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Integrity in Real Estate
Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Equipping Agents With a Tech Suite That’s Second to None

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 02:03

Ken Baris, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Jordan Baris Realty in West Orange, New Jersey, is a huge proponent of leveraging tech tools to automate repetitive tasks in order to focus on the things necessary to help the brokerage grow.

“When it comes to technology, it’s not just about getting the newest shiny object. The key is to launch the technology when the time is right so that it works well for the company,” says Baris, who points to Inside Real Estate as the tech partner he can rely on today—and well into the future.

And while equipping agents with the best possible tech suite is vital to the firm’s continued growth, Baris credits Inside Real Estate’s flagship product, kvCORE, and CORE Present—a next-generation CMA and presentation builder integrated into the platform—as key components that give the brokerage a true competitive edge.

“I’ve been extremely impressed with both kvCORE and CORE Present,” says Baris, who was looking for a solution that wouldn’t leave him asking “what’s next?” just a few years down the road.

“We wanted something that would have sustained innovation, because what’s amazing today will be outdated by definition in just three years,” explains Baris.

“Inside Real Estate has a roadmap for continually improving, expanding and optimizing, so they’re an incredible partner to have,” adds Baris, who can’t say enough about the partnership—and the benefits associated with kvCORE and CORE Present, with communication topping the list.

“Most CRMs are linear, with no intelligence built in to allow for interaction, but that’s not the case with kvCORE,” explains Baris.

In fact, kvCORE has both a linear and non-linear component, with an unlimited number of action plans for any and all scenarios.

“Not only does the level of intuition that’s baked into the product enable communication via email and text, it also converses with website visitors based on the actions they take,” says Baris.

Therefore, when someone begins clicking on particular properties from the website, a text message is generated with a carefully curated message, asking if they’d like more information or to view the property.

“The automated tool, which is complete with customized messaging, saves a tremendous amount of effort for my agents,” notes Baris, who explains that company-wide training is crucial as far as inspiring agents to engage with the product.

“We do a lot of hands-on, situational training,” says Baris, who recently conducted training specific to CORE Present for his entire agent roster.

In addition to having agents create a listing presentation for a real property, or one they know really well, training was also conducted around the concept of being able to add one individual’s contact information per minute to their mailing list so that they can begin receiving property value emails on a monthly basis.

Standing above other CMA tools in the market, CORE Present is a gamechanger when it comes to helping agents win the listing and the offer, wowing clients along the way.

“CORE Present is very flexible, which gave us the opportunity to bring our own look and feel to the system. It also makes viewing comparables visually easy to follow, and it’s simple to present when making a listing proposal,” says Baris, none of which is lost on his agents.

“I don’t invest in tools or technology based on a development plan, but I buy them for what is here and now and ready,” concludes Baris. “As great as kvCORE is today, with what I’ve been told is in the development path, it’s going to go from great to astonishing.”

For more information, visit www.insiderealestate.com.

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How Partnering With the Right Brokerage Empowers Real Estate Success

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 02:02

The first step toward unlocking your real estate success is choosing the right brokerage. Consider your brokerage the foundation of that success, and where you choose to build your business will make all the difference. Whether you’re just starting out in the industry or a seasoned veteran, partnering with the right brokerage will empower your growth and potential.

Choose your own real estate adventure
A career in real estate isn’t a straight line. Agents need to be flexible—and you should be able to expect the same of your brokerage. Your needs as an agent change depending on countless factors, from economic to personal and beyond, and your brokerage should be able to keep up. Agents should have the power to choose their own real estate adventure, and brokerages should support an agent throughout every chapter of their career.

If you need flexible commission plans, on-demand support and training or are looking for ways to cement your business legacy, the right brokerage should seize the opportunity to tailor offerings to any path your career may take. As an agent, you should never feel like you have to brokerage-hop to have your needs met. If you partner with a forward-thinking brokerage that anticipates a resource gap and works to exceed expectations, you’ll be able to focus on your career growth.

Get the value you deserve
Consumers are demanding more value out of real estate professionals, so why shouldn’t an agent get more out of their brokerage? Your brokerage should reflect what you value most, and you deserve to partner with a brokerage that ensures you’re getting the best return on investment. In today’s digital-first world, working with a brokerage that pioneers industry-leading technology is one of the best ways to invest in your business—much like HomeSmart has done with our proprietary RealSmart Agent platform. However, having the technology you need to seamlessly navigate transactions is only one piece of the puzzle; integrated, consumer-facing apps, like HomeSmart’s newest tech offering, HomeSmart Client, allow an agent to elevate the real estate experience and provide clients the next-level engagement they want.

Meeting you where you are while planning for the future
Choosing a brokerage that prioritizes what you want and anticipates what you need is important when it comes to building a successful business strategy. At HomeSmart, we have worked closely with our agents to develop the programs and services they want in order to maintain the flexibility they need by leveraging a simple idea: A brokerage should be committed to continuously innovating and pushing the limits to meet agents where they are, helping them define a clear course toward the future they deserve. It’s your real estate adventure, and now is the time to choose the path that unlocks your potential.

Thriving off empowering teams to achieve success and drive profits, HomeSmart President Ashley Bowers brings a supportive and collaborative approach to leadership. Under Bowers, each of the brokerage’s departments operates in sync to meet growth, retention and systematic goals.

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Annual Home Price Gains Slow for the Second Consecutive Month

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 02:01

Home prices grew nationwide by 18.3% from June 2021, marking the 125th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. This is according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for June 2022, released this week.

Though annual appreciation was still strong, it slowed from the previous month for the second consecutive month, reflecting reduced buyer demand in part due to higher mortgage rates and worries about a slowing economy, the report indicated. CoreLogic projects that year-over-year appreciation will drop to 4.3% by June 2023, bringing home price growth close to the long run average from 2010 to 2020.

Key findings:

  • S. home prices (including distressed sales) increased 18.3% year over year in June 2022, compared to June 2021. On a month-over-month basis, home prices increased by 0.6% compared to May 2022.
  • In June, annual appreciation of detached properties (18.7%) was 2.1 percentage points higher than that of attached properties (16.6%).
  • Annual U.S. home price gains are forecast to slow to 4.3% by June 2023.
  • Once again, Tampa, Florida logged the highest year-over-year home price increase of the country’s 20 largest metro areas in June, at 32.6%, while Phoenix retained the second slot at 26.1%. Following the nationwide trend, both metros saw annual home price gains slow from May.
  • Florida and Tennessee posted the highest home price gains, 31.8% and 25.8% respectively. Arizona ranked third with a 24.9% year-over-year increase. Washington, D.C. ranked last for appreciation at 3.4%.

