Archive for March, 2013

The Digital House Hunt

March 25, 2013

digital_house_huntAt FUSION 2013 in Las Vegas, I sat in on a session called “The Digital House Hunt: Using Data Search Trends to Tailor Your Online Marketing” hosted by Heather Elias of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). She discussed a special NAR report called “The Digital House Hunt” that was performed with the assistance of Google.

Released in Jan. 2013, this report connects the dots between online home searches and shopping patterns. It shows how shoppers use online tools and sites as they progress through the process. More importantly, it gives you a blueprint for how to market to these consumers.

Here are some highlights from the report: (more…)

Don’t Put Me Out to Pasture Just Yet! (In Defense of “Mature” Agents)

March 18, 2013

mature_agentsAs I am sitting in a gorgeously decorated ballroom at an annual sales achievement awards event, I am listening to the speaker talk about how the average real estate buyer is in their 30’s and the average “pent up demand” buyer (aka fairly recent college grad who is finally employed and out of the family basement or post-college rental) is in their late 20’s or early 30’s, but the average Realtor is 56.

The stats and message come across to some of the attendees as if this is a bad thing, a mismatch or a train wreck about to happen. Looking around the room of top agents, I would bet money that the average age was every bit of 56 or higher.  These are the high achievers; the ones making more than a “living” selling real estate; the ones who live and breathe real estate day in and day out with bargain-hunting buyers and house-proud sellers.

I’m also listening to the stats that 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, creating a huge market for retirement housing and a huge supply of “family homes” to sell.  Something isn’t matching up here.  (more…)

FHA Increasing MIP on Apr. 1

March 11, 2013

fha-mip-changes-2013For the first half of 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has made two major changes to their policies:

1. Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) are scheduled to increase affective April 1, 2013. While Upfront MIP is remaining the same at 1.75%, Monthly MIP is changing from 1.25% to 1.35%.

2. June 3, 2013 the FHA will no longer allow an FHA borrower to cancel their mortgage insurance premium payments when the loan balance drops to 78% of the property’s value!

This is the fifth increase HUD has made to the FHA MIP cost in the past 3 years. In April of 2012, FHA increased the MIP rates from 1% to 1.75% on the Upfront MIP and from .90% to 1.25% on the Monthly MIP. (more…)

The Power of Craigslist

March 4, 2013

craigslist_blogDid you know that Craigslist generates more than 20 billion page views per month, making it the 7th overall most trafficked website in the world? Many sales associates take advantage of Craigslist as a listing resource, but they aren’t using it effectively.

Craigslist isn’t like eBay or other auction sites that charge you to post an item and takes a percentage of the selling price. It’s free to have an account, and you aren’t charged for posting or selling a home, so it’s no wonder that agents across the country use this tool to augment their selling power.

Here are some tips for using Craigslist successfully: (more…)