Trulia Economist Sees 2014 as 'Year of the Repeat Homebuyer'

As prices continue rising in the new year—albeit at a slower pace—investors will begin to ease back from the purchase market, but repeat homebuyers will be there to pick up the slack, according to Trulia’s predictions for the housing market in 2014.

“2013 was the year of the investor, but 2014 will be the year of the repeat homebuyer,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist atTrulia, in his 2014 forecast.

Other changes to the market in the new year include lower affordability, “less frenzied” home-buying, and a shift in the rental market from single-family homes to urban apartments, according to Kolko.

While first-time buyers continue to face major hurdles to purchasing a home, repeat buyers will have an easier time, especially those who have equity in their current homes.

The biggest obstacle for potential homebuyers is saving enough money for a down payment, according to Trulia. This hurdle is was the most commonly cited challenge in a Trulia survey of current renters wishing to own their own home.

Fifty-five percent of survey respondents cited this obstacle, and among young adults (ages 18 to 34) the rate was even higher at 58 percent.

The second most common barrier to homeownership is lack of stable employment—cited among 36 percent of all survey respondents and 43 percent of young adults.

However, repeat buyers may be in a better position to purchase, and “they’re less discouraged by rising prices than either investors or first-time buyers because the home they already own has also risen in value,” according to Kolko.

The pace of home price appreciation will slow in the new year, but rising prices, combined with rising mortgage rates, will take a toll on affordability.

“Nonetheless, buying will remain cheaper than renting,” Kolko said, referencing a Trulia report from September, which determined buying is 35 percent less expensive than renting nationally.

“However, prices and mortgage rates might rise enough to tip the math in favor of renting in a couple of housing markets,” Kolko said.

Continued price increases will likely lead more homeowners to list their homes for sale, leading to an increase in inventory in 2014, according to Trulia. Inventory will also get a small boost from new construction.

At the same time, traditional homebuyers will face less competition from investors, and mortgages “should be easier to get” as the new regulatory environment takes shape removing the uncertainty that has made lenders wary. Together these factors will make the homebuying process “less frenzied” in the new year, according to Kolko.

Lastly, Kolko predicts the rental market will shift from its recent heavy focus on single-family homes back to urban apartments.

During the recession, single-family home rentals increased 32 percent, but several factors will lead to a decline in this trend next year, according to Kolko. Fewer foreclosures, fewer investor purchases, and loosening credit standards will all contribute to the decline.

Also, “[u]rban apartments will be the first stop for many of the young adults who find jobs and move out of their parents’ homes,” according to Kolko.

 

 By: Krista Brock of DSnews

Tech Tip Tuesday: December 31, 2013

 

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses 

 

 

Looking for New Year’s resolutions that are easier to keep than, say, losing weight or kicking a bad habit you’ve had for 10 years? Turn to your business. No business, or business owner, is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. The New Year is a great time to carry out new strategies, fuel growth and make changes for long-term success.

“A new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start,” said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager of small business accounting at Sage North America. “Why not take a moment to reflect on the lessons learned from the past year and move forward with a new focus on success?”

Whether you need to be more efficient, keep up with the latest technology or implement innovative ways to find and retain new customers, New Year’s resolutions can help you create a plan of attack and stay on track. Here are 10 small-business New Year’s resolutions to help you get started. [Tech Trends: What Awaits Small Businesses in 2014

1. Get the most “bang for your technology buck”

Commit to fully using all of your technology solutions. So many busy small business owners do not fully utilize the technology investments they’ve made, despite the fact that doing so would likely save them a lot of time, and drive efficiency. Make 2014 the year to become the master of your technology!

Start with keeping an organized [email] inbox, continuing with automating your accounting functions and then cleaning up your contacts so they are complete and organized. From there, move on to mobile! A lot of the apps businesses use on laptops and desktops also have mobile apps that can make it easy for your salespeople in the field to complete a sale without having to call back to the office to check inventory or [to] find out the last product ordered by a particular customer, saving time and money. Mobile payments allow in-the-field employees to complete sales on the spot. There are so many ways that technology can make your life easier once you take the time to fully embrace it and learn. — Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager of small business accounting at Sage North America

2. Adopt mobile payments

I predict, in 2014, significant advancement in the field of digital wallet payments will make credit cards obsolete.

