Check Out the Latest in Real Estate Trends.

Bucking the Trend: Dropping Mortgage Rates

Despite expected real estate trends, the average interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have experienced an unexpected drop. Typically, when the Fed raises interest rates, mortgage rates likewise climb, as seen in recent short-term hikes as recently as March (and with two more that are expected later this year).

However, for the first time since November 2016, Freddie Mac reported rates below 4%. In fact, as of the week following Memorial Day, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.94%, dropping to rates even lower than the same time last year, reaching a new 2017 low.

What Gives?
As nail-biting would-be buyers raise their eyebrows, Wall Street investors are nodding their heads – because while mortgage interest rates are influenced by the Fed’s short-term interest rates, they’re more closely tied to the 1-year U.S. Treasury bond market. Investors consider the short-term bond market safer than volatile stocks.

When investors get spooked (think: market downturn or an unpredictable government administration), they shift their money into bonds, which mortgage rates are an inverse reflection of: Bonds up = mortgages down.

How Long Will it Last?
As lower interest rates translate into lower monthly payments for buyers, many are watching the market with a hopeful eye. Even 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and five-year adjustable rate mortgages are riding the downward trend, pushing buyers into a home-buying frenzy. And with good reason: Rates are expected to continue their gradual climb.

However, with today’s financial and political uncertainty, the ‘when’ is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, home shoppers are trying to take advantage of added opportunities to up-scale (size, location, amenities) as even mere fractions of a point could add up to hundreds more per month in mortgage payments.

Feel like you’re riding the crazy train when it comes to today’s real estate trends? Stay up to date on the latest sanity-saving suggestions and lock-down your marketing arsenal with the help of Properties Online today.

Tips to Making Your Seller’s Home More Photogenic

Let’s face it, unless you’ve won the luxury home marketing lottery, chances are your latest listing is facing some presentation challenges. Bric-a-brac explosions, dated décor, and even cluttered, dirty surfaces are all par for the course in the listing photos game.

Unfortunately these photo flops can quickly turn would-be buyers off. Is there any way to work around the norm and find a magical solution to better photos for video usage in real estate marketing?

Tips to Creating a Picture Perfect Home:

• Get the seller in on the gig.
If sellers want top-dollar (and who doesn’t?), explain to them the importance of letting go of a few things momentarily and putting in a little elbow grease so they can make the most of their sale (and upcoming home purchase). Ask them to bring in an honest friend to point out things they’re ‘not seeing’ anymore.

• Cut clutter.
70% of surface items should be hidden (where the camera won’t capture), including family photos and knickknacks, fridge magnets – even paper goods and small appliances. Consider ditching many small items for a large centerpiece or trio.

• Let the light shine in.
Natural lighting creates a high-end look, adding depth and highlights. (This includes lit fireplaces!)

• Brighten up the boudoir.
Use a handheld steamer, add pillows and throws, and make the bed look as neat as possible. Secret tip: Soft textures and muted colors work far better than TV-test-pattern spreads.

• Lower artwork.
Hang art lower, emphasizing more horizontal pieces, to camouflage low ceilings, or show off high ceilings with huge vertical art.

• Boost curb appeal.
Move cars, rake, mow, and especially prune trees that obscure the home. Take covers off everything (like grills) unless hopelessly damaged.

• Treat pets like kids.
Remembering you love your own most – leave them out of photos.

Put video usage in real estate marketing to work for you with those beautiful photos. Uncover the latest video-builder tool from Properties Online today.

How to Optimize Tags as Keywords in YouTube to Boost Search Rankings

Increase Youtube Target Keywords

Seeing lackluster results from video usage in real estate marketing? It may be tag optimization issues. Does that sound Greek to you? No worries. We’ll cover it here…

What are Tags?
The term ‘tag’ can be confusing, because it refers to two types:

1. Public tagging.
This is how viewers label, organize, and manage their YouTube content. ‘Crafts,’ ‘Recipes,’ ‘Workouts,’ or ‘Homes to See,’ for example. (Viewers create their own.)

2. Publisher tagging of keywords.
These describe your video so YouTube’s search algorithm can understand what it’s about. ‘Realty Tips,’ ‘How to Stage a Home,’ and ‘Home Staging Tips,’ for example. With this info, YouTube can rank your video based on search terms (ranking = more views), and pop it up as a recommended video for those searching similar snippets.

Finding & Optimizing Tags
Unfortunately, there’s no magic tag solution for every realtor. Each is unique. But you can develop your own system for boosting views:

• Brainstorm
A good place to start is considering terms you might search if you were looking for a similar video. Develop 5 possible searches/keywords (limit 500 characters/per).

