In today’s world, social media is king. No matter how big or small a real estate brand, broker or agent may be, to keep up with today’s demographic of buyers and sellers, having a strong presence on social media is a must. But what about those real estate professionals looking to dive a little deeper, expand their reach a little further and ultimately, become an ‘influencer’?
Across social media, there are nearly endless opportunities for people, brands and businesses to grow. Influencers are established and passionate leaders who people want to follow and hear from. This fact is no different in the real estate industry. Here is a guide for beginners, laying out the steps you need to take and the work you need to commit to in order to boost your brand, inspire others and build your business, to become a real estate influencer.
Develop a brand identity
Whether you’re a broker who works for themselves, or an agent working for an established brokerage, having your own brand identity is crucial, even if you aren’t looking to become an influencer. Remember that a brand is more than a logo, and your brand should be personalized to you. Developing a real estate niche is a good place to start your branding journey, however it is not necessary. The key to honing in your brand identity is connecting to and resonating with your audience, who should see you not just as a real estate agent, but a local expert and resource for all things real estate.
Check out the series below for a deeper dive into real estate niche marketing on social media!
Read: Social Media Tips for Your Real Estate Niche – Part 1: Rentals
Read: Social Media Tips for Your Real Estate Niche – Part 2: Vacation Homes
Read: Social Media & Marketing Tips for Your Real Estate Niche – Part 3: FSBO
Read: Social Media & Marketing Tips for Your Real Estate Niche – Part 4: Urban Markets
Create a social media marketing strategy
In today’s landscape, it is crucial to have a social media strategy, whether you are looking to become an ‘influencer’ or not. From the pandemic driving more people online to the new, social media-driven generations entering the market, having a strong social media presence is essential for finding success in this industry. Write down your goals and objectives for becoming an influencer, identify your audience, their interests and pain points, choose the platform(s) where you plan to execute these strategies, and ultimately, curate content and get sharing!
Increase your engagement
In any relationship, communication is key—and this rings especially true when it comes to your social sphere. By interacting with your audience, you are driving up engagement, helping your audience grow in numbers and allowing for your content to be seen by a wider pool. Ask your audience for comments and be sure to respond to them, even if it is just a ‘like’ or a more generic response.
Be sure to tag accounts, such as your company’s page, vendors and even other agents, as this will also help boost your engagement, ultimately pushing your content to the top more frequently. The higher your engagement levels, the better the algorithm across social platforms will work to your advantage.
Connect with other real estate influencers
If you’re looking to become an influencer, what is a better place to get started than researching relevant real estate influencers? Hop onto TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and even Twitter and search for hashtags such as #realestate, #realestatetips, #realestateagent, #realestate, #realestate, #realestate, or any other relevant keywords for your business. Pay attention to their followers and likes, the interaction with their audience and the type of trends and topics covered in their content. This will help inspire your content creation, develop your social media strategy and learn what potential leads are looking for!
Just like with leads, prospecting for new connections can be as simple as sending a message. Once you find a real estate influencer on the platform(s) you plan to start your journey, reach out! Direct or private message the real estate professional and share that you are looking to grow your online presence and become an influencer. More likely than not, these agents will be more than willing to help, answer questions or even plan to jump into a live video with you, giving you a chance to reach a new, wider audience.
Check out these real estate influencers for inspiration or a new connection on TikTok!
Liz Brown, 40.2k Followers – @lizbrownrealtordaily
Stephanie Kebede, 85k Followers – @stephaniekebede
Sierra Yeager, 94.9k Followers – @sierrayeager
Sean Christopher Cochran, 320.2 Followers – @thecowboyofrealestate
Harley Maxwell, 350k Followers – @harleymaxwell3
So, you want to be an influencer?
Becoming an influencer isn’t easy, and requires a lot of hard work and attention. From sharing educational and entertaining content to being your most genuine and authentic self, you can build your brand, grow your audience and become an influential expert in your market. It is important to monitor your analytics, build partnerships across social media and even pay to promote your posts. Though this may take some time, dedication and the drive to succeed will help get your started on your journey of becoming a real estate influencer.
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NAR PULSE—Advance your career with an MBA in Real Estate Management or Certificate in Real Estate Leadership. At NAR Academy, NAR Members receive a 50% off tuition rate for each eligible course taken during the Fall 2022 semester. Learn more and share with your agents!
REALTORS® Relief Foundation provides over $4.5M in aid
Many areas have faced devastation from disasters in the first half of 2022. RRF has partnered with 11 REALTOR® Associations to help the public with financial housing assistance as they recuperate from disasters. Thank you to those on the ground working to rebuild and recover.
Do your agents need a space for more honest exchanges?
Your agents can recharge their batteries and get a fresh take on the tools they need to spark more business with the Drive With NAR podcast. They’ll hear what works and what doesn’t, including takeaways they can trust. Encourage your agents to tune in today at magazine.realtor/drive or subscribe wherever they get their podcasts!
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Stress less, strategize more! Now’s the time to rely on RTRN for trusted tools and valuable resources you need to tackle today’s challenges and set your sights on tomorrow’s success. Check in for new offers every month.
