Posts by Properties Online (page 87)

Real Estate Strategies for an Upturning Market

Nationwide, the housing supply dropped to 2.3 million in January, a seven-year low, causing some market watchers to predict a spring boost in housing prices. U.S. real estate agents saw last month’s increase in the number of first-time home buyers as an encouraging sign. First-time buyers accounted for 33% of January housing sales. Another encouraging sign that the housing market is on the rebound was the increase in foreclosure sales which accounted for 35% of total January housing sales. At that rate, it would still take more than 6 months to clear the current housing backlog; but it is a considerable improvement over the 2 to 4 years some economists predicted it could take for the housing backlog to return to normal levels.

Flowers are not the only things beginning  to bloom as spring arrives. The U.S. housing market is also showing signs of rebirth. According to an Associated Press report posted by ABC News, last month U.S. home sales posted their highest gain since May 2010, capping a 13% increase over the past 6 months. According to the National Association of Realtors, January’s bump-up brought U.S. home re-sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. While that figure is still below the 6 million needed to declare the patient “cured,” the U.S. real estate market is definitely on the mend.

Nationwide, the housing supply dropped to 2.3 million in January, a seven-year low, causing some market watchers to predict a spring boost in housing prices. U.S. real estate agents saw last month’s increase in the number of first-time home buyers as an encouraging sign. First-time buyers accounted for 33% of January housing sales. Another encouraging sign that the housing market is on the rebound was the increase in foreclosure sales which accounted  for 35% of total January housing sales. At that rate, it would still take more than 6 months to clear the current housing backlog; but it is a considerable improvement over the 2 to 4 years some economists predicted it could take for the housing backlog to return to normal levels.

Depending on your market, the real estate picture may still be less than rosy; but there definite signs of new life are beginning to appear. However, despite predictions of spring growth, real estate agents will still need to use every real estate tool in their bag of tricks to earn their share of new sales. Fortunately, new web, mobile and social media tools offer real estate agents a wide range of fresh new opportunities to connect with potential clients and increase sales.

Among the hottest new real estate tech tools are:

  • Mobile apps
  • Mobile browsing
  • Cloud computing
  • QR codes
  • Proximity marketing
  • Infographics
  • Social media

Next time: Putting new tech tools to work in your real estate business

Internet Radio Show Tunes In to Real Estate Trends

If you want to wake up your real estate business, tune in to Agent Caffeine on Blog Talk Radio at 9 p.m. EST every Thursday. The brainchild of Realtor Kelly Mitchell, who serves as the show’s host and producer, Agent Caffeine is a one-hour live radio show that focuses on the latest news and trends in the real estate industry.

If you want to wake up your real estate business, tune in to Agent Caffeine on Blog Talk Radio at 9 p.m. EST every Thursday. The brainchild of Realtor Kelly Mitchell, who serves as the show’s host and producer, Agent Caffeine is a one-hour live radio show that focuses on the latest news and trends in the real estate industry. Sharing the microphone with some of the real estate industry’s brightest stars and most interesting innovators, Mitchell discusses new developments and front-line issues in real estate technology, social media and business and how they impact the everyday lives of real estate agents.

“We’ll share a little news, trends on the horizon, new tech, and talk about killer events, strategies and transitions,” Mitchell said in an interview with Honolulu Magazine. “Our listeners can benefit from game-changing strategies, new technologies, and revisit practices that make people successful. It’s agent-centric, but we don’t get so technical that laypeople can’t understand. The goal is to share useful business information with everyone.”

Agent Caffeine host Kelly Mitchell is the president of the Hawaiian real estate firm The Kelly Mitchell Group and the CEO of REcake, a branded mobile real estate app. Mitchell brings 30 years of real estate experience and 20 years of business development and strategic digital marketing success to the table as she discusses the challenges of earning a living in today’s mercurial real estate market with the industry’s top professionals.

On March 8, 2012, Mitchell’s guest will be Suzanne Roy, owner of V.A. Work and the head writer for Tech Savvy Agent from 2009 to 2011. Currently with InmanNext, Roy is an expert on how to use social media marketing to promote your real estate business. Other recent broadcasts (available on Blog Talk Radio) have featured a discussion with RE Tech South’s Founder Brad Nix on the development and growth of RETSO from a grass-roots real estate event into the industry’s premier real estate technology conference and techniques from Sherry Chris of BHG on how to build your personal real estate agent brand.

Use of Real Estate Technology Divides Top and Mid-Earning Agents

Driven by the popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, the real estate business is becoming both digital and mobile.

Driven by the popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, the real estate business is becoming both digital and mobile. An InmanNext survey comparing top-earning real estate agents (annual gross income of $100,000 or more) to mid-earning agents (annual gross income of $30,000 to $50,000) found that high-income agents made more extensive and more frequent use of real estate technology tools than their less successful peers. Survey results were based on responses from nearly 1,400 agents spread fairly equally over the income spread.

