Your Condensed List of Everything Realtors Should Know in 2019

If your goal is to run a successful real estate business, a large part of meeting that goal requires you to be in the know about changing trends and forecasts.

To save you from having to scan every news article in the past year, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things all Realtors should know in 2019, so you can spend less time analyzing studies and contradictory information and more time selling homes!

Want to test your 2017-2018 real estate knowledge? Take this 3-minute quiz.

1. Millennials Will Continue to Lead the Market

Although home prices are getting steeper, millennials will still make up most of the homebuying market. As many millennials reach their 30s, it’s prime homebuying time for this generation. Millennials will still make up the biggest chunk of those taking out new mortgages. And older millennials will be looking to upgrade from their starter home.

Keep your eye out for these millennials who are move-up buyers. They have the money to buy the mostly above-average priced homes on the market right now.

2. Home Appreciation Will Slow

As inventory for homes remains high, this will cause home appreciation to slow down. Since the market is saturated with new homes, homeowners won’t see much appreciation and may choose to wait to sell at a time when their home is worth more.

3. First-time Homebuyers May Struggle

Although there are a growing number of homes to choose from, most of them are priced in the upper tier, making it difficult for first-time homebuyers to find the right fit and compete with other, more affluent buyers. Those who can remain in the market will most likely be looking at more expensive homes, such as the aforementioned older millennials who are looking to upgrade.

There won’t be a lot of options for starter homes, so you may see first-time homebuyers sitting out this year and waiting for more inventory in their price range to come on the market.

4. The Suburbs Are Gaining in Popularity

As home and rent prices in major metropolitan areas rise, such as San Francisco and New York City, there has been a significant shift of young people moving to the suburbs. Buyers are looking for areas outside of major cities with good public transportation, a thriving downtown and, if they’re buying an apartment or condo, lots of amenities.

You will see an uptick in millennials looking in these areas as an alternative to buying in the cities they’ve been priced out of.

5. Sellers May Need to Incentivize Buyers With More Than a Great Price

Even though it is technically still a seller’s market, home sellers will need to get creative to be competitive since inventory is on the rise. Sellers should be prepared to cut their listing price or to offer other incentives such as covering the cost of closing fees, paying for repairs, or being flexible on timelines and closing dates.

Buyers who can afford what’s on the market right now have the luxury of taking their time as they decide on the perfect home. If sellers want to speed up the process, they are going to need to offer a deal that is hard for anyone to pass up.

Don’t forget! HomeActions creates digital newsletters to send out on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your real estate clients. If you’re not set up with your own email newsletter, click here to find out more.

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5 Apps for Realtors That Are Totally Free!

The #RealtorLife is no joke. Working in real estate is a demanding profession, so you should take advantage of tools that are designed with your busy schedule in mind.

These 5 apps will allow you to get fast information about listings, make it easier to connect with clients and help you create amazing marketing content to share online. All of these apps have user-friendly interfaces, and the best part, they are 100% free!

SwiftKey

Agents need simple ways to communicate on the go. That’s where SwiftKey comes in. SwiftKey lets you swipe your finger along your keyboard to the letters that spell out what you want to say. The smart technology will recognize the words you’re most likely trying to type. You will be amazed at how many times this app gets it right!

SwiftKey uses its intelligence to remember the types of words you use, emojis you like to send and even your unique slang!

You can also save tons of automated messages to quickly send to clients. If you’re getting the same question about a listing from multiple people, type out the answer once and send it easily to everyone who asks you. If you need your keyboard to be bigger or smaller, SwiftKey lets you customize that too.

SentriSmart

SentriSmart is the app by SentriLock. SentriSmart allows you to open their lockboxes easily through your smartphone or tablet. You can assign the lockbox to certain properties or unassign them. SentriSmart is synced to Homesnap, RPR and HomeSpotter, so you can bring up data about listings for clients on the spot.

Adobe Premiere Clip

Video content is one of the most powerful tools to draw in new leads online. However, videos have to be quality to be impactful. The Adobe Premiere Clip app helps you create professional-looking videos using the clips you take with your phone. Load videos from your mobile device or tablet onto the app and let Adobe work its magic, or customize the video yourself and choose background music and other bells and whistles. Then, share your videos online and watch the likes and shares roll in.

