symphony of strategic improvements. Moving from the manual to the automated, pre-sale renovation is fueling a monumental shift in how homeowners today prepare their properties for the market with an eye on maximizing their home's value while minimizing their hassle. What a pre-sale renovation path offers a homeowner is creating a more attractive home that appeals to buyers and sells quickly, with less effort and stress for the seller, and financial benefits that make strategic sense – and results in helping homeowners create more wealth. Learn more about pre-sale renovations at revive.realestate/company/education. Jessica Morrow, a seasoned real estate veteran, is Revive Real Estate Head of Operations. Revive's mission is to guide home sellers through presale renovations without upfront costs. Working with Revive, home sellers gain an average of $186,000 in additional profit when selling their homes.   Thank you to Revive for sponsoring this article on RE Technology!
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Real AI: AI Wasteland, the Song, Headlines and Five Fast Facts
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6 Innovative Ways Real Estate Agents Are Using Artificial Intelligence
The real estate industry may well look back on 2023 as the year that artificial intelligence (AI) became useful in a tangible and measurable way. Any number of products and tools have adopted AI to enhance their effectiveness, to the benefit of real estate agents everywhere. Recently, Liz Sturrock, Chief of MLS and Innovation at Miami REALTORS®, shared her perspective on AI in a webinar. She noted different ways that real estate agents are using AI today to save time and money while providing top-notch service to clients. While she doesn't think that AI is going to replace real estate agents, she does think that the agents and brokers who are best able to leverage AI will have a distinct market advantage, so it's a good idea to get on this bus as early as possible. 1. Generate and nurture leads The latest AI tools go above and beyond website chatboxes, which have been in use for some time. Some AI lead generation options are indeed chatboxes, but their ability to answer questions for consumers and even hand off the conversation at any point in time to a human are next-level. 2. Send personalized property recommendations Finding the right house to buy, especially in markets with low inventory (which is just about every market in 2023), can be a challenge. In addition to setting buyers up with an MLS feed, there are AI tools available that can comb listings and deliver recommendations for homes for sale that might have slipped through the cracks for one reason or another. 3. Finally get that blog up and running There are two big reasons why many real estate agents choose not to use their blog or website as a lead-generation tool. The first is that they don't know what to write about, and coming up with a list of topic ideas that are relevant to their audience and that they can write easily is a huge hurdle. The second is that even if they do have a list of topics, they don't have the time to execute on those stories. AI writing tools can solve both of these problems. Agents can ask a chatbot "what should I write about?" or even "what should a real estate agent in the San Francisco Bay Area market write about on their blog?" and then pick and choose from the list of ideas that the chatbot delivers. If they don't have time to write the piece themselves, they can ask the chatbot to do it (always making sure there is time to review it for accuracy before posting online). 4. Write property descriptions Writing a property description that shines takes a certain kind of talent, which not every real estate agent possesses. Thankfully, there are ways to almost instantly generate a property description using AI that both fits the home for sale and highlights its most attractive attributes. 5. Virtually stage and enhance properties Staging is expensive, although it does help sell houses. If agents want to save their staging budgets for the big, splashy listings, AI can insert furniture and artwork into listing photos, as well as make changes (subtle or large) to help buyers envision what the space could look like if they took out a wall or added some windows, for example. It's a good idea to clearly mark any digitally staged or enhanced images so that buyers aren't disappointed and know what to expect when they arrive at the house in person, that said! 6. Ask for business advice For agents without a coach or mentor, AI can answer common questions about business strategy, motivation, and any number of other issues that agents might struggle to manage. "I want to find more listings; what would a real estate coach tell me to do?" is one prompt that can generate all sorts of ideas from an AI chatbot. Or, "I would like to retire from real estate in ten years. How should I start preparing?" How can you stay up to date with the latest AI tools and how people (including agents) are using them? Sturrock suggested two resources: Reddit and a newsletter available at therundown.ai, which curates new AI products and sends them out in a list to subscribers. For more details — including specific product details and recommendations from Sturrock — watch the full webinar.
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How Technology Is Streamlining the Renovation Process for Homeowners (And Their Agents)
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How to stop worrying and learn how to love ChatGPT (and its uses in real estate)
There is a lot of excitement about the promise of AI-powered tools like ChatGPT, and a lot of confusion about some of their (false) promises. There's also no small amount of anxiety about the future of the industry as automation becomes increasingly popular, widespread, accurate, and inexpensive. Do agents need to worry about their jobs? Or can AI be a tool for good? This article will attempt to answer some of these questions, with a (little) help from ChatGPT itself (but we can assure you, most of this article was written by a living, breathing human). What is artificial intelligence (AI)? Last year, we predicted that artificial intelligence was one of the top trends to watch in real estate tech. We couldn't have been more right. Since then, broad-scale application of AI has taken off, and innovative companies are finding novel ways to use it in every single industry. But what is artificial intelligence (AI)? Let's recap: AI uses the power of computers to do things that used to be reserved for humans: "seeing" and recognizing things from pictures, recognizing and processing human speech, making complex decisions, writing text, and even driving cars. AI relies on vast amounts of data, computer programming, machine learning, and deep learning. It is incredibly complex, and until very recently, was reserved for a select few and the scientists working on the models that power it. How can AI be applied to the real estate industry? Real estate is a data-driven industry, and artificial intelligence has the superpower of being able to sort through and spot patterns in data faster than any human ever could, and faster than computers traditionally could in the past, too. This means that there are dozens of applications for AI in the real estate space, including: Property search and recommendations: More accurate and more personalized property searches based on consumer preferences and needs. Market analysis and accurate pricing: AI algorithms can look at historical data to identify trends, current market conditions (when provided), and predictive analytics to estimate exactly what a particular property will sell for. Chatbots and virtual assistants: Chatbots can help brokers and agents serve consumers better by being available 24/7 to answer questions and provide support. The buyer or seller's agent can pick up where the chatbot left off when they log back in. Is AI going to put real estate agents and brokers out of business? Real estate has always been a relationship business. It's about who you know, who you can connect to whom, and how well you serve your clients. Tech tools are a great way to serve them better, but without human connection, your business will be sunk before it even sets sail. AI can help real estate professionals save a lot of time and think outside the box. It can speed up brainstorming, writing listing descriptions, editing text, finding higher quality leads, and more. But it is not a replacement for professional expertise. Not convinced? Here's what ChatGPT has to say itself: How can real estate agents and brokers use ChatGPT? There are many ways agents and brokers can use tools like ChatGPT to make their work easier. Here are a few that we came up with ourselves: 1. Listing descriptions Sometimes, the inspiration simply isn't flowing. In some offices, an admin writes all the listing descriptions being input into the MLS, not the listing agent, which means that during busy periods, an admin could be writing a dozen descriptions in a single day. By the tenth one, they're probably running out of things to say. A tool like ChatGPT can help write a great first draft. Our headquarters is in Newport Beach, California. To test this tip, we asked ChatGPT to write a 150-word listing description for an unlisted property down the street from our office. This is what it wrote (we have not made any edits except redacting the address): Introducing [address], a captivating residence nestled in the desirable Newport Beach, California. This stunning property offers a harmonious blend of modern elegance and coastal charm. The meticulously crafted architecture showcases a timeless appeal, while the location provides convenience and tranquility. Step inside to discover an inviting interior flooded with natural light. The open floor plan seamlessly connects the spacious living areas, creating a perfect environment for entertaining guests and enjoying everyday living. The gourmet kitchen boasts top-of-the-line appliances, sleek countertops, and ample storage space. Retreat to the luxurious master suite, featuring a private balcony and a spa-like en-suite bathroom. Additional bedrooms offer comfort and versatility for family members or guests. Outside, the landscaped backyard invites relaxation with its lush greenery and a serene patio area. Conveniently situated near pristine beaches, renowned schools, and vibrant shopping and dining destinations, this residence offers the epitome of coastal living. Don't miss the opportunity to call this house your home—an idyllic sanctuary in Newport Beach. Is this description perfect? Far from it. But it is a highly perfectible first draft that the listing agent or admin can customize with the relevant details. They can even ask additional questions or provide additional details (like number of rooms, featured amenities, etc.) to refine the description even more, or ask ChatGPT to make it sound more luxurious, more casual, or easier to read. 2. Nurture campaigns Nurturing new leads is one of the most important things real estate agents do. Considering that real estate leads can take months, if not years, to convert, keeping them warm is key. We've shared our own tips for effective nurture campaigns, and ChatGPT can be a helpful resource for designing a whole persona-based nurture campaign and even creating a first draft of the emails you can send. We asked ChatGPT to design a five-email nurture campaign for a first-time homebuyer, and here are the subject lines of the five emails it suggested: Welcome to the Exciting World of Homebuying! Discovering the Perfect Place to Call Home Let's Find Your Dream Home! Crafting a Winning Offer for Your Dream Home Closing Day Is Almost Here! A great nurture campaign is the foundation, but the most efficient, successful agents also have a real estate CRM to help them put their campaigns into action. 3. Social media posts Social media is a goldmine for real estate leads, but it can also be a tough medium to master. And while tips abound to help real estate agents get the most out of social media, sometimes, it's just too challenging to come up with relevant, readable content on your own. This is where chat ChatGPT can come in handy: type a prompt like, Please help me write three tweets to encourage potential homebuyers to visit my open house at noon on Sunday, and watch as ChatGPT helps you write and format three tweets, complete with hashtags. You can edit them, find the perfect listing photos to go with them, and schedule them to post throughout the week. Better yet, you can pair tweets that ChatGPT helped you write with an automated social publishing tool like Constellation1's Digital Marketing Suite, which puts your social media marketing on autopilot and generates relevant posts from your active listings, industry news, real estate tips, and more. We thought there must be other ways ChatGPT could help agents, so we asked it to suggest the top three ways it can help make brokers' and agents' work easier. Here's what it said (shortened from the original output, but not substantively edited): Lead Generation and Qualification: ChatGPT can engage with potential clients, capture their information, and qualify leads. Customer Support and Information Provision: ChatGPT can handle basic customer inquiries, provide information about properties, schedule appointments, and answer frequently asked questions. This frees up agents' time by automating routine tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex client needs and providing personalized assistance when required. Market Research and Insights: ChatGPT can be trained with up-to-date market data, enabling agents to quickly access information on property prices, market trends, and neighborhood demographics. As you can see, there are a lot of ways agents and brokers can harness the power of ChatGPT. However, the first claim about being able to generate and qualify leads is an interesting one. If you ask ChatGPT to elaborate on how to do this, it gives you a whole list of tasks that include finding a ChatGPT-compatible platform, training it on your lead criteria, setting it up with lead capture, teaching it how to qualify a lead, then integrating the platform with your CRM, and finally assigning leads to a nurture campaign. It's a lot! Thankfully for you, there are already lots of tools available that can help you capture and route leads with incredible speed and accuracy. Why not save time and effort and look into the best real estate CRM that already exists on the market? Some important warnings about ChatGPT for real estate There has been a lot of hype and excitement about AI in general and ChatGPT in particular in recent months, and given how quickly things are advancing, this hype is not going to die down anytime soon. Even still, there are well-documented issues with large language models like ChatGPT that all real estate professionals should be aware of: Hallucination: Hallucination is a phenomenon where the model generates responses that seem plausible (and confident) but are not based on factual information or have no grounding in reality and are in fact completely false. This could be about something as simple as a fact about the neighborhood a property is located in or something more complex, like disclosure requirements in a neighboring state. This is why your expertise as a professional is always important. Lack of Common Sense and Context: ChatGPT is predictive, it's "guessing" what the next likeliest word in a phrase should be to answer the prompt you've given it. It's not actually thinking, and it isn't "smart." This means that answers are based on statistical patterns, not intelligence. So, oftentimes, answers are completely nonsensical. Bias: Models are trained on data that was necessarily generated with some sort of bias, and therefore answers will always exhibit a certain level of bias, too. Looking at answers through this lens will help you identify and reduce bias in anything ChatGPT gives you. Ethical Concerns: ChatGPT has been accused of plagiarism, privacy violations, copyright violations, and more. Anything that you input into ChatGPT becomes part of the public domain, and so using it with confidential information can pose a potential legal risk to you or your brokerage. Avoid typing in any personal identifying information (names, phone numbers, etc.) or anything confidential. You may also decide to include a disclaimer identifying any material that was generated using AI, so readers know when they're looking at content that an expert on your team wrote, versus a tool like ChatGPT. Parting wisdom for real estate professionals who want to work well with ChatGPT Here are a few common-sense rules to help you add ChatGPT to your work while minimizing the risk of any issues: Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Don't assume anything is correct because ChatGPT said it is. The consequences could be serious. Put your own spin on it. Reword, paraphrase, add your own flair, whatever you need to do to make ChatGPT output sound like your own writing, in your own voice. This will help you sound authentic and personable, even when it's a computer helping you write. Perfect your prompts. Answers can vary widely depending on what you ask. If you don't get an answer that satisfies you, ask your question another way, or ask ChatGPT to refine its answer. You may be surprised what new nuggets you find. In the end, ChatGPT says it best: While ChatGPT can support real estate agents, it is important to note that it is not a substitute for the personalized expertise and guidance that agents provide. Agents should still maintain a hands-on approach in complex negotiations, building relationships with clients, and offering tailored advice throughout the home-buying or selling process. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Presale Renovations for Aging in Place: Preparing Homes for the Golden Years