The current magnetic stripe is highly inconvenient for smartphone-enabled customers. And credit card numbers are extremely insecure. Their authorization doesn’t specify the amount of the transaction, so they are routinely “accidentally” used twice by merchants. Or even worse, are stolen from reputable retailers by third parties.

Encrypted digital wallets will provide an answer to all these needs. They will authorize payments for a specific amount. They will be accessible anywhere through secure smartphone apps. And retailers should make them easier to use by providing proximity sensors in checkout registers.

All businesses, retail or enterprise, large or small, should work to update their payment systems. Customers and business partners will expect to send and receive payments using more secure and convenient methods like Pay-pal or Google Wallet. — Dr. Satwant Kaur, “First Lady of Emerging Technologies” and chief technologist at Hewlett-Packard

3. Get closer to customers

As we head into 2014, one of our key resolutions is to continue innovating the ways in which we engage with our customers. We view our customers in terms of relationships, not transactions, so it is critical that we are delivering value to them in every engagement, before and after the sale. Our unique support model and online communities are examples of ways we do this today, but there is more we can do. Through the continued expansion of mobile technology and social properties, consumers and businesses are interacting with brands in whole new ways. Next year, businesses should focus on capitalizing on these [tools] to strengthen their customer relationships. — David Duncan, chief marketing officer atWebroot

4. Make customer service a priority

It’s a fact: customer service can make or break your relationship with current and even future customers. Looking ahead to 2014, customer service should be a priority for every small business. We see small businesses taking advantage of the cloud to work smarter and make customers happier. As we learned in our most recent survey, one in six customers would rather see their dentist than speak with a customer service agent. So small businesses, take note! — Matt Lautz, president and chief information officer atCorvisaCloud

5. Focus on marketing efforts

In 2014, we plan to grow spending on marketing along with revenue. In the age of digital marketing, everything is now measurable, and marketing is more accountable than ever. At Message Systems, we are increasing our marketing spend triggered on measurable results from spend in the last quarter. For example, when we see certain activities that grow our sales pipeline and closes, we are able to increase the budget in the following quarters based upon solid knowledge that the spend has a return on investment (ROI). — Steve Dille, senior vice president of marketing at Message Systems

6. Revamp social media strategy

Earlier this year, we saw a rise in visual social media platforms like YouTube and Pinterest, coming in just behind the big three [Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn] in adoption growth among small businesses. In 2014, a picture truly will be worth a thousand words as small businesses increase their adoption of visual-based social networks like Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and Slideshare. — Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media atConstant Contact

7. Be SEO- and data-savvy

In late 2013, Google began blocking keyword referral data in Google Analytics. Before, you used to be able to see which keywords users entered to bring them to your site and how many visitors came from each keyword. This data is no longer available through Google Analytics. Google’s position on this change is that they are “protecting” the consumer. As identity theft and cybersecurity dominate the headlines, this is Google’s way of making sure consumers feel safe using Google products and platforms. However, the data is still available to Google, just not to digital marketers who rely on their [Google’s] analytics program. In 2014, search engine optimization (SEO) firms will discover new ways to uncover this data (there are several options). Firms will get more creative with how to access and interpret keyword data because it remains a large part of SEO strategy. After all, knowing how visitors are searching helps firms to better understand their target markets and create a better user experience on the website — the foundation of a solid SEO strategy. — JoAnna Dettmann and Kaysha Kalkofen, co-founders of digital marketing firm tSunela