RPR Mobile

Developed by the National Association of Realtors, RPR’s app is designed to help Realtors stay up to date on relevant data in the markets they serve. It organizes information about your listings, such as neighborhood data, mortgage history and local schools, in one convenient location. When a client texts or calls you with a question about a listing, you can pull up everything you need quickly and easily.

But it doesn’t stop there. You can generate reports on properties and send them to clients with your own branding. And you can add notes to properties and choose to keep this information private or share it with clients. When you’re out and about, use the location feature to bring up data about the area you’re in, such as local records, new listings, flood zones and more. 

Canva

Canva is a graphic design tool that lets you create any kind of marketing materials you can think of with ease. Design your own letterhead, Pinterest graphic, Facebook post and more. You can upload your own images or choose from any of the stock images available on the app. Then, customize the dimensions, text and background color.

Use this app to create one-of-a-kind marketing images that will impress your clients and garner the attention of new prospects.

Don’t forget! HomeActions sends out real estate newsletters on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your clients. Learn more about how to get started today.

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2019 Social Media Guide for Real Estate Agents

By now, most real estate agents know that social media is a powerful tool to attract leads on a regular basis. How to do it is the next question. As we approach 2019, it requires more than a Facebook and Twitter account that you sometimes post on to have a successful online presence.

In order to be a competitive real estate agent in today’s market, you must implement some tricks of the trade when it comes to social media.

You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to apply good social media tactics once you get started — and delighted when you start seeing more leads roll in.

Don’t Ignore Instagram

Instagram might be something you shied away from in the past because it felt more obscure and less impactful to your audience compared with Facebook or Twitter. That’s no longer the case. Over 100 million people in the U.S. use Instagram, and that number is growing.

As a mobile platform, Instagram is extremely accessible. Users can open it easily on their phones and browse the accounts they follow at leisure. This increased accessibility leads to more likes and engagement on Instagram content, which can ultimately convert to leads.

Also, people are responding more to visual content these days. Instagram is the visual content leader. Every post should feature a high-quality photograph or video. Use this tutorial on how to take Instagram-worthy photos.

Realtors can use Instagram to post breathtaking listing photos, appealing images of the areas you serve and videos and photos from trade shows.

Get on the Video Bandwagon

Video content has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you want to continue to improve the number and quality of leads you receive, look into creating video content. Videos can feature new listings, contests, home-buying webinars — the possibilities are endless. Get creative with the ways you use video and consider the types of content your audience wants to see. This will assist you in making more meaningful connections with new and existing clients.

Check out this tutorial on creating social videos for the first time.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 concept has been around for a while, but now that we’re approaching 2019, it’s more important than ever to adhere to this rule if you want to be successful in your social media efforts.

What you post on social media should be 80% content that benefits your audience, such as blog posts about buying and selling, infographics, etc., and 20% content about your real estate business, such as certain milestones and marketing your services.

Since you’re delivering useful information that will help people navigate the housing market, they will be more apt to engage with promotional items from you when you post them.

Hook Yourself Up With a Social Scheduling Tool

Consistency is key to creating a social media strategy that will increase leads in 2019. You cannot post daily for a month and then drop off the face of the earth the following month when things get busy. Nor should you put out all your content for the entire week on one day. That’s a good way to make sure your content gets lost in the shuffle.

If you don’t have time to write new social posts daily, no problem. There are many social media scheduling tools out there that let you write a batch of social posts ahead of time, and the scheduling tool sends them out when you tell it to.

Popular options on the market are Hootsuite, Hubspot and Sproutsocial

Social media is becoming more nuanced but also more powerful. To continue to attract leads through social media, you need to adapt, just a little, to the ways that it’s changing.

Don’t forget! HomeActions sends out real estate newsletters on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your clients. Learn more about how to get started today.

Learn More About HomeActions

How Can REALTORS Market Themselves to Millennial Homebuyers?

Millennial homebuyers are a big part of the home-buying market. While they’ve gotten a late start in homeownership compared to previous generations, there is now a significant uptick in the number of house hunters who identify as millennials.

This new group of homebuyers requires unique tactics when it comes to marketing yourself to them as a REALTOR®. If you’ve been in the biz for a long time, your old tricks might not work on millennials.