• Widen Your View
After narrowing your search down, think broader, looking for at least 3 more general keywords. Think: ‘Real Estate + Area/County/State’ or ‘Find a Realtor.’

• Narrow Things Down
On the flipside, consider very specific keywords, maybe a goal of 3. For example, ‘Fix and Flip in City/Neighborhood,’ or ‘3 Miles from Area Elementary’.

• Research Competitors
See what tags they’re using – but don’t copy them exactly. You can uncover professional tags with browser extension VidIQ and TubeBuddy.

• Try a Tool
Like Keywordtool.io and Ubersuggest.

• Ensure Maximum Searchability
Use singular and plural, varying word order, video suggestions that come-up next to your search, and even common misspellings.

• Don’t Neglect Your Title/Description
Tags are only part of the SEO puzzle.

Ready… Set… Go play ‘tag’ with these tips for video usage in real estate marketing from Properties Online today!

Throwback: Why Classic Communication Skills Give You a Marketing Edge

Stand Out From The Crowd

Hate the constant texting, tweeting, posting, and annoying constant digital interruptions in today’s real estate marketing world? Be true to yourself – and your customers – by taking a few steps back to your snail mail roots. Really. It can work for you. #DigitalFatigue

Yes, Tech Can Better Your Biz, But Its’s Not the End-All, Be-All
Because clients yearn to work with someone genuine, honest, and authentic, some of your favored forms of dated communication can make you memorable and unique, giving you an edge against a flock of smartphone sheep. While staying up on industry trends in tech is advisable, getting back to basics and flaunting your social skills (while today’s internet encrusted generation rapidly sheds theirs), can help you become a big bad business wolf.

Hello? Is there Anybody Out There?
Lost in a sea of emojis and hashtags, and hiding behind digital screens rather than engaging in up-front conversations, society’s social skills are waning. People skills, such as impersonal, typo-ridden texts, common courtesy, and stellar customer service seem to be living in the past. (Let’s face it folks, great people skills are on the endangered list.)

Fostering Etiquette & People Skills
In a crowded industry with strong competition, rise above the digital detritus with:

• Listening
As in – more than you speak. This will net you sales-winning client goals/motivations.

• Common Courtesy
Call/text if you’re running late or canceling a listing showing. (Busy, tired people are working to structure their day around you.) Use phone and digital auto-responders to denote absences. Don’t respond in haste or anger. And always be kind.

• Authenticity
Only empathize if you ‘get it.’ Be honest and unafraid of ‘I don’t knows’(and research).

• Send Thank You Notes
For everything. Old-fashioned courtesy and communication will get-it everytime. (Wow! You know cursive!)

Do you have the right blend of digital and old-school real estate marketing flair to stand out in the crowd? Get ahead with Properties Online today.

Prepare Your Company To Take Advantage of the Latest Technology and Boost Sales!

Why Cheaping Out on Videos Will/Could Cost You

Are you afraid that video usage in real estate marketing will cost you dearly? Are you resorting to budget video ‘solutions’ like the ones you send to friends and family from your iPhone? Sending videos using popular messaging mediums could cause your reputation to self-destruct. Luckily, there are ways to produce affordable, quality videos without the need for an over-the-top budget.

Quality Caveats
Too often, brokerages and agents mix up the importance of quality with quantity. Longer does not equate to better. This mistake could hit you in the wallet (or career) and today’s grab-and-go generation will look elsewhere.

Worse, poor quality hits your brand in the bread basket. 62% of consumers get negative impressions of a brand after a low-quality video experience. Professional video outperforms user-generated content by 60% in vital metrics (views, clicks, shares, likes, etc.).

Social Misapprehensions
Agents/brokers also commonly underestimate the importance of quality video use in real estate marketing when they’re posting on social media. Social doesn’t mean you can get away with the video production equivalent of breaking out the sweatpants.

Professional video boasts a 1200% increase in engagement on social media compared to text/images alone. That’s why social giant Facebook figured out the importance of video so quickly and has heavily invested in video – what about you?

Affordable Solutions
True custom video can be pricey, ranging in the $500-10,000+ range, and is obviously not an option for everyone. However semi-custom is an affordable solution, offering quality video at a scale with prices in the $10-30+ range. They also make production easy: Inject content and personalize it with branding and a call-to-action, and you’re done!

Also, the return-on-investment is amazing: boosting lead conversion with email campaign compatibility, digital marketing on YouTube, social, websites and blogs, and more.

Looking for an affordable solution to producing quality real estate videos? PropertiesOnline has you covered. Learn more about our effective and easy-to-use video builder tool today.