Real Estate Technology
Article | July 18, 2022
Are you thinking about selling your current home? If so, the biggest question on your mind may be: if I sell now, where will I go? If this resonates with you, there’s something you should know. The number of homes coming onto the market is increasing and that could make it easier for you to move up this summer.
While this news has clear benefits for buyers who are craving more options for their home search, what does that mean for current homeowners like you? It gives you two distinct opportunities in today’s housing market.
Opportunity 1: Take Advantage of More Options for Your Move Up
If your current house no longer meets your needs or lacks the space and features you want, this gives you even more opportunity to sell and move up into the home of your dreams. As more options come to market, you’ll have more to choose from when you search for your next home.
Partnering with a local real estate professional can help make sure you see these listings as soon as they come onto the market. And when you do find the one, that professional can advise you on how to write a winning offer to seal the deal.
Opportunity 2: Sell Before You Have More Competition
Just know that, in order to make sure your house shines above the rest, it may make sense to put your home up for sale before your neighbors do the same, creating more competition in your area. The increase in the number of homes being listed for sale is expected to continue, and a recent study from realtor.com says two-thirds of homeowners looking to sell say they’ll do so by August.
A real estate professional can advise you on what you need to tackle to get your house ready to list so they can put that for sale sign up in your yard sooner rather than later. That’s because the process of getting a home ready to sell isn’t taking as long as you may think. As a result, you can capitalize on today’s sellers’ market and get ahead of the competition.
If you’re a current homeowner looking to sell, let’s connect to begin the process. You have a unique opportunity to benefit from the additional homes being listed today and sell before your house has more competition.
Real Estate Technology
Article | July 12, 2022
For first-time homebuyers, making the transition from renter to homeowner can be exciting, overwhelming, and scary all at once. Yet as Gary Keller and Jay Papasan write in the second edition of Your First Home, “Those who live the most fulfilling lives base their decisions on facts, not fears.”
Below, we’ve outlined four powerful facts from Your First Home to help move anxious homeowners toward the fulfillment and abundance Keller and Papasan nod to. Delivered with empathy, care, and your expertise – these facts can help ease fears and move clients closer to experiencing all the bounties homeownership brings.
Fear 1: “I can’t afford to buy a home now.”
Fact: Until you do the math, you don’t know what you can or can’t afford.
If you are currently paying rent, generally you can afford to buy. From a financial point of view, in the United States, the tax savings on mortgage interest alone usually make up most of the difference between your rent and mortgage payments – the tax write-offs you get at the end of year will generally help you save a lot of money.
Additionally, depending on your credit score, you can end up affording more than you realize. Note: The credit scores used for mortgage lending tend to take on a much larger picture of your overall credit score.
Finally, although there may be a higher initial cost to buying a house, if you’re planning on staying in one place for a few years, the equity you build can end up being a financial boon.
Fear 2: “I should wait until the real estate market gets better.”
Fact: There is never a wrong time to buy the right home.
Whether “right” means the right price or the right property for you, waiting for the perfect market timing seldom works to your advantage. If you don’t believe us, look back to the Great Recession when the bubble around the housing market burst, GDP declined 4.5% and unemployment rose to around 9.5%. Everyone still feels the impact of this incredible financial event. But, like those who endured the Great Depression, the people who lived through the Great Recession made it through, and benefited from an era of financial growth. In fact immediately following the Great Recession, the United States entered the longest period of rising prices and general prosperity since World War II. The fact of the matter is, even the biggest economic downturns are, well, normal. Even when there were some events that threatened to dampen the economy, like the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market still continued to thrive.
In the end, there are two ways to make money in real estate: timing and time. That is you happen upon the right moment to purchase your home before the price appreciates, or you hold it for a long enough time so that appreciation makes your purchase investment right. If you miss the first, you can most certainly count on the second.
Fear 3: “I don’t have the money for a down payment.”
Fact: There are a variety of down-payment options available to you.
While many people believe that making a home purchase requires a substantial down payment, as as much as 20%,, this is seldom true. Options are always available to you that require much less than this number, as low as 5%, some even less. Moreover, most states have down-payment assistance programs that can help you afford to buy.
House-hacking can also be a great way to make homeownership a more affordable option. House-hacking is when you purchase a piece of real estate and lease out one of the bedrooms or units. This rental income can then be applied toward your mortgage. Or, you can participate in home rental programs like Vrbo or Airbnb. While it may not be ideal all of the time, you could always make your month’s mortgage payment by renting your place while you’re on vacation.
Fear 4: “I can’t buy a home because my credit score isn’t good.”
Fact: A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily prevent you from buying a home.