8. Perform a security audit

Next year will be a crucial time for companies to make sure their data stays truly protected. The rise of targeted attacks we’ve seen against corporations — from technology companies like Adobe to retailers like Target — have made this a very real and urgent concern. When it comes to investigating potential vulnerabilities, it’s best to look outside the company and leverage domain experts to probe for risks, examine policy and suggest fixes. While we have very strong security protocols in place, we perform an audit yearly. Next year, we’re expanding the scope of our audit due to the new types of security risks and escalating threats we’ve observed. As the saying goes, if you see a storm approaching, it’s best to bring both a raincoat and an umbrella. — Charles McColgan, chief technology officer at TeleSign

9. Prevent employee fraud

Adopt a code of ethics for employees. Set a “tone at the top” that fraud will not be tolerated at any level of your organization. Draft and approve a code of ethics that includes concise compliance standards that are consistent with promoting ethical behavior across the organization. Require each employee to read and sign the code of ethics — as well as contractors who work on behalf of the organization. — James D. Ratley, CEO at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)

10. Become more nimble

As mega-retailers like Amazon continue their quest to steal market share from other big-box retailers, both online and off, smaller online businesses will need to become more nimble in how they compete, both from a price, customer service and marketing standpoint. This includes identifying true points of difference and showcas[ing] these points in marketing and branding, delivering personalized experiences, etc. – Matt Winn, marketing communications manager at Volusion

 

By: Sara Angeles of Business News Daily


Tech Tip Tuesday: December 24, 2013

10 Creative Solutions for a More Productive Workspace 

  • 1.%2520hoverbar%2520for%2520ipad

    1. HoverBar for iPad

    Why invest in a second monitor when your iPad can do the job? The HoverBar attaches to a number of different surface, including monitors, desks, cubicles and cabinets. Its adjustable arm bends to the angle or height of your choice.

    Price: $79.99

     
  • 2.%2520cordies%2520cable%2520organizer

    2. Cordies Cable Organizer

    Keep those pesky cables untangled with the Cordies cable organizer, a minimalistic design that also prevents unplugged cords from slipping under your desk.

    Price: $9.99

     
  • 3.%2520bluelounge%2520studio%2520desk

    3. Bluelounge Studio Desk

    Cables are a necessary evil — for now. But that doesn’t mean you have to look at them. The Bluelounge desk stores cords in a hidden drawer, which you can easily access by sliding your desktop. Sneaky!

    Price: From $599.95

     
  • 4.%2520mstand%2520360

    4. mStand 360

    Laptop stands are great solutions for improving your posture, but it can be hard to detach the device. The mStand’s swivel solution means you can easily share your screen with others nearby, without unhooking everything.

    Price: $59.90

     
  • 5.%2520ergotech%2520triple%2520monitor%2520stand

    5. Ergotech Triple Monitor Stand

    In need of a serious command center? Lock your triple monitor setup into a sturdy stand like Ergotech’s.

    Price: $228.99

     
  • 6.%2520humanscale%2520m2%2520monitor%2520arm

    6. Humanscale M2 Monitor Arm

    Great for medical practices or customer service centers, the Humanscale arm makes it easy to share your monitor’s contents with another. Or install in your fitness room or dorm suite for flexible viewing angles.

    Price: $310

     
  • 7.%2520bondi

    7. Bondi

    This little buddy will follow you wherever you go. Hate to miss an important call or text? Hang your cell on the corner of your monitor or secure it to your belt loop. The Bondi also hangs from your charger, so you don’t have to rest your cell on the floor next to the electrical outlet.

    Price: $15

     
  • 8.%2520plug%2520hub

    8. Plug Hub

    A combined cord and outlet solution, the Plug Hub lives compactly under your organized desk.

    Price: $24.99

     
  • 9.%2520agtek%2520ipad%2520mount

    9. Agtek Clamp Mount

    Similar to the HoverBar, the Agtek mount clamps more than just your iPad. It also fits Android tablets, portable video players and some GPS units.

    Price: $49.99

     
  • 10.%2520matias%2520one%2520keyboard

    10. Matias One Keyboard

    Tired of switching between computer keyboard and touchscreen keypad? Hook up your iPhone to this keyboard, which you can use to type on either device. Simply click a button to switch between the two.

