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Bad Advice You Hear from Other Real Estate Agents Online
The internet is a great source for information. You can teach yourself new skills and uncover new knowledge for topics you care deeply about. The dark side of that, though, is you need to sift through a lot of misinformation. This misinformation then gets amplified in an echo chamber by people who are trying to validate their bias. This is how fake news spreads, but it is also how bad advice is accepted by a mass population of people. These are the pieces of advice you should avoid from other real estate agents online: 1. Make Your Own Website Anybody can make a website. The hypothetical "13 year old nephew that can do it better" illustrates the perception some agents have about how easy it really is. Creating a website, and creating a real estate website that generates results are two different things. Companies like Zurple exist to alleviate your stress and provide the website for you. There is no reason to take your attention away from your real estate business to learn how to code the IDX data from your MLS to appear on your site and communicate with your email campaigns. 2. You Should Never Pay for Leads Nothing is ever free. And while we agree you shouldn't pay for leads, that doesn't mean you shouldn't spend marketing dollars on Facebook or Google Ads. Or if you are not the most knowledgable in the subject of online ads, it would make sense to outsource that to a company that knows the ins and outs. In a similar bad piece of advice, they will tell you to do ads yourself. These are agents that took the time to learn how to monitor their own ads. Not every agent has that time, though. So in this case, it might be best to hire a professional. 3. ______ Doesn't Work There will always be another real estate agent that claims a certain product, technique, or company doesn't work. There will also be another agent that claims the exact opposite. Some agents will still fervently deny the viability of social media because getting face to face with their consumer is what they think is most effective. Then there are some agents that will say nobody wants to be bothered and will not pick up a phone or answer their door, so they get in front of them by being online. Agents will tell you it doesn't work, but what they really mean is that it doesn't work for them. 4. Internet Leads Stink Most agents will agree that you must be online to stay in front of home buyers and sellers. However many agents will also tell you that most of their online leads are bad leads. This is advice you should never listen to. In one of Zurple's recent webinars, many agents said they believe internet leads are only worth it if they transact within 28 days. However, with online leads just starting their home buying journey, you are capturing them at the top of the sales funnel. They have a few months of research left before they are ready to speak to an agent. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Top Digital Marketing Tips of 2021
Last month, we invited real estate agents to try the Amarki 30-Day Digital Marketing Challenge. We challenged agents to "up their game" when it came to online marketing of themselves and their properties and follow the schedule that a top producer would use. (See original challenge: Amarki 30-Day Digital Marketing Challenge) Hundreds of agents took the challenge, and below are some of the key learnings found by Amarki: Focus on promoting you the agent: In today's landscape of fast-moving properties, agents are focusing more of their marketing efforts advertising themselves in an effort to get more listings in an attempt to be the first agent a prospective seller sees. Plan in advance: Top producing agents are putting an hour a week aside strictly for pre-planning marketing efforts for the week. This includes curating or creating the content and planning when it will be sent. Automate what you can: Using a tool like Amarki to schedule deployment of email, text and social campaigns was the biggest time saver allowing people to post to social media or launch email campaigns at peak hours when they were out and about. Templates: Taking the time to find or create a template you like for your emails, social posts and flyers becomes a massive time saver for future campaigns. The added benefit is you create brand constancy which helps people remember your personal brand. Text messaging is the new email: Agents who embraced bulk text messaging experienced a much higher engagement rate and had their messages viewed much quicker. More Is More The final big takeaway Amarki is seeing from the challenge… more IS more. We are finding the agents that carve out a small amount of time to plan their marketing for the week and then keep it going are getting more traction. More digital marketing grows your audience slowly, but at the same time incubates them with your messaging. So, when the time comes, you are the first agent they see. It is not something that happens overnight, but just like investing, grows over time. If you haven't tried the Amarki 30-Day Digital Marketing Challenge yet, you can start anytime. More information can be found HERE. About Amarki: Amarki was built by real estate experts for Brokerages and Agents based on years of industry experience and firsthand feedback. We developed a marketing tool accessible to anyone, no matter the experience or marketing budget. By providing an intuitive tool that works "for" the agent, Amarki is able to remove the complexity of marketing tasks making agents more active. Check us out at HERE.
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New to RPR? Start Here to Boost Your Business
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Top Negotiation Tactics for Buyers in a Red-Hot Market
Even as so much changed in the last year, one thing stayed pretty consistent: high demand and low inventory in the residential real estate market. It's great news for the sellers who are ready to list (though on the flip side, many sellers are simultaneously looking to buy), but it's created a battle for buyers as prices soar amid record competition. Buyer's agents need to be at the top of their game to win for their clients. Now is the time to brush up on real estate negotiation tactics to ensure you can expertly make your buyers' offers stand out. Improve your negotiation skills with these four tips. 1. Include an escalation clause An escalation clause is an absolute necessity in this market, where more than a dozen buyers might be vying for the same property. If you're not familiar with it, it's a statement that tells the seller that your client is willing to raise their offer above the highest bidder by a specific amount. You can also add an upper limit in case the highest offer is well above what your buyers are willing to pay or can afford. In a bidding war situation, which is common in a hot real estate market, an escalation clause will give your clients the best chance of winning. Here is an example of what to write: [Name], referred to as The Buyer, offers to pay $[initial offer] for the property at [address]. Should the seller receive a bona fide offer exceeding $[initial offer], The Buyer will increase their offer by $[additional amount] above the highest bona fide offer, not to exceed $[upper limit offer]. 2. Take a win-win approach Although you may be inclined to take an aggressive, hardline approach to "go to battle" for your buyers, it's in your best interest to maintain a win-win perspective instead. Be the real estate agent who other agents want to work with, not the nightmare agent everyone dreads. When you focus on solutions and ask what the other party needs — such as seller terms, fast close, etc. — the deal will not only go more smoothly, but your positive attitude could actually be the deciding factor in the seller selecting your clients' offer over another. 3. Be flexible Similar to taking a win-win approach, flexibility is one of the real estate negotiation tactics that can prove to tip the scale in your clients' favor. Consider this: Most sellers will also become buyers if they aren't already searching for a new home. As they juggle buying and selling simultaneously, less-flexible offers or buyers who are more aggressive about needing the property ASAP may be easily dismissed. Find out what the sellers' ideal timeline is and what other needs they have, and then talk to your client to see if they'd be willing to accommodate to help their offer stand out. 4. Make it a point to meet the sellers in person With the current state of the pandemic in the US, people are increasingly comfortable meeting others face-to-face again. Encourage your buyers to join you at a meeting with the sellers and listing agent. Doing this provides an opportunity for your clients to create an emotional connection with the sellers and hopefully discover a few shared interests. In a bidding war situation where the sellers are comparing offers based solely on price, yours will be the one that has an additional reason to stand out. Final thoughts These aren't the only real estate negotiation tactics to consider, of course. But keeping them top of mind in a hot real estate market will help differentiate you and your clients from the competition. Ensure you're providing a good experience for the sellers — stay flexible, be solution-oriented, and meet their requests when possible — and take actions that will help elevate your buyers' offer. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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3 Massive Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Photographer
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Dotloop Advanced Agent Training
Multiple dates Experienced looper? Join our advanced training session to learn about popular features that will help you streamline transactions even further. How to create form templates How to create task lists How to create an "Easy-Offer" link How to link to a listing with offers How to create a loop via email How to email into templates Register now!
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How to Prepare Your Clients for a Natural Disaster
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How to Create a Social Media Manifesto
Social media is vital to your business, by helping to validate your brand, increase traffic to your website and open the lines of communication between you and your customers. If you don't have a compass to guide you on the digital sphere, it might be time you create your own social media manifesto. This statement of ideals and intentions will help you foster a commitment and enable you to stay the course for why you're really on social media. The reason for creating a social media manifesto is not just being on social media for the sake of being there – but rather what is your driving force for being there? Make this your personal declaration to serve as a bold statement of principles. You want to provoke change within your space – so what will you stand for as a real estate agent on social media? Consider the Why – Before the How The why goes before the how. If you're on social media just to be on it – then you're wasting a golden opportunity to connect, listen, educate and engage with your audience. What Makes You Different? How will you appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head? Think about it this way, Apple doesn't portray themselves as technology providers – they're about innovation. So what are you about? You're an agent by profession – but you're much more than that. You're a connector, a problem-solver, a confidante, a dream maker, and a consultant. Use this as a launch pad to show your passion when developing your manifesto for social media – this is an extension of who you are. You own these channels through and through, so make sure that everything you post has a direct artery to your brand guidelines and your core values. Size Up the Competition Execute your due diligence and create a competitive analysis on what your competitors are doing in the digital world. Look at how often they post, what approach they take, and if they are actively engaging with their audience. You can often find their strengths and weaknesses on the platform, and peel a page right out of their book – or exploit the gaps in their strategy. Content Rules the Kingdom A successful social media presence is all about quality – not quantity. Creating an effective and engaging social media presence takes time and experience – but it also takes some creativity. Here are some great content ideas to ignite your creative juices. Behind the scenes Everyone loves exclusive access, so give the people what they want and peel back the real estate curtain. Have fun with it! Promote a local charity or drive Build trust with your audience by tapping into your community and showing your social responsibility. You could show past events, results from how much you've raised and promote new ones coming up. Throw it back Everyone has heard of #ThrowbackThursday. Dive into your archives and show something of yours from memory lane. It's a great personal touch! Top housewarming gifts What's the greatest housewarming gift you can think of? There are so many ways to get creative around this – and everyone needs new ideas! What's trending? The internet moves at a fast pace, and it's important to keep up with the latest trends. See how social media influencers compose a post and take a page from their book. (Hint: use the explore tab on your Instagram account for research.) Interior design tips You've been around enough homes and professional decorators to have developed a keen eye for design. Highlight some of your best tips on your blog and social. Get personal Showcase your family and friends on your account and what you would do around the home or off-hours, It adds a personal element to your brand. A day in the life of an agent It's no secret that real estate agents are machines. Design some content around what a day in the life actually looks like. Customer appreciation events Promote a customer appreciation event and show off pictures from your last one. What Does Success Look Like to You? You can use your social media vehicles to help accomplish several business objectives, but it would be wise to narrow your focus and aim to target a few primary areas. You obviously want to build up your audience, but where do you go from there? Are you using this for sales? Customer loyalty and retention? Awareness? Or is it just a platform to show your lighter side? Define your metrics and key performance indicators in order to know what to measure. Working the Plan Focus on being social – rather than just engaging in social media. This doesn't mean that you can set it and forget it, because otherwise, you might be missing out of conversations going on all around you and creative ways to interact with new audiences. Remember, one size doesn't fit all on social media. How you would frame a piece of content on Twitter can be completely different on Instagram. You have to work with these parameters to tell your story. For example, you have to work with 280 characters or less on Twitter, whereas on Instagram you can let a high-resolution image tell your story, with the ability to add text in your caption, along with up to 30 hashtags to expand its reach. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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zipForm Mobile and TouchSign
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3 Stand-out Video Hacks: Making Videos that Get Clicks!
You probably have heard that video is one of the most powerful and persuasive forms of communication. The statistics for the impact of YouTube alone are staggering: 2 billion monthly users, 74% of US adults use YouTube, and it's the world's second-most visited website, right after Google, which owns YouTube. On Facebook, the popularity of video is equally stunning. More than 4 billion views occur on Facebook daily, totaling 100 million hours of viewing. Facebook also wants your videos posted directly to Facebook, as they get 478% more shares on Facebook than videos linked from other sources, like YouTube. A Forrester Research analyst estimates that a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, equal to more than 3,500 web pages. Most importantly, research by the National Association of Realtors found that 85 percent of all buyers prefer to work with an agent who uses video. However, NAR says fewer than half of all agents rarely or never use video. While many agents may use video in their marketing and promotional activities, even then, their efforts often fall short. Video tours have long been the primary type of video agents create. However, most video tours yield only a handful of views. While some video tours may generate hundreds and sometimes thousands of viewers, those are the exception, not the rule for video tours. How can you get more clicks when using videos? Here are three hacks to help you generate more viewers and engagement when you upload and promote your videos on both YouTube and Facebook: Create community tours: When someone buys a home, they are not just buying a property; they are buying into a community and the lifestyle their local area offers. What the internet often fails to do is visually showcase local communities with video tours. You can stand out from other agents by being the local expert and capturing tours of what people want to see: the local stores, parks, community centers, schools, restaurants, hiking, or biking trails – whatever makes your community unique and livable. Creating videos that showcase the area where they are buying will gain many viewers and perhaps more deals for you. Local Market Updates: Being the local expert also means you know what is happening in your marketplace. The internet is filled with big picture real estate statistics, but often misses the local picture. With video, you can share what's happening down to the local neighborhood level: how many homes sold, their first offer price and final sales price, how fast homes are selling, new developments planned, and more. Giving context to local trends – year-over-year and month-to-month changes – helps communicate your expertise and trustworthiness. Market update videos are great to share with both prospects and past clients as a way to stay both in touch and top of mind. Top 5 videos: One of the greatest challenges that agents face is figuring out what to share that people will be interested in reading or watching. Creating fresh and engaging content isn't easy. But there is a tried-and-true formula that has worked for many agents who create videos that grab a lot of eyeballs. The concept makes it easy to figure out video content you can create that others will be interested in watching. It's highlighting the "Top 5" in your community. Being a local expert, you know more about your community than just the real estate market. You know the best places to shop, dine, relax, and explore. You can capture and share that knowledge on video. Top 5 videos can include the Top 5 places to eat, Top 5 parks, Top 5 hiking trails, Top 5 places to shop, and you can even get more specific, such as the Top 5 pizzas. If you are in a market with seasons, you can create the Top 5 things to do in the winter/spring/summer/fall, or feature the Top 5 community events. There are many ways to create fresh and exciting videos around this theme. Most importantly, these types of videos can help solidify your position as the go-to local expert. As you can see, the one thing all these types of videos have in common is they have a local focus. Connecting your brand as the local expert by creating local videos helps you stand apart from other agents. By making video a key component of your marketing and promotional efforts, you can expand your reach significantly, reminding prospects and past clients about you and your real estate business. And remember, if you ever have general tech questions, a Tech Helpline expert is only a call or click away! To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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How to Increase Your Income as a Real Estate Agent
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How to Prosper in a Low Inventory Market
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 10:00 AM PDT Join us to learn what it takes to prosper in a low inventory market riddled with corporate competitors such as Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor. Russell Shaw, one of the nation's top real estate agents since 1978, will share tips you can implement to come out on top. Tune in for: Market predictions Secrets to maintaining a successful business How to tell if your brokerage is holding you back Register now!
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Clever Ways to Use Text Message Marketing for Real Estate
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How to Create the Perfect Email Address for Real Estate Agents
An email address can say a lot about a real estate agent. Sometimes it's the only form of contact they'll have with real estate leads. So it is important to look professional and also make it easy to remember. Here are some tips to follow. 1. You Need to Use the Word 'Realtor' in the Correct Context There are plenty of bad examples that we would advise against when using the word "Realtor." According to NAR guidelines, you can only use the word when it is coupled with your first and last name. So [email protected] is okay. @DoeJaneRealtor works too. [email protected], while great for branding, goes against NAR guidelines. 2. Make It Easy for Prospects to Remember If you can, try to craft your real estate email address without numbers or characters. This includes "_" and ".", as those with a touch screen will have to access a separate keyboard to type that symbol in. Homebuyers are already stressed enough, so make it easy on them with a simple email address that is either your name or your branding. 3. Not All Email Services Are Equal After years of working in the real estate industry, I've seen plenty of agents utilize free email services such as AOL, Yahoo, and Gmail for their business communications. We would strongly advise against using AOL and Yahoo emails primarily for their high likelihood to filter emails into spam inboxes. Gmail, however, is perfectly acceptable. 4. Use Company Branded Emails if You Need to Company branded emails are great to establish your credibility before they even open up the email. There is a certain level of legitimacy—if a real estate prospect receives an email from a person that is part of recognizable brand, they are more likely to open it if they are in the market to buy or sell a home. The biggest caveat to using an email address provided by your company is that it gets turned off if you ever leave your company. 5. Use a Self-Branded Email Address These emails with vanity domain names are probably your best option. They usually will cost a monthly or annual fee. However, it helps keep brand consistency for your internet presence. It makes it much easier for a real estate lead to find you online if your website address, email address, and social media usernames are the same. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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RPR Works Everywhere, Just Like You
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Find Sellers Now! Farming for Prospects with RPR
If you know anything about real estate right now, you know that inventory is tight. In this market, you simply can't wait for sellers to come to you. You've got to go find them! And you find them by farming for prospects. Geographic farming is one of the most tried and true techniques when it comes to an agent's long term success. You need to find the right neighborhoods, crunch data to determine if they're ripe, and effectively market yourself to the homeowners in the area over a sustained period. Not sure where to start? RPR is here to map out your path to success... You build a farm—then harvest it for leads! If you're not familiar with geographical farming, here's a simplified explanation: a farm is an area, usually a neighborhood, that you identify as having great potential to market yourself to in order to find prospects and clients. RPR can help you with both. Find your farm and dig So how do you figure out if a neighborhood is worth targeting? Turnover rate is one of the most important factors to consider. Turnover is a percentage of how many homes have sold in a defined area in a year. For example, if an area has one hundred homes, and 10 are sold in a year, the turnover rate is 10%. A good rule of thumb is that your farm area must have at least a 5% turnover rate for you to invest in targeting it. Another important thing to look for when doing this research is to see if a market is dominated by one agent already. If one agent already has 25% or more of the listings in an area, you might want to look elsewhere. This agent has beaten you to it and has obviously already invested their time, resources, etc. We're not saying you can't do it or that it is impossible, but it's more difficult to establish yourself in a market that's already been fished. Or farmed, in this case. Market yourself to your farm After you've found your area and done your homework to make sure it's a fertile farm, you need to market yourself to those homeowners. You'll need to apply a mix of marketing tactics, over at least a one year period, including email, social media posts, phone calls, door knocking (post-COVID, of course), and perhaps most importantly, direct mail. RPR adds tons of value by giving REALTORS® the ability to easily create mailing labels, up to 2,000 per month. (Watch this video: Create Your Own Mailing Labels In RPR: A How-To Video for details.) Pro Tip: How to Target Specific Homeowners - This RPR Shortcut will guide you through an example of how to search for Owner Occupied homeowners that have owned the property for between 5-15 years. Try it now! Farming for prospects: one webinar that can change your entire marketing strategy We know what you're thinking, "This sounds very complicated and requires a lot of effort. And there's math?!" Okay, it will require work on your part and you will have to put in some time. (Kind of a given, right?) However, it's not as difficult as it sounds and RPR has simplified it for you. Learn more by saving your spot in this upcoming webinar, "Finding Sellers for Today and Tomorrow: Real Estate Farming is Your Key to Success." Attend this special webinar and you'll see how easy it is to start farming for prospects in RPR. We show you each step, where to click, how to use the maps to uncover data, how to determine if one agent is getting all the listings, and even how to create mailing labels for your direct mail campaigns. Finding sellers and getting listings should be the top priority for every practicing REALTOR®. Get started and farm for prospects today to have listings tomorrow. If you want to dig even deeper and sharpen your farming skills further, be sure to check out: RPR's Ultimate Guide to Geographic Farming. It goes in depth to explain every last detail to help get you up and running. Good luck, farmer! To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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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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Friday Freebie: Open House Guide to Getting More Offers
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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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What Salary Can You Expect to Make as a Real Estate Agent?