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(TNS)—The Bay Area’s once-scorching pandemic housing market continued to cool in June, with home prices plunging to the largest monthly drop for this time of the year in at least three decades.
In June, the median price of existing single-family houses in the nine-county region declined 7% from the previous month—from just over $1.5 million to $1.4 million, according to data for the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). That’s the steepest May-to-June dip ever recorded in the association’s regional home sales data, which dates back to 1990.
What’s behind the record price drop? Real estate experts point to rising interest rates squeezing buyers, more homes staying longer on the market and an increasingly uncertain economy—all signaling the Bay Area housing market may have peaked after prices hit all-time highs earlier this year.
“From this point on we probably won’t see another record price, at least for this year, for either the Bay Area or for the state,” said Oscar Wei, deputy chief economist with C.A.R.
Wei noted it’s uncommon to see such a significant price decline in June in the middle of what is traditionally the busy summer home-buying season.
In the core Bay Area, Alameda County saw the largest monthly price drop of 8% to $1.42 million. That was followed by San Francisco County with a 6% decline to $1.9 million, Santa Clara County with a 6% drop to $1.82 million, Contra Costa County with a 5% dip to $976,940 and San Mateo County with a 3% drop to $2.16 million.
Still, Bay Area home prices were up 5% in June compared to the same time a year ago. But some counties did see year-over-year drops, including San Mateo (-5%), San Francisco (-3%) and Contra Costa (-1%).
Throughout most of the pandemic, home values soared as house hunters—many untethered from the office by remote work and buoyed by historic-low interest rates—were locked in a mad scramble for homes, sometimes bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking price.
But as the Federal Reserve has raised the cost of borrowing this year in a bid to slow runaway inflation, mortgage rates have spiked accordingly to around 5.5% for both jumbo and conforming 30-year fixed home loans. That’s up from as low as under 3% during the depths of the pandemic.
Volatile financial markets that have put a dent in investment portfolios, increased job layoffs and raised fears of a coming recession have also taken some buyers out of the market.
In turn, Bay Area home sales dropped 27% in June year over year, the largest decline since pandemic lockdowns halted most home buying in spring of 2020, Wei said.
South Bay REALTOR® Mary Pope-Handy said the drop in demand has resulted in price reductions and homes staying for sale longer, after some sellers jumped into the market hoping to cash in on soaring prices in recent months. Now, she said, many buyers and sellers are holding to see who blinks first.
“It’s a lot of everybody waiting for the market to go up or go down,” Pope-Handy said. “At some point the logjam will break because people still need to buy and sell.”
That dynamic has likely contributed to home inventory increasing throughout the region. In Alameda County, the number of available listings has nearly doubled since last year.
Paddy Kehoe, a real estate agent with Compass in the East Bay, said active sellers now have to be more thoughtful about how they put homes on the market.
“If it is marginally overpriced it’s not going to sell,” Kehoe said. “Today, you have to know 100% what the price should be.”
Wei said that despite the current state of the market, it’s unlikely the Bay Area will see another month-to-month price drop as large as 7%. That’s in part because even though the number of homes on the market is growing in the short term, supply in the Bay Area remains tight compared to the rest of the state and country, after years of sluggish housing construction in the region.
“Going forward,” he said, “we will continue to see some slowdown, but it’ll be in line with the traditional seasonal slowdown rather than the sudden dip in that price shift.”
©2022 MediaNews Group, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) has added privately held mortgage firm CMG Financial to its Solutions Group, the company has announced. This program consists of preferred business resources for LeadingRE’s global network of 550 market-leading real estate firms.
CMG Financial has been active in the real estate industry since 1993 and operates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, a release noted. The company focuses on responsible lending practices, industry and consumer advocacy, product innovation, and operational efficiency. As a direct lender, CMG originates, processes, underwrites, and funds their own loans, limiting the time it takes to close real estate. CMG’s mortgage solutions include HomeFundIt, the down payment crowdfunding platform, to the All In One Loan, the company stated.
“Mortgages are not one-size-fits-all. CMG Financial allows homebuyers to get a realistic idea of their budget and gives them more negotiating power when they make a real estate offer,” said Jeff Kennedy, LeadingRE vice president of sales/partnerships. “We look forward to sharing CMG Financial’s low down payment options, reliable pre-approval and innovative mortgage products with our members as a resource for their clients.”
“The team at CMG Financial is very excited about the relationship with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World,” said Chris Harris, senior vice president, national joint venture manager at CMG. “The companies in the LeadingRE network are best-in-class in their respective markets across the country. Their success lies in their entrepreneurial spirit, unwavering focus on the customer experience, and a passion to execute consistently—values that have similarly guided CMG Financial as an industry leader. Our aligned values and respective successes make the relationship between CMG and LeadingRE a natural fit for both organizations.”
To learn more, visit www.cmgfi.com.
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In an historic merger, CENTURY 21 Affiliated, the top-ranked franchise in the brand, is partnering with CENTURY 21 Award, a top-five franchise, in Southern California. This partnership marks the first time that two top-five CENTURY 21 franchises have merged, the company noted.