The takeaway:

“Signs of a broader slowdown in the housing market are evident, as home price growth decelerated for the second consecutive month,” said Selma Hepp, interim lead of the Office of the Chief Economist at CoreLogic. “This is in line with our previous expectations and given the notable cooling of buyer demand due to higher mortgage rates and the resulting increased cost of homeownership. Nevertheless, buyers remain interested, which is keeping the market competitive—particularly for attractive homes that are properly priced.”

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Downsizing for a Lower Down Payment

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 02:00

The rental market nowadays is scorching hot and the dream of homeownership strays further away for many. Downsizing the amount of rental space, specifically bedrooms, could be one way to move the needle for some back toward the path to saving for a home.

A recent survey by RentCafe examines this idea further, finding that downsizing by one bedroom could help renters save an average of $3,735 per year. To take things a step further, the survey analyzed 200 U.S. cities to determin the top 50 where it would take renters 2 to 5 years to save 10% for a starter house, by using this method.

Here are some of the survey highlights:

  • One in three renters would be willing to trade a little apartment space for a higher chance at ownership. This would allow them to save roughly $3,735 on average, per year. These amounts, as well as home prices, differ from city to city, and as a result, saving for a down payment might be faster in some places compared to others.
  • Dayton Ohio, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and Jackson Mississippi lead the top 50 cities where it’s possible to save in less than 5 years.
  • In Dayton, downsizing by one bedroom lets renters save 10% for a starter home in the area in just 1 year and 9 months. In Philly, it takes 1 year and 10 months, while in Jackson it takes 2 years.
  • Chicago, Illinois takes the honorable mention, being the fourth city where renters can save by downsizing, as it takes 2 years and 3 months to reach the goal here.
  • New York City stands out as one of the few big cities where downsizing can help renters save a considerable amount. Giving up one bedroom here lets you save over $20,000 a year, which in turn can be set aside for a 10% down payment over 2 years and 7 months. However, giving up space might be harder for renters in New York than for renters in other cities with more generous apartments.

“In a white-hot housing market, renters who are dreaming of their first home must adapt and compromise on one front or another. And, when saving becomes tricky, one way to put aside money for a first home is to give up a little bit of space. We found that 36% of renters were willing to use this method in order to afford their first home,” writes Laura Pop-Badiu, author of the report and creative writer at RentCafe.

“Notably, it didn’t matter whether renters were downsizing from a three-bedroom to a two-bedroom apartment, opting for a one-bedroom instead of a two-bedroom apartment, or going for a studio rather than a one-bedroom rental. The yearly savings from all of these scenarios helped us calculate the amount of time one would need to save for a 10% down payment on a starter home in the same city.”

View the full report, with the complete list of the 50 cities where downsizing allows renters to save for a down payment in a reasonable amount of time, here.

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RISMedia’s Newsmakers: Celebrating the Success Stories Across the Industry

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:04

When someone marks an achievement, it should be recognized. In real estate, being an “Achiever” means utilizing your skills and putting in the effort to find success for your business, your team and your brand.

For the sixth year in a row, we are searching for Newsmakers from across the U.S. who are making headlines for their commitment and contributions to the residential and/or commercial real estate sectors, as well as going the extra mile to positively impact their peers, colleagues, clients and the communities they serve.

RISMedia’s 2023 Real Estate Newsmakers fall into one of six amazing categories: Achievers, Crusaders, Futurists, Influencers, Luminaries and Trailblazers. Each year, RISMedia celebrates the “success stories” in the industry by highlighting honorees in each of these categories. Here, we spotlight some members of the Achievers category.

Achievers celebrates those who have rocketed their business/company/brand to the top, with robust growth and marketing strategies, winning awards for top companies, multi-year strategies for success and so much more.

Take a look back at some of our 2022 Real Estate Newsmakers – Achievers:

Kelly Stipa
Agent | Springer Realty Group
Stipa had a banner year in 2021, closing 37 transactions in different states against the challenge of both an unpredictable market and a pandemic. Her leadership and success, which come from pure attitude and on-the-ground hard work, building up her successes with persistence and dedication.

Mark Spain
Founder & CEO | Mark Spain Real Estate
In 2021, Spain expanded his business to two new cities and a new state, breaking into the hot Florida markets of Tampa and Orlando with great success. He was recognized as a top agent by three different newspapers, and his company was ranked as one of the top workplaces by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Lori Lane
Senior Vice President | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties
Through the acquisition of several high-profile clients and the increase in communities her division represents by 40%, 2021 was a banner year for Lori Lane. These successful partnerships positioned her team for another record year of sales and growth.

Jon Lahey
Founder | The Fine Living Group at eXp
After leaving his position as a top agent with a franchise brand and moving to eXp in 2021, Lahey was now able to reach international markets, provide expanded opportunities for other agents and continue to grow his business. His hard work led the company to record-breaking revenue across several competitive markets.

Do you or someone you know have what it takes to be a 2023 Real Estate Newsmaker? If the answer is yes, click here to nominate a real estate professional today! To see the full list of 2022 Real Estate Newsmakers, click here.

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eXp Sees Growth Slow but Still Bullish on 2022

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:03

eXp, a brokerage that saw some of the most spectacular expansion during the pandemic as agents flocked to its mostly virtual model, saw growth slow in a much more challenging real estate market in the first half of 2022, announcing a cash dividend and stock buyback as the company still reported strong agent, revenue and transaction increases.

“During the second quarter, eXp continued to increase its marketshare and revenue to record levels, reinforcing that our model was built for all market conditions and that our agent value proposition resonates around the world,” said Glenn Sanford, founder, chairman and CEO of eXp, in a statement.

Revenue came in at $1.41 billion, up 42% year-over-year, and eXp’s agent count grew an identical 42%, to a total of 82,856 as of June 30. Closed transactions were up 30%, even as net income fell significantly, from $37 million in Q2 2021 to $9.4 million. eXp claimed that this was due to a one-time VA allowance and reduction in stock-based compensation.

Net income for the first half of the year was $18.2 million, down from $41.9 million in the first half of 2021. The stock repurchase came in at $50 million, and the dividend (for Q3 2022) is equal to $0.045 per share.

eXp stock, which has been battered most of the year, was down nominally in early trading, 2.5% at the opening bell.

Having built his brokerage model on the concept of eliminating physical office space and pushing everything into a customizable, persistent virtual world, Sanford and eXp had a massive head start when the pandemic pushed nearly every real estate company to go remote.

The company saw agent count increase 77% and revenue grow a staggering 115% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, and its stock ballooned almost 2,000% during roughly that same period. But how the company operates in a more difficult market is a question that has only partially been answered, with many economists and experts expecting more pain for real estate going forward.