As the sun sets on the era of sprawling multi-level houses and lawn-centric landscapes, a new dawn is emerging in the real estate market, being shaped by Baby Boomers who want to age in place. Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65, and their impact on your real estate market is massive. Baby Boomers now make up 39% of home buyers – the most of all generations – an increase from 29% last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. As the leading generation purchasing homes in 2023, they're redefining what it means to age gracefully, and their vision doesn't involve retirement homes. Instead, Boomers are choosing to spend their golden years in the comfort of their own homes. This shift towards "aging in place" is not just changing how homes are designed and renovated, but also significantly influencing the dynamics of the real estate industry. Hot market to target for presale renovations Boomers' needs and preferences are increasingly dictating the trajectory of the housing market with growing demand for homes that allow aging in place. This movement means adapting homes to the evolving needs of homeowners as they age, ensuring they can live safely, independently, and comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. For real estate agents, marketing homes for sale that address buyers looking for their "last home" for their golden years presents a golden opportunity. A presale renovation just might be the best way your sellers can maximize the value of their home before you list it for them on the market. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, in 2035, one in five people will be over 65 years old, and an overwhelming majority — 90 percent — plan to remain in their homes as they age, according to AARP. Presale renovations targeting the needs of aging in place are much more than strategic modifications; they're a fundamental shift in how we envision the concept of home. As the market transitions to accommodate this demographic's changing needs better, a presale renovation may be the best way to unlock a wealth of value and benefits. A home renovated to help a buyer age in place not only enhances the home's functionality, safety, and convenience, but also significantly boosts the market appeal to today’s biggest group of buyers. As this generation seeks residences that promise independence and comfort in their later years, homes that embody these principles will command higher prices and sell more swiftly. Thus, presale renovations can be a strategic investment that cultivates desirable properties that cater to the greatest number of current homebuyers. Home features for aging in place What home renovations and features could make a property more appealing to Boomers looking for their last home? There are a myriad of possibilities. Remember that improvements aren't simply about catering to the basic needs of mobility or accessibility; they also reflect a deep understanding and appreciation of a life stage that prioritizes safety, comfort, ease, and a sense of independence. Here are seven examples of improvements and features that echo these principles and how they translate into the tangible aspects of a home ready for the golden years: Main floor primary bedroom and a full bath on the main floor: Provides convenience for people who dislike climbing stairs. A study of new homes by Frank Betz Associates found a rise in the popularity of main-floor primary bedrooms. Most of the top 100 best-selling plans (83%) had primary bedrooms on the main floor. Of the top 20 best-selling designs, 17 featured the primary bedroom on the main floor. Research by the National Association of Home Builders also shows a rise in the popularity of main-floor primary bedrooms, especially among the 55+ demographic. Walk-in Showers with Safety Features: Improves safety and accessibility for older adults and individuals with mobility issues. An "Aging-in-Place" Report by HomeAdvisor shows bathroom remodels, mainly walk-in showers, are the most popular aging-in-place project. Accessible Kitchen Design: Lowered countertops and pull-out shelving makes the kitchen more functional and accessible for those with limited mobility. According to a study by AARP, 76% of people aged 50+ want to remain in their homes, stressing the need for accessible kitchens. Wider Doorways and Hallways: Accommodates wheelchairs and walkers, making homes more accessible for aging adults. A report from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, wider doors, and hallways are among the top home modifications for aging in place. Smart Home Technology: Boomers are more tech-savvy than you think. Smart home tech offers convenience and comfort and enhances security, essential for aging adults living alone. According to a study by the Consumer Technology Association, more older adults are adopting smart home technology, with safety and security as the primary drivers. Low-Maintenance Landscaping: Reduces physical demand and time spent on outdoor upkeep. A Home Design Trends Survey by the American Institute of Architects points to the growing demand for low-maintenance exteriors and outdoor living spaces. Non-Slip Flooring: Reduces the risk of slips and falls, one of the most common accidents among older adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four Americans aged 65 and older falls annually. These 36 million falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults. As Baby Boomers continue to lead the home-buying market, the opportunities for presale renovations to create homes ideal for aging in place are expanding rapidly. Leveraging these trends allows real estate agents to help sellers unlock more wealth and helps build trust and rapport with a demographic likely to share their success stories with families and friends. By tapping into the growing trend of aging in place, agents can deliver to sellers new options to maximize their home's sales price, which will also result in appealing to more buyers. You can help lead this change by ensuring you have a presale renovation discussion with every seller. You might discover your seller's best strategy is to target Boomers entering their golden years. Jessica Morrow, a seasoned real estate veteran, is Head of Operations for Revive. Revive's mission is to guide home sellers through pre-sale renovations without upfront costs. Working with Revive, home sellers gain an average of $186,000 in additional profit when selling their homes.
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To AI or Not to AI: What are the risks and rewards?
The real estate industry is poised to adopt rapid technological advancements quickly, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of these innovations. For real estate agents, the question is no longer whether to use AI but how to use it effectively and responsibly. But what are the risks and rewards of incorporating AI into your real estate business practices, communications, and marketing activities? Here are some examples and insights to help you make informed decisions about AI. The Rewards Increase Efficiency AI is being integrated into all-in-one real estate marketing platforms to help automate many tasks, such as data analysis, lead generation, and communication with current and potential clients. Responding quickly to online leads is one of the biggest challenges real estate agents face. Studies have shown long average response times to internet inquiries. AI can help solve this, as intelligent responses to initial requests can be automated with AI. This will save you significant time and effort, allowing you to do what you do best: interact directly with your clients. Example: AI-powered chatbots can handle initial customer inquiries and schedule appointments, freeing agents to concentrate on building relationships and closing deals. Enhancing the Customer Experience AI can help personalize marketing content and streamline your sales process. AI analyzes a customer's preferences, past interactions, and online behavior and can instantly provide tailored recommendations and messaging, ensuring potential clients feel understood and valued. Companies like Delta Media are doing this for brokers and their agents right now. Example: An AI-driven platform could analyze what content your clients are clicking on in your newsletter and automatically send them more stories that are most likely to appeal to them. More Accurate Predictions Many real estate tech firms are using AI to process large volumes of data to make highly accurate predictions about who will likely list their home for sale within the next few months. This information can give agents valuable insights to inform their business and marketing strategies and precisely know when to reach out to a client before deciding what agent they will be working with next. Example: AI algorithms are being used by real estate lead generation firms using historical data, online behavior, and other market information to help agents identify whom they need to be contacting now. Competitive Advantage Embracing AI for real estate can set you apart from competitors who may be slower to adopt this technology. By leveraging AI tools, you can offer your clients cutting-edge services and stay ahead of industry trends. Example: An agent who uses AI-powered virtual staging, such as Matterport, can provide prospective buyers with a more immersive and realistic experience of a property, helping their listings to stand out in a crowded market. The Risks Data Security and Privacy As AI relies heavily on data, it's crucial to ensure that the information collected and processed is secure and compliant with privacy regulations. Failing to protect your clients' data can result in legal and reputational risks. In addition, more tools and plugins for advanced AI tools like ChatGPT 4 are increasing how agents can use AI directly. Example: An agent who uses AI tools to scrape social media data without permission might face legal consequences for violating privacy laws. Algorithmic Bias AI algorithms can unintentionally perpetuate biases if trained on biased data or if the developers inadvertently incorporate their own biases. This can lead to unfair treatment of certain groups, hinder your ability to provide equal services to all clients, and put you and your brokerage at risk of violating Fair Housing Laws. Example: An AI tool that recommends properties, but an agent does not realize that the properties being recommended are taking into account race, gender, or other protected characteristics that could expose you and your brokerage to discrimination lawsuits. Overreliance on AI While AI can offer valuable insights and predictions, it's important not to rely solely on it for all communications. Your intuition, expertise, and personality influence what you say and how you say it. Moreover, relying only on AI for the content you provide your clients can be hazardous, as AI is imperfect. Example: An agent uses AI to write all their content without careful research and editing. Now that primary AI tools such as GPTChat 4, Bard, and others are connecting to the internet, agents who do not carefully review the content AI provides increases their risk of making mistakes. After all, no one edits the internet. AI makes mistakes AI tools make mistakes, and sometimes creates false information. Media reports show dozens of real-world examples where AI made significant errors in its output. In one case, AI plagiarized a news story. When the infraction was identified, and AI was asked about it, AI admitted the mistake and apologized. Because we are early into the advanced AI cycle, it is fraught with risks from providing inaccurate information to agents. Example: A real estate agent uses AI to write property descriptions for their listings. However, the agent is unaware that certain words in his narrative – while permitted by Fair Housing Laws – are not allowed by his local MLS. AI does not know this, so the agent and his brokerage will have violated MLS rules. In the deadline-driven world of real estate, AI has the potential to help streamline the way agents market properties and serve their clients. However, like any technology, it comes with its risks and rewards. While our tech analysts at Tech Helpline are not AI experts, they are your "go-to" source for all your everyday tech-related troubleshooting issues and questions. They are always available through your Tech Helpline mobile app, email, or a phone call and are ready to help! To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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23 Ways Your Seller Benefits When Using a Pre-sale Renovation Firm
Pre-sale renovation is one of real estate's hottest trends, and using a pre-sale renovation firm is becoming one of the most powerful tools for real estate agents to win more listings. Despite higher mortgage rates, the lack of inventory in many markets has kept competition for new listings fierce. However, savvy agents know that having a conversation with every potential seller about using a pre-sale renovation firm can boost their success rate. Here's a comprehensive list of 23 distinct benefits sellers can reap when collaborating with a pre-sale renovation firm such as Revive: Increased property value: Pre-sale renovations can significantly increase the property's value, resulting in a higher selling price. For example, Revive sellers net an average of $186,000 more profit. It's a win-win as you help your sellers create more wealth, and you'll benefit from a larger commission. Faster sale: A renovated property is more attractive to potential buyers, often leading to a quicker sale. Research from Revive shows renovated homes sell 72 percent faster. Greater return on investment: Strategic improvements can give the seller a higher return on investment. At Revive, the average ROI is an astonishing 258 percent. Professional expertise: A pre-sale renovation firm brings specialized knowledge and experience to the project, ensuring high-quality results. And not all pre-sale renovation firms are created equal: Revive's team includes QC or quality control, in-house designers, immediate access to engineers, and a network of vetted local contractors. Time-saving: Hiring a pre-sale renovation firm allows the seller to focus on other vital aspects of the sale process while the renovation is completed. When it's a turnkey solution, both agents and their sellers benefit. Better marketing: Renovated properties can be more effectively marketed, with high-quality photos and compelling descriptions showcasing their move-in ready state. Enhanced curb appeal: Improving the exterior appearance of a property – from landscaping to a new front door, for example – can make a solid first impression on potential buyers. Improved functionality: Upgrading the layout or features of a property can make it more functional for prospective buyers. Energy efficiency: Many pre-sale renovations include energy-efficient upgrades that lower utility costs and monthly expenses, attracting analytical and eco-conscious buyers. Compliance with regulations: A pre-sale renovation firm ensures that all improvements are up to code and comply with local regulations. Agents and sellers won't have to worry if the proper permits are filed. Increased buyer pool: A renovated property appeals to a broader range of buyers, increasing the likelihood of a sale. Research shows that nearly 80 percent of millennial buyers prefer move-in ready homes, and Millennials comprise the largest share of current and future home buyers. Minimized stress: When your sellers work with a pre-sale renovation firm, it means less stress, as the pre-sale renovation firm handles and manages all aspects of the renovation process. Customized solutions: A pre-sale renovation firm knows the local design trends and the features selling in each market, which can vary. By understanding this, the firm will tailor the renovations to the specific needs and preferences of the target market. This ensures the right improvements are made. Staging expertise: Professional staging services can showcase the property's full potential and increase its appeal to potential buyers. Part of the services a seasoned pre-sale renovation firm like Revive can provide is expert staging services. Research shows that professionally staged homes sell for more money – and sell faster. Warranty on work: Reputable pre-sale renovation firms work with vetted contractors who back their completed work, offering peace of mind to sellers and buyers! Project management: A pre-sale renovation firm handles all aspects of project management, ensuring that the renovation is completed on time and within budget. That's rarely the case with do-it-yourself renovations. Access to resources: A pre-sale renovation firm, like Revive, has a network of vetted contractors and suppliers, ensuring quality work and materials at competitive prices. This is one-way sellers avoid running into supply chain issues for building materials, as pre-sale renovation firms have ready-to-deliver vendors and suppliers. Cost savings: By leveraging their industry connections, a pre-sale renovation firm like Revive can buy in volume and offer contractors operational efficiency to save on labor. Efficient use of funds: Because a pre-sale renovation firm knows how to select and prioritize the most impactful upgrades, the renovation is more efficient and effective in increasing the ROI. Inspection readiness: A renovated property is more likely to pass inspections, reducing potential issues during the closing process. Clear communication: Working with a pre-sale renovation firm ensures clear communication throughout the project, avoiding misunderstandings and surprises. Revive's award-winning app, for example, helps sellers stay abreast of the progress and engage with their renovation team. Continuous support: Throughout the process, the pre-sale renovation firm offers ongoing support and advice to the seller until the property is sold and even after the sale. No out-of-pocket costs for sellers: One of the most significant benefits to working with a firm like Revive is that sellers needing a pre-sale renovation who don't have ready access to the funds required can obtain one as the improvements are paid for at closing when the house is closed is sold. The benefits that a pre-sale firm like Revive offers your sellers are changing the way how homes are sold. It's no longer always the best path to rush a listing to market. With most pre-sale renovations averaging six to nine weeks, it's typically better for sellers to take the renovation path. Working with a pre-sale renovation firm helps remove all the major seller pain points: zero out-of-pocket expenses for the seller, all the knowledge and expertise in one place, professionally vetted contractors with proven track records, and a streamlined process and system that removes the stress from the seller and their agent to deliver fast turnaround times and most importantly, a move-in ready home. Jessica Morrow, a seasoned real estate veteran, is Head of Operations for Revive. Revive's mission is to guide home sellers through pre-sale renovations without upfront costs. Working with Revive, home sellers gain an average of $186,000 in additional profit when selling their homes.
