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The 7 Types of Realtors This Market Will Crush
Rising mortgage rates have caused many buyers to put the brakes on their home purchasing plans. That means there's less business to go around these days—and not every agent is going to make it. We believe, however, that there's not only room to survive this market shift, but to thrive. That belief comes with a caveat, though: if you're one of the seven types of agents in this video, your chances of making through are... not great. Do you fall into one of these seven categories? Watch the video above to find out. (Spoiler alert: if you're disciplined and organized, you'll probably weather this shift just fine.)
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TikTok Trends for Real Estate Agents
Do you want to get in line with Gen Z and promote your real estate business through a more immersive and intuitive strategy? Use TikTok! Technology is not only changing, but it is doing so fast. Since its rise to popularity, TikTok has quickly risen to the level of Instagram and other social media platforms. And according to Statistica.com, users spend an average of 52 minutes every day on the app compared to Instagram's 28 minutes daily. This means that following TikTok trends and incorporating them into your real estate marketing strategies will give your business an edge and much-needed exposure. Trends on TikTok for Real Estate Agents Before making content for your real estate business on TikTok, you must create a Tiktok account. A lot of boomers might find it a little challenging to try out TikTok, but that shouldn't be the case because just about any content regarding your business will go a long way. This is mainly because the platform already suggests every user's content to other users whether they follow each other or not, creating a high chance for your videos to reach a huge audience really quickly. Here are some TikTok trends real estate agents can pick up to market their businesses on the platform. Property Tours Many TikTok users find home tour videos very fascinating, especially of luxury properties. And many of these users are not only fascinated, but are already looking for properties to buy. So a short tour video will come in handy. We recommend that real estate agents make sure to use every free marketing service available out there at their disposal to showcase their business and services. All you need is a smartphone to get your business kicking with the latest home tour videos. Snippets of Your Real Estate Business Your real estate clients have no idea about the million and one details that go into running your business. Get imaginative and show them minor habits or facts about your job and workspace. Consider creating a video on any of the following topics: Celebrating a client's new home Workday routine Random conversations you have at open house events and more. Real Estate Tips and Tricks TikTok is home to a vibrant community of real estate professionals, investors, and enthusiasts who are happy to share their knowledge. As a real estate professional on the platform, you can attain your marketing goals by sharing real estate investment tips, videos on property listing tips, as well as tips on when to buy a property. This will help you amass loyal followers through insightful real estate tips. Make Videos that Answer Frequently Asked Questions You can find the ideal song lyrics to address a frequently asked real estate question. Make a video of yourself answering the FAQs, add suitable hashtags and upload it to TikTok. Additionally, you can ask your followers questions which they can answer in your comments section. All in all, this will go a long way to establishing your position as an authority in the field, making you a go-to source of information for your followers. Conclusion The marketing potential of TikTok is quite extensive. By following some of the trends on the platform, you can pull traffic of potential clients to your real estate site, improving your market scale and productivity. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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5 Reasons Why the Sky Is Not Falling: By the Numbers
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Augmented Reality and Generative AI Could Transform Future of Real Estate Marketing
Augmented reality and image generation through generative artificial intelligence are two emerging technologies that could play a key role in the future of real estate, according to experts at 2022 NAR NXT, The Realtor® Experience, in Orlando, Florida. Sessions at NAR's annual conference covered the role these technologies may soon play and the possible legal and ethical ramifications Realtors® should keep in mind when using them. On Friday, Dan Weisman, NAR's director of emerging technology, discussed how augmented reality could become a mainstream tool for creating a new experience for home buyers and sellers. He noted that although virtual tours are used in the real estate industry, augmented reality may change how consumers preview a potential house. "Through the use of a phone, augmented reality will allow us to scan rooms, get dimensions, detect objects, remove them and even replace them with a décor that may be more fitting to your client. This technology will create a totally different virtual experience for a potential buyer of a home," Weisman said. On Saturday, Weisman took the stage at the Emerging Business and Technology Forum to discuss how the evolution of artificial intelligence has allowed consumers to easily create and manipulate photos. He showcased examples of tools like Dall-E 2 and Google Imagen, which can take a text prompt and use artificial intelligence to produce and alter images with an extraordinary degree of photorealism. "There is power in this technology that ties into the real estate space," Weisman said. "It could have an impact on renovation previews, listing photo modifications, and stock photo generation." Weisman showed an example photo of a backyard with a sandbox. With a simple text prompt, the sandbox was removed. With an additional prompt, it was replaced by a fire pit. "This technology will give you the power to change photos to better portray what your client may envision for the space," he said. Matt Troiani, NAR senior counsel, director legal affairs, shared copyright best practices and discussed some of the legal and ethical ramifications this new technology may create, noting these new tools currently pose more questions than answers as the law tries to keep up with technology. "The biggest takeaway is to be very mindful about how you use these tools," Troiani said. "Ensure that you have copyright protection for the works that you are creating. Make sure you have a directive element over the generative AI and be careful not to infringe on someone else's copyrighted work."
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Matterport Releases Survey Results of U.S. Residential Real Estate Buying Trends
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Consumers Think Home Prices Will Decline. Are They Correct?
Consumer real estate sentiment is shifting fast: After two years of soaring home prices, consumers are more likely to think home prices will decline than will rise over the next year. What does this mean for your clients? Should prospective buyers and sellers anticipate falling home prices? How can you answer questions about home prices, or set expectations for local consumers who are planning to buy or sell now or in 2023? Here's what to know about the state of consumer housing sentiment and the future price of homes. Why Do Consumers Think Housing Prices Will Fall? The last two times a higher percentage of consumers believed housing prices would decrease rather than increase were 2011, in the aftermath of the housing market meltdown, and early in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began. In those instances, huge events shook the economy and caused tumult in the housing market. Now, a new event is rocking real estate, dampening consumer sentiment, and leading to the expectation of lower housing prices: rising mortgage rates. Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the past year, and haven't been this high since 2008. The ultralow mortgage rates of 2020 turbocharged buyer demand and resulted in a historic jump in home prices. Now that mortgage rates are up, demand is down, and less demand typically means lower prices. You shouldn't be surprised if buyers and sellers also figure that mortgage rates are set to rise further. After all, the Federal Reserve has been clear that it will raise interest rates until inflation abates, and rising interest rates usually drive up mortgage rates. Will Housing Prices Fall? You can't blame consumers for thinking that home prices are due for a decline. But consumer expectations don't mean that home prices will actually decrease in your local market. Probably the most important reality of the current housing market is that there are more people who want to buy a home than homes available. This housing shortage goes back to the Great Recession, which depressed homebuilding and made "starter homes" hugely difficult to find. Bidding wars may be less common now than last year, but home shortages mean that when a property goes on the market, there are usually multiple buyers willing to make an offer. Another trend working against the possibility of falling home prices is the glut of millennial buyers entering the market. These buyers in their 20s and 30s are getting married, looking for space, and ready to invest their equity into property. Young buyers with the means are still going to want to buy homes, even if they have to agree to an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), buy discount points, or plan to refinance when rates drop. Some super-hot pandemic-era markets may see home prices decline, but larger market forces suggest that nationwide, home price growth will continue at a tapered pace. For sellers, the likelihood of home price growth means that it is still a good time to buy a home. For buyers, now is the time to get in the market. If prices and mortgage rates rise together, it will be better to buy now than in six or 12 months. For agents, understanding consumer expectations are different than agreeing with them. Be ready to explain to clients that their low sentiment about the housing market doesn't necessarily equal lower home prices. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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[Podcast] Decoding Real Estate: Deliver Clarity to Clients Amongst Shifting Market Concerns
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3 Must-Know Trends About the Housing Market
Spend enough time reading real estate news or listening to chatter about the housing market, and you're bound to encounter the R word: Recession. Home sales are at their lowest level since 2015, and some economists and real estate watchers say we've entered a housing recession. If that's true, are your clients in trouble? Not necessarily. Sellers don't have the leverage they did a year ago, and buyers still face a tough market, but a housing recession doesn't mean everything about the housing market has or will turn upside down. Check out this new and exclusive Homesnap data to learn what makes this housing market complicated, and why despite the challenges, your buyers and sellers can still accomplish their real estate objectives. 1. There are more home listings, but they aren't spending longer on the market In recent months, agents have reported more active home listings in their market. So when our Homesnap data scientists crunched the numbers, we weren't surprised to find that active on-market listings are up by 23% year over year. In theory, more homes on the market means less competition. Buyers are unlikely to engage in bidding wars or pay top dollar for homes, and sellers may find themselves struggling to get homes off the market. And homes that hit the market should take more time to sell, right? Not yet. For now, homes aren't on average lasting longer on the market. Nationally, homes are actually spending an average of 31 days, or one month, on the market before selling. In comparison, last summer, homes were spending an average 34 days on the market. What's going on? How could the number of active home listings rise and the average days homes spend on the market fall? In short, it's because both buyers and sellers face challenges. Homes aren't spending more time on the market because there's still fierce competition for a limited demand of homes. And active home listings are increasing because sellers are trying to list their homes before mortgage rates rise further and more buyers are pushed out of the market. The good news? Sellers still have leverage, and can expect to get their home off the market quickly. And buyers have the luxury of more listings and inventory than any time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. 2. Home prices are rising, but price cuts are more frequent In recent years, the big, overarching trend in residential real estate has been summed up by a single phrase: "Wow, that house sold for a lot of money." For consumers, that still feels true, as consternation about the price of homes has negatively affected housing market sentiment. But agents should know that while the price of homes is still rising, the market also shows a major sign of softening: More price cuts to on-market homes. According to new Homesnap data, the home price oxymoron looks like this: Over the past year, the average selling price of American homes has risen by 11%. At the same time, the number of price cuts to on-market homes has risen by 81%. How can this be happening? If homes are getting more expensive, why are price cuts to on-market homes becoming so much more frequent? Rising homes prices and increasing price cuts to home can coexist because: Rising home prices are attributable to historic inflation: Inflation is at a 40-year high. To some extent, increasing home prices are reflective of an economy in which the average cost of goods is increasing by nearly 10%. Price cuts are inevitable when sellers don't read the current market: For two years, sellers were able to list at sky-high prices and sell at that price point – or even higher. Softening demand has caught some behind-the-times sellers and agents by surprise, necessitating price cuts and increasing their frequency. Low inventory drives up home prices: Even with demand softening and sellers slashing prices on listings, persistently low inventory ensures upward pressure on home prices. Inventory may be higher than last year, but it is still lower than at most points in recent history, and is not anticipated to rise rapidly because of the cost and challenges associated with new homebuilding. Price cuts are necessary when buyers see better deals ahead: After two years in a market weighted strongly towards sellers, buyers are recognizing that they have an increasing amount of leverage. Mortgage rates rose in 2022, but have tapered in recent months. And with speculation that inflation is tapering, too, many buyers are willing to wait out the market and see what things look like in three or six months. Overall, sellers should know that their home's value is still likely to be higher than a year ago, and won't crater should inventory remain low. Buyers can adjust to a less-crazed market, and the anticipation of increasingly buyer-friendly home searches. 3. The national housing market is cooling, but things vary state-by-state In aggregate, the national housing market is cooling. But what's happening on average might not be happening in your local market. Just consider statistics for the change in active listings over the past year. Nationally, active home listings have increased by 23%, suggesting a more buyer-friendly market. But buyers' and sellers' on-the-ground experience can vary widely by region. In Colorado, consumers experience a nationally-representative increase in listings, with a 24% year-over-year rise. But in Connecticut, chatter about a more buyer-friendly market may be just talk: There's actually a 13% decrease year-over-year in the number of active home listings. Conversely, Idaho, which played host to an unsustainable, turbocharged real estate boom in 2020 and 2021, has seen home listings skyrocket this year, tilting the housing market balance back to buyers. These discrepancies mean that the advice you'd give a client in Hartford could be entirely different from the advice you'd give a client in Boise. And this is precisely why real estate agents are so important. You're the licensed professional who lives in your market and understands it. You can tell consumers what's happening where they want to buy, and do so with a nuance and local flavor that national statistics just can't capture. Our data helps you contextualize big trends in the housing market. Your expertise helps clients make sense of these trends, and figure out how to achieve their real estate goals. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Consumers' Housing Sentiment Is Plunging. Is the Real Estate Market Imploding?