“This new partnership with CENTURY 21 Award is the perfect fit for our franchise,” said Dan Kruse, CEO of CENTURY 21 Affiliated. “It gives us the opportunity to strengthen our brand and continue to be the top CENTURY 21 franchise in the world. Both companies are aligned in our philosophies and commitment to our clients, and we are excited to grow together.”
With the merger, CENTURY 21 Affiliated will gain 15 offices throughout Southern California previously operated by CENTURY 21 Award. On top of their 60 offices across Northern Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, C21 Affiliated will now operate in three time zones (Pacific, Central and Eastern). Furthermore, the addition of C21 Award’s 734 agents will bring C21 Affiliated’s agent count up to 1729.
“This is a rapidly evolving industry, and we are always looking for ways to continue to put our agents first,” said David Romero, CENTURY 21 Award president. “This strategic partnership allows us to better serve our agents and their clients without compromising our core values. I truly believe this is the right move for both companies.”
“I have had the pleasure of working with CENTURY 21 Affiliated and CENTURY 21 Award for many years and have watched them make a huge impact in their respective markets,” Century 21 Real Estate President and CEO Mike Miedler said. “This partnership of industry powerhouses is going to bring a new level of client service and extraordinary experiences to Southern California’s homebuyers, sellers and investors. I look forward to seeing all the success that lies ahead for their teams of relentless real estate professionals.”
In the upcoming months, CENTURY 21 Affiliated will work through operational logistics, with the goal of creating additional resources for its agents and clients.
For more information, visit www.century21.com
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The degree to which rent costs are skewing above their expected levels fell slightly this month, according to the latest analysis from researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and the University of Alabama, even as some metros continue to see average rent balloon further into “overvalued” territory.
Ranking 109 metros based on how much more expensive (or cheap) rents are compared to modeled predictions, the collaborative project (dubbed the Waller, Weeks and Johnson Rental Index) continues to find a vast majority of markets overvalued—an average of 8.72%—even as a few are seeing some movement toward more reasonable levels.
“By and large, areas with the lowest rent increases are places with stagnant or declining populations,” said Shelton Weeks, of FGCU’s Lucas Institute for Real Estate Development & Finance, in a statement. “In markets with growing populations, such as most of Florida, landlords can charge what they want because there’s always somebody willing to pay it.”
According to the latest analysis, 46 cities are at least 10% overvalued, and only one—San Francisco, California—has seen rent increases that are actually lower than predicted by the model.
At the same time, 12 cities saw their average rents move closer to expected levels (some only fractionally), indicating that price increases may begin to moderate—even if rents don’t actually drop. The researchers note that under “normal conditions,” rent costs go up between 3% and 5% a year.
Those cities were Sierra Vista, Arizona (4.33% closer to predicted value); Jackson, Mississippi (1.21%); Ventura, California (0.88%); Honolulu, Hawaii (0.71%); Fresno, California (0.65%); Port St. Lucie, Florida (0.52%); Providence, Rhode Island (0.15%); Phoenix, Arizona (0.10%); Fort Myers, Florida (0.09%); Stockton, California (0.08%); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (0.07%) and Chattanooga, Tennessee (also 0.07%).
One trend the researchers noted was a moderation in how fast rents in Florida specifically are rising, and conversely, an acceleration of rent increases in New York. Ken H. Johnson, economist at FAU, posited these trends could be the result of so-called “COVID refugees.”
“Those COVID refugees placed a significant burden on the demand for rental units in Florida, and rents spiked to historic highs, while New York became slightly more affordable,” Johnson said in a statement. “With those workers returning home, Florida should see a cooling in its rent hikes, and New York renters will again have to deal with much higher rates.”
Florida cities still saw the largest increases in premiums year-over-year, with seven of the top 10 most overvalued metros in that state.
Cities that have seen the smallest increases in their premiums—or how much they are overvalued—were predominantly located in the Midwest. Minneapolis, Minnesota; Wichita, Kansas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Youngstown, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, all saw year-over-year increases below 10%.
Despite an unexpected rise the month prior, new single-family home sales returned to their downward trend that took hold earlier this year.
According to a joint report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the seasonally adjusted sales rate was 590,000, representing an 8.1% drop below the revised May rate of 642,000 and a 17.4% decrease below the June 2021 estimate of 714,000.
While new homes became popular for buyers in recent years under the limited supply of existing listings on the market, experts suggest that June’s decline indicates the impact that rising housing prices and mortgage rates have had on buyer morale.
What the experts think:
“June’s new home sales data reflects the impact of another month of high mortgage rates and rising inflation,” said Hannah Jones, economic data analyst at realtor.com®. “The double-whammy of rising borrowing costs and still-climbing listing prices is making it harder for buyers to find a suitable home in their price range. As a result, many home shoppers have decided to suspend buying plans altogether in recent months, which has allowed for housing inventory to recover from last year’s declines.
“While the increase in for-sale homes offers a breath of fresh air to buyers who remain in the market, builders have responded to cooling demand by slowing the pace of new home construction. New homes gained popularity during the past couple of years as existing home inventory became increasingly sparse. The recent decline in buyers has been taken as a signal to slow new home construction for the time being, as builders, buyers and sellers alike see how the market settles in the new financial environment,” she added.
