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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
Consumer goods are being sold online at record paces. Ever since the launch of platforms like Amazon, eBay and Shopify, sales are booming for e-commerce businesses. You can purchase everything from clothing and household goods to big-ticket items like vehicles. The ease and speed at which these transactions occur is one reason online buying is so popular, but what about buying real estate online? Purchasing a home is a little more complicated than reading a couple of reviews and clicking on the top-rated item. Influencing factors Several things have influenced the way consumers purchase a home. It's no news that online buying has skyrocketed in the past year and a half. With the pandemic driving prop-tech trends by increasing the demand for socially distanced open houses, virtual tours and drone footage, these home buying tools have now become the norm. Online property purchases are happening through platforms like "Zoom" and "Google Meet" because your buyer is comfortable using video conferencing as an everyday way to communicate. Then there is time. Homes are selling fast, leaving many buyers scrambling to make an offer quickly before there are multiple competing offers. To save time, you are compelled to complete the purchase contract as quickly as possible to secure your buyer's offer and the fastest way to do that is to submit documents online. When the home seller wants to know "how to sell my home fast," you use everything at your disposal to facilitate the process from start to finish. You are no stranger to employing proptech tools like virtual tours and interactive floor plans to help sell a home. Contracts and brochures are transmitted regularly through email, DocuSign, and a host of other online methods. Selling a home quickly at the best possible price is the goal for your seller and you can do it all online without any physical contact with the property or in-person meetings with the buyer. Technology has made it easier for buying real estate online—but the question is, has it made it faster? Online home buying – faster or not? "How can I sell my home fast?" is one of the first things every home seller asks their Realtor. The answer may seem simple. List the home at a competitive price, make sure it is clean and tidy, and advertise the home's features using virtual tours. But you know it is not quite as easy as one, two, three. Selling a home online quickly requires prop-tech tools that have led to a dramatic increase in agents using virtual tours. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the typical home seller is 56 years old, has been living in their home for about 10 years and an overwhelming majority want a real estate agent who uses virtual tours. You are a master at providing 3D tours, interactive floorplans, and digital brochures to capture the eye of potential buyers. Getting that online offer happens quickly. But there is more to the entire process than a few digital signatures. Most homebuyers need about four months to complete all the stages of the purchase. From initial inquiries to mortgage qualification, house hunting, offer and closing, some things just can't be rushed. But buying real estate online has certainly made things easier in terms of access. You will not likely find a buyer who views a property, makes an offer, and completes the entire transaction from start to finish all in a day or two. It just can't be done. This is not Amazon. There are processes and protocols involved. Online transactions certainly make things more convenient, but not necessarily faster. You can help the buyer "save" time by looking at properties digitally and making an online purchase, but you cannot speed up time. There are a lot of steps involved in buying a home. Additional steps in the home buying process You are successful in living up to your seller's wishes of "how to sell my home fast" by using virtual tours, interactive floorplans and real estate marketing tools to showcase the property's layout. However, the process does not stop at the purchase contract. Your buyer will be required to follow through and obtain credit approvals, home inspections and property appraisals, and hire a lawyer to complete closing documents required for property registration. There are other necessities like real property reports/survey certificates, insurance, and discharging liens and encumbrances that may be registered against the title. Into the future What lies ahead of you requires adaptation and the ability to manage the changing landscape of buying real estate online. When it comes to closing time, proptech will continue to drive the way consumers buy and sell homes—because, as Dan Wilson contemplated, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Of course, you never know when the next shock wave will hit the world, so it's best to be prepared and use the tools available now. The only thing about buying a home online is that the return policy is not like Amazon. You can't simply send it back if you don't like it once you see it. Buyer beware caveat emptor.
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Why Builders Can't Keep Up with Home Sales
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Tech and Mental Health: It's been a long pandemic
Do you remember the moment you went into pandemic lockdown? No one had any idea how long it would last. A few weeks? A couple of months? In Florida, the first detection of the coronavirus came on March 1. Soon, Disney World announced that that it would close on March 15. Bars and nightclubs started closing two days later, and by April 1, the Sunshine State was under statewide stay-at-home orders. After more than a year, the impact on our mental health is undoubtedly on many Realtors' minds. Many are parents, and the effect of the pandemic on their kids and remote learning certainly is taking the spotlight as students finally return to part-time and full-time in-person classes. While tech stress and Zoom gloom are real, some positive tech improvements have emerged related to mental health. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that mobile devices have provided a new gateway for doctors and researchers. Mobile mental health support rapidly emerged during the pandemic, providing better and swifter access to health support. New mobile apps appeared to allow Telehealth medical appointments, monitor physical activity, track dietary consumption, digitally record weight changes with smart scales, and more. This is the upside of technology during the pandemic. Today, anyone needing mental health support can send a text message to contact a crisis center. New apps are promising to improve memory and thinking skills. Apps even use built-in sensors to collect information on our behavior patterns. All of this new technology brings pros and cons, which need individual evaluation. New Telehealth tools increase access and convenience to medical care and mental health support. For those who put off seeing a medical professional – such as a real estate agent with an insanely busy schedule – using an app might help overcome that hurdle. With more than 10,000 mobile medical apps in the market, the biggest concern with these new apps is their effectiveness. Obtaining supporting science takes time, and how well they work and whom they work best for are questions that loom. Privacy is another primary concern, as these apps tap into highly sensitive and personal information. Yet, the mobile medical movement is creating new partnerships between clinicians and engineers. Apps based on science and powered by exceptional technology are emerging that can help someone stop smoking or assist with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For real estate agents who thrive on face-to-face interaction, the pandemic has been particularly brutal. Reducing stress levels has become more crucial than ever, and there are some great apps to help agents do just that. Here's a link to more than a dozen. One of the most popular stress management apps is Calm, available in the App Store and Google Play. With 100 million downloads and 1.5 million 5-star reviews, it has become the top-ranked app for mediation, relaxation, and sleep. Calm features music and the sounds of nature to help you "focus, relax, and sleep." Video lessons focus on movement and stretching. Masterclass audio programs help strengthen mental fitness, addressing topics including stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety. The prevalence of Telehealth also has soared in use during the COVID outbreak. With more and more doctors and therapists offering Telehealth appointments, accessibility has never been greater. Telehealth also is making care more affordable. Offering live, highly secure (no Zoom bombing issues here) video conferencing, getting an appointment with your doctor for consultations and treatment is more accessible and often faster than scheduling an in-person meeting. New technology is extending the benefits of Telehealth with remote patient monitoring. RPM tools electronically record personal health and medical data and send it digitally and securely to your health professional. With these new tech tools do come new tech challenges. Fortunately, if your association or MLS provides Tech Helpline as a member benefit, analysts are available to help you with your technology challenges – even non-real estate related ones! If you are trying to set up one of these new apps and need assistance in trying to figure out how to install it or configure your settings, you can call, click or text to reach a Tech Helpline analyst for support. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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What Will Happen When the CDC Eviction Ban Ends?
