Real Estate Tip of the Week: Set a Marketing Plan

With 2020 in full swing, it’s important that you lay down a real estate marketing plan that will help drive future leads and put you ahead of the game.

While it may sounds daunting, we’ve got the tips to help you out.

Content marketing is all about providing real-time information that buyers and sellers are looking for – this doesn’t always have to be statistics on the real estate market, but rather, could also be any new developments taking place in your local area, open houses your hosting in a new neighborhood, or even networking events that you’re attending!

Why is market planning important?

  1. You become the local area / neighborhood / real estate guru – people recognize your brand, your name, and know to reach out to you.
  2. You show potential buyers and sellers how knowledgeable you are on the market, and how you will go above and beyond to secure their transaction.
  3. You create a flow of business where repeat buyers and sellers come back to you – or refer you to others.

Here’s how you get started:

Create Goals

It helps to have a clear idea of where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase traffic to your listings? Do you want to increase the amount of clicks on your blog? Do you want to reach more people through a specific social media platform?

Be sure that you are setting realistic and attainable goals. You don’t want to feel defeated!

Plan Content

You’ll want to schedule how often and when you’re developing and posting content. Stick to a routine schedule, so consumers can expect when to see a post from you.

Here’s a link that shows the best days and times to post to social media.

What do you post?

Be sure to make it fun – get eyes on your page or your profile! Whether it’s posting a Boomarang on Instagram, uploading a video discussing the latest stats on Facebook, or sharing a thought-provoking article on LinkedIn – make it engaging and make it fun.

Here are some content ideas:

  • A home preview (video, Instagram live, photos on your FB album)
  • Q & A Sessions (this would be best through a “live” feature – through Instagram where consumers can type in questions)
  • Setting up for your open house
  • Discuss the process of purchasing or selling a home
  • Show any new developments that are happening within the community (a new coffee shop, restaurant, bar, business building, etc.)

Once you have your marketing plan set and scheduled, stick with it! It’s important to be consistent, and of course, to engage.

Want more real estate tips? Check out Alliance Title’s Blog here.

The Cold Bothers Homeowners: Easy Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Hear us out – even though it’s (possibly) freezing outside, your home still needs the time and care it receives over the summer months.

But that doesn’t mean we’re suggesting insane home maintenance projects! Below, you’ll find a list of easy-to-manage home projects that just happen to take place during the winter months. These projects can help you save money on the electric bill and help prevent any expensive repairs.

Take a quick peak at what we’ve got for you below:

Trim Branches

You’ll want to avoid potential property damage if any unforeseen winter winds take up! You can have the trees on your property inspected and treated. You don’t want branches breaking through a window, your roof, or even damaging cars.

Weatherproof Windows

Most windows develop an air gap over a period of time – this can cause an energy loss in your bill for heating and cooling!

To update, remove any old caulking and use a caulk gun to apply a newer, smoother level. Check out this article for more information.

Schedule a Roof Inspection

Yes, this isn’t as simple of a DIY, but it can help in the long run. Checking for missing shingles, roof tiles, and damage to your roof can help prevent any possible leaks or other expensive repairs down the road.

While these are only three suggestions – they are important to maintain the health of your home. For more winter home maintenance suggestions, check out HouseBeautiful’s article here.

Bigger vs. Smaller Home – What Downsizers Miss

The grass is greener on the other side – but, is it?

Homes.com released a survey focusing on homeowners who have recently downsized; the survey found that while downsizing was the better option for them financially, it didn’t necessarily mean immediate happiness.

Half of the respondents cited “getting rid of possessions” as a major challenge when downsizing to a smaller home, with loss of space as one of the greatest challenges.

If you had to decide between keeping your comfy sectional couch, or your antique dining room table, you’d have a difficult time too!

Another interesting find: 19% of homeowners became more distant from family and friends after they moved into a smaller home.

The survey also highlighted that on average, parents with adult children waited 5 years after they moved out before deciding to downsize – giving their children the option of moving back home, if need be.