“New home prices showed signs of easing in June, dropping 9.5% month-over-month to $402,400, but still up 7.4% year-over-year. Half of new homes were priced below $400,000 this June, a decline from 55% of new homes in this range just one year ago, but an improvement compared to just 40% of homes below this mark in May. Builders eager to move new homes amid a cooling market offered buyers a good deal, continuing May’s downward trend in median new home prices. This increased affordability indicates a potential shift from trade-up buyers and investors to buyers looking to new construction for relative affordability. A trend of affordable new construction may continue, as lumber prices dropped below $600 this week, potentially offering builders some flexibility to address buyer concerns in their pricing strategies,” Jones concluded.
“Builders saw sales decline significantly as buyers were priced out of the market on higher interest rates and ongoing home building and development costs, including building materials,” said Jerry Konter, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Savannah, Georgia. “This is just the second time that new home sales have fallen below a 600,000 annual pace since Oct. 2018, and this latest report also mirrors a sharp decline in builder confidence as noted in our latest survey.”
“Buyers are balking due to deteriorating affordability conditions and growing sticker shock,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, NAHB’s assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis. “Only 14% of new home sales in June were priced below $300,000. A year ago, it was 27%. Meanwhile, inventory levels are elevated and will contribute to near-term production declines as the market finds a new balance.”
The latest S&P CoreLogic/Case-Shiller Indices, released today, show that home prices across the U.S. continue to rise, though the rate of growth has slowed slightly. The Indices reported a 19.7% annual gain in May for single-family home prices, which is down from April’s 20.6% annual gain.
The South and Southeast recorded the strongest gains with cities in Florida and Texas reporting the highest year-over-year increases among the 20 metros in May. Tampa, which was the fastest growing city for the past two months, once again took the cake with a 36.1% increase while Miami trailed close behind with a 34.0% hike. Dallas, in third, logged a 30.8% increase. Minneapolis, Washington, DC and Chicago reported the weakest year-over-year increases.
Only four of the 20 metros bucked the trend of deceleration and reported higher price increases in the year ending May 2022 versus the year ending April 2022.
Recently raised interest rates may have contributed to the modest deceleration of growth in home prices in recent months, and according to experts, the cooling trend is likely to continue.
The complete data for the 20 markets measured by S&P:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Las Vegas, Nevada
Los Angeles, California
New York, New York
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
“Housing data for May 2022 continued strong, as price gains decelerated slightly from very high levels,” said Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director at S&P DJI. “The National Composite Index rose by 19.7% for the 12 months ended May, down from April’s 20.6% year-over-year gainDespite this deceleration, growth rates are still extremely robust, with all three composites at or above the 98th percentile historically.”
Lazzara added: “The market’s strength continues to be broadly based, as all 20 cities recorded double-digit price increases for the 12 months ended in May. May’s gains ranked in the top quintile of historical experience for 19 cities, and in the top decile for 17 of them. However, at the city level we also see evidence of deceleration. Price gains for May exceeded those for April in only four cities. As recently as February of this year, all 20 cities were accelerating.”
“We’ve noted previously that mortgage financing has become more expensive as the Federal Reserve ratchets up interest rates, a process that was ongoing as our May data were gathered,” said Lazzara. “Accordingly, a more-challenging macroeconomic environment may not support extraordinary home price growth for much longer.”
Brendan Rascius is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Corcoran Group, LLC has announced the launch of new affiliate Corcoran Sawyer Smith. The firm formerly known as Sawyer Smith Residential, owned and led by Timothy Sawyer Smith, serves Hoboken and Jersey City. The announcement, made by Pamela Liebman, president and CEO of The Corcoran Group, marks an expansion for the brand in the tri-state area market.
Corcoran Sawyer Smith is also welcoming the firm formerly known as Hudson Place Realty Inc. to its operation. Founded in 1979, Hudson Place Realty is led by Jon Sisti and will now also operate as Corcoran Sawyer Smith, the company stated.
“I’m thrilled that we’re growing our footprint in our neighboring New Jersey with Corcoran Sawyer Smith, especially as they’re welcoming team members on day one,” said Liebman. “With Jersey City/Hoboken serving as a key feeder market in and out of New York City, this decision was a strategic one. There are plenty of eager clientele and the area is simply a lovely place to live. I look forward to seeing all that the Corcoran Sawyer Smith team will do as stewards of our growing brand.”
Sawyer Smith has practiced real estate for more than 20 years, having started in New York City and later moving across the Hudson River to work in the Jersey City real estate market, a release noted. After 11 years in new construction sales and marketing, he transitioned to residential sales with the launch of the brokerage that bears his name, founded in 2012 with only two agents. Over the next 10 years, the firm became a driving force in the community, the firm stated, and today, the company recently reached the number three position in total sales volume in Jersey City overall, they said.
“As a young agent starting in real estate in the mid-1990s in New York City, the Corcoran brand for me represented the very best in properties and professionalism. Fast-forwarding 20 years now, having the opportunity to represent this legacy in New Jersey is quite surreal,” said Smith.
