Changes in seasonality bring different trends to the residential real estate market that savvy REALTORS® know how to address. As the summer vacation season shifts into fall, for example, there are several things you can do to increase business opportunities.
The most obvious trend stemming from summer’s end involves families with school-aged children. Few parents want to move their kids after school starts so home sales within this demographic understandably go on a decline each September.
On the other hand, Seasonal Patterns in Home Sales Data, a post from the Economist’s Outlook blog, indicates that singles, young couples, and empty nesters are still in the market well into fall and are more likely to purchase a home during this season than any other buying group. Further, these buyers are prone to close a deal quickly, because most want to get into their new home well before the holiday season begins.
So the idea of shifting your marketing strategy to address younger professionals without families makes sense right now. This is particularly the case if you have listings located near a dense population of rental properties.
Other fall trends to note include:
- Lower Prices— Sellers oftentimes lower the prices of their properties, because they do not want their homes to remain on the market during or after the holiday season.
- Less Buying Competition — Fewer buyers are in the immediate market to purchase homes in the fall, which decreases the likelihood of bidding wars.
For more insight on what to expect on how seasonality and other economic factors will affect the fall selling season, watch a video entitled, Pending Sales Decline in August, which offers insight by NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
Looking for Staging Tips this Fall Season?
Share effective changes in your marketing strategy to close deals in the fall.
Periodically, The Member’s Edge lists mobile applications (apps) for busy REALTORS® looking for ways to improve efficiencies, communications and overall business lifestyles. Following are several apps that recently caught our eye:
1. YouMail Visual Voicemail
There will be a time when you are not in a convenient place to engage in a live conversation on your smart phone. However, the call may contain a vital piece of information that you need for what you are working on right now. Wouldn’t it be convenient to simply get an email of that information sent to your smartphone in real time? That’s exactly what the Youmail Visual Voicemail app does. Even voice mails that are not immediately received by your cell phone due to a bad signal will be sent to your email. $4.99/Mo. │ Apple │ Android
Upload images from your computer or grab from Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr or elsewhere to create wonderful property photo video montages. Animoto allows you to establish a professional-quality visual story of your listings and share them with buyers, agents and other interested parties. You can even add a fun music soundtrack for each property file. FREE │ Apple │ Android
Offer letters, home inspection results, estimates for house repairs, recent tax bills, etc. The list of documents that buyers and sellers will need grows as deals get nearer to close. And oftentimes busy agents are forced to re-send documents that were sent several times prior. With the Dropbox app a password-protected file can be created that allows critical documents to be available for all parties to view in one single folder. Documents can be updated or edited with changes viewable to all in real time. FREE │ Apple │ Android
Turn any Smartphone into a scanner with CamScanner. This app is a great fit for busy brokers who want to scan, sync, edit, share and manage various contents on the spot, particularly signed documents that need to be sent to colleagues during fast-moving negotiations. CamScanner employs a cropping and enhancing feature that leads to clearer images. Once scanned, the information can be saved as a PDF and easily shared or saved in the cloud. FREE │ Apple │ Android
5. Mortgage Calculator
Most people have a pretty good idea what they can afford when it comes to taking on a mortgage, but it never hurts to have instant access to a variety of finances on your Smartphone. This is one of many useful apps like it that bring immediate access to monthly payments with a few simple entries, such as principle payment percentage, amount to be mortgaged, current interest rates and time to pay off loans. Charts and amortization tables are provided. FREE │ Apple │ Android
Foursquare is a location-based social media network that real estate agents can use to tag listings. Use the app to promote properties as a place of interest to other real estate brokers or home buyers who may be in the area. Combine with Instagram linking viewers to photo montages of appealing or unique features such as outdoor scenic gardens or fall foliage that may be seasonally appealing. Key selling features inside the home are also great things to post. Home buyers and other agents using Foursquare will come across your postings each time they log onto their account and are geographically nearby your listing’s location. FREE │ Apple │ Android
7. Glossary Real Estate Terms
Even if you think you know every real estate word ever created, there may come a time when certain industry terms are unfamiliar. This app provides instant access to a wealth of real estate terms and what they mean. Ideal for newcomers to the industry, this app may also come in handy for seasoned veterans as well. In either case, invite curious buyer and seller customers to check out this app as a means to learn more about the real estate industry at large. Doing so will help build trust with clients. FREE │ Apple (Not Available) │ Android