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This One Trend Indicates the Housing Market is Finally Returning to Normal
For more than two years, agents, buyers and sellers have been waiting for the housing market to return to normal. There's one major indication it's finally happening: More homes on the market are getting a price cut. In June 2022, 1 in 7 homes on the market had their prices lowered. That's nearly twice the frequency of June 2021, when only 1 in 13 homes lowered their initial listing price. What's causing sellers to slash the price of on-market homes? And what other signs should you be looking for when evaluating the state of your local real estate market? Why Are Sellers Cutting On-Market Home Prices? In short, price cuts are returning to the housing market because fewer buyers are competing for homes. The biggest reason? Rising interest and mortgage rates. In 2020, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to blunt the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those lowered interest rates resulted in rock-bottom mortgage rates, and prompted a flood of buyers to enter the market. This increased competition turbocharged the housing market. The price of homes skyrocketed; bidding wars on properties and offers over listing price became common. In 2022, the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates. Mortgage rates have followed, rising faster than any time in the past 40 years. As the cost of borrowing increases, fewer buyers are entering the market, and many of those who do simply aren't willing to engage in all-out bidding wars. Many experts believe price cuts signal a housing market correction, not a crash. Keep in mind that from 2017 to 2019, before the disruption of the COVID pandemic, about 1 in every 4 to 5 homes had its price cut while on the market. Price cuts are normal, and likely to become more common so long as mortgage rates increase. What Are Other Signs of a Cooling Housing Market? Price cuts indicate that the housing market is returning to normal. But you should consider other vital signs when monitoring your local market, including: Mortgage applications: Before consumers can buy a house, they have to apply for a mortgage. Nationwide, the number of mortgage applications has fallen throughout 2022. Keep tabs on your region's mortgage application trends to gauge buyer demand whether the local market is cooling Number of home listings: Demand is driven by supply. In a cooling housing market, more homes are likely to be on the market. Some metro areas have more housing supply than others, but all remain affected by the limited number of new homes being built. Attendance at tours and open houses: As you host and attend home tours, ask yourself: Does turnout seem to be down? Are buyers making aggressive, cash-heavy offers? If turnout is low and buyers seem to be weighing their options, consider your local market cooling. Overall, price cuts indicate a housing market that is moving back to normal. But every metro area is different, and every buyer and seller has different expectations. Be sure you have the tools and information to help clients navigate the market, no matter what. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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NFTs in Real Estate: Temporary phase or an enduring fixture?
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It's a Sellers Market. So Why Aren't More People Selling Their Home?
If you're an agent, you've recently heard (and maybe said) this line: It's a seller's market. With housing inventory at a record low and home prices still rising, that conventional wisdom begs the question: If it's a seller's market, why aren't more people selling their homes? 1. The Most Eager Sellers Have Already Sold Why aren't more owners listing their homes? In part, because people who were most eager to sell already have. For nearly two years, ultra low mortgage rates resulted in a supercharged housing market. Sellers were listing homes and often receiving dozens of offers, some of which came above already sky-high listing prices. Homeowners who wanted to sell had ample time to get their home on the market and sell it at a high price. And they did. Just consider the below chart displaying existing home sales from 2017 to 2022. Existing home sales are the clearest proxy for tracking the rate at which owners are selling their homes. It's evident that home sales bottomed out in the early spring of 2020, when COVID-19 was first declared a pandemic. But sales rebounded at a record rate after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and mortgage rates plunged to a record low. Throughout 2020 and 2021, sales of existing homes were at their highest level in years, and have only this year begun to taper towards a pre-pandemic normal. Basically, fewer homes are hitting the market now because more homes than anticipated were sold 6, 12, 18, or 24 months ago. Many of the most interested sellers have already hit the market – it's been a seller's market for some time. 2. Mortgage Applications and Buyer Interest Is Down People are motivated to sell their homes when they know there is strong buyer demand. Right now, a sustained drop in mortgage applications indicates less buyer demand for homes in 2022 than preceding years. Mortgage applications are for consumers the first step of obtaining a home loan, and as such, are often used as a gauge of industry-wide housing demand. Mortgage applications are down a full 15% year-over-year, which most experts attribute to surging mortgage rates. As mortgage rates rise, fewer buyers are qualified to seek one, tampering overall buyer demand. With less buyer demand, would-be sellers may figure that it's better to wait out the market and not list a home until mortgage rates fall. Fewer mortgage applications suggests a housing market that's in the process of cooling. People who don't need to sell a home now may think that today's market – still low on housing inventory and hospitable for sellers – will be more promising in a few years, after interest and mortgage rates have stopped rising so rapidly. 3. Sellers Usually Also Have to Buy – and That's Not Currently Easy The final and arguably most significant factor keeping home sellers out of the market is epitomized by a question: "If we sell, where are we going to go?" You can't blame sellers for wondering. Usually, selling a home means buying a new home in its stead, and right now, that's hard because: Buyers are facing high mortgage rates: Mortgage rates have risen at their fastest rate in decades. Sellers who also need to buy a home risk trading into a higher mortgage rate, blunting the financial windfall of selling a home. Home prices are still high: Housing prices aren't rising at the breakneck clip of 2020 and 2021, but are still formidable. Low inventory means that for sellers, finding the right new home at a reasonable price is not guaranteed, or even likely. The newly built home market is difficult: Potential home sellers can't easily upgrade to a newly built home. For one, new homes simply aren't being built at the rate of demand, with inflation and supply-chain snarls jumping the cost of supplies and materials. Plus, buyers of newly built homes pay a hefty price when mortgage rates rise. The time between agreeing to a contract on a newly built home and moving in can last up to a year – putting buyers at risk of being on the hook for much higher borrowing costs than first anticipated. Clearly, there are compelling factors keeping home sellers out of the market. But for agents, market tumult and uncertainty may signal an opportunity. Those who want to sell a home still can, even as rates rise, because inventory is so scant. And people looking for homes are starting to find a market with more reasonable home prices and fewer bidding wars – which may encourage them to hire an agent and buy before mortgage rates rise even more. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Mortgage Rates Are Soaring. So Are Home Prices. How?
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Mortgage Applications Are Plummeting. Is the Housing Market Collapsing?
Agents, buyers, sellers, and investors have had ample reason to question the sustainability of the real estate market. After all, the scorching-hot housing market was fueled in part by COVID-related lockdowns and life disruptions that are becoming more rare. Rising interest rates, intractably high home prices, and continued rumblings about a recession add to skepticism about the housing market's health. Enter another housing market warning sign: A sustained drop in mortgage applications. When people need a home loan, they submit to lenders a mortgage application, which contains information on the borrower's income, employment history, and the property being purchased. Since mortgage applications are the first step of obtaining a home loan, they're often used as a gauge of industry-wide housing demand. With mortgage applications down a full 15% year-over-year, should agents fear a housing market implosion? The data says no. Homesnap's team of data scientists investigated and found that when comparing the first week of June 2022 with the first week of May 2022, active home listings increased by 26.6%, while the number of active open houses skyrocketed by 71.2%. What's going on? If fewer people are applying for mortgages, how can more people be listing and touring properties? In short, the drop in mortgage applications indicates a housing market that's due for cooling, but not yet. For the duration of busy season, at least, fewer mortgage applications will likely coexist with a competitive housing market. How Can the Housing Market Remain Robust, Even as Mortgage Applications Decrease? Mortgage applications are falling because mortgage rates are rising. Basically, as the cost of borrowing for a home loan increases, fewer buyers are qualified to seek one. But even with interest rates set to rise throughout 2022, the housing market isn't collapsing. As our data scientists found, home listings and open houses are actually increasing. There are three reasons: 1. The Market Takes Time to Change A reduction in mortgage applications isn't tanking the housing market because reduced demand takes time to ripple through the market. In fact, months can elapse between submitting a mortgage application and closing on a property. For new home buyers, it could be six months or a full year between submitting a mortgage application and moving into a home. Fewer mortgage applications in the spring and summer may not materially affect the housing market until the fall and winter. Mortgage applications are a measure of housing demand, but not necessarily of today's demand. The housing market is big and complicated, and doesn't adjust to consumer behavior overnight. 2. Housing Inventory Remains Low Other than high prices, the trend agents most frequently identify about today's housing market is record-low housing inventory. That inventory isn't expected to soon replenish, so the housing market is unlikely to topple. Low housing inventory means the number of people who want a home continues to far eclipse the number of available properties. With low listings, having fewer people seeking a mortgage isn't a death knell for the real estate market – even if it results in tapering home prices. 3. It's Busy Season For all the broader market forces at play, an increase in home listings and open houses just after Memorial Day isn't unusual. It's just busy season. If the normal real estate cycle seemed blurred or even erased in 2020 and 2021, it was because the market was turbocharged – hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and financial changes wrought by it. Now, the market may simply be approaching something close to normal. Summer's starting, kids are out of school, people are allowed to slip out of the office early on Fridays, agents have more daylight during which to host home tours – the market is found to pick up. The return of a conventional busy season points to a related reality: Reduced mortgage demand may put the market back to where it was in 2018 or 2019. Agents still had ample buyer demand during that time, even if the market wasn't going gangbusters. Home buying seasonality shifting back to normal doesn't mean the sky is falling, and a reduction in mortgage applications doesn't make for a housing market meltdown. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Why Pre-Sale Renovation Is the Hottest Tool in Real Estate
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Is a Recession About to Rock the Housing Market?