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3 Problems and Solutions Trending in the New Housing Market
Are you worried about lead generation in the new housing market? Real estate agents can prepare for the new normal by understanding the preferences of potential buyers and their perspectives amid the pandemic. At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the turn to remote-first work and stay-at-home orders made some homeowners, buyers, and real estate professionals apprehensive about the future of the housing market. However, according to CoreLogic, recent data shows that not only are home prices steadily increasing, home ownership is on the rise for opportunistic buyers. Use the following list of problems and solutions we are seeing in the current housing market to learn how you can get more real estate leads now and into the foreseeable future. Problem #1: You are renting intellectual property. When you can help potential buyers visualize a new home, you are doing a lot more than providing a straightforward look at a property. Buyers want a look at their potential future from an individualized point of view. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is with virtual tours and professional real estate photography to highlight the unique features of each property you want to sell. With this in mind, real estate photography reveals itself as more of an art form than a bare necessity. Unfortunately, when you work with real estate software companies like Matterport, you pay the artisanal real estate photography price, without most of the benefits. Real estate agents accrue hosting fees without ownership of media content. Companies like Matterport keep a tight grip on virtual tour hosting, with restrictive and limited copyright. Solution #1: Take ownership of your content by working with media producers with flexible contracts. You'll save money and stay in charge of your listings. Do not hand over your listing to Silicon Valley. Files from HomeJab's 360 cameras are common JPEG files that you can download and control, unlike with those of Matterport. Most people who enlisted the help of a real estate agent—87% of sellers in 2019— used a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website for listing their homes. It's true that MLS photo rules were changed to mitigate "frivolous and expensive copyright infringement lawsuits," but the team at HomeJab would like to ease the burden further by transferring all content rights to you with a flexible contract. Our team can help you make real estate 3D virtual tours with 360° cameras and open source code for virtual tour and floor plan creation that is just as persuasive as Matterport. Here's a look at how content ownership benefits you: You can host photos on your own terms. You will save money, while retaining and maximizing the value of your listing. You can tailor individual listings that speak to potential buyers in a way that limited restriction listings cannot. Problem #2: You are going nowhere fast with only using virtual tours. Virtual tours are an important component of the online real estate industry, but the effectiveness of virtual tours depends on a good multimedia presentation strategy. Your content should be optimized for mobile and tablet devices too—not just computers—73 percent of all buyers seek information about properties from a mobile or tablet search, according to the National Association of Realtors. Solution: Turn lackluster virtual tours into inclusive, virtual experiences. Consider multimedia formats for your listings, like real estate listing videos and real estate drone video technology with HomeJab. When you work with HomeJab to create video content, we can increase the wow-factor of your virtual tours. Here's what we know video can accomplish that still photos cannot do alone: Communicate depth perception and space: A new report from Time says that homeowners are looking to depart from condensed city living, in favor of more open-space residencies. They want to see and feel the impact of space around their new lives. Leave a lasting impression: 35% of all buyers in 2019 relied on a real estate agent's online videos to learn more about a home, according to the National Association of Realtors. Beyond the pandemic, we are facing a permanent culture shift towards remote work and lifestyles. Consumers are shifting to virtual resources first, and it will stay this way—even after the vaccine. To capture the attention of virtual audiences, you will need to provide content that brings mindless scrolling to a screeching halt. Problem #3: You don't offer extra value. For buyers, navigating massive real estate listings on websites like Zillow, Trulia, and RE/MAX can be overwhelming. If any of these websites have the same content as a broker's website, the corporate website will often outrank the local agent in real estate search engines. Solution: Add value to your listings by adapting to future-forward real estate technology. Extra value for buyers and sellers comes in two forms: technical and personal. Use this knowledge as your leg-up in the impending battle between big real estate corporations and independent agents. On a technical level, if you send photos to Zillow but maintain ownership of the virtual tour and/or video, then consumers seek out your media first. This maximizes the chances of lead generation and conversion. On a personal level, qualified content generates leads that are a good match for your home listing and your business model. Buyers and sellers want to work with a real estate agent who puts their needs first, while keeping track of the latest technology and trends. You can use HomeJab property pages at no extra cost: We offer free leads to listing agents. We don't sell leads, and we don't sell advertising. Hosting your files on HomeJab is completely free for the listing agent and the consumer. If buyers are interested in your listing, leads get automatically forwarded to your inbox. Our goal is to work with you to produce the content at the highest quality, while turning over all ownership and revenue to you. Make Your Real Estate Marketing Recession-Proof Your business can be more resilient when you act on the likely uncertainty that lies ahead. The pandemic situation continues to unfold, and changes in the economy seem unpredictable. Secure your place in the future economy by anticipating the ups and downs yet to come. Understanding how to get real estate leads in an uncertain market simply requires a bit of flexibility. Like all good real estate professionals, you must prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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What Are Home Buyers Looking for in 2021?
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3D Tour Videos Will Replace Still Photos in Property Search
A revolution is about to hit the real estate industry. We've reached an inflection point that will create a major change for property search websites. WAV Group expects that sites will feature 3D tours instead of still photos as the primary display in the next three to five years. 3D tours create digital scans of a property, and the best part is that you do not need to put on one of those goofy headsets to make you feel like you are walking around in the actual home. The experience provides a perspective that flipping through still photos will never provide, such as walking down a hallway. One of the greatest innovations in 3D tours is the combination of interior home scans with exterior drone footage. This gives the consumer the ability to walk out the door into the back yard (or front yard) and take a good look at the house and the neighborhood—or the ocean views, if you are l3D tours are made of 360° scans and create a virtual rey experience that is immeasurably better than still photos. Brokers and agents who get 3D tours on every property are going to jump out ahead of those that do not. Moreover, those that convert their websites to 3D tours first have a chance to beat the portals and regain market share from consumers. Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow Group, indicates that the 3D experience is going to be "the next big thing" in property marketing. But I feel they will struggle to take advantage of the trend. Zillow's problem is that they are not listing agents (at least not yet). Zillow tried to put out software for free to anyone to capture home scans on their phone, but the product is not anywhere close to the experience that you get from a Matterport, iGuide or Asteroom scan. If agents do not pay for these scans and send the content to Zillow Group, it will be difficult for them to take the lead as a portal. The best part of these 360° scans is the production of floor plans. Michael Vervena from iGuide says that the accuracy of these scans from equipment like the Ricoh Theta Z1 360° camera placed on the iGuide Planix base will capture room dimensions to an accuracy of 0.5% or greater. When you look at the research performed by the National Association of REALTORS®, consumers list photos as the No. 1 most important information along with property details and then floorplans at No. 3. Zillow research puts floor plans at the No. 2 most important information consumers seek. Another big advantage of 3D tours with floor plans is engagement. Consumers spend a lot more time on the site and are more likely to inquire about a listing. Moreover, lead quality goes way up. The home buyer starts with location, beds and baths. From there, the process is about taking properties off the list. It takes less time to tour a property using this new technology than it does to find your keys and hop in your car. Floor plans are also incredibly helpful at understanding if you will fit in with a specific house; people want to know if their furniture will fit. This is where virtual staging from BoxBrownie comes in handy. It also helps solve the other problem of showing the home seller's old-and-outdated furniture handed down from their step-grandmother. Some of the details that the industry has not worked out yet include cost of the tours, ownership of the data, and hosting fees. The cost of the tours has come down a significant amount. Compare the $3000 cost of a Matterport tour plus monthly hosting with iGuide's $299 tour tour and no hosting fee. In fact, iGuide even provides the agent with a downloadable version that can be played from their phone, computer, tablet or even sent via text. Asteroom is considered less expensive in comparison, but it is more of a DIY solution. Most of the tours today include the professional photographer, causing data ownership to be all over the board. For instance, Matterport and Asteroom claim ownership of the data. iGuide does not. As for the hosting fees – not a fan. I am sure that the vulture capitalists backing these startups want the recurring revenue from hosting, but it is really just an egregious tax on the Realtor. If MLSs want to do something great for their members, hosting these 3D scans is a future member benefit that would be adored by their customers. In addition to these 3D tours being pushed front and center on property search sites in the future, I believe that they will become the first engagement experience between an agent and a buyer. If you have not checked out Urban Immersive's experience of a home walkthrough or a Virtual Showing by iGuide, try it. The agent can literally meet the customer online and show the home, pointing out features and answering questions for the client's convenience. These are bold predictions; feel free to disagree. But if you want to take a moonshot in your business and grow market share through investing in developing a better experience for consumers, then this is definitely it. Here is a virtual showing sample from iGuide:
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Spring 2021 Housing Market: Will the Extremes Calm Down?