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AI and Real Estate Business Management, Part 2
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AI and Real Estate Business Management, Part 1
AI, or artificial intelligence, is a pretty controversial topic in the business world. Thanks to the wave of Hollywood movies and sci-fi books, we see AI only through the lens of an all-powered machine that will take the world over. While it is difficult to know exactly what the future holds, it's undeniable that AI has possibilities that can serve good. The real estate industry is no exception when it comes to the negative perception of AI. While being one of the most lucrative industries, the real estate market has been slow to adapt to new technologies. And while real estate agents may be concerned about the rise of AI, we want to remind you, technology is just a tool. Real estate professionals are the mediators and the prime decision-makers, connecting clients to the real estate world. AI in the Real Estate Industry: What Are the Possibilities? Let's take a deeper look at what possibilities AI is creating for real estate professionals nowadays. AI-Based Targeting and Smarter Ads We already mentioned that AI-based solutions can process large quantities of data. And what is targeting if not making an informed decision about your target audience based on analyzing a large quantity of data? Many AI-based solutions use NLP, or natural language processing, to analyze communication patterns and predict—for example, whether a client is serious about buying a property or not. They can also determine which clients are more engaged with agents, thus predicting those that are more likely to become an actual client. Real Estate Market Analysis Analyzing the real estate market is an important part of making an informed decision about the home buying and selling process. It helps you understand the general state of the market, helping you be a better advisor to your client and have a stronger marketing strategy when it comes to showcasing listings and suggesting the best sales price. Considering that AI is able to analyze a huge amount of data in a short period of time, and at the same time make predictions, it's a useful tool for real estate agents. More Efficient Communication AI right now is all about making every process more efficient. Communication is no exception. By analyzing a large set of data and analyzing communication patterns, AI-based solutions can make your communication process 10 times better and faster. AI in Mortgage Industry Implementation of AI in the mortgage industry is more task and workflow-related. AI in the mortgage industry is oriented on automation while at the same time improving compliance, quality, and processing times. Using a chatbot is just one example of enhancing processing time because clients don't need to wait for human agents, especially when they have common questions that are repetitive, routine, and don't require comprehension. This is something that AI can be responsible for. The more complex questions that involve decision-making and advising are still and will continue to be done by human agents. Real Estate Investment The same applies to real estate investment. AI amplifies our possibilities when it comes to the data analyzing and prediction process. The predictive accuracy of AI that has access to large data pools is unmatched. Matching Property to the Real Estate Client The possibility of AI being able to match the property to the client is both exciting and scary. This is where we can understand the initial concerns about biases in predictive processes. But the promise that AI will amplify and improve the home search experience and make it more personalized benefits both clients and agents. As Julianne Heller, data scientist at NAR, says, "Some companies avoid using AI because of the perceived costs and resources required to use it, a lack of trust in AI products, the difficulty in explaining what it does behind the scenes and a fear of an AI takeover related to job displacement. "AI does not equate to replacement, but it supports human work and makes our lives easier," she said. "AI can improve the buyer and seller experience." A Few Final Words The possibilities of AI in the real estate industry are immense, but there are some problems that come with AI systems implementation. One thing is certain: real estate technology, specifically AI and machine learning, is an unavoidable future, whether we like it or not. Therefore, we must understand and adapt. Establishing AI ethics in the real estate industry may be a first good step. The protection of client data will likely be another foremost priority. These measures may help algorithmic labeling and profiling to not be biased and based on human prejudices. Transparency is the key when it comes to artificial intelligence, whether it concerns data usage or the AI implementation itself. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog. Further Reading Fact vs. Fiction: 3 Myths of A.I. in Real Estate How Real Estate Agents Can Use ChatGPT How ChatGPT Can Help You Generate Real Estate Marketing Ideas
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The Hidden Costs of DIY Presale Renovations: A Guide for Real Estate Agents
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Maximizing ROI: The Art of Presale Renovations for Real Estate Investors
One of the hottest ways to attract real estate investors in today's market is using a presale renovation to help maximize property value or to turn an as-is listing into a ready-to-rent home. Often, presale renovations are used for luxury properties because they quickly accelerate the property's value to help sellers maximize their profits. But presale renovations can work with a wide range of property prices and sizes. Real estate investors looking to sell one of their properties are the perfect candidates for using a presale renovation solution. Moreover, real estate investors may be especially attracted to single-family home listings that have gone through a presale renovation because it accelerates their ability to rent and manage their investment — which, over time, maximizes their ROI, or return on investment. The alternative is both scary and risky. Real estate investors looking to self-flip a home will find limited inventory in most markets. In addition, self-flipping also increases their risks, delays the start of their rental income stream, and requires tying up significant financial resources that may be better used elsewhere. It's why most real estate investors today are attracted to homes that are sold ready to rent and why they see presale renovations for their own property sales as no-brainers. Presale renovation protection Investors know from industry research that while typical renovations will help increase a home’s value, most won’t recoup their investment costs, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2022 Cost vs. Value Report. But when using a presale renovation expert, such as Revive, the renovation is covered by the increase in value of the investment, or the property itself. The average ROI from Revive is 2.5x the original cost of the upgrades. This is where the "art of presale" renovation creates the right math. At Revive, the focus is on making improvements that will maximize the home's value. The expertise gained through hundreds of improvement projects nationwide enables Revive to focus only on projects that will create a positive ROI. For the selling real estate investor, it means higher final sales prices than if they marketed their property as-is. Real estate investors buying a property are protected from all the financial, supply, contracting, design, engineering, and other risks that a self-renovation can bring. When a real estate investor buys a home that has completed a presale renovation, they purchase a home that they are confident will have staying power. When buying a place that has gone through a presale renovation by Revive, real estate investors know the high quality of the finished product. What you need to know Here are three things you need to know as a real estate agent to tap into the real estate investor market: 1. Know your sphere Most successful real estate agents get the majority of their business from their sphere of influence, or SOI. According to the National Association of Realtors, agents earning more than $100,000 annually generate 64 percent of their business from the SOI. About 30 percent of their business comes from client referrals and 34 percent from repeat business. Dig into your client database. Comb through your transactions and look for clients who you know either currently own an investment property or are poised to discuss investment diversification and the advantages of real estate investment. As part of your regular client and sphere outreach, offer information about the opportunities in today’s market for real estate investment. Don't forget to contact investment advisors, trust and real estate attorneys, insurance agents, and others who provide financial advice. Let them know about the real estate services you offer for real estate investors. Finally, look for local real estate investor clubs, Facebook Groups, and other social online networking opportunities to connect you to others interested in real estate investment. 2. Know your market U.S. Census data shows there are about 20 million rental properties in the U.S. and 48.2 million rental units. Individual investors own some 70 percent of all rental properties. While companies own about 18 percent of rental properties, they invest heavily in apartment rentals, owning 45 percent of all units. Most real estate investment purchases are all cash. Three-quarters (75.3 percent) of investment properties were purchased with cash in the fourth quarter of 2021. Today, more than 40 percent of all renters live in single-family homes. In June 2022, Zillow reported that the average national monthly rent surpassed $2,000. 3. Know your audience Successfully marketing to any specific population segment — like real estate investors — requires understanding the audience you are trying to reach. According to industry research by Zippia, the average age of a real estate investor is 40+ years old. That's 71 percent of the population. While most real estate investors are men (68 percent), the number of women real estate investors is growing rapidly, from 26.53 percent in 2015 to 31.5 percent in 2021. Real estate investors are well educated: 89 percent have a college degree, with 73 percent holding a bachelor's or master's degree. In addition, 63 percent have at least five years of experience investing in real estate, and one in three have 11 years or more experience. Have the talk In your conversations with real estate investors, have the presale renovation talk. It works well for real estate investors who want to sell a property and those who are looking to buy a home that just underwent a renovation by a company like Revive. And remember that not all presale renovation firms are equal. Take time to do your research and look at their process and track records. Do they disclose all the financial details of their work product — like this? Do they report their average ROI? The average profits gained? To learn more about presale renovation services and opportunities available in your area, check out Revive at www.revive.realestate. We love talking to real estate professionals about how to unlock inventory and maximize profit! Michael Alladawi, CEO and Founder of Revive, is a Southern California real estate veteran with a proven track record as a builder, investor, and respected home flipper. Michael created Revive to share his spectrum of knowledge and help homeowners maximize their profits when selling their homes. Learn more about Michael and Revive at www.revive.realestate.com.
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Home Concierge Programs: Are They Worth It?
Nearly every listing agent for resale properties offers advice about the condition of the home and what features can be improved. Whether it's a coat of paint or new kitchen counters, most homes need a refresh in order to appeal to today's buyers. Even at the height of the buying frenzy when sellers had the upper hand in most markets, the majority of buyers held out for a move-in ready house. Just 6% of buyers wanted to take on a fixer-upper, according to the National Association of Realtors' 2022 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, and only 21% reported compromising on the condition of the home they bought. As the housing market shifts to one that is balanced between buyers and sellers, home sellers are more likely to want to take the extra step of renovating their home for maximum profits. Several companies, including Revive, now offer concierge services that provide design guidance, project management, contractors and financing to renovate a home to appeal to today's buyers. How concierge services work At Revive and other concierge services, an experienced team prepares an analysis of a home with recommendations for updates, the cost and the estimated return on investment. Once an agreement is signed, Revive provides funding for the project and expert contractors begin the work. Project managers provide oversight to ensure the renovations are done properly, on budget and as quickly as possible. Once the home sells, Revive is reimbursed for the project and the sellers walk away with a higher profit. Seller benefits from concierge programs Many sellers dread preparing their home for sale and would prefer to list it "as-is." As an agent, you already know how dangerous that can be. A home that is not in move-in ready condition is likely to take longer to sell and will sell for less money. Taking on a larger project such as renovating the kitchen and bathrooms may seem like a waste of time and money to sellers, but if they have someone who can provide end-to-end concierge services – and, most importantly, upfront funding – they may feel differently. Revive's analysis of their clients shows that on average, sellers receive an extra $186,000 in profit above what was anticipated without a renovation. In addition, the return on investment averages more than 200%. The renovate now, pay later approach also relieves stress for sellers when they want to keep their cash for their next move. Homes that are renovated typically sell 72% faster, too, which every seller appreciates. ‍Agent benefits from concierge programs As a listing agent, you can also benefit from working with a concierge program. Instead of spending your time evaluating the house, consulting with the sellers, coordinating contractors and following up on the progress of preparing a house for sale, you can focus on marketing. When the property sells more quickly, that benefits you, too. You can move on to your next transaction faster. A higher sales price also generates a higher commission for you. Whether you're making a listing presentation or already have a signed agreement with your sellers, one way to be the trusted advisor they need is to discuss the possibility of working with Revive to position their home for maximum profit. Take a look at the before-and-after case studies on our site, each of which includes the profit from the sale and the ROI on the projects, then share them with your sellers to start a conversation about the benefits of concierge services. To view the original article, visit the Revive blog.