Sanford continued to be bullish on growth, however, highlighting a tech acquisition he claimed will provide “an exponential boost” to agents in Canada, where the company is expanding. eXp also entered the New Zealand market this quarter.

“We are leveraging our core strengths of agent satisfaction and innovation as we continue to redefine the real estate industry,” Sanford added.

CFO Jeff Whiteside was equally confident while still noting the “challenging” market conditions ahead.

“We expect our focus on affiliated services and technology will further strengthen our agent and customer value proposition,” he said in a statement. “We remain confident in our ability to deliver profitable, sustainable growth over the long term.”

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Mortgage Applications Tick Up After 4 Weeks of Declines

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:02

After four weeks of steady declines, mortgage applications increased 1.2% from one week earlier, according to the latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending July 29, 2022.

Here is the weekly breakdown of the survey findings:

  • The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.
  • On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1% compared with the previous week.
  • The Refinance Index increased 2% from the previous week and was 82% lower than the same week one year ago.
  • The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1% from one week earlier.
  • The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1% compared with the previous week and was 16% lower than the same week one year ago.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 30.8% of total applications from 30.7% the previous week.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 8.4% of total applications.
  • The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.9% from 12.1% the week prior.
  • The VA share of total applications increased to 10.8% from 10.6% the week prior.
  • The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.6% from the week prior.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) decreased to 5.43% from 5.74%, with points increasing to 0.65 from 0.61 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $647,200) decreased to 5.06% from 5.32%, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.43 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 5.39% from 5.54%, with points increasing to 1.03 from 0.85 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.74% from 4.95%, with points decreasing to 0.65 from 0.67 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 4.55% from 4.67%, with points decreasing to 0.69 from 0.76 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The takeaway:

“Mortgage rates declined last week following another announcement of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, with the likelihood of more rate hikes to come,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Treasury yields dropped as a result, as investors continue to expect a weaker macroeconomic environment in the coming months. The 30-year fixed rate saw the largest weekly decline since 2020, falling 31 basis points to 5.43%.

“The drop in rates led to increases in both refinance and purchase applications, but compared to a year ago, activity is still depressed. Lower mortgage rates, combined with signs of more inventory coming to the market, could lead to a rebound in purchase activity,” Kan added.

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Howard Hanna Subsidiary Allen Tate REALTORS® Acquires Beverly-Hanks REALTORS®

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:01

Allen Tate Realtors®, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services’ subsidiary company in the Carolinas, has acquired Beverly-Hanks Realtors, an independent real estate brokerage headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, the company has announced.

This announcement marks the fifth acquisition completed by Allen Tate Realtors® since joining forces with the Hanna Family of Companies in 2018. This acquisition will see Allen Tate add 18 offices and 460 experienced REALTORS® to its team, a release stated.

“We are proud to welcome Beverly-Hanks Realtors to the Howard Hanna Family of Companies,” said Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna, IV, president of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. “As we continue to grow our company and our footprint, we are pleased to support Allen Tate’s continued growth strategy, which solidifies our market position in the Carolinas and the Southeast.”

The Hanna Family of Companies continues to build their organization through organic growth and strategic partnerships. Throughout the past five years, the company has grown with more than 22 mergers and acquisitions, the company stated.

The company notes that organizations that join the Hanna Family of Companies gain access to benefits including a marketing and productivity suite, a health and wealth program, an income-advantage program for agents and a full complement of mortgage products. Additionally, acquired companies have access to a relocation network, agent connections, and overall support from Howard Hanna to continue to grow within their own markets through regional acquisitions, the company added.

“Our partnership with Howard Hanna has enhanced our ability to pursue planned growth among our target markets,” said Pat Riley, president and chief executive officer of the Allen Tate Companies. “Almost five years ago, I was in Neal’s shoes when Allen Tate sought a partner that would take our company to the next level. And that was Howard Hanna, the leading independent real estate company in the country.”

Beverly-Hanks was founded in 1976 with the merger of Beverly Realty and W. Neal Hanks & Associates, two of the area’s most prominent real estate firms. The firm has been a leader in the western North Carolina market for the last 46 years and ranks among the top 200 real estate firms in the nation, according to RISMedia’s Power Broker Report. 

Beverly-Hanks will now use the combined name, Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks Realtors. Neal Hanks, president of Beverly-Hanks since 1999, will continue in his role as president of Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks Realtors. Amy Hanks will continue as president of Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services, and the Beverly-Hanks leadership team will remain in place, the company stated.

“For more than three decades, I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with leaders from Allen Tate and have immense respect for the independent real estate organization that they have built,” said Beverly-Hanks President Neal Hanks. “As a homegrown business in western North Carolina, local expertise, personal service and respect for our special corner of the Blue Ridge guides everything we do. This new partnership will allow us to expand that vision while deepening our commitment to the communities we serve.”

“I’ve known Neal for a long time, and my respect for him and Beverly-Hanks continues to grow. Partnering with Neal and his team is a huge win for Allen Tate, as well as buyers, sellers, and real estate investors,” said Gary Scott, president of Allen Tate Realtors. “Together, we’ll be ready to face the competitive challenges of today’s real estate market by investing in the best technology, recruiting and retaining the best talent, continuing to make a meaningful impact in our communities, and aligning ourselves with the #1 independent family-owned real estate company in the country.”

For more information, visit www.howardhanna.com.

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BHHS Florida Network Realty Partners with ‘Dreams Come True’ to Deliver Gift to Teen Fighting Serious Illness

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:00

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has announced a charitable gift was able to be delivered through its partnership of Dreams Come True, northeast Florida’s local dream-granting organization for children battling life-threatening illnesses. Together, the partners recently surprised 18-year-old Siobhan with a new Freedom Concept Tricycle. Siobhan’s dream marks the real estate firm’s 40th sponsored dream since 2013.

“Siobhan was so overjoyed to see everyone and the bike, so much that she shed tears of joy with a lot of big smiles,” said Siobhan’s family. “We want to thank all who were involved in helping to make Siobhan’s dream come true.”

Around the age of four, Siobhan was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder that leads to severe impairments. The disease affects nearly every aspect of her life.

“We are truly grateful to everyone at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty for helping us make Siobhan’s dream a reality,” said Dreams Come True Executive Director Sheri Criswell. “Our ability to deliver and fulfill the power of a dream is only possible through the generosity of our community partners and donors.”

Since 2013, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has raised more than $240,000 for Dreams Come True through fundraising events and corporate donations. In addition, the company and its associates support Dreams Come True by hosting special celebrations, volunteering, additional fundraising and participating in events such as Dreams Come True’s Dream Day and Walk, Run and Roll 5K.