“Having run a successful boutique real estate firm for more than 35 years, I am delighted to merge with Sawyer Smith and thereby Corcoran,” added Sisti. “Both companies have impressed me throughout the years. We share similar values, principles, and company cultures. We’re very excited to take things to the next level.”
For more information, visit www.corcoran.com.
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, an Anywhere Real Estate Inc. brand, has released its 30 Under 30 Real Estate Professionals list. The list honors Coldwell Banker affiliated real estate professionals under the age of 30 who have made their mark and achieved success in sales, philanthropy and leadership, the company announced.
The Coldwell Banker® 30 Under 30 were chosen from the brand’s network of over 100,000 independent real estate professionals affiliated with approximately 2,200 offices in 40 countries and territories. This group of real estate professionals honors the legacy of the brand’s founders, Colbert Coldwell and Arthur Banker, who started their company at 24 and 28 years old, respectively, a release noted.
The full list, in alphabetical order, is:
“The 30 Under 30 award highlights our newest and brightest professionals at Coldwell Banker and we are delighted to celebrate this year’s winners,” said Ryan Gorman, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “I am proud to have an incredible network of influential leaders who endlessly explore new approaches to go above and beyond for their clients and continue to be a resource to those searching for their dream home. We know this year’s winners will continue to shine brightly!”
For more information, visit www.coldwellbanker.com.
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Change is hard. Even people who crave change often react with apprehension when they are confronted with the unknown. It might be exciting and full of opportunity, but it also has its share of challenges, potential setbacks, and new problems to solve.
I’ve spent many years helping agents and brokers develop teams to help them expand their business. And while there are many who, when the time comes, are eager to jump in and embrace the changes a team will bring, there are always those who can’t quite get there. Even if they are too busy to do anything but work, even if their business is growing faster than they can sustain, building a team remains a bridge they can’t seem to cross. Why?
In my experience, the most common reason agents have for not starting a team, even when doing so would improve their lives, is simply that they don’t want to relinquish control. And I get that, believe me. As an agent, you spend unbelievable amounts of time and energy getting your business off the ground. You build up a clientele and establish a certain level of service your clients can come to expect. What if your new team members can’t provide that level of service, and the business you’ve put your heart and soul into suffers?
This is a legitimate concern. But it’s based on the assumption that just because up until now your clients have only worked with you at every stage of the transaction, they will only want that going forward—and that’s just not true. Consumers today want to deal with experts and specialists. Their dentist works with several dental assistants and hygienists; their lawyer works with clerks; why should you be different?
Ask yourself—would a client be better served by a team of specialists who can devote the necessary time to the client’s needs as they arise, or by one person juggling the various demands of many clients at a time? You might be good at your job, but I can guarantee you aren’t that good, and besides that, the business isn’t about you! Why do the work of five people when you can do the work of just one—and have a more profitable business to boot?
It all goes back to control, and coming to the point in your life where you are ready to relinquish a measure of that control in order to invest in the future of your business — and yourself. If you find yourself in this dilemma now, ask yourself: Is your family (or whatever else you are setting aside while you’re at work) worth $25 an hour or not? Is it worth investing in a transaction coordinator, or is maintaining your current workload still the best choice? No one can make this decision but you—but if the answer you come to is, “Yes, my family is worth that much to me,” you’ll only be shortchanging them if you continue to do everything yourself.
You have control over the choices you make for your business and your life, so use it to make choices that will benefit you in the long term. Building a team is difficult and full of uncertainty, but is going it solo really any different? If you know that a team is the next step for your business, the only thing holding you back is yourself—and you were made to change!
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Get free access to some of the very same tools and resources he has used to create success in his clients’ businesses.
Are you interested in building your own home? It is an exciting proposition because you get to pick and choose everything that goes into the process from the ground up.
You don’t have to worry that a builder is going to tell you that you’re not able to have something you love.
Custom building customizing things the way you want them! When you set out to purchase land for your dream home there are some essential considerations.
One of the most important will be how you should finance the purchase. We are going to look at two options. Utilizing a land loan and getting a construction loan.
If you are not going to build for a while, a land loan will be best. On the other hand, if you plan on starting construction right away, a construction loan will be the best fit.
Let’s have a look.
Getting a land loan
When you’re reading to buy a plot of land but not quite ready to build your dream home, a land loan works best. There are some vital things to know when using this type of financing.
These loans are harder to come by and not every lender does them. While lot loans are similar in some respects to home purchase loans, you can expect to need higher down payments.
You are also likely to see higher interest rates on your mortgage and more scrutiny from the underwriting process.
Lenders are going to distinguish what they are willing to do based upon how improved the land is in its current state.
For example, is it ready to build on? Can you pull a building permit and start tomorrow or are their additional improvements needed such as utilities?
With land loans, lenders will distinguish between ready-to-build lots and undeveloped vacant land. There will be far more restrictions when the land is not ready to go.
Utilizing construction loan financing
When you are ready to build your home right away a construction loan will be the perfect financing program.