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The Unexpected Benefits of Form Simplicity for Agents
When America locked down, real estate agents already using a digital transaction management program had an immediate advantage. As working remotely became the new normal for months, having every document, every email, and every text associated with each transaction located in one place, online and accessible 24-7, was a priceless timesaver. Overnight, transaction management software became the new "must-have" for every active real estate agent. For Form Simplicity from the Florida Realtors®, product training classes went online and were packed. As a result, a record number of agents attended training provided virtually by Form Simplicity in 2020. By mid-year, attendance exceeded all training provided the entire prior year. These were some of the unexpected consequences of the pandemic. As agents clamored to solutions that helped them work better remotely, real estate technology software saw record adoption rates as more agents went digital and paperless. Form Simplicity's growth accelerated over the last 18 months. From Alabama to Oregon, Georgia to Missouri, Form Simplicity continues to expand its presence nationwide. As one of the real estate industry's most popular and advanced digital transaction management solutions, Form Simplicity recently began providing services to nearly 100,000 Realtor members, including Missouri REALTORS, Georgia REALTORS, and Alabama REALTORS, and subscribers of Oregon Real Estate Forms (owned by the Eugene Association of Realtors and the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors). Unexpected agent benefits Support When real estate agents begin using Form Simplicity, they discover benefits they were unaware of before going digital. At the top of the list is the unparalleled support they receive from Tech Helpline, the No. 1 tech support service in real estate, with the exceptional customer service and rapid response times provided by all departments. Training Since its redesign, Form Simplicity has become one of the most intuitive, easy-to-use transaction management solutions that new agents pick up instantly. That reduces agent workflow disruption as brokers need to provide less training and avoid pulling agents out of their sales cycle. For agents who need extra help, Form Simplicity also offers outstanding training support for association staff and members to help maximize all the features it provides. Specialized Smart Forms Smart forms are at the heart of Form Simplicity – forms that allows agents to enter property data once and then automatically populate that information wherever it appears on other forms. The power of autofill in Form Simplicity is something agents covet as it reduces risk. Forms are programmed to perform calculations, conditional fields, custom mapping and more. In addition, agents no longer have to enter the same information repeatedly, which is a waste of their time and talents. It's why Form Simplicity spends so much time behind the scenes refining its technology to make sure its streamlined form programming process is unmatched in the industry. As a result, we can take custom forms an association has and turn them into Specialized Smart Forms, offering them as part of Form Simplicity – another huge benefit for agents. More than just convenient Security Turning a paper-intensive business into a digitally-driven process creates more than convenience. Having safe and highly secure (bank-grade) access to all your files in a single place online increases the productivity of every agent. Collaboration Collaboration is key to success in real estate. Unique to our business, competing agents must rely on each other to create a successful transaction. Embedded into Form Simplicity are features that enable a highly collaborative process – in real-time. Some agents want a clean document and to make sure everything is in place before sending it out for signatures. Form Simplicity's built-in collaboration feature allows an agent to share a form with another agent involved in the transaction to capture negotiated points accurately before sending out for signing. Customizable Email Signatures Another unexpected benefit Form Simplicity offers agents is offering an email signature that automatically populates. It takes just a few seconds to set up, and the agent's name and contact information are at the end of every email sent from within Form Simplicity. FREE Assistant Accounts Brokers benefit from the ability to create an "Assistant" account to help them manage forms. Also, Form Simplicity allows brokers to set specific permissions, giving them the ability to designate access for an office or a particular agent. Switch User The "switch user" feature that Form Simplicity offers helps keep busy brokers on task. For example, suppose a broker or their designated office assistant needs to take a quick look at an agent's transaction. In that case, the switch user function allows them to access the transaction, assist or provide an answer to the agent, and switch back to their Broker View. This feature is in addition to the more comprehensive Broker Review process, designed solely to allow brokers to respond quickly to urgent questions or agent needs. Is Form Simplicity for you? The final "unexpected benefit" that Form Simplicity offers both agents and brokers is an invisible feature. Form Simplicity is industry-run, operated by the Florida Realtors, the nation's largest state association. Unlike other leading transaction management software offerings, there is no influence from Wall Street or venture capital investors. At Florida Realtors, serving the needs of the real estate community and homeowners comes first, period. Associations/MLSs/brokerages can rest assured that our pricing model is fair and not inflated. Our pricing is also very straight forward unlike other companies on the market, making it easier for clients to get a very clear picture of what the pricing is, without having to account for multiple add-ons. Mobile compatibility, broker tools, and support are examples of this. Some 68 brokers from 16 Florida communities came together in 1916 to mark the beginning of the Florida Realtors. Today, Florida Realtors, now more than 205,000 members strong, continues unaltered in its mission to meet the needs of its members. That's why Form Simplicity and its sister firm Tech Helpline offer agents and brokers additional peace of mind, knowing that agents, brokers, and the Florida Realtor are always working together. To learn more about Form Simplicity, go to formsimplicity.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Keeping Your Facebook Strategy Up-to-Date in a Social Media World
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Why Real Estate Agents Should Build an Email List
Being a real estate agent requires that you be social during almost every opportunity you are around people. However, what if you are not around people? What are you to do if there is nobody around? With social media, you can casually converse with your community--but most of them won't be ready to buy or sell. Instead, you must commit to building yourself an email list. These are the reasons real estate agents NEED an email list: Emails Ignore Algorithms The great thing about emails is that there are no complicated formulas that determine whether a person receives your real estate marketing emails or not. They are displayed to users in chronological order, and are only filtered out if they come up as spam. With email, you don't have to worry about catering to an algorithm—instead you can cater to your real estate leads. Social Media Channels Might Fail Do you remember Vine? Or Google+? Or MySpace? Some might even argue that Facebook is not as popular as it used to be, especially with emerging home buying demographics. As platforms become less relevant overtime, you can always count on being future proofed with emails. Emails Can Be Scheduled Ahead of Time If you talk to a prospective homebuyer that is not from the area, you can write a follow-up message to be sent the week before they are in town. Or perhaps you can add them to a drip marketing campaign to send out relevant information that pertains to their home ownership goals. If you really want to go above and beyond, utilizing intelligent software that responds to your leads based on their behavior is the way to go. Emails Can Be More Personal Another advantage that email offers over social media is that you are having a one-on-one conversation with your leads. With social media, you are always broadcasting to a large population of people. This is great to spread the word about your business to thousands of people at a time—but it is not so great at building those personal relationships that are pertinent to having a stranger from the internet trust you. You Control the Experience The reason people go back to Netflix regularly is because they know how to give their customers a good experience. They recommend new movies to their viewers based on their recently viewed and searched for movies. You can do the same thing with email based on the search criteria of your leads. Even better, there are no ads or competitors clamoring for their business. With email, it's more about providing value and building a connection with your leads. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Post-Holiday Tips for Finding Leads Before Summer Ends
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Monitor Market Movement for Your Clients and Prospects
When you want to update your geographic farm area on all the latest real estate market trends and movement, reach for the RPR's Market Activity Report. This handy deliverable is a snapshot of all the changes in a local real estate market. And it's the perfect way to keep clients up to speed, and a surefire way to impress prospects. The Market Activity Report includes a list of active, pending, sold, expired and distressed properties, including recent price changes. You can choose to go back a few days or weeks, and even up to six months. Perhaps best of all, the Market Activity Report can be run on your custom map areas. Meaning they can be run for your geographic farm area. Check out this video on RPR Maps to take a guided walk through on how to define and save custom areas on the map. How to Run an RPR Market Activity Search To run your Market Activity search, select Research from the upper right area of the navigation bar on the home page. Then select Residential Market Activity Search. You'll be directed to the Market Activity Search page. Next, enter in the location you want to search. On the right, you can add additional search filters, including For Sale and/or For Lease. Then select which statuses you want included and whether properties show changes in the last three days to the last six months. Choose which property types appear and a price range. To refine your search further, select the Filters icon for advanced search options. Keep this in mind when you select the advanced search filters: you can view the amount of properties your search results will include. This is a smart way to narrow down your results before you run your search. Select the orange magnifying glass or the Update and Search button to run your search. From this list view, see how many properties show recent changes in the last three months, last week or last three days. This gives a good overview of the local real estate market in your particular area. Change your view to a photo grid or map view on the top right of your list results. Click to Create and Customize Now the fun part! Click Create Report to run your report. Verify that Market Activity is selected, and then click the plus "+" icon to omit or include specific sections of the report. Make sure to check your cover page elements as well (you'll see them to the right). Personalize your report if you are emailing to a client, choose your delivery method, and click Run Report. Another good way to leverage the Market Activity Report is to share it out to your social media circles, such as Facebook. This is a highly visible way to send out monthly or even quarterly updates for those homeowners who aren't ready to sell, but would like to stay up to speed on how the market is doing near their home. Market Activity Reports are a keen deliverable—create one today and share it with clients and hopefully, soon-to-be-clients. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Real Estate 3D Virtual Tours vs. Videos: Which One Should You Use?
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Staycation Activities for Every Season
Real estate is a fantastic business, but everyone needs a break from time to time. Vacationing is back on the menu for many Americans, but if you're more comfortable sticking close to home, you should still take some time off to relax and unwind. Here are some fun ways to spend your time off in any season without straying too far from home! Summer Turn a kiddie pool into a mini-tropical paradise. Challenge your friends, extended family, or neighbors to do the same and share the picture on social media! Start an herb garden. Go fishing or kayaking. Fall Create your own outdoor movie theatre. Build your dream theatre with a projector, screen, and some comfy outdoor furniture. Plant some low-maintenance plants. Go camping in your backyard. Winter Spruce up your firepit. Add some string lights or nice seating around a firepit. Consider adding an outdoor bar or drink station for added relaxation potential. Get inspired by building a gingerbread house (or gingerbread village). Learn a new hobby online. Spring Start a vegetable garden. Go for a drive in the countryside. Take a bike ride. Any Time! Catch up on a TV series. Host a game night via Zoom. Go geo-caching. Take a virtual vacation by touring a zoo or museum. Whenever you choose to schedule your time off, remember that while you're away, Homes.com has your back. Visit profile.homes.com to create your free account. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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The REAL Problem with Buying Online Leads that No One Wants to Talk About
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5 Reasons You Should Use a Showing Service
Let's face it: being a real estate professional is not for the faint of heart. As an agent, you're juggling many of the responsibilities and tasks across the buying/selling continuum -- from lead generation to post-closing follow-up. It takes a lot of time, effort, and sheer grit to successfully navigate all the moving parts that go into building a flourishing real estate career. Having the proper focus and the right tools to manage your business can make all the difference. Here are five ways a showing service – a software application that coordinates and schedules residential showing appointments – can streamline your efforts and make you more successful. No. 5: A showing service creates a better work/life balance. So many people enter real estate because they want to be their own boss. The challenge is that clients are demanding and expect you to be at their beck and call. You're in a service business with little boundary between work hours and personal hours. If you want to be successful, especially in today's competitive market, you have to be available to proactively guide your clients' journey and accommodate their needs. This on-call situation makes it extremely difficult to set healthy boundaries between work life and home life. A showing service can give you more time back in your day by automating tedious and time-consuming tasks such as scheduling, confirming, canceling, and rescheduling appointments. This alone makes a showing service worth using, because it allows you to step away from your laptop or mobile device and really focus when you're spending time with family and friends. Knowing that your business is being managed for you when you're "off the clock" can give you real peace of mind—and the healthier work/life balance that you deserve. No. 4: A showing service makes scheduling and conducting showings less complicated. Getting ready to head to a showing but have to print out or download all the details for your busy day? Need to schedule four appointments for a client on one day? Need to plot your driving directions for that client's multi-showing route? These tasks can all be done within a showing service solution. Besides the obvious benefit of automated scheduling, a showing service integrates seamlessly with the MLS so you can access listing details from wherever you are. All the information you need – property notifications, alarm codes, and special instructions for entering properties – is available on your mobile device. And, it can get you from point A to points B, C, and D by letting you build a daily itinerary for each client, complete with driving directions. It's a simple and stress-free way to uncomplicate your business. No. 3: A showing service helps you stay organized. So much of the real estate process is manual, time-consuming, and conducted on the go, with change being the only constant. Even the most organized real estate professional can become overwhelmed and have difficulty keeping track of all the moving pieces. At any given time, you may be relying on six or more different technologies and systems. So, how can a showing service help? A cloud-based, at-a-glance showing service calendar is key to helping you stay on track, especially if it's available to your office team and team members, too. Likewise, built-in CSM functions help you manage your client roster, track client feedback and activity, and more. It's like having an efficient personal assistant with you at all times. No. 2: A showing service gives you the power to wow your buyers and sellers at the moment of truth. It's easy to get so caught up in the tasks of keeping your business moving forward that the bigger picture – delivering a great client experience – can take a back seat to what's calling for your immediate attention. Yet, your clients' satisfaction is the most important deliverable. Happy clients means more referrals, which ultimately means more sales. The expertise and care you bring to the showing process set you apart and establishes your credibility and reputation in your community. A showing service solution supports your efforts and streamlines tasks for you, including client communication, feedback, and activities. This enables you to focus on guiding your buyers and sellers through one of their biggest personal and financial decisions. Current market data available in the showing service that makes you more knowledgeable and proactive – and better able to address your clients' next moves in a timely way, eliminating some of the possibility of them second-guessing your advice. Facts are facts. This data positions you as a knowledgeable and trusted professional, and gives you and your clients the competitive advantage in a fierce market. And the No. 1 reason to use a showing service... No. 1: A showing service helps you sell more homes. "Time is money." –Benjamin Franklin While this adage is true for everyone, it's quite literally the reality for real estate sales professionals. Everything you do, or may not have the time to do, impacts whether you earn a commission. It doesn't get more real than that. Time, talent, technology and—okay—a little luck, can make the difference between being a top producer or an average one. Leveraging a showing service that helps you manage your client roster, find perfect properties, send them to clients, schedule and reschedule showings, build a daily itinerary, plan your driving route, review the properties' listing details, view showing instructions, provide client feedback, and so much more is the key to more time – and more home sales. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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Is a Virtual Real Estate Assistant the Right Fit for Your Scaling Strategy?
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RPR Property Search Primer in 1.5 Minutes
It happens all the time: a client puts you on the spot with a question about a property and you're not 100% sure of the answer. However, with RPR at your fingertips or a click away, you're poised to reply immediately with accuracy and confidence. That's what a property search in RPR is all about: quick, effective, and up to date information. Here are some tips on how to dig a little deeper and how to narrow down your search results even further by making you aware of the "Advanced Search" filter. This property search pointer session will show how to: Locate the search bar, toggle between residential and commercial, type in an address, choose property status and click the search button for results Find out where the location field for searches is and how to narrow down your search with basic filter checks (type/status, etc.) Check out advanced filters (it's the funnel icon to the right!) to expand your filters and see more advanced filter options Get a running tally of search results you're generating before you click "search." It's the "Results using these filters: __" area that changes in real time with your filter clicks. This can really come in handy when you're searching areas and neighborhoods, and not individual properties Watch this 1.5 minute video to see all of the above in action: To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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What's Your Real Estate Business Plan?
