June 2017 Marketing Minute

Existing home sales hit 5.62 million units in May, vs. expectations of 5.57 million

The May home sales numbers are in from NAR, beating economists’ estimates. The median house price rose to an all-time high, namely due to a shortage of homes on the market relative to demand nationwide. Read the full story here.

Boost Your Real Estate Business with the Three “C’s” of Marketing

If you have ever taken a marketing course, you’ve likely heard of the four “P’s” of marketing (product, price, promotion and place), but one marketing agency offers up the 3 “C’s.” Our team here at Homes & Land agrees with their approach of focusing on Consistency, Creativity and Commitment when building out your marketing program. Get their perspective here.

Who’s Powering the Housing Market? Surprise! It’s Millennials!

Much of the news coverage about buying habits of Millennials has focused on their inability and/or unwillingness to purchase a home vs. rent. However, it may come as a surprise that they are actually the largest group of homebuyers in the US! It’s part of the reason why our team continues to invest in new technologies ? like text codes ? to engage what is now the largest group of homebuyers for the fourth straight year. Read the entire article from NBC here.

Creating the Ultimate Buyer Experience

Creating memorable buying experiences can often be the difference in obtaining a one-time customer, or a lifelong customer who also refers their friends and family to you. These tips provide a good refresher on how to ensure your buyers are wowed by their experience with you. Check out the full article here.

How to Perfect Your Pre-Listing Presentation

Winning listings often comes down to first impressions. The real estate consultant in this article provides an interesting perspective on how to maximize your chances when vying for a new listing. He recommends a strong listing presentation, coupled with getting it in front of as many sellers as possible. Read all of the recommendations here.

QUICK LINKS

Boomers Look To Real Estate To Afford Retirement

These are the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.

Big drop in mortgage rates juices refinances, but doesn’t seduce buyers

“As marketing converges with customer service and sales, marketing today is more about helping and less about hypinge.”

—JOEL BOOK,
Principal – Marketing Research & Education Group, ExactTarget

 

HOMES & LAND | JUNE 2017

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Bulletproof Decorating: How to Pick the Right Kind of Paint

Although there’s no such thing as an indestructible interior, there are steps you can take to make your home stand up better to kids and pets. One key element is the kind of paint you choose. The right blend, finish and color can make a difference in how the paint wears and resists grime and abuse.

Here’s what you need to know to make the right choice.

Not all paints are created equal. In the world of paint, price is usually a good determinant of quality, says Robin Daly, the president (aka “Paint Princess”) of Daly’s Paint & Decorating. So is weight. A good-quality paint contains less water, more solids and a finer quality of titanium oxide and resin. That means more of the color actually ends up on the wall, giving you a more durable surface. It will also maintain its looks longer.

Oil change. The most common types of paint are oil based and water borne. (You might know the latter as latex, but nowadays it’s typically an acrylic-based paint, which wears better.) While oil-based paint has traditionally been the tougher of the two, advances in water-borne paint have made it nearly as durable, and you don’t have to suffer through the painstaking cleanup, smell, yellowing and environmental hazard that you get with oil-based paints. (To reduce environmental impact even more, choose a low-VOC or no-VOC paint that produces fewer volatile organic compounds.)

There are times when oil based is better, Daly concedes. But in most applications, a water-borne paint should be your first choice.

The big finish. In high-traffic areas or rooms that will be used by children and pets, go for a paint with a little sheen, because it will be easier to clean. “With families and dogs, you want something durable, but you don’t want it to look like that first apartment you rented, with shiny walls,” says Daly. That’s why she recommends an eggshell finish, which has the least possible sheen but is easier to clean than flat paint, and has a smooth surface (unlike flat), so dirt has nothing to grab on to.

Satin, the paint with the next-higher level of shine, is also an option, although some consider the finish a little colder. The reflective finish also tends to make imperfections in walls easier to see.

Touch-ups. Despite your best efforts, kids will be kids, and the wall might get soiled, burnished or drawn upon. Daly’s first line of defense for cases like that is Krud Kutter, a nontoxic cleaner that removes almost anything you throw at it. (In fact, she gives it to newlyweds as a gift.)

If Krud Kutter doesn’t “kut” it, you may need to repaint the damaged area. That’s harder than it sounds, as it’s difficult to paint a small area without the patch showing. The new coating will affect the thickness of the paint and the density of the color, causing the area to reflect light differently.

You best bet is to repaint that whole section of wall. If you don’t want to do that, try feathering the edges of the patch into the surrounding area, using a disposable foam brush. The touch-up will be easier to hide on light- or medium-colored surfaces.

Alternative easels. Amy Luff of Viva Luxe Studios in Virginia likes to placate budding Picassos by giving them a place where it’s OK to draw on the walls. Cover a surface in their bedroom or the family room with chalkboard paint or dry-erase paint, and turn them loose — with the understanding that that’s the only place in the house where drawing on the walls is permitted.

And if all else fails, Daly says, “keep the Sharpies stored somewhere else.”

Color. Don’t feel like you have to go with a neutral just because you have kids who leave dirty fingerprints. “I wouldn’t get hung up on getting gray or beige to hide things,” says Sherri Blum of Jack and Jill Interiors, a Pennsylvania nursery design company. “If you want bright white, just do it — just get a really high-quality paint in a satin finish.”

If you want a color, you’ll have fewer problems if you avoid darker colors. A wall that’s red, for instance, will often get a shiny mark — called a burnish — if you rub against it. Pale colors and midtones are less susceptible to burnishing.

Don’t forget the ceiling. Bouncing balls and wads of Play-Doh have a habit of finding their way onto the ceiling, so minimize damage by using one of the new washable flat paints there. And, again, go with a good-quality paint if you can afford it, as it will provide better protection from abuse.