The way a construction loan works is the lender will give you the financing needed to purchase the building lot and construct the home.
It will be one loan that rolls the costs of land acquisition and construction costs into one mortgage.
You will need to provide the lender with many of the same documents needed to get a traditional loan with a few additions.
The blueprints will be required, cost of construction, along with the builder’s qualifications and license information.
Lenders that provide construction loan financing will give a borrower “draws” as construction moves along. For example, when the lot is cleared, the foundation is dug and poured and the utilities have been installed, the lender will provide the first draw.
The lender will send out a representative confirming the work has been completed and then release the funds to you.
You will then be able to turn around and pay all the subcontractors. The next draw will take place when the house is completely framed.
The lender will continue to do this with multiple phases of construction until the project is completed.
With construction loans, you will typically need at least a 20% down payment. The average down payment amount is more significant with construction financing.
When looking for lenders, you will also learn that only a select few lending institutions will provide construction loan financing.
Maximum Real Estate Exposure has provided an excellent resource on everything to know about getting a home construction loan. Have a look!
Whether you choose land loan financing or a construction loan will depend on your timelines for building. Researching your options in advance will make the whole process go far more smoothly.
Before making an offer on a piece of land, due diligence will be crucial.
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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From AI to blockchain to the metaverse and beyond, technology is vaulting the real estate transaction into the future. While the advantages to agents and their consumers are many, the landscape can be overwhelming, especially for busy real estate professionals focused on serving their homebuying and selling clients. Ignore technology advancements, however, and you put your future success at risk.
WIth that in mind, during RISMedia’s CEO & Leadership Exchange taking place this September 6 – 8 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., a panel of real estate technology experts and brokerage leaders will convene for the panel discussion: “How Emerging Technology Can Increase Your Profits.”
In this session, panelists will share which emerging technology can have the greatest impact on your bottom line, and how you can incorporate these innovations into your business plan. Speakers include:
– Morgan Carey, Real Estate Webmasters
– Byron McDuffee, Elm Street
– Olivia Mariana, Curbio
– Frank Malpica, Anywhere Brands
– Todd Hetherington, CENTURY 21 New Millennium
– Tiffany Curry, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Tiffany Curry Real Estate
This is just one of the more than 25 presentations and panel discussions taking place during the two-and-a-half day CEO & Leadership Exchange, in which more than 115 brokerage and brand executives and industry leaders will participate.
President and Designated Managing Broker Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago
Region served: Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin, Southwest Michigan and Indiana
Years in real estate: 23
Number of offices: 25
Number of agents: 1,400
Favorite part of your job: For me, what makes real estate so enjoyable is that it’s completely relationship-based and people-focused.
Best advice for new agents: You need to have the desire and drive to constantly learn.
Talk about being part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.
It’s amazing to be part of something so powerful. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has always conveyed trust, integrity, stability and longevity, and it now comes with this global real estate network and unmatched media presence.
Tell us about your management style.
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago, we’ve created a culture of communication and collaboration. I look to identify and hire the best talent, and place people in positions that play to their strengths. Rather than put people in a defined role, it’s critical to place them in a position that gives them the autonomy to create their own role and achieve professional and personal success.
How do you see your market evolving throughout the rest of the year?
COVID taught me that trying to predict where a market is going is next to impossible, however, this year looks to be a solid one. If the market moderates, many buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines will reengage because the market won’t be as competitive. I think we’ll see fewer multiple offers, and we’ve already seen a slight uptick in homes for sale. There’s still a lot of demand, but we’re slowly seeing more homes come on the market; 2020 and 2021 were the best and second-best years in real estate, and I think 2022 will be the third-best.
What is the most significant trend positively affecting your business right now?
As somebody who values the relationship side of the business and the people, one of the most positive trends that excites me is the new agents getting into the business. Real estate has been done the same way for a long time, and as it evolves and changes, we’re attracting newer people from different industries, and I love that. We’re seeing attorneys, people from advertising, marketing and even the hospitality industry becoming agents. They value the care, attention and resources our company provides, and have transitioned from other successful careers to make a successful career in real estate.
How does your company stay flexible and current?
We consistently evaluate where we are, what we are and how we’re doing it. Just because something has worked in the past doesn’t mean it’s still relevant or necessary to do it that way. Our “Move Confidently” anthem is all about the “change-your-life” moment in real estate. Buyers, sellers and renters want experienced real estate agents they can trust by their side, backed by a great brand like Berkshire Hathaway. We’re a great company today, but we want to be a better company tomorrow and even better in the future.
How are you preparing your agents for the future?
To prepare our agents for the future, there has to be constant learning. We offer robust training, coaching and sales workshops to help our agents with their business and strategies for the current market. The market is changing at a pace we’ve never seen before, and training is at the core of everything we do.
For more information, visit berkshirehathawayhs.com.
Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes has announced the opening of 16 new boutique luxury apartments, located at 12-01 River in downtown Fair Lawn, New Jersey. These apartments mark the latest collaboration between Coldwell and Rock Solid Builders.