Use these tips to market yourself as a real estate resource to millennial homebuyers.

Be Comfortable Texting During Off-Hours

Millennial house hunters are going to expect you to use text as a means of communication. That doesn’t mean that calling is out the window, but millennials prefer texting to get quick information at their convenience. Not every question requires a long conversation — millennials see that as a time suck.

You even may want to change your working hours slightly to be available to answer questions after 5 p.m. Millennials are busy and work long hours. When they do find the time to connect with you, you want to be sure that you’re available to them.

Be Active on Social Media

Millennials are like no other generation in that they get the bulk of their news online — even through social media. These days, you can follow all kinds of news outlets to get quick updates about what’s going on in the world. Being active on social media is the perfect way to get in front of millennial homebuyers. Post about your listings, open houses, successes, goings-on in your office and more. Keep the content varied and interesting. Millennials will follow you. They are used to following the businesses they frequent, such as hair salons, restaurants and local bands.

Provide Reliable Reviews

Since the internet is inundated with reviews, millennials know they can’t trust all of them. That’s why you need to provide reviews in more than just a written format. If you can get a past client to submit a video testimonial, it will come off as much more authentic than a written review that could have been faked easily.

Not only that, but make sure your business website as well as your Facebook and LinkedIn pages have verifiable reviews.

Be an Educational Resource

A great way to promote yourself to millennials is to be a real estate resource for them; position yourself as a voice of authority in the industry to increase your clout and gain their trust.

Millennials spend money on experiential learning, so give them just that. You can host events at your office or at a bar as a networking opportunity for newcomers to the area to get to know their local real estate agent. Or you can offer first-time homebuyer classes in person or online. Try offering a free webinar on buying a home and asking for a small donation or charging for any follow-up webinars. This gives your audience a taste for the kind of expert advice you can offer and will make them more apt to pay for this type of content the next time around.

Be Consistent With Your Real Estate Newsletter

One of the best ways to stay top of mind with homebuyers from every generation is through consistently reaching out with your email newsletter. Millennials in particular are used to this kind of communication from businesses. Chances are they subscribe to lots of newsletters from companies they value.

Providing bimonthly eNewsletters featuring great content about real estate news and trends will give you an edge with millennial homebuyers. If you don’t have your own real estate newsletter yet, read here for everything you need to get started.

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Is Your Elevator Pitch Everything It Should Be?

Take a second to go over your elevator pitch, and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Is my pitch unique from those of other agents?
  2. Do I use more “you” pronouns than “I” pronouns?
  3. Does my pitch end with a CTA (call to action)?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, chances are your 30-second real estate pitch may need some fine-tuning. It’s crucial that when someone asks you what you do, you give them an answer that highlights your successes while also speaking to their personal needs. Let’s examine the questions from above and discover why they are important.

Is My Pitch Unique?

Don’t tell them you’re a real estate agent

We’re not suggesting you lie, rather that you do more than state the obvious.

You have to find a way to stand out from other real estate agents. If someone asks what you do and you reply that you’re a Realtor, you are instantly painting a picture in their minds of what a real estate agent does, and you want to point out that you’re more than that. An effective elevator pitch will speak to your particular niche. Consider your strengths and design your pitch around what sets you apart from other agents.

Do I Use More “You” Pronouns Than “I” Pronouns?

Address them on a personal level 

The first thing you should do is identify a problem that lots of people face when it comes to real estate. For instance, “You know how buying in a seller’s market makes it nearly impossible to get a good deal?” After you address a problem that lots of people have, dazzle ‘em with your solution. “Well I help homebuyers like you get the most home for their money, no matter the housing climate.”

The use of the you pronoun personalizes the message and makes your audience feel like you are speaking to their experiences and not delivering a speech.

When you sell yourself in this way, people are much more likely to refer you to someone they know who just happens to be having bad luck finding the right home in their budget.

Bonus: After you hook them, follow up with some proof: “In fact, I helped more than 40 homebuyers so far this year buy homes well within their budget.”

Does It End With a CTA?

Give them something to do next

The best way to end an elevator pitch is with action steps for your audience to take next. Invite them to follow you on social media, ask them to sign up for your eNewsletter, tell them to check out your website — anything that will prompt them to take a step toward using your services.