The signs are clear and causing alarm: The U.S. may be on the verge of entering a recession. Even with low unemployment and a tight labor market, persistent inflation, slowing growth, and rising interest rates have many economists, investors, and policymakers girding for a sustained economic downturn. If a recession hits, will the housing market tank? After all, in the past two years the housing market has gone gangbusters, with supercharged sales prices and record-low inventory. A correction in the market could be overdue. Learn why some experts think a recession would upend the housing market, and others believe the factors driving high prices and low inventory will persist – regardless of whether the economy is growing or not. Yes, a Recession Would Upend the Housing Market The health of the housing market is, in general, determined by whether enough people want to buy and can pay for a home. Practicing social distancing and working remotely during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic caused many middle-class buyers to realize they wanted to own a home or upgrade to a larger property. Contributing to this surge in demand was the Federal Reserve's decision to slash interest rates, resulting in record-low mortgage rates – a huge incentive for buyers to get in the market. Buyers currently face a considerably different situation: COVID restrictions have largely been lifted, and many white-collar Americans are back in the office and the rhythms of normal life. The Fed is raising interest rates to curb the most serious, sustained inflation of the past 40 years. Mortgage rates are surging, making it harder for buyers to qualify for a home loan. Taken together, it's not unreasonable to think that a recession – during which people usually lose jobs and income – would not simply cool but torpedo the housing market. Already, there are indications that rising mortgage rates are locking consumers out of the market. Buyers of newly built homes have reported that skyrocketing mortgage rates caused them to back out of a deal. And even before the economy started to wobble, some buyers this year were entering the market because they expected mortgage rates to be prohibitive in the coming months and years. No, the Housing Market Won't Implode in a Recession For all the gloomy economic predictions, the housing market is and may remain somewhat protected by a simple, powerful reality: There are far more people who want to buy homes than available properties on the market. The home shortage is attributable to three factors: Home building remained atypically low in the years after the late 2000s subprime mortgage meltdown. Record-low mortgage rates and marked changes in day-to-day life in 2020 and 2021 released unprecedented and insatiable buyer demand for homes. Supply chain snags wrought by the pandemic and soaring prices for raw materials such as lumber have made it costly and difficult to build new homes. All told, the causes of the home shortage – namely, that it's hard to build new homes – won't change even if the economy slows down. And while nobody's cheering for what could become a combination of economic recession and rampant inflation, real estate has traditionally been a safe harbor when currency becomes less valuable. In addition to low supply, there are demand-side realities that could shelter the real estate market from the worst of an economic recession. Among the biggest contributors to inflation has been increasing salaries – indicating that plenty of buyers still have the means to put money down on homes, even as interest rates rise and the cost of borrowing for a home loan increases. And the pool of eager potential buyers is unlikely to dry up soon: millennials, the U.S.'s largest generation, are in or about to enter prime home buying age. Finally, the housing market is at reduced risk of capsizing during a recession because homeowners can pay their mortgages. In the late 2000s, delinquency rates on mortgages surged, because checks on income verification were weak and the "teaser" periods on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) slotted people into home loans they couldn't afford. Today, income verification is much stronger, and ARMs and mortgage discount points are more tightly regulated. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Booming Marketing Trends in Real Estate
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Realtors Discuss Top Emerging Tech Trends Impacting Real Estate Industry
The metaverse and blockchain technology could have a significant impact on the future of real estate, according to experts at the 2022 REALTORS Legislative Meetings. Several hundred Realtors attended Wednesday's Emerging Business Issues and Technology Forum, which provided insight into the top emerging tech trends that are expected to have the biggest impact on the real estate industry in the coming years. Jane Dzielski, Google's principal analytical lead, kicked off the session with a presentation on data trends in the real estate sector. She said that prior to the pandemic, only one in 10 households moved each year. "We are now seeing a ton of moving activity," Dzielski said. "Twenty-five percent of consumers have moved in the past two years and 24% plan to move in the next year." Dzielski also said that while internet searches for buying a second home dropped in the first half of 2020 (-9%), they have surged since then (+23%). According to Google's data, the top reasons that homeowners cited for purchasing a second home were to diversify their investments, earn money renting, and use as a vacation home. Ashley Stinton, Second Century Ventures' head of marketing, discussed the recent rise in investment in real estate technology companies, explaining that over $31 billion was invested in 2021. "These are unprecedented numbers," Stinton said. "We've seen 12 new prop tech unicorns as well as over 150 merger and acquisition transactions." Stinton noted that SCV's REACH scale-up program plays an active role in shaping the future of real estate technology investment. "We find, support, accelerate, and scale the innovative companies that are going to have the highest impact on Realtors®' businesses," she said. "We then bring these technologies to NAR members so that these companies can work hand-in-hand with the Realtor® community as they build out their products and services." "Meta has committed to investing $10 billion per year, for each of the next 10 years, just on the metaverse," Weisman said. "The metaverse is going to change how we interact as a society, how we use the internet in general, and ultimately how people buy and sell homes." Dave Conroy, NAR's director of emerging technology, discussed how cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and blockchain technology will influence real estate businesses and transactions. He cited a Redfin report that said nearly one in nine first-time buyers – 11.6% – sold cryptocurrency to help finance a down payment in 2021, up from 8.8% in 2020 and 4.6% in 2019. "Blockchains are a new way of thinking about information management," he said. "They provide a verifiable and trustworthy record of events or transactions. This is a critical component of any transaction." Conroy concluded the session underscoring the importance of decentralized finance and the role it could play in real estate in the future. "Decentralized Finance, or DeFi for short, refers to financial services that exist on blockchains," he said. "With financing being a key component of the transaction, Realtors® should become familiar with the new tools that are becoming available in the DeFi landscape."
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[WATCH] Blockchain and Its Impact on Real Estate 2.0: Knowledge Is Power
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Are We in a Real Estate Bubble?
Mortgage rates are rising fast, the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates, and people are starting to ask: Are we in a real estate bubble? You can't blame buyers, sellers, agents, and everyday consumers for wondering whether the housing market has become overhyped. After all, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas published a blog post last month detailing "growing concern that U.S. house prices are again becoming unhinged from fundamentals." "Unhinged from fundamentals" sounds scary. Is there a housing bubble that's about to burst? For now, real estate experts and economists generally aren't concerned that the hot housing market is going to implode the way it did when the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis sparked the Great Recession. But they are sharply divided about whether there's a real estate bubble, what could be fueling it, and the events that might signal a cooling or collapsing housing market. Yes, There's a Real Estate Bubble Even for people who aren't prone to doom and gloom, recent indications point to the possibility of a real estate bubble. The most-often cited indication of a housing bubble is mortgage and interest rates. Specifically, mortgage and interest rates plunged to record-lows as the federal government sought to limit the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of those low rates, people flooded into the housing market, driving up demand and the price of homes. Now, the federal government is raising interest rates, which has caused the 30-year fixed mortgage to climb above 5% for the first time in a decade. Traditionally, higher mortgage rates result in lower or cooling housing prices. But, as we suggested last month, some consumers may figure if mortgage rates continue to rise, this is the time to lock in a decent rate, which could keep demand for homes strong. Another factor that could be fueling a frothy housing market is the influence of real estate investors. Investors now buy about one-third of homes in the U.S., and are often able to make cash offers on homes that normal buyers cannot match, which drives up home prices. Rising inflation may spur even more aggressive buying behavior by real estate investors, as real estate is traditionally a safe harbor against less valuable currency. If investors continue to buy, everyday consumers may find themselves forced to agree to mortgage rates and home prices that are divorced from traditional market fundamentals. No, We're Not in a Real Estate Bubble For all the concern, many experts and agents don't believe that there's a real estate bubble. First and foremost, low housing inventory has resulted in a supply and demand mismatch that many believe is the single biggest source of rising housing prices. In the wake of the late 2000s housing crisis, home building plunged. Over time, there weren't enough homes available for interested and qualified buyers. Low inventory isn't an issue that experts expect to be resolved soon. The cost of housing materials has skyrocketed due to supply-chain issues, inflation, and the war in Ukraine. Plus, millennials, the U.S.'s largest generation, are in or entering prime home buying age, which some experts think will ensure housing demand remains higher than supply. The other primary reason to be skeptical of a housing bubble is the average personal financial health of home buyers. On average, Americans are in their strongest-ever financial situation, with record-high savings and record-low debt. In the run-up to the last housing crash, excessive borrowing was rampant and many people were granted mortgages they couldn't actually pay. Now, economists and real estate agents report that buyers are purchasing homes with significant cash down payments. Coupled with stronger lending guidelines, robust personal financial health means that people who are buying homes today are more likely to make their home payments, reducing the odds there's a real estate bubble. As an agent, be prepared to answer client questions about whether there's a real estate bubble. Keep a finger on the pulse of your local market, encourage buyers to come with strong, cash down offers, and remind sellers that whether there's a bubble or not, this is a great time to sell a home. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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What Should You Expect from the 2022 Real Estate Busy Season?
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Interest Rates Just Went Up. What Does That Mean for the Housing Market?
After months of anticipation, the Federal Reserve this month raised interest rates. The move was not a surprise -- persistently high inflation and a strong labor market have monetary policymakers anticipating six rate increases over the course of 2022. Amid a strange, hard-to-predict economy, rising interest rates add yet another unique variable. And compared to other industries, real estate stands to be strongly affected by rising interest rates. Put simply, rising interest rates make it more expensive to buy a home. Rising interest rates mean rising mortgage rates, and rising mortgage rates mean that buyers have to shell out more to pay off their mortgage every month. How will rising interest rates affect the housing market? What outcomes should agents anticipate when advising leads and clients about rising rates in 2022? 1. Home Prices Could Fall – Or Not It's been the biggest point of discussion in the housing market for nearly two years, and rising interest rates will only fan the conversational flames: Are home prices going to stop rising? Traditionally, rising interest and mortgage rates tamped down home prices, as competition for homes decreased because of higher borrowing costs. Some experts think that will be the case in 2022, but others aren't sold. Just consider: Inflation is still at its highest point in decades Home inventory is still at an unprecedented low If general consumer prices continue to rise, home prices are unlikely to fall. And without many homes on the market, people may be willing to buy a home at its listing price, even as mortgage rates increase. 2. Millennial Home Buyers Are the X Factor Research indicates that a median first-time home buyer is in his or her early thirties. Millennials, who make up a plurality of the American population, are the generation that currently occupies this cohort. As interest rates rise, the home buying behavior of millennials will indicate the broader health of the housing market. On one hand, many millennials may not be able to enter the housing market as interest rates rise. Millennials already hold less wealth relative to other generations, since they came of age during the Great Recession and are disproportionately burdened by student debt. On the other hand, one result of the 2008 housing crash was the underbuilding of new homes. So, the number of millennials who make a good salary and are at the age to buy a home may not meet the supply of available properties. Despite higher interest rates, these millennials may power a housing market that remains robust, at least until the supply of homes meets or exceeds their demand. 3. Rising Interest Rates Could Cause Some Buyers to Enter the Market Rising interest rates mean rising mortgage rates. Is it possible that rising mortgage rates are, for now, actually heating up the real estate market? The answer is maybe. Remember that last week's interest rate hike was the first of six scheduled for this year. Mortgage rates are currently rising but still may be at their lowest point for the foreseeable future. Home buyers are not unreasonable to think that buying conditions are better now than they will be in a year. If some home buyers determine that rising interest rates will make the market even more challenging in the future, they may act to buy now. Buyers deciding to enter the market while they still can may maintain or even raise the price of homes and the negotiating leverage of home sellers. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Are Rising Mortgage Rates Actually Making the Real Estate Market Even Hotter?
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[WATCH] Capitalism 2.0: The next generation of real estate success with web3, NFTs and the Metaverse
There's a technology revolution happening called web3. The pioneers of this movement are creating massive online communities selling digital land, digital properties, and even digital rentals. Fueled by $3 trillion in cryptocurrency wealth, there is a brand-new set of buyers for a brand new type of real estate available. High net-worth individuals and companies are engaging in NFTs and cryptocurrency as a hedge that benefits tax strategy and currency fluctuations, too. Others are reinventing business operations in the metaverse. Posted below is the recent discussion hosted by WAV Group managing partners Victor Lund and Marilyn Wilson along with Nelson Diaz, the company's web3 division leader, explaining why you don't want to miss out on the opportunities that lie ahead. Enjoy! To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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NFTs and Real Estate Images: What's Next?