8. DriveSafe.ly SMS Reader
It’s human nature to want to read text messages and emails as you are driving, particularly during the business day. It is also illegal nearly everywhere for obvious reasons. This app allows busy agents to listen to emails and TXT messages aloud while driving. Fee-based versions lets users respond via voice. This app allows agents to get work done while driving while greatly reducing the risk of causing an accident. FREE │ Apple │ Android
9. Realtor.com Real Estate, Homes
Share this app with consumer customers for sure, but also use it yourself to find homes that are both for sale and rent. Homes can now be sorted based on school and district assignment boundaries. This app gives instant access to property photos, tax data, home sales history and school ratings. Custom searches can be defined by areas on a map. Details about open houses, recently-sold homes and rentals are available with one simple touch. FREE │ Apple │ Android
10. NAR Member Center
Member Center app offers exclusive access to member benefits from the The National Association of REALTORS®. Access the information you use most, including the latest benefits, association contact information, educational programs, advocacy updates and more. You can also use the app to customize your membership card and get the latest personalized information on events from your primary State and Local Associations. FREE │ Apple │ Android
One More to Consider
One website to consider visiting is www.repurposeapps.com, where real estate professionals recommend and share creative ways they use apps for their business. Visit this site often to learn how to use well-known apps in ways you never before thought were possible to benefit your business. Also check out REALTOR® Magazine’s Best of the Web 2013: Apps article for a list of REALTOR® Magazine‘s picks for 2013.
Networking with other brokers is a fantastic way to not only build a strong professional image in your market, but it can also drive deals that close smoothly and efficiently. Even meeting peers who operate out of state may bring you long-term business opportunities that you never thought were possible.
The number one reason why meeting peers is important is simply because professionals work better with individuals whom they know and trust. Better still, customers on both sides of a transaction will be more apt to close deals with their retained REALTORS® when these professionals say they are familiar with each other and attest to their expertise as fair, diligent, responsive and cooperative. This brings peace of mind that a deal is being negotiated with the best interests of all parties intact.
The peers in your office are a great place to start networking. This of course assumes you have affiliated your business through a specific company that retains the services of several brokers. Take the initiative and introduce yourself to fellow REALTORS® across the aisle. Discuss issues they frequently encounter and agree on ways to overcome them as partners in any given transaction.
Also take time to get to know other brokers outside your office, especially those who work for competing affiliations in and around the communities you serve. You never know when you will be partnered together on a future transaction. Building a rapport as a trusted professional will generate positive word-of-mouth branding of your services throughout industry and make working with new brokers a smoother proposition.
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The relationships REALTORS® build and manage can lead to big business stemming from referrals. Case in point: forty-one percent of buyers found their agent through a referral from a friend or family member, according to a 2011 National Association of Realtors® report entitled Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Another 2012 NAR study indicated 67% of buyers and sellers contacted and selected just ONE agent to help them with their transaction.
One way to interpret this data is that most buyers and sellers do not even think about partnering with a broker until the need arises. The real estate agent they chose to work with is usually one they have worked with before OR yet another who is on the top of their minds at this time. That agent could be you by consistently making networking a regular part of your business practice right now.
Building your Network:
This blog previously referenced several digital marketing strategies that will be an important part of your networking strategy. For business networking purposes, the best place to start is LinkedIn. More than 225 million users rely on LinkedIn to both gain and pass on referrals for their respective business endeavors. It takes just 10 minutes to establish a basic LinkedIn profile for free. You’ll be surprised at how many people you know once you sign up. Be sure to invite all of them into your network, even request that individuals you know well to “endorse” your services.
Making the transition from selling residential properties to selling commercial real estate can be an exciting move for any REALTOR®. But as with any professional move, the transition to commercial real estate presents unique challenges. If you plan ahead, do your market research, and apprise yourself of the latest trends, you’ll be able to break into the market and hit the ground running. To help ease the transition, here are 7 Tips for Selling Commercial Real Estate.
1. Talk to other commercial real estate agents. Ask if they have any tips for making the transition, or if they have particular expertise in your local market. You might even ask if they’ll help you gain experience by co-listing a property to start, allowing you to shadow them through the process. Continue reading »