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Real Estate Agents Love Drones Even As Their Regulation is Evolving

Video usage in real estate marketing in rising to the top of every agent’s must-have list. And flying next to it: Drones, which are providing interesting new opportunities for area realtors to rise-above the competition with cutting-edge videography and aerial photography services. The best news? New legislation is making it increasingly easier for you to put drones to work for your business.

Clear Skies Ahead
In June 2016, an FAA ruling cleared the way for a much easier path to commercial drone operation. No longer requiring a manned pilot’s license, the drone flight certification process has become much more straight-forward, requiring a knowledge test every 24 months and adherence to flight restrictions, such as flying over people, at night, and beyond visual-line-of-sight.

As Drone Usage Grows, Rules May Evolve
Though the path to drone flight certification and regulations is easier, the National Association of Realtors is continuing to push for additional changes, such as participating in Federal Aviation Administration rule-making committees in hopes of opening more opportunities for realtors.

Among them? Flights beyond visual line of sight, crucial for shots of large buildings and tracts of land which cannot be traversed by foot. Also, permitting drone flights over people, where many opportunities exist such as the creation of neighborhood and area amenity marketing materials.

More Affordable Technology and Trimmings
As drone technology continues to improve and come down in price, realtors are jumping on board. Even insurers are offering specific coverage for drone pilots who utilize drones at a lower frequency. Such policies allow these pilots to save a buck on insurance with a bit of additional safety training and corresponding certificate. This is making drones ever more affordable for the everyday agent.

Fly to new heights with video usage in real estate marketing. Easily create stunning videos with the latest in video-building technology, free with most Properties Online services. Learn more today.

Are You Ready for Virtual Reality in the Real Estate Marketplace?

Are You Ready for Virtual Reality in the Real Estate Marketplace?

Today, 20 million buyers are taking advantage of virtual reality (VR), and that number expected to reach 50 million by the end of this year and a whopping billion by 2023. Experts predict VR will change the industry the way the Internet and video use in real estate marketing did, so how long will it be before you market a home in VR?

The Timing is Right
With Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg 2014 investment in the industry, VR technology has rapidly matured, getting easier to use and coming down significantly in price. In fact, it’s a foregone conclusion that VR will be a part of the industry, and companies like Matterport and Realvision are paving the way.

Get a Load of That!
In some cities, such as Minneapolis, VR has already joined aerially droned tours as standard fare for agents, allowing prospective buyers to shop without ever engaging in a physical showing. Used with goggles and headsets, and paired with a smartphone or computer, VR gives shoppers a viewing experience that makes them feel like a part of the image – not viewing it from the outside or single perspective, but providing a comprehensive look at every interior surface.

How’s It Work?
Agents hire companies with high-tech software. Gamers have been using similar tech for years, with computer-generated imagery and environments. It stitches together photos, compiling to create 360-degree room views impossible to beat with traditional slideshows and video fares.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
While VR creates a strong emotional response that static images cannot, it allows buyers to get a true feel for spaces sometimes hundreds of miles away. VR tech also makes it more difficult to conceal problem features you wish buyers wouldn’t see.

Video usage in real estate marketing is moving faster than you think. Don’t fall behind and miss out on its amazing advantages. Hop aboard with the help of Properties Online today.

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Top Summer 2017 Real Estate Selling and Listing Trends

What’s hot in real estate trends? Sales! With no segment hotter than the ever-dwindling starter home market. Moving at a furious pace, the 2017 spring buying season has shaped up to be uber-competitive, and the breakneck pace is the fastest seen in decades according to economic research at Realtor.com.

A Record-High Number of Buyers
With a record-high number of buyers pounding the pavement, homes are flying off the shelves. Median days on the market for homes on Realtor.com have dropped to the lowest levels since the end of the recession. One-of-three homes is selling in under 30 days nationally – 5 days faster than last year and 2 days faster than last month.

Overall, May sales maintained momentum, with homes moving 8% faster than last year. With prices reaching double-digit growth, buyers are running out of options.

A Record-Low Number of (Affordable) Homes
Can everyone say ‘supply and demand’? Residential real estate prices soared to new heights in May with for-sale inventory experiencing extremely limited growth according to Realtor.com data. And it doesn’t appear there’s an end to the inventory shortage in sight.