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Blockchain and Its Impact on Real Estate
The exciting and developing world of the digital real estate transaction. Confused by terms like cryptocurrency, blockchain, NFT, bitcoin, and Metaverse? Wondering what the heck Elon Musk is talking about? The future of real estate transactions on the blockchain are here and are quickly gaining momentum. Due to the unknown, these topics may sound slightly overwhelming. If you've ever wondered how our industry may be impacted, you're not alone! Elm Street Academy had the opportunity to bring together top thought leaders across the real estate sector to share their perspectives on these exact topics. As a leading technology company, we understand the need to focus on the present, while always keeping our eye on advancements that will impact the future of the real estate transaction. View this exciting one-hour, on-demand webinar where Matt Fagioli, Operating Partner, BKG™ - Brokerage Atlanta and Founder of Xplode Conference facilitated a conversation with Rob Hahn (7DS Associates), Chris Haran (MRED), Nobu Hata (Denver Assoc. of REALTORS), and Liz Sturrock (Miami Assoc. of REALTORS) on the current state of cryptocurrency in real estate. The panel addressed specific questions like: What are the key things agents and brokers need to be aware of in regards to blockchain technology? Do agents and brokers need to be prepared for Web3? Will NFTs continue to be introduced into the real estate sector? Is blockchain technology secure? How can the real estate industry be best prepared? Ultimately, they spoke of the challenges and hurdles that we face in adoption and how the real estate transaction could be forever changed. Be sure to view the webinar so you don't miss any of the great ideas shared: Interested in more great educational content from Elm Street Academy? Check out upcoming webinars and in-person events here. Elm Street Academy exists to spread ideas, share best practices, challenge the status quo and help educate the industry to be the best we can be. Elm Street's portfolio of products and services allow busy real estate professionals the ability to streamline and automate their marketing and day-to-day business objectives by offering high-end IDX websites, lead generation tools, a powerful CRM, email, social, text and blog marketing automation, recruiting and retention tools, and more. Schedule a quick convo today: Brokers and teams - Schedule here Agents and others - Schedule here
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Will Housing Prices Ever Stop Rising?
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[Best of 2021] 4 Reasons Why the End of Forbearance Will Not Lead to a Wave of Foreclosures
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in August and is #6 in our countdown. See #7 here. With forbearance plans about to come to an end, many are concerned the housing market will experience a wave of foreclosures like what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. Here are four reasons why that won't happen. 1. There are fewer homeowners in trouble this time After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their home to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they simply gave it back to the bank. As stay-at-home orders were issued early last year, the overwhelming fear was the pandemic would decimate the housing industry in a similar way. Many experts projected 30% of all mortgage holders would enter the forbearance program. Only 8.5% actually did, and that number is now down to 3.5%. As of last Friday, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at 1,863,000. That's definitely a large number, but nowhere near 9.3 million. 2. Most of the 1.86M in forbearance have enough equity to sell their home Of the 1.86 million homeowners currently in forbearance, 87% have at least 10% equity in their homes. The 10% equity number is important because it enables homeowners to sell their houses and pay the related expenses instead of facing the hit on their credit that a foreclosure or short sale would create. The remaining 13% might not all have the option to sell, so if the entire 13% of the 1.86M homes went into foreclosure, that would total 241,800 mortgages. To give that number context, here are the annual foreclosure numbers of the three years leading up to the pandemic: 2017: 314,220 2018: 279,040 2019: 277,520 The probable number of foreclosures coming out of the forbearance program is nowhere near the number of foreclosures coming out of the housing crash 15 years ago. The number does, however, draw a similar comparison to the three years prior to the pandemic. 3. The current market can absorb any listings coming to the market When foreclosures hit the market in 2008, there was an excess supply of homes for sale. The situation is exactly the opposite today. In 2008, there was a nine-month supply of listings for sale. Today, that number stands at less than three months of inventory on the market. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains when addressing potential foreclosures emerging from the forbearance program: "Any foreclosure increases will likely be quickly absorbed by the market. It will not lead to any price declines." 4. Those in power will do whatever is necessary to prevent a wave of foreclosures Last month, the White House released a fact sheet explaining how homeowners with government-backed mortgages will be given further options to enable them to keep their homes when exiting forbearance. Here are two examples mentioned in the release: "For homeowners who can resume their pre-pandemic monthly mortgage payment and where agencies have the authority, agencies will continue requiring mortgage servicers to offer options that allow borrowers to move missed payments to the end of the mortgage at no additional cost to the borrower." "The new steps the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are announcing will aim to provide homeowners with a roughly 25% reduction in borrowers' monthly principal and interest (P&I) payments to ensure they can afford to remain in their homes and build equity long-term. This brings options for homeowners with mortgages backed by HUD, USDA, and VA closer in alignment with options for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." When evaluating the four reasons above, it's clear there won't be a flood of foreclosures coming to the market as the forbearance program winds down. Bottom Line "The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent." To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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[Best of 2021] Low Inventory Won't Last Forever. Two Reasons to Be Optimistic
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5 Ways Technology Is Impacting the Real Estate Industry
You've probably heard the old saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." While this may be true in regards to human nature and many aspects of working with buyers and sellers, there's no doubt that technology has been changing homes, the real estate industry, and the services that you provide as a real estate agent in significant ways — and promises to continue to do so in the years to come. From the ways we live in our homes today, to the ways that we market and sell listings, technology creates both challenges and opportunities. By better understanding the technology you use and embracing its potential, you can create low-cost leverage in your business that makes every day easier and more profitable. Here are five ways that technology is already contributing to greater productivity for you and your business. Improving home performance Home automation and smart home technology have never been more accessible and affordable. The internet of things (IoT) and a host of property technology (or PropTech) enhancements have made it possible to create a fully integrated smart home environment more affordable and more easily accessible than we ever thought possible. If you're looking for ways to follow up with past clients, providing information about smart home updates and enhancements can help you add value and stay top of mind. When you're working with potential listing clients, providing recommendations on smart home upgrades is a good way to help them implement marketable improvements, update their homes for modern buyers, and compete effectively with other listings in their market. Enhancing real estate marketing Think about the time and expense involved in marketing both your real estate business and your latest listing in decades past. Film photography, newspaper advertising, bus benches, billboards — there were so many moving parts and expensive platforms required to establish even the most basic presence in your local market. Now, you can develop an international reputation for little or no financial outlay using the power of Instagram and YouTube. You can obtain professional photography, copywriting, and graphic design for just a fraction of the cost you would have paid only a few years ago. You can exercise greater control over all of your marketing and generate leads from the comfort of your home with the help of your smartphone. Facilitating home showings With virtual reality and augmented reality platforms, you can virtually stage a home at little or no cost and provide a virtual walkthrough that rivals in-person tours. You can show your new listing to buyers anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night, easily and affordably. Want a targeted audience for your home showing? You can create one with the power of social media advertising platforms and analytics. You can even access service providers for targeted ads on streaming platforms, allowing eligible potential buyers to see your latest listing while watching TV with their family for far less cost than traditional broadcast television advertising. Streamlining business operations Imagine finding out a few years ago that accounting, document management, and other operational tasks would no longer require full-time support personnel and could, in many cases, be handled from a laptop computer or mobile application. Imagine learning that administrative support would be available around the clock through low-cost virtual assistants and a host of virtual helpers like interactive calendars, productivity platforms, and intuitive AI chatbots. Tasks ranging from the highly specialized to the broadly generalized can now be done easily, conveniently, and affordably through widely available freelancers. You can share documents, presentations, and information with the touch of a button, in the blink of an eye. What's more, we have so fully integrated these technical capabilities, it's hard to imagine living without them. Optimizing transaction management Real estate offices used to spend significant time and money on reams of paper, powerful copiers and printers, and support staff to maintain all of that paperwork for each transaction. Rooms full of file cabinets were needed to manage current and ongoing transactions, with warehouses of storage for document maintenance requirements that lasted for years after closing. For each of those documents, in-person signings were required by each of the stakeholders. That means hours of driving around just to get one document fully signed and executed. Multiply that time expenditure by all of the documents required for just one transaction and imagine the workforce hours and energy involved. Now, however, virtual transaction management platforms make every transaction easier and more streamlined than ever before. Documents, tasks, supporting information — all of these can be captured with a scanner or smartphone app, allowing agents and their clients to experience faster, more efficient, more convenient transactions. With expert support from a digital transaction coordinator, you'll free up valuable time and get back to the business of every day with family, friends, and clients. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Latinx as the New and Emerging Market for Real Estate
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4 Reasons Why the End of Forbearance Will Not Lead to a Wave of Foreclosures
With forbearance plans about to come to an end, many are concerned the housing market will experience a wave of foreclosures like what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. Here are four reasons why that won't happen. 1. There are fewer homeowners in trouble this time After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their home to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they simply gave it back to the bank. As stay-at-home orders were issued early last year, the overwhelming fear was the pandemic would decimate the housing industry in a similar way. Many experts projected 30% of all mortgage holders would enter the forbearance program. Only 8.5% actually did, and that number is now down to 3.5%. As of last Friday, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at 1,863,000. That's definitely a large number, but nowhere near 9.3 million. 2. Most of the 1.86M in forbearance have enough equity to sell their home Of the 1.86 million homeowners currently in forbearance, 87% have at least 10% equity in their homes. The 10% equity number is important because it enables homeowners to sell their houses and pay the related expenses instead of facing the hit on their credit that a foreclosure or short sale would create. The remaining 13% might not all have the option to sell, so if the entire 13% of the 1.86M homes went into foreclosure, that would total 241,800 mortgages. To give that number context, here are the annual foreclosure numbers of the three years leading up to the pandemic: 2017: 314,220 2018: 279,040 2019: 277,520 The probable number of foreclosures coming out of the forbearance program is nowhere near the number of foreclosures coming out of the housing crash 15 years ago. The number does, however, draw a similar comparison to the three years prior to the pandemic. 3. The current market can absorb any listings coming to the market When foreclosures hit the market in 2008, there was an excess supply of homes for sale. The situation is exactly the opposite today. In 2008, there was a nine-month supply of listings for sale. Today, that number stands at less than three months of inventory on the market. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains when addressing potential foreclosures emerging from the forbearance program: "Any foreclosure increases will likely be quickly absorbed by the market. It will not lead to any price declines." 4. Those in power will do whatever is necessary to prevent a wave of foreclosures Last month, the White House released a fact sheet explaining how homeowners with government-backed mortgages will be given further options to enable them to keep their homes when exiting forbearance. Here are two examples mentioned in the release: "For homeowners who can resume their pre-pandemic monthly mortgage payment and where agencies have the authority, agencies will continue requiring mortgage servicers to offer options that allow borrowers to move missed payments to the end of the mortgage at no additional cost to the borrower." "The new steps the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are announcing will aim to provide homeowners with a roughly 25% reduction in borrowers' monthly principal and interest (P&I) payments to ensure they can afford to remain in their homes and build equity long-term. This brings options for homeowners with mortgages backed by HUD, USDA, and VA closer in alignment with options for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." When evaluating the four reasons above, it's clear there won't be a flood of foreclosures coming to the market as the forbearance program winds down. Bottom Line "The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent." To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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What Are the Most Requested Home Qualities that Buyers and Sellers Are Looking for?
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Remote Working in Post-COVID America: What's Next?