    Price: $99.95 

    By: Stephanie Buck


Tech Tip Tuesday: December 17, 2013

7 Home Improvement Apps to Help Your Inner Handyman

 

7 Home Improvement Apps to Help Your Inner Handyman 

Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or just fixing a leaky faucet, keeping up with your house’s basic maintenance is an essential part of home ownership. And with these helpful mobile apps in your tool-belt, you’ll be able to tackle virtually any project without having to get your contractor’s license.


Inspiration

7 Home Improvement Apps to Help Your Inner Handyman

You never know where you’ll find the perfect color for your living room. But when the moment of inspiration strikes be sure you’re ready for it. The free Colorsnap app (iOSAndroid) from Sherwin-Williams can help by analyzing that perfect color, wherever you find it, and converting it into a matching, custom tint mix code for the company’s paint brand.

All you have to do is take a picture of the color you like, tap on the hue you like best, and the system will return its “closest result”. An image of my Navy Blue lighter shot under bright white indoor LED lighting for example, came back as “Quixotic Plum, SW 6265” which is close enough!


Planning

7 Home Improvement Apps to Help Your Inner HandymanSEXPAND

“Measure twice, cut once” is one of carpentry’s most fundamental rules, up there with “no horsing around near the band saws.” The same holds true for home improvement in general. Before you can start in on a project—whether re-tiling a bathroom, laying down new hardwood floors, or even painting a hallway—you’ve got to know exactly what the scope of the project is and how much materials you’ll need.

The Handyman Calculator (Android) can assist you with the more complex math—from figuring square footage and stud spacing to unit conversion to asphalt volume, tile, paint, carpet, and linoleum coverage calculators, this app takes care of all of the heavy mental lifting. You just need to provide the correct measurements.

7 Home Improvement Apps to Help Your Inner HandymanSEXPAND

The iOS faithful should check out Home Improvement Calcs from Double Dog Studios ($2,iTunes) for similar functionality to the The Handyman Calculator, including more than 74,000 preset functions from mulch coverage to attic insulation volumetrics. It also includes enough helpful explanatory illustrations that you’ll be able to BS your way through the lumber section of your Home Depot with ease.

Or better yet, avoid the hassle of going to the home improvement store altogether. Both theHome Depot and Lowes offer dedicated apps for both iOS and Android which allow you to shop, purchase and, most importantly, have delivered just about everything the two stores sell.


Ongoing

7 Home Improvement Apps to Help Your Inner Handyman

In addition to big renovation projects, a house requires regular maintenance and upkeep— especially the older it gets. To keep on top of the innumerable little duties that keep small problems from becoming big, expensive issues, check out House Maintenance Schedule ($2 freemium, Android). This calendar app helps schedule and remind you of upcoming maintenance projects, from flushing the water heater and inspecting fire extinguishers to changing HVAC filters and cleaning downspouts.

7 Home Improvement Apps to Help Your Inner Handyman

And if you find yourself stumped by a project, there are plenty of resources on the Internet to help you along. The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius ($5 freemium, iOS) by Readers Digest is designed for both the iPhone and iPad and is packed with more than 300 (1,800 if you pony up $5) ideas and tips to keep you from bungling the job. For more ideas and tips be sure to also check out the regularly scheduled podcasts from Handy Guys and Money Pit Home Improvement. Now get out there and make Tim Taylor proud. [Top Image: RTeo]

By: Aaron Tarantola of Gizmodo

 


Selling Your Home During the Holidays? Now is the Time!

 

In today’s competitive real estate market, sometimes the standard, run-of-the-mill open houses aren’t yielding much success, and some sellers are choosing an alternative and effective method, that has been dubbed, “extreme open houses.”

With catered refreshments, prizes and entertainment, these events are causing quite a stir in the real estate world. By that, we mean that sellers are throwing elaborate parties in the guise of an open house, with hope that someone will buy their home. Some sellers hire local musicians and throw a fully catered party, equipped with champagne and expensive hors d’oeuvres. During the holidays, people are in a festive mood, and throwing a party is always a good idea to draw their attention.