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How to Build the Perfect Real Estate Instagram Marketing Strategy
The most important rule in advertising is: Place your ads where your target audience will see them. Seems obvious, right? But so many real estate agents still rely on outdated tactics that simply don't have the reach that newer, digital spaces do. If your goal is to grow your business and reach new prospects, then social media is the place to be. These platforms are a gold mine for advertisers. Instagram alone has 140 million adult users across the country, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. adults. Six in 10 of those users log in daily, spending an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform — with 42% of users opening the app multiple times throughout the day, giving advertisers even more opportunities to reach them. With stats like that, it's easy to see why this social network is the third most-popular, behind YouTube and Facebook. Audience reach and engagement are compelling reasons for making Instagram an essential part of your real estate marketing strategy. So if you hadn't planned on advertising there, think again. Here's when it's best to use Instagram ads and how to optimize your ROI when you do. When to advertise on Instagram Instagram is a visual platform. Although you can create Post Ads or Stories Ads with text, a majority of the content is made up of photos, animations, and videos. That's what users log in to see, and why Instagram is ideal for those beautiful new listing photos and walk-through videos you just commissioned. This is also a platform that attracts a younger user base. Fifty-five percent of Instagrammers are between 18-34 years old, and another 18% account for those who are 35-44. If your target audience is empty nesters or retirees, this won't be your ideal place to advertise. As such, it's best to use Instagram ads when you… have a new listing are promoting an open house want to reach first-time homebuyers are trying to attract a younger audience Ad formats on Instagram Instagram may not have 20 different types of ad units, but the few that it does offer work really well with its engaged audience. One reason is because ads are naturally interspersed among native content as users scroll their Feed or flip through Stories. That makes users more inclined to look at and engage with your ad. To give you a better sense of your options, take a look at these attention-grabbing ad formats—all of which support both photos and videos. Post Ad This ad type appears in users' Feeds (that's the one people scroll through vertically). You can publish just a single photo or video or include up to 10 images in a carousel. Keep in mind that these will be cropped to a square, so choose your content wisely. All Post Ads include a caption, where you can write a description about the listing, and a call-to-action (CTA) link that will redirect anyone who clicks on it to your property listing page. Stories Ad Users access their Stories at the top of Instagram and scroll horizontally to see new Stories posted by the accounts they follow. Stories Ads won't appear in this scrollable list, but they will be seamlessly interspersed between Stories as they play, so as not to interrupt the user's experience. These ads are more immersive because of their full-screen, vertical format. They can play for up to 45 seconds, which is perfect for a home walk-through. Just like Post Ads, you can also include a CTA that links to a page of your choosing, such as a property listing, lead generation page, or your real estate website. Tips for maximizing ROI on Instagram Now that you have a better sense of when to advertise on Instagram and the creative options you have available, let's discuss a few ways to maximize ROI for those ads. We said it once, but we'll say it again: Instagram is a visual platform. Your photos and videos need to be high quality. That doesn't mean they have to be taken by a professional, but they need to be attractive enough to be scroll-stopping. Make sure your photos and videos are: Crisp and clear (i.e., not pixelated) Well-lit to bring out the detail and beauty of the space The right size for the format you're using (i.e. vertical for Stories and square for Posts) Keep in mind these dos and don'ts that are specific to videos: Do not shake the camera or make sudden, sharp movements. Do talk to your audience. Sixty percent of Stories are viewed with sound on. Do keep moving through the property. You may lose viewers if you stop too long while talking. Finally, consider your audience when setting up your real estate Instagram marketing strategy. You can — and should — target geographically, but you'd also be wise to take advantage of the custom audience option. This targeting capability allows you to upload your own list of leads, prospects you're nurturing, or your sphere of influence. Instagram will match the email addresses and phone numbers that you provide to its user base and show your ads to anyone on your list who is also on the platform. That's ad targeting at its best! To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Everything You Need to Know About Real Estate Listing Videos
According to Wyzowl, over 80% of marketers have increased traffic to their websites by incorporating video content in their marketing campaigns. They've also reported more user dwell-time across their web pages and an influx of qualified leads to drive sales. With these stats, it's no wonder real estate listing videos have become increasingly popular over the past few years! In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about video content for real estate and take you on a journey of the home-buying process as seen through the lens of a video camera. Why create real estate listing videos? According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 73% of sellers prefer to work with a real estate agent who can market the property with a video listing. What's more, the NAR's 2021 Homebuyers and Sellers Generational Trends report showed that real estate videos are steadily climbing up the list of top resources that homebuyers consider "very useful" on an agent's website. The rise of real estate listing videos is also outperforming virtual open houses: So, if you're a property agent or homeowner who hasn't yet jumped on the real estate video production bandwagon, you do yourself no favors. Skip the FOMO and schedule your video listing today! What does a high-quality real estate video look like? A great real estate video is made manifest with top-notch equipment. Think full-frame DSLR cameras. Motion control gears (a.k.a. video camera stabilizers). Adequate tripod heads for extra stability and streamlined panning. Also, you might opt for a wide-angle lens to capture more depth in the room. Then, there's post-production to consider. Is the sound crystal clear? Does the music add value to the experience or does it detract from it? How's the editing? Do the shots and scenes flow sensibly from the very beginning of the real estate video to the end? These are important questions to keep in mind when producing real estate listing videos that will engage and delight the viewer. And we get it — not everyone has the time to ask and answer them! This is where HomeJab comes in. Keep your inner Spielberg contained and let us produce high-quality real estate video content for you. How long should a real estate listing video be? The average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to a mere eight seconds today (yikes!). In light of this information, it's good to remember that an optimal real estate video will highlight the property's best features in a relatively short amount of time. Two to three minutes should do. Within this time span, you can offer the viewer a taste of the home vicariously through the lens of a video camera. This includes an exciting journey through the front door, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, and then out to the yard (if the property has one). A well-produced and successful real estate listing video will impel the viewer to contact you for an in-person tour. Or better yet, to purchase the home! Granted, an 8,000 to 10,000 square foot property requires a bit more screen time than a standard two-bedroom house. But no matter how large the property or estate is, try not to go past seven minutes. Remember, the human attention span is a fickle thing! Types of real estate listing videos When you think about real estate video content, what comes to mind? More often than not, a property video listing will present itself as a walkthrough of the home, such as the "front door → kitchen → living room" flow mentioned above. Alternatively, a real estate listing video can focus exclusively on the neighborhood where the home is being sold. After all, they don't say "location, location, location" for nothing! In fact, a survey conducted by the NAR found that 78% of prospective homebuyers preferred neighborhood quality over the size of the home. And a survey completed by Trulia reported that 84% of millennials were willing to forego key home features to live in their ideal neighborhood. At HomeJab, we offer a neighborhood package to ensure that your real estate listing video stands out from the rest of the crowd. This way, you can feature the best schools, amenities and outdoor activities that your neighborhood has to offer. Lastly, if you're looking to pull out all the stops with engaging real estate video content, our elite package will help you gain maximum exposure while enhancing your personal branding. The elite service is essentially a mini feature film that focuses solely on your listing and helps your prospective buyers envision themselves living in your home as they watch! Should you use drone photography in your real estate listing video? Drone photography is an excellent way to show off your property's exterior features that a camera simply won't be able to capture from the ground. Aerial footage of your home can also be a compelling opening shot to your real estate video — one that hooks in more viewers, like this one: Furthermore, if you're dealing with some serious acreage or photographing an estate, real estate drone photography can do wonders for your listing video. But it could also come in handy even if the property's much smaller. For instance, real estate drones can capture the dock of your lakeside house from an optimal angle by hovering above the water. They could also photograph your brand new roof much better than a handheld camera. And if you have a lovely gazebo in your yard, a 360-degree aerial sweep of it can make it look even more striking. When booking HomeJab's drone photography services, you leave the nuances of piloting these compact gadgets to us. That way, you can focus your time and efforts on planning your next open house, contacting prospective buyers, and crossing off more important items from your to-do list. To learn more about drone photography — including its evolution from a reconnaissance tool in wartime to a lightweight, easy-to-fly gadget — check out our post, "A Brief History of Real Estate Drones." Should you make a cameo in your real estate video listing? Real estate video listings can be a great opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective homebuyers and engage viewers with your unique personality. As a matter of fact, some real estate agents create video listings that feature more of themselves than the actual home. And this isn't a gimmick — the role of personality in sales can shape the buyer's views and feelings towards the home. If the buyer doesn't like you — or even worse, if the buyer doesn't trust you — it could affect their perception of the home and compromise the deal. So, to break the ice and get a head start on building rapport and trust, consider filming a real estate listing video that you can showcase as evergreen content on your website or include in your email marketing campaigns. Funny Real Estate Videos Our final thought on real estate listing videos? Have fun! At HomeJab, we've gathered the best funny real estate videos for your viewing pleasure. And if you want even more hilarious real estate video content, we've got you covered. All that said, are you ready to scale your real estate business and create professional real estate listing videos? If so, let's ready the clapperboard and yell, "Action!" To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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How to Identify and Track Your Real Estate Competitors
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6 Tools for Finding Your Right Virtual and In-person Mix
The pandemic forced many real estate agents "go virtual" when it came to showing properties and engaging with potential buyers and sellers. Even though agents and clients are beginning to meet in person again, the following virtual tools still make sense to help win over buyers and sellers. 1. Virtual Tours Virtual tours were gaining popularity pre-pandemic, and they've now become the primary "initial" way of viewing a home. Be sure to include versions that allow for 3D viewing and 360° movement – to enable prospects to view a property as if they were inside. 2. Aerial Drones Drone footage can give a bird's eye view of what it's like to live in a certain neighborhood and provides a more holistic view of an area, including features beyond the property. Does the nearby school create a street parking issue? What amenities are nearby? Et cetera. 3. Video Meetings Not every virtual solution needs to be super fancy. Holding a Zoom meeting or walking through a home and FaceTiming is still perfectly acceptable – and sometimes more convenient! We've all become experts at online meetings and viewings, and buyers will appreciate having you there, as they can make individual requests. Maybe they'll want you to point the camera out the window so they can see the view from the master bedroom, or maybe they'll ask you to count the number of steps it takes to walk from one side of the backyard to the other. Don't underestimate the power of this simple tool! 4. Virtual Open House In many areas, the market is so hot that homes are sold before the first open house. Live streaming an open house is a great idea, as it allows multiple buyers to tune in and you don't need to schedule individual appointments unless a buyer is really interested in the property. You can speak about the house beforehand, give a live tour, and take live questions as well. If you decide to host a virtual open house, just be sure to market it well in the days leading up to it. You want to make sure people know about it and have the link to the live stream far in advance! 5. Social Media How many times have you ignored a message that came through on Facebook or Instagram? Make sure you're active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to write back immediately to anyone who is interested in using you as an agent. Otherwise, you'll lose out to someone who did answer the message. 6. HighNote If you're unfamiliar with HighNote, it's time to get familiar with it, because it can make your life so much easier and help win over buyers and sellers. Instead of sending an email with multiple attachments, HighNote's smart presentation platform embeds those attachments into a beautifully displayed presentation. Best of all, you then get real-time results telling you when the recipient opened the presentation and what they clicked on. You can then tailor follow-up communications based on their activity. Finding the right mix of digital and in-person interactions with prospects and clients is real estate's new normal. It's simply important to remember that how you connect is not as important as the strength of your connection!
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The Pros and Cons of Real Estate Designations
Are those three letters that follow your name really that important? What benefits do they have? Are there any downsides? Let's take a closer look at what real estate designations have to offer. Here are the pros and cons of real estate designations: Cons They Cost Time and Money To take the classes, it will take some time out of your day. With good time management skills, this shouldn't be a big detractor from your business. It will need a financial and time commitment if you decide to pursue a designation. Consumers Might Not Know What They Are Do real estate agents even know what most of the designations are? Do you know what an RHT designation is? You probably don't because that one is made up. Consumers won't be able to tell the difference between an RHT and SRES designation unless you explain it to them. Pros Help with Google Ranking Did you know that it will benefit you in the long run to have a page dedicated to your designation on your website? For example, if you have the CRS designation you can have a page dedicated to what the means for your prospective real estate client. If you have the GREEN designation, the copy you write can help attract millennial homebuyers looking for an eco-friendly real estate agent. The Knowledge There is something that can never be taken away from you, and that is the knowledge you acquire from earning a real estate designation. You can always go out and learn anything yourself. There are plenty of resources available for self-learning. However, to follow a curiculum with concentrated information will be more effective. You don't have to waste time doing your own research, and learn from others who were once in your position. This knowledge directly benefits your real estate clients! The designation isn't for bragging rights, it's to improve the customer experience. You Can Increase Your Network Some designations will offer a community that you can tap into. For example, the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation will hold conferences. You also have access to a wide network of agents that can give you referrals because home buyers are always looking to relocate. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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The Ultimate Script for Reconnecting with Past Real Estate Clients
Have you fallen out of touch with some past real estate clients? If you're like most of us, it's likely that you have. You need something like a script to help you in reconnecting with past real estate clients, since it can be difficult to consistently keep in touch with them, especially as your career progresses and your database grows. If you're struggling to keep in touch with prospects, you aren't alone. The average real estate agent loses over 20% of their clients annually. The most common reason for losing these clients? The agent failed to keep in touch. The good news is that it's never too late to reconnect. The key is to take action now to re-establish the relationship. Once you're reconnected, you can start sending those past clients your newsletters or assigning them to a real estate drip email campaign. Here's what to say: Reintroduce yourself Don't assume that your past client remembers your name. Eliminate any awkwardness by clearly describing how you know them. "Hi Susan, this is Candace Green from ABC Realty. It's been a while since we worked together on selling your home on Maple Street." Apologize for falling out of touch It's unlikely that your past client is offended that you haven't been in touch, but it's nice to acknowledge that you'd like to be in touch more often from now on. "I'm sorry that I haven't been in touch more since you've moved. How have you and your family been?" Remind them why you're here Whether or not your past client is currently thinking about moving, you have a lot to offer them. Remind them that you'd like to provide them with ongoing value for all things related to home ownership. "Now that we're back in touch, is there anything I can help you with? I'd be happy to offer you a home appraisal if you're interested. If you've been thinking of making any changes around your home, I'd be happy to recommend some reputable contractors/landscapers/decorators." Update their contact information Don't fall out of touch again because of outdated contact information or old email addresses. Take this opportunity to update your contact's information in your real estate CRM. This way you can begin using email marketing to keep in touch with these important contacts. "While I have you on the phone, I want to make sure I have your current email address. If it's okay with you, I'd like to send you occasional emails about home ownership. What's your email address?" Appreciate referrals Some of your highest quality real estate leads come from your satisfied past clients. Remind them how much you appreciate their referrals. "If you know of anyone who is considering buying or selling, feel free to share my contact information with them. I really appreciate referrals from past clients." Say thank you Don't forget to thank your past client for their time and understanding. Let them know that you'll be in touch more regularly from now on. "Thanks for taking the time to chat today; it was really nice reconnecting with you. I'll be in touch every so often. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any real estate or home-related questions." Update the contact profile What kind of information did you past client offer you? Did they mention that they are thinking about moving in the next two years? Are they recent empty-nesters who are considering downsizing? In addition to updating the contact information in your real estate CRM, make notes on any other information your past client shared with you. You can even set some reminders for yourself to reach out to them again in a few months to ask if they're still considering moving. Be sure to keep in touch When in the process of reconnecting with past real estate clients, remember not to make the same mistake of falling out of touch again. Now that you've reconnected with your past client, assign them to your monthly e-Newsletter so they consistently receive email communications from you. If your past client mentioned that they might be considering moving, you can assign them to an Activity Plan created specifically for seller leads. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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What Can We Expect from 2021 Sellers Moving Forward?