Since 2005, working from home has grown more than 11 times faster than the rest of the workforce and 54 times faster than the self-employed population. Before the pandemic, only 9% of employers offered remote working on an ad hoc basis to at least some employees. Fast forward to the first week of June 2021, 72.5 million American families had adults working from home. During the height of the pandemic, 51% of the workforce was working remotely, though the option to work from home varied significantly by industry. More than 80% of workers in banking and finance could telework, while only 16% of retail, trade, and transportation workers could, and one-third of health care and social services providers could. Remote Working Isn't Going Away Many employers have found that remote working options are attractive employee benefits as the pandemic winds down. In a recent survey of 2,000 workers by Morning Consult for Prudential Financial, 87% of workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic want to continue doing so at least one day a week. Nearly half of current remote workers in the survey (42%) said if their current company doesn't continue to offer remote-work options long term, they will look for a job elsewhere. Global Workplace Analytics, a forecaster of workplace trends, estimates that the average employer of 500 workers would save $1.9 million annually by reducing office space, $1.3 million in absenteeism, and gain more than $7 million in increased productivity. And it seems employers are taking note; in March 2021, LaSalle Network, a national recruiting firm, surveyed top executives at 350 companies and found three out of four (77%) are planning to offer a hybrid model with a portion working in-office and a portion working from home. A recent Gallup survey found that 26% of workers who are teleworking because of the pandemic will continue to do so, while Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. The Draw of Remote Working A December 2020 Homes.com survey found that nearly half of respondents (45%) said they would move if given a chance to work remotely, with 20% indicating that remote working was why they moved within the last year. Additionally, the survey found that 40% of those who moved or planned to move had set their sights on locales more than 100 miles away. Among that group, half of them sought locations more than 500 miles away. Many of these workers are drawn to remote working because of its financial benefits. By working at home 2-3 days a week, employees can save between $600 and $6,000 per year, due to reduced travel, parking, and food costs. They could also save the equivalent of 11 workdays in annual commuting time. According to the latest government data, 90% of commuters report driving to work at a median cost of $11 per day, or $2,782 per year. Nine percent of the commuters surveyed took public transportation at a median annual cost of $1,612. Where Do Remote Workers Want to Live? In 2020, vacation home sales jumped 57.2% over 2019, more than twice as much as the 20% year-over-year growth in total existing-home sales. Many believe this increase has been affected by remote workers. "With many businesses and employers still extending an option to work remotely to workers, vacation housing and second homes will remain a popular choice among buyers," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. "The enduring opportunity for remote work will continue to raise the already high demand for property in these counties, particularly in those counties with reliable broadband internet service." Still, for most hybrid remote workers, vacation destinations are too far from their home offices to make commuting even a few days a week a viable option. As more employers introduce remote working options, many workers have either moved to, or are considering moving to, an exurb or rural county where prices are more affordable. While the cost and time to commute two or three days a week from a more distant location could equal or exceed commuting costs before the move, these workers know they'd still enjoy lower costs of living overall. Rural America is Attracting Remote Workers Rural areas across the country are experiencing a wave of remote workers. By August 2020, brokers in Lake Tahoe and nearby Truckee, California, were running out of inventory due to an influx of remote workers. Overall, Truckee saw a 23% increase in real estate transactions. On the other side of the country, Winhall, Vermont welcomed so many new residents in 2020 that its high school saw a 25% increase in enrollments last September. Vermont is one of several states and smaller cities offering incentives to attract remote workers. Others include: "The Shoals" region of Alabama Alaska Maine Tulsa, Oklahoma Topeka, Kansas Newton, Iowa New Richland, Minnesota Natchez, Mississippi The West Virginia areas of Morgantown, Lewisburg, and Shepherdstown Livability.com recently partnered with Fourth Economy to compile a list of the "10 Best Remote-Ready Cities in the U.S." Categories and amenities included broadband access, availability of remote work, affordability, a robust regional economy, and quality of life. Six of the ten were small cities: Grand Rapids, Michigan Bellingham, Washington Oak Park, Illinois Fort Collins, Colorado Frederick, Maryland Duluth, Minnesota Bad News for Cities, But is it Permanent? The explosion in remote working has simply not been good news for cities. Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of people have moved away from urban centers, with cities like San Francisco and New York City experiencing the most significant losses and their nearby suburbs experiencing the greatest gains. "This upsurge in working from home is largely here to stay, and I see a longer-run decline in city centers," said William D. Eberle, Professor of Economics in Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEP). However, some studies are showing that the urban flight might not be as prevalent as previously though. A recent study by Unacast, a leading generator of mobility data, found that in January and February of this year, the declining population growth in New York City actually reversed over 2019 levels. With remote working becoming more normalized across industries, cities are left with a two-pronged problem solve: first, how to stop the exodus of those who are leaving for literal greener pastures, and second, how to entice residents back in. As more people get vaccinated and businesses continue opening up, it could help curb the urban flight by creating new jobs or opening up positions that shut down for the pandemic. But jobs aren't enough. Unless city centers are revitalized with more suburban and rural amenities to justify the cost of urban living, they may face a substantial uphill battle. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Online Home Buying: A New Beginning for the Home Buying Process
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Why Builders Can't Keep Up with Home Sales
Once upon a time, the key words in real estate were "location, location, location." Then, the infamous three Ls, at least in the new construction sector, became "land, lots and labor." Those Ls remain important, to be sure. But now, as far as builders are considered, the Ls refer solely to "lumber, lumber, lumber." Softwood is used in structural framing such as beams, joists, and trusses as well as sheathing, flooring and underlayment, interior wall and ceiling finishing. Softwoods also are used in certain manufactured products, particularly cabinets, windows and doors. Since April 2020, the cost of softwood lumber has risen more than 300%, adding nearly $36,000 to the price of a typical house, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The Factors Behind Surging Lumber Costs The primary reason for this price surge is insufficient production at mills across the country. Like most other businesses, pandemic stay-at-home orders greatly impacted the ability to produce products in sufficient quantities to satisfy demand. And even though operations around the country have increasingly opened back up, many mills are still not back to pre-pandemic capacities. Another factor is the import duties placed on Canadian lumber during the previous administration. And now, in a step that has brought a strong rebuke from NAHB President Chuck Fowke, the current administration is proposing to double the tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments. What Else is Stifling Builders' Production? While the cost of lumber is builders' most pressing problem, it is hardly the only one. Here's a brief rundown of the other issues that are keeping them from erecting all the houses needed to take some of the heat out of the blistering housing market: Availability Builders rarely have trouble securing appliances, which they must have to obtain occupancy permits. But now, 95% of those polled by NAHB reported shortages of refrigerators, stoves and the like. Shortages are now more widespread than at anytime sine the 1990s when the NAHB first started tracking. Skyrocketing lumber prices have rightfully dominated the headlines, but prices for steel, concrete and gypsum products also continue to climb at record pace. In a recent survey by marketing and advisory firm Zonda, which monitors some 18,000 active communities nationwide, 86% of builders reported significant supply disruptions resulting in significant construction delays. Among the components that are tough to obtain are interior doors, windows, siding, plumbing fixtures, shingles, insulation and cabinets. About the only item builders aren't having a hard time finding are kitchen sinks — as in, "everything but…" Practically everything else is in short supply; again because production was severely curtailed during the height of the pandemic. And as a result, the costs to builders for many of the products they need have also rocketed. Regulation Another NAHB study found that regulations imposed by all levels of government account for $93,870, or 23.8% of the average sales price of a new house, which is currently $397,300. Of that, $41,330 is attributable to regulation during development, and $52,540 is due to rules that must be followed during construction. Because of the pandemic, builders and their customers aren't getting all they are paying for, though. At least not lately. Local building departments are so short staffed that it is taking longer to get plans approved and the required inspections made. There are other regulatory issues that builders must contend with, too. The most recent was a change in the National Electrical Code, a change that caused HVAC systems to fail. The new rule, the NAHB contends, was hastened unnecessarily during a process that was manipulated by special interests, perhaps trying to sell a particular product. Land "Builders are paying stupid land prices," Zonda's Tim Sullivan told his clients recently. But they almost have to if they want to remain in business. Why? Because the supply of home sites is dwindling rapidly. Zonda says roadwork has commenced on just 165,000 lots nationwide. Considering that some 500,000 new homes are sold annually, that's not a lot. Builders tend to believe the lot pipeline will be most constrained for the rest of the year, but about a third of those polled said finding buildable sites will be an issue next year as well. "The under supply isn't going to go away," said Sullivan. Location Remember the original three Ls? Forgetaboutit. A community's relationship to downtown used to be much more important, but it hardly matters these days in the new home market. Zonda research shows that 70% of the best-selling communities are 30 miles or more from their central business districts as builders move farther and farther out to hold the line on prices as best they can. In Houston, for example, properties within 10 miles of downtown are notching 1.1 sales per month while those 30-35 miles out are grabbing 4.3 deals monthly, up 118%. (READ MORE: Which Markets Will See New Home Builds Ease Inventories?) Higher Prices Zonda's research shows 97% of builders have raised prices, half of those by $10,000 or more. But, said the company's chief economist, Ali Wolf, "There's virtually no sticker shock." Even as builders restrict supply, prices continue to march higher. One reason: The market is supported in large measure by out-of-towners moving from places where housing prices are out of this world. For example, a 2,500-square-foot house that costs $1.16 million in San Francisco or $1.14 million in Los Angeles runs a mere $450,000 in Austin. That's why locals are buying farther and farther out, where the prices are the less expensive. Labor Experienced carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople are in short supply. But only 49% of builders said that's a big deal right now, probably because they're beset by other, more pressing problems and because they're not erecting houses as fast as they'd like. Slowing Down To protect against getting too far ahead of themselves, a majority of builders are "by design" now taking only a specific number of contracts per month. While 9% said it's still business as usual, 17% said they are accepting offers only as new lots come online, and 13% said they are "pausing" sales or reservations. As a result, new home production slid in April and is likely to continue slowing. Supply constraints, labor scarcity and a lack of buildable lots "are weighing meaningfully" on builders' ability to keep up with housing demand, says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. Builders, he adds, have little choice but to slow the pace of construction. Syndicated newspaper columnist, Lew Sichelman has been covering the housing market and all it entails for more than 50 years. He is an award-winning journalist who worked at two major Washington, D.C. newspapers and is a past president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Tech and Mental Health: It's been a long pandemic
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What Will Happen When the CDC Eviction Ban Ends?