Nationwide median home prices broke $250,000 for the first time earlier in the spring, now reaching $275,000 – a whopping 10% higher than one year ago. This lack of affordable housing will remain a critical issue for millennials and other first-time home buyers, as well as retirees looking to downsize to urban dwellings and starter-sized homes.

What About the Spring Inventory Increase?
Real estate trends point to late spring showing a total inventory increase, with 560,000 new listings hitting the market in May. However, inventory still remains substantially lower than one year ago. That which is not priced beyond the reach of the average buyer is quickly being snatched up.

Sales smokin’ but listings burning out? Get a few tips and tricks to turn up the heat with the help of your friends at Properties Online.

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It’s Been Confirmed, It’s a Seller’s Market

Fistfights breaking out at your brokerage over the possibility of gaining a listing? Just in case the dog-eat-dog listing races and woeful number of affordable homes on the market for buyers weren’t enough of a confirmation of real estate trends, Trulia and Realtor.com statistics have finally confirmed: It’s a seller’s market.

Strongest Seller’s Market Ever
Brand-new spring housing market numbers have confirmed the trend, looking to statistics from the country’s 100 largest metro cities. Boiling the trends down by zip code, it uncovered a shortage of homes nationwide – a deficiency that hasn’t been this bad in 20 years.

Inventory for March is down 6.6% from a year ago, and unsold inventory a 3.8 month supply. (A balanced market is a 5-6 month supply.) This has led to monthly rises in home prices, up nationally 5.7% for February, year-over-year.

Slim Pickins
As buyers frantically search for affordable homes, the market is getting increasingly competitive, with first time buyers experiencing the greatest hardship. Even as more homes enter the market for the popular summer sales season, they’re flying off neighborhood shelves fast. And at entry-level, where demand is greatest, sellers remain firmly in the driver’s seat.

Heavy Competition
There’s no shortage of people on the lookout for a new home. And though people prefer a home that’s move-in ready over one they have to upgrade, its concession-time in a market where bidding wars are par for the course. Sellers are optimistically pricing their homes – and most are selling anyway.

To compete, buyers are dropping contingencies and coming in with cash. Multiple offers are the new norm. Worse, real estate trends of home appraisals regularly coming in well below sales price are dropping a wrench in the works for would-be first-time, mortgage-dependent buyers.

What are you doing to rise above the competition in today’s seller-centric market? Stand out with the tools and technology of Properties Online today.

Marketing Videos... The Key To Success.

What Smart Home Technology is Trending in Real Estate?

Hey Alexa, will the next listing looky-loo really care that my home is smart? 80-million smart home devices were delivered in 2016 – up 64% from the previous year, and expected to climb even higher in 2017. In today’s spotlight on real estate trends, we’ll take a look at what smart home technology is trending, why – and how being in-the-know on smart tech can give your business a boost.

Getting On-Board with the IoT and Smart Tech
Eighty-six percent of millennials and 65% of baby boomers are willing to spend more to rent a home with smart tech. And it stands to reason they’ll spend more to purchase a home harboring it as well. Smart tech can make it easier for you to market and sell homes, especially to younger audiences.

Which Tech is in High Demand – And Why??

Smart Thermostats
HVAC consumes the largest amount of energy in the home. Smart programmable thermostats save money, adjusting temperatures when the home is occupied (and not) to save on electricity – some 12-23% of power costs.

Smart Home Security
A growing concern, studies show 60% of convicted burglars are deterred by the presence of home security. Smart security offers effective, affordable protection, with cloud-storage and incident support as little as $10/month. An easy sell for agents.

Leak Detection Sensors
Safety devices like smart fire and smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, radon, and moisture detectors are a large part of what qualifies a home as ‘smart’ to buyers. And the benefits are obvious. What’s more, when used on older homes they can instill a sense of confidence in home dependability.

Smart Watering Systems
An easier way to plan restriction-compliant watering – and track usage.

Smart Garage Doors
Forget to close the door? Unexpected visitor? Problem solved!

Being in-the-know on smart tech makes smart business sense. Take advantage of the latest real estate trends with the help of Properties Online today.