Expect A Happy New Year For Sales!


Expect A Happy New Year For Sales

“What’s the housing market going to look like in 2015?” When Frank Nothaft asks that question, you can bet he’s got an answer. And from where the chief economist and vice president of mortgage giant Freddie Mac is standing now, the future looks good.

In fact, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s recent forecast is titled “2015: The Purchase Market Strengthens.” Among the key predictions:

  • Total home sales should increase by about 5 percent from 2014 to 2015, to the best sales pace in eight years.
  • Interest rates are expected to climb throughout the year, with rates on the 30-year fixed mortgage averaging 4.6 percent and rising to 5 percent by the end of 2015.
  • Annual house price gains are projected to slow from 9.3 percent in 2013, to 4.5 percent in 2014, and 3 percent in 2015.

Nothaft notes that rising home prices and interest rates will reduce affordability, but says that, historically, the market is moving from very high levels of affordability to high levels of affordability.

The economist’s takeaway for house hunters: “If you are planning to buy a home in the next year, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.”

Watch a video overview of the November 2014 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook or read the commentary

Pin One On!


The new Pinterest feature in the Homes & Land Control Panel makes it easy to “pin” listings on the popular virtual bulletin board. It’s one more way to get properties noticed, then noticed again as Pinterest users re-pin and share listing photos. Additionally, each pin links to the original, detailed listing.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest sells itself as “a place for the good stuff” from the “too-wide Worldwide Web,” a place for users to collect just the items and ideas they like — interesting recipes, craft projects, houses. As Pinterest puts it, pins on your “boards” act as visual bookmarks that whisk you back to the site where they were originally displayed.


Why post on Pinterest?

As a visual social media site that relies on eye-catching photos, it’s a natural pathway for showing off property. Used to its best advantage, Pinterest can:

  • Get listings in front of more potential buyers.
  • Generate social buzz as photos are re-pinned.
  • Drive traffic to detailed online listings and associated websites as users click on pins.


What kinds of boards are good for listings?

You can create as many boards as you like under your name or that of your business. Basic business boards would include at least one for homes for sale. You also might want to set up boards for neighborhoods or communities where you specialize. Neighborhood boards can include other types of pins along with listings, such as pictures of the area or photos that link to websites with official neighborhood information — anything that might be of interest to someone who wants to live there, and anything that builds your reputation as a neighborhood expert.


Who’s using the site?

The Pew Research Internet Project reported in its most recent social media update that 21 percent of surveyed online adults used Pinterest during 2012-2013. That breaks down as 8 percent of surveyed men and 33 percent of women. A majority of Pinterest users have household incomes of more than $50,000 a year, Pew found.


Want to see some real estate?

If you haven’t already, sign up now with Pinterest to get full access — it’s free. To see what’s already on Pinterest from your area, search the “Boards” for your city’s name and “real estate” or “homes.” For real estate done really well, look up The Corcoran Group.

See The Corcoran Group’s boards


Getting started

Sharing listings on Pinterest only takes a few clicks in the Homes & Land Control Panel. For more information, watch this quick how-to video.



We Found Fans In New Orleans


The Homes & Land crew was happy to visit with some fans at the NAR convention in New Orleans. Among them was Steven Fischer of ERA Southeast Coastal Real Estate in Savannah, Ga., who stopped by the Homes & Land booth and took a few minutes to talk with us:

“We’ve been advertising with Homes & Land magazine probably for over 10 years now, never stopped during the recession. We credit it for helping us get through the recession. It definitely helps our agents get lots of calls, lots of leads — and quality leads we can convert.”

Watch Realtor Steven Fischer’s video

Are You ‘Good’ Or ‘Fantastic’?

From “fantastic” to “no” — real estate writer Tara-Nicholle Nelson takes a look at the difference words make in our everyday lives.

Check out her blog

Don’t Be SAD!

Successful real estate agents work in December, says Candy Miles-Crocker of Real Life Real Estate Training. After all, your sellers face less competition, and the buyers who are out looking are likely to be exceptionally motivated. The slow season for most people doesn’t have to be a slow season for you. Avoid Seasonal Advertising Disorder and keep the business fires burning with Homes & Land.

Check out her blog

You’re The Expert . . .

“When it comes to managing your wealth or your health, there is way too much at stake not to go with an expert.”

— MAX GALKA, “What the comeback of travel agents says about real estate,” Inman News
But Are You Social?

“Do you want to sell houses? You need to reach people. And people are on social media. Eighty-nine percent of people between ages 18 and 29 use social media platforms, according to research from the Pew Internet Project — but the value of social doesn’t begin and end with Millennials and the starter-home market. On the contrary: An overwhelming fraction of 30 to 49-year-olds are also using social media — 82 percent of them. That’s your premium middle-market homebuyer. And if you aren’t reaching them on social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and others, don’t worry. Some other real estate agent is.”

— JASON VAN STEENWYK, “Social Media Strategy for Real Estate Agents”
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