Check out Homes.com’s infographic below!

Infographic provided by Homes.com

Want more real estate news? Check out Alliance Title’s Blog for more!

Real Estate of the Decade: How Did Neighborhoods Fare?

With 2020 approaching, it’s time we take a step back and look at how far real estate has come since 2010. After nearly a decade, some drastic changes have been implemented into the market.

At the start of 2010, real estate was in some tough waters: home values were at their lowest and delinquency in mortgages was high. But now, as 2020 approaches, home values have recovered (along with the economy) and mortgage rates are at a historic low.

The new challenges of 2020? Well, much of the country is still grappling with housing affordability and lack of homes for sale.

Below, you’ll find Redfin’s research of the housing markets that have experienced the most dramatic changes over the past decade.

Take a look here:

  • Highest % increase in home prices: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Biggest contrast between increase in home prices and decline in incomes: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Largest dollar value jump in home prices: San Francisco, California
  • Greatest decline in days on market: Long Island’s Nassau County, New York
  • Steepest drop in home supply: Salt Lake City, Utah

We’ll have to wait to see what 2020 will bring – but with the decade coming to a close, it’s interesting to see where real estate has come.

Deck the Halls and Test Your DIY Homeowner Skills

Being a homeowner, you might already know the frustration of attempting a DIY home project yourself, rather than hiring a professional.

But – you’re not alone!

A new survey released from HireAHelper found that many homeowners would tackle a renovation first before hiring someone.

Which projects are homeowner most comfortable with, you ask?

86% of homeowners would rather assemble furniture themselves than hire a professional. The project homeowners are least comfortable with – installing a ceiling fan.

The second project homeowners feel confident tackling: unclogging a toilet. When it comes to generational groups, however, 1 in 4 Gen Zers would rather hire someone to unclog a toilet, than complete the task themselves.

Check out HireAHelper’s infographic below:

Infographic from HireAHelper

Want more real estate stats? Check out Alliance’s Blog here.

Must Love Dogs: Condo Requirements Before Move-In

There might be some ruff news for future homebuyers if you’re looking to purchase in a condo.

Home shoppers know that when it comes to finalizing a home transaction, you’re going to need to send in financial statements, tax returns, and more – to condo and co-op boards before you’re accepted.

But now, a lot of condos are requesting an extra step if you own a pet.

Some condos and co-ops are requiring headshots, resumes, recommendation letters, and even sit-in interviews for pets.

As of now, this is more popular in New York City – where pet interviews are mandatory in order to ensure pets won’t fight other residents or bark throughout the night. Those on the board believe they might be held legally liable if the pet bites another person in one of the common spaces.

Some pets, if listed as “banned”, have the opportunity to try out a trial period – if the resident signs a letter that acknowledges the dog can remain in the building only at the board’s discretion.

While this might be another hoop to jump through – maybe a cute sweater or bow tie might help your pet pass on a good first impression.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog here.

Real Estate Tip of the Week: Keeping Up with 2020 Trends

The real estate world is constantly changing and expanding – and it’s important that you, as a real estate agent, stay at the forefront of it.

Instead of being fearful of the industry changes, embrace it! Change will always occur, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt. Here are some tips to ensure your relevance in the upcoming 2020 real estate year.

Security Updates

According to Real Estate Consulting Firm, T3 Sixty, in 2018, more than 11,000 real estate data crime victims lost $150 million in total. Not good.

But – there are ways you can combat this problem. With new technology, comes new ways to hack – so it’s important that you keep your vigilance. Here are some tips:

  • Update your passwords – check out our recent blog on updating your password here.
  • Verify, verify, verify – call your client, lender, etc., when you have received an email about any updates or changes to your transaction.
  • Update your programs – make sure your computers and cell phones are on the most current update.
  • Two-Step Authentication – requiring a second form of identification can thwart potential hackers.

iBuyer Growth

Not all brokerages have implemented this feature yet – but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. iBuyers are a quicker sale and is essentially all online. Atlanta Real Estate coach, Dr. Lee Davenport, has a great article discussing the advantages to jumping aboard the iBuyer train – and how to do it.