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Low Inventory Won't Last Forever. Two Reasons to Be Optimistic
By now, you've probably seen the report in the Wall Street Journal that there were more active real agents than homes for sale in January. It's certainly a sobering statistic, and it plainly and succinctly illustrates the unprecedented level of competitiveness facing professionals in today's housing market. But it's not all doom and gloom. Yes, a lack of inventory is anxiety-inducing—without a doubt. And yes, you're right to wonder if things will settle down anytime in the near future. But we believe there are two reasons why agents should be optimistic for the coming months. Reason for Optimism Number One First, we expect the number of active real estate agents to decrease. Back in September, we wrote about the surge of newly registered agents. We pointed to a depressed job market and rising home values as the two central factors driving soaring interest in a real estate career. At the time, though, we didn't know whether this was a temporary response to a once-in-a-century pandemic or the first warning sign of an industry teetering on oversaturation. Now, in April, we have some more clarity. As the vaccine rollout continues and the job market bounces back, we believe that the majority of new agents will exit the industry as quickly as they came. Many were likely never as interested in a long-term real estate career so much as they were an alternative income stream, and now, facing one of the roughest-ever markets for rookie agents, the allure of a secure paycheck elsewhere will almost certainly be too strong for many. Furthermore, we believe the pace of licensed real estate agents exiting the market will far exceed those entering it. Last year, record-setting home prices offered the potential of a quick buck. This year, the sentiment has flipped—and the entire world knows depressed inventory means a new agent is more likely to be eking out a living than striking gold. Compounded, these two factors should bring market competitiveness back to pre-pandemic levels (or close to it) in the coming few months. Reason for Optimism Number Two Lost in the sensationalism of the Wall Street Journal article is the fact that the number of agents outpaced listings in January. It's unusual for that to happen, sure. That's why it made headlines. But is it really as much a cause for concern as it seems? According to Homesnap internal data, in a typical year, January marks the first time the volume of listings increases after falling from October to December. This year, the rate of growth was about half of last year—but it still reflected the same predictable pattern; listings did trend in a positive direction. Of course, in 2021, listings flatlined in February compared to January, which is atypical—but not altogether unexplainable. Many would-be sellers have been riding out the winter months, waiting for vaccinations and repealed mandates just around the corner, and the flat trajectory points just as much to the rate at which homes are going under contract as it does to the lack of new properties brought to market. Wouldn't it be reasonable, then, to predict that we've simply extended the normally depressed winter months into the spring? Aren't we seeing something akin to slightly more busy November and December? Only this time, instead of people waiting for after the holidays to go to market, they're waiting until they're vaccinated? It's no guarantee, for sure. Inventory may stay sub-normal for the whole year. But would-be sellers can only hold out against record-setting home prices for too long before they're tempted to capitalize. Simple supply and demand, right? That's reason enough for optimism for us. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Will the Great Urban Flight Last?
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How Has COVID-19 Impacted Use of Smart Home Products?
A year into COVID-19, and it's safe to say we've changed how we live, work, play, learn and, well, just about everything. But we've also changed how we operate -- literally! A recent Homes.com survey found that almost 65% of homeowners and renters bought smart home products for their homes in response to the pandemic, with almost half of them (49%) buying smart home technology for the first time ever.
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Integrating 'The Flood Discussion' into Your Real Estate Practice
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PropTech: What Does It Mean for the Real Estate Agent?