“Dreams Come True has been and continues to be very close to our hearts, and we are deeply committed to supporting this wonderful organization,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder and Chairperson Linda Sherrer. “Our company believes in creating a positive impact in others’ lives, and we truly appreciate the support we receive from our valued customers and passionate team to help make dreams come true for many deserving local children.”

For more information, visit www.FloridaNetworkRealty.com.

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Opendoor Bounces Back From FTC Fine With New Product Launch

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 02:04

What a way to kick off a new month. That’s likely on the minds of one of iBuying’s most prominent players, Opendoor, as it launches a new product after being fined by federal regulators.

Days before the Arizona-based company is expected to report its latest earnings, Opendoor found itself on the receiving end of a $62 million fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC accused the iBuying giant of “cheating potential home sellers” with misleading information about how much more money they could make selling their home to Opendoor than on the open market with traditional processes.

“Opendoor promised to revolutionize the real estate market but built its business using old-fashioned deception about how much consumers could earn from selling their homes on the platform,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a Monday statement.

The FTC claimed that Opendoor advertised that consumers would make “thousands of dollars more” by selling to the iBuyer. An investigation by the agency found that most consumers lost money selling to the company.

The agency’s investigation highlights several other alleged misdeeds, including Opendoor misstating that consumers would likely have paid less in costs by selling to the tech company than they would in traditional transactions.

The FTC also claimed that Opendoor violated the law by using projected market value prices when making offers to buy homes. The expenses included downward adjustments to the market values.

While Opendoor disagreed with the FTC’s allegations, the company announced in a Monday statement that it would pay the $62 million. According to the FTC, the company has also agreed to “stop deceiving potential home sellers” and to “stop making baseless claims.”

The iBuyer also noted that the FTC’s allegations are related to activities that occurred between 2017 and 2019, and the company changed its target marketing messages “years ago.”

“Our decision to settle with the Commission will allow us to resolve the matter and focus on helping consumers buy, sell and move with simplicity, certainty and speed,” Opendoor said in a statement. “We are pleased to put this matter behind us and look forward to continuing to provide consumers with a modern real estate experience.”

The company seems to be doing just that as it launched a new product called Opendoor Exclusives on Tuesday.

Touted as a “one-tap buying experience for homebuyers,” Opendoor Exclusives is a self-service product designed to offer an e-commerce-like experience to the home-buying process, according to an Opendoor statement.

“Between rising interest rates and low housing stock, it’s a challenging time to buy a home,” said Merav Bloch, vice president and general manager of Opendoor Exclusives. “In a competitive environment with high mortgage rates, aspiring homeowners feel frustrated, anxious and defeated after losing out on bids. We built Opendoor Exclusives to make home-buying more certain and hassle-free.”

Launching in Austin, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Opendoor Exclusives makes the iBuyer’s listings available to consumers for 14 days before they are listed on a multiple listing service (MLS).

During that 14-day window, buyers are offered discounted prices from what Opendoor will list the home for on an MLS, according to the company page.

If a consumer buys an Opendoor Exclusives home that appraises for less than the purchase price, the company said it would reduce the price by up to $50,000 to match the appraised value under its Appraisal Price Match Guarantee. 

“This gives you more confidence that you aren’t overpaying for a home,” Opendoor stated.

“Our Exclusive price means no haggling, no lack of transparency, and no more love letters to sellers. With Opendoor Exclusives, you’re in control,” Opendoor said.

Additional perks include a fully digital checkout and no penalties if buyers change their minds and back out at any point before closing.

Shoppers can explore and virtually tour Opendoor-owned homes on the Opendoor Exclusives site and complete a short verification process. To buy a listing, consumers can click a “buy” button that will let them sign a contract, submit an earnest money deposit, schedule inspections and finalize lender details (including an appraisal) online.

“We have heard from our customers how hard it can be to purchase a home in this market environment and how stressful the process can be, so we decided to build something better,” stated Opendoor in the FAQ section of the program’s webpage. “Since we own these homes, we can give our customers an opportunity to purchase them before anyone else and make the purchasing process simple and streamlined.”

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2022 Investment Summit: Registration Now Open

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 02:03

NAR PULSE—Limited spots available! Encourage your agents to register for this year’s Financial Wellness Investment Summit. They’ll hear from industry experts as they discuss strategies for investing in the stock market and real estate to help them achieve financial freedom. Learn more!

RRF’s 2022 Campaign Raises $2M

The REALTORS® Relief Foundation continues to ensure we are prepared to give immediate aid to victims of disasters nationwide through the 2022 Campaign. Thus far, members, associations and corporations have shown their generosity by donating over $2,000,000. Click here to learn more and check out your Region’s progress.

Only 8 Weeks Left Until iOi
iOi (Innovation. Opportunity, and Investment) is NAR’s distinguished 1 1/2 day technology event discussing how PropTech is driving transformation. Learn from the brightest minds in technology as we talk, collaborate and test cutting-edge solutions to future proof your business. View the schedule to learn more!

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Chicago REALTOR® Gives Voice to Latinas in Real Estate

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 02:02

Having experienced first-hand the struggles confronting Hispanic women aspiring to climb the ladder in real estate, Maggie Antillon-Mathews decided to share her story—along with the stories of other inspiring Latinas who have overcome myriad challenges along the path to success.

In her latest book, “Latinas in Real Estate: Stories of Passion, Resilience and Breaking Barriers in the Real Estate Industry,” Antillon-Mathews offers readers the personal insights, challenges and successes of 14 contributing authors through this recently released anthology.

“I’m so happy to share these stories so we can inspire and help other Latinas create successful real estate careers,” says Antillon-Mathews, managing broker at Realty of Chicago. “I want them to know that they have a homegrown network of supportive and industry-seasoned women they can contact and get advice from.”

Maria Patterson: How did you get your start in real estate?
Maggie Antillon-Mathews: I was a social worker by trade, but took a class and found myself selling real estate. I applied my love for assisting and educating others to real estate. The business has been a rollercoaster for the last 20 years. For the first five years—not being experienced and not being mentored, and being in an industry that is very male dominated—I had a hard time. And then the market crashed. But it was through this time that I received the greatest lessons. You can only grow from the dust.

MP: When did you turn the corner in business?
MAM: In 2013, I closed 88 deals and got together with people who wanted to mentor and help me. Once I did that, I became a top-producing agent. I was named Managing Broker of the Year by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, one of my biggest accomplishments, and now I’m also a trainer and a teacher.