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MooveGuru Acquires Relocator
MooveGuru is a serious competitor in the rapidly developing service category of empowering Realtors with tools to help consumers move. The acquisition of Relocator supports MooveGuru's effort to roll up competitors and deliver the best components of their technology offerings. With the prior acquisition of HomeKeepr, they acquired the most popular service provider to Keller Williams – a proven consumer engagement platform, and a massive network of service providers. With Relocator, the company expands their client base and will leverage Relocator's mover dashboard for consumers who prefer a do-it-yourself option of scheduling providers and tasks. Please see below for the full press release. MooveGuru Acquires Relocator The combined offering is the only all-in-one concierge service, homeowner management system and AI to identify buyers and sellers offered by Realtors and Loan Officers to extend client relationships during and beyond the closing. February 8, 2023 – Roswell, GA – MooveGuru, the real estate and mortgage industry's answer in a challenging market, today announced the acquisition of Relocator, an industry competitor, through an eight-figure transaction. The transaction adds a full self-service utilities connection platform, contracts with three of the top five mortgage companies, 5,000 loan officers and 30,000 real estate agents and their clients to MooveGuru's suite of platforms and positions the company as the leading provider of home services in America. MooveGuru, founded in 2016 offers solutions to help the real estate and mortgage industry professionals better serve their clients before, during and after their purchase including Mover Connect utility concierge services, mover discounts, an AI to identify future buyers and sellers and HomeKeepr, a home management dashboard for the consumer to manage their home. MooveGuru currently services over 370,000 agent and loan officer clients. With over 70 data integrations, MooveGuru is used by industry professionals including ERA, Keller Williams, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Exit Realty, Century 21, RE/MAX, Realty One Group, Realty Executives, The Realty Alliance and Leading RE brokerages. Relocator, started in 2017 in Minneapolis and are relocating offices to Fargo, was founded by Andy Solheim and Mark Johnson provides utility concierge services and a comprehensive consumer facing portal to help consumers schedule, manage and track all aspects of their move. MooveGuru will begin offering Relocator's mover dashboard as their 'do it yourself' option for movers to schedule providers or track tasks and services needed to settle into a new home. "We have long admired the Relocator platform and mortgage customer base," says Scott Oakley, CEO of MooveGuru. "Our combined entities position MooveGuru as the exclusive solution for agents and loan officers to offer their clients all the tools they need to self-manage their move and beyond as part of the entire homeownership lifecycle." Co-founders of Relocator, Mark Johnson and Andy Solheim will both join the executive team of MooveGuru. Relocator employees will remain with the combined company, which is currently hiring new staff to support the expansion of the business to accommodate onboarding Relocator customers and partners. Mark Johnson, CEO and Cofounder of Relocator notes, "We are most excited about leveraging MooveGuru's unbelievable number of integrations which automates client onboarding and will allow us to leverage our existing relationships and offer our clients the best possible customer-for-life solutions. The impact on lead flow and revenues will be immediate and significant." The companies have already been working for 45 days to integrate service providers across both platforms and roll out the self-service solution to MooveGuru and Relocator brokerages and mortgage companies. About MooveGuru In 2016, Roswell, GA based MooveGuru Inc. launched a free mover engagement program to real estate agents and mortgage with the idea of connecting home buyers and sellers to convenience and savings on moving services and beyond. Using an artificial intelligence algorithm, MooveGuru Inc. can also identify future buyers and sellers. Today, more than 2,500 real estate brokerages, 1,500 Mortgage brokerages, their 370,000 agents and loan officers, and 8,000,000 homeowners are connected to the MooveGuru platform. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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3 Ways to Make Every Listing Count
Over the last couple of years, homes for sale flew off the proverbial shelves. However, the market has shifted, and sellers are finding that's no longer the case. As Redfin recently reported, "new listings are down by double-digits." One big reason is that homes are taking longer to sell. In December, the average home was on the market for 40 days — more than double the record low of 18 days last May and only about one-in-four homes went under contract within two weeks. Listings are tough to win, perhaps today more than in a long time. Inventory is restricted because so many homeowners' mortgage interest rates are incredibly low. They aren't interested in moving because today's mortgage rates are typically more than double their current rate. Agents have more competition than ever. For example, today, there are more Realtors in the US — nearly 1.6 million — than ever, yet we have an estimated 1.2 million homes listed for sale. Talk about competition! Making every listing count Real estate sales pros need to optimize every listing they can secure. That means getting their sellers the maximum sales price. When the seller wins by getting more for their home, the listing agent wins, too. Here are three ways you can make every listing count: 1. Presale renovation conversation: One crucial strategy that you can use to help your listings secure the highest price — and sell faster once listed — is making sure every home is market-ready. Selling a home in today's market "as-is" is rarely the best strategy. Most homes can use at least a little bit of love. And many can benefit even more from significant improvements. This is where agents can help their sellers tap into a company like Revive. Revive offers a property advisor to help your seller determine their best path forward. Does your seller just need minor renovations, bringing a fully functional, spotless, and well-presented home to the market for a fast sale? Or would your seller benefit more from major renovations (perhaps a new kitchen and fresh upgrades throughout)? Revive fronts the cost, so sellers can make the smartest decision for their situation without the stress of finding the cash. Major renovations can be expensive, but with a presale renovation firm at the helm, the expense and the risk are no longer insurmountable hurdles. The presale renovation conversation is something every agent needs to have with every seller. Because making every listing count means ensuring your seller is not leaving money on the table. Revive's research has found sellers often leave as much as 20 percent of their potential profit on the table simply because they do not know about this new option. Agents can learn more about how presale renovations work at Revive's website (revive.realestate), which shows dozens of examples — and all the details — of presale renovations that put tens of thousands of more dollars into sellers' bank accounts. No other presale renovation firm has helped homeowners generate more significant wealth when selling a home than Revive. Make sure you build your presale renovation conversation into every listing presentation. 2. Understanding buyers to help your sellers: Forty-three percent of all home buyers today are millennials. That's the highest share of any generation, and it is growing, according to research by the National Association of Realtors. Boomers comprise 29 percent of buyers, and Gen Xers comprise 22 percent. Conversely, Noomers are the biggest group of home sellers: 43 percent of all sellers are Boomers, far greater than any other generation. Millennials sell the second greatest number of homes (26 percent), closely followed by Gen Xers (24 percent). You can help your sellers by making sure they understand what today's buyers want. Millennials and Gen Xers have different wants, needs, interests, and priorities than Boomers. NAR's Research Group recently published an excellent study, "2022 Home Buyer and Sellers Generational Trends Report," worth carefully reviewing. Other research also is available to help you understand the buying habits of a different generation. For example, a study by TD Bank reveals that nearly 80 percent of millennials want move-in ready homes. NAR research also discovered that 70 percent of millennial home buyers would instead buy a smaller home that was ready to move in – giving up more space – than a larger home being sold "as is." By understanding these differences, agents can help their sellers ensure their listings match what buyers in today's market want. 3. The value of staging: Properly staging a home can be a highly effective way to make every listing count. This should include securing the talents of a professional stager (unless you have this certification or proven experience). Professionally arranging and decorating a property to make it more appealing to potential buyers has numerous benefits. Well-staged homes make a great first impression, and you only get one chance to do that. Staging also can help put a spotlight on the home's best features. In addition, when professionally staged, a property can make it easier for buyers to envision themselves living there. More importantly, research supports the value of home staging. For example, studies from NAR and the Real Estate Staging Association found that staged homes sell between 5 percent and 23 percent over their listing price. In addition, home staging provides between an 8 percent and 10 percent return on investment. And staged homes spend 73 percent less time on the market than non-staged homes. Your competitors also believe in staging, as 96 percent of Realtors believe home staging influences a buyer's decision. Change with the market The real estate market has changed, which means how to win a listing should also change. Adding a presale renovation discussion to your listing presentation, understanding better what today's buyers want and educating your sellers about those differences, and taking advantage of the benefits of professional staging can help you make every listing count. Use these tactics to win more listings and increase your GCI. Michael Alladawi, CEO and Founder of Revive, is a Southern California real estate veteran with a proven track record as a builder, investor, and respected home flipper. Michael created Revive to share his spectrum of knowledge and help homeowners maximize their profits when selling their homes.
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Revive Debuts New 'Edge' Network for Top Real Estate Agents
An exclusive network connecting the best real estate agents with one of the most innovative companies in real estate, Revive Edge, is debuting from Revive, the complete presale home renovation solution. "Revive Edge is for agents who are known in their markets for going above and beyond for their clients," said Michael Alladawi, Revive Real Estate CEO and founder. "They give their clients their best, so Revive wants to give them our best," he added. Revive Edge includes a wide array of benefits exclusive to top agents who are part of the network. Special perks include access to ready-to-transact homeowner seller leads, invite-only events, an advanced e-commissions program, sneak peeks at new product releases, co-branded marketing materials, unique Revive-supported agent profiles, discounts and credits, and customer press, video, and social spotlighting opportunities. Many consumers looking to sell their home contact Revive first, and those leads are sent to agents in the Revive Edge network. Three in four of those seller leads transact, according to Revive. Moreover, with Revive Edge, agents can access additional marketing opportunities to generate additional leads. Real estate agent Bryan Hill of Irvine, California recommends Revive Edge "because you're doing right by your client and getting them the most money from their home," noting that Revive has already sent five referrals to his firm, "and we've closed them all." Costa Mesa, California-based agent Christine Morgan calls Revive Edge leads "next-level," explaining "Revive Edge saves me time by increasing my business and growing my network without the need of going through another listing presentation." Alladawi notes that homeowners who renovate their homes before selling maximize their return on their most significant asset — their home. Revive addresses a $300 billion-plus problem as sellers leave 15 to 20 percent of potential profits on the table when their homes aren't move-in ready. Once Revive homes are renovated and listed, they sell faster and for more money. Since its inception in 2020, Revive has helped over 400 homeowners create $60 million in profits. Revive has products available in all 50 states, offering presale renovation services for homeowners to help maximize their profits from their home sales. Top agents interested in joining the new Revive Edge network can start online at revive.realestate/edge/learn-more.
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New 2022 Realtor Tech Survey Reveals Advances, Shortcomings
Today, the National Association of Realtors released its annual Technology Survey of members, one of my favorite yearly research studies. With over 2,400 responses, it provides excellent insight into how tech innovations are impacting the real estate business now and in the future. Not many surprises, but this new research confirms the acceleration of tech adoption as one positive factor fueled by the pandemic. Here are some quick highlights: eSigning rules Looking back at the last 12 months, respondents ranked eSignatures as the most impactful tech tool (79%), with lockboxes (67%) and local MLS apps/technology (67%) tied for second place. A three-way tie is next, with transaction management, CRMs, and video conferencing all at 47%. Safety, speed, and drones dominate future tech tools When asked to predict what business tech tools will have the most impact in the next 24 months, Cybersecurity at 31% eked out the first place as 5G followed with 30%. Drone tech landed solidly in third place with 27%. New tech is starting to gain traction AI, including computer vision and machine learning, virtual reality, IoT (internet of things), and augmented reality are all seen as being "very impactful" over the next 24 months by about one in five respondents. Not yet prime time tech Less than one in 10 Realtors predict blockchain/crypto/smart contracts and the metaverse will be very impactful over the next two years. The same is true when it comes to self-driving vehicles. Hey, big spenders More than one in three Realtors spend at least $250 monthly on their tech tools. That's surprising when one considers brokerages and MLSs are investing millions in providing agents with their tech stack offerings. They must be the group that comprises the one-in-four Realtors who spend less than $50 a month on tech. Yes, they are More than one in three Realtors – 35% – agree that their brokers provide them with all the tech tools they need. But unfortunately, nearly two-thirds say they are not getting the tech tools from their brokers or are ambivalent, which is just as troubling. The price is right 47% of Realtors said that the price their broker charges for technology fees is reasonable. Another 38 percent said their broker does not charge them a technology fee. However, over one in 10 (12%) said that the price they pay for broker-provided tech is not worth it. MLSs get high marks for tech Nearly three out of four Realtors expressed satisfaction with their MLS's technology offerings, with 33% of respondents saying they were extremely satisfied with their MLS's technology offerings. Top 5 MLS tech tools Property data ranked No. 1 with 85%. Sales stats was second with 81%. Public records search was third with 75%. Listing syndication is now fourth with 72%. A pleasant surprise to round out the top five is automated emails to clients and prospects. Top lead generators – move over portals Social media was No. 1 with 46%. Local MLSs are second with 30%. CRMs were third with 26%, and that's a bit of a surprise. You'd think CRMs would be higher as it includes one's sphere of influence. Other research says that repeat business and their spheres are typically the highest-ranked, top-quality lead generators, but social also overlaps sphere. Most surprisingly: Listing aggregators are dead last on the list at 16%. They did not bite on Bitcoin 87% of all Realtors do not own any cryptocurrency. One common theme is the lack of general knowledge Realtors overall have when it comes to new tech. Realtors, mostly, are not early adopters. The great tech lag continues, despite the inroads made during the pandemic with the adoption of core tech tools. But when it comes to newer tech, most Realtors remain largely skeptical, at best. For example, even though there are 14.4 billion IoT or internet of things devices connected in our world today, 41% of Realtors are not familiar at all with IoT. Less than one-in-ten said they were "very familiar" with IoT. With emerging tech, like the metaverse, more than half are not very familiar or not familiar at all. And yet 36% of Realtors said they believe that the metaverse will probably have an impact on real estate. Finally, 41% of Realtors said they were unfamiliar with Big Data and AI. Leading organizations in this space – like RESO – need to do some more broker/agent outreach, folks! You can find the latest report here. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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3 Ways Presale Renovations Firms Are Not the Same
Presale renovations are one of the hottest tools agents can add to a listing presentation. Sellers are often blown away by the massive property gains possible by avoiding the urge to rush and list, and instead wait and renovate. They are shocked to learn that when they sell "as is," they could lose out on 15 percent to 20 percent -- or more -- of the home's potential value. For agents, introducing sellers to the newest sales tool distinguishes them from the competition. By showcasing how a move-in-ready home generates the highest possible sales price, agents are winning over more sellers. Explaining how a presale renovation works can be a huge differentiator for agents, especially among sellers who have likely seen several nearly identical listing presentations. While the basics of a presale renovation program are often the same — free evaluation, no upfront costs, pay when you close, net a high sales price, and your home sells faster — the companies offering these services are not. Here are three major criteria to consider when helping your sellers choose a presale renovation firm. 1. ESP: experience, service, and process First and foremost, look for a firm with a proven track record based on actual experience. The personality and culture of a company are most often a reflection of its leaders — and especially its founders. A firm led by someone with proven real estate DNA has a significant market advantage that can benefit agents and their sellers, especially in a shifting market. The real estate business is complicated — especially when it is undergoing a transition. But when leadership has successfully navigated through tough waters, that's experience and deep knowledge you can't get from a book. Do they share their real estate experience by showing you the details — including the math — behind completed renovation projects, or do they offer just video testimonials instead? When the firm is transparent on its website, you will likely find them to be equally transparent when doing business with them. Not all presale renovation firms have the same service orientation. For example, some presale renovation firms treat real estate agents as their "customers." By contrast, others focus on the seller — yet still ensure the listing agent remains at the center of the transaction. Finally, the process among presale renovation firms varies greatly. Some renovation firms are the general contractor, and all your eggs are in their basket. Others use a network of contractors, structural engineers on call, in-house designers, and other resources that strive to deliver the highest-quality product to the local markets they serve. 2. Contractor-centric As mentioned, while some firms are the general contractor and handle all renovations in-house, another approach is to work with a network of vetted contractors. The second approach helps maintain a high-quality work product and faster turnaround times. For example, Revive Real Estate provides its contractor network with a complete back-office technology solution that frees contractors to focus on the work. Revive handles the process. It's a model borrowed from successful home flippers. Because Revive handles the details that are needed to run a renovation business, Revive contractors have more time to complete the projects on their list. 3. Seller certainty Real estate technology often touts the need for speed, assuming most sellers want to close fast. But that's not typically the case. Most sellers don't want speed, which shouldn't be surprising; how hard would it be for you to move if you just found out you are closing in 10 days? What most sellers really want is certainty: knowing they will close on time, with no unpleasant surprises. So sellers (and agents) want to work with a presale renovation firm that can deliver what they promise on time. Sellers also want to maximize the sales price of their homes. They are typically willing to take a little more time to get their home in spectacular shape if they can make more money — often a lot more — with a presale renovation. In today's marketplace of picky buyers, sellers must bring a move-in-ready home to market if they don't want their home to linger on the market (and possibly face a price reduction). A presale renovation increases the certainty of sale and maximizes the sales price. You can see dozens of before-and-after photos of real homes that have used Revive's presale renovation services, complete with project costs and the net increase in profits to sellers, here. When agents explain to sellers that the biggest market of home buyers today are millennial buyers, who don't have the time — or the desire — to fix up a home, smart sellers will jump at the chance to do a presale renovation. Dalip Jaggi is at once an active entrepreneur, a highly skilled technologist, and a profoundly passionate business leader. Today, Dalip is co-founder of Revive Real Estate, a PropTech with a goal to democratize house flipping.