Technology is advancing the way real estate agents communicate value to prospective clients. It plays a huge role in assisting in transactions and is changing the way you do business. From artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) to virtual reality (VR) and new 3D tour technology, proptech trends are slowly but surely making their way into your daily routine. But the question remains for a lot of agents: is proptech spawning a new era or is it disrupting a legacy system? The Resistance Real estate has not always embraced property technology advancements quickly. The industry as a whole is resistant to change. It operates on a legacy method. As an agent, you do what you have always done. Why? Because it works. But what if you could work better? What if you could give more value to your client and continue to fill the shoes of your predecessors? Proptech can open virtual doors, build your brand, and provide valuable information to home buyers and sellers. 3D Tours: Use Them or Lose Them The past year has certainly seen a jump in terms of how virtual tours have played a huge role in your real estate marketing plan. This proptech has changed home buyers' behaviours dramatically. When you want to market a property and get it sold quickly, surveys indicate you need to incorporate a virtual tour for your buyer to view from the comfort and safety of their current residence. You could risk losing a deal before you even make a connection if your buyer can't connect with you online. Proptech and Communication Consumers are seeking information before they contact a real estate agent. Advancements in technology give the consumer multiple ways to contact you – email, social media, direct message, Zoom meetings and more. How can you get more leads and referrals? Offer potential clients as much useful information as possible. Use property technology to showcase floor plans, 3D tours, and interactive ways to cater to the clients' changes in behaviour. Buyers are searching online and according to NAR, several buyers are placing offers before visiting the property in person. Keeping Up with Drones in Real Estate A popular proptech addition to 360° tours is drone footage. What better way to have a great view of a listing than to get a bird's eye view? Using drones adds another level to your listing presentation. For your seller, you are offering added value to your marketing plans, and for your buyer, these additional virtual tours help build an emotional connection to a property. Though drones are readily available, they come with a few regulations, so it's best to have your professional real estate photography provider get your aerial photos. Stick to what you do best so you don't end up flying your newly purchased drone into the neighbour's open window. According to NAR, one of the biggest challenges real estate agents face is keeping up with technology. Big players in the real estate industry, like Zillow and Redfin, are using data to offer their services and give insight into current market trends. Don't miss out on some great opportunities by skipping out on information that can help you and your clients. Property Data and Analytics Use proptech to analyze data. Information offered by your MLS' property data/tax tool is a window into the future as well as a way to analyze past trends. Accuracy is key. Presenting the whole picture with data from the markets helps you provide the best service to the consumer. How do you know what is happening in the current market? By monitoring economic, geographic, and demographic data, real estate agents can use this information to predict sales and provide a more accurate valuation of a property. What if you could use data to target specifics by narrowing down precisely what a buyer wants? Advanced analytics will soon be able to get you up close and personal with all your buyer's desires. By inputting things from desired floor plans and room dimensions to distance to schools and Walk Scores, you will be able to narrow down the ideal property. Not only does this provide value to the consumer, it saves time. The Future is VR Virtual reality gives the consumer the ability to see before they buy and, in fact, can now let them see before the brick and mortar has time to set. Proptech advancements in VR can let the consumer walk through a property before it is even built. At the pre-construction stage, you can visualize various upgrade options, get a realistic view from every floor of a multi-level property and experience how an adjustment to the proposed floor plans would flow. The world is changing and every industry is adapting to technology. With the Internet of Things (IoT) giving you ways to access your home security camera while on vacation or to get a ride in a self-driving car, the future definitely looks tech-friendly. As one of the largest industries in the world, real estate and proptech go hand in hand. You don't have to give way to AI chatbots as the only form of communication with the consumer. Instead, embrace technology as a new partner in business. Keep your human connection, your coffee meetings, and your personal approach to your clients because as humans we all crave that bond. Use technology as a complement to your real estate marketing approach. The bottom line is, if the experience leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction, proptech is good.
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Three Predictions for the Real Estate Market in 2021
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Pets and Zoom Rooms: 2 Property Features Every Real Estate Agent Should Focus On
Recent changes in real estate buyer preferences provide new opportunities for Realtors. Agents can focus on new trends that arise from our latest needs. For example, more and more people have been pushed or have chosen to work from home. Studies also show that new couples and first-time buyers are more concerned with home offices and pets than kids' or guests' rooms. All of these new trends are important signals for real estate agents. From now on, they can take advantage of these trends and provide new details in their property promotions. Before discussing ways you can include pets and Zoom rooms in your ads, let's find out what exactly they are:
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Top 10 Interior Design Trends for 2021
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How 2020 Changed Homebuying and Selling
In the first week of March 2020, hundreds of thousands of home sellers put final touches on their properties before their agents listed them for sale. At the same time, a new and deadly coronavirus strain was sweeping the globe. Within a matter of weeks, home sales would plummet to their lowest levels since the housing crisis of 2007, and by year's end, 2020 changed homebuying and selling in drastic ways.
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2021 Housing Inventories: Will They Run Out?
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5 Predictions for the 2021 Housing Market
Following one of the strongest years for residential real estate on record, the 2021 housing market has some large proverbial shoes to fill. Both home sellers and buyers fared well in 2020; median home sale prices reached a record $304,100, surpassing $300,000 for the first time in history, while mortgage rates hit record lows. Optimistic housing economists expect a recovering national economy to improve the housing market even more in 2021. They see it motivating sellers who sat on the sidelines in 2020 and restoring confidence to buyers who did the same. Some housing forecasters have even predicted that 2021 will be a better year for residential real estate than 2020. Not everyone agrees with the rosy outlook, however.
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How to Ride the Wave of a Seasonal Sales Cycle
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4 Factors Influencing the Real Estate Rebound
The data continues to show a promising rebound for the housing market. After a massive halt in March and April due to COVID-19, pending home sales, listings, and solds have continued to increase month-over-month, showing that buyers are back in the real estate market. All-time low interest rates, remote workforce, pent-up demand, and life events (continuing to happen) are just a few of those factors. Find out the four biggest factors contributing to the rebound of the real estate market by watching the video above!
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The Latest Trends in Team Software
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The 4 Pillars That Will Drive Real Estate Forward
For over a hundred years, selling a home involved one option: offering it for sale on the open market. While that's still how most homes sell today, innovations in fintech backed by billions in capital are giving sellers more options than ever. If agents don't bring more options to the table themselves, they will be left behind. The four pillars that will help drive our real estate market forward include the bridge, the instant sale, the listing concierge and the open market. At zavvie, we have built all four of these options into the newest version of our Offer Optimizer brokerage solution. Here's how they work.
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As Pandemic Brings Greater Interest in Real Estate Careers, Agents Face More Competition
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3 Key Stats that Show Just How Busy 'Busy Season' Was
There's no doubt this has been the busiest busy season in some time. Spring shutdowns delayed the peak home-buying period by two months, and a pandemic-induced exodus from cities has resulted in a record-setting number of transactions in the suburbs. But just how busy is busy? Our data scientists crunched the numbers, and the results are even more mind-blowing than you might have thought.
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75% of Real Estate Agents Optimistic About the Market Despite Pandemic
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Busy Season Is Busier Than Ever
In May, we reported that consumer home-buying actions--which we defined as properties viewed, shared, and favorited--were on the rise, indicating that buyers were reentering the market following a COVID-19-induced lull in real estate activity in the early spring. What we didn't know at the time, though, is whether the data pointed to a delayed busy season—in which home-buying actions would be more spread out, extending into the latter half of the (usually slower) fall—or a condensed one, where a greater number of actions would take place during the typical summer busy period. Well, now, it seems we have our answer.
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As Listings Increase, So Too Has Agent Confidence
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Waze Is the Hottest Trend in Real Estate Marketing. Here's Why
According to the latest Homesnap data, Waze advertisements have experienced a 173% surge in usage among agents when compared to this time last June. The year-over-year jump is the largest we've seen from any digital real estate marketing channel--including stalwarts like Facebook, Instagram, and Google. So, we asked ourselves: What's driving this trend?