Although it’s valuable to have a good credit score, a poor one shouldn’t necessarily prevent you from talking to lenders to explore your options. You can expect that a good loan officer (or mortgage specialist) will be able to help you resolve your credit challenges, often simply by showing you how to move or consolidate your debts, or by referring you to a credit counselor who will put you on a plan.
If you’re facing the challenge of having no credit history because you are new to the workforce or have not made regular purchases on credit, there are still possible solutions that you may want to explore. One is to secure financing with the help of a cosigner, such as parents or a close relative, who is willing to stand by your ability to make the payments. Another can be finding a lender who is willing to use alternative forms of history such as student loans, rent, and utilities.
Looking For More Homeownership Resources?
Head over to the Your First Home webpage for freebies, including information on how to build out your real estate dream team and for your clients, a resource on how to determine their homeownership criteria.
Real Estate Technology, Asset Management
Article | May 30, 2023
Spring is here, and with it comes home buying season. If you’re in real estate, it’s about to get really interesting. There are also some unique challenges you and your buyers might be confronting in the market now. Let’s get to what you need to know.
The housing market has been red-hot for quite a while now. Sales for both new and existing homes have been on an absolute tear. But last month, both of these metrics took a step back.
One likely reason for this is no doubt a moderate increase in mortgage rates. However, it seems to me we talk about that enough. Today, we would like to spotlight another factor causing issues in the housing market and possibly even delaying construction of homes in some areas.
There’s a real shortage of the necessary materials for constructing and renovating homes at this point. According to a December report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 71% of builders were facing a shortage of at least one material.
That means the houses that were being built in December that may just be getting ready to come on the market now may either be delayed or come with higher prices. The material most in demand was lumber, with 31% of contractors experiencing a shortage.
Real Estate Technology
Article | July 25, 2022
Real estate technology has revolutionized the real estate business. Most real estate developers today use technology to meet the needs of customers who are becoming more knowledgeable, give them the best service possible, and remain competitive.
Real estate agents are turning to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to manage all communication and interactions with customers and prospects and improve operational efficiencies.
What is a real estate CRM? A quick glance
A CRM system for real estate is a system that helps manage all communications with leads and clients. It functions as an online database, allowing you to manage your contacts while saving time and effort on manual data entry. Email and text messaging, lead tracking tools, and click-to-call capabilities are some of the key features you will find in the top real estate CRM.
A productive realtor must multitask, including keeping the database of clients, locating properties, communicating with clients, using websites and social media platforms to advertise and communicate with new clients, etc. This is where a CRM software plays a critical role because time is money and CRM software allows saving a considerable amount of time, minimizes effort and resources by sales automation, inventory management, automating contacts, managing customer interactions, and performing other data operations.
Before selecting a comprehensive CRM solution for your real estate business, you should consider a few key aspects and features
Sales process automation
Manage your sales pipeline with end-to-end sales automation features that let your sales team focus on tasks that bring in more money while routine tasks are automated.
Inventory Management Platform
A cloud-based dedicated digital inventory management can let you remotely manage vast quantities of inventory across various projects, buildings, floors, and units. You can use the automation feature to organize and sort a large amount of real estate inventory, as well as to ensure that inventory is selected based on the buyer persona and criteria.
Your CRM should allow you to personalize your data in order to generate lists based on transactions, dates, offers, events, and incentives
Automate tasks and workflow
Realtors must be able to quickly respond to property queries without having to browse through their inboxes. Once a client interacts with an agent, the system initiates real-time push alerts, sends follow-up emails or texts, manages calendars, and enables the customer to select other preferred contact channels
Post sales automation
Using CRM, the sales team could maintain customized payment schedules based on projects, send automated payment reminders, handle inventory payments, create and share documents online relating to bookings.
Seamless cross-platform accessibility
The CRM software must provide cloud access in addition to phone, desktop, and any smart device. Compatibility with other platforms — compatibility with products like as Microsoft Office and Google Docs is of tremendous assistance, so include it to your list of must-haves. In addition, ensure that the system is user-friendly for individuals who may lack technological expertise.
Feedback and reporting
The core of your company's success is gathering client feedback. A software that provides insights into your data through centralized reporting and real-time client feedback is ideal for making quick decisions that help you improve sales and boost customer engagement and retention
Scalability is another factor to consider; will you have the flexibility to simply add users as your business grows? You need a CRM platform that is versatile and reliable, able to handle ever-growing business operational efficiencies and not suffer from regular system downtimes, lags and data losses.
Whether you are a seasoned realtor or a newcomer, investing in CRM software that provides you with a variety of options for time-and cost-efficient customer data management has become critical. Despite the wide variety of CRM options available on the market, the most important thing is to find the one that is best suited to your specific real estate needs. Once you know what you want, you'll be able to make better decisions about your real estate business.