The biggest advantage of an extreme open house is that potential buyers can see your home in a different light, giving you a chance to display some of your home’s attractive features. For example, if you are cooking food at your party, your guests can focus on your kitchen. Or, if you’re throwing a barbeque, you can get a chance to show off your favorite patio, drawing attention to some of your home’s best selling points.

Instead of showing a cold, empty home, you can attract potential buyers with a warm and vibrant home full of nice furnishings. Throwing a party in a warm and inviting home is a good idea even when you invite people who don’t intend to buy your home, since many of them will tell their friends about it.

Keep it simple

You don’t really need to throw an elaborate party to draw peoples’ attention, however, you can offer them some nice snacks and a glass of wine, giving them a chance to relax in the living room or the patio, and enjoy some of the comforts of your home. For starters, you can make a list of friends and acquaintances, and then send out some flyers with your contact information and a few facts about your home.

Are the holidays a good time to sell?

Although the holiday season isn’t really considered the best time to sell, the real estate market is much tighter, resulting in less competition for sellers. At the same time, motivated buyers are still in the market for homes, in hopes that they can make a purchase.

During the holidays, you can liven up your home with some lights and ornaments to attract buyers. Although you can make your home “shine” during the holidays, try not to overdo it. Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Too many ornaments could have a negative effect, and actually turn buyers away. Obviously, you don’t want to offend people, so be sure to go with tasteful decorations, as opposed to large and gaudy ones.

Also keep in mind that emotions play a big role in homebuyer purchases. A well organized home with a few tasteful decorations shows much better than a cluttered home with your kid’s toys lying around the living room. People will often purchase a home solely based on their gut feelings. If a buyer “falls in love” with your home, chances are they’re going to be more inclined to purchase it.

On a final note, it’s also a good idea to make it easy for people to stop by to see your home. In this case, flexibility is a key factor. People are busy during the holidays, and the chances of selling your home will be much greater if make it available for them to see.

Despite the fact that many people feel that the holidays aren’t a good time to buy or sell a home, this really isn’t the case. With a little knowledge and effort, you can sell your home in a timely manner, relax, and enjoy the Holidays!


Tech Tip Tuesday: December 10, 2013

Email Etiquette 101 

The use of e-mail in corporate culture is pervasive. I rarely get letters any more. Even phone calls are uncommon. But I get scores of e-mail messages every day. Yet, I am continually surprised at how people often misuse this medium.

 

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59, Image #813841

Therefore, I would like to humbly offer up 18 suggestions for better e-mail communication and etiquette 

  1. Understand the difference between “To” and “CC.” As a rule of thumb, the more people you send an email to, the less likely any single person will respond to it, much less perform any action that you requested. The people you include in the “To” field should be the people you expect to read and respond to the message. The “CC” field should be used sparingly. You should only CC people who have a need to stay in the know. The “BCC” field should be used even more sparingly. People you include in the “BCC” field will not be visible to others.
  2. Keep messages brief and to the point. Make your most important point first, then provide detail if necessary. Make it clear at the beginning of the message why you are writing. There is nothing worse for the recipient than having to wade through a long message to get to the point. Worse, if you send long messages, it is much less likely that the person will act on what you have sent or respond to it. It’s just too much work. It often gets set aside and, unfortunately, forgotten.
  3. Don’t discuss multiple subjects in a single message. If you need to discuss more than one subject, send multiple e-mails. This makes it easy to scan subject lines later to find the message you need. It also contributes to briefer e-mail messages and a greater likelihood of a response. Also, the more specific you can be about your subject heading, the better.
  4. Reply in a timely manner. I don’t think e-mail demands an instantaneous response. I have written about this elsewhere. Responding once or twice a day is sufficient, unless you are in sales, customer service, tech support, or some other field where a faster response is expected. Regardless, you must reply in a timely manner, otherwise you will incrementally damage your reputation and decrease your effectiveness.
  5. Be mindful of your tone. Unlike face-to-face meetings or even phone calls, those who read your e-mail messages don’t have the benefit of your pitch, tone, inflection, or other non-verbal cues. As a result, you need to be careful about your tone. Sarcasm is especially dangerous. If something gets “lost in translation,” you risk offending the other party. The more matter-of-fact you can be, the better.
  6. Don’t use e-mail to criticize others. E-mail is a terrific way to commend someone or praise them. It is not an appropriate medium for criticism. Chances are, you will simply offend the other person, and they will miss your point. These kinds of conversations are usually better handled face-to-face or, if necessary, over the phone. Especially, don’t use e-mail to criticize a third party. E-mail messages live forever. They are easily forwarded. You can create a firestorm of conflict if you are not careful. Trust me, I’ve done it myself more than once.