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Shifting Population Due to Working Remotely
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Real Estate Returning to Normal with New Tech
As we roll into June, much of the country is opening back up from the COVID-19 pandemic and the real estate industry is trying to figure out the future. I believe the best plan might be a short-term plan consisting of a few months and a long-term plan that will start when we return to some kind of normal. But either way, the real estate industry will change forever. Most of us have lived through events that have changed our lives, like post-9/11 and flying, to just name one major change. I do believe COVID-19 will change the real estate industry for a long time or even forever. One silver lining might be that all of us, whether real estate professionals or the public, will discover new ways not only to work, but to live—and please know that many of the ways we've changed, I don't like...but no choice! Many of you have seen on social media about The Jetsons, remember them? More than likely right now you are humming the theme song. The program aired in 1962 and 1963, and was created to reflect life in 2062, a century into the future. If you are too young to remember the show, it's worthwhile to watch a few episodes to understand where I am going with this, as it's still being streamed. So back to the post on social media. The cartoon with the Jetsons has four blocks showing different ways life could be in the future. Telemedicine was one, Elroy saying ahhh, Jane his wife sitting using a wireless vacuum cleaner, and daughter Judy doing exercises by teleconference, and, of course, Mr. Spacely firing George over video call. Didn't take until 2062 (back to the point of my article)! Consumer habits have been changing for years, but thanks to the pandemic, we suddenly have changed to a new era in life. Over 300 million people used Zoom during the pandemic, and virtual tour companies have been coming on board almost daily and discussing a 300% increase in engagement. Not long ago, we used 2D pictures; now 3D and virtual tours dominate the market as more and more people are buying homes without setting foot into the home—it's here to stay! Many of the social networking sites, telecom companies and industry tech giants are introducing more ways to use the technology that real estate consumers are embracing. I have heard many agents say how they have managed to gain inventory and move inventory of property in the past few months without meeting the buyers or sellers or stepping into the home. It is not going back to just smartphones and email—and before that, flip phones and PDAs or legal pads. When I started my career in 2000, I found a survey of consumers involved in real estate transactions and one of the questions was, "Do you feel you have more technology or less technology than a real estate agent?" The answer: 70% believed they were more advanced with technology than real estate agents. Now is the time to brush up on the latest technology, embrace and prepare yourself for the changes we face today! Let RE Technology be your resource for keeping you ahead of the technology curve! Dick Betts is a REALTOR® in The Villages, Fla. and a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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Are Buyers Readying to Re-enter the Market En Masse?
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Analysis: Agents Should Double Down on Facebook and Instagram Ads as Advertising Costs Drop
As agents feel the effects of the novel coronavirus on their business, they'll instinctually want to cut spending on digital advertising--but our latest analysis implores worried agents to do the opposite. In our latest whitepaper, Agents Need Online Advertising Now More Than Ever and They Should Double Down on Facebook and Instagram, we analyzed recent advertising data on four online advertising platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Google and Waze. It makes sense that online advertising would become more lucrative as consumers are spending more time at home to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus – but what digital advertising networks can move the needle for real estate agents who need quick strategies for keeping their business running? Our biggest takeaways:
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Understanding the 2020 Real Estate Market
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Real Estate Agents' 2020 Market Predictions
Will 2020 favor buyers or sellers? What will be the biggest barrier to homeownership this year? What can agents do to prepare first time buyers? We asked over 400 real estate agents across the country what they think will happen this year. Do their predictions match what's happening in your local area?
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Marketing to Millennials: Identifying Trends for Future Homebuyers
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3 Big Tech Trends: What's ahead for 2020 and beyond
Famous physicist Edward Teller once said, "The science of today is the technology of tomorrow." Both science and technology are making breakthroughs at a record pace today. The result is an increase in the velocity of new technology designed to improve how we live and how we work. What's on the horizon are technologies that promise to improve the real estate business for agents and consumers alike. Here is a sampling of remarkable technologies we will see in the next year and beyond that will impact us all at work and at home.
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Profiting from the iBuyer Trend
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2020 Hindsight: Game-Changing Tech and Tools from the Last Decade
The New Year is a great time to look back and remember how far we've come. We've put together a list of some of the most game-changing tech that was born this last decade as well as some that could prove big in the next decade. How has this technology changed the way you do business?
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[Best of 2019] Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?
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The 6 Trends We're Seeing in Top Real Estate CRMs
The following is an excerpt from RE Technology's latest Success Guide: CRM is a constantly evolving category of technology for real estate. Vendors in this category regularly introduce new functionality to improve the breadth of services that agents or brokers can accomplish. Here are a number of new functions and trends that we see emerging across the real estate CRM landscape.
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6 Real Estate Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2020
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What Does a Possible Economic Recession Mean for the Housing Market?
By now you've likely heard murmurings of an impending economic recession. According to the National Association for Business Economics' Economic Policy Survey, three out of four of the business economist panelists expect a recession by 2021. But let's hold off on the panic button for just a minute, because this does not necessarily mean a downturn in the housing market. In fact, historically, it can mean quite the opposite.
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What Are iBuyers?
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Top 10 Issues Impacting the Real Estate Industry: Annual Forecast Reveals
As a data junkie, I love Top 10 lists. So, when The Counselors of Real Estate releases its member survey of current and emerging issues that will have the biggest impact on real estate in 2019 and 2020, I'm all ears – and eyes. The 1,100 member Counselors released its Top Ten list once again at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, this year in Austin. The top concern? U.S. infrastructure was identified as the #1 issue impacting real estate.
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Gen Z is Buying Their First Homes! Here's What You Need to Know
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Instant Offers: How Real Estate Agents Can Compete
Instant offer companies are a real thing and they are here to compete with you for their fair share of the real estate market. However, you should enjoy that people are reacting to instant offers as they have. Why? Because it opens up a whole new kind of untapped marketing strategy that might lead to you closing more clients. In this guide, we will teach you how to create marketing campaigns and close these instant offer clients.
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Real Estate Marketing Trends that Need to Die in 2019
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Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?
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 Latest Trends in Market Analytics
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5 Buzzworthy Real Estate Marketing Trends You Can Use
2018 was a tremendous year for the real estate industry, and 2019 is shaping up to be just as big! In 2018, real estate agents saw innovative digital technologies begin to change the way business is done. Customers looking for home listings have shifted their research almost entirely online. In 2019, emerging technologies will start to transform agents' day-to-day workflow. More things that were once considered "nice to have" will become online branding necessities. Below, we predict what will be most buzzworthy in 2019.
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Shift Happens: How Top Agents Survive (and Thrive) in a Turning Real Estate Market
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Real Estate Advertising Trends You Should Be Aware of This Holiday Season
Paid advertising is never static, as a direct result of supply and demand. Your cost-per-lead will fluctuate depending on the number of homebuyers relative to the number of advertisers in the market. Seasonality also impacts search traffic! Luckily, there are some patterns you can follow. Here are a few of the top paid advertising trends to stay aware of during the holiday season.