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Why Pre-Sale Renovation Is the Hottest Tool in Real Estate
Americans spent $420 million in 2020 remodeling their homes, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. While you may think the pandemic was the catalyst, according to the National Association of Realtors, most consumers who remodeled – 83% – said they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic. Consumers are accustomed to upgrading their current homes. Research tells us that the most common motivation for nearly one in three consumers (30%) is to replace worn-out finishes, surfaces, and materials. About one in five renovation projects add features and improve livability. A majority are pleased with the result. Renovating a home increases one's desire for a home significantly, a recent NAR study reports. Renovating a home before you list it for sale is arguably the hottest and one of the fastest-growing trends in real estate today. Why? Because a pre-sale renovation increases wealth. With a marketplace of 5-7 million homes sold every year, the pre-sale renovation sector has the potential to generate billions – yes, billions with a "B" – of increased wealth for home sellers by maximizing the return on their most significant asset: their home. What does pre-sale renovation offer real estate brokers and agents? Potentially billions of dollars increase revenue, both company dollar and gross commission income. Understanding the individual impact Before they go on the market, most homes need a little love. Sellers often rush to list their homes in a hot market, but that's often not the best choice. Revive found that most homeowners who put their home on the market as-is are missing out on between 15% and 20% of the value. When sellers take a little more time and make smart renovations, they maximize their profit. Digging into Revive data, we found that sellers who choose a smart renovation path typically earn $186,000 more when they sell. Remarkably, the average return on a seller's renovation investment (or ROI) is an incredible 257%. Most importantly, using Revive, sellers renovate now and pay later. Remember that the ROI they achieve doesn't come from their funds, as Revive fronts the dollars needed for the pre-sale renovation. Moreover, Revive also found that renovated homes sell 72% faster. When you think about how the financial benefits of a pre-sale renovation could impact the overall marketplace, you can better understand its burgeoning growth and vast potential. Measuring market potential According to a recent report by Redfin, the number of US homes now worth $1 million or more is at a record high of 6 million properties as of February. That's just under 10% of all homes in the US, nearly doubling from 4.8% or 3.5 million homes in 2019. With about one in ten home sales nationwide, California also has the most million-dollar-plus property markets: 7 of the Top 10 Metro markets with the highest percentage of homes worth $1 million or more are in the Golden State. Last month, the average price of a new home in Orange County eclipsed the $1 million threshold. In San Francisco, 89% of all homes are worth $1 million or more. In San Jose, it's 86%, and more than half the homes – 55% – in Oakland. If just one in 10 sellers of all homes worth $1 million or more opted for a pre-sale renovation, sellers could potentially gain tens of billions of dollars in additional net proceeds from their sale, when you consider the average ROI at Revive is 257%. Pre-sale renovation is a massive wealth-builder. Consider the overall US real estate market annually. Between 5 million and 6 million total existing-home sales occur in a typical year. Revive data reveals that if just 5% of these homes chose to perform a pre-sale renovation, sellers would net an additional $56 billion from their home sales. Real estate agents collectively would earn more than $1.4 billion in additional real estate commissions. If the brokerage nets .5% of the sale, that's an additional $280 million in revenue. Impact on personal lives While the market potential of listing concierge companies that can scale like Revive will be attractive to investors, pre-sale renovations are creating something profound. People's lives are changing for the better. As a former highly successful home-flipper in Southern California, I turned over 1,000 homes. It was gratifying to see a renovated home's impact on an entire neighborhood. Yes, it was financially rewarding because I created a process and system that could scale. But the greatest pleasure came from watching surrounding homeowners improve their homes. It often seemed to have a chain effect. Pre-sale renovations make a more direct impact on people’s lives because it increases their wealth. I remember helping my parents complete a pre-sale renovation and the difference it made. For my father, the windfall created was the difference between retiring with dignity or not retiring at all. Revenue generated from a pre-sale renovation does more than creates a business that lifts all boats – agents, brokers, and sellers – it gives lives a lift. Learn more about pre-sale renovation and Revive at revive.realestate. Michael Alladawi, CEO and Founder of Revive, is a Southern California real estate veteran with a proven track record as a builder, investor, and respected home flipper. Michael created Revive to share his spectrum of knowledge and help homeowners maximize their profits when selling their homes.
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Quick Quiz: Are you a digital agent?
One big takeaway since the pandemic is the real estate market becoming rapidly more digital. As brokerages rely more on agents working remotely, almost everyone has adopted more digital solutions to meet client needs. Tech-savvy agents were best positioned to adapt, but many more agents joined the digital ranks. Some agents have resisted the move to digital and remain happily "analog agents." Others have joined the ranks of becoming a "digital agent." Where do you stand as a real estate agent? Are you a digital agent? Take this quiz to find out. Please pick that answer that is closest to being accurate: Question #1: Do you use a digital transaction management program, and if so, how often? For every transaction For most transactions For some transactions Occasionally I don't use a digital transaction management program Question #2: How advanced is your agent website? Pick the description that best describes your website: Modern design is 3 years old or newer, mobile-responsive, fast loading pages, with rich and current content, uses ongoing SEO and features built-in IDX search. Design is not more than 5 years old, has at least three of these features: mobile-responsive, fast loading pages, rich and/or current content, ongoing SEO, and built-in IDX search. Has at least three of these features: mobile-responsive, fast loading pages, rich and/or current content, ongoing SEO, and built-in IDX search. Don't have a website or don't maintain it regularly. Question #3: How often do you use email marketing? At least once a week At least once a month At least once a quarter Rarely Never Question #4: What is your social media presence? I post and/or comment at least three times a week I post and comment at least once a week I use social media now and then I rarely sign in I don't use social media Question #5: Is your smartphone less than 3 years old? Yes No I don't know I don't have a smartphone Question #6: Do you offer a real estate blog, and if so, how often do you post? At least twice a week Weekly Every other week Monthly I don't have a blog Question #7: How often do you utilize virtual and 3D tours? For almost every listing For most listings For only certain listings Rarely Never Question #8: How frequently do you use video for your real estate marketing? I use video all the time I use video frequently I use video occasionally I rarely use video I don't use video Question #9: How often do you use your CRM (customer relationship management software)? I use my CRM every day (or my assistant/team does) I use my CRM at least once a week or as needed I don't use my CRM enough I want to use my CRM, but have not had time to set it up I don't have/use/need a CRM Question #10: Do you invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or online advertising (such as Google ads or Adwerx)? Yes, it is part of my monthly marketing spend Yes, frequently but not monthly Yes, but only a few times a year or less Rarely, but I have in the past No, and what's SEO, Google Ads, and Adwerx? Scoring System 5 points for every (a) answer 4 points for every (b) answer 3 points for every (c) answer 2 points for every (d) answer 1 point for every (e) answer Results 45-50 points: Congratulations! You are a digital agent. 31-44 points: Almost a digital agent, a few analog tendencies. 25-30 points: Mostly an analog agent, but moving in a digital direction! 13-24 points: Much more analog agent than digital. 12 points or fewer: Proudly an analog agent! The day in the life of an agent is increasingly reliant upon technology. Tech Helpline's goal is to provide friendly technology support for all your devices. Our talented, US-based analysts share a passion for technology and are here to help you with your technology questions. Collectively, Tech Helpline technical advisors have over 300 years of technical knowledge and specialize in supporting real estate brokers and agents. Today, Tech Helpline is the real estate industry's #1 tech support service. You can learn more at TechHelpline.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Blockchain and Real Estate: What's All the Buzz About?
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3 Powerful Technology Solutions You Already Have Access To (Or at Least Should)
I am going to describe a magical place where you can find very powerful technology solutions without having to spend another dollar. As with most products, there is the potential to buy upgrades if desired; but this place is meant to help you market your listings and find properties to buyers. You are probably wondering, "Where is this magical place that you speak of, Mr. Nash?" If you can keep it a secret, I will tell you. It is called—wait for it—the multiple listing service. Okay. I got that off my chest. Please keep it a secret; we don't want everyone to know. The multiple listing service, or MLS, SHOULD offer you MANY options of products besides the typical MLS system and showing service platform. If your MLS does not offer you more than just an MLS system and showing service platform, ask your MLS to provide more options—or just join another MLS. It is okay to join another MLS. It is widely believed that an agent can only use their local MLS—this is not true. You 100% have the ability to join another MLS. For any questions on this, either search (using your favorite search engine) "NAR MLS of Choice," or you can send me an email at [email protected] with any questions. Where to Find Products Offered by Your MLS As a user of RE Technology, you probably heard of Coffee Chats. These were daily webinars that RE Technology hosted during the beginning of COVID. Marilyn Wilson, President of RE Technology, interviewed a different company every day about ways to get through and handle this pandemic. One of her comments, nearly every day, was for agents to go to their dashboard and just click on ANY product they do not normally use. Below is an example of an MLS dashboard with many options for agents to choose from. There are three products on this dashboard that I am going to go more in-depth with to give you just a small taste of the powerful products available to you through the MLS, all without having to spend extra money. Most MLSs should provide the following options to their users: Homesnap, RPR, and ListTrac. Homesnap Homesnap is one of the most powerful mobile apps that an agent can use. First off, Homesnap is a search platform for consumers to explore homes and allows them to search for MLS real estate listings online or from their phone. But for the agent, it is so much more. The agent version of Homesnap is called Homesnap Pro. This allows you to have access to everything the consumer has access to and then some. You are basically armed with the power of the MLS listing from your phone. There are many features that the Homesnap Pro app empowers you, the agent, to do, including Rapid CMA generation, Safety Times during showings, the ability to create Facebook ads in-app, and a newer feature called Homesnap Showings, which gives you a showing appointment platform for no extra cost. RE Technology recently hosted a webinar with Homesnap to demonstrate the new feature to Homesnap Pro. You can watch the webinar below: If you are not sure that your MLS offers Homesnap, visit this link to search for your MLS. You can also call your MLS or visit your MLS dashboard and look for Homesnap. To download the mobile app, you can go to Google Play or the Apple Store. RPR REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR) is a nationwide property database and reporting software created by the National Association of Realtors that compiles hundreds of datasets on millions of properties. If your MLS offers RPR, you will be able to see nationwide property data. This will enable you to create dynamic analytical reports for your clients. For more on RPR, check out the video below: ListTrac ListTrac allows you, as the agent, to monitor your listing stats no matter where your listings appear online. You can sign up to receive a weekly summary of all of them called, "Activity @ a Glance," and also pull a "Seller's Report" that allows you to show your seller how much attention you were able to bring to their listing. Now It is Your Turn Go to your MLS dashboard (or link bed) and check out some of the products your MLS offers that you do not normally click on. Find out what these products do and determine how you can bring more value to your clients by using them. Come back next week to learn where to find training for your technology tools. You would be surprised by how much information is out there for you. If you have any questions about technology offered by MLSs or have suggestions for other articles, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.