Real estate headlines for the past year have been dominated by the tight inventories and skyrocketing prices of an intense seller's market. In part one of our Sellers Sentiment Survey series, we uncovered the motivations, decisions and experiences of homeowners who sold in the last six months. But what can we expect from 2021 sellers in the next six months? Here's what our survey uncovered: Harsh Market NOT the Predominant Factor in 2021 Seller Delays When we asked respondents who plan to sell within the next six months why they haven't put their homes on the market sooner, we expected the harsh market conditions to dominate their answers. After all, homeowners typically sell their homes with the intention of buying a new one, and inventory has been anything but available this year. Instead, our survey found that almost 60% of owners have waited to list their homes because timing hasn't felt right. In a near tie, 21.8% of respondents said their home simply isn't ready to be on the market, while 21.7% said they're waiting for a better time to uproot their family. Another 9.5% have been waiting for the pandemic to subside, and 5.9% want to speak to an agent or financial advisor before they list. The remaining 40% of respondents indicated market-related motivations for delaying their listings. Concerns regarding low inventories have kept 20% of these would-be sellers on the sidelines, while 8.6% held off on listing due to uncertainty that their home will sell for what it's worth. With low interest rates dominating the market over the last couple of years, 7.5% of respondents felt there hasn't been a need to rush to sell, believing there'd be plenty of time to sell and purchase a new home. Finally, 5% cited low demand in their local market as reason to wait. More Affordable Homes Could Become Available In part one of our survey series, we shared that 82% of homeowners who sold in the last six months accepted offers at listing price (33%) or above (49%), nearly half of them sold in less than a month, and a quarter of them had five or fewer showings before finding a buyer — reflecting both the low supply of available homes and the rush to buy when new listings hit the market. According to the National Association of Realtors, median existing-home prices reached an all-time high in May, up 23.6% year over year to $350,300. Looking at 2021 sellers who've held off on listing thus far, our survey found that over half of them plan to list homes valued at $300,000 or less. Local market conditions and other factors will ultimately influence the price of these listings, but this finding could indicate that inventory traditionally sought by first-time buyers could relax enough for eager buyers without deep pockets, or for current owners looking to downsize. Potential Listings in Each Category If you've been thinking about buying your dream home in the near future, you just might be in luck — over 47% of our 2021 sellers indicated their future listing will be a single-family detached home. Almost 29.5% plan to list an attached home like a condo or townhouse, and for all you potential real estate investors out there, keep your eyes peeled — 13% plan to list a multi-family property like a duplex or quadplex. Rounding out the list of future potential listings are luxury homes like mansions at 6.2%, and vacation homes such as beach houses and lakeside cabins at 4.1%. Sellers Showing Some Flexibility We know the market has been particularly harsh for buyers; our look at recent 2021 sellers found that 41% used at least one strict selling parameter, including refusal to consider offers with contingencies or other "strings attached." Twenty-eight percent of them required all-cash payments, no contingencies and/or less than 30 days to close, while 14% opted for selling their homes completely "as is," leaving buyers without the flexibility available in less competitive markets. Can buyers expect more of the same from sellers moving forward? As it turns out, the pressure on buyers may lessen in the coming months, as only 33% of future sellers surveyed plan to use similar strict selling parameters. Surprisingly, almost as many (32.2%) also said they plan to make repairs to their home prior to listing (compared to just 5% of recent sellers who indicated they made pre-listing repairs). While most agents don't recommend waiving inspection contingencies, this finding suggests that desperate buyers may have more choices of "move-in-ready" homes in the near future. Watching Closely If we've learned anything from the past year's real estate market, it's that buyers need to be ready for anything. But if our survey respondents are any indication, buyers in the near future could see at least some relief in the homebuying process. Only time will tell what that might look like. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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A Brief History of Real Estate Drone Videos
Before real estate drone videos took off, aerial photography wasn't for the faint-hearted. The most daring real estate photographers went to great lengths to capture the perfect exterior images of a property. They photographed Olympic-size swimming pools from rooftops that sloped dangerously towards the concrete below. And took sprawling images of 10-acre estates from doorless helicopters that soared 10,000 feet in the sky! Back in the day, the idea of real estate drone videos was more of a chimera or a pipe dream than an actual possibility. But with today's cutting-edge technologies, real estate drones haven't only exploded in popularity. They're also thriving in the real estate market! And it's easy to understand why: drone photography is literally "the bigger picture" of real estate. The Perks of Drone Photography Real estate drones take to the sky and capture breathtaking images of a property or an estate at large. They show you — the prospective homebuyer, homeowner, or real estate agent — compelling angles and features of the home that would otherwise remain unseen from the ground. Listings that feature real estate drone videos are 68% likelier to outsell listings that don't feature aerial photography whatsoever. What's more, real estate drones are relatively easy to operate, although experienced handlers are highly recommended. At HomeJab, our drone video services take the legwork out of high-quality aerials that you'll want to feature on your real estate listings. And our drone pilots are extremely efficient at producing real estate drone videos that will engage and delight your viewers. These aerials can show off that brand new roof or that serene boat dock with your beautiful home in the background. Not only that, our pilots even know which no-fly zones to avoid (i.e., near airports, congested urban areas, Washington D.C., etc.) so you won't have to! Of course, this is also great news for the former daredevil photographer whose days of climbing up ladders and riding on nauseating choppers are things of the past. A Brief History of Real Estate Drone Videos To celebrate the rise of real estate drone videos, HomeJab would like to take you on a brief stroll through drone-memory lane. As we learned from Time Magazine's thrilling article on the history of aerial photography, the evolution of the drone has been contiguous with advances in technology. That's to say, as computer software programs of the 1980s became more advanced, and hardware of the same era became more compact, so did the drone — evolving from a clunky reconnaissance tool in wartime to a lightweight gadget that was easy to fly. But before real estate drone videos were even thought to be possible, black and white cameras were tied to kites and rockets and sent up to the clouds! Some cameras were even strapped to prescription-delivering pigeons that captured amazing cityscapes in Germany! This was back in the mid-1800s to early-1900s when French photographers tethered hot air balloons to the ground and ascended over 200 feet in the sky for the sake of aerial photography. Photograph of San Francisco in ruins from Lawrence captive airship, 2000 feet above San Francisco Bay overlooking water front. Sunset over Golden Gate circa 1906. George Lawrence—Prints & Photographs Divison/Library of Congress It wasn't until World Wars I and II that aerial images of warzones became hot-selling images for the press and coveted by government agencies to drive military campaigns. Fast forward to the 1980s when Israeli engineers developed a sophisticated, unmanned drone with a short wingspan that could take high-quality surveillance images from high above. These historical events gave rise to today's modern real estate drone — a cute, four-legged device with propellers attached to each leg and an average weight of 2.6 pounds. How to Order Your Real Estate Drone Video Our seamless online ordering process means that your next real estate drone video is just a few clicks away. So, if you're ready to elevate your real estate business with high-quality aerials, schedule a shoot with one of our professional drone pilots today! To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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8 Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Clients
Have you ever been exasperated by a difficult client or conversation? In the real estate business, the different personalities that you meet and work with on a day-to-day basis can be varied and some can be challenging. From start to finish, there are so many personalities and so many levels of experience in the clients, that it's normal to come across difficult conversations. Interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are abilities that real estate agents need to master. Take courage – you can remain calm, professional and make your way through skillfully to overcome challenges and defuse conflict. 8 Strategies to Generate Positive Responses – These Steps Work! 1. Listen carefully and actively Don't talk or interrupt them. Many times, your client just wants to be heard and understood. It helps if you rephrase back to them what they said to confirm you heard and understood them correctly. 2. Take a deep breath and pause Don't react. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and emotions before you respond. Breathing slowly can help you reduce stress and anxiety and arrive at clarity. 3. Never get defensive or argue with your clients that they are wrong You may be doing this to validate your point. But when people feel they are right, and statistics and graphs haven't made a difference, reacting emotionally in turn puts you in a no-win position. Instead, be polite and communicate back to them what you heard them say. See if there is a next step you can take to slowly help them to see your point. 4. Proactively resolve the scenarios most-known to cause headaches and heartaches For example, pre-qualify buyers and sellers before working with them. And make sure you have the consent of all parties involved. For example, the wife says, "Put properties together for us to see," but it is the husband who is the primary decision-maker. Avoid conflict by ensuring all parties are in agreement of the expectations. 5. Set boundaries When clients know that you will be available to them 24 hours a day, they will reach out to you 24/7 expecting an answer. When you come from a state of fear that you may lose that client if you don't answer their text at midnight or at 5 AM, you put your health and well-being at risk. Communicate your availability and set expectations early in the process. You can further send reminders with your voice message and through automatic text replies. Time-block your day and schedule callbacks and answers to texts. Be responsible about answering at the times you said you'd be available so that you will be considered trustworthy and reliable. Value yourself, and others will value you also. 6. Build confidence in yourself and value your emotional well-being When you have confidence in yourself, there is no need to accept toxic clients or clients with personalities who don't fit yours. Thank them for the opportunity to meet with them, be willing to walk away and physically get ready to leave. Sometimes, this one step allows the client to reconsider their behavior. Your confidence and willingness to walk away can yield positive results. Treat them with respect and honor yourself. When you are willing to let go of difficult clients, good things can happen. Confidence in yourself and your abilities is essential to ongoing success. This works even when you are a new real estate agent! 7. Always be honest When it comes down to it, we are all human beings. Live your life and treat others as you want to be treated. When training for real estate, there are many sales skills that are taught on how to be effective and close the deal. Almost every seller or buyer I have spoken with said that even if a real estate agent was new, they went with someone they liked and trusted. Trust is built on honesty. 8. Let go When a particular transaction does not go your way, chalk it up to experience. Lesson learned. Just keep moving forward and don't hold on to the pain or anger it may have caused. One day, when you look back at your life, you will have found in the experience a golden nugget of truth. Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields. To view the original article, visit the Form Simplicity blog.
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How to Evaluate Your Real Estate Business for Scaling and Growth Opportunities
Aren't you tired of being too busy? You might be overextending yourself by working 12-hour days and performing every aspect of running a real estate business -- while squeezing in time with family. It might feel like you're drowning in work, barely keeping your head above water. Since you're spreading yourself too thin, you might provide a poor experience for your clients, since you're unable to give them the time and attention they deserve. Don't they deserve the best? Plus, businesses are reopening and yours might be experiencing a flood of buyers as if a dam burst. But hey, it's better to drown in work than to have no work at all, right? True, but you can have a heavy workload without feeling like you're drowning, and you don't have to sacrifice your personal life or your family to succeed as a real estate professional. You can have it all, just work smarter. If you're drowning in work, can't give your clients the attention they deserve, and can't find free time for yourself or your family, that's a good indicator it's time to scale your real estate business. Why? By scaling your business, you can reassess your processes and create the infrastructure necessary to properly manage and facilitate its growth. If you scale successfully, you'll increase your income, have more time for clients, family, or yourself, exert less energy on less important tasks, and ultimately increase your market share in your area. In this article, I will share ways to evaluate your business, provide tools to help you forecast and project your real estate business's growth, and offer tips for planning for the future. How to Evaluate Your Real Estate Business and Plan to Scale To begin scaling your business, you must evaluate your real estate business and its historical information first. By reviewing your past sales, expenses, amount of work/hours spent working, task priorities, and marketing metrics like page visits/clicks/conversions, you can assess your numbers to forecast your future performance. Since your historical information is the foundation for forecasting your future sales/profits, your projections will be more accurate if they are more detailed and thorough. 1. How to Forecast Your Real Estate Business's Annual Sales Growth Let's say you've been in the real estate business for three years. You have three years of performance data like sales, expenses, profits, and marketing metrics that you can use to forecast the future. To get the most accurate data, use your monthly performance data and its sum to determine your annual performance. To calculate sales growth, we need to calculate four amounts: # of Services Sold: The amount of monthly home buyer transactions, home seller transactions, and other ancillary services you provide that produce cash flow like referral bonuses, homeowner's insurance, home improvement, etc. Average Price of Service: The average income earned from each transaction and service you provide by month. Average Price of Service = (Price of Transaction 1 + Price of Transaction 2 +...)/ # of Transactions Revenue: The amount of income earned. Revenue = # of Services Sold x Average Price of Service Average Revenue Growth Rate: The percentage of sales growth based on the previous year Average Revenue Growth Rate = (Historical Year 2 Revenue/Historical Year 1 Revenue) -1 After you've determined your average sales growth rate, you can use it as a constant for growth to forecast the amount of potential future revenue. For example, if you earned $1,000,000 of revenue in historical year 1 and $1,100,000 in historical year 2, your average sales growth rate would be 10%. To forecast year 1's revenue, simply multiply historical year 2's revenue by the average sales growth rate 10%, then add the result to historical year 2's revenue: Year 1's Revenue Forecast = (Historical Year 2's Revenue x Average Sales Growth Rate) + Historical Year 2's Revenue $1,331,000 = ($1,210,000 x .1) + $1,210,000 Finally, complete these steps for Year 2 through 5: Year 2's Revenue Forecast: $1,464,100 = ($1,331,000 x .1) + $1,331,000 Year 3's Revenue Forecast: $1,610,510 = ($1,464,100 x .1) + $1,464,100 Year 4's Revenue Forecast: $1,771,561 = ($1,610,510 x .1) + $1,610,510 Year 5's Revenue Forecast: $1,948,717 = ($1,771,561 x .1) + $1,771,561 Therefore, your real estate business's revenue would increase by $617,717 over five years at a constant growth rate of 10% and $1,100,000 base revenue. Since real estate is highly influenced by seasons, use the difference between monthly growth rates instead of the annual growth rates to calculate projections more accurately (March Historic Year 2 – March Historic Year 1 = March Sales Growth Rate). Based on this information, you can determine the amount of monthly and annual transactions and their average prices required to hit a certain revenue or growth goal. 2. How to Forecast Your Real Estate Business's Expenses Your business expenses are the costs associated with running your real estate business. Your should have a separate bank account to keep your business and personal costs split up – it's much easier to manage and track your budget this way. The most accurate way to forecast your expenses is by following a similar process as the Sales Growth Forecast step above. First, calculate your historical monthly expenses for the past two years. If certain fees are paid annually, divide them by 12 months to calculate the monthly expense. Then compare the historical expenses for historical year 1 and historical year 2 to calculate your expenses growth rate: Expenses Growth Rate = (Historical Year 2 Expenses/Historical Year 1 Expenses) – 1 Once you've calculated the Expenses Growth Rate, you can use it to calculate the Expense Forecast for Year 1: Year 2 Expenses Forecast = (Year 1 Expenses x Expenses Growth Rate) - 1 Alternatively, you can estimate your monthly expenses and expense growth rate to calculate a less accurate five-year expense forecast. Note: If you choose to estimate your expenses growth rate, it is better to overstate and have extra budget than it is to understate and have run out of budget early. Some real estate business expenses include costs associated with office overhead, phone, vehicle, productivity software, marketing, education, training, commissions paid out, business meals, travel for work, general business, licenses, fees, and other expenses that help you do your job. Again, be as detailed, accurate and as thorough as you can if you want to the most accurate forecast. Many of these business expenses are tax deductible, so you get receive a hefty tax refund by tracking your spending in detail and reporting it the IRS on your taxes. With this information, you can properly budget, find the necessary amount of funding, etc. over the next five years. 3. How to Forecast Your Real Estate Business's Profits After you've calculated your sales growth and expense forecasts, you can use those results to estimate your profits forecast. Your profits forecast can be calculated by subtracting your expenses from your revenue. By creating a five-year profits forecast, you can paint a picture and more accurately predict the growth of your real estate business. Before you draft a plan to scale your business, you must first evaluate your historical performance so you can forecast your real estate business's potential growth more accurately. To evaluate your historical performance data, gather two years of past sales performance to determine your sales growth rate, and two years of past expenses to determine your expense growth rate. Use these growth rates to forecast your potential profits over five years. Once you've determined your profits forecast, use the results to plan your budget, set monthly/annual transactions objectives, and project the average service price needed to accomplish your scaling goals! Download the complimentary Sales Growth, Expenses and Profits Forecast Calculator to help you forecast sales growth and revenue over 5 years >>> To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How to Use the BRRRR Strategy to Your Advantage
If you're looking for a real estate investing strategy that will help you achieve your goal of financial independence, look no further than the BRRRR strategy. This particular real estate investment strategy is one of the most common methods that property investors use to generate passive income, and to grow their overall net worth. With that in mind, we've created a Guide to the BRRRR investment strategy below. Read it over to learn more about how this strategy works, and how you can use it to your advantage. What is the BRRRR strategy in real estate? Before getting into specific detail about how to make BRRRR investing work in your favor, it's important to take a closer look at how this investment strategy works. In light of that, we've taken the time to break down the step-by-step process below. Here's an explanation of how each component of BRRRR investing works from an investor's perspective. B: Buy The first step in this process is to buy a rental property. In this case, you'll want to focus on buying a distressed property so that you can negotiate a purchase price that falls below the property's fair market value. If you can do that, your initial investment will be lower and you'll have better profit margins when it comes time to rent out your BRRRR property. R: Rehab The next step is to rehab your rental property. Truthfully, since you've focused on buying a distressed property, it may take a little bit of work to make the property rentable. So choosing the right renovations will be key. Instead of trying to increase the property value the same way you would with a fix-and-flip investment property, you should concentrate on providing upgrades that will appeal to tenants—such as providing new appliances, or putting in new hardwood floors. R: Rent Once you've rehabbed, your investment property, the next step is to rent it out. At this point, your goal should be to bring in as much rental income as possible. R: Refinance Then, when possible, it's time to refinance the home. In particular, you're going to want to choose a cash out refinance, which allows you to borrow more than you owe on the home and receive the difference as cash. Ideally, you will also be able to secure a better interest rate on your loan. R: Repeat The last step in this process is to use the money you've received from your cash out refinance to buy another BRRRR property and to rehab it. Ideally, you will continue to use this method to continue to grow your real estate portfolio until you've reached the point of total financial freedom. How to use the BRRRR investment strategy to your advantage Now it's time to get into how to really use this strategy to your advantage. We've included five of our best tips below. So take some time to read them over so that you understand how to apply them to your own real estate investing strategy. Focus on buying below fair market value First and foremost, when you buy a property, it is absolutely crucial to make sure that the purchase price falls below the appraised value. Not only will this make your initial investment more affordable, but it will also ensure that you have more room to work with when it's time to decide how much money to put into repairs. However, above all, buying at a lower price also means that more rental income goes into your pocket each month. Carefully budget your rehab cost Next, it's absolutely crucial that you maintain a strict budget for your rehab cost and make sure to stick to it. At the end of the day, your goal should be to achieve the highest repair value possible without over-improving the property. In order to gauge how much you should spend and what repairs make the most bends, be sure to look at other rentals in the area where the property is located. Make note of which particular features are commanding the highest rents, and be sure to put those on your to-do list. Maintain positive cash flow as you rent Once you've achieved your full repair value, the next step is to rent out the property. Here, your focus should be to maintain a positive cash flow. In order to do so, you'll need to focus on keeping your operating expenses as low as possible, and finding a tenant who is willing and able to pay a decent amount of rent each month. To that end, it may make sense to avoid using a property manager as that will help you keep your costs low. While it may mean more work for you, especially when it comes time to market the property and vet potential tenants, it will be worth it when you can eventually enjoy the extra income. Leverage your equity with a cash out refinance Many real estate investing resources recommend using a hard money loan, or private money loan in order to finance your next investment property. However, hard money often comes at an extremely high interest rate and private money can be hard to find unless you are well connected. With that said, a cash out refinance is a good option for many investors. It allows you to leverage the equity that you felt up in the property, and borrow cash at an affordable interest rate. Best of all, you have the option to use the money however you see fit, which means it can cover the down payment and closing costs for your next investment property. The bottom line As a real estate investor it is easy to dream of achieving financial independence, but that is much harder to put into practice. However, the BRRRR strategy can provide you with a step-by-step formula for growing your real estate portfolio. With that in mind, don't hesitate use the BRRRR method and the tips provided as you get started on your real estate investing journey. Armed with this knowledge, you should have all the information you need to take the first step toward becoming an investment property owner. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Staying in Touch vs. Spamming Too Much
I do love Father's Day. These days, one of the greatest treats is spending time with family. I also got a few text messages from close friends--I sent a few, too. But this morning, my inbox was littered with "Happy Father's Day" greetings from CRMs. What do you think happened next? As I went through them, I noticed a few things. First of all, it seems like the most popular CRMs used by agents either only have one Father's Day greeting in the drip system, or it was just the most popular choice among agents. I had lots of duplicates of the same greeting; honestly, it made the entire thing seem insincere. I also noticed that there was nothing personal about it. None of the agents took the time to share anything about themselves – like a child's graduation or maybe summer activities that they are enjoying, etc. The greeting was nothing more than a form letter. Moreover, I am certain that I did not subscribe to their marketing campaign. After deleting a few emails, I changed my behavior and started hitting the unsubscribe button. I am sure that agents across America found a bunch of unsubscribe notices in their inbox this morning – depleted databases. The great unsolved challenge for real estate professionals is cracking the code to staying in touch with the people in their database. Every year, the National Association of REALTORS® publishes research that indicates that over 90% of consumers would use their Realtor in a future transaction. Only about 20% of consumers actually use their Realtor again. In addition, agents claim that about 50% of transactions comes from past clients and referrals. All of that research points to the leaky bucket of client retention. Here are a few areas of opportunity that may plug some of the holes: Use tags in CRM to indicate as many things as you know about this person. Develop customer personas. It is a lot of work, but it will make a difference because it will allow the right message to go to the right person, at the right time. Match and append the CRM database to keep it up to date. Services like Aidentified not only complete customer contact records, but they also monitor for life events. Send sincere messages to people that you know. The average agent has 397 people in their database. Sending a real note to 50 or 100 of them would be far better than spamming them all. If you do not know the person that well, tell them about what Father's day means to you and the traditions you have in your family – or favorite places to go in your community and things to do on Father's day. Do good. Give money to a charity in your local community that helps children who are fatherless. Use humor. Top 10 Father's Day disasters – you can easily find that stuff with a Google search. One friend sent me a text of a dad in a canoe with his young son. The dad was paddling, and the son was playing in the water. Then the son fell in the water and dad scooped him up and put him back in the boat and continued paddling as though it never happened. It was awesome. Another one showed a dad at the zoo with his son and daughter. The son was giving food to a giraffe who then picked the son up in the air because the boy did not let go of the leaf. The dad grabbed the son – amazing. Don't send the email. If you do not have the time or inspiration to send an email that is good enough, don't send it at all. All the agents who have me in their database that made this decision did not get their email address blocked. Sometimes that is a win. Happy Father's Day I had a great Father's Day weekend and I hope you did as well. Marilyn, Alexandra and I went to Lake Nacimiento. It is a reservoir and campground in northern San Luis Obispo County where we keep our boat. Alexandra invited a few friends up to join us. It reminded me that Father's Day is not so great for some kids; but in some way, I think they enjoyed joining our family. We had a good time and some of us got a little too much sun. Alexandra's wake surfing skills are getting pretty good. The water situation in California is real. The lake is down below 30% capacity and drops a foot or two every day. July 4th may be the last weekend on the boat this year – which is pretty sad. The boat and the camper were the things that allowed us all to keep our sanity during the COVID lockdown. We are going to need to find some new fun-filled family activities for late summer. Maybe an agent will send me a few inspiring ideas. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Do You Own Your Real Estate Photos?