Business cards are fine, but it’s even better if you can show them your Facebook or Twitter and get them to hit follow right then and there. Or get them to sign up for your email newsletter to receive routine communication from you. If you’re not set up with your own real estate newsletter to send to clients, click here.

Don’t get locked into a stock image of what people think of when you say you’re a real estate agent or Realtor — make them think of your profession in a way they’ve never considered

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Your National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo Recap Brought to You by HomeActions

We had the pleasure of meeting so many of you this past weekend at the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Conference & Expo in historic downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was a fun-filled weekend of info sessions held by industry leaders in real estate, networking opportunities and a trade show with more than 400 exhibitors.

Our amazing partners, CellAHome and Connect Now were also in attendance and we were so grateful to chat with all of you face-to-face. To virtual companies like ours, the kind of connections we’re able to make with our customers at the NAR conference is invaluable.

“It’s a great opportunity for brokers who haven’t heard of us to come and meet us and see if this is something they want presented to their office,” Katie Friedman, Regional Sales Director at HomeActions said about the conference. “We were also able to explain to clients the new social sharing feature we’re now offering to our customers.”

When asked about the best parts of the conference this year, Katie said, “The puppies were amazing! I picked up this white Husky with bright blue eyes and it made my morning. Oh, and Fall Out Boy put on a great show this year.”

If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, check out these highlights!

The HomeActions Booth

Our ONEHOPE Glitter Edition Wine raffle was a total hit this year with three lucky winners! 

HomeActions merch!

 

Visit the HomeActions Facebook page for more event highlights!

SURVEY: Do you use fresh or artificial flowers in your home?

We surveyed our readers to find out if they use a fresh or artificial flowers

HomeActions newsletters are distributed by over 5,000 real estate professionals reaching over 3 million email newsletter readers every two weeks. This week, we’re polling our readers to find out if they use a fresh or artificial flowers. Find out how they responded to our November 2018 survey.

> View November Survey Results > View All 2018 Surveys

5 Best Sites For Realtors 2018

Where can Realtors go for expert advice? What are the best resources to help agents grow their business?

Real estate agents need a place to gather the best industry advice on the web. That’s why we’ve rounded up the 5 best websites for Realtors to go to for information on housing trends, lead generation, goal setting and more.

Real Estate Daily

RED offers quality content to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the housing market. Many of the articles feature a section called “key takeaways” to help you get the most important information. This is a site that realizes how busy agents are and crafts their content to deliver you fast, beneficial information on the go.

 

Apart from RED’s headlines, agents also should check out RED’s Pro-Marketing and Pro-Technology sections. These verticals offer agent-specific information to help improve your real estate business. What should you check out on RED?
5 Obnoxious Tactics Used in Real Estate … and What to Do Instead

 

BoomTown Blog

The BoomTown blog is a great resource for agents. It’s not overly fancy, but on a consistent basis, it provides tips and advice about life as a real estate agent. Articles are easy to navigate and usually include fun GIFs. You will find great content about housing market trends, technology and marketing tips.

 

Check out on BoomTown: Busted! 7 Myths About Real Estate Leads We Can Finally Put to Rest and 5 Morning Habits of the Most Successful Real Estate Professionals.

 

Tom Ferry Blog Blog

Tom Ferry’s blog features varied content about real estate life, running a business, self-improvement and more. What makes this an excellent blog is that it touches on different aspects of work life; it has tons of content about goal setting and improving your quality of life.

 

Getting down to the mechanics, the blog has simple navigation, the content is easy to digest, videos are high quality and the chatbot is actually helpful. What should you check out first on Tom Ferry? Success Secrets from 3 Of The Most Successful Women Real Estate

 

Tim & Julie Harris

A nice mix of blogs, podcasts and videos. They have a very robust podcast series covering lead generation, motivation, buyer agents and more. You can find up-to-date information on what’s trending in real estate in the “Market News” vertical, with a range of content such as Best Neighborhoods for Real Estate Buying and Investing and Bomb Shelter Converted into Luxury Cave.