At the outbreak of the COVID pandemic last year, the Centers for Disease Control placed a ban on all rental evictions, fearing that many evicted renters would end up in shelters or move in with friends or family, conditions that would exacerbate the spread of the virus. Since then, the CDC order has been extended several times and now is scheduled to expire on June 30. But what happens when ban expires? The Current Scenario Forty-four states and dozens of local jurisdictions imposed their bans on evictions in the early weeks of the pandemic. (Here is a complete list.) Many of the state bans lasted only ten weeks. Nevertheless, a recent study by researchers at five leading universities found that the lifting of 27 state bans on evictions between March and September contributed to the spread of the virus, resulting in 433,700 excess cases of COVID-19 and 10,700 additional deaths. According to the Center for Budget and Economic Priorities, the ban has kept more than 10.7 million renters — about 15% of adult renters ― in their homes without fear of eviction. Their April study found that renters of color were more likely to report that their household was not caught up on rent: 22% of Asian renters, 22% of Black renters, and 20% of Latino renters said they were not caught up on rent, compared to 9% of white renters. The rate was 20% for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and multiracial adults taken together. Is the CDC Eviction Ban Illegal? When the CDC order finally expires — which may happen as early as June 30 — an estimated $32 billion in back rent will come due, with up to 8 million tenants facing eviction filings, according to a tracking tool developed by the global advisory firm Stout Risius and Ross, which works with the nonprofit National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. According to the Princeton University Eviction Lab, 3.6 million people face eviction cases In a typical year. On May 6, a federal judge threw out the moratorium on evictions but agreed to put a temporary hold on her ruling as the government seeks to reverse the decision on appeal. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said that although there was "no doubt" Congress intended to empower the CDC to combat COVID-19 through a range of measures such as quarantines, a moratorium on residential evictions was not among them. The ruling was widely regarded as a setback for millions of Americans who have fallen behind on rent payments during the pandemic. The Recovery is Helping Landlords Weather the Ban On the flip side, the recovery is helping landlords and property owners with rental income without having to resort to evictions. In fact, this spring shows virtually no sign of the ban. The National Multifamily Housing Council found 80% of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by May 6 in its survey of 11.7 million units of apartment units across the country, only 1.7 percentage points below total rent payments in May 2019, ten months before the pandemic. "This month's findings are part of what seems to be an increasingly clear pattern of economic recovery and strong demand for multifamily housing," said Doug Bibby, NMHC President. "With more and more vaccines being administered, job creation on the rise, and tens of billions in rental assistance being distributed to residents and housing providers in need, the outlook for the industry is a positive one. "With rental assistance being disbursed, the economy on the way back, and a broad return to normalcy underway across the country, it is past time for the federal eviction moratorium, a policy that was intended to be an emergency effort, to be concluded," Bibby said. (READ MORE: The Collateral Damage of the Pandemic on Real Estate) Emergency Aid is Slow to Reach Renters and Landlords Congress approved $25 billion in December and $20 billion in March to keep lower-income renters in their homes without fear of evictions. The federal government now has $46.5 billion for emergency rental aid. Some $17.6 billion has been awarded to state governments, but 20% is going to states not taking applications from tenants and landlords. The program offers up to 12 months of rent and utilities to low-income tenants economically harmed by the pandemic, with priority on households with less than half the area's median income — typically about $34,000 a year. To be eligible for rental aid, renters must earn $198,000 annually or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers; demonstrate that they've sought government help to pay the rent; declare that they can't pay because of COVID-19 hardships, and affirm they are likely to become homeless if evicted. They must also file declarations saying they would become homeless or be forced into a "shared living setting." It takes time to identify the neediest residents so that they can make the declarations, apply for relief and process the paperwork, but for millions of renters who are delinquent in their rent payments, the clock is ticking. "Tens of thousands of tenants and families are being evicted every week, many of whom would have had the right to stay in their home," Dave Uejio, the acting director of the Consumer Finance Protection Board, recently told reporters. "The scale of that is hard to wrap your head around." What Can We Expect? Many state and local governments are preparing for an end to the CDC eviction bans, including those enacted statewide by governors or state legislatures that are also expiring. In Colorado, the Department of Local Affairs has paid out more than $80 million in Emergency Rental Assistance since last year with federal and state aid money. But about one quarter of the 50,000 plus applications is still pending. Tenant organizers have asked the governor to step in with another state eviction ban if the federal moratorium expires. Landlord groups say the market should be allowed to do its work before landlords suffer more damage. "People are hopeful that we're getting to the end of manipulation of the markets," said Drew Hamrick, general counsel for the Colorado Apartment Association to Colorado Public Radio. In Seattle, the city council is concerned that evictions will create a flood of homeless students and is considering banning certain school-year evictions and requiring landlords to offer lease renewals in many cases. In March, Seattle Public Schools had more than 2,100 students registered as homeless, according to district data. More than half were doubled up with other families, and 17% were living in transitional housing, while others were in shelters and on the streets. San Diego County passed a new law on May 4 that caps rent increases at roughly 4% increase based on the inflation rate included in the Consumer Price Index for the San Diego region for April 2020 to April 2021. In Minnesota, aid to renters has been slowly distributed, and legislative negotiations about how to end the moratorium in an orderly way have gotten bogged down over timing. For more than a year, a state executive order has made it difficult for property owners to cancel leases or otherwise remove problem tenants. The state government, landlords, and tenant groups are now working to have a solution in place by July. New York's state legislature has extended its eviction ban through August 31. Neither tenants nor landlords want to see a spike in evictions that will disrupt families, contribute to homelessness and throw rental markets into chaos. While this doomsday scenario seems unlikely, it's not entirely off the table. At least for now, both renters and landlords are left holding their breath. For information about your locale, Nolo has compiled a state-by-state list of eviction moratoriums and related legislation and sources of rental assistance for tenants and landlords. Steve Cook is the editor of the Down Payment Report and provides public relations consulting services to leading companies and non-profits in residential real estate and housing finance. He has been vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors, senior vice president of Edelman Worldwide and press secretary to two members of Congress. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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3 Problems and Solutions Trending in the New Housing Market
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What Are Home Buyers Looking for in 2021?
Current trends in the real estate market have got everyone's attention. Record-breaking low interest rates, dwindling inventory, and the changing function of a home are affecting sales. What are home buyers really looking for? Are they all jumping on the bandwagon for fear of missing out on the next great listing? Or perhaps they are seriously looking to fulfill a need—for comfort, shelter, a remote workplace, and a sense of home. Either way, they are not just looking, they are buying at a rate not seen in years. Riding the Wave You have just had the best year of your real estate career. Your listings are selling even before you have finished inputting the data and organizing your first virtual tours. You are definitely riding the wave of the current trend in the market. You need to keep the momentum. So looking back, what have you learned about your buyers and what are they seeking in 2021? The Real Estate Buyer Persona According to the most recent NAR study, the typical home buyer was 47 years old with an annual income of $96,000. They plan to live in their new 1900 square foot home for around 10 years and they really want to buy sooner than later. If the buyer contacted you first, it is very likely that you became their real estate agent for the transaction. Studies show that 73% of consumers used the first agent that they contacted. So what about the other 27% and what about the ones who didn't choose you? How can you increase your leads and turn them into repeat buyers? The Journey Starts Online Since 97% of all buyers start their search on the internet, it is evident that you need to have a great online presence. How do you get your brand out there and compete with the thousands of other real estate professionals vying for the same buyers? What are home buyers looking for and what makes them choose you as their real estate agent? Show Value Presentation skills are first and foremost when you market a property. Seeing is believing now more than ever. As a real estate professional, you have to show value to your buyer and that means giving them what they want. The home buyer's preferences haven't dramatically changed in comparison to a year ago, but what has changed is the way they view potential homes. When you provide immersive 3D tours and accurate square footage on an easy-to-follow floor plan, the buyer is better informed to make a decision on whether or not the property is suited to their needs. What Is Trending for Home Buyers The world was shaken up by the events of 2020 and it has caused a ripple effect throughout the real estate industry. Buyers have been snatching up listings fast due to low-interest rates paired with a little fear of missing out. How can you help them find what they want going forward into 2021? Here's a look at what's trending with home buyers: Renovations are a no go for almost half of today's buyers There is an increase in the demand for multi-generational homes Pets are now additional family members and they need their space too More than 87% of buyers are financing their homes Your role as a real estate agent is to help your buyer find the home they are looking for at a price they can afford. Help them navigate through 3D tours and explore the floor plans of their potential new home. When they need a multi-generational home, a floor plan is a great tool to let them interact and easily visualize where they can set up a secondary suite. Exploring the 360° tour lets them know if renovations are a necessity or if the home is in move-in condition. When you help them make an informed decision, they will avoid buyer's remorse. Buyer optimism remains high and if the past few months are any indicator of the future, then you know the real estate tsunami has not retreated. Expect the unexpected – we didn't see 2020 coming until it hit us all in our (masked) faces.
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3D Tour Videos Will Replace Still Photos in Property Search
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Spring 2021 Housing Market: Will the Extremes Calm Down?
The 2021 spring housing market can be summed up to two extremes better suited for a primetime TV medical drama than an economic snapshot: the sellers market is on steroids, while the buyers markets are on life support. Why so extreme? Real estate laws of supply and demand dictate that rising demand reduces the number of homes for sale and increase prices. Higher prices then motivate sellers to sell, opening greater supplies of inventories and reducing the pressure on prices. Moderated prices and more homes for sale encourage buyers to buy, and sales increase until supply and demand start their familiar dance all over again. That's how things are supposed to work. Except, moving into the spring 2021 housing market, they aren't working that way at all. Soaring prices and starving inventories aren't motivating enough sellers to sell, nor are they discouraging many buyers from buying. So, we're left with a pair of extremes, whose forces are stronger than supply and demand, and twisting housing markets out of shape. Fear Worsened the Inventory Drought Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and current recession, the housing market was facing a substantial supply shortage. Afraid of missing out on the lowest mortgage interest rates in a generation, extraordinary numbers of millennial first-time buyers jumped into the markets in the first weeks of the pandemic's arrival in March 2020. However, millions of sellers delayed listing their homes at the launch of the spring 2020 sales season. By July, high demand and low supplies drove sales prices to an all-time high, and inventory levels plunged 21.1% below 2019 levels, marking 14 straight months of year-over-year declines. Inventories Are Still Disastrously Low Fast forward to the end of February 2021, housing inventory was a record 29.5% lower than a year earlier. Buyers quickly consumed the new listings, and time on the market fell to 20 days for a home to go from listing to contract, an all-time low. At the end of March, total housing inventory amounted to 1.07 million units, up 3.9% from February but still down 28.2% from one year ago. Unsold inventory stayed at a 2.1-month supply, marginally up from February's 2.0-month supply and down from the 3.3-month supply recorded in March 2020. Inventory numbers continue to represent near-historic lows since NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. housing market is short about 3 million available homes. New Home Production is Still Struggling Looking beyond the spring 2021 housing market itself, a more enduring problem is the chronic underproduction of new homes. For five decades, America's supply of entry-level homes has declined. Production of entry-level construction fell from 418,000 units per year in the late 1970s to 65,000 in 2020. According to NAR's Lawrence Yun, new-home underproduction is the chief cause of today's inventory shortage. Freddie Mac's chief economist, Sam Khater, agrees. "Simply put, we must build more single-family entry-level housing to address this shortage, which has strong implications for the wealth, health, and stability of American communities," Khater says. Typically in a recessionary time (such as the pandemic), housing demand declines and supply rises, causing inventory to rise above the long-term trend. Khater believes the main driver of the housing shortfall to be the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes. When falling rates led to higher demand, supplies could not keep up, and by late 2020, prices soared at a double-digit pace. Shortages of affordable homes brought the pandemic sales boom to a halt. Sales fell 6.6% from January 2021 to February, and supplies did not increase during February, a month when sellers traditionally begin to list their homes for the spring sales season. Rates and Prices Will Slowly Rise During the Year So far, the spring 2021 housing market has been a mixed bag. During the first quarter of 2021, rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stayed below 3% percent until the first week of March. By April 1, however, they reached 3.18%, which lowered the house-buying power of consumers enough to cost 55,600 potential home sales, according to First American's chief economist Mark Fleming. Freddie Mac's forecasters expect rates to continue to rise slowly and reach an average of 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, as the economy slowly recovers from the pandemic. What We Can Expect Moving Forward As long as the economic outlook post-COVID is optimistic, interest rates should go higher. Despite the nation's continued economic uncertainty, demand drivers will continue in 2021, and rates, though starting to increase, will still remain very low. A gradual return to normalcy will raise incomes, and lenders will discontinue some of their pandemic-era restrictions. More millennials and Gen Xers will enter the market, especially with those low rates. Freddie Mac's forecasters expect the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rate to average 3.4% by the fourth quarter of 2021, rising to 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Fannie Mae forecasts that housing starts will rise 17% by the end of the second quarter over last year's poor performance, then 4.7% in the third quarter. The massive shortfall in unsold inventory will continue, especially for affordable starter homes. Supplies are at record low levels this spring, and they will not normalize until new construction can meet the demands of a growing population. For now, the spring 2021 housing market is just one snapshot of many in a tale that is poised to get worse before it gets better. Steve Cook is the editor of the Down Payment Report and provides public relations consulting services to leading companies and non-profits in residential real estate and housing finance. He has been vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors, senior vice president of Edelman Worldwide and press secretary to two members of Congress. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Low Inventory Won't Last Forever. Two Reasons to Be Optimistic
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Will the Great Urban Flight Last?