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When Will U.S. Buyers See Relief From Skyrocketing Home Prices?
Home prices usually follow the laws of supply and demand: when demand is strong, supply diminishes, and prices rise, creating an incentive for owners to sell and builders to build. As the supply of homes for sale increases, those high prices moderate or decline. But, on a year-over-year basis, U.S. home prices have increased for an astounding 110 months straight; and since the pandemic began, they've risen at an extraordinary pace. Just this past April, the median home sales price in the U.S. was $341,600, nearly 20% higher than the year before. So when can buyers expect to see some much-needed home price relief? Too Much Demand, Not Enough Supply The issue with the law of supply and demand lately has been…well…not enough supply and too much demand, especially surrounding new home builds. Builders can't keep up with new home demand due to shortages of materials and appliances, along with skilled labor. Lumber prices alone are more than 250% higher than last year, and are adding nearly $36,000 to the average cost of a new build. The extreme supply shortages have driven up the median price of new homes to $372,400, the most substantial annual gain since 1988, when prices rose 87% in one year. New home builds aside, we're also seeing two of the largest generations in history — millennials, and Generation Zers, reach homebuying age and ability. More than 80% of millennials plan to buy a home at some point in their lives, and last year, 39% of all homebuyers were younger than 40. Mortgage rates below 3% ignited the generational pressure to purchase, and home sales surged to the highest level since 2006, despite pandemic challenges. Record sales quickly drained available inventories, and by the end of 2020, supplies of homes for sale were the lowest since 1999, when the National Association of Realtors first kept inventory records Now, inventory is so low and prices so high that sales are finally starting to slow, falling for the third straight month in April. (READ MORE: How Are Sellers in the Current Market REALLY Doing?) Can the Drought Get Any Worse? Even though record numbers of millennials are entering the market, it's not a journey some want to take with seemingly no home price relief in sight. Buying a first home is so expensive today that nearly one out of five prospective millennial buyers say they are giving up on homeownership and plan to rent for the rest of their lives. Will their sitting out the market help ease inventories? Not likely, at least not right now. There's no sign that the laws of supply and demand can restore balance to the real estate economy any time soon, and it may be just a matter of time until the inventory drought shuts sales down to a trickle. Still, there are some positive signs that demand will decrease and supplies will increase enough to bring some home price relief: Mortgage Rates Should Increase, Tempering Demand-driven Price Hikes Home price relief won't happen until mortgage interest rates rise and home supplies improve. For two years, forecasters and mortgage companies have said that higher rates are just around the corner. This year, they may be right. Inflation is suddenly surging for the first time in decades, and Fannie Mae's economists predict housing could contribute more than two percentage points to inflation by the end of 2022. The forecasted rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage will reach 3% by mid-year and stay above 3% through 2022. The Mortgage Bankers Association sees rates reaching 3.5% by the end of 2021, and 4% in the second quarter next year. New Home Starts Are Up The inventory of previously owned homes reached record lows in April, but on a year-over-year basis, housing starts (new homes being built) in March surged to a nearly a 15-year high, and April starts were 67.3% higher than they were in April 2020. Fannie Mae forecasts an aggressive 16.3% increase in single-family home construction this year over 2020, but that increase in new homes amounts to about 2.4% of demand — far below what is needed to meet it. As Price Appreciation Slows, Sellers Will Become More Motivated Just as the fear of higher mortgage rates motivated buyers in 2020, the fear of falling prices driven by rising rates will motivate sellers. As a result, listings may begin to increase on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter of 2022, when sellers prepare for the spring sales season. Baby Boomers, who own 41% of the nation's homes, have been much slower than earlier generations to downsize as they age. Millions of Boomer homeowners lost more than a decade of appreciated equity after the housing crash in 2007, and many are waiting until prices peak to sell and regain as much equity as possible. In last year's price boom, older Baby Boomers sold their homes at a higher rate than any other age group. When it's clear that the current boom has run its course, more Boomers will be listing their homes for sale. The Experts Forecast Significant Changes in Prices by 2022 Economists at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and several of the best real estate data and analytics firms forecast changes in market trends two years in advance. As of May, Fannie Mae forecasted that the median national price will rise 9.5% for new homes this year but only 4.4% in 2022. Home prices will continue to grow at 12.2% this year and 3.9% next year for existing homes. As of April, Freddie Mac forecasted that the price boom would end this year. Freddie's experts forecasted that all home prices, new and existing, will increase only 6.6% this year―a decline from 11.3% in 2020―and 4.4% in 2022. The respected real estate analytics firm CoreLogic agrees that home price increases will slow down this year, reporting that median year-over-year national price increase will fall to 2.8% by April 2022. Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, also agrees. "We'll see more inventory come to the market later this year as further COVID-19 vaccinations are administered and potential home sellers become more comfortable listing and showing their homes," said Yun. "In addition, the falling number of homeowners in mortgage forbearance will also bring about more inventory." "Despite the decline, housing demand is still strong compared to one year ago, evidenced by home sales from this January to April, which are up 20% compared to 2020. Moreover, the additional supply projected for the market should cool down the torrid pace of price appreciation later in the year," Yun said. The Bottom Line Mortgage interest rates are the critical factor driving housing demand. It's more than likely that by the end of this year, rates could drive upwards of 4% or higher. Sellers, led by Boomers eager not to miss the price peak, will bring a modicum of relief to the inventory shortage. In 12 months, the rate of price appreciation for single-family homes will be half its current rate of 19.1%, if not lower. By then, inventories will improve but won't return to healthy levels until pent-up demand is met and new home construction makes a more significant contribution. So while we can't expect to see home prices fall, we can expect their increases to slow down significantly. 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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Friday Freebie: Homebuyer Packet Template
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Top Tech Issues Every Real Estate Pro Faces
Working remotely for real estate agents means more reliance on tech tools than ever. An increased presence of technology in the daily workflow of an agent also equates to more tech challenges. Troubleshooting a greater variety of glitches is becoming more commonplace. Thankfully, Tech Helpline is here to help brokers and agents quickly overcome these interruptions. Whether you have issues with a device, network connectivity, resetting passwords, or printer problems, our team of analysts is available to help you get back to work. With Tech Helpline being only a call, text or click away, our priority is giving you access to a team of experts who have 300+ years of combined IT experience at no additional charge. Here are a few of the most common tech issues that real estate professionals encounter and how Tech Helpline can help. Resetting your Facebook password More agents today rely on social media for real estate marketing, especially Facebook. Most real estate pros remain logged into Facebook on both their computer and phone for easy work access. However, there are times where an agent either accidentally logs out or changes a device. Agents often have trouble remembering their Facebook password to sign back in. Tech Helpline can help you quickly get back into your Facebook account by walking you through your options, including how to reset your password. Wi-Fi network issues Real estate pros depend on Wi-Fi being readily available for their work. Losing an internet connection can be a huge detriment to your work routine. If you can't fix the issue on your own or find that troubleshooting is too time-consuming, turn to Tech Helpline. Tech Helpline analysts are Wi-Fi troubleshooting experts. And if you are experiencing slow Internet speed or disappearing Wi-Fi networks, reach out for assistance first. Remember, Tech Helpline offers support for more than just computers and smartphones. You can get help connecting other smart devices to a Wi-Fi network, including Alexa Echo products, Google Home, wireless printers and more. Backing up or restoring lost data One of the worst things that can happen to any real estate pro is having a hard drive on their computer crash. It's even more traumatic when you didn't back up your data beforehand. Tech Helpline can help you set up your computer for regular automatic backup protection to avoid this nightmare scenario. Tech Helpline also provides guidance on using a cloud storage service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, to protect your files. Tech Helpline also can help in recovering lost files or restoring lost data. Printer Problems Successfully installing a new printer is not easy. It's one of the most common tech challenges real estate pros reach out to Tech Helpline to fix. Tech Helpline analysts can help you set up your new printer right the first time. And if you have a printer that stopped working correctly, Tech Helpline will troubleshoot to help you get back to business. Don't put off contacting Tech Helpline to resolve a simple issue or to ask a basic question. The small things sometimes lead to bigger things, and the friendly analysts who work with agents every day at Tech Helpline are ready to help you today! To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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Are iBuyers Good for Consumers?
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Finally, Seller Lead Generation that Actually Produces Listings
With all the companies, tools, and technologies out there promising to produce leads for real estate agents, it's almost impossible to find a lead generation system that actually converts leads into real listings. What if there was a system that you could implement right now that could do exactly that? It's not uncommon knowledge that the priority for most real estate agents in a seller's market is to have as many listing opportunities as possible. There are a few key components agents need to concentrate on to ensure a continuous flow of listing opportunities, including: Access to a reliable and consistent flow of seller leads. Systems that automate the successful long-term nurture of seller prospects. The ability to offer a premium seller experience. Access to custom market data, personalized reporting, and intelligent marketing tools for clients. Common Problems with Seller Lead Generation Real estate agents should have tools and systems that can generate whatever type and quantity of leads desired, but unfortunately this is not the reality. Some of the most common problems agents have with seller lead generation include: Instead of true seller leads, they get people looking to rent or refinance. Agents deliver the wrong marketing messages to prospective sellers. A lack of inventory for sellers to trade up or down to and agents have no plan for how to help. Agents don't know how to organically produce "come-list-me" calls. Current lead generation tools don't provide any lead conversion support. Introducing the Ultimate Seller System Recognizing the many problems agents are facing in the current market with listing opportunities, the real estate-focused digital marketing company, Ylopo, developed what is now dubbed USS Ylopo, or the Ultimate Seller System. USS Ylopo is an end-to-end seller solution that effectively generates true seller leads, provides automated seller lead nurturing, and gives agents access to many unique benefits for sellers, enabling them to win the most amount of listings possible. USS Ylopo leverages the most accurate and reliable seller lead sources in the industry, Google Pay Per Click and Google Local Service Ads, and can precisely target and attract seller-specific leads -- many of which are come-list-me calls. Jason Veenstra of The Veenstra Team said, "I signed up for Google LSA through Ylopo last week and we have already received three calls so far and today we had our first 'Come list my house ASAP' call. This stuff works!" To support the superior lead generation, Ylopo offers a custom-built AI-powered Inside Sales Agent that is able to instantly engage with and nurture incoming leads and set appointments through text message. A full-time answering service will also be added to Ylopo's arsenal of seller tools so agents never have to worry about missing inbound lead calls. Complementing the lead generation and nurture tools, USS Ylopo includes dynamic marketing tools. The first tool works to automatically generate custom dynamic video ads for individual listings. The second tool generates a series of custom listing ads for social media platforms. Both tools ensure that the correct messaging is automatically delivered to the perfect audience, allowing agents to precisely target prospective buyers in their local areas -- a major benefit for seller clients. Agents also have access to personalized reporting through USS Ylopo, including easy ways for agents to generate a full list of active and hot buyers looking to buy a property like the one their clients are selling. In addition, sellers are given a complete Homebot experience, allowing them to see live market data, access to a comprehensive seller report, and the effectiveness of their agent's marketing. "The first day after sending out Homebot invites to clients, I set five listing appointments," said Josh Huglen of The Huglen Real Estate Group. So, What Does This All Change? Pairing powerful marketing tools and a custom Homebot experience with the most accurate lead generation and intelligent automated lead nurture available in the industry, agents can finally arm themselves with a "do-it-all" seller system that can help them win every listing opportunity. "I was able to convert a builder contract worth $5MM+ that included more than 10 units and more, all off-market because I was able to showcase our sophisticated approach with Ylopo that NOBODY else was doing," said Jeff Moore of Jeff Moore Real Estate. "Do you want to be a differentiator in the market? Ylopo is it!" By offering prospective seller clients with an experience and product that actually helps sellers build wealth and sell their home quickly, agents using USS Ylopo can offer clients unmatched services that simply can't be beat by the competition. Learn more at ylopo.com/seller
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25 Real Estate Video Marketing Ideas
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Time is of the Essence for First-Time Home Buyers and Fresh Listings
Working with first-time buyers is rewarding and often very challenging, but as a real estate professional, you know how to guide them through every step of the process. First-time homebuyers want it all. Like seasoned buyers, they want to have a home suited to their lifestyle and needs, in the ideal location, and for the best price. But the question is, what are new homebuyers looking for when it comes to taking the plunge into today's real estate market? The vast majority of first-time homebuyers want a variety of features in their new home. High on the list of wants are garages, finished basements, yard, the ideal size of the home, and an open floor plan. It is your job to help the buyer navigate their maiden voyage and arrive at their "home sweet home" destination in the least amount of time. The shortlist Ideal floor plan Location Price and affordability Size – accurate square footage Who are first-time buyers? According to NAR, 31% of all buyers in 2020 were first-time buyers. More than 80% of buyers between the ages of 22-30 purchased a home for the first time. This demographic is followed closely by older millennials between the ages of 31-40, making up 48% of their age group. Twenty-two percent of buyers between 40-54 years of age were also buying their first residence. So how do you attract first-time homebuyers? Why buy a home? The reasons for purchasing a home range from the need for larger or smaller square footage to the desire to accommodate multi-generational family members under the same roof. Moving from a rental or moving out of the family home are also motivating factors. But the biggest reason first-time homebuyers are getting into the real estate market is the desire to own their home. Forty-two percent of those buyers want to live in their new home for at least five years subject to any unforeseen changes to their employment, family or geographic variations. What are new homebuyers looking for? Provide information. You will find that the majority of first-time homebuyers are familiar with scouring Realtor websites and MLS listings on the web. User-friendly sites with virtual tours are like eye magnets to the curious buyer. Your online listings fulfill the need for instant gratification when a buyer wants to know how the property fits and flows. A simple click here and there on the virtual tour provides a satisfying user experience as they engage and interact with a property. The buyer builds a strong connection while examining the details of a home. Reinforcing the buyer's memory after an in-person viewing is just one of the benefits of 3D tours and interactive floorplans. It is difficult for anyone to retain every bit of information about a property from a 15-30 minute showing. When there is no time to physically see the property, buying a home based on 3D tours is not a scary proposition for the first-time buyer. Their comfort level is heightened by the opportunity to examine a home's features multiple times through virtual tours then write an offer sight unseen. Buy them time – here today, gone tomorrow With record home sales still hitting year over year highs, the decision to buy a property has to be made quickly. Buyers have very little time to view, process, and make a decision before signing the purchase contract for one of the biggest acquisitions of their life. Often a new listing is sold within days and sometimes within hours of it hitting the market. How can you help? You can attract first-time homebuyers and buy them more time by providing floor plans and virtual tours with your listing information. The buyer can check off all their requirements and review the home multiple times online so when they arrive at an in-person showing, they'll be ready to have you write up the purchase contract on the spot. Regrets, they've had a few Buying a home for the first time can come with a few regrets. One of the main things that trigger buyer's remorse is the size of the home. Living with a house too small or too big for the desired lifestyle can really throw a curve into the buyer's journey. You can help minimize the anguish by providing floor plans and accurate measurements so your buyer can easily map out the property before the FOMO (fear of missing out) sets in and they buy the wrong home. Sure, they may have to compromise on a few things they want like solar panels or updated bathrooms and kitchen, but the size is something that needs to be taken seriously. Size matters and the best way to judge it is with a virtual tour and accurate square footage from a floor plan. As an added value, a floor plan will certainly come in handy when that compromised kitchen renovation becomes affordable. Any time someone does something new or outside of their comfort zone, they look to someone with experience who can offer advice and give insight. The same is true when buying a home. First-time homebuyers in 2021 are certainly more tech-savvy and computer literate than their home buying predecessors, but they still need the tools and guidance you can provide them like virtual tours and 3D tours. Remembering the entire layout of a potential new home is difficult, but saving time and reinforcing memory is the key to attraction. What are new homebuyers looking for? They want accurate, easy-to-follow information available day or night at the click of their mouse.
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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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Win Clients with Real Estate Photography and These 6 Features on Facebook and Instagram
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Sealing the Deal With the Follow-up Presentation
The pre-listing presentation is a vital tool that real estate agents use to make a great first impression. After that comes the follow-up presentation, which helps agents secure clients by demonstrating superior sales and marketing recommendations as well as an informed value of opinion (CMA). As you learned in our previous post, the pre-listing presentation is designed to provide an overview of you, your team, and the services you offer as a real estate agent. The follow-up presentation builds on that introduction, providing additional information that you gathered after your initial meeting with the seller. It also communicates the right sales strategy to achieve the seller's goals. The Main Focus While most sellers have scanned sites like Realtor.com or Zillow to get their home estimates, every seller wants to feel confident that you can sell their property for top dollar. A well executed follow-up presentation can provide them with that level of confidence. The main focus of the follow-up presentation is the value of the seller's property, your walk-through assessment of the home, and your expert recommendations to position the home for the best possible result. Detailed information on the home's square footage, the expected price per square foot, usable space, and room flow are great ways to provide supplemental information which supports your proposed listing price. Some other great recommendations include a step-by-step guide to selling the home and suggestions on recommended repairs, paint colors, lighting enhancements, staging, and ways to increase the property's curb appeal. You'll also want to talk about the best time to market the home, and provide a price list of comparable homes that have recently sold. The Practical Necessities Providing the seller with practical information and documents in the follow-up presentation can help them fully understand the selling process. Such information can include a standard listing agreement and a contact list of your operational team and their role in the sale of the home. Including this information will show the seller that you're prepared and know exactly what is needed to complete the sale. Bonus Information Every presentation you provide to the seller is designed to market your services and give you an edge over the competition. The following bonus information is the cherry on top, rounding out the follow-up presentation. If you want "extra credit," consider including your mission statement and information about disclosures. You can also provide a document that shows the criteria used to set the listing price, as well as third-party information on what makes homes sell quickly or causes them to linger on the market. Lastly, you can include a couple of important features that you previously sent in your pre-listing presentation – including your bio, testimonials from previous clients, and any awards you've won. Remember – before you sell the home, you have to sell yourself as an agent! HighNote Has Mastered the Real Estate Presentation You might be thinking how great it sounds to provide sellers with an organized, beautiful follow-up presentation – but you may also be thinking you don't have enough time to put it together, or aren't tech savvy enough to make it happen. HighNote has done all the hard work for you, creating a beautiful template which you can customize based on the needs of your seller. It's quick and easy to use, and it's already helped real estate agents across the country win major listings. So what are you waiting for? Click here to begin creating stand-out HighNote presentations that will set you apart from the crowd.