MP: What were some of your biggest struggles along the way, as a woman and, in particular, a Latina?
MAM: Well, first, I’m five feet tall. I always looked very young—like I was 14. And being a first-generation Latina, I did not have the mentorship. I was the oldest in my family and my parents didn’t speak the language, so I had to help everyone else. But those are the things that make your story. I didn’t have the confidence, but I always knew I had something in me. It took a long time to become successful.

MP: What or who were your greatest motivators?
MAM: The women who come to this business with nothing—who are single moms or in abusive relationships or come from a little village and want to change their life—are the people who inspire me. They are the reason I do what I do.

MP: The past two-plus years have seen so many changes. Do you think things are getting easier for Latinas? 
MAM: We’re strong and resilient, and with education and empowering each other, Latinas are finding their voice. We’ve been looking for each other all these years, and by seeing someone just like them, they can say, ‘I can do whatever I want.’ Take leadership roles, get involved in the community and do something for yourself. Don’t pay attention to the noise.

For more information, visit https://www.latinasinre.com.

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Supporting Clients Throughout the Real Estate Journey and Beyond

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 02:01

Like many of his colleagues around the country, Richard Grimes, president and CEO of RealtySouth, is beginning to see a little modulation in the volume and pace of home sales throughout Birmingham, Alabama, where his Berkshire Hathaway affiliate is based.

With inventory still constricted to record lows across the communities his company serves—and interest rates on the rise—Grimes notes that sales are down nearly 10% year-over-year. And while the company set sales records in 2020 and 2021, the firm is on pace to meet (or exceed) its 2019 numbers.

Committed to supporting each and every client throughout the home-buying and -selling journey and once the transaction has closed, Grimes, along with his team of 750 agents, has been educating clients on the importance of home warranties for the past decade.

“Home warranties, like those offered by American Home Shield, help reduce the risk for the buyer who often purchases a home that was previously lived in,” adds Grimes. “There are used appliances and systems, and an AHS home warranty can provide coverage for them.”

Grimes wants every client to be advised on home warranties, as they’re a healthy part of the home transaction.

“Not only does it help protect all parties, but it also provides the seller an added level of comfort because covered issues won’t come back on them,” says Grimes.

Better yet, the home warranty can also help protect the reputation of his agents.

“The buyer hires an expert for a home inspection, but they still look at us if something goes awry,” explains Grimes. “By having a home warranty in place, the agent helps guide them on where to go and who to call when they experience a covered failure on an appliance or system.”

When meeting with sellers, RealtySouth agents like to remind them that it’s always smart to consider a home warranty when they’re passing their home on to another family.

Regarding the current market, Grimes says that pre-pandemic dynamics were different, as it was common practice for a high percentage of sellers to provide a home warranty as a benefit to make their house more attractive to prospective buyers.

“With no contingencies and fewer inspections, a buyer in a heated market can help protect themselves,” he says. “There’s more risk taken in a heated market, and unless a home warranty is purchased, buyers have little or no hedge against that risk if a covered system or appliance breakdown occurs.”

A common topic of conversation at weekly sales meetings, Grimes explains that no matter the market, it’s always better for your clients to have a home warranty and not need it than to need it and not have it.

“A home warranty is just smart, and we want each agent to help educate their client about that,” says Grimes, who holds the firm’s relationship with AHS in high regard.

“We consistently train new and seasoned agents on a variety of different subjects to ensure that they’re experts in their field, and a part of that training centers around the value of a home warranty,” concludes Grimes.

For more information, visit www.ahs.com/realestate.

John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.

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Bright MLS Launches Image-Uploading Tool, Media Sync

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 02:00

Bright MLS, which serves over 100,000 real estate professionals from Pennsylvania to Virginia, recently announced the launch of Media Sync, a new tool that eliminates the need for listing agents to manually download, save and upload their listing photos one by one into Bright MLS. Instead, Media Sync allows agents to upload images from the professional photographers they work with directly into their listing, speeding up this critical step of the listing management process.

Bright MLS recently completed a successful beta test of Media Sync with three partners (HomeVisit®, Real Tour, Inc. and TruPlace) and a variety of agents across Bright’s footprint. The results were that Media Sync saved them time, and also eliminated the need for them to utilize valuable storage for photos, as they are now moved directly from their chosen vendor’s website. Listing photos that previously took from 15-30 minutes to manage were successfully uploaded in just seconds.

“Virtual tours, floor plans and rich, compelling photos are the foundation of a great listing,” said Brian Donnellan, Bright MLS president and CEO. “Bright’s Media Sync dramatically speeds up moving these important assets through the listing management process. Our beta testing partnerships were a resounding success. Bright’s subscribers can now look forward to a faster, simpler media upload and management experience.”

“We were pleased to be selected to partner with Bright MLS to participate in the Media Sync API beta, enabling a single-click push of labeled photos and virtual tour links from our Client Portal directly to an agent’s listing in just seconds,” said Bob Cusack, CEO of TruPlace. “We are very satisfied with the seamless outcome and positive response from agents during the beta and look forward to a successful full launch and continued collaboration.”

“At HomeVisit, we give real estate professionals the marketing tools they need in a single workflow so they can get to market and sell properties faster,” added Mark Spraetz, senior leader at HomeVisit by CoreLogic. “We were thrilled to collaborate with Bright MLS on Media Sync which gives our customers the power to publish their HomeVisit photos, property websites and floor plans to their listing in seconds with a single click, greatly streamlining and simplifying a once time-consuming process.”

Media Sync is the latest innovation from Bright MLS, following the recent successful launches of Teams and Teams Pro. Both are now being utilized by nearly 1,000 teams across Bright’s footprint, enabling them to establish their team in the MLS; build the team’s brand recognition and visibility on listings; route workflows more efficiently; and easily track volume and rankings, all within Bright’s system. These tools and advances put brokerages’ and agents’ valuable time at the forefront by eliminating cumbersome steps, clicks and manual tracking.

More details about Media Sync are available at BrightMLS.com/MediaSync.

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Is DOJ’s NAR Probe a Hidden Haymaker for Real Estate?

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 12:02

Most boxers say it’s the punch you don’t see coming that knocks you out. A question worth asking as several high-profile lawsuits continue to make their way through federal court is whether the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is the proverbial knockout punch for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the industry at large.

It’s been slightly more than a year since the DOJ shocked the industry by announcing that it would withdraw from a settlement with NAR so that it could continue investigating NAR’s Participation Rule and the Clear Cooperation Policy.

While it’s still unclear where the DOJ’s investigation stands—they didn’t immediately respond to RISMedia inquiries for this article—experts tell RISMedia that the DOJ’s probe could pose another significant threat to the industry when it finally comes to a head.