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5 Places to Find Tech Support
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Why You Should Call Tech Support First, Not Last
Before cars had GPS navigation systems, people got lost a lot more often. Researchers explained that men were predisposed only to stop and ask for directions as a last resort response when lost. The same type of reaction is true today for many of us when a technology glitch occurs. We often try to first fix the problem ourselves instead of immediately reaching out for help. The problem often becomes what we think will take a couple of minutes to correct ends up taking a lot more time than we ever imagined. Ten minutes of troubleshooting can quickly turn into 30 minutes or more before we give in and seek assistance. The best practice? Go ahead and pick up a phone and call, chat or email tech support – first, not last. That's what Don Rathbun, a Realtor Emeritus with Florida Realtors, did when faced with a tech problem. He reached out to Tech Helpline, which for him is a member benefit. That means his call to Tech Helpline was free, but the help he received was priceless. "From the start," Rathbun shared, "[Alex] understood [the] problem. He was extremely patient and went above and beyond to make the necessary adjustments so that I would not have the problem in the future." He also thanked Tech Helpline for "having people like Alex available to help us." For Sally Harasz, a Florida Realtor member from Ponte Vedra, getting professional help was the only option. She explained that Tech Helpline analyst Adrian "was a huge help to me today, and I am most grateful." "I gave him the challenge of finding and restoring 22 GB of files, and he methodically looked through various computer systems and functions and restored all the documents. I am now back up and running and in business," Harasz said. Agents rely on technology now more than ever During the pandemic, real estate became more dependent on technology than ever before. The 2021 Technology Survey from the National Association of Realtors documented the impact. Some 78% of all respondents said that eSignature was their single most valuable technology in the last 12 months. Local MLS apps/technology was second (54%), and nearly tied for second was social media (53%). With 90% of respondents using Facebook in their real estate business, it's clear that agents rely on technology to remain connected to their clients. More technology tools coming While tech tools for transaction management, CRMs, lockboxes, video calls, and showing software integrated deeply in the day-to-day workflow for nearly every agent, the chance of an agent that needed help has also increased dramatically. For example, in 2020, Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity provided more support and training for more Realtors than ever in a single year. More technology is coming, so the need to have reliable and accessible tech support isn't going away. The Technology Survey also found that in the next 12 months, respondents say that the five technology tools they will use in their business will be eSignatures (73 percent), social media (53 percent), local MLS apps/technology (47 percent), customer relationship management or CRM (44 percent), and lockboxes (43 percent). Looking 24 months ahead, respondents believed that drones (37 percent), cybersecurity (34 percent), 5G (31 percent), and virtual reality (30 percent) would be the most impactful emerging technologies to their businesses. Adopting and adapting to new technology always can be a struggle, as Diana M. Gardner, President of the Albermarle Association of Realtors in North Carolina, noted. Call for help first, not last For agents like Greg Gosselin, a member of the 2020 NAR Housing Opportunity Committee and the Maine Association of Realtors, contacting tech support first saved him a lot of time, allowing him to focus on his business. He encountered a "Windows nightmare" and reached out to Tech Helpline, provided by his Realtor association as a member benefit. "My day was not consumed with technical issues but with income-producing work." The bottom line: let the tech experts focus on helping you fix your glitch and get back to business by reaching out first. Hopefully, your association or brokerage provides you with free access to Tech Helpline. If not, ask them to check out techhelpline.com, as the importance of getting fast tech support is now a must-have for agent productivity. Do you have a Tech Helpline story to share? Tag #TechHelplineHelpedMe in your social media post. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Are iBuyers Good for Consumers?
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Integrating 'The Flood Discussion' into Your Real Estate Practice
Recent studies indicate that 41 million homes across the US are at risk of flooding -- a number significantly higher than is indicated by FEMA flood maps. This new data highlights a nationwide cause for concern for homeowners, including many in areas previously thought to be at low risk. In South Florida, as many as 1 in 3 residential properties are in danger of sustaining flood damage. Leading Realtors are getting ahead of the curve by integrating "The Flood Discussion" into their real estate practice. Here are five takeaways to integrate flood into your work with your customers, to make you the most knowledgeable, confident, and profitable Realtor in your market. 1. On the Buyer Side, include flood as a housing criteria We are used to setting criteria based on location, pricing, number of bedrooms, etc. Flooding, for example, has historically been an afterthought. With a 30-year investment — typically the biggest investment of our customer's life — it's critical to put flooding on the list of criteria, especially with the frequency of storms all across the country. Note: while flood has historically been a 'coastal' issue, flooding is occurring more frequently across the interior of the US. 2. On the Seller Side, do your research on the listing property More and more, the question of flooding and impact of weather is going to come up regarding the listing. So get out in front and ask your owners the 'tough questions' about the history of flooding and other climate-related issues. It will be better to know the facts, so you can present them professionally, accurately, and appropriately in the marketing of the property. 3. Understand the 'total cost of flood ownership' As we evaluate properties with the customer — listing price, taxes, utilities, homeowners insurance — it's important to integrate new terms like Flood Zone, Flood Risk and Flood Insurance. Note: It's important to remember that flood insurance is NOT included in homeowners insurance, and it is a separate insurance policy. Yes, no one likes to add costs. Yet, given that one storm can cause $$$$$ of damage in the blink of an eye, it's critical to evaluate a property's risk profile with your customer's risk tolerance. Across much of South Florida and the United States, home buyers can secure 'peace of mind' flood insurance for reasonable rates. 4. Investigate the two flood insurance options: NFIP and Private Insurance Most Americans are aware of NFIP — which stands for National Flood Insurance Program, managed by FEMA. Based on a flood mapping system, NFIP has standard coverage limits of $250,000 for buildings and $100,000 for personal property based on the flood zone where the property is located. In the South Florida market, for example, more than 30 private insurance companies have begun to offer flood insurance over the last several years. Private insurance companies generally price flood insurance based on a property's latitude and longitude coordinates, as well as over 200 data points to calculate the exact price-risk profile per property. To better understand these differences and the options available for a property, consider getting one NFIP and one Private Flood Insurance Quote. 5. From Contract-to-Close, engage a licensed flood insurance expert Let's be honest, Flood Insurance is confusing and is best left to the experts who practice it each and every day. Most importantly, engaging a licensed flood insurance professional separates any potential issue of Errors and Omissions from the REALTOR® and their customer's real estate transaction. Acadian Insurance offers a free consultation for all Miami REALTORS® and their customers. In 15 minutes, the Acadian Team can provide you with all the knowledge you and your customers need to make smart, informed, confident decisions. If you are interested in learning more, access our free eBook: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Flood Insurance* (*But Were Afraid To Ask) CartoFront is a technology services company that is simplifying flood insurance for REALTORS(R), their clients, and insurance agents. If you are interested in learning how you can bring CartoFront to your MLS for free, please contact [email protected]
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PropTech: What Does It Mean for the Real Estate Agent?
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Leading Real Estate Vendors Now Offering Access, a 'Pay at Closing' Option for Agents
It is estimated that e-commerce sales in the U.S. will grow to nearly $1 trillion by 2023 as shoppers become increasingly comfortable with buying online. With this change in buying habits, retailers have started to embrace more payment alternatives that allow their customers to purchase goods and services without using traditional forms of credit. Perhaps the most popular option today is "buy now, pay later." What Is Buy Now, Pay Later? Buy now, pay later is a straightforward concept: customers are given the option while shopping online to purchase something now, but instead of paying full price up front, they pay later, typically with easy-to-manage installments. It's clear why the option to pay over time is valuable to customers. Having the ability to break up the cost of purchases with no interest or fees gives buyers a greater sense of confidence in making purchase decisions. For retailers, the benefits are equally clear. Buy now, pay later lets them attract more customers that may have otherwise put off purchasing due to cash flow constraints or credit availability. Offering the option to pay over time has shown to result in higher conversion rates for retailers and increased order size. Access™: Buy Now, Pay Later for Real Estate This emerging trend is now available to the real estate industry with the launch of Access™ by eCommission®, a unique payment option tailored around the timing of when agents earn their commissions. Access enables agents to buy goods and services online from their favorite real estate vendors, but pay for their purchases later using future commissions as an alternative to cash or credit cards. Access funds the order on behalf of the agent immediately and offers the convenience of up to 90 days free of charge to repay from their next closing. How Access Works The process of using Access is simple: An agent selects an item to purchase while shopping online, including such things as subscriptions, MLS dues, advertising, staging costs, lead generation services, lawn signs and so on, then prepares to checkout. At the point of sale where they would otherwise enter their credit card to pay, the agent is presented with the option to choose Access and pay when they close their next sale. This sets off an instant approval verification. Once finished, the agent is returned to the vendor's site to complete their purchase – all within a matter of minutes. Business Advantages of Offering Access There are several benefits real estate vendors can gain through offering Access, including an ability to attract new customers by providing a flexible payment option tailored exclusively to the timing of when they get paid their commissions. Responses from vendors involved in beta testing reported a 32% increase in average order values, and a 26% bump in conversion rates after introducing their customers to Access. Happy Customers Buy More Real estate agents, like everyday consumers, crave ease of use. The secret to the success of Access involves a simple API integration within the vendor's point of sale that completes a risk assessment and finalizes the agent's purchase instantly to create a truly frictionless experience. This presents customers with the ability to get what they need today, but pay later once they close a sale, which means less time spent debating the purchase and more time buying. Costs to Vendors and Agents Similar to credit card issuers, Access charges vendors a 5% processing fee for completing the sale and transferring funds on the agent's behalf to the vendor's bank within one business day. It costs agents nothing out-of-pocket to use Access, and they have up to 90 days free of charge to repay using commission proceeds from a future sale. If it takes longer than 90 days, the agent's balance accrues a charge of 0.03% per day. Even if it took a year to close a sale, the equivalent APR is just 10.9%, compared to the average credit card rate of 24.9% — making Access a more convenient, less expensive option for most agents than using traditional forms of credit.
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zavvie Launches zavvie Pro to Help Agents Create Inventory, Turning Homeowners into Sellers
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iBuyers: The Pros and Cons Your Next Seller Should Consider
Low listing inventory over the last several years has created a great market for sellers and investors. iBuyer programs, like those offered by Opendoor, Zillow, and OfferPad, provide a convenient, low-stress option for sellers looking to cash out of their investment quickly. However, real estate agents offer most sellers a better overall value. Find the pros and cons of working with iBuyers vs. a real estate agent here!
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Profiting from the iBuyer Trend
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8 Ways to Generate Free Real Estate Leads with IFTTT
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a free internet tool to get unrelated apps and websites to talk to one another. IFTTT works by connecting two apps and designating triggers. Whenever an event occurs in one app, a second event automatically occurs in another. It's a fantastic service that has led to an explosion of productivity across the web. As real estate professionals, there is a lot we can do with IFTTT. We can save time by setting our blog to automatically post to Facebook. We can be more responsive to clients by setting up email reminders for a missed call. We can be more organized by synching our phone contacts to a Google Sheet.
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Are iBuyers Competition?
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3 Reasons Why Every Agent Must Embrace Digital Transformation
Did you realize that a dozen states allow or are testing a digital driver's license? That's right: no more fumbling in your purse or wallet to show your vital ID. It is digital, and all you need is your smartphone. You don't even need a paper passport at many ports of entry into the U.S. today with the Mobile Passport app. This is not a fad; it's our future as experts predict that it's just a matter of time that all IDs will be digitized. The world is undergoing a digital transformation. Whether you like it or not, it's a reality that for your business is worth embracing. Why? Because it will increase your productivity and that can be a big bump to your earnings, personal time, or both. Embracing Transaction Management Fundamental to the digital transformation in real estate is transaction management software. If you haven't included transaction management as one of the core services you offer your clients, you are not only falling behind competitively, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to boost to your business. Florida Realtors® has been a pioneer in the digital transformation movement. Our Form Simplicity transaction management program was created by Realtors for Realtors and is the only Realtor-owned and operated, major solution today. Hundreds of thousands of Realtor members in Florida and nationwide use Form Simplicity as an essential business tool to power their ability to provide a paperless transaction process. The benefits of using transaction management software like Form Simplicity include some obvious ones and some hidden and delightful surprises. Here are three major reasons why you will immediately appreciate your transaction management solution—as will your clients: 1. All forms are digital. Digital forms mean faster everything. Digital forms make it faster to create a transaction, faster to fill in the data because the forms are 'smart,' faster to monitor the status of the transaction, faster to manage the transaction process, faster to collaborate with others, faster to close your transactions, and finally, faster to go back and find the transaction later—with all of its details needed for compliance and legal protection. Transaction management is also safer. No more missing paper pages and everything is secure and easily accessible to you in one place (and backed up for you). Form Simplicity, for example, allows you to add other documents, files, and photos related to your transaction in a transaction folder. Files are always up to date, which protects you and your clients. 2. Convenient, instant, safe, and secure collaboration with others. Transaction management software, like Form Simplicity, makes collaboration easier and more convenient than ever. Buyers and sellers and participating agents all are part of the digital process. You get to control what everyone sees. Their dashboard allows them only to view the documents they should be able to access. And because everything is stored safely in the cloud, transactions can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from any device with internet access. This makes the ability to collaborate more accessible than ever before. You also can let others add documents and comments in real-time, eliminating back and forth emails—and it tracks all these conversations in one place, reducing misunderstandings and mistakes that can be caused by broken email chains. Most importantly, top-of-the-line transaction management software like Form Simplicity uses bank-grade security, making digital transactions the safest kind. For compliance and legal security, going digital provides the assurance and protection your clients—and your business—need and deserve. 3. E-signing. When your business is powered by a transaction management software like Form Simplicity, digital forms give you another essential benefit. You get expedited signing with digital signatures through the most secure way to get a proper signature: e-signing. Electronic signatures are a godsend: First, you don't need to find time to schedule everyone to meet up, so it's convenient. And because you don't have to drive, you are safe from going out in areas, or bad weather, late at night. Also, clients won't miss a signing a specific page because your transaction management software makes sure your clients sign where they are supposed to before the form is finalized and submitted. That means never having to drive around getting a missing form signed by all parties or waiting for a returned fax. Plus, the final documents and signatures are easy to read—not degraded from all the scanning/faxing/copying/downloading/uploading that could take place. Digital logs track all the signers. And distribution to all parties, including admin, lenders and title company, is super easy. Research shows that you can reduce your signature time by as much as 95 percent. A study by Forrester Research showed one bank cut documentation errors by 75 percent, cut client visits from 3 to 1, and avoided $8 million in administrative costs. The bank saved more than 80,000 hours annually, the equivalent of 40 full-time employees. The best part, once a customer participated in an e-signing, 90 percent said they would do it again. Because of e-signing, an entire end-to-end paperless transaction is not only possible but a reality in some 15 states and growing. In the future, it should be commonplace as already every state today allows electronic signatures. The bottom line You are not only saving trees by embracing the digital transformation in real estate with transaction management software, but you also are proving the added value a real estate professional brings to today's real estate transaction by embracing new technology. A transaction management solution should free you from a lot of paper pushing, and that means more time to build relationships with existing and new clients. The time and cost savings are enormous, but the extra time you gain spending more time with people will make deciding to go digital with a program like Form Simplicity priceless. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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Leveraging Google Calendar for Real Estate
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New Technology for Real Estate Agents
Looking to stay ahead of the competition and the latest technology? Check out these three innovations that'll help you impress sellers, generate leads and build a name for yourself as an agent who is one step ahead of the rest.