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Friday Freebie: 2021 Referral Lead Strategy Guide
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New iOS 14 Update: What Does It Mean for Your Real Estate Facebook and Instagram Ads?
The new iOS update touches upon a very sensitive topic: the usage of our personal data for commercial purposes. Whether you're a seasoned advertiser, or just a simple internet user, there is no doubt you've heard about our data being used for advertising purposes. Being tracked was something we've gotten used to a long time ago. And only now we're starting to see the ripple effects of that issue. The conversation around the ethical part of internet tracking is just starting, and the new iOS update is just a small fraction that showcases the seriousness of that problem. With the rise of the browsers that respect your privacy, and with the operational systems becoming more and more conscious about respecting personal data, the question arises — what is the future of advertising especially for small businesses? As a real estate agent, there is a chance Facebook and Instagram ads are one of the tools you use for listings promotion. They are tools that we've all used pretty frequently. So, without paying attention to the ethical issues of tracking, let's talk business. How does it affect you, and what can you do in this case to minimize any negative impacts? Let's dive in. What Does the New iOS Update Mean? Facebook and Instagram advertising is a cheap and lucrative form of advertising. Essentially, Facebook tracks consumers' preferences and offers this information to the advertisers who use this data to reach potential customers. The iOS 14 update changes offer an option to opt out of the tracking, essentially cutting the flow of information and allowing users to become invisible to tracking. Many in the real estate industry and elsewhere fear that getting the data will become harder and because of that the prices for ads might go up. Here are some main changes that iOS 14 brings to the table: Facebook Pixel - Tracking actions such as "Add to cart," for example, or purchase action mayl be under-reported. Ads Optimization - Without necessary/limited data, Pixel won't be able to properly analyze and report data, therefore creating custom audiences may not be that reliable. Retargeting - As we already mentioned, the new iOS update makes the users who opt out of tracking invisible, therefore retargeting those users may become impossible. All in all, these type of ads are more at risk when the iOS update will be finally up: Traffic Ads, specifically those optimized around landing page views using Pixel. Conversion Ads if optimised around custom conversions or standard events. Other than that, catalogue sales (if customers go to a website) and app installs/app related conversions when targeting iOS devices may also be affected. All in all, does it mean that iOS users won't see any ads? No, certainly not that. It means the ads may not be relevant, since there is no data to create a personalized ad experience. Remember, custom events will be also limited. For people who don't opt out of tracking custom events, tracking will be limited to eight events. For the users who opted out of tracking, these limitations might be even stricter. The attribution window will also be changed. Prior to the update, the attribution window for actions taken on ads was 28 days, showing seven-day clicks. After the update, it will be a seven day window, one day click. So What Should Be Done? Well, first and foremost, it's important to know how many of your clients are iOS users. This can be done by checking Google Analytics. Second, you will need to verify your website, especially if you're creating an ad with a conversion goal in mind. Check out this Facebook resource to learn how to verify your real estate website. You can also exclude iOS users if you're running conversion ad campaigns. You can also create campaigns with a different goal in mind—for example, lead generation. Let's say you have an ebook of your own or webinar. You can create a lead generation ad using this content, promote your ebook or webinar, provide useful information to your potential audience and get emails at the same time. This can help you to create new audiences for Facebook and therefore create new ads with different goals. You will also need to choose eight events in the Events Manager. This action needs to be done by the Facebook Pixel owner. Few Final Words With the new changes, it might seem as your real estate ads are not working, but in reality the date won't be showing as quickly and accurately. So be prepared for the potentially underreported data that might happen with the new iOS update. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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Tech and Mental Health: It's been a long pandemic
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How to Get More Seller Clients and Win Every Listing Appointment
Right now, every real estate agent out there is spending their time and money chasing seller leads. Let's face it. If you want to make money as a real estate agent with the way the market is right now, working buyer leads exclusively can be very risky, especially if you're relying on regular commission checks to put food on the table. The problem with shifting your focus away from buyer leads over to seller leads is that the competition for seller leads is intense. You can't afford to not be winning your listing appointments because other agents are beating you out. So what can you do to make yourself more competitive as an agent and a more desirable hire for sellers? Let's first get to the root of the problem. Why Agents Are Losing Listing Opportunities It's no secret that it's a crazy sellers market right now and there are a whole lot of reasons why homeowners are delaying listing their home for sale (which is a can of worms we're not going to open in this article—you can read further on that here.) Let's instead focus on what listing opportunities ARE becoming available and what you can do to win them. To understand how to win your listing opportunities, we first need to understand the most common reasons real estate agents are losing out on what few listing opportunities are presenting themselves. You're not the only agent they're interviewing. Everyone wants seller leads right now so there's a lot of competition. What makes you the best agent for the job? You might not be the most experienced agent they're interviewing. Sellers are able to be picky about hiring a listing agent and are asking more challenging questions at listing appointments. Are you prepared? You don't have any other services to offer.Real estate agents have little or no way of differentiating themselves from competing agents. What sets you apart? Your client experience is not memorable.Real estate agents can't find creative ways to elevate their client experience. What benefits do you provide to clients? What Agents Can Do to Combat These Issues While these problems might seem daunting, there are some things you can do to eliminate most of these challenges. You're Not the Only Agent They're Interviewing Okay, so you have some competition. The first thing you can do to give yourself a better chance of winning more listings is to increase your pool of seller leads. More seller leads means more potential listing opportunities you have to convert. Try increasing the number of seller leads you have coming in by diversifying your lead sources. For example, if you're using Facebook as your primary source of leads, start exploring other lead sources that are more focused on creating seller specific leads. Sources like Google Local Service Ads or Google Pay Per Click are great places to start. Once you have more leads, be prepared to expand your nurture and follow up efforts. Your goal should be to have your brand in front of your prospects at all times. They should see you everywhere! In addition, you should strive to have a relationship with every one of your leads. That means you'll likely have to have much more communication with them to build up trust. If they like you, they'll want to work with you. It's that simple. You're Not the Most Experienced Agent They're Interviewing So you're not the only agent they're interviewing, but you're also not the most experienced. This is where it gets tricky for newer agents. There isn't much you can do about your level of listing experience, but there are some things you can do to level the playing field. First, do your research! Make sure you're knowledgeable about the seller's wants and needs and you understand their motivations for selling. No matter the circumstance, the act of selling a home will be an emotional experience for your clients, so be sensitive to their needs and know what's important to them. Understanding their motivations can give you insights into how you can best cater your services to each individual seller. Next, make sure you have a digital marketing system in place that you can leverage for marketing your listings. By having the ability to offer your clients advanced marketing tools like dynamic videos, you are able to provide them with the same or better service than they'd have when working with a bigger team or a more experienced agent. For a more elaborate list of things you can do to level the playing field, check out this other helpful article. You Don't Have Unique Services to Offer and Don't Know How to Elevate Your Client Experience The best way to get more seller clients is to have unique services and benefits to offer that no one else is providing and pair that with a premium and polished seller experience. Since most listing agents have a process or procedure they follow when going through a listing, the experience for the clients can feel a bit impersonal or robotic and doesn't differ much from agent to agent. Not a very memorable or exceptional experience for clients. Your Best Bet for Winning More Listings Your best bet for winning more listings is to attract sellers to you using a digital marketing tool like Ylopo that also provides a custom Homebot seller experience. Not only does the Homebot seller experience create more listing opportunities, but it improves your communication with your homeowners by 10x and gives you a consistent flow of new leads into your database automatically. With a custom Homebot seller experience, your sellers will have access to beautiful reports allowing them to see live market data, comprehensive seller reports about their property (allowing them to build wealth), and access to insights that will show them the effectiveness of your marketing. All Things Considered By elevating your client experience through systems like Ylopo and Homebot, you can effectively offer your clients tools and benefits that they wouldn't have had with other agents. On top of that, a personalized seller experience like the one you can get through Ylopo and Homebot will quickly help build your business of long-term referrals, repeat clients, and overall trust throughout the industry.
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How Are Sellers in the Current Market REALLY Doing?
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How to Write the Perfect Real Estate Agent Bio
Making a good first impression online is far more difficult than doing so in-person. When you're face-to-face, your countenance and body language can express friendliness and confidence while you verbally make a connection and communicate your local market knowledge and overall expertise. Conversely, conveying all those points through a written real estate agent bio takes some wordsmithing. Luckily, you don't need to be a creative writing major to craft the perfect real estate agent bio. If you follow our suggestions, you'll be able to make a great first impression with anyone who reads about you online. Define your voice The first thing you need to do for your real estate agent bio—and any other content you plan to write, like ads, blog posts and social media posts—is to nail down your voice. This refers to your style of writing, and it's what will make your content unique. If you aren't sure what your voice is like, start by writing a note to a friend. In it, tell that person about an experience you recently had. You won't ultimately share the note with anyone, but after writing it, you'll be able to see the type of words you typically use and the style in which you use them. Take this same approach when you write your bio. And keep these three points in mind: Be authentic – Use your words, not the words you think people want to hear. Your tone should match your personality. Don't eliminate contractions if you typically use them. Don't use formal language if you speak casually. Be confident – Stop yourself from reading anyone else's bio before writing your own. Comparing your background and accomplishments to other real estate agents won't help you write about yourself. If you're confident enough to do your job, then you should also be confident in your experience. That's why we're not sharing any examples of other bios. Putting ideas in your head is the perfect way to ensure you won't be writing with authenticity. Share your passion – Why does your work excite you? Weave your enthusiasm for your job into your bio. No one wants to work with a two-dimensional agent. Showing passion will make others feel eager to work with you. Cover the necessary details Although you're writing your real estate agent bio in your own voice, there are still important points you need to address along the way. Here is a list to get you started. It's not exhaustive because, well, everyone is unique. If you have other tidbits of information you want to share with potential leads and prospects, you shouldn't hesitate to add it in! Your name (for example, don't write Michael if everyone calls you Mike) Your title Your specialty (first-time buyers, luxury homes, investment properties, working with veterans) Your standout skills (great negotiator, highly responsive, in-depth knowledge of the market) Current track record and accolades Trainings, certifications, education Market specialities (specific neighborhoods, housing types) A friendly photo Social proof, such as testimonials (place these at the end) Other things to consider including: Elevator pitch about why clients choose you Your approach to every client relationship and the overall transaction Relatable stories that show you understand the needs of buyers and/or sellers Personal details (share information like how many kids you have, your pet's name, your hobbies, likes and dislikes) If you're part of a team, talk about the people who clients might interact with or who support you behind the scenes, like an admin, marketer, stagers, et al. Don't forget that people often skim when they are reading online. If you really want to grab their attention, make every sentence engaging and worth the read. Start with a strong opening. That could be a story about why you got into real estate, how you work with clients or what sets you apart from your competition. Finally, consider whether you want your bio to be in the first or third person. There's no right answer, and you may consider writing it both ways to see which you like better. Proofread It goes without saying that you should proofread your real estate agent bio after you write it. But you may also want to read it aloud to see if it sounds natural and authentic. Then send it to a few people, including colleagues, who will give you honest feedback. When you ask them to read it, be specific in what type of feedback you'd like to receive. For example, you may want to ask whether it is engaging, makes you sound like a trusted agent, conveys your expertise well enough or is too long. Determine where to publish your real estate agent bio Consider your real estate agent bio as a piece of marketing. You should spread it far and wide so that buyers and sellers face no hurdles when they try to learn more about you. Here's a starting point for where you should publish your bio: Your brokerage's website Your personal agent website Your Google business profile Your Facebook business page Printed collateral displayed at open houses and elsewhere To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Want to Win More Listings? Learn the Art of the Pre-listing Presentation
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5 Tasks Every Real Estate Agent Must QUIT to Close More Deals
If you're like most agents, you got into real estate because you love people. To your surprise, as you gain experience in the role, you might realize a lot of your time is spent in the office behind a computer performing office work and doing repetitive tasks. You did not get into real estate to look at a computer all day. So why not delegate these time-consuming tasks that are outside of your expertise and aren't directly related to real estate? Why not have someone or something else do the boring tasks so you can have more time meeting clients? In this article, I will share five tasks every real estate agent should stop doing and automate to increase their amount of free time, so they can focus more on their clients and closing deals: 1. Lead Generation Through Digital Marketing Ads Social Media and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) ads are powerful tools that can help you generate online real estate leads. However, learning how to properly use these tools and optimize them to increase your ROI is very time consuming. The online certification courses to learn these methods of lead generation can take days and even weeks to complete. Then you must test your ads through trial and error to determine which message and content combination resonate with your audience best—which could waste a lot of money. Then you must analyse the data to discover opportunities to create more effective ads. This process is ongoing and can take upwards of four to six hours to manage each week. Consistently filling your pipeline with leads is vital to your success as a real estate agent, but it's not a task that requires your expertise. Since online lead generation through digital ads is very time consuming and doesn't require your knowledge, consider outsourcing or automating it. Agents that delegate their online lead generation tasks to others regain the four to six hours a week managing ads and reallocate that time to tasks that require their expertise, like showing homes. 2. Send Lead Nurturing Emails Manually How many emails do you send per week? Hundreds? Thousands? Whatever the official count is, it takes extensive time to write an email, personalize it with the correct name and information, and send it to the right person. Sure, you can use listing, home search, reengaging or templates to save time, but you still have to research and input the relevant information into it. If you add up the total amount of time spent on these repetitive tasks—researching, writing, editing, liking, reviewing and sending each email—you could spend five to seven hours per week on these email processes depending on the size of your contact list. Your real estate expertise is going to waste by spending time and energy on emailing tasks like these. Instead of emailing leads manually, set up email drip campaigns that personalizes content based on the recipients, inputs relevant information that the recipient finds valuable, groups contacts by type/location, and sends emails automatically. By automating your emails in this fashion, you can reduce spelling and grammar errors, send emails in a timely manner, and save between five to seven hours of your time. Granted, you will still have to send those one off emails, but you can rely on email drip campaigns to nurture your leads longterm. 3. Writing Blog Copy to Increase Organic Traffic If you want to generate more organic website traffic, blogging is one of the best tools to accomplish this goal. Topics related to real estate processes and your local market would get the most organic traffic. However, depending on the length, amount of research, and other variables of an article, it could take around four to five hours to write. Plus, you must be consistent and post regularly to see the benefits of blogging, which can take months. Blogging does utilize some of your expertise, but your expertise communicated through blogging isn't the best way to share it nor is it going to convert a website visitor into a lead. Instead of wasting time and energy blogging, consider using SEO-friendly neighborhood pages on your website. These pages have comprehensive information and include valuable content like local market, community, school, and points of interest reports that update automatically. Details related to the neighborhood of a listing is the second most sought after information on a real estate professional's website—which makes sense, right? If the listing is the product, then the neighborhood is a complementary good which contributes to the value of a listing. Therefore, a consumer wants information about a neighborhood because it can increase or decrease a listing's value based on its surrounds. 4. Follow Up Manually with Leads After you've converted a lead, you must follow up with them in a timely manner. Your goal is to reply to them within five minutes of them entering your contact database. After five minutes, your chances of getting them on the phone and converting them into a client decreases dramatically. That sounds easy enough on paper, but there are times when you're too busy and won't be able to follow up this quickly. For example, you might not feel like it, you might not want to, you might be driving or in a meeting with a client. If you can't consistently follow up with new leads in a timely manner, especially if it's due to lack of time, then it's in your best interest to automate this task. By leveraging automated follow-up messages, you can ensure a reply within five minutes of a lead conversion, giving you the best chance of continuing the conversation and evolving it to a call or an appointment. Automated follow-up messages also show your attentiveness to help and provide value. For example, a lead will receive a follow-up message about scheduling a showing for a listing if they view a listing multiple times or save it to their favorite's list. Since you'll rely on technology to message leads, you can stop worrying about leads falling through the cracks because a system will do it for you. 5. Website Optimization and Development The best real estate websites are simple and cater to the consumer to streamline lead generation. They only include the most valuable information and tools that push a consumer further down their pipeline—and nothing else. To provide the best experience for your website visitors to push them down your pipeline, set up your website so that valuable information like listing details, neighborhood information, and recently sold homes are easy to locate and access—meaning they don't require many clicks or scrolls to find and access them. A simple website provides a positive experience for your visitors and keeps them on your website, but it also gives you a good experience. You won't spend countless hours making minor formatting tweaks or have to learn HTML or CSS coding to get a page a certain way. Most of these minor, insignificant edits only matter to you and don't provide significant value to your website visitors. So instead of personalizing, branding, sharing useless information, and making your website about you, try optimizing your website for lead generation by keeping it simple and by focusing on the visitor's experience. Then you can spend less time developing your website and more time meeting clients. Real estate agents that delegate these tasks and automate or outsource them have more time to focus on primary tasks that directly relate to real estate and utilize their expertise. They spend less time on repetitive tasks outside of their skillset like online lead generation, long-term nurturing, blogging, follow-up, and website development. Since these tasks can be extremely time consuming and irrelevant to real estate, your time, energy and knowledge is best applied to more important tasks like meeting clients, showing homes, hosting open houses, or being with your family. So what are you waiting for? Regain hours of your work week back by quitting these tasks and automating them! To view the original article, visit the TORCHx blog.