“I can’t think of anything good that comes from the DOJ backing out of the agreed-upon settlement,” says Ken H. Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) College of Business. “To see one side back out of a settlement is particularly disturbing given the 40-year history of reaching settlements and the industry adjusting and morphing itself.”

‘Working relationship’ strained 

The feud between the DOJ and NAR isn’t a new phenomenon. The two entities have had a contentious relationship for decades over different aspects of NAR’s policies and how real estate has operated.

According to Johnson, a practicing real estate agent for 12 years from the mid-1980s to 1995, throughout the years, both sides found a way to work things out—typically in a settlement.

For example, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the organization in 2005, alleging that NAR rules limit competition from real estate brokers who use the internet to serve their customers. The case targeted policies that allegedly blocked internet-based companies from accessing MLS data.

The DOJ and NAR reached an agreement in 2008 that lasted 10 years. The settlement terms required NAR to repeal its anti-competitive policies and MLSs to repeal rules based on these policies.

“DOJ has had a history of working things out with NAR and settling them, and if other issues arise, they’d return to NAR again,” Johnson says. “That pattern creates relative certainty, and that’s a good thing for the industry regarding the number of agents we have, how we sell things and manage property.”
That pattern was broken in July 2021, however, when the Justice Department requested to withdraw from a settlement the two hashed out in November 2020.

NAR lambasted the agency for the move, asserting that the association had already begun implementing the agreed-upon changes, which would repeal and modify specific anti-competitive rules. After a series of public volleys between the two, NAR filed a lawsuit to quash the DOJ’s request to back out of the terms of its settlement with NAR.

Thus far, there has been no movement on the petition, and the investigation is presumably ongoing.

Despite the setback, a NAR spokesperson tells RISMedia that the organization is still committed to advancing and defending independent and local broker marketplaces that provide greater economic opportunity and equity for small businesses and consumers of all backgrounds and financial means.

“The Department of Justice response seeks to defend its unprecedented attempt to withdraw from a fully binding agreement after NAR had already begun to implement its terms,” says NAR VP of Communications Mantill Williams. “If the DOJ’s view prevails, it would undermine the strong public policy in favor of upholding settlement agreements and public confidence that the government will keep its word in future cases. The DOJ must be governed by principle, and NAR simply expects the department to live up to its commitments.”

The potential fallout

The Justice Department’s decision to back out of its settlement came at a troublesome time for the industry, as NAR and a handful of large brokerages have faced several antitrust lawsuits challenging agent compensation and NAR’s MLS policies.

Some observers tell RISMedia that the lull in the DOJ’s probe could be due to the agency waiting on the outcomes of one or more private lawsuits.

“If some private firm or entity is bringing a lawsuit to achieve a goal that the DOJ thinks is in the public interest and inconsistent with the antitrust laws, they want to help them win because that will set a precedent, even if that only applies in a particular region,” says Mark Nadel, an attorney and policy advisor for the government.

Nadel has researched and published reports on real estate commissions separate from his employer and has critiqued the industry’s commission structure on different occasions.

In one of his recent reports, Nadel authored an article commissioned by Real Estate Exchange (REX) as the startup sued NAR and Zillow over NAR’s co-mingling policy, which lets local associations choose whether non-MLS content can appear with theirs or whether it has to be posted separately.

The lawsuit alleges that Zillow implemented a website change last year, segregated and concealed listings that weren’t from the MLS, per the NAR policy.

The lawsuit appeared to falter in June 2021 when a U.S. district court judge ruled against the startup, claiming that REX hadn’t supported its claims. However, the case seemed to get a second wind in September 2021, after the same judge denied NAR and Zillow’s motion to dismiss the case.

The judgment came a month after the DOJ intervened with a statement of interest to prevent the drawing of “unwarranted interferences” from a 2008 consent decree between NAR and DOJ that expired in November 2018.

The Justice Department made a similar move in the Burnett/Sitzer lawsuit in 2019.

Nadel tells RISMedia that lawsuits like Burnett/Sitzer and Moehrl v. NAR could accomplish a goal that parallels the DOJ’s if they determine NAR’s policies as anti-competitive.

“The federal suit is a class action lawsuit,” Nadel says. “If they win, that’s nationwide, and that’s almost as good as Justice winning itself.

“If they win the lawsuit, and the court says ‘we find this in violation of the antitrust laws; therefore, we direct that you prohibit listing brokers are limited for setting the rates for buyer brokers,’ then that’s done,” Nadel adds.

According to Johnson, if they prevail, the lawsuits could lead to a decline in agent numbers industrywide. With 2 million to 2.5 million licensed agents in the industry, he says that a significant shift in the agent compensation structure could lead to a culling of real estate professionals.

“You will see far fewer licensees in the future, and that means the large brokerage houses will have to find different models because they will have to charge either higher monthly fees or take higher splits,” Johnson says.

He suggests that NAR membership, which currently sits at 1.56 million REALTORS®, could be halved over time.

While the jury is still out on the endgame for the DOJ’s probe, pundits and onlookers suggest that the current lull in the DOJ’s investigation may not be as foreboding as others forecast.

“Disinterested observers confirm the DOJ’s recent actions were unprecedented, giving us reason to question whether the department actually is working through the questions at hand in good faith,” says Craig Cheatham, president and CEO of The Realty Alliance. “We hope trust will be restored in the players and the system in the months ahead so these matters can be settled fairly.

“In the past, we have seen actions of federal agencies early in the process indicate significant intervention was coming, only to see the process stall as regulators begin to better understand our industry, and then no federal action is taken,” Cheatham continues. “It is possible this explains the current lull, but the current team has shown itself to be unpredictable if nothing else.”

Bill Fowler, who currently works as a consultant after senior roles in tech and leadership at Compass and Zillow, thinks that the DOJ’s investigation is part of a “correction” that the industry has been heading toward for several years now.

“We began this quiet evolution with the advent of large-scale portals that did a lot of the work the buy-side agents typically held as private,” says Fowler. “Most of their value proposition has been eroded to the point, now, where I think everyone is openly questioning the buy-side commission.”

The emergence of new home-search tech and the pursuit of reducing friction in the home-buying process has also played a part in that problem, according to Fowler, who says the Justice Department is trying to “align the industry with the expectations of the modern consumer.”

“That’s going to be catastrophic for some people, but it’s great news for those of us who believe in the power of the agent,” he says.

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Prices Slow, Foreclosures Jump as Pullback Continues

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 12:01

Home-price growth slowed at the fastest rate on record in June, according to the latest data from mortgage analytics company Black Knight, with the approximately 2% drop between May and June marking another historic about-face for a housing market that appears to be rapidly snapping back from recent highs.

