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The Rush: How Baby Boomers Approach Home Buying

From the National Association of Realtors by Amanda Riggs

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We often receive questions to NAR’s Research Department regarding housing for the Baby Boomer generation. People want to know, why isn’t there specific housing built for them? How can REALTORS® cater to the needs of this group? The answers to those questions are contained in our research reports, but are often overlooked.

Continue reading “The Rush: How Baby Boomers Approach Home Buying”

Smarter Sells: New Efficiencies in Real Estate

Are you new to real estate and working on expanding your client base? Have you been in the business for a while but have this lingering feeling that you’re stuck in a rut? Trying to reel in clients the same way, day after day?

One small change can make a lasting difference in your everyday business and we are here to help.

Advances in Technology

When you find a business tool that is successful and works for you, it’s easy to forget to regularly check in and make sure it’s truly the most efficient method. If you’ve been spending $100 a week sending out informational flyers, keeping an eye on your return on investment is vital for the future success of your business. If you haven’t heard a single response from one of your well-crafted flyers, it’s time to find a better way!

Start utilizing the opportunities that mobile apps provide in advertising and listing. Your clients are part of a globalized, on-demand economy where they can purchase just about anything at the click of a button. You should be keeping up with tech trends in order to remain relevant with your audience. As Ashkan Zandieh, CEO and founder of RE:Tech, stated, “One of the largest growing trends in real estate tech has been the shift from traditional transaction experiences to a more curated online experience.”

Advantageous Advertising

There are many new and innovative ways to get the word out about your business and social media is one of the quickest and easiest routes. However, social media advertising is constantly changing. For instance, Twitter’s character limit has expanded to 280. Facebook recently announced a fresh focus on organic interactions between users on their News Feed (thus cutting out a good portion of interactions between business pages and Facebook users). However, even with this new change to the Facebook platform, this social site is one of the most popular amongst the advertising population because it provides access to over 2.13 billion monthly active users.

Advertising on Facebook is just one small facet of the marketing realm but it is a great way to test the waters and see if online advertising works for you. To truly benefit from social media advertising, you should already have a business page set up for your real estate business. This creates better results for clients who are researching you and want to learn more as this page provides endless opportunities to reach out to your community. And one of those ways is creating boosted social posts and advertisements, which can easily increase your reach by hundreds of people (depending on how much money you want to spend). Learn more about using social media to grow your business with our eBook.

A Personal Touch

With all of these ways to reach out to buyers and sellers online, it’s important not to lose that essential personal touch with your audience. Though they may have found you through your efforts in the digital world, a touch of personalization will not go unnoticed. If your client has just purchased one of your homes, consider sending a lush gift basket that incorporates one of their favorite hobbies. This will not only show your appreciation for their business but will also catch the eye of any visitors to the new home and you may collect referrals from this simple gift. Our Pinterest board can help you brainstorm some creative ideas.

Take every opportunity to hit that refresh button in your real estate business and reinvigorate your approach. Even if you’re churning along without issue, it’s good to mix things up so you don’t get burned out on your previously redundant strategy.

 

Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Cities

In the current gig economy, it’s easy to market lucrative alternatives in every aspect of life. If you were selling a new car, you might promote the fact that the buyer will have a nice enough car to use as a part-time Lyft driver and that that side job will take care of some of their car loan. Homes should be no different. If you are selling a home in an up-and-coming area, remember to also promote these extra investment opportunities.

Airbnb

Airbnb provides an alternative housing source for travelers. Rather than booking an expensive hotel, tourists can reserve an entire home or private room from Airbnb users. This service allows homeowners to secure a steady income by renting to short-term residents.

Even if your buyer does not plan on Airbnbing in the long-term, there is a consistent advantage in a larger city. During a holiday like Mardi Gras or a big sports game or any local event, hotels will have limited availability and your homeowner will be in a perfectly profitable position to rent out their home for the weekend. Many Airbnbers will stay with friends while their own home is rented out. Or, if Airbnb renters are willing to pay high prices for a major event, homeowners can reserve a hotel out of town and still make money on their rental. This outline covers everything there is to know about becoming the perfect Airbnb host.

Our recommendation: know your buyer’s experience and how the local economy is faring before suggesting this option. A homeowner who is willing to welcome new tenants each week must be open-minded and interested in connecting with their extended community.