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Home Design Trends: What Homebuyers Are Looking for Today
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3 Easy Ways to Future-proof Your Real Estate Business
What can real estate agents do now to prepare their business for the future? Experts Kristi Kennelly and David & Jonah Stillman have a few ideas. During a recent conference, they (and many others!) shared action steps Realtors can take now to make sure they're staying ahead of the curve—and top of mind with their sphere and farming area. Here are the top three ways that agents can impress clients and ensure their business lasts for the long haul:
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4 Powerful Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018
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How Mobile Tech Is Changing Real Estate Forever
It really wasn't too long ago that mobile technology for real estate agents was a "nice to have" technology. Visionary agents and teams rolled out their own mobile apps. They converted their websites to a mobile responsive design. The smartest ones set up mobile-centric lead generation systems that took full advantage of all the information a mobile home shopper would automatically provide. These early adopters reaped the rewards that mobile tech offered real estate sales professionals. The major portals, including realtor.com and Zillow, focused development efforts on mobile apps. They rolled out features that better connected agents to their customers. In 2012, one-fifth of all Google related real estate searches were on mobile devices. Today, Google reports over 60 percent of all searches are performed on mobile devices. In the last four years, real estate related searches have grown by a whopping 235 percent. Today, mobile tech is now a "given" for every agent and broker. It is changing the face of the real estate transaction forever. Every tool we now use, from our websites, to all the tech tools that help us manage our business and close real estate transactions, must be mobile friendly. Going forward, all new software must be developed with a mobile-first approach. It's vital to understand why.
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Booming Marketing Trends in Real Estate
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15 Real Estate Resources That Will Help You Sell More Homes in 2017
If you want to get ahead of the competition and thrive as a real estate agent for the next 12 months and beyond, you have to be willing to put some time into putting together a strategy for the year ahead. One of the best low-stress ways to ease into planning for 2017 is to spend a few hours here and there exploring resources that relate to your industry and profession. To help lead you in the right direction, I've collected 15 great actionable resources that you can learn from and apply to your business in order to sell more homes in 2017. Real Estate Trends You can't be an effective real estate agent without keeping up with the latest changes and trends affecting your industry. It's the same for any type of profession—you need to understand how the market is changing, what your potential customers are looking for and in need of, and what you need to do to differentiate from the competition. As you plan for the next 12 months, here are five trends to consider: 1. The Market Will Continue to Improve. According to the New York Times, buyers purchased single-family houses at the annual rate of 654,000 in 2016, the highest rate since October 2007. In the article from the Times, The Housing Market Is Finally Starting to Look Healthy, journalist Neil Irwin highlights the improvements that we've been seeing and experiencing in the market over the past seven to eight years. The article provides some great statistics and charts that can help you better understand where the market is likely heading in 2017. 2. Drones Are Coming. Drones aren't necessarily new to the real estate market, but they will become a lot more prevalent in 2017 due to some changes announced by the FAA earlier this year. In an article from Autelrobotics, titled The Complete Guide to Drones for Real Estate, author Andrew Hansen highlights some impressive statistics. He writes, Annual commercial drone sales are expected to reach 2.5 million units in 2017, an increase of more than 300 percent over 2016 estimates. Real estate is projected to be one of the largest industries to capitalize on drone technology, as experts predict it will account for 22 percent of total commercial drone use by 2020. As you already know, listing photos and videos are becoming an increasingly important part of connecting with potential buyers. Buyers today want as much information about a home as possible before they step foot through the door. It's your job as a real estate agent to collect and present them with that information. This article will help you understand what you need to do to invest in drone technology as a real estate agent in 2017.
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5 Social Media Trends You Need to Leverage
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Top Online Marketing Trends for Real Estate Pros
How many articles have you read that list the many ways 2016 will be a great year in real estate? Sellers are selling and buyers are buying. But how do you, as the real estate professional, capitalize on said growth? Utilizing the latest and greatest in online marketing technology will definitely help! Provide shareable, interactive content It’s time to take your blogging seriously! No more poorly written or irrelevant posts. Not only is it important to start writing articles about content that your prospects are actually interested in, but you also need to focus on creating content that’s share-worthy. REALTOR®Mag recently offered the following tips to better leverage your blog: Be an amazing storyteller and let your personality shine through your posts Use pictures, infographics, and interactive content to engage readers and grab their attention Be a friend to local businesses by mentioning them in your posts–this benefits you both! Use technology to automatically share your blog posts to various social media sites Incorporate video Video will continue to play a big part in online marketing this year, providing a great visual and helping to make your marketing messages more personal. Target your videos to the audience you would like to reach with a carefully crafted script. According to the National Association of REALTORS® report on “Real Estate in the Digital Age,” 26% of buyers are using online videos sites such as YouTube during the home search. You don’t even have to have fancy equipment. Many of today’s mobile phones take high quality videos. For iPhone users, you can change the quality of your recordings by going to Settings > Photos & Camera and then selecting Record Video to update your video resolution settings.
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7 Actionable Mobile Trends for Real Estate Agents
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Home Trends: What's In (and Out) for 2016
Break out the hammer and nails: 2016 is predicted to be a strong year for home remodeling, according to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The report anticipates that annual spending growth on home improvements will increase from 2.4% in the third quarter of 2015 to 6.8% by the end of 2016's second quarter. Agents and brokers looking for potential listing leads can use this as an opportunity to connect. How? Here are a few ideas that immediately come to mind: Create a board for renovation ideas on Pinterest Blog about renovation projects (again, you can mine Pinterest for ideas) Share info about home improvement fairs in your area Touch base with former clients and ask if they need contractor referrals But how do you know what's "in" (and what's not) this season so that you can better engage consumers? A recent report from Zillow Digs, which factors what consumers are looking for with insight from home design experts, points to the following trends. You can use these ideas as a starting point when looking for content to share. Farewell, Farmhouse Chic The rustic, intentionally shabby look of the "farmhouse chic" trend seems to finally be on its last legs. In its place come sleek, elegant accents reminiscent of the 1920s. Texture Trends What's Out: Say goodbye to burlap details, which Zillow's design experts say is too harsh for indoor use. What's In: Instead, homeowners are looking to softer textures like nubby wool rugs or other natural fibers. The typically neutral colors of these fabrics are the perfect balance to bolder colors.
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Onwards and Upwards in 2016
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Six Real Estate Trends to Watch for in 2016
With the national unemployment rate holding steady at 5% and stable job growth continuing in a number of industries, 2016 looks to be a promising year for economic and industry advancement. For the real estate industry, the forecast is optimistic – especially for sellers, as home values continue to climb. Here are six real estate trends to watch for in the New Year. 1. Demand for housing will continue to grow 2015 proved to be the housing market's most profitable year since the recession, and sales of existing homes are expected to grow moderately in 2016. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, "Sales activity in 2016 will once again be primarily driven by the ongoing release of more pent-up sellers finally realizing their equity gains and using it towards the down payment on their next home." The market is primed for current homeowners who plan to transition from their "starter homes" to larger houses that will accommodate growing families. Additionally, prospective sellers who had been sitting on homes that had decreased in value during the recession may now be able to sell without losses. The current inventory of available homes is low and the average cost of houses is on the rise. This can be an advantage for second-time buyers, but detrimental to first-time purchasers who face stiff competition while struggling to meet higher price tags.
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What Will Buyers Want in 2016? Smart Homes!