“For context, during the 2006 downturn, the strongest single-month slowing was 1.19%,” said Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske in a statement. “Given it takes about five months for interest-rate impacts to be fully reflected in traditional home price indexes, we’re likely not yet seeing the full effect of recent rate spikes.”

Specifically, year-over-year price appreciation slowed from 19.3% to 17.3% between May and June, according Black Knight. Even though prices would need to fall at this level for six more months to reach normal levels, the fact that the growth trajectory changed so dramatically is extremely unusual, according to Graboske.

With home sales, new permits and housing starts, and mortgage applications all consistently down in recent months, the slowing price growth is seemingly just another sign that an unsustainably hot housing market has begun its descent, with experts divided on just how bumpy the landing will be.

“While this was the sharpest cooling on record nationally, we’d need six more months of this kind of deceleration for price growth to return to long-run averages,” Graboske added.

The takeaway

Price growth—or lack of growth—remains unequal across regions, with Western metros seeing the fastest pullbacks. San Jose, California, experienced a 5.1% drop from April, with Seattle, Washington, down 3.8% in the same time period and Denver, Colorado, down 1.4%.

But some areas have maintained price growth or only lost a bit of momentum. Many of these more “resilient” metros are in the South, with nine of the top 10 cities for price growth located in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee or Georgia.

Las Vegas, Nevada was the only metro outside of the south to make the top ten, coming in at nine.

Other concerning data points highlighted by Black Knight include significant increases in foreclosure starts and the delinquency rates of mortgages—up 26.60% and 3.31%, respectively.  Both metrics remain well below pre-pandemic levels, however, and nowhere near heights reached during the 2008 crash.

90% of mortgage holders who entered forbearance during the pandemic are no longer in forbearance plans, meaning the danger of a pandemic-related spike in foreclosures appears to be minimal.

At the same time, rising mortgage rates and affordability issues have lowered down payments while increasing the debt-to-income ratio for many buyers. People with FHA and VA loans saw their debt-to-income ratio reach the highest level on record (44% and 42% respectively), while conforming loan holders are now roughly where they were in 2018 (36%).

Down payments fell only factionally, and remain well above pre-pandemic levels (57% higher than early 2020, currently an average of $80,500 for primary residences).

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Milestones Closes $10+ Million In Series A Funding

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 12:00

Milestones, a real estate technology firm offering an all-in-one homeowner portal, has raised $10.3 million in Series A funding. The raise comes after three years of product development in stealth mode and will help fuel a rapid go-to-market strategy. Updater, a national leader in moving technology, led the investment round. Other investors in the round included Second Century Ventures (the strategic investment arm of NAR), Peerage Capital, McLaughlin Ventures, WAV Group Ventures, T3 Partners, Sellers Shield, as well as individuals and other large brokerages.

Milestones describes itself as the first technology firm to deliver a homeownership portal similar to consumer offerings for managing healthcare, personal finance and education. Milestones monitors the value of your home, provides a search engine for homes for sale, and manages the transaction when you are ready to sell your home. The service is available to consumers at no cost, in partnership with real estate professionals in brokerage, mortgage, title and insurance.

“Managing a home is complicated,” said Dustin Gray, Milestones founder and CEO. “The average home has more than 150 systems that need to be maintained and consumers need help keeping it all organized. Gutters need to be cleared, water filters replaced, concrete sealed, dryer vents cleaned and so on. Milestones has checklists for all of it, complete with DIY videos, or access to professionals who will do it for you.”

“Convenience and simplicity are core to the Updater mission” said David Greenberg, founder and CEO of Updater. “With our shared vision for simplifying the complex homeownership processes, Updater’s investment in Milestones is a natural fit.”

“It is gratifying to see a wide spectrum of the real estate industry support such a profound effort to better serve consumers,” said Dave Garland, managing partner at Second Century Ventures. “This investment represents our focus on promoting innovation in the real estate industry and its supported verticals.”

For more information, visit https://milestones.ai/ or www.updater.com.

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Building With Purpose: Lessons From a Real Estate Power Couple

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 02:05

Above: The Anderson Team’s Alisha and Paul and their two children

People say that working with your spouse is a recipe for disaster, but that’s not the case for the Anderson Team. The Andersons, Alisha and Paul, started their team in Mesa, Arizona, in 2018 and have already risen to the Top 1% in their state and the Top 10 in Mesa. Recently, they shared some of the secrets to their success with me—not just as business partners, but as spouses and parents.

  1. Intentionality. High school sweethearts and married for 20-plus years, the Andersons have always been driven to succeed together. But when they had children, the metrics of that success shifted. “It became a question of, ‘How do we do something where we can be present?'” Paul said. The answer was to start a real estate team together.

From day one, the Andersons set things up to accommodate the lifestyle they wanted for their family. Everything from team structure and compensation to their individual roles serves that purpose.

  1. Clear roles. Perhaps the most significant key to the Andersons’ success as a couple in business is their delineation of roles. “Define your lanes and where you like to be,” says Alisha, “and hire out or delegate the rest.”

This arrangement allows Paul and Alisha to focus on what they love to do while fostering a productive environment for the rest of the team. It also allows for compartmentalization. Leaving work at work and trusting that the partner has their responsibilities in hand will do wonders for any working couple.

  1. Coaching. Alisha and Paul say that having a coach is not just a good idea, but an essential third voice in the business. “Our coach becomes the tiebreaker a lot of times,” jokes Paul.

Having a more objective third-party opinion and additional expertise removes the strain that hard decisions can place on a relationship, helping both partners focus on the mutual good they’re working toward. The Andersons have made coaching a central element of their business plan, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building a business with your spouse, but the Andersons follow and apply fundamentals I would recommend to anybody. They are quick to acknowledge that building a family business isn’t for the faint of heart, but by being intentional, establishing and respecting roles, and working with a coach who understands their needs, they’re seeing the benefits they hoped for when they set out on this journey.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Contact him at Verl@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com, or go to https://workmansuccess.com/ to learn more.

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3 Ways to Incentivize Your Team for Greater Sales Success

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 02:04

As a sales-driven team leader or broker/owner, you are always looking for great ways to incentivize your agents to help them reach and exceed their monthly listing and sales goals as well as achieve their lofty income goals for the month and the year.

Major organizations use all kinds of sales incentives to help sales associates get excited and drive them to peak performance and goal achievement. Most real estate companies and teams, however, don’t often employ incentives, but they can create amazing results for your agents and your team’s overall success.