Referrals and Leads

The average consumer spends $10,000 on services like movers, insurance, utilities, home security, and home improvements within the first six weeks of a home purchase.

Using a third-party vendor to offer referrals for these services after your client’s transaction has been completed is predicted to go on the rise – and hey, it offers a great structure for a referral base.

These are just a few of the changes that are heading our way in the real estate world. Let’s make this a successful year – check out the rest of Alliance Title’s blog to stay in the know!

Prepping for the Final Walk-Through as a Home Buyer

Before you sign on the dotted line to purchase your home, you’ll need to complete a final walk-through as one of your last steps.

But what does this mean?

Here’s the final walk-through breakdown:

The final walk-through will usually happen before the settlement. Buyers can check on the condition of the property to double-check that any negotiated work has been completed to feel comfortable with the home’s systems.

While you’re completing your walk-through, take a peek at some of these things:

  • Test all major appliances
  • Run the heating and air conditioning
  • Turn on and off all lights
  • Open and shut all windows and doors
  • Run all the faucets and check for leaks
  • Flush all the toilets and check for leaks
  • Walk around the outside of the home to check for any obvious damage
  • Double-check that any agreed-upon repairs have been made
  • Double-check that any fixtures that are supposed to be left behind are still in place 

Once you’ve scheduled your walk-through, make sure you leave plenty of time to complete your list. This is a big purchase, so you’ll want to make sure you’re feeling confident and good-to-go come closing time.

Want more real estate guides? Stop by Alliance’s Blog for more!

Tick Tock on Winter’s Clock – Time to Buy a Home

The first day of winter is approaching, and with that, comes the best time to purchase a home!

ATTOM Data Solutions recently released their analysis of the best days of the year to buy a home. According to the research, the biggest discounts fall the day after Christmas or on New Year’s Eve.

Compared to the summer months, December can help you save BIG time.

The month of December will still have about a 1.2% premium – but the month of June usually has the highest of 7.1%.

The best days to purchase according to ATTOM researchers: Dec. 26, Dec. 31, and Dec. 4 – in that order.

Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, explains, “While lots of folks are shopping the day-after Christmas sales or getting ready to ring in the New Year, our data shows that buyers and investors are buying homes on those days at a discount.”

So if you’re in the market to purchase a home….aim for those closing days.

Want more real estate news? Be sure to check out Alliance Title’s Blog.

Real Estate Tip of the Week: Guiding Your Clients Through the Financial Process

As a guru of the real estate world, clients will look to you for help and advice when it comes to financing a home.

While you aren’t a financial advisor, you can certainly guide them through the home buying process, and showcase different options that are available to them. You might even be able to refer them to a lender or brokerage.

Here are some of the things you can do to help:

Ask Questions

You’ll want to get a good idea of where your clients want to be in the future. Getting to know why they want to purchase a home, the type of home they’re looking for, and what they’ve done financially to prepare for this next step can be beneficial in your guidance.

Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What areas have you looked at to purchase a home?
    • Different locations can mean different options for loans.
  • How long do you see yourself staying in this home?
    • Depending on how long they see themselves living there, can greatly affect the type of loan they choose. A 15-year mortgage might make more sense than a 30-year mortgage.

Preparation

After you get a better idea of where your clients stand, you’ll want to connect them with a lender or mortgage broker.

Let them know they’ll need to prepare documents ahead of a meeting with a lender:

  • Clear idea of how much money they can put down for the down payment
  • No surprises on any existing debt – the more upfront they are, the better
  • Most recent pay stub
  • W-2s from the past two years
  • Mortgage statements for any other properties they own

Once your client has decided to go with a specific lender, it’ll be the lender’s duty to guide your clients financially.

Want more real estate tips and guides? Stop by Alliance Title’s Blog here.