Don’t reply in anger. It almost never serves your purpose or long-term interests.

  1. Don’t reply in anger. In the heat of the moment, I have written some brilliant replies. I have said things in writing that I would never have the guts to say face-to-face. This is precisely why you should never ever fire off an e-mail in anger. They almost never serve their purpose or your long-term interests. They burn up relationships faster than just about anything you can do. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and write the message, then delete it. Usually a day or two after you didn’t send an angry e-mail, you’ll understand the wisdom of restraint.
  2. Don’t overuse “reply to all.” Last week I received an e-mail from someone who needed to know my shirt-size for a golf tournament. He sent the e-mail to about ten or twelve people. No problem with that. However, some of the recipients, hit the “reply all” key (out of habit, I am sure) and sent their shirt size to everyone on the list. This, of course, just adds more clutter to everyone’s already unwieldy inbox. Your default response should be to replyonly to the sender. Before you reply to everyone, make sure that everyone needs to know.
  3. Don’t forward chain letters. These can be forgiven when they are from your mother, but they only add clutter in the workplace. Nine times out of ten, the information is bogus. It is often urban legend. If you feel you absolutely must pass it on, please make sure that it is valid information. If in doubt, check it out at Snopes.com, a Web site devoted to tracking urban legends and rumors.
  4. Don’t “copy up” as a means of coercion. It’s one thing to copy someone’s boss as a courtesy. I do this whenever I am making an assignment to someone who is not a direct report. (I don’t want their boss to think I am going around them, but I also don’t want to bog my communication down in bureaucratic red tape.) But it is not a good idea to do this as a subtle—or not-so subtle—form of coercion. You may be tempted to do this when you don’t get a response to an earlier request. But I would suggest that you will be better served to pick up the phone and call the person. If they are not responding to your e-mails, try a different communications strategy.
  5. Don’t overuse the “high priority” flag. Most e-mail programs allow you to set the priority of the message. “High priority” should be reserved for messages that are truly urgent. If you use it for every message (as one person I know does), you will simply be ignored. It’s like the boy who cried “wolf” one too many times.
  6. Don’t write in ALL CAPS. This is the digital equivalent of shouting. Besides ALL CAPS are harder to read (as anyone in advertising will tell you.)
  7. Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks. If you do so, you can put yourself or your company at risk. You could be sued for simply passing something along, even if you aren’t the original author.

Remember that company e-mail isn’t private. You have no legal protection.

  1. Remember that company e-mail isn’t private. You have no legal protection. Anyone with sufficient authority or access can monitor your conversations on company-owned servers. If you need to communicate privately, then get a free account at GMail. Use it for anything personal or private.
  2. Use a signature with your contact information. This is a courtesy for those receiving your messages. It also cuts down on e-mail messages, since people don’t have to send a second or third e-mail asking for your phone number or mailing address.
  3. Provide “if-then” options. This is another tip I picked up from Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week. He says to provide options to avoid the back and forth of single option messages. For example, “If you have completed the assignment, then please confirm that via e-mail. If not, then please estimate when you expect to finish.” Or, “I can meet at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Will one of those times work? If not, would you please reply with three times that would work for you?”
  4. Use your spell-checker. I take my correspondence seriously. It reflects on me. As a publishing executive, the bar is even higher. If I misspell words, use bad grammar or punctuation, then it reflects negatively on me and my company. Lapses in grammar or punctuation can be forgiven. But misspelled words are just too easy to correct. That’s why God gave us spell-checkers. Make sure yours is turned on.
  5. Re-read your e-mail before you send it. I try to do this with every single message. My fingers have difficulty keeping up with my brain. It is not unusual for me to drop a word or two as I am racing to transcribe a thought. Therefore, it’s a good idea to re-read your messages and make sure that you are communicating clearly and observing good e-mail etiquette.

