Posts by Jess Maria (page 22)

global real estate

Selling Local Real Estate to International Buyers: 2012 Statistics

The National Association of Realtors annually examines the purchases of real estate in the United States by international buyers. As they point out: “We live in a global marketplace. While all real estate is local, not all property buyers are.” The estimated volume of international sales increased between 2011 and 2012 by 24 percent.

The 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity report revealed that:

• Total sales volume to international clients is estimated as $82.5 Billion in 2012, up from an estimated $66.4 Billion for the 12 months ending March 2011.

• About 20% of clients are obtained through website/online listings.

• 27% of Realtors® reported having worked with international clients. Realtor specialization on the buyer’s side of the market—such as foreign language capabilities, cultural affinity or orientation with the prospective purchaser and experience in explaining U.S. real estate to foreigners—appear to be important in bringing an international transaction to successful conclusion.

• International buyers came from nearly all over the globe, but five countries accounted for 55% percent of transactions: Canada, The People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong), Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom.

• Just four states accounted for 51% of purchases: Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

• Fifty-two percent of Realtors® reported that international transactions accounted for 1-10% of their total transactions, while 27% reported that international transactions made up more than 10% of total transactions.

• Forty-five% of international purchases were under $250,000. There appears to be a gradually increasing trend towards purchases in the $250,000 to $ 500,000 range. There was a jump in the sales of homes valued at $1 million and up.

What makes an international buyer look at property in the United States? “Proximity to the home country; the presence of relatives, friends, and associates; the convenience of air transportation; climate and location appear to be important considerations to prospective buyers. For example, the East Coast attracts Europeans. The West Coast is attractive to Asian purchasers. Florida appears to be attractive to South Americans as well as Europeans and Canadians. Within markets in an individual state, it is not unusual to find concentrations of people grouped by nationality. One could speculate that word-of-mouth and shared experiences influence the purchase.”


Single Property Website

Boosting Your Online Visibility: Tips & Tricks

If you’re a real estate agent reading this blog, chances are you already have a properties website or websites. If not, what are you waiting for?? Getting your properties online is crucial for boosting sales, visibility and credibility. Let’s face it – your online marketing is just as important (if not more) as the offline marketing.

But how can you be sure potential clients and buyers actually see you and your properties online? Here are some tips for boosting your search engine rankings:

1. Keywords: Start here. Don’t pepper your site with too many keywords, that will just make it appear generalized to Google, and you won’t reap any benefit. Instead, carefully select around four or five keywords total that you want to prioritize on your site. Think locally. You’re probably not trying to compete with a national organization. Tailor your keywords to your local market. Think strategically.

2. Analytics: Without a way to track results accurately, whether you’ve chosen the best possible focus keywords is hard to determine. Sign up for Google Analytics to learn a lot about your site and how it’s performing. Your web analytics will show you your increasing traffic and help you to determine which keywords and which strategies are producing the highest number of new customers.

3. Visibility: To boost the work your site is doing, you’ll want to up your visibility elsewhere on the web. A great way to achieve this is through blogging. It takes time to do it well and often, but the payoff can be huge. Start by ensuring that the root domain of your blog is your website, and opt for a quality SEO plugin tool to help guide you in adding keywords to your blog posts.

4. Content: If you struggle to find something relevant to say every day, share the blog load with others on your team! If you’re a sole proprietor, considering hiring a writer. And remember, content isn’t just text. On your website and blog, make sure your visitors will find thing visually stimulating. That means adding photos, images and videos. Set up a branded YouTube channel and put it to work!

5. Research: Your online presence can grow tremendously, with a little or a lot of effort. Explore Facebook, Google+ and other social networking tools. Look into smart technology that allows you to market single properties beautifully – complete with Craigslist, video, mobile technology and Facebook apps built right in. Or market multiple properties, or properties and yourself all at once! You don’t have to be a web wizard, as long as you set yourself up with the right tools.

real estate agent

Profile of a Real Estate Agent – Is this You?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tells us that “real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Brokers and agents do the same type of work, but brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Sales agents must work with a broker.”

Across the United States, 57% of real estate brokers and sales agents are self-employed (as of most recent available statistics from 2010). “Although they often work long and irregular hours, many are able to set their own schedules,” says the BLS.

According to the Bureau, the typical real estate broker or sales agent:

• Earns approximately $42,680* annually or $20.52 per hour (median pay).

• Has at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

• Is one of 466,100 agents/brokers in the country.

• Can expect a job growth rate outlook of 11% between now and 2020 (The average growth rate for all occupations is 14%.

*The median annual wage of real estate brokers is $54,910, while the median annual wage of real estate agents is $40,030, says the BLS. Brokers and agents earn most of their income from commissions on sales.