  • The majority of high-grossing Realtors spent twice as much time (20%) on internet marketing than their lower-grossing peers (10%).
  • The highest-income earners, those grossing $200,000 or more annually, spent four times as much on marketing ($20,000) compared to their lower-income peers ($5,000).
  • Top-earning real estate agents also outspent their peers on technology, $5,000 compared to less than $2,500.
  • While all agents used smartphones, high earners preferred iPhones to androids and were more likely to also own an iPad.
  • Both groups used paperless technology to transact business, but more top earners (80%) had embraced cloud computing.
  • More than half of high-earning agents updated their real estate website and blog several times a week, while their lower earning peers posted updates only once a month.
  • Nearly all agents belonged to Facebook, but top-earning agents updated their Facebook page daily and had more than 500 friends, compared to other agents who updated their Facebook page only occasionally and had fewer friends. The highest earners ($200,000 and more) had 1,000 friends and earned twice as many “likes” as less socially-active agents.
  • Top agents were also more likely to have YouTube and Twitter accounts with more than 100 followers.
  • While email communication with clients was important to all agents, high-income agents preferred to communicate via text or social media.
  • Listing domains were universally used by top agents.
  • Top earners ranked search engine optimization as very important compared to average earners who felt SEO was of limited importance.

Need to get up to speed with real estate technology? Contact Properties Online.

Online Real Estate Tools That Will Boost Your Business

The popularity of social media, innovations in mobile technology, and the expansion of cloud computing opportunities continue to shift real estate marketing focus online.

The popularity of social media, innovations in mobile technology, and the expansion of cloud computing opportunities continue to shift real estate marketing focus online. Powerful internet real estate technology tools are allowing real estate agents to expand their client base, communicate more effectively with home buyers and home sellers, and streamline their business operations. New real estate technology tools allow Realtors to serve a greater number of customers more efficiently and more effectively, resulting in greater sales and higher profit margins.

Among the hottest web marketing trends for 2012, the following technology tools are changing the way real estate agents market themselves and conduct business:

  • Infographics impart complex data in a single glance by turning statistics into bite-size, easily-digested pictographs. Infographics are an effective way to illustrate real estate market trends, provide community snapshots, and show progress toward business goals.
  • Mobile apps in concert with cloud computing are driving the trend toward paperless real estate transactions. Mobile communication and mobile websites allow realtors to respond to consumer requests and queries immediately and access and send marketing material while they’re on the go.
  • Mobile browsing has made mobile websites a necessity for real estate agents. Consumers want instant access to real estate listings and Realtor website information no matter where they are.
  • QR codes are scannable “pictures” that can be used to impart detailed information such as listing  domains in minimal space. Accessible with a wave of the customer’s smartphone, real estate agents are attaching QR codes to emails, eflyers, tweets, brochures, for sale signs, and online and print ads.
  • Proximity marketing provides location-based notifications that alert house hunters to nearby listings as they enter target areas.
  • Social media have become the new communication standard. People spend more time engaged in social media than any other single activity. Consumers value the instant accessibility and sense of community inherent in social media. Successful agents are embracing Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and their cousins.

Properties Online puts today’s new real estate technology tools at your fingertips. For information, visit our website.

How Are Real Estate Consumers Spending Their Time Online?

There are two axioms that real estate agents live by: know your market and know your customer. Knowing your customer was much easier when clients walked in the door and real estate transactions were conducted in person. The internet is changing the way real estate agents meet and communicate with clients. Today, sellers and buyers are searching for Realtors and real estate information online and initial client contacts are likely to come from information requests on your real estate website, responses to email marketing campaigns or comments on your Facebook page. Knowing how consumers are spending their time online can help real estate professionals determine which online real estate tools will provide the best return on investment.

According to research by the Nielsen Company, 36% of the time Americans spend on the internet is spent on social networking sites, blogs, email and instant messaging. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter attract the bulk of the attention, accounting for 25% of the time people spend on the internet, an annual increase of 43%! As social networks have increased in popularity, use of email and instant messaging has decreased. Americans now spend more than three times as much time on Facebook, Twitter and blogs as they spend reading and sending emails.

Despite losses, email is still the third most popular internet activity, accounting for 8.3% of the time Americans spend online. Internet users may spend more time updating their Facebook pages than they do checking their email, but they are still checking email. As an online communication choice, instant messaging has taken the biggest hit from increased use of social media, accounting for only 4% of total online time, according to the Nielsen report.

Social media was the big winner, although online games (10%) and videos/movies (12%), including YouTube and movie sites, also showed annual usage gains. According to the Nielsen report, 40% of total online usage is spent on 3 activities: social networking, gaming and emailing; but social networks eclipse all other internet uses.