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Why Real Estate Photography Is Important In A Seller's Market
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With RPR, REALTORS Give First-time Home Buyers First Class Guidance
What's on the minds of current home buyers--specifically first-timers? The NAR has answered that question with the recent release of their Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends study for 2021. It provides a plethora of data and research into what age groups are buying real estate and what challenges, perceived or real, each group faces. An additional article by NAR's REALTOR® Magazine, NAR Study: Young Adults Eagerly Entering, Dominating Housing Market, breaks down and analyzes the info even further to reveal that Millennials now make up the largest group of first-time home buyers. It also shows that the top concern among all buyers is related to finding that perfect property: When asked, "What buyers want from real estate agents," nearly 50% of all buyers said: "Help finding the right home to purchase" When asked, what are the "most difficult steps of the home buying process?" — again, over half of all buyers responded with: "Finding the right property." It's pretty clear that buyers, especially first-timers, want a knowledgeable and trusted advisor to help them find a home that's just right for them. And experienced REALTORS® who use RPR (Realtors Property Resource), are positioned to deliver those results. Use RPR to "wow" your clients and close more deals RPR is a digital platform (website, mobile app and blog) that offers REALTORS® access to data, tools and reports on just about every property in the country. When used in tandem with your local real estate expertise and know-how, you can provide your first-time buyers with the latest market movements and trends, and accurate, data-backed advice to help them make informed decisions. Here's how Katheryn DeClerck, an Associate Broker with Howard Hanna | Rand Realty in Goshen, New York sees it: "First-time homebuyers need more information and assistance in the buying process than those that have bought before. The REALTOR®, with the help of RPR, is uniquely positioned to offer what the first-time homebuyer needs." Katheryn continues, "This generation is known for using technology for information and problem-solving. Online, they can be inundated with data and information and they need help interpreting it to make it useful. That's where I think the REALTOR® and RPR come in. Property reports bring them so much more than they get from a typical MLS printout. Market activity, school, and neighborhood reports give them valuable comprehensive reports they can only get from a REALTOR®." RPR Reports: Easy to create, hard to duplicate Reports are RPR's bread and butter. Professionally designed deliverables that are easy for consumers to understand that you can send to your clients in minutes (if not seconds). They're also a chance for you to communicate your unique message and your brand to every prospect and client. Check out this video, RPR Reports, for more details. REALTORS® who use RPR reports: Instantly respond to client needs with real estate reports that matter Give their clients as much or as little data property they see fit, in an easily digestible, professionally designed package Deliver up-to-date data and info on specific properties, neighborhoods, schools, market activity and much more Brand each RPR report with their name, photo, logo and contact information Customize reports to include biographies, testimonials, and marketing tools "First-time home buyers need a keen insight into the markets they are looking to buy in. The RPR reports do just that!" says Joe Sinnona, an Associate Broker with eXp Realty. "My initial consultation with them includes giving them a copy of a neighborhood and school report in their desired area. The data from these reports includes economic, demographic, quality of life, market statistics and school ratings. These reports educate them so they can make informed decisions on where they are looking to buy." Joe adds, "First-time buyers, especially the Millennial generation, really appreciate that I'm able to provide such in-depth data and that they can receive it in their desired format, typically via email or text. Many times, I've been able to make a connection at an open house with the first-time homebuyer as they usually haven't been given this type of information previously. RPR tools set me apart from other agents!" RPR Maps: Give first-timers the big picture RPR has recently made some changes and updates to the maps experience, which makes using them easier, faster and more intuitive. With them, you can visually search for properties and uncover market trends. The map layers offer various views and ways to "zone in" on areas, neighborhoods and properties themselves. From aerial, road, and overhead views, to schools, estimated values, heat maps, and geographic overlays, users can draw or designate maps in ways that will help you and your clients. Miriam Treger, an Associate Broker with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in Williamsville, New York sums it up perfectly: "A key feature within the RPR website is the map tools. By using these mapping tools, a REALTOR® will be able to use a broader brush to expand the search areas, within the buyer's price point, such as neighborhoods, ZIPs, cities, opportunity zones, or counties on the map, and then searching one or more of those areas. This allows the buyer to learn more about other communities to help them make good decisions. This really helps identify properties for buyers in areas that they may not have considered in their initial search." Well said, Miriam. Watch this video, RPR: Map Search & Analysis, for a quick tutorial on how to get familiar and started using RPR Maps. Use RPR's data to advise your clients First-time buyers, and all buyers for that matter, want their agent to help them find a property that fits their needs. As the industry's leading digital real estate tool, RPR will help you make a memorable first impression and be more efficient and more productive. It will also "wow" your clients and help you take more of them to the closing table. Here's what RPR offers every REALTOR®: Easy access to data and detailed reports via the nation's largest property database Data and tools to gauge the market and research properties, markets, neighborhoods, and schools Customizable, client-friendly reports, branded with your info Access data on-the-go and respond to clients in seconds with RPR Mobile™ Learn about these tools and more Want to learn more? Check out these RPR Webinars to help further your RPR knowledge. Explore the page to find on demand video tutorials and printable guides on a wide variety of topics. And remember, RPR is a member benefit offered by the National Association of REALTORS®. You've already paid for it—you should be using it! If you haven't created your RPR account, do so today. Visit narrpr.com and follow the easy steps. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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What's the Big Deal about Google Local Services Ads?
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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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Top 10 Tips for Attention-Grabbing Listings
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Productivity Tips for a Successful (and Balanced) Real Estate Business
The hustle, the grind, the nonstop work. Today's real estate agents are all too familiar with what it takes to stay ahead. But staying balanced and in control are important not only for avoiding burnout but also for growing your business in a sustainable way. Run Your Business... Don't Let It Run You To be successful in real estate, you can't be all things to all people. And you can't try to do everything yourself. BoomTown hosted a powerful webinar with real estate top producer Rachel Adams Lee (The Rachel Adams Lee Group Powered by Keller Williams), and she covered her most insightful tips for reaching unparalleled success while maintaining balance and boundaries. With her expert insights, we're covering the most critical tips for growing your business while staying productive and balanced. DO Structure Your Day Time blocking can be challenging in an industry that requires catering to clients. You may be tempted to become available at the drop of a hat and say yes to certain meeting times that work best for others, however, this is how you start to lose control of your own business and time. Trust that (A) you'll be able to maintain your business and make ends meet even if you're not available 24/7, and (B) you may lose out on an opportunity here and there and that's okay. If you bite off more than you can chew, you'll end up dropping the ball somewhere. Time block your day Prioritize things that energize and motivate you DO Set Strict Boundaries Boundaries are essential for survival, success, and for your mental health when it comes to real estate. Working around the clock may feel like your doing your business a favor by being "all-in," but in reality, you're doing yourself and your clients a disservice by setting yourself up for burnout. Keep work and family/personal life separate: This allows you to be totally "on" with both your work and your family (or just yourself!). Have a clear shut-off time: Honor your time and your mental health by allowing yourself a clear shut-off time each day. You might be surprised how easily your clients and colleagues respect those boundaries! Set up a system for your "out of office" times: We know that in real estate, things are always moving. Account for this in your business plan! Meaning, leverage someone within your team to handle calls when you're unavailable. Or, utilize a Lead Concierge Service to engage with new leads on your behalf, 24/7. DO Identify Your Money-Making Activities As a real estate professional, you want to run your business like a CEO. And the CEO doesn't do everything, the CEO only does the things that require their unique expertise and attention. The high-value, high-dollar activities. In order to maximize your productivity (while avoiding burnout), start by observing all of the activities throughout your day. How long are your spending running around putting lockboxes on doors or scheduling showings? Or focusing on administrative tasks? Think about both of these questions: What brings me joy? What are my high-dollar activities that require my participation? One helpful tool for restructuring your daily tasks is the Eisenhower Matrix. It helps you identify how you should prioritize, delegate, or eliminate tasks.  DO Give 110% with Clients The most important expectation from clients is to be heard. People want to feel valued and cared about. They want to feel like they're the only person in the room and that you are going to give them VIP service. Give the extra 10%: Listen more than you talk and ask lots of questions Be prepared and confident: Focus on script practice and objection handling and always have your presentation and your stats ready to go! DON'T Avoid Technology Agents often avoid real estate technology and tools for two reasons: They can be a serious investment They can seem time-intensive and overly complicated But the truth is, sustainable success and long-term growth in today's competitive market absolutely requires leveraging technology. It's all about finding the right tools for your business and making sure that their return on investment (ROI) is worth it! Here's a list of some of the tools top agents and brokers use to complete their tech stack: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Transaction Management Lead Generation Tools Lead Conversion Tools Lead Qualification/ISA Software Market Data Marketing Automation Open House Management Mobile Dialer Accounting Software Contracts, Legal and Compliance A powerful real estate technology partner will include many of this functionality as an all-in-one solution. When you're exploring real estate CRMs, make sure they have a robust integration partner network so that your tools can function seamlessly within one central hub. DON'T Reinvent the Wheel The most successful real estate businesses run on systems and processes. There's no guesswork and every cog has its place within the well-oiled machine. As you're building your business, always keep an eye out for tasks that repeat and if there's a way to streamline that process through a service or tool (like a template)! Templatize your assets and content Market reports, presentations, social media posts, etc. Try to surround yourself with industry peers and mentors that are willing to share helpful resources like scripts, automation templates, and drip campaigns Create processes for everything within your business to avoid gaps and miscommunications DON'T Try to Do It All Alone We've touched on how to identify your most dollar-productive tasks and why it's important to leverage technology to stay productive. Now it's time to put that into action. Don't be the hero! Top producers know how to do three things really well: prioritize, automate, and delegate. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Open House Ideas That Bring in Leads
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How Virtual Staging Sells Homes
Have you ever played The Sims? This popular video game gives users the ability to virtually create a home filled with furnishings and accessories to their liking. With over 20 million users worldwide, it remains as popular today as when it first appeared in 2000. Wouldn't it be great if you could use this property tech idea to help sell more homes? Well, now you can with virtual staging. It starts with a little imagination to complement the floor plans, and some 3D software applications to highlight a portion or all the spaces within a home. Virtual staging is a great marketing tool that helps compel a home buyer to make the purchase. What is virtual staging? The digital creation of furniture, decor, and accessories within a home for use in virtual tours to be shared on a digital device. Why is this technology growing in popularity? Buyers want the ability to experience a home's full potential before making an appointment to view it and sellers want fewer interruptions in their daily lives. Virtual staging frees homeowners from the stress of physical staging and lessens the amount of time required to prepare the home during the listing and marketing process. As a real estate professional, you can use the virtual staging technology as a great tool to showcase a vacant home or unclutter a well lived-in one. No Moving or Renovations Required When selling a home, you may want the virtual tours to highlight a minimalistic design, but what if the current homeowners don't live this way? Instead of having to come up with a polite way to get the seller to move their things off the counters and put away excess possessions, you can start with a clean slate by using virtual staging. You can virtually remove items then add in just the right amount of furniture for your 3D tours to enhance the flow of the floor plans. You want the potential buyer to focus on the room dimensions and layout without getting lost in the confusion of too much stuff. Are there odd shaped areas in the house? Some spots can be difficult to place furniture in, but with virtual staging it is easy. Instead of trying to fill a space with a limited collection of real furniture, you can handpick virtual furniture to complement weird shaped areas within the floor plans. Show the buyer the best possible layout of your listing without rearranging existing chattels. If the home could use some updating, you can give the buyer an idea of what it could look like after a renovation. New paint, updated cabinets and multiple flooring options can all be virtually staged, allowing the buyer to form an emotional connection with the home. Cost Effective Traditional staging can be expensive, depending on how long the furniture is required to remain in a home. Every 24 hours that ticks by costs money that neither the current owner or you want to spend. Welcome virtual staging, where for a one-time fee you can achieve the look you want for your 360° tours and save money. According to Real Estate Magazine, virtual staging costs about $50 to $100 for each room in comparison to around $500 in the first month for physical staging. Options to virtually stage a property range from DIY software to hiring a third party specializing in the field. Professional real estate photographers offer this service along with photographs, virtual tours and square footage calculations. Virtual staging eliminates the need to move furniture back and forth from staging a home to purchase stage. Avoid worrying about spending extra money on hiring a mover to shuffle furniture in and out of the house and the possible damage to walls and fixtures in the process. Elimination of extra costs and hassle keeps your seller happy. Virtual staging enhances your 3D tours and helps the home come to life for potential buyers. Limitless Possibilities Staging a home is not new to the real estate industry, but virtual staging is a concept that is growing in popularity. Since the pandemic, consumers are more aware of the ability to visit a property without being physically present. As both buyer and seller embrace technology, virtual staging will become the new normal. Distance is no longer a deterrent when it comes to buying a home. Whether you live across the street or across the world, you can make informed decisions about the size, type and layout of a potential home all at the tip of your fingers. Virtual technology is opening doors and helping the consumer confidently buy their dream home before they see it up close and personal. According to an article in the New York Times, homebuyers are submitting offers on properties before ever setting foot in them. One reason for these early offers is because the buyers have the ability to virtually walk through and experience the home online. Accurate square footage calculations and immersive floor plans help the consumer understand the layout. Add in some virtual staging to simulate the buyer's preferences, and you have a great marketing tool. Make sure to keep your target market in mind so as not to overdo the staging with too much color or crazy furniture. Not everyone can afford the 72" HD TV or remodelled kitchen cabinets. Enhance the Space, Don't Disguise It There is no doubt about it—virtual staging can help get a home sold. Adding in some great looking furniture and changing the look of a property helps the consumer visualize living there. But don't let your listing be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Make sure you explain in detail what part of the property has been virtually staged. One buyer recently stated, "I felt deceived and the photos were misleading" after viewing an MLS listing online. The selling agent failed to completely explain that the house had been virtually staged and the potential buyer was disappointed when viewing the property in person. Be obvious when describing how each portion of the home has been staged. Clearly indicate "before" and "after" depictions of every virtually staged area. It is up to you as a real estate professional to inform the consumer and initiate the conversation about the potential of the property. Use extra resources to show the fit and flow of the floor plans by making sure to include accurate square footage, room dimensions—and for an added 3D user experience, get some advanced measurements like those offered with an iGUIDE. Virtual staging is not about tricking a buyer into viewing a house; it is about opening the door to possibilities that are often hidden behind a whole lot of sellers' treasures. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees, but with a cleverly staged home everyone can see from a different point of view. Virtual staging takes the pressure off the seller, but most consumers still want to physically visit a house. As a real estate agent, it is important that you inform your customers the home will look different in person. You don't have to know how to play The Sims video game to appreciate one of the best ways to stage a home—you just have to make sure your SIM card is working when the phone starts ringing with inquiries about your virtually staged listing!
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Friday Freebie: 200 Real Estate Flyer Templates
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5 Real Estate Marketing Metrics to Help You Grow Your Business
Not all metrics are created equal. So, while online marketing continues to promote an ultra-competitive environment for real estate agents, it's becoming increasingly important for you to gain every advantage possible from data-driven marketing metrics. Many real estate marketing metrics are too narrowly focused and miss the big picture. I've put together five unique metrics that supplement for this lack of clarity and are designed specifically to help you grow your business. 1. Effort by Lead Source What core metrics are important besides 'number of leads' and 'number of closed leads' for evaluating lead source? 'Effort' is an important, but often overlooked, variable when it comes to evaluating your real estate marketing success. This metric gives you insights into how much time and energy you spend converting each new lead into an opportunity based on the lead source, so that you can allocate your marketing dollars and follow-up efforts more effectively going forward. 2. Time Per Engagement Activity What really sucks up all the time in your day? Time is perhaps the most important resource for any agent—and any time saved can be used to grow your real estate business or enhance your personal life or, ideally, both. Analyze each lead communication/engagement activity you undertake on a daily basis to have greater insight into how your time is spent, and how to spend it more efficiently. 3. Average Time Spent to Gain a Face-to-Face Meeting How many hours do you spend working a lead to gain a face-to-face meeting? Work smarter, not harder. This metric allows you to evaluate your research methods and communication channels from a 'time invested' standpoint so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your lead follow-up and engagement. For example, a phone call may seem more personal, but a quick email or text message may be more effective based on a lead's communication preferences. 4. Percent of 'Active' Database How healthy is your contact database? The important thing isn't how many contacts you have, but how many contacts you have that are responding to your messages. This metric evaluates the overall 'health' of your database by considering the number of contacts who have communicated with you in the last 120 days—relative to the overall size of your database. Interestingly, when you create your list of active leads, consider whether you have the personal bandwidth to manage following up with each of them in a way that maintains a personal relationship that moves quickly or slowly toward transaction as a function of each lead's unique time frame. 5. Days Since Last Touch How long has it been since you've touched each of your contacts, both the active and the inactive, with a message that was personal, valuable and insightful to the contact? The adage 'out of sight, out of mind' definitely applies to real estate contacts. Of course, there's a fine line between being annoying (i.e., generic drip email) and being valuable. Tracking the number of days since you've last contacted each lead helps you narrow down your database to a particular segment that may warrant attention and follow-up. For specifics on how to calculate each of the above metrics, download our free real estate marketing metrics worksheet. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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A Review of the Zillow 3D App
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Q1 Market Report: Metros with the Most Explosive Growth
There were "virtually" no losers in this year's Q1 market report among the metropolitan areas tracked by the National Association of Realtors. Only winners...if you're a seller, anyway. Buyers? Not so much. Stark Contrast Between Sellers and Buyers In fact, 99% of the country's metros recorded year-over-year price gains, with 89% nailing double-digit increases. Only one of the 183 markets covered in NAR's latest report recorded falling prices: Springfield, Illinois, which saw its median slide by 2.4%. A corresponding Q1 market report, this one from analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions, found that 17.8 million residential properties in the country are now considered equity-rich, meaning their owners owe 50% or less on their homes than their estimated market value. This count represents about one in three of the 55.8 million mortgaged homes in the United States. Meanwhile, the number of owners who owe more than 75% of their home's current value continues to fall; at 6.6% a year ago, it's down to 4.7% currently. That's all good news for sellers. "It continues to be a great time to be a homeowner most everywhere in the country," said ATTOM's Todd Teta. But it's tough on would-be buyers who are continuing to be priced out of the market. "The sudden price appreciation is impacting affordability, especially among first-time home buyers," said NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun. Nationally, according to the NAR report, the median price of an existing house rose 16.2% in the January-to-March period, to a record-high $319,200. Metros with the Highest Percentage Price Increases So what does all this look like on the metro area level? Some of the Q1 market report's largest percentage increases of price were recorded in the New England region. Taking the top spot with a 35.5% increase in median price was Kingston, New York, followed by: Bridgeport-Stamford, Connecticut — 34.3% Atlantic City, New Jersey — 34% Barnstable Town, Massachusetts — 33.1% Elmira, New York — 29.1% (tied) Glens Falls, New York and Decatur, Illinois — 27.5% Inventory Snapshot Of course, higher prices are dependent on the types of house sold, especially in smaller locations. Not all houses saw large price gains in the first quarter, the NAR report stressed. Because there is a concentration of condominium apartments in high-cost metro areas, for example, the median price for those units are often higher than the median for individual single-family houses. Also, prices reflect the types of homes that are selling during the period and can be skewed at times by changes in the mix. That includes the level of distressed sales, which generally are heavily discounted. But economist Yun said the run-up in prices is a product of the same song the industry's been singing for months: strong demand paired with a record-low supply of houses for sale. "The record-high home prices are happening across nearly all markets, big and small, even in those metros that have long been considered off-the-radar in prior years for many home seekers," he said. According to NAR's latest figures, inventory continues to remain at near-historic lows. The unsold inventory of properties listed for sale sits at a 2.1-month supply at the current sales pace. That's down from 3.3 months in March 2020. For context, six months' worth of supply is considered "normal." "With low inventory already impacting the market, skyrocketing costs have left many families facing the reality of being priced out entirely," Yun said. And the situation "underscores the importance" of stepping up new home construction as well converting abandoned retail and hotels into housing. Both, he said, "would combat the affordability problem." What About Mortgages? Often, buyers are more concerned with what a house will cost on a monthly basis than the overall price. But, the higher median price drove the average national monthly mortgage payment for principal and interest from $995 a year ago to $1,067 at the end of March. That's a $72-a-month jump, even though the effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 2.93% in Q1. In eight markets, a family needed to earn more than $100,000 to afford a 30-year mortgage with 20% down. And in one – San Jose, California – an annual income of nearly $243,000 was necessary. Mortgage payments are considered affordable if they amount to no more than 25% of the buyer's median income. NAR's report found that with 20% down on a 30-year loan, the average family with a median income of $90,547 spent 14.1% of that income on its mortgage. That's down slightly from 14.5% a year ago. But how many families are making $90K in the not-quite-post-COVID market? Most first-time buyers don't have the savings to put down 20%. Buyers with that much money to put down are mostly those who are cashing in on their gains made by selling and moving to another residence. And there are other housing-related expenses, too: homeowners insurance, property taxes and mortgage insurance if your down payment is less than 20%. Long story short — first-time buyers putting down less than 20% (spoiler alert: many of them) are at a distinct disadvantage in this market. Q1's Most Expensive Markets Let's get down to brass tacks: according to NAR's report, these are nation's most expensive housing markets and their year-over-year price increase percentages as of April 1: San Jose, California ($1.5 million, up 11.1%) San Francisco, California ($1.2 million, up 21.8%) Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California ($1 million, up 14.3%) Urban Honolulu, Hawaii ($940,400, up 19.2%) San Diego, California ($763,500, up 14%) Boulder, Colorado ($726,600, up 16.7%) Los Angeles, California ($682,400, up 15.1%) Seattle-Tacoma, Washington ($653,400, up 17.9%) Naples, Florida ($599,500, up 24.9%) Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York ($598,600, up 22.7%). At least for now, it seems the West Coast isn't the friendliest place for first-time or budget buyers. Will it ease up in those areas anytime soon? 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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Ask the Industry: What Are Your Top Negotiation Strategies?