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Why Millennials Won’t Buy Boomer McMansions
Self-confession: I love surveys. Data is my kryptonite. I got hooked in my grad school stats class and I've never looked back. At Great Western Bank, I created the Realty Confidence Index, which surveyed, face-to-face, broker-owners in 23 states. At Fannie Mae, I got to pitch to reporters nationwide the most comprehensive housing surveys of its day. At Imprev, I helped craft and launch the real estate industry's first Thought Leader Survey and continue to spearhead that effort. This all means I know intimately what Mark Twain meant when he popularized the saying, "There are lies, damn lies and statistics." Two people can draw completely different conclusions from the exact same data. Which is why I am having problems with a few statistics about Millennials and their immediate impact on home buying: Zillow's economist Stan Humphries says, "By the end of 2015, millennial buyers will represent the largest group of homebuyers." The National Association of Realtors' 2015 report on generational trends says that Millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers at 32 percent and comprise 68 percent of first-time buyers. A TD Bank survey says that 62 percent of potential first-time home buyers think that they will purchase a home within the next two years; among millennial survey respondents, the number rises to 67 percent.
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Is It Walkable? More Buyers Want a Pedestrian-Friendly Community
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What They Don’t Tell You – Real Estate Market Trends
Everyone has an opinion about residential real estate market trends. Most predictions have merit, while some of them are just a shot in the dark. The focus tends to be on the volatility of housing prices, predictions on how long the mortgage lending rates will remain at record lows, and the influx of Millennial home buyers. All the while you are bombarded with across the board forecasts by economists and analysts predicting how the market will be affected in the coming years. Many real estate forecasts don't always reflect both short term and long term market conditions. The focus is often current trends of whether the real estate market is up or down, the difficulty of home owners trying to sell, and home buyers trying to qualify for and afford loans. Through it all, you will always have families that are struggling "to make ends meet", investors who are eating up supply, and real estate agents who are trying to cater to everyone's needs. Those buyers who were suckered into those misleading mortgages thought they would be okay making minimum payments since that worked before, but weren't actually told that they weren't paying off the interest. Unfortunately this happened to a lot of people, causing them to go into extreme debt. Those low mortgage rates that the banks rolled out had people buying all over the place. When many home owners weren't able to make their monthly mortgage payments, bankruptcy and the housing crisis happened. Of course there were a lot of other factors contributing to the housing crash, but one thing we need to be careful of is not making the same mistakes again.
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10 Insights into Real Estate Technology for 2015
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7 Signs of a Soon-to-Be Super Hot Market (and Why You Can’t Ignore Them)
Real estate is an industry that's all about hyper-local expertise. As an agent, you specialize in specific zip codes, home types, client types—you name it. This industry is as much about niche specialties as it gets. That said, if you want to be the agent who blows away the competition and makes your business go gangbusters this year, you need to know how and when to expand your expertise into new areas of interest. And that means that you need to anticipate what neighborhoods are going to be super hot in the near future. If you establish yourself as the go-to agent in those markets now, there will be no stopping you in the future. Here are the top telltale signs of a soon-to-be hot market. Play your cards right, and your business (and clients!) will thank you for it! 1. Trend-Following Businesses Are Moving In In my neck of the woods, when a co-working space, a Whole Foods or a Blue Bottle coffee moves into the neighborhood, it's a sign that the nature of the neighborhood might be changing. This is just as true for small, local businesses that attract people with disposable income as it is for businesses that sell the basics with flair. In fact, larger businesses tend to do a fair amount of economic research and projections on the neighborhood before moving in. Watching big industry and business moves can be a great way to spot emerging areas with strong fundamentals way before other agents might otherwise be able to see them.
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2013: The Year of Mobile
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A Portrait of the Agent – Realtor® Habit Survey
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: Market Leader surveyed 1,967 Realtors® in August 2013 to learn about their habits. We asked questions about offbeat topics not covered in NAR's Annual Member Profile or similar studies. Questions touched on topics as diverse as their procrastination habits, cell phone usage while driving, and favorite cuisine. Read on to discover what Market Leader's survey uncovered about Realtors® – from habits common across the profession to the differences in habits between the most and least successful Realtors®!
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Mobile Engagement
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How Real Estate Agents are Using Mobile Technology
Guest contributor Properties Online says: 2012 was a big year for mobile technology and social media use – especially in the real estate sector. Mobile technology has been called a 'Game Changer' for the modern REALTOR®, and social media offers a promising return on investment. Let's take a closer look at just how real estate agents are using mobile technology and social media. A Look at Mobile Technology The most popular device purchased by real estate agents in 2012 was a smartphone (44 percent), followed by tablets (27 percent) and laptops (19 percent). According to Pew Research's study "Mobile is the needle; Social is the thread," internet use in the U.S. has increased from 14 percent to 82 percent since 1995. Eighty-five percent of adults in America have a cellphone, of which 45 percent use smartphones, two-thirds are wireless internet users, and slightly over 66 percent of online adults use social media. The survey also revealed that: 83% of REALTORS® believe mobile technology has enhanced their real estate business 92% of real estate agents believe mobile technology has increased their efficiency 63% of REALTORS® believe they need the latest technology for their real estate business Real estate is about relationships and locations – it is not best served by being chained to an office or a desk. Mobile technology frees the real estate agent to work and connect with clients where ever and whenever.
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[Infographic]: Home Buyer Search Habits
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Study: How Online Is Driving Offline
Last year at this time, we saw several big reports showing how clearly the web is influencing the real estate market, with more consumers than ever beginning their home searches online. Here we are again in the early part of the year, and Google and the National Association of REALTORS® have a new report on online habits and real estate. What did they learn this time around? Real estate-related searches have more than doubled in last 4 years. The report, The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate, includes custom research from NAR's 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in addition to internal Google data.
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Are You Recognizing the Trends in Your Market?
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Tablets: The Future of (Digital) Advertising
It's the attack of the tablet. Selling at an incredible rate since the launch of the iPad in 2010, tablets are rapidly changing digital advertising. In fact, we're about to experience a new golden age of advertising. It's content (and advertising) on-demand wherever you are. It's swipeable, slideable, pinchable, zoomable and scrollable, too. It's tactile. So what sets the tablet apart for an advertiser? Larger than a smartphone and more personal than a TV screen, tablets and the growing technology surrounding them offer a whole new world of advertising possibilities. Video on a decent screen size with high-resolution (that's mobile) provides a much richer experience. As a result, more and more people are consuming content on tablets. The tactility of the tablet offers advertisers the chance to engage users in a physical way that's more intriguing than simply digesting information on a screen. Not only will ads become more interactive, but advertising will take advantage of targeted demographics, location, movement, high-resolution screens, video and personalization. Consumers aren't heading to web pages to look at ads; they want the content they searched for. With tablet capabilities such as over-the-page ad units, advertising messages can be conveyed without taking consumers away from their content.
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Infographic: The Price is Right!