Apartments at 12-01 River are currently accepting applications for new tenants, with availability starting in September 2022, a release stated. Coldwell Banker said rentals are available in both one and two-bedroom configurations, offering between 600 to 970 square feet of living space. Net-effective monthly rents for the stylish homes at 12-01 River start at $2,354 for one-bedroom, one-bathroom residences and $2,954 for two-bedroom, two-bathroom residences. There is a limited time grand opening incentive that includes one month free on a 13-month lease. Each apartment includes one assigned surface parking space. Additional covered and surface parking is available for an additional fee, as are climate-controlled storage units. The release noted that residents of this secure building will enjoy a welcoming lobby, elevator access, a comfortable lounge, fully equipped fitness center and a convenient Amazon package storage system.
“We are honored to once again have been chosen by Rock Solid Builders as their partner in planning another prestige luxury development in northern New Jersey,” said David Schoner, vice president of Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes. “12-01 River is an exceptional rental building that offers fabulous in-Fair Lawn living that is convenient to everything the area has to offer. We expect that these apartments will likely fill up fast.”
Rock Solid Builders and Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes have previously collaborated on Lakeshore Estates, a boutique development of 32 new, contemporary townhomes located in the northern New Jersey suburb of Haworth, the company noted.
The Fair Lawn location will offer tenants an easy commute to New York City for 12-01 River residents. Transportation options include a New Jersey Transit bus station adjacent to the building (40 minutes to an hour to Port Authority), a one-mile proximity to the Radburn New Jersey Transit train station (50 minutes to Hoboken on the Bergen County Line), and close access to the Garden State Parkway and Routes 208, 80, 4 and 17.
The release added that apartments at 12-01 River feature contemporary, open-concept floor plans with nine-foot ceilings and upscale finishes, hardwood-look luxury vinyl tile, gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, contemporary shaker-style cabinetry, in-unit full-sized washers and dryers, and oversized showers and baths. Additional highlights include recessed lighting, window treatments that offer privacy, central A/C and heating and an intercom system.
For more information, visit CBNewHomes.com.
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Mickey Alam Khan, president of Luxury Portfolio International® (LPI), has announced that 12 real estate firms have joined as new members of the network. LPI currently represents more than 200 independent residential real estate brokerages across the globe. Two of these recent affiliations will broaden LPI’s market reach even further with entry into new markets: Singapore and the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, the company stated.
The full list of new members includes:
All 12 of these firms, located within some of the most sought-after destinations for property purchases, boast impressive standings in their respective markets, the company noted.
“Being invited to join Luxury Portfolio International® not only gives these brokerages a competitive edge in their respective marketplaces, but elevates their global prominence,” said Khan. “They are now working alongside the most respected entities in the world, sharing best practices and strategies and building business in the affluent market. We are honored to welcome these new members to the LPI family, whose qualities and commitments to excellence mirror our own, and we look forward to bringing new buyers from around the world to their unique markets. These new brokers reinforce our global approach to luxury real estate, and we can’t wait to share more information about additional international members we will be bringing aboard soon.”
For more on these brokerages, www.luxuryportfolio.com/brokers.
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How do you keep ahead of the competition? The late Apple Founder Steve Jobs said it best: “Some people say, ‘Give the customers what they want.’ But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do.”
He then quoted innovator Henry Ford, who once famously said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!'”
Jobs concluded, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them…Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
That’s forward thinking. We take this same approach to help our clients get—and stay—ahead of their competition.
Focus on what’s next
Forward thinking requires you to emulate hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, who famously said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
Today, we are not building what our customers need now. Instead, we are creating what customers will need 18 months from now. Leveraging new technology and innovation for the future needs of our clients means focusing on automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Forward thinking doesn’t exclude listening to our customers. Like Apple, it’s just the opposite. We use a client advisory committee to give us ongoing feedback to iterate and perfect current offerings. This information also informs our forward thinking.
Having constant real-world feedback helps us improve our automated valuation model (AVM) and find inventive ways to integrate AVMs into the core marketing tools agents use, such as a CMA platform to generate more seller opportunities.
The next generation of brokerage-provided tech must empower agents to do fewer mundane tasks and focus more on what they do best.
We all know that when a brokerage provides agents with the right technology, it changes the conversation when it comes to recruiting and retention. However, having a competitive differentiator means more than offering the latest shiny object.
All-in-One Tech Stack
Brokerages have an avalanche of choices when it comes to real estate technology. But it’s nearly impossible to build your own tech stack and maintain it to remain leading edge.
Time has shown that relying on a proven, trustworthy brokerage tech solution from a provider that is driven, every day, to look further out and anticipate what their customers will need keeps a brokerage ahead of their competitors.
This year, we coined the phrase “all-in-one when you want it, best-in-class when you don’t” to capture the idea that the all-in-one solution works best for most brokerages. But others may be missing a piece in their tech stack and need a plug-and-play, best-in-class solution to fill that void. Our approach is to offer both.
The key is to make sure we are building technology today to help our clients in the future. We all win when we figure out how to skate to where the puck is going to be.
For more information, visit https://www.deltamediagroup.com/.