Renting

Renting is a more permanent source of income but if your buyer is located in one of these bustling cities, renting should be something to consider. It’s common to hear about five or six people living together in an ever-expanding city. If your buyer has the means to purchase a home, renting out a portion of their home is a quick way to earn a part (or perhaps the entirety) of their mortgage each month.

For a homebuyer that is nervous about mortgage payments, remind them that “By renting out your home you are able to transform your liability into an asset,” according to BiggerPockets.com.

Buying a home in a growing city and renting it out to temporary tenants certainly has monetary value. Even while the real estate economy is ebbing and flowing, your buyers will have a steady source of income based on tourism.

Fear over paying the mortgage will be a thing of the past, and they’ll meet plenty of interesting folks along the way.

 

Top Tools to Keep You Performing at Your Best

The real estate industry can sometimes feel like a cut-throat competition, where you are constantly fighting to be the best. Continuing education is one of the primary (and required) ways to keep up with changing trends and regulations but there are also many tools you can incorporate into your business to become a leader in the industry. Outlined below are a few everyday tools that will help you stay at the top of your game in between continuing education courses.

Elevate Your CRM

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) allows you to easily manage your business relationships and track your progress with each lead. Choosing the right CRM for your business is essential for the continued growth of your customer base. Contactually is a CRM that is built specifically for real estate agents. This platform keeps track of all of your leads, when you should be reaching out to your contacts, and reminds you to keep in touch. It also rates your relationships so you can evaluate what you’re doing right with certain clients and where you’re going wrong with other audiences. In a relationship-focused industry like real estate, a specialized CRM can give you a competitive edge.

3D and VR Home Experiences

Technology is evolving every day and as a real estate agent, it is vital to keep up with what consumers are interacting with on a daily basis. The option to experience a home in 3D and virtual reality is growing in popularity because it allows buyers to truly understand what it feels like to walk around that particular living space. Matterport is an immersive media that allows you to create 3D models and virtual tours of your homes. This interactive experience will help capture leads before they even enter the home.

Digital Templates for Your Marketing Efforts

MyCreativeShop has created useful templates to use in every aspect of your business. This company provides real estate flyers, brochures, yard signs, etc. in a templated format that you can edit and personalize based on your needs. These templates will prove to your clients that you are a leading professional, with access to multiple marketing tools that will assist in their real estate endeavors.

Forsake All Printing

Digital documents and mobile sharing is not going away any time soon. Especially as businesses aim to become more environmentally friendly, paper will become obsolete. Your real estate business should be following these green trends and utilizing electronic signatures with companies like DocuSign. One big advantage to eSignatures is that it’s a process that most people are already comfortable using. If your customers have recently started a new job or rented an apartment, it’s likely they used eSignatures to finalize their papers. This fast and easy way to capture signatures will save you time trying to track down in-person autographs. Not to mention the printing costs you’ll save!

There are many tools that can help you shine in the real estate industry. The key is to continue learning and evolve with the new technologies as they become widespread. The CE Shop is here to help you remain on the cutting edge.

 

Shop Talk: February Edition

The CE Shop’s monthly Shop Talk newsletter is your one-stop source for news in the real estate industry. Below are the top articles and trending topics from the past month.

Are You in Danger of Being Replaced by a Robot?

As new technology trends hit the industry, you may start seeing some changes straight out of a science fiction movie. These real estate agent robots are exactly that. Agents are beginning to conduct home showings remotely, through the use of a mobile and an iPad that guides prospective buyers around the house.

The Luxury Apartment Takeover

Have you noticed an increase in luxury apartment buildings being built in your area? You’re not alone. Production of apartment buildings jumped by 46 percent in the last year, causing people to spend “proportionally more on their rent.” If your clients are used to rent increases at these popularized apartment buildings, this might be the perfect opportunity to advocate for the stability of a home and a competitive mortgage.

Captivate Your Facebook Audience

If you are utilizing social media in order to generate more leads, there are new efficiencies to counteract Facebook’s restricted visibility for business pages. Using your page’s cover photo as a lead-generating tool can drive your audience back to your page in a way that your News Feed posts might be lacking.