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by | June 16, 2017 · 4:49 pm

5 Things to Pay Attention to on a Walk-Through

By Maria Patterson

You’ve done your research online and narrowed down the neighborhoods and homes you’re most interested in. The next step? Visit your top picks in person. But what should you look for? What real estate information will you be able to determine live that you couldn’t find in the photos and details you already looked at online? Here’s a list of what to look for when on a walk-through:

1. The neighborhood. Sure, you found out all about school quality, crime stats, proximity to transportation and more during your online research, but nothing compares to being there. Take a look at traffic patterns, the condition of surrounding homes, the neighbors, their yards, etc. After you’ve toured the house, take a few minutes for a quick stroll around the block. This will give you a much better sense of the neighborhood you may come to call home.

2. The home’s exterior. Photos online only allow you to get so close, so while you’re on site, carefully inspect the entire exterior of the home, advises Forbes. Is the paint chipping? Are the shingles in need of repair? How about the gutters? Repairs needed in any of these areas will factor greatly into your bid or can serve as a helpful negotiating point.

3. The smell. One thing you definitely cannot research online is how a home smells. So put your nose to work to sniff out mold, pet damage, air quality and general cleanliness.

4. The light. Sure, those appealing descriptions may have raved about the home’s natural light, but visit every room of the house to make your own assessment.

5. The size. But wait – with loads of photos and the exact square footage listed online, you already know the size of the home, right? Yes and no. You know the size on paper but you don’t really have a sense of size until you’re there. Photos tend to make rooms look more spacious and ceiling height adds another layer to perceived spaciousness. Above all, the most important thing you will determine from a walk-through is completely intangible, namely, how the home feels. Square footage, gourmet kitchen and wraparound porch aside, you need to be able to picture yourself living there. And that is something you can’t determine until you’re there. So don’t rush – take your time and really try the house on.

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May 2017 Marketing Minute

Successful agent proves content marketing doesn’t have to be tricky

A recent story from Inman talks about one agent’s success using content marketing. It’s a great story that talks about how to leverage your passions outside of work to drive business. Have you ever thought about using content marketing? Read More here.

Housing Sentiment in April Rebounds Following March Dip

Fannie Mae recently announced that April proved to be a strong month for home buyer confidence following a slight dip in March. Of note, the percentage of Americans who believe now is a good time to buy a home increased 5%, while the number of Americans reporting that their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago also increased 2%. Check out their interactive chart showing other consumer confidence metrics here.

26 personal branding insights from real estate experts

Building a powerful personal brand goes hand in hand with positioning yourself as a credible expert in your area. But how do you go about it? This Inman article gives a great, visual look at the “ABC’s“ of personal branding. Read the rest here.

6 Steps to Massively Improve Your Marketing and Branding

Our team here at Homes & Land is constantly focused on providing our clients with a comprehensive strategy to help them gain more listings and sell homes for their clients. This article reinforces that approach by suggesting that a combination of print, social media and digital advertising should be used to improve your marketing and branding efforts. Read more here.

How Real Estate Agents Can Crush Social Media

Social has been a hot topic for years now in the real estate industry. But many agents still struggle with balancing the time it takes to be successful on on the various platforms while ensuring that it’s making an impact on their business. Here are some great tips for maximizing your time on social media. Read more.

QUICK LINKS

5 Life Hacks for busy real estate agents

8 tips & tricks for getting listings as a newly minted agent

7 Snapchat tips for agents

“Approach Each Customer With The Idea Of Helping Him Or Her To Solve A Problem Or Achieve A Goal, Not Of Selling A Product Or Service.”

— BRIAN TRACY,
Motivational public speaker and self-development author

 

HOMES & LAND | MAY 2017

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April 2017 Marketing Minute

What’s the Buyer’s Role in the Appraisal Process?

There has been ongoing debate around whether a listing agent should be part of the appraisal process. There are some states where the listing agent can’t even be present, but for those where it is an option, check out the guys from Inman discussing this topic. Watch video here.

Millennials Are All About the Online Experience — Except in Real Estate

Reaching millennial home buyers remains a hot topic in the industry — from engaging with them on social media, to figuring out how best to communicate with your millennial clients. A new study from CentSai, a financial wellness website, did an interesting study showing that 75% of millennials would prefer to enlist the help of a local real estate agent. Check out the full report from CentSai showing that Millennials are more traditional than you may think when buying a home. Read the full article here.

Home-Building Slides in March, but Permits Show Promise

While home-building numbers were softer than estimates projected, there is still promise for the Spring buying season. When speaking about buying momentum into the spring, EVP of Quicken Loans Bill Banfield says, “Confidence in the housing market and economy is improving, signaling a spring home-buying season that could easily be one of the strongest in years.” Read the rest of story for more details on the housing market. Read more here.

NAR Says Most Realtors Interested in Sustainable Homes

Realtors are sensing an increased demand for sustainable houses from consumers according to a recent survey from NAR. Their latest research shows that it’s worthwhile to highlight the energy efficient aspects of homes. Are you actively promoting the “green” features of homes? Read the full article here.

Drone photography takes the real estate business to new heights

While good photography has long been a hallmark of creating a quality online listing, new technology is pushing this even further. If you often have luxury listings, creating aerial drone footage is a captivating way to differentiate your listing. Take a look at this quick how-to article and video. Read more.

QUICK LINKS

What kinds of marketing agreements can agents and brokers make with lender/title partners?

Do you really need to have a open house?

5 tips agents can use to make a better first digital impression

“Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they’re interested in buying it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds.”

— BARBARA CORCORAN,
American businesswoman, investor, & syndicated columnist

 

HOMES & LAND | APRIL 2017

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