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Doomsday Preppers: How to Get Ready for Future Tech Changes
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10 Things You Probably Didn't Know Google Could Do for You
It's not often that a company provides a service so popular that it becomes a verb, but you probably have heard the phrase "Just Google it" many times. Doing a search using Google has become part of most people's daily routine: there are 4.4 billion worldwide searches every single day. But did you know that Google is much more than just a search engine? It is also a highly complex math calculator, a real-time currency converter, a sophisticated multi-lingual translator, a digital dictation machine and more. In fact, Google has so many hidden talents built into its search bar, these five may be only scratching the surface of what Google search can do for you. Here are five things that you can do with Google search shortcuts that you may not know about, but may save you an enormous amount of time.
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11 of the Best Real Estate Agent Tools
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7 Young Tech Companies Poised to Reinvent Real Estate
REach®, NAR's tech incubator program, announced its 'Class of 2017' last week. Each year, the annual program selects seven companies whose products or services show the potential to benefit NAR's 1.2 million members. The program runs from one NAR conference to the next. Each class debuts in May at the NAR Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. and 'graduates' at NAR Annual in November. Hundreds of companies applied this year—up significantly from 2016—and the seven chosen after an exhaustive review of their business models and execution strategies truly represent la crème de la crème. This year's class ranges from early- to mid-stage companies who, in total, have raised over $50 million in funding and whose total valuation tops $350 million. The goal of the program "is to move these organizations rapidly forward beyond their initial successes through education, mentorship and market exposure." REach® has had a successful track record so far. The tech incubator hit the half-decade mark this year, and its previous four classes have, on average, doubled their customer base and, in total, raised more than $60 million in funding during and after the program. So which hot tech products does REach (and NAR, by extension) think will benefit Realtors? Let's take a look. 1. Centriq: You keep maintenance records for your car--why not do the same for your home? This app helps homeowners digitally track property-related receipts, invoices, documents, notes, and even a home inventory. All of these records can be transferred from buyer to seller in the event of a sale. Realtors can sponsor this digitization of their 'listings' and give the new owner their home's records as a closing gift.
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Top 4 Personal Digital Assistants to Try Today
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5 Real Estate Tech Tools in 5 Minutes
When Jeff Lobb took the stage at Inman Connect in New York this past January, everyone got out their note-taking tools—five real estate tech tools in five minutes. Because in what was a whirlwind event of high-minded, conceptual talk, Jeff was ready to drop some serious knowledge and tangible takeaways. Jeff's message was clear — the tools alone won't make you a successful agent. It's how you use them. 1. Big data This phrase from the tech world has infiltrated real estate, but few really know what it means. "We are sitting on more money in our database now than ever before." But that's it — we're just sitting on it. And it's not complete. By harnessing the power of a tool like Revaluate Pro, agents can use data to "create the person behind the email," and know more about when buyers and sellers are ready to make a move. 2. Emotional marketing Agents need to connect with clients by being: memorable, mobile and visual. Be memorable, mobile and visual! Animoto has been around for a few years, but most agents aren't using it strategically. Using the personalized videos before, during and after the sale can help cement your brand in the sellers' mind and integrate you into the buyer's world.
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How to Use Google Keep for Real Estate
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The 4 Best Content Curation Tools for Real Estate Agents
Now that you know the basics of what curating content is (and how to leverage previously published content without plagiarizing), it's time to dig into the best tools for aggregating content. Below are our top four recommendations, plus information on service levels and pricing. Pocket If you're an internet junkie, you probably need Pocket, an app that allows you to save articles to read later. Whether you're scrolling Twitter and see a long read about the housing market, or get an email from your mother sharing Great Uncle Harold's big win at the county fair, you can now save every "not now, but later" URL you come across. Whether you save articles to Pocket from your computer, tablet or mobile phone, you can access them later from any connected device — even when you're offline. And if you prefer Pinterest to Reddit, you'll be delighted by the service's sleek display and design. Who it's best for: Pocket has a pretty terrific free service, but its Premium service level — which is ad-free, searchable and includes personal back-up of your content — is just $4.99/month.
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Four Time-saving Tools that You Need For YOUR Real Estate Practice
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3 Real Estate Tech Tools This YPN Chairperson Can’t Live Without
Young people are entering the real estate industry in waves, and among them is a new breed of tech-friendly enthusiasts who believe digital is today and tomorrow's path to success. Yet, with new tech tools introduced almost daily to the real estate market, identifying and adopting only the most valuable digital assets becomes a challenge—and sometimes with very little return on investment. Five years ago, Jesicca Skoloda, a degreed business major who worked about 70 hours a week managing a jewelry store, decided she had more to bring to the table. Recognizing her aptitude for generating business, her love of technological tools, and her entrepreneurial spirit, Jesicca set out to earn her real estate license. Today, Jesicca is within the top one percent of producers for the Luzerne County Association of REALTORS® and is consistently a Top Producer at Classic Properties—a company that serves more than five Pennsylvania counties with about 100 agents. Jesicca, 30, has already sold nearly 20 million dollars in real estate since entering the industry. To what does this rising star and chair of her local Young Professionals Network (YPN) attribute her good fortune? In addition to intrinsic qualities such as self-determination, energy, and confidence, Jesicca says her success stems from a willingness to embrace the tools that keep her and her clients informed and on track. Here are Jessica's top three producing apps.
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Forget Inbox Zero. Be an Inbox Hero with Boomerang for Gmail
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5 Awesome Brand Builders You Can Get for Just Five Bucks
When it comes to creating and deploying customized marketing offers, you might expect (and be turned off by) the cost it takes to execute something truly top-notch. That's where Fiverr.com and the Fiverr app on Android and iOS come into play. Fiverr.com was started on a very simple premise: What would someone do in exchange for just $5? If you're not expecting much, you're underestimating this platform. Fiverr has helped millions of business owners turn around quick, specialized projects they're either not qualified for or don't have time to execute on their own. While the possibilities on Fiverr are truly endless, below are five quick examples of how real estate agents and professionals can take advantage of Fiverr to knock off everything from logo woes, to profile pic updates, to snappy blog posts. 1. Design a logo Whether you belong to a massive franchise or a small boutique firm, it's important to create a brand identity for yourself or your team. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a custom logo from a designer, consider asking one of the designers at Fiverr to take a stab at it. Their list of designers is truly endless, and you can choose from retro design, flat modern aesthetic, or something truly wacky. Check out the logo designers on Fiverr.
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2 Must-Have Tech Tools for Real Estate Agents
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A Look at the Latest and Greatest in Smart Home Technology
Are more are of your clients asking about smart home technology these days? That's no surprise--according to a Coldwell Banker survey, 45% of Americans are expected to have some sort of smart home technology by the end of 2016. The survey found that smart home technology appeals to both potential buyers and sellers, with 54% of homeowners stating that they would install smart home products if they were selling their home and knew that the technology would make their home sell faster. Over half of buyers said that smart home technology like security and temperature controls would be most appealing in a home. The survey results were revealed just before this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where attendees got to scope out all the latest gadgets, from laptops and cameras to virtual reality headsets to automotive gear and, yes, smart home technology. Halo Smart Smoke Alarm - This sophisticated device can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide and send alerts to your phone, so you're informed of emergencies even while away from home. The alarm can also issue voice-driven weather alerts. The best part? Its battery lasts a whopping 10 years! TOTO smart toilet - We get it, a smart toilet sounds like a potentially awkward idea. But how's this for a selling point? The TOTO smart toilet only has to be cleaned once a year, thanks to high tech materials and a system that uses ultraviolet light and electrolyzed water to clean with every flush. The Toto will also lift its own lid for you, pre-heat the seat(!), and even clean you off with a bidet-like feature. How's that for taking care of all the dirty work?
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Best of 2015: Hate Writing Listing Descriptions? This App Does It For You
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Resources to Maximize Your ROI in 2016
In his appearance on a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Jimmy Mackin, co-founder of Curaytor.com, shared these great sites you can use to grow your business in 2016. Check out the best of team management, lead gathering, and branding ideas below! BestAboutPages.com has examples of some of the best "about" pages on the internet. Everyone in real estate is saying the same thing on their about page – take a look at these to get inspiration on how you can infuse your about page with personality to help it stand out. Theknot.com, a hub of wedding planning, may seem like a strange place to go for real estate, but here you can search for professional photographers. Mackin suggests that you "get professional photography of your team, get professional photography of your area. You will reuse it over, and over, and over, and over again." Slack.com is a team communication and messaging app. To help minimize the time lapse in business communication that can turn what should be a quick communication into hours of back and forth texting and calling. Mackin uses Slack because "it allows you to set up a very simple portal where you can communicate with your entire team in real time." Upwork.com and thehiredpens.com are two sites you can use to outsource your copywriting. Mackin recommends you start by getting a professional bio and 'about' page made.
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Hate Writing Listing Descriptions? This App Does It For You
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Best Online Tools and Apps for Real Estate Agents
It's a wonderful time to be an agent with all the helpful tools available to the real estate industry. Technology offers us so many ways to stay connected, safe, organized and keep learning about real estate. Are you taking advantage of the powerful apps and websites online to help you save time? We've compiled a list of 10 terrific online tools and apps for real estate agents to help you accomplish more and make your life easier: Wi-Fi Finder - For members of an industry who spend a lot of time on the go, searching for Wi-Fi can be a tedious process, but still preferable over data charges! Check out Wi-Fi Finder, a free app that will help you locate free or paid Wi-Fi wherever you are. The app uses the GPS function of your smartphone to tell you exactly where the closest Wi-Fi hotspot is, and how to get there. Bonus: it doesn't require Wi-Fi to use the app! Prezi - Looking to make a real estate listing presentation that will really wow your audience? Check out Prezi. This visually stunning presentation editor allows you to display information on or offline, collaborate with teammates, and import images and videos. Since Prezi is a cloud-based program, you can use it to present from your desktop, iPhone, or iPad, making it a terrific option for displaying information at an open house or a last minute meeting in a coffee shop. Prezi is free if you're okay with all of your presentations being public. There is a low monthly cost for making your presentations private. Google Alerts - One of many useful tools from Google, this free service allows you to receive notifications every time your name, business name, or any topic that interests you is mentioned online. You can control how often alerts will be emailed to you, keeping you in the loop each time your business is mentioned. Try setting up an alert for the geographical area you farm, or homes for sale in your city.
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How to Use Trello to Stay on Top of Your To-Do List
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How to Create the Perfect Real Estate Marketing and Lead Cultivation Platform (a Tutorial) - Part 2
Last week, I shared part one of building the perfect real estate marketing and lead cultivation platform. If you missed part one of my article, you can read it by clicking here. Let's pick right up where we left off and address the last four critical considerations related to the creation of this platform. 4) It has to be multi-channel It might be enticing to just find one great product (a mass email tool, for instance) because it does take time to research and select many different tools. But never lose sight of the fact that there is no "one size fits all" type of marketing vehicle. This is because there is no one type of homeowner in the world. Everyone responds to different things. To have a truly successful platform, you must have a little bit of everything. You want to have a comprehensive platform that includes email marketing, text messaging, print marketing, inbound marketing and social media. 5) Data integration (across all platforms) is KEY No matter where your leads are coming from (your website, your broker's website, your email system, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, open houses, etc.), ALL data must flow seamlessly into your platform in an automated fashion. If you have to manually do any data input, you do not have a good platform. This is a critical step and there is no wiggle room here.