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Just how important IS technology in Real Estate?
Guest contributor Delta Media Group says: Does spending more money on real estate technology help you make more? Does making more money help you spend more on real estate technology?The question might be the industry’s chicken-and-egg. It’s tough to tell which caused the other, and if you polled 10 different people, you might get five to answer each way.Trying to assume conclusions out of the statistics might be irresponsible. But the stats show what the stats show, and the stats show real estate agents who invest more in marketing and technology make more money.This, according to a new survey InmanNext conducted that compared top-earning real estate agents (those who take in $100,000 or more per year) to agents earning between $30,000 and $50,000. Nearly 1,400 real estate agents responded—enough to reduce the study’s margin of error to a small percentage.
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33 Must-Know Stats about Modern Real Estate Customers
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For REALTORS, The Answer Is In "The Cloud"
      Guest contributor Austin Allison of DotLoop says . . . You’ve probably heard about “the cloud” in association with technology and the Internet. Phrases like “cloud-based solution” or “working in the cloud” seem to spring up in most technology-related conversations these days. Reason being, the cloud has completely changed the way we use the Internet. What cloud-based technology means for REALTORS® in the simplest terms, is sharing resources, programs and other applications hosted from a remote network that are accessible via Internet connection.
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Shedding Light on Online Security
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A T-Mobile Royal Wedding Tribute
It takes a lot to make me watch a phone company's ad. I do not normally attribute humor to cell phone companies. When given the choice, I'd bypass a Verizon or AT&T ad as soon as possible. But with over 19 million views and enough posts to my Facebook, this T-Mobile ad made it to the desk of our CEO and into my inbox. It was unavoidable.  That's the power of viral social media marketing. If it's good, and enough people like it, it stalks you until you like it too. So now I'm dropping this into your world too! I hope you feel the love! To commemorate the Royal Wedding between Wills and Kate last week, T-Mobile's marketing team released a genuinely funny and staged "dance-off" between members of the royal family at the wedding. It just goes to show edutainment is a great way to market your services to your target audience. I may never have given T-Mobile the time of day before, but they made me laugh and now I'm more open to listening. Does this marketing video have the same effect on you? Watch and see!
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Inclusion: Secret Sauce of Social Media
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Your Reputation: To Be Shared Online?
Consumers today are demanding more and more transparency in every purchase they make. They solicit input from fellow customers about everything from digital cameras to books to doctors. They look to sites like CNET for objective ratings on electronics and they look to sites like findadoctor.com and lawyerratingz.com to learn about the training, reputation and customer satisfaction levels of professionals like doctors and lawyers. This paper will show real estate agents how they can take advantage of this consumer trend to grow their business. It will help agents understand why consumers want more information about the reputations of real estate agents online. It will also show how fellow REALTORS® have capitalized on this strong consumer need to grow their business.
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Viewers Have Options: Make Sure They Choose You
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Time Management Begins With You
The funny thing about "time management" is the multitude of books, articles and seminars on the subject, all suggesting "easy" or "proven" techniques and tips. Set goals, prioritize your tasks, eliminate non-essential "to-dos" and find that magical system that will give you more time for your family. While many of these articles, books, podcasts, etc., usually vary in catchy vocabulary and clichés, successful time management boils down to one's determination and discipline. Spending your time reading about how to manage your time, the techniques to use and steps to follow seem to waste rather than save time. Also, not every system is one-size-fits-all. Different authors or speakers have different perspectives that may not tie into your individual situation. Besides, at the core of any effective time management strategy is one's attitude.
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The Science of Timing: Blogging
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The Science of Timing: Emailing
How many times a day or week should you email your subscriber base or clients to get the maximum opens without getting "unsubscribe" responses? Do you know what time of day is best for emailing? Does it matter? The answer is simple: emailing is not a haphazard activity. It has evolved into a science. If you are interested in keeping a client and subscriber base informed and engaged with you and your business, it is well worth your time to invest in learning some of the research behind the science of email timing. HubSpot social media scientist Dan Zarrella discussed his research on timing. He has conducted research on the Internet for the last 2-3 years. Of all the subjects he researches, the science of timing is the number one piece of data consumers want to know. He researches and identifies best practices. This webinar presents all the data to date that Zarrella has studied. It covers three marketing mediums businesses use for inbound marketing: social media, email and blogging. This article focuses on emailing specifically.
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Study: Only Takes 4 Minutes to Go From Funny to Irritating
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9 Easy Ways to Get Unfollowed on Twitter
Ever since the birth of paper.li and my obsession with aggregating all the content-sharing tweets in my Twitter stream, I have been very aware of annoying Tweeters. Why?  If I don't clean out my Twitter stream every now and then, my paper.li gets overwhelmed with stories I do not want to read about. (To view an example of a paper.li Twitter e-newspaper I manage, check out RE Technology, Inc.'s) Ironically, one of the articles I found interesting, while peeling through my RETechnologyInc Daily was on the very topic of pitfalls of Tweeting that will result in getting people to un-follow you.  In the world of social media, being un-followed is almost equivalent to being virtually told you are annoying or you like things that aren't cool.  It brings many of us back to school yard drama. Jason Yormark, social media marketer, sympathizes to a degree with people who unwittingly abuse common Twitter faux pas. In a recent post he outlines his top 9 Twitter annoyances.  I definitely agree with most. (I still un-follow people who flood my stream with nonsense, but that is due to my paper.li love as stated above.) Here are his top 9 ways to get unfollowed on Twitter:
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5 Things To Know about Marketing on the Web
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The Queue: A Look at RETechSouth, Bob Hale, and 4 New Technologies!
I have been to a conference or 12 this year. I had a chance to attend RE Tech South in the Atlanta suburbs this past week and for lack of a better analogy I am dubbing it the Roy Jones Jr. of real estate conventions. Pound for pound this was the best event of the year.          
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LinkedIn: Are You Leveraging the Premier B2B Social Network? [Infographic]
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3 News Online Spaces Where Users Consume Content and Engage!
I had a chance to spend time with Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan and C.C. Chapman recently all of whom are well respected New Media consultants and best selling authors. I highly recommend that you check out The Thank You Economy, Trust Agents and Content Rules if you are looking to truly understand the new spaces where consumers are consuming content and engaging. If you have not entered to win one of the 6 books I am giving away here is your last chance!
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Sales Skills: Some Kids Are Just Born With It
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Market Your Own Daily Newspaper Based on Twitter Stream
One of the keys to success in Social Media Marketing is sharing content. Whether you post links to interesting and relevant content to Twitter and Facebook from your RSS feed, or share content you create on your blog or find elsewhere, your audience thrives on good content. Curation is becoming more and more important as we collectively build a living history of social media. Why not add a daily or weekly newspaper/magazine to your content distribution arsenal? I can hear the groans already – “TOO MUCH WORK, TOO MUCH TIME!” You might want to give Paper.li, created by Smallrivers, a try.
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