Today, we're kicking off a new series called "Ask the Industry." Here, we'll talk to real estate professionals -- brokers, agents, MLS executives, and more -- to hear their thoughts on timely topics related to the real estate industry. Today's post features: Andrew Cristancho, Director of Marketing at Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS) Lauren Matera, Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty in Annapolis, MD Bernice Ross, CEO and President of BrokerageUP!, Inc. and RealEstateCoach.com Joy Aumann, Co-Founder of LuxurySoCalRealty As the market remains highly competitive, what are your top negotiation strategies? Buyers should bring their best offers, but sellers should exercise patience Andrew Cristancho, Director of Marketing, Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS) "Currently, our Northern Nevada market is as competitive as any have seen it. That — and the fact that we launched NAR's Clear Cooperation Policy in April 2020, causing us to also launch an Active-Coming Soon-No Show listing status — is causing the perfect storm of sellers accepting offers before they are ready to show. This has caused so many concerns with our brokers that our board has voted to employ a 12-month pause on the status. With all of this swirling change in our market, I would advise any buyer's agents to counsel their buyers to be ready to come with their best and finals early in the process. "In the market I mentioned above, it seems that some sellers might be tempted to jump at the first offer since those offers are coming so early in the process. I would advise listing agents to counsel their seller clients to do their due diligence and wait for the market to work. If the listing starts in Coming Soon, or is simply Active but not available to show yet, and there are several offers before showings, allow that listing to switch to a Showings-Allowed active status before deciding on a final sell price. Patience can be its own reward in this market. "Third, and this is not necessarily a negotiation tactic, but it can help you think on your feet as a real estate professional: KNOW YOUR BUSINESS TOOLS! Whether you use Homesnap, or other real estate software, decide which tools you need, then learn to be proficient with those tools. It will help you with decision-making and negotiations from contract to close." Be the most flexible, convenient offer: It'll go a long way with anxious sellers Lauren Matera, Agent, Coldwell Banker Realty, Annapolis, MD "With all the intensity in the market and buyers bringing their highest and best, I've found that one of my go-to negotiating strategies is simply flexibility. Sellers are eager to sell, but I've found that they are just as anxious as the buyer knowing they too will soon enter the market on the buying side. "If my buyers have flexibility in settlement or move-in date, giving the sellers some peace of mind is priceless. Sometimes we aren't even the top-dollar offer, just the most convenient." Keep this adage in mind: "The first one who speaks loses." Bernice Ross, CEO and President, BrokerageUP!, Inc. and RealEstateCoach.com "When it comes to negotiating, there's an old adage: 'The first one who speaks loses.' For example, if someone asks you to lower your commission, you can say, 'No.' Sit there and wait for the seller's response. They will often go on to another question. "If they press you on lowering your commission, respond by asking this: 'You do want an agent who can negotiate the highest possible price for you, is that correct?' (Wait for their response.) Assuming they say yes, respond with, 'How effective do you think I would be in negotiating the highest possible price for your property when I couldn't even negotiate a full commission for myself?' Again, 'The first one who speaks loses.'" Make a great first impression with the seller's agent — the little things make all the difference Joy Aumann, Co-Founder, LuxurySoCalRealty "Your first impression with the seller's agent starts from the minute you are requesting the showing. Build rapport with the agent so they know you're the type of agent that they want to work with. Find out what's most important to the sellers. Sometimes things like a 30- to 60-day rent-back can make all of the difference. Be prepared with proof of cash funds or pre-approval letter leaving a great impression of a prepared and motivated buyer." To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Real Estate Leads Exposed: Inside the Mind of Today's Home Shopper
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Delivering a Perfect Client Experience in Today's Real Estate Market
Times are crazy, anxiety is high. Many agents are worried about how to deliver the best consumer experience. They're concerned about their marketing "tone" and sales tactics in general, not wanting to seem pushy or aggressive when many folks are struggling. It bears repeating, however, that the business of real estate is personal, essential, and a critical boon to families and our overall economic health. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to delivering the ideal consumer experience right now, there is a mentality that you can adopt to frame your approach: the empathetic knowledge broker. People need empathy, answers, and incredible service. Here's how you can deliver. Offer empathy, and meet them where they are We could all use a little empathy, but navigating a major real estate move right now can generate some extra need. As always, listen to their needs, put yourself in their shoes, and tailor your communication accordingly. But this year, more than ever, it's crucial to make it easy for your prospects, and meet them where they are. Provide an intuitive search experience so prospects can navigate your website and search capabilities with ease. Beef up the information and helpful resources on your website to make it more convenient to find answers (and position yourself as a source of knowledge!). Make sure you have a solid app experience, so consumers can "look when they want to look." Offer virtual tools to aid their search: Virtual tours of properties on your website Virtual open house events to showcase new listings The ability to request a virtual showing of a property of interest Provide education, answers, and the strategic guidance they need Everyone is looking for answers. Homebuyers and sellers are definitely looking for answers. Don't make them think. Make sure you are committed to understanding the market, clearing up misinformation, and communicating your expertise to prepare and reassure your prospects. Boost your learning with resources from industry experts like KCM, as well as national and local market data. Reach out proactively with market updates and your own take on new happenings and trends to keep prospects informed automatically. Deliver information that is particularly meaningful right now: school district data, lifestyle scorings, etc. Create videos, blog posts, social media posts to help people interpret market data and make decisions easier. Not only will you become more comfortable in your industry and market knowledge, you will consistently position yourself as a trustworthy expert and provide the guidance and intel that consumers are desperate for. Deliver exemplary service, and the engagement they crave Our friends at KCM have predicted a 25% increase in transactions in 2021 over 2020. This means incredible opportunity, and incredibly busy agents. When clients crave extra service, you need to have a strategy and the support to scale your service offering and deliver. Here's how to generate massive engagement at a personal level. Engage and Re-engage with Your CRM Segment your database based on demographics, needs, priorities, shared interests and other criteria used to understand your customers better. Check in! Reach out to targeted groups to see how they're doing and show empathy. Don't just ask if they're "ready to make a change." Listen and use data to help build confidence. Host events for the community, invite your database, and create custom landing pages to promote Promote and share community highlights for free exposure and goodwill Use personalized marketing automation that works — listing alerts account for 75% of repeat sessions — literally tens of millions of sessions per year. Engage and Re-engage with Social Media Advertising Use social media ads to proactively reach out to past customers, your sphere etc. Promote new listings, events, and generate tons of buzz Easily re-target interested prospects and stay top-of-mind to incite action Keep your brand in front of your clients and sphere of influence. BoomTown's Marketing Central, a self-serve advertising portal, lets you build ad campaigns to highlight active listings, promote open houses, and showcase successfully sold properties in just a few clicks, right from the CRM. With so much attention online and on social media right now, make sure you're taking advantage of this opportunity to connect. Engage and Re-engage with the Help of Experts Get a team of dedicated lead concierges (real people) who respond to and nurture your leads Free up busy agents from the time-suck of responding to new leads Let your leads enjoy a personal touch on behalf of your team Make sure no opportunity slips through the cracks With such a busy summer ahead, make sure your agents are empowered, and your service offering (so critical right now) can scale. When our clients take advantage of our Success Assurance program, they can rest assured all new inquiries are responded to quickly, leads are nurtured until they're ready to talk, and their brand is shining. Ready to deliver the best consumer experience this year? To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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6 Tips for Strong Real Estate Marketing Email Campaigns
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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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Texting: One of an Agent's Greatest Tools
It wasn't that long ago when most phone service providers enforced strict limits on text messages. Most users could send 500 or even just 100 a month. Now, such rules are unthinkable -- the average American sends and receives around 85 texts a day. With 96% of all U.S. adults owning a cell phone, virtually everyone sends and receives texts. What's more, the average text message is read within three minutes. Those facts are of great interest to relationship-driven industries like real estate. Seventy-five percent of consumers surveyed say they are okay with receiving texts from brands. With its astonishing 90% open rate, texting shows signs of giving email a run for its money as the marketing technique with the lowest costs and highest campaign ROI. If you're not using text marketing yet, it's not too late — but now's definitely the time to start! The Benefits of Texting for Real Estate Professionals Real estate is all about relationships. Once you incorporate it into your workflow, text marketing is a natural extension of that mindset. From leads to clients to former customers, all can benefit from and respond to texting. Let's consider some of the top advantages: 1. Texting is Personal The great majority of texts are legitimate, one-to-one communications from the people your leads genuinely want to hear from. When contacts opt in, they invite you into a much more casual and personal space than their email box. You, in turn, can speak to them with clarity and authenticity, making a real connection. 2. Texting is Responsive Real estate pros have long understood the faster you can respond to a lead's first attempt to reach out, the more likely you are to get an appointment scheduled. Texting allows you to answer others even faster than a phone call. Plus, you can do it without completely interrupting the flow of your busy workday. 3. Texting is Universal Consider the stats above — 96% of American adults have a cell phone. They don't need the latest fancy Apple smartphone to send and receive texts. Even the simplest phones with the most budget-friendly plans can generally receive unlimited texts. You never have to make any assumptions about your contact's technology. 4. Texting Uses Automation Effectively Some marketing techniques, like email, are a natural fit for automation. Others, like a phone call, had better be done manually. Text messaging falls somewhere between the extremes. While a personal text is often the best bet, you can automate certain "event-based" texts, and they will still feel perfectly natural. Text Message Marketing: From Beginner to Advanced If you use texts in your day-to-day life, you have skills that will serve you well in text marketing. For example: It is okay to use contractions, emojis, and even let a typo slip through if it fits your personal style Don't bombard your contacts with a lot of text messages without letting them get in a response Avoid texts late at night or before morning coffee unless it's an emergency for a current client Don't forget to check your own texts a few times a day — they are now part of your work life The key to text messaging is context. If you send messages only when it makes sense, you'll avoid having contacts opt out. Texting is a two-way street: your goal is to combine great timing with interesting content that will get recipients to respond more often. To do that, you need to know your clients well. Let's look at ideas for taking texting to the next level: Automate Your Initial Opt-In TextsTo stay on the right side of the law, it's crucial to ensure contacts affirmatively opt in for ongoing texts. You can automate this process using CRM data, ensuring that open house attendees and those who register for updates on your local listings receive an opt-in invitation right away — when they're most likely to consent. Make It Easy to Set Appointments by TextMany people prefer the convenience of text to the rigmarole of a phone call. Some people dodge phone calls to avoid high-pressure sales situations. By texting leads a link to a scheduling app, they can put themselves on your calendar in a low-friction environment. Ask Questions in Your TextsEvery time you get a response to a text, you open the door to extending that relationship. The best way to incorporate questions is to make them meaningful, like "What do you like most about the house you just toured?" Most recipients prefer to dash off an answer rather than risk seeming rude. DeltaNET customers have the opportunity to deploy text messaging campaigns with confidence from right within our high-performance, AI-driven real estate CRM. RE Technology readers can try it FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Friday Freebie: 5 Real Estate Checklists to Share with Clients and Prospects
You're organized, strategic, and all your processes are streamlined… and then there's your clients. A disorderly client can throw a wrench into the sale of a home no matter how cool, calm and collected you are as a real estate agent. Let's not blame your clients, though—the sale or purchase of a home is such an infrequent event in a person's life that you can't expect them to be on top of all the details that are important to the process. You can, however, prepare them for what to expect. That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're sharing five checklists you can share with your clients to help keep them on track all the way through moving day. 5 Real Estate Checklist Templates, courtesy of Zurple We have a saying around the RE Technology office: "Plan your work and work your plan." Having a roadmap for success makes achieving your goals far simpler. It's the same with buying or selling a home—when your clients know what to expect and what to do, they can sail through the home sales process with maximum ease. These five checklists from Zurple break down what your client needs to do in each of five situations. They'll see the steps involved in preparing a home for sale, decluttering before an open house, how to prepare to buy a home, what to do before moving, and more. Home Buyer's Checklist Home Seller's Checklist Prepare Your Home for Market Checklist Open House Checklist Moving Checklist You can also use these lists as a lead magnet on your website or on social media. For example, you can target prospects who are researching what to do to prepare to buy or sell a home, and offer these checklists to them in exchange for their contact information. All five checklists can easily be edited with your name and contact info so leads know who to reach out to when they're ready to transact. Download these five FREE real estate checklists now!
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Is Your Website's Branding THAT Important to Home Buyers?
Here's an unpopular view I'd like you to consider. What if the branding on your website doesn't matter as much as you think? What I mean by this is that your logo and what your logo represents doesn't mean much to the average online consumer. Keller Williams, Berkshire Hathaway, Century 21, whichever brokerage -- it's all the same. To be fair, Gary Keller is an amazing salesman and marketer and his book The One Thing is one of my favorites, and Warren Buffet is a brilliant entrepreneur and investor plus who doesn't love Dairy Queen? But that doesn't really matter to the average online consumer. In this article, I will examine NAR's 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report and share information from the report that shows the branding on your real estate website doesn't really matter to the average online consumer. 1. What Matters to the Average Online Consumer? According to NAR's 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report, the top ten most popular website features that home buyers valued were: Photos: Very Useful (87%), Somewhat Useful (11%), Not Useful (1%), Did Not Use (1%). Detailed Information About Properties for Sale: Very Useful (85%), Somewhat Useful (14%), Not Useful (1%), Did Not Use (less than 1%). Floor Plans: Very Useful (52%), Somewhat Useful (32%), Not Useful (7%), Did Not Use (9%). Virtual Tours: Very Useful (46%), Somewhat Useful (34%), Not Useful (10%), Did Not Use (11%). Real Estate Agent Contact Information: Very Useful (42%), Somewhat Useful (31%), Not Useful (16%), Did Not Use (11%). Detailed Information About Recently Sold Homes: Very Useful (41%), Somewhat Useful (42%), Not Useful (9%), Did Not Use (7%). Neighborhood Information: Very Useful (39%), Somewhat Useful (44%), Not Useful (9%), Did Not Use (8%). Interactive Maps: Very Useful (37%), Somewhat Useful (33%), Not Useful (13%), Did Not Use (16%). Pending Sales/Contract Status: Very Useful (36%), Somewhat Useful (35%), Not Useful (15%), Did Not Use (13%). Videos: Very Useful (25%), Somewhat Useful (35%), Not Useful (16%), Did Not Use (24%). As you can see, photos, detailed information about properties for sale, and floor plans topped the charts while contact information ranked fifth. This tells me that the listings page is the by far the most important page on your website. If you're able to include and optimize these top website features on one listing page, you can compel more website traffic to want your contact information and convert them into a lead. 2. The Consumer Buying Process The statistics above paint a picture that is reflective of the consumer buying process. The consumer, for whatever reason, realizes it's time to buy a home, then they look for homes online (photos, property information, floor plans, virtual tours). Next, they look to see who they can contact to help them learn more about the home or see it in person (your contact information), then they look for relevant information about you (your past sales), and/or the home (its neighborhood). 3. Why Does Less Website Branding Matter? In digital marketing, the most successful websites focus on the consumer's experience and their needs. By focusing more on the consumer and less on your branding, you can provide the best experience possible. Making the most important features of your website clear and easy to access with minimal distractions will increase your conversion rates. How? When a consumer enjoys your website and finds it easy to use and navigate, they tend to spend more time on it, view more pages, and use more tools. They tend to trust the website if they find the information valid and valuable also. Do not forget to add lead capture forms to your most valuable content. The information should be valuable enough to make a consumer want to exchange their contact information for your content. Less branding doesn't mean no branding on your website. It just means it's not as important as you may think because it's not a priority for the consumer – the listing is. When a consumer wants to learn about you and your brand, they will, but it's not their primary focus. To view the original article, visit the TORCHx blog.
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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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