Posts in Real Estate Industry News

Real Estate Industry News

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.

Crunching Numbers? Here's the Latest on Real Estate.

Online Real Estate Site Outs Agent to Agent Commission Deals

Flat-fee real estate agency Trelora is at it again, publicizing Denver area agents’ home selling commissions. Trelora considers the information among public service real estate selling tips, aimed at giving buyers “access to all of the information so they can make the best possible decision during their home buying process, and not worry that they’re being pushed toward a more expensive home because it affects their agent’s income,” according to Trelora CEO Joshua Hunt.

Not the First Time
The last time (in February 2015) the Denver-based company attempted to provide information on buy-side commissions with its online listings, they were served with a cease-and-desist order from the region’s MLS, REcolorado, citing a violation of Internet data-exchange rules regarding the display of MLS information.

How’d They Pull It Off This Time?
Per an agreement reached with REcolorado, now those looking to take a gander at commission information can set up a secure account with Trelora, signing a non-disclosure. The agreement is non-exclusive, allowing potential clients to continue to work with other firms.

The Devil in the Details
55,634 homes worth $22.2 billion were sold last year in metro Denver, according to the area Association of Realtors. Trelora estimates commissions at around $1.25 billion. Denver-based Trelora promotes a flat fee of $2,500 per buy-side commission, regardless of home price, unlike the percentage-based fee structure of traditional residential real estate companies. The company touts if all agents charged the same flat fee, consumers could have saved $970 million in commissions. “Trelora was founded on a belief in transparency and in offering the highest level of service and representation to our clients,” said Joshua Hunt, CEO of Trelora. “It takes no more work for an agent to help a client buy a $700,000 house than a $350,000 house.”

Do you have the real estate selling tips you need to prove your true worth to clients? Add value with the help of Properties Online.

Marketing Videos... The Key To Success.

The Most Popular Marketing Methods for Promoting Real Estate Video

Video use in real estate marketing is reaching an all-time high. Do you have the tips and tricks you need to get your content seen? You’ve put a lot of effort into your video – and you should be putting the same amount of effort into getting your masterpiece seen by the right people: Prospects who are likely to convert into leads, and (hopefully) clients down the line…

The Secret to Your Success
You don’t have to be a video marketing expert. This simple checklist will work for brokers of any age, experience, and niche, giving you considerable mileage for your real estate video marketing efforts:

  • Flaunt what you’ve got
    Your website is an ideal location to flaunt video messaging – your premier place for hosting. Splash your home page with a promotional video, alongside listing videos and informational “vlogs,” ensuring they are properly search-optimized for exposure. Great options for inclusion in your campaign include:

    • Agent/Brokerage promo videos
    • Property listings
    • Area & community features
    • Informational videos
    • Interview videos
    • Client testimonials
    • How-to advice
    • Market updates
    • Special offer videos
    • And more!
  • Be social
    Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram are prime places for real estate video marketing promotion. Pin status updates to the top of your social pages featuring top-performing videos, and splice-and-dice for sharing on Instagram and Pinterest, gaining maximum exposure by sharing them over the course of months – versus weeks or days.
  • Send a note
    Email is a powerful marketing tool for direct communication with leads and clients, allowing you to custom-tailor videos by individual needs, in-turn moving prospects down the marketing funnel. Because you can’t embed, however, be sure to include a photo from the recording (linking to the video landing page), inspiring prospects to take a look.

Looking for a little help with video use in real estate marketing? Properties Online has you covered. Discover more today.

Are Your Communications Secure?

Smart Home Hackers: What Agents Should Know

In this week’s real estate selling tips: Is smart home technology putting you and your clients at risk? Purported to bring convenience, security, and improved connectivity, smart services are instead bringing unauthorized surveillance, loss of privacy, and compromised data, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).

What’s the IoT?
The combined/synergistic use of mobile apps, cloud storage, big data, automation, sensors, and more, attached to everyday items, processes and systems, part-and-parcel of everything from your phone and laptop to your TV, appliances, door locks, and security. Case(s) and point(s): Recent WikiLeaks on the CIA’s (and other hackers’) ability to spy on you via TV – not to mention last October’s massive, internet service disrupting, distributed DDoS attack.

The IoT-DDoS Conundrum
Each of these devices relies on the cloud to operate, either for analysis or as a communications path to other devices, forming a “botnet” of devices. But there is no magical “cloud” – only someone else’s computer, such as company Dyn’s DNS system – the one hacked last October. Protection of botnets, to date, is woefully insufficient, and devices are so prolific that if a mere portion of those in homes were comprised, it could prove disastrous. The best protection? Keeping these devices out, as even password-protected gadgets are NOT secure, and informing clients of smart home risks.

Isn’t Technology Grand?
The magic of the cloud comes at a price…. Continual transfer of personal data (habits, speech, possessions) funneled away to an assortment of third parties is a privacy rabbit hole that leads to technological nightmares.

  • A 2016 Nest’s smart thermostat glitch caused batteries to drain, leaving consumers without heat – in January – with no way to turn it back on. The fix: Nine-steps, included a 3-hour charge-cycle.
  • Samsung’s smart refrigerator photograph contents – great if you lost your shopping list; bad for advertising your prescriptions – and allowing insurers to peruse your dietary choices.
  • Beware of “smart’ tech terms of service, which limits damages, prohibits class action lawsuits, and requires resolution via arbitration.

Spy any good real estate selling tips? Properties Online has you covered.

Should You Consider Buddy Agent for Agent to Agent Referrals?

Should You Consider Buddy Agent for Agent to Agent Referrals?

In this week’s real estate broker tips, we’ll take a look at Buddy Agent, a newly introduced brokerage-centric platform designed to help today’s successful real estate agent achieve work-life balance. Should you use its real-time data advantages to better build your brokerage’s internal culture?

Houston, We Have a Problem
One of the biggest problems every real estate agency faces is star agents that are just too busy to keep up with their volume of leads, while other agents simply can’t stay busy enough and struggle to earn enough income. This can lead overburdened agents to miss out on important personal life events, from their kid’s big game to countless weekends – and even entire family vacations. It can also lead burgeoning yet struggling agents experiencing common growing pains to leave for presumably greener pastures in their efforts to earn enough income to cover basic expenses.

Buddy Agent to the Rescue
Buddy Agent’s mobile and web app attempts to solve this problem. A self-service system for agents, it requires no additional work from brokers. Rather than letting money walk, the app keeps clients and commissions within the firm. Overbooked agents – or ones simply enjoying time away – can select from a list of favorite fellow agents, quickly locating the right agent, at the right location, and with the right expertise to manage the task at-hand, creating a trusted, on-demand team that works well together. No more burn out. No more disappointing family, friends, and clients with a relentlessly busy schedule.
The app is flexible, featuring iOS, Android, or web-based operation, with a free initial trial and special introductory pricing. Visit http://www.mybuddyagent.com/ to learn more.

It’s always good to have more than one buddy backing you up. Simplify your life with this and other real estate broker tips and tools from Properties Online today.