Michael Minard is CEO and owner of Delta Media Group, a leading and trusted technology partner for many of real estate’s top brands, and 100% family-owned and operated.
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Part of knowing your audience as a real estate agent is anticipating what they need and expect from your services. Without accounting for your real estate clients’ common needs and expectations, you might be underperforming and risk losing their business. How do you anticipate their needs and go above and beyond with the delivery?
Here are nine things your real estate clients are expecting from you as their real estate professional:
1. Be available
If your client needs to reach you by cellphone or email, your setup should notify you as soon as they call or message you so that you can respond quickly and effectively. Even if you cannot get them the answer right away, it’s best to set up an automatic response letting them know you’ve received their message. The truth is, we all want to be heard, and no one wants to sit around all day waiting for a response. So, take the appropriate steps to ensure your clients don’t feel ignored.
2. Schedule multiple open house appointments and follow-up meetings
If you’re not frequently getting your clients into open houses, how do you expect them to purchase a home anytime soon? If your client is interested in any property, schedule an open house appointment for them at the earliest convenience. This also includes similar listings, any off-market properties or likewise properties in other areas your client may or may not have considered. Sometimes your client will be pleasantly surprised by the options they didn’t consider. Be proactive and diligent in finding your client their next home.
If time and schedules are tight, consider walking your client through listings via FaceTime, images, video, virtual tours or anything that will remove any obstacles in the way of you serving your client.
3. Be educated on the market
Research, research and research! Your client will look to you as the expert on their target market and areas of interest. Conduct thorough research of the area and read over any market reports prior to meeting your client to help guide your property search within the bounds of their budget and home-buying goals. You should be there to help take away any mystery in your client’s search for a new home and provide reassurance that they’re getting the best value.
4. Help get a client pre-approved for lending
The home-buying experience can be stressful, especially for first-time homebuyers, but that’s why they hired a professional like yourself. To help make their process as seamless as possible, connect your client with a lender and secure mortgage pre-approval before flipping through hundreds of listings. This small step can provide both you and the buyer with a more accurate perspective of their budget and whether or not they’re serious about the process. Regardless of how it turns out, you’ll be prepared and it will save everyone time.
5. Have a defined marketing plan
Selling a property is no easy task, which is why your client has entrusted you to help them. Be prepared to pitch your best marketing plan to sell their property upon your initial meetings. Your marketing plan should include best practices such as open house strategies, social media ad services, photography, video or virtual tours, targeted promotional digital campaigns and grassroots marketing campaign tactics.
It might be a red flag to your client if you’re not very creative or well-versed in the very tools that help sell homes. If you need additional help with marketing your client’s properties or more information, don’t be afraid to consult with other real estate agents you know and trust.
6. Handle negotiations and close the deal
As successful real estate agents, your quick wit and negotiation skills are paramount when closing deals for your clients. Buyers or sellers will sometimes hesitate before accepting an offer with your client, so always prepare and anticipate any pushback. Consider potential concessions, solutions or compromises toward the end of the process. You might have clients who are timid or uncomfortable with negotiations, and they will look to you for help during this crucial time. Be prepared to step in and help them close the deal!
7. Manage the inspection
As the buying and selling process dwindles to the final steps, connect with a local home inspector you trust, whose experience and expertise will identify every red flag during a home inspection. During a property inspection, you should also be there alongside the inspector to be aware of the property’s conditions and, if necessary, ask for any price reductions or concessions from the property seller.
8. Make closing day easy
Again, you’re here to make buying or selling for your client as successful and seamless as possible. Ensure all relevant documents are completed and signed, all monetary transactions are completed, and all keys and deeds are turned over to the rightful owner. And don’t forget to congratulate and thank them for their business.
9. Recommend vendors
Lastly, you want to solidify your client relationship by being there for them now and in the future. Recommend and offer to connect them with your trusted vendors for ongoing maintenance and home care services, including handypersons, interior decorators, pest control professionals, and more. Not only will your client appreciate this gesture, but they’ll be more inclined to recommend you to their family and friends.
McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at mckissock.com/real-estate.
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Over the past few months, increasing mortgage rates have sent a seismic shockwave through the real estate market. After nearly two years of a non-stop homebuying frenzy, purchase activity is slowing down. Buyer pipelines are thinning out and listings are lingering on the market longer. It’s a stark contrast to the bidding wars and price escalations that were commonplace earlier in the year. In short, the ride is over for brokers and agents who have not invested in their business models and relationships with their customers.
So, what can brokers do to differentiate their business models and help their agents claim a share of the shifting market? When it comes to making your agents more productive, efficient and profitable, the homegenius ecosystem can help you stay ahead of the competition in a slower market.
Here are four opportunities to grow your business with homegenius:
Visit homegenius.com to learn more about the homegenius ecosystem and tools that can help your business grow even when the market is slow.
Senior EVP, Chief Digital Officer and Co-Head of homegenius
Eric Ray has more than 30 years of experience in the technology sector. As senior executive vice president, chief digital officer and co-head of homegenius Inc., Eric leads the vision, strategy and execution of homegenius and its family of companies’ products, technology, data, analytics and operations.
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