Of those 43% of agents and brokers who are not self-employed, most work in the real estate industry in brokerage offices, leasing offices, and other real estate establishments. “While some real estate brokers and sales agents work in a typical office environment, others are able to telecommute and work out of their homes. In both cases, however, workers spend much of their time away from their desks—showing properties to customers, traveling to see properties for sale, and meeting with prospective clients.”

Hours beyond the standard 40-hour work week are typical for a broker or an agent, and networking is a key aspect of a successful career.

The Bureau specifies four qualities that are important to a real estate broker or sales agent:

1. Independence. Real estate brokers and sales agents must be able to work independently, managing their own time and organizing, planning, and prioritizing their work. Some brokers manage a one-person business in which they must handle every aspect of the business.

2. Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are essential for real estate brokers and sales agents, because they spend much of their time interacting with clients and customers. As a result, they must be pleasant, enthusiastic, and trustworthy to attract clients.

3. Persuasion skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents need to be persuasive to convince potential clients of their ability to sell real estate and to persuade customers to buy available properties.

4. Problem-solving skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents need problem-solving skills to address, often immediately, any concerns clients or potential customers may have with a property. They also mediate negotiations between the seller and buyer.

So, how about it? Is this an accurate portrayal of you?

Linkedin Infographic

Social Media Stats You Should Care About: LinkedIn (Part 3)

Welcome to Part 3 of a 3-part series on social media statistics. We’ve already noted some very impressive statistics on Facebook and Twitter. Today, we’ll look at LinkedIn – that more ‘professional’ social media cousin – and see what the numbers show.

LinkedIn is often referred to as “Facebook for professionals.” Less of a friend and photo sharing site, it is a networking site for professionals the world over to share they careers, skills, job opportunities and more.

As of November 2011, LinkedIn boasted 135 users across 200 countries, 57 million of them in the United States. What’s more, professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.

LinkedIn can provide an outstanding platform to build your brand, detail your professional achievements and receive accolades and recommendations from your clients, colleagues and business associates.

The site also provides a unique way to collaborate and resolve business challenges with other professionals in your line of business. Join relevant real estate groups, ask questions, share challenges and solutions, network, find similarities, ask for help, offer and seek for jobs, and explore opportunities.

You see, LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 1 million groups, and 75 of the Fortune 100 companies now use LinkedIn as part of their corporate hiring solution.

LinkedIn is an incredible supplement to your online social media presence. It allows you to paint an extremely detailed picture of yourself and your business, to better showcase your website, your properties for sale, your activities, and more. It’s time to get involved.

Also see:

Social Media Stats You Should Care About: Facebook (Part 1)

Social Media Stats You Should Care About: Twitter (Part 2)

Social Media Stats You Should Care About: Twitter (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of a 3-part series on social media statistics. In our first post, we looked at some recent Facebook statistics. Today, we’ll explore Twitter and some numbers that might make you stop and think, “Wow!”

Twitter Infographic

Twitter is the reigning king of microblogging sites. When it launched six years ago, it left a lot of people shaking their heads. But today, the site has more than 465 million account holders who send more than 175 million tweets a day into the twittersphere. These numbers will soon be obsolete, considering that 11 new Twitter accounts are created every second, and the site grows by approximately 1 million accounts every day.

A year after its launch, Twitter was valued at $5 million. That year it raised $1 million. Two billion tweets were posted in 2009, and the site raised $35 million – a massive jump in just two years. In 2010, the site was revalued at an astounding $3.7 billion, and it raised $200 million.

The United States is home to the largest proportion of Twitter users, with 170.7 million account holders. While the web remains the most popular access point for users (64%), 16% access Twitter from their mobile phones, and 10% primarily use a Twitter client.

Interesting content is cited as the #1 reason to re-tweet. Sounds simple, right? Give your followers something they want to see, read or hear, and they’ll probably pass it on. Make it funny, and you’ve got 66% of followers willing to share. Incentives attract some 32% of re-tweets.

Here’s how tweeters decide who to follow:

• 69% follow other tweeters who have been suggested by friends
• 47% follow tweeters they found in an online search
• 44% follow tweeters suggested by Twitter
• 31% follow promotions

Your friend network can be very powerful here – ask them to follow and recommend you, locally and otherwise.

Marketing your real estate business online can be expensive. But tools like Twitter provide you with free opportunities to reach hundreds or thousands of people, quickly and easily. Properties Online can help you to simply integrate your web property sites with social media platforms like Twitter. The time is now.

Join us next time for the final installment of this 3-part series, when we’ll explore some fascinating LinkedIn statistics.