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How to Create the Perfect Real Estate Marketing and Lead Cultivation Platform (a Tutorial) - Part 1
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How a 72-Year-Old Realtor Embraces Technology
Are your so-called selling tools behind the times? Afraid you're too old to jump on today's technological bandwagon? Even if you didn't grow up with a mouse in your hands, the technology to streamline your business is not out of reach. Just ask 72-year-old real estate agent Ed Robinson about his tips for Realtors®. Ditch the filing cabinets. Go digital. This Canadian agent has put together a simple mix of tips for Realtors, including devices and software to help you save a few trees – and a lot of time. How does he do it? An iPad - Command central. Scanner Pro - Transform paper documents into digital files for storage and editing. PDF Expert - Download, view, edit, annotate, and sign paperwork electronically. Dropbox - Cloud-based storage, accessible by any device, agent, or client. How does it work? A buyer makes an offer. You scan it into a digital version, then fire it off to the listing agent. Done. You download MLS listings for a client, easily add notes in PDF Expert Saving it for future reference... Emailing it... Share it via Dropbox You get a deposit check, scan it onto your iPad, import it into a receipt template, then send a digital receipt
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Top 10 Tech Tools to Help You Sell Your Listing
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The Technology Habits of Successful Real Estate Agents
To be successful in today's real estate market, it's necessary to use technology to its fullest potential and implement systems whenever possible. Using the right technologies can save time and money, and ultimately lead to greater earnings. If you have not already adopted various technologies as essential to your real estate business, now is the time to start. Not only will this keep you in touch with your clients – as most are just as or more technologically savvy than the average real estate agent – it will also allow you to stay competitive with the other agents out there. According to a study by Keller Williams, 68 percent of all new agents are under 35 years old, and 32 percent are under 25. This generation grew up with technology. They understand it, and they use it every single day, both in their personal life and in their business. In order to compete with this up-and-coming influx of new, tech-oriented agents, there are a few key strategies you can execute in bringing your real estate business up to the standards of the Digital Age. Going Digital If you are still are pushing papers around, filing documents by hand, and getting forms signed in-person, you are falling behind. Going digital with your real estate business, if you haven't already, is probably the best place to start. Using a real estate transaction management system gives you the ability to go paperless. You can upload all of your documents, organize all of your contacts, and allow guest access in order to share files with your clients, broker or team.
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Real Estate Technology is Not an Expense. It is an Investment
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Spotlight on Real Estate Tech: Our Top Product Reviews from 2014
Throughout 2014, we've been publishing a series of articles that guides agents through the technology selection process (see the full list of articles here). While those provide a helpful overview of broad technology categories, the next step is to learn more about a single product in more detail. That's what our product reviews column does. Each review offers an in-depth look at an individual product, complete with screenshots and an overview of all major features. In 2014, we published over a dozen product reviews, and we've rounded them up here for your convenience, sorted by category. Take a moment to learn more about a new technology that could help you grow your business in the year ahead. Transaction Management/Forms Form Simplicity - A solution created by a professional real estate organization, Florida Realtors®. Its ongoing development is, in part, shaped by a panel of REALTOR® members who ensure that the program stays in step with what agents and brokers need to be successful. Realty Commander - Realty Commander excels in handling multiple different file types, short sales, and HUD. DocuSign for REALTORS® PLUS - A first look at DocuSign's new "Transaction Rooms" that wed transaction management capabilities to DocuSign's eSignatures. zipForm® Plus - zipLogix upgrades their forms stalwart with a clean, new interface that makes it easy for agents to use. CMA Cloud CMA - The reports you print directly from the MLS are stale, say the folks at Cloud CMA, and don't offer any opportunity for your unique branding. Their solution was built to fix this problem.
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Your Guide to Real Estate Technology in 2015
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11 Gift Ideas for the Techie You Love
Many people around the world are or will be shopping for presents for their loved ones in the coming weeks. Sure, TVs, laptops, and tablets are cool, and kudos to you if that is what you have planned to purchase! Now for those of you who are looking for something special, quirky even, and perhaps not as expensive, we prepared a list of interesting tech gadgets that are popular right now. Listed below, in no particular order, could be gifts for fellow real estate professionals or for the techie you love. Virtual keyboard – The WOW factor is pretty high with this one. Cube video action camera camcorder – While Go Pro has very cool cameras, they may be a bit much for a teenager. These might be a better option for someone who on his way to becoming a Pro. Bluetooth location tracker – There is always someone in the family who could use one of these. Swivel socket with surge protector – A practical gift to use at the home or the office. Light for real estate sign - While there are some more expensive ones out there, these might just do the trick.
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Automate Your Business with zipForm® Plus and Zapier
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4 Digital Basics Every Agent Should Master
We talk a lot about tech tools agents can use to grow their business. I won't lie--some of these solutions get pretty advanced. That's why we thought we'd turn the tables and look at the tech basics today. We're taking our cue from a new video featuring Chris Smith, the founder of Curaytor and co-author of Peoplework. Smith shared his real estate expertise with the winners of HomeFinder.com's Agent Makeover Sweepstakes. The video below is a sampling of the advice he shared with the winning agents. In it, Smith recommends that agents master the following basics: Hardware selection Your calendar Email Your online reputation Click through to the next page for details, helpful articles and app suggestions!
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How to Score the Latest Tech Tools Without Breaking the Bank
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30 Top Tools for Agents in 30 Minutes (8/19)
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:00 - 10:30 AM In order to take your business to the next level and win the best buyers and sellers in the market, you need the right tools for the job! But who has the time to filter through all the productivity tools and sites and apps and find out what's worth your time? We do! Join Trulia Trainer Jovan Hackley for a rundown of the latest must-know tools, apps, and services used by agents like you to generate business and impress clients! Attend this session for: tools you can use now to improve your marketing ideas to help you wow potential clients at your first meeting real advice on how to decide which tools you really need Register now!
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2015 Technology Guide: Find Tools that Profit Your Business
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Do You Use the “Tie-Breaker” Advantage?
Digital? Paperless? Virtual? If you find the latest tools and resources overwhelming, confusing and just plain uncomfortable, you might find the next few tips an easy solution bring your presentations, communications and marketing systems in line with today's demands using technology. When you incorporate cutting edge innovations into your buyer and seller service model, you are confidently deploying a secret weapon to beat out your competition. According to a recent article in the March issue of the Harvard Business Review, this elevation of value offers you the "tie breaker" advantage. When customers or clients are faced with making a decision to hire you, these enhanced service options clearly emerge as the unfair competitive advantage. To keep pace with what consumers are expecting, simply incorporate one simple step at a time to differentiate your service model, save precious time, alleviate stress and WOW your customers and clients. All you need to do is to add one of these new steps every couple of days, and you'll be up to speed and beyond in no time! Start with a few basics: 1. With any project, having the right tools makes the process easier. Smart phones are good, but when you need to engage a client or customer, having a larger screen like an iPad makes it a more professional and engaging experience. Garry Wise, of Paperless Agent, recommends that after you demonstrate the CMA or review videos or virtual tours on the device, turning over the iPad to the customer to "move" the program along builds trust and confidence.
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7 Tools For Working With Clients Remotely
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10 Ways Technology Can Save Agents Time and Money
The Web celebrated its 25th birthday last month, according to the Pew Internet Research Project. It's hard to believe, but true. And despite some early skeptics, the web has been saving people time and money ever since its debut. It's easy to think of examples. Email, something we now take for granted, saves people the time and expense of sending letters. Netflix saves its subscribers the hassle of schlepping to the nearest video store--and the monthly cost of unlimited streaming is far less pricey than the per video charge (and late fees!) that Blockbuster once charged. Over the past quarter century, the Web has affected virtually every industry and many aspects of our lives. Real estate has been far from immune. Gone are the days of printed MLS books or of being chained to an office desk and landline. Mobile technology has enabled agents to conduct business from anywhere, and websites, social media, and more have made the Web an affordable and efficient marketing channel. In what other ways can the Web make agents' lives easier? We've rounded up 10 of our favorite examples of how technology can save real estate professionals time and money. 1. Build a DIY Website - Gone are the days when coding knowledge was necessary to build your own website. Today, multiple turnkey website solutions exist. If you're looking to build a site for your business, we highly recommend exploring real estate specific website solutions. They come loaded with features agents need, like a built-in IDX search and specialized templates. Other solutions, like WebsiteBox, offer a wealth of backend tools like an integrated CRM, drip marketing capabilities, Google Analytics, and more. Most can be set up in under 15 minutes.
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How Paperless Are You?
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Agents, Teams and Technology
Sometime soon, I will be selling a rental property and buying a different one, taking advantage of the 1031 Exchange program. I am probably like most consumers. You begin shopping for something to buy before you sell. The relationship between a buyer and an agent (or team) will typically have three phases. The first phase is the time you shop before listing. The second is the time you shop while your home is being sold. The third is the time when you are ready to buy. Right now, I am in the first phase, doing casual research. I do not plan to list my home for sale until the spring in Buffalo – if that ever comes ;-). I started driving neighborhoods around Thanksgiving. Flyers are not very popular in the area where I have been cruising, so I have been using a number of mobile apps. Occasionally, I call the number on the sign and leave a message. Nobody ever answers the phone anymore. Take Away #1: Signs are important in real estate. I did not even contemplate contacting a buyer's agent who was advertised on a listing agent's listing. Friday night, an agent contacted me from a phone message from four months ago. She sent me an email and called me by some other name like John. Not sure what happened there. I replied to the email and she called me right away to apologize. We had a nice chat and I told her what was up. She told me that her clients love Listingbook and that she would set me up with an account.
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The Weather Outside is Frightful – Now What?
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2014 Technology Resolutions
Technology is changing our lives – and our industry – on a daily basis. And as they say, you're either with the times or behind them. With that in mind, I wanted to roll out three New Year's resolutions I'm asking my agents to adopt when it comes to technology in 2014 and I'd love to see you implement them into your success plan for 2014 and beyond. 1. Let's See That Beautiful Face! Every slogan and catchy phrase that can help you sell more homes in 2014 has already been plastered on a billboard somewhere at some point in the past. No matter what you say, and how well you say it, there are simply limitations to the things you can convey through pen and paper. Instead, turn to video. For $200 we purchased (and you can too from any number of online retailers) an "iPhone film pack" for use with pretty much any smart phone. The kit comes with a clip on and boom-style mic, tripod-adapter mount, and a magnetic camera lens that fits over the phone's camera to give a wider-angle view. With this kit, we can now shoot video both in the office and out in the field with a maximum 3-minute set-up time. Think of the possibilities: neighborhood reviews, client testimonials, and interviews with local business owners, etc. The sky is the limit with video, and the added benefits (increased SEO, higher click-through rates, etc.) make this a great way to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
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Top Product Reviews from 2013
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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Real Estate Solution
Real estate agents always need to be learning and growing to keep their business thriving. Sometimes that involves personal development--earning new designations, learning new sales strategies, seeking advice from a real estate coach, or even just sitting down with a good book. Other times, thriving means embracing new technologies. Learning new apps and programs can be daunting, though, especially if you're unfamiliar with a certain type of product. What should you look for? What options are available? It's hard to know without a lot of research. Fortunately, we've developed a series of guides that helps you answer exactly those questions. Each guide offers helpful questions to consider before making a purchase and lists specific products that may suit your needs. Kick off your research by choosing the type of product you're interested in from the list below (see our list of broker-specific guides here): Property Search Website Online Marketing Mobile Solution Online Reputation Management Market Analytics Listing Syndication Lockbox Lead Generation iPad Apps Electronic Signatures Document and Transaction Management CRM CMA
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Will Google's New Helpouts Affect Realtors®?
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The Cloud is for Collaboration
Most people are familiar with the Cloud primarily for its storage capabilities. From music and movies, to documents and other files, the Cloud has become the place for saving the things you care about but don't want to store on your computer. In industries like real estate, however, the Cloud also serves another essential purpose--collaboration. Real estate transactions involve many parties--not just agents and their buyer or seller clients. There are appraisers, loan officers, attorneys, and home inspectors, just to name a few. You can pick up the phone and call any of these people easily, but what happens when you need to share documents or have forms signed? Do you really want to drive all over town, or wrangle everyone's schedules to have a meeting in some central location? What if one of the parties lives out of the area? The solution is simple: take your collaboration to the Cloud. Web-based products for transaction management, document management, and electronic signatures make this possible. With mobile technology and the use of permissions to grant the appropriate level of access to the appropriate parties, Cloud technology can allow you to collaborate with anyone over any distance for a more efficient transaction. The best way to clarify this concept is to use some examples.
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REach™ Accelerator Class of 2013 to conclude at REALTORS® Conference & Expo
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"It Pays for Itself with One Sale"
"It pays for itself if you get just one sale," says the technology salesperson. I would not be surprised if you hear that a few times a month when real estate technology salespeople pitch their products. The keynote is "if" you get a sale from using their product. As an agent, you should despise this sales pitch. How on earth could any technology company justify taking all of your commission on a sale? If you purchase three or four of these "technology solutions" from "technology partners," you could wind up spending a huge part of your income on technology. As they say in church, "Be leery of the snake's voice, and the tempting sweetness of the apple." As a REALTOR®, there are dozens of products and services that you get through your affiliation with NAR, your state association of REALTORS®, your MLS, (sometimes franchise) and your broker. Here at RE Technology, we do a lot to emphasize these products in our product directory. You will notice that if your MLS or association offers services like free IDX, free website, free CRM, free CMA, free forms, free digital signatures, etc., we highlight those products on RE Technology at the top of the category list for that product. We update this list on a quarterly basis. It's not perfect, but we try.
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