Implement these wildly successful sales incentives to help your team achieve their goals. Every salesperson who is competitive by nature will love the challenge and most importantly, love the results they achieve.

  1. Hold listing contests. Create a monthly or 6-8 week listing contest to get your agents totally focused on setting listing appointments and increasing listing inventory. Help direct their efforts by having in-office coaching and training sessions on how to generate listing appointments and how to properly price and close them. Prizes can range from cash to a tech tool or marketing resource that will help them increase their business. The contest can be based on how each agent increased listings month over month or year over year. Get everyone excited about the initiative and watch your team’s listing inventory soar—and so will your sales in the next few months.
  2. Have a team contest for listings and sales. Initiating a goal for the whole team to achieve is a great incentive. First, make sure you are sharing the team goals for listings and sales every week during your sales meetings and daily huddles. Make the prize a spa day or night out for the team, and build an amazing culture of teamwork, mutual respect and loyalty to the team and to you. This will drive more activity within the team because everyone wins in the end with more listings, sales and income.
  3. Create a team Incentive Trip. Offering a sales incentive trip to your agents is an absolute home run. Nothing will excite and motivate them more than a fantastic incentive trip to a place they probably wouldn’t have gone otherwise. The key is to create qualifications so that agents increase their income enough to cover the cost, while also increasing market share and revenue. Create tiered qualifications with the first level covering an all-inclusive resort, the next including airfare, and the next including a plus-one guest. Everyone takes the trip together, so the added benefit is increased team bonding and reinforcement of culture.

This is an incredible investment in establishing personal relationships with your team members outside of the office and fostering lifelong relationships. Everyone will strive to qualify for the trip every year, and you will love the camaraderie and increase in production these incentive trips create. I have seen this first-hand with agents I’ve personally coached to meet the qualifications throughout the year. We made it part of their business plan to achieve the trip every single year.

You can create dramatic increases in listings, sales, market share and top-line revenue by instituting and implementing contests and trips into your business as a proven strategy that will drive more business. Let me know if you would like information on how to create custom incentive programs for your team that help agents succeed at the highest level. You can book a private, complementary strategy call at www.sherrijohnson.com/strategy.

Download Johnson’s Exclusive GoldMine Pipeline Strategy to get your agents closing more leads into listings, sales and ultimately income. This system can double their production, fast. Go to www.goldminepipeline.com for Johnson’s Free EBook and the Worksheet. These are just a few of Johnson’s proven and exclusive leadership and development strategies that produce amazing results quickly. For more information about Sherri’s exclusive turnkey team solutions to scale your team, contact Sherri Johnson at www.sherrijohnson.com/onetoone for coaching plans.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 25 years of experience in real estate as a top agent, broker, and executive responsible for over 750 agents and over $1.7 billion in annual sales volume. Sherri offers her exclusive and proven methods through custom, one to one coaching and tailored consulting services. Sherri is a highly sought-after keynote speaker delivering high energy and real solutions audiences love.  Sherri has been named a RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker in 2020 and 2021 as an Industry Influencer and Thought Leader. She is the author of the Sherri Johnson Academy, an on-demand learning platform as well as the 90-Boot Camp. Sherri is a preferred coach, consultant and speaker for top 10 international brands and brokerages and can dramatically increase your company’s revenue and profits. Visit www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.

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How Does a Listing Agent Differ From a Selling Agent?

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 02:02

Buying a home can quickly become complicated when you are not an expert. This is why most homebuyers and sellers use real estate agents.

When hiring an agent, you must choose one that best represents your interests. Not only do you need someone you can trust, but you also need to choose the right type of real estate agent.

Not all real estate agents specialize in the same thing. There are agents for buyers and sellers, so do you need a selling or listing agent?

Understanding a listing agent vs. selling agent is one of the keys to having a successful real estate transaction. Maximum Real Estate Exposure covers the subject in-depth.

We will look at some of the most essential the things you need to know before you hire a real estate agent.

One other things to keep in mind – a real estate agent differs from a REALTOR®, who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.

What Does a Listing Agent Do?
Sometimes called a seller’s agent or a listing broker, this type of agent is responsible for pricing, listing and marketing the home. This should help the seller find a buyer as quickly as possible while selling the home for the best price.

To achieve these aims, the listing agent will do the following:

  • Price the home via a comparative market analysis
  • List the home on multiple listing services
  • Markets in multiple websites
  • Creates marketing material
  • Arrange showings
  • Negotiate for the seller
  • Assist with the closing paperwork

Typically, the listing agent will expect the seller to sign an exclusive contract with their brokerage. The seller will pay a commission to the brokerage, and the agent will get a share of that.

When Do You Need a Selling Agent?
A selling agent could be confused with a seller’s agent, but they are very different. A selling agent represents the buyer and is sometimes known as a buyer’s agent or selling broker.

If you are going to purchase a home, using a selling agent will make the process easier. Using this type of agent should make finding the right home much more straightforward as well.

The selling agent helps the buyer by doing the following:

  • Finding suitable homes
  • Help with financing including getting pre-approved
  • Accompany buyers to showings
  • Checking the pricing via a competitive market analysis
  • Writing an offer
  • Accompanying buyer to inspections
  • Assisting with the closing paperwork

Selling agents also normally work as part of a brokerage. They will receive a commission when a seller accepts an offer, and the buyer has closed on the home.

Both listing and selling agents can be involved in a house sale, with the commission shared.

How Do These Agents Work to Complete a Home Purchase?
If you want your real estate transaction to avoid as many problems as possible, having a listing and selling agent will really help. They will negotiate and mediate between the buyer and seller to smooth the path to closing.

Brokerages generally employ selling and listing agents to more fully assist their clients. However, real estate agents representing the buyer and seller will often be from different brokerages.

They need to work with each other to make sure the sale goes through, but at the same time, they need to ensure their client’s interests are best served.

This involves more work than it might appear, with the things the agent does frequently hidden from the client.

For every hour the agent spends with their client, they are working on average nine hours on the transaction. Changing real estate markets can also impact both buyer and seller agents.

What Is Dual Agency?
It can sometimes be possible for the same agent to represent both the buyer and the seller, but this does create a conflict of interest and isn’t allowed in many states.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you should avoid dual agency. By law, a real estate agent is no longer allowed to counsel like they would if they were a respective buyer’s or seller’s agent.

In dual agency an agent must remain completely neutral. They are no longer able to give a buyer or seller advice because it would be in conflict with the other party’s needs and desires.

Final Thoughts
Always do your research before settling on an agent. The real estate agent’s performance will often dictate the success of the transaction.

Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years. Bill is the owner and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. For the past decade, he has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England.

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