As COVID-19 has ravaged across the country, millions of people have faced lockdowns and home quarantines. Homes have become classrooms, offices, recreational spaces, and countless other identities. Especially in urban areas, walls have increasingly felt like cages, leaving residents craving open spaces, more square footage, and greenery. What has since transpired is nothing short of a phenomenon we're calling "The Great Urban Flight."
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How Has COVID-19 Impacted Use of Smart Home Products?
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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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Three Predictions for the Real Estate Market in 2021
In a normal year, the real estate market sees an uptick in new listings and total sales during the spring and summer (March-June) and a steady decline in those same figures in the fall months (September-December). Obviously, though, 2020 wasn't a normal year, and the real estate market proved anything but predictable. Despite continued lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing guidelines, we've yet to see any signs of a slowdown. So, predicting what's to come is a bit more of a challenge than in previous years. But here's what we believe is in store for 2021.
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Pets and Zoom Rooms: 2 Property Features Every Real Estate Agent Should Focus On
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Top 10 Interior Design Trends for 2021
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has altered the way we work and school, home owners have had to alter their home environment to adjust. Here are the top 10 design trends for 2021 that real estate agents have observed their clients adopt or request.
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How 2020 Changed Homebuying and Selling
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2021 Housing Inventories: Will They Run Out?
After months of record lows last year, 2021 housing inventories are under the microscope. In real estate terms, normal market conditions see about six months' worth of homes listed for sale at any given time. That means that at the current sales pace, it would take six months to sell all of the resale houses currently on the market. But, as we all know, these are not normal times.
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5 Predictions for the 2021 Housing Market
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How to Ride the Wave of a Seasonal Sales Cycle
The real estate market is highly seasonal and sales are adversely affected by the drop in temperatures during the winter months. According to the National Association of Realtors' statistics, 40% of homes are sold in May, June, July, and August. This seasonality leaves many real estate professionals working at a cheetah's pace in summer and scrounging for business in the off-season. Adjusting for the season can help your profitability, cash flow, and long-term success. Here's how to ride the wave of our seasonal sales cycle.
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4 Factors Influencing the Real Estate Rebound
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The Latest Trends in Team Software
The following is an excerpt from RE Technology's Success Guide to Team Software: Website Some team platforms develop excellent websites with a high focus on lead generation, content creation, and search engine optimization. Teams doing a lot of online digital advertising will need to look for websites that offer the ability to create lead generation pages--also called squeeze pages. Others recognize that a team website is like a business card. If you are not in love with the activities around online lead generation, having a fancy website is probably not that important to you. Mobile Apps Mobile apps have been an exciting growth area for team platforms over the years. The driving trend among these mobile apps has been less about developing branded mobile search apps that are in the Apple App and Google Play stores, and more about delivering functionality that allows teams to access customer records on the fly, or to take a group approach to responding quickly to customer requests. If your team is mostly mobile, rather than office based, this may be a very important feature for you. Contact Record Monitoring One of the biggest areas of new development in software for teams has to do with reference data and client monitoring. Using artificial intelligence, the software can track activities across all of your client records. Using this data the software can, for example, tell you when there is a customer that you have not interacted with in the last year or suggest that you reach out to a customer who has been spending an insane amount of time looking at listings on your site. The goal of contact monitoring is to make sure that you stay connected to everyone in your database, and to focus on those customers who show the most activity in the process of executing a transaction. Some solutions even monitor Facebook and LinkedIn for the most recent posts made by your clients so you can check up on them from within your contact records. Contacts, Calendar, Email Integration Most business professionals lack time for administrative upkeep such as scheduling meetings or updating contact records in multiple places. An important feature in team software platforms is mobile phone integration. It allows an iPhone or Android device to connect to your CRM. If you get a new customer call on your phone, and you save that contact, your phone will then sync the contact record to the CRM in your team solution, so you do not need to re-enter it. Likewise, if a team member schedules a task or meeting for you, they can access your calendar for your availability and set that appointment so it displays on your phone's calendar. If you are speaking to a tech supplier for your team, ask them about Google Sync or Outlook Sync. Reporting and Forecasting One of the challenges to operating a team is to measure team productivity. These metrics fall into the realm of reporting and forecasting. Depending on the role of the team member, good reporting and forecasting can provide the team leader with data that shows how team members are using the system, the value of business they have in the pipeline, etc. Remember, when you are running a team, you need to think about it like you are running a business or running a brokerage. Productivity per team member is a key matrix that you need to track. Dynamic Automation The idea behind software has always been automation. In the past, automation in team software was pretty linear. Linear automation is when you schedule things to happen at a specific time in a specific order. On day one, do this. On day two, do that. On day five, do this other task; on their birthday, do this, etc. Dynamic automation uses the intelligence of software to observe consumer actions and adjust the behavior accordingly. In tech speak, they use the term "if this, then that." For example, let's imagine that a past client comes to your website to read an article about home improvement, then starts looking at houses. Dynamic automation would bring this to your attention and save the search for that client without them needing to do anything. The software could then send them a follow-up email the next day with the listings that they reviewed and ask if they have questions or would like to see any other homes. These auxiliary communications use machine learning or artificial intelligence to anticipate the needs of clients dynamically and automatically. Download Success Guide: Teams to learn more about Team software trends, how to evaluate Team software, and more.
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The 4 Pillars That Will Drive Real Estate Forward
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As Pandemic Brings Greater Interest in Real Estate Careers, Agents Face More Competition
Real estate may soon be getting more competitive. According to a recent report in Housing Wire, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a record-breaking number of Americans looking to start a real estate career. While the individual reasons vary--some are enticed by a summer marked by an eye-popping volume of higher-priced home sales in the suburbs; others, laid off or furloughed, are looking to control their own income streams rather than be subjected to the whims of an at-will employer—the numbers are appreciable: Membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is up 1.9% year-over-year, and brokerages like Keller Williams are reporting 3,000-3,500 newly licensed agents joining the firm per month, an unprecedented increase according to the company's Director of Growth, Matt Green.
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3 Key Stats that Show Just How Busy 'Busy Season' Was
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75% of Real Estate Agents Optimistic About the Market Despite Pandemic
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, 75% of real estate agents feel confident about the future of the market, according to a Homes.com survey of nearly 700 agents and brokers. The survey highlights the ongoing strength of the real estate sector, even as other industries continue to suffer losses from coronavirus-related shutdowns. Though real estate professionals were initially uncertain of how the market would respond to pandemic restrictions, the survey found that over 41% of agents have since experienced the same or greater listing activity compared to a typical year. In fact, 66% said they had no listing cancellations since the outbreak began, and of those who have, 88% have had less than five. The 2020 real estate market has been a strong seller's market for most locales, but the Homes.com study still found signs of seller apprehension; 81% of agents indicated they have gained less than five new listings since the pandemic began. "This survey shows how well agents and brokers were able to pivot during the pandemic," said Homes.com president, David Mele. "Their expertise in the real estate process is invaluable which makes them indispensable to buyers and sellers now more than ever." Among the additional findings: 59% of agents have utilized at least one method of online home viewing when working with clients. With 44% of the votes, video tours have been the most popular method, followed closely by virtual tours at 43% and virtual open houses at 19%. 31% of agents indicated that virtual home viewings helped to close a sale, while 23% said that they were able to close on a home sale without a traditional, in-person viewing. The confluence of a pandemic and strong seller's market seems to have, at least for the time being, tampered consumers' needs for in-person viewings and highlighted the growing importance of virtual content for buyers. 77% of agents indicated positive news regarding their clients' homebuying budgets, with 63% saying budgets remained the same and 14% saying their clients' budgets actually increased. Twenty-three percent said budgets have decreased. In line with buyer budgets, 59% of agents said that low mortgage rates have helped them gain business. "Overall, 60% of agents said that, despite the pandemic, business is the same or stronger than before its onset," Mele said. "While the remainder of this year remains uncertain, these findings show how adaptable the industry is, and that agents will do whatever it takes to help consumers in their buying and selling endeavors."
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Busy Season Is Busier Than Ever
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As Listings Increase, So Too Has Agent Confidence
According to the latest Homesnap Confidence Index Report, agent confidence in their local real estate market has reached its highest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Homesnap surveyed approximately 40,000 agents on whether they were more optimistic, less optimistic or had no change in feeling about the health of their market in May compared to April. The results, broken down by region, are as follows:
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Waze Is the Hottest Trend in Real Estate Marketing. Here's Why
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Shifting Population Due to Working Remotely
The COVID-19 pandemic could cause a major shift in where many people live. This week, I had a conversation with a friend who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area. He is one of the estimated 400,000 high-tech workers living in the region. Our discussion turned to the idea of coming to Florida and working remotely and getting a three-hour head start on his coworkers due to the time zone change. This made me to start thinking about possible opportunities. I have two family members that have worked from home since March. Both live in major metropolitan areas and have expensive commutes, and are also thinking of other opportunities. If I can live anywhere and work remotely, where do I want to live? Why wait until I retire to locate to my dream home?
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Real Estate Returning to Normal with New Tech
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Are Buyers Readying to Re-enter the Market En Masse?
To get a picture of buyer behavior, Homesnap's data scientists analyzed trends in three key metrics: properties shared by agents, properties searched by agents, and properties favorited by agents. These metrics offer a clear view of buyer intent and sentiment, as agents who are actively sharing, favoriting, and viewing properties are doing so with their buyers. This is what our data scientists found: In a normal year, real estate buyer activity follows a predictable hill-shaped pattern. After a winter lull, home search actions ramp up in the early spring and maintain consistency throughout the summer before tapering off in the latter half of the fall. It looks a lot like this:
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Analysis: Agents Should Double Down on Facebook and Instagram Ads as Advertising Costs Drop
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Understanding the 2020 Real Estate Market
There is one common question every real estate agent needs the answer for: "How's the market?" While it's important to know what's happening in your area, it is also good to know what's happening nationwide. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, "2020 Market Predictions for Real Estate," speaker Steve Harney shared what experts are saying about this year's real estate market.
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Real Estate Agents' 2020 Market Predictions
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Marketing to Millennials: Identifying Trends for Future Homebuyers
It's no secret that millennials are buying homes later in life than their predecessors. The reasons are the usual suspects -- rising costs of living, housing costs, and student debt. Identifying trends and patterns with millennials can be a powerful tool when marketing to this generation's homebuyers and closing deals. Check out these trends and see how you can use them to your advantage!
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3 Big Tech Trends: What's ahead for 2020 and beyond
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Profiting from the iBuyer Trend
It's no secret that iBuyers are expanding their reach in the real estate market, often causing agents to worry about their place in the industry. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Anthony Lamacchia shares his secrets for working with iBuyers in "Worried about iBuyers? Well they aren't going away!" Lamacchia is the Broker/Owner and CEO of Lamacchia Companies in Boston, Mass. He also owns Lamacchia Property Management, Lamacchia Development, and REAL Training Systems Inc. As an advocate for real estate-related topics, he is an expert in the industry. In 2018, Lamacchia was nominated for Inman's Most Innovative Broker/Owner for his REAL Training program and expanding platform of "how-to" videos for agents. In his Secrets webinar, Lamacchia shows what agents and brokers can do to thrive during the growing iBuyer phenomenon and get a cut of the marketing trend.
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2020 Hindsight: Game-Changing Tech and Tools from the Last Decade
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[Best of 2019] Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?
Here it is--our top article of the year! This article was originally published back in April and is the most read article of 2019. See #2 here, or read the full list of our Top 10 articles from 2019 here. A real estate agent called complaining that he spoke with one of his buyers who wanted to see a property he found online. When the agent went to check the listing out, he was shocked. The commission stated was for $1. Being the professional that he was, he went to show the condo. He sent me a copy of the MLS sheet and, lo and behold, it was true. Then I contacted the listing agent thinking perhaps they were new and had made an error. Nope, she said, it was correct. The commission was one dollar.