 

They also have an entire vertical dedicated to lead generation. It consists almost exclusively of podcasts, but it touches on all types of questions and concerns with regard to real estate lead generation. We suggest checking out this recent podcast: Podcast: Motivational Overdrive To Beat The Autumn Slowdown

 

HomeActions Blog

Can you blame us for shouting ourselves out? The HomeActions blog is a growing community of agents seeking expert advice on how to improve their real estate business. You can test your knowledge about real estate with our 2017-2018 Quiz. Check out other topics, such as handling client objections and using social media to promote open houses.

 

It’s our mission to keep you informed about how to stay top of mind with your clients and how to create a thriving referral business. If you haven’t already, check out our post How to Set Goals and Reach Them as a Real Estate Agent.

 

DON’T FORGET! HomeActions provides automated real estate newsletters for you to send to your clients. We design the newsletter, write the content and send it out on your behalf so you can easily stay top of mind with your real estate clients.

Learn More About HomeActions

SURVEY: When do you put your air conditioner away for the fall?

We surveyed our readers to find out when they put their air conditioners away for the fall

HomeActions newsletters are distributed by over 5,000 real estate professionals reaching over 3 million email newsletter readers every two weeks. This week, we’re polling our readers to find out when they put their air conditioners away for the fall. Find out how they responded to our October 2018 survey.

> View October Survey Results > View All 2018 Surveys

How to Handle Objections from Real Estate Clients

Are you unsure about how to handle objections from potential real estate clients? Sometimes certain questions can throw you off your game, but it’s important to deal with these situations head-on. These tactics will help you do just that.

You will find that these tips are actually quite simple but will have a lasting, positive effect on your real estate business.

Get (a Little) Scripted

Anyone in the real estate game knows that they will be faced with objections from clients. Since you know it’s coming, prepare yourself for some of the most common objections agents receive. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little scripted in your response. It’s much better than floundering in your answer and not coming across as confident when clients push back.

Take this common objection for example: I want to list the house myself and avoid paying commission fees to a seller’s agent. 

Your response can be something along the lines of: “I hear you. You want to save wherever you can. However, are you prepared to do all of the legal paperwork after the sale of the home? After the home is sold, there is a slew of legal legwork that the listing agent typically handles to make sure that the sale goes through. If you decide to sell the home on your own, you have to be OK with the fact that you could potentially be sued if you don’t file the paperwork correctly — even if it is just a simple mistake. Are you willing to take that risk?”

Also mention, “Consider the fact that it may be tricky to get a buyer’s agents to work with you. Many of them won’t even consider working with the homeowner directly because of the risk it poses to their own business.”

Know Your Worth

Realtors get faced with this request often: “Can you lower your commission fee?” The short answer should be, no, but you can present your response in a way that highlights the kind of value you offer and why agreeing to a lower fee would be a detriment to both parties.

If a client asks for a commission cut, lay out the marketing plan, your negotiation skills and your track record, and don’t waver. For example: “Let me take you through a breakdown of where that number comes from. Part of what you’re paying for with that fee is the marketing strategy I will put together to sell your house as quickly as possible for the best price. You’re also paying for my expertise. Perhaps there are agents out there who will settle for a lower fee, but they don’t have the same track record as I do when it comes to selling homes. And they definitely don’t have the same level of negotiating skills as I do. If I instantly gave in when you asked me to lower my fee, what does that say about how I’ll perform when we are negotiating the sale of your home?”

State the Facts

A client may reject your offer because they have a friend who is an agent who they promised to work with. While you should let them know that their loyalty is admirable, it may not be the wisest decision to work with a friend.

Remind them: “Have you ever given a task to a friend and weren’t 100% satisfied with the outcome? Is that a risk you’re willing to take on the sale of your home?”

Then, state the facts. If you sold 80 homes in the past year, make sure they know it. If you’ve been in the business for 20 years, state that too. These are favorable attributes that should not go unnoticed.

You could even be so bold as to bring up their friend’s MLS listing and yours at the same time to compare, assuming that you know you have stronger stats than he or she does. That will really paint a lasting image in their minds!

Key Takeaways

Write yourself a rough script to answer the objections you get all the time.

Don’t waver on the commission fee —  explain where it comes from.

Reiterate your track record.

DON’T FORGET! HomeActions provides automated real estate newsletters for you to send out to your clients. We design the newsletter, write the content and send it out on your behalf so you can easily stay top of mind with your real estate clients.

Learn More About HomeActions