Advances in Real Estate Tech

In 2017, more companies put an emphasis (and a lot of money) on advancing technology in the real estate industry. As new tech enters the arena, these expansions will heavily influence your future interactions with clients. As a real estate agent, you will see a more competitive tech environment, which might result in companies like Zillow and Redfin owning a larger part of the real estate tech landscape.

Walkability Paramount Across Generations

The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed adults across multiple generations and found that, regardless of generation, proximity to restaurants and retail is essential. Many surveyed said they would prefer walkability over square footage and would spend more money to live in an area with easy access to establishments that matter to them. This survey illustrates that people are not just looking at the homes you’re selling, but also the community.

 

Learning the Ropes: Real Estate Titles and Terminology

Real estate terminology can sometimes involve some complex and contradictory phrasing. When you’re new to the real estate industry, your mind might already be swimming with all the information you’re meant to remember. We want to ease that pressure a bit by thoroughly explaining some of the different job titles you’ve been hearing throughout your real estate education.​

Real estate agent. This describes anyone who has taken Pre-Licensing courses, passed their real estate exam, and earned a real estate license. Whether you retain a broker’s license or a sales professional’s, you can be classified as a real estate agent. There are also a variety of titles that are used to reference real estate agents, such as, real estate salesperson, agent, sales agent, and salesperson.

REALTOR®. This designation comes from being a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. These agents and brokers pay a yearly membership and agree to adhere to the NAR’s specific Code of Ethics. The REALTOR® classification only applies to these members.

Facilitator. This licensed real estate agent does not represent a buyer or seller. A facilitator is usually brought in to the real estate process when a homebuyer has chosen to represent themselves but they still need help with their purchase agreement.

Seller’s agent. This is someone with a real estate license (an agent, broker, or REALTOR®) that represents the buyer of the home.

Listing agent. This is an agent, broker, or REALTOR® that represents the seller of the home but they are typically not the selling agent of the home.

Real estate broker. This is someone who became a real estate agent, then went on to take extra education in order to pass the broker’s exam and is now a licensed broker. A broker can either work independently or hire agents to work for them. However, being a broker does not necessarily mean they have been in their career much longer than an agent has since brokers are sometimes only required to have two years of recent experience as a salesperson.

Real estate associate broker. Someone with this title has gone through the extra effort to take additional education courses, pass the broker’s exam and earn a broker’s license. However, they are not currently practicing as a broker and still choose to work under a real estate broker. This choice could be because they do not want the responsibility of heading up a firm, or there is already a broker in their firm, or for a number of reasons, they will take on the role of a practicing agent.

To muddle the terminology even more, these terms and explanations are not universally accepted. In some areas, “broker” might actually mean “agent” because, in states like Colorado and Washington, there isn’t a salesperson license. In order to initially get your real estate license in those states, you obtain your broker’s license. However, in most states, the process typically follows this path: you start out getting your sales license, and after you have been a sales agent for a few years, you qualify to take broker Pre-Licensing courses, take the broker exam and then become a broker. Many agents may also choose to remain an agent and not continue their educational journey to become a broker.

When you start working with your clients, remember to explain these minute complexities of each real estate role. Most of the people you work with will not already know how a real estate broker differs from a REALTOR®, who differs from a real estate agent. Keep this cheat sheet handy when describing the specific positions and be sure to walk them through how you fit into the process. Your clients will be grateful for the clarification rather than having to endure another agent talking industry lingo at them.

 

8 Reasons Why Real Estate is a Great Career For Stay-at-Home Moms

by The CE Shop Team

Most moms with young children dream of being able to stay home, raise the kids, and still stay active professionally. How do you do it all, though? And should you?

A lot of providing answers to these questions depends on your personality and work ethic, but if you’re a motivated mom with a serious desire to work a flexible job, real estate is a great option for you. Here are 8 of the many reasons to pursue a career of buying and selling homes:

Continue reading “8 Reasons Why Real Estate is a Great Career For Stay-at-Home Moms”

The Dreaded Housing Shortage

by The CE Shop Team

Depending on which city you’re in, available real estate might be very hard to come by. From Denver to Miami to Seattle to San Francisco, houses cost more than ever and there are far less of them than there need to be.

The big gripe lately is the lack of affordable housing, but the shortage applies to every aspect of real estate. There are too many buyers competing for too few houses, and it’s a multifaceted problem that will likely take years more to right itself. Continue reading “The Dreaded Housing Shortage”