By: Michael Hyatt


Tech Tip Tuesday: December, 3 2013

How Real Estate Technology Tools Affect the Real Estate Landscape 

real estate technology tools

Google and the National Association of Realtors recently completed a study about the state of the real current estate market. While they focused on many topics, one such topic was how technology was affecting the real estate landscape. 

Think about it; traditionally, when you wanted to buy or sell a house, you contacted a real estate agent, discussed your preferences and must-haves, and then scoured properties until you found one that you met your needs and wants, and then went to see it. But real estate technology tools are changing that single, simple, long-standing scenario. 

According to the study, the above scenario is being eclipsed by a modern marketing strategy calledZMOT – Zero Moment of Truth – which is that anticipated point in time when traditional modes of shopping and purchasing are being overtaken digitally, through real estate technology tools such as search engines, social media, online videos, and so on. In terms of real estate and technology, ZMOTmeans that buyers are spending much more of their time pre-shopping – that is, deciding what they like and don’t like, if they want to buy or not, what they want and don’t want, and what they must have – than they have ever before, and this occurs before they ever approach a real estate agent. Digital media makes it easy for this process to happen. In regards to real estate and technology, here are a few results of that study and how the real estate market is being affected in recent years:

  • Nine of out 10 homebuyers today now rely on the web as a primary resource for their initial home research.
  • 52% of potential buyers use the Internet as their first stop when looking for homes instead of using traditional methods such as magazines, newspaper classifieds, or contacting an agent.
  • One-fifth of real estate-related searches now occur using mobile devices.
  • Home buyers are performing an average 11 online searches before deciding to take additional action. However…
  • Of those nine out of 10 people who use the Internet to start their search, an astounding 89% of them still contact a real estate agent to help them during the buying or selling process.

Knowing that the potential home buyer will turn to the Internet when pre-shopping for a home, what does this mean for the home seller or real estate agent? You need to harness the power and far-reaching grip of the web. To do this, make sure that: 

  • The home you want to sell is available electronically for viewing on the real estate agent’s web site.
  • You add pictures – and lots of them. This will show buyers what is available and can entice them to come in for a viewing.
  • You use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and online classifieds to your advantage. Even if your friends aren’t interested in buying your house, maybe a friend of a friend is. Word of mouth can stretch far and wide. Also, you can use Facebook, Twitter, and other means to answer questions or provide details of upcoming open houses.
  • Keep engaged: Once you list your property using real estate technology tools, you still have to be aware of prospective buyers. At any time, they may request a viewing, ask questions, or need to see an extra photo. Therefore, you need to be available and prompt in your responses because if you don’t answer quickly, your buyer will lost interest very quickly.
  • Don’t forget about traditional methods though! You never know what will catch someone’s eye and when. Also, everyone has their preferences, so by embracing both digital and traditional means of attracting buyers, you can reach more people than ever before.

By: Shamrock Financial


14,027 Houses Sell Every Day in the U.S.!!

houses with cart

There are some homeowners that might consider waiting for the spring to sell their house thinking that no one buys a home during the winter months. What we should understand is that homes sell EVERY DAY. As a matter of fact, according to the latest Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtorson average 14,027 homes sell daily in this country.

It is true that more houses sell in the spring than the winter in most markets.  However, it is also true that there will be more competition as many sellers wait to the spring to put their house on the market.

Thousands of homes sell each and every day in this country. Don’t be afraid to put your house on the market this winter. 

 

By: The crew at KCM