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The 6 Trends We're Seeing in Top Real Estate CRMs
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6 Real Estate Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2020
The countdown to 2020 is officially on! That means one thing: planning season. We're taking a look back at some interesting patterns from 2019 and discussing our top picks for real estate trends to look out for next year.
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What Does a Possible Economic Recession Mean for the Housing Market?
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What Are iBuyers?
A real estate agent's job today looks a lot different than it did 25 years ago, and in another 25 years, there's no telling what kind of changes will be in effect. What we can tell is that real estate may currently be undergoing a lasting change. What are we talking about? iBuyer programs. Companies like Opendoor, Zillow, and OfferPad are buying homes directly from homeowners and reselling them to buyers. While homeowners using iBuyers are currently a very small minority, as these programs spread, they could change the role real estate agents play in a home sale.
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Top 10 Issues Impacting the Real Estate Industry: Annual Forecast Reveals
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Gen Z is Buying Their First Homes! Here's What You Need to Know
Millennials and their buying habits have been under the scrutiny of the real estate industry for years. We've watched them go from a minority to the largest group of buyers in the market, but now Generation Z is taking its first steps into the housing market, and it's time we learned more about this new group of first time buyers. In an effort to do just that, Homes.com polled more than 1000 adults from Generation Z aged 18 to 24 years old. Questions focused on Generation Z's expectations about the home buying experience and their home buying plans.
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Instant Offers: How Real Estate Agents Can Compete
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Real Estate Marketing Trends that Need to Die in 2019
It's not hard to find real estate marketing advice online--but proven, high-quality marketing tips are a different story. Too often, agents simply go along with the crowd, embracing the latest "hot" marketing trend, even if it's not actually delivering great ROI. Worst of all, some of these marketing trends can actively hurt your chances of landing new clients or getting a home sold. If your marketing tactics don't inspire confidence, then how can you expect buyers to be confident in your ability to close the deal? Make the most of your real estate marketing investment by avoiding these real estate trends that need to die in 2019.
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Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?
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The Latest Trends in Market Analytics
Perhaps the most significant disruption in real estate market analytics has been the launch of Zillow's Zestimate. The Zestimate is an automated valuation model that uses mathematical algorithms to speculate what a home's value might be. In the banking industry, these mathematical algorithms are called AVMs, or Automated Valuation Models. As consumers gained access to the Zillow Zestimate, it sent the industry into a tailspin. "The Zestimate is too high," or "The Zestimate is too low," shouted the crowd of industry pundits, REALTORS®, and consumers alike. The tailspin was created by opening up the dark box of real estate data that had previously only been available to real estate professionals. On a property by property basis, real estate agents would carefully sift through dozens or hundreds of properties on the market, under contract, or recently sold in the process of establishing a market value for a home. This remains true today, and the real estate professional who painstakingly performs this analysis continues to be the authority in helping sellers price homes or supporting buyers with successful offers. So the battle is on. Real estate agents have a strong challenger in Zillow, who aims to become the source of real estate information on property values. The good news is that software vendors in the real estate industry continue to raise the bar for REALTORS® by delivering a wide array of products that not only enable the agent to gain astute insights into market data, but analyze and report on that market data with exceptional professionalism. Used correctly, the agent can continue to maintain their position as the most trusted source of what is happening in the real estate market. The challenge is adoption. We have seen an enormous effort expended by the National Association of REALTORS® to maintain the advantage of the REALTOR by the development of the RVM®, or REALTOR Valuation Model. It is like an AVM, but only available to members of NAR. The RVM is created by NAR though their subsidiary, Realtors Property Resource®. This is certainly nothing new, but it is a significant trend in the industry because of its enormous evolution. The product has gotten really advanced in the data available, its ease of use, and certainly the quality of its reports. Frankly, RE Technology believes that RPR is among the most advanced mobile tools available to real estate professionals today. Another enormous development in the real estate industry has been in tax systems. CoreLogic has shifted their development of REALIST® from a standalone solution and opted to focus on Matrix 360, a fully integrated MLS and tax system in one. Alongside this trend, we have seen CRS Data completely rebuild their tax interface and become one of the newest tax systems in real estate. These systems, along with the marketing focused tax system Remine, have splintered the strategic direction of off-market data accessed by real estate professionals. Of course, data quality as measured by accuracy (typos), depth (number of fields), and timeliness (speed of update from the recorder's office) varies by county. No matter how good the software or reports are, the underlying data is the most important resource. Agents and brokers continue to tie market data into their CRM and leverage market reports in lead generation forms for "What's my home worth?" In this regard, we have seen a lot of activity by leading CRM providers like Inside Real Estate, Contactually, Top Producer's Market Snapshot, Boston Logic, Booj, Real Estate Webmasters, Gabriels, and so many others. It is the most powerful drip marketing report with soaring open rates, some hitting as high as 40 percent because consumers are starving for this information and expect it from their agents. Want to learn more about how to make market analytics work for your business? Download our FREE Success Guide to Marketing Analytics today!      
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5 Buzzworthy Real Estate Marketing Trends You Can Use
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Shift Happens: How Top Agents Survive (and Thrive) in a Turning Real Estate Market
"Shifting, bursting, normalizing..." Whichever way you shake it, it's time to start planning for what's on the horizon in the real estate industry. It's been a whirlwind couple of decades in the real estate industry, with many agents experiencing both the peak highs and devastating lows. Defined by the crushing great recession of 2008 and the subsequent steady rise to a booming seller's market (fueled by sky-high home prices and stalled inventory growth), it's been a wild ride. Moving into 2019 the #1 buzz in the biz is undeniably the shifting market. Let's start by saying, the market isn't falling apart. No reliable predictions show that the market shift will mirror anything close to the 2008 collapse, so most real estate professionals are adopting a healthy sense of caution, rather than urgency. But it is shifting. So what does this mean for your business? It may be a period in time that separates the good from the great. The agents that adapt quickly and pivot strategically are the ones that will enter the next decade with a healthy, thriving business.
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Real Estate Advertising Trends You Should Be Aware of This Holiday Season
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Home Design Trends: What Homebuyers Are Looking for Today
The changing trends within the housing market are often fast paced and challenging for agents to keep up with. Thanks to the popularity of smart homes and Joanna Gaines (the queen of home-remodel TV), today's home buyers and sellers are becoming surprisingly knowledgeable about home design, and specific about which features and trends make up their never-ending lists of must-haves.
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3 Easy Ways to Future-proof Your Real Estate Business
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4 Powerful Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018
Real estate agents have to not only master their core competencies, but they have to have a solid grip of sales, marketing and branding – because they will ultimately be the driving force behind this trifecta for the longevity of their career. And in the world of digital marketing, it is important to keep the pulse of an industry that sees algorithm changes every quarter. Far too often with marketing campaigns, we see companies get into grooves and not be able to adjust with the times. And it can be an all-out competition for your attention in a digital space that is growing, overcrowded and saturated with content by the minute. With that in mind, try to focus on these four key areas in digital marketing where all the current data points to being a primary focus in 2018.
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How Mobile Tech Is Changing Real Estate Forever
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Booming Marketing Trends in Real Estate
Real estate marketing is evolving at a rapid pace, and in such a competitive environment, real estate agents need to be at the forefront of cutting-edge trends to appeal to the needs of their evolving clientele. Hot markets, fluctuating demand, evolving technology, and new generations of homeowners all play a role in shaping the real estate market – and how agents approach it. Competition forces creativity The Toronto housing market made global headlines this past year with its scorching hot listings – but it has also shown how aggressive the space can be for Realtors to compete in, and how it is forcing them to get really creative with listings. Consider this: since 2014, 9,000 new agents have received their license in the Greater Toronto Area alone, which is now home to 52,000 Realtors. Using this market as an example, some agents have started to offer a night out as a thank you to clients, a membership for a year at a local gym or fitness club, the free use of a drone for showing the property, complimentary staging – even going as far as slashing their commissions.
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15 Real Estate Resources That Will Help You Sell More Homes in 2017
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5 Social Media Trends You Need to Leverage
Let's face it: you know social media is essential to sustaining a successful business – but so do your competitors. And they're working tirelessly to build a reputable online presence. So, how do you stand out and build recognition? Well, for one thing, following the latest social media trends is a must. To maintain relevance and continue to influence your viewers and visitors, you need to ensure your posts evolve alongside a perpetually changing online landscape. We've compiled the latest – and most important – trends here, as an easy guide for staying on top of your social media game. 1. Mobile still dominates Traditionally mobile was perceived as helpful in improving your online presence – but its ascent to the primary (and not secondary) screen for most social media users means you need to be thinking of creating content specifically designed for smartphone users, according to Sprout Social. As handheld devices evolve and continue to gain prominence, it's time to start focusing your marketing efforts on mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
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Top Online Marketing Trends for Real Estate Pros
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7 Actionable Mobile Trends for Real Estate Agents
The year is 2016 and it seems that everywhere we turn, there’s new technology cropping up. Throughout it all, mobile technology not only continues to improve exponentially, but it’s nearly ubiquitous. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a mobile device these days. But, what does that mean for real estate agents? According to the NAR, in 2015, 50% of home buyers used mobile technology to find their new home. Most real estate agents spend very little time in their offices and they’re nearly always on-the-go, making mobile technology ideal for their business lifestyles. But are they all utilizing it to the fullest extent? There are plenty of reasons for real estate agents to integrate mobile into their business strategy, but they may not be aware of all the resources available to them for doing so, and how these trends could potentially make a huge difference in their day-to-day.
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Home Trends: What's In (and Out) for 2016
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Onwards and Upwards in 2016
It's that time of year again—time to reflect on the year that's passed and look forward to what's going to matter most in 2016. Our hope is that when you do, you focus on some of your most celebrated moments and find a nugget or two of inspiration for 2016. Looking back on the market It's been a good year for real estate: Home sales are strong in most markets—likely to come in at around 5.3M. Moderate price increases continue to make housing affordable. Best of all, when it comes to that all-American dream, home ownership is an important part for 87% of people. (It's even higher for millennials at 91%.) And if you're wondering about next year, according to Jonathan Smoke, "We are entering a normal, but healthy, housing market." Here's his list of the top 10 markets to watch in 2016. Our prediction for 2016 We predict that 2016 is going to be the year of doing the basics better. Year after year, we see top producers doing the basics better, and even through the ebbs and flows of the market, and the whims and emotions of buyers and sellers, they remain at the top of their game.
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Six Real Estate Trends to Watch for in 2016
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What Will Buyers Want in 2016? Smart Homes!
Buyers want smart homes? What's that? Don't worry, if you don't know the slightest about smart homes, you're not alone. Technology, like real estate trends, is constantly changing. Sometimes it can be hard to stay in the driver's seat. Smart homes, or homes with built-in intelligence systems, are rapidly gaining in popularity, causing buyers to increasingly look for more high-tech home upgrades as technology advances. Who's doing the driving? The "Internet of Things," or "IoT," is the connectivity of everyday objects to the internet and one another, a phenomenon embraced and expected by the general public in all manner of applications. As wireless internet technology advances, and becomes easier to operate and more cost effective, smarter experiences can be provided in the home. Crash course There are an array of home technology options, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and Z-Wave, with various compatible home automation devices. However, technology compatibility issues abound, especially when a mix of wireless home technology solutions are used. The goal in the not-so-distant future: compatibility. Major players in the smart home technology market are joining forces in support of an open wireless network standard that would allow interoperability among various products.
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