Get Better at Selling Your Own Listings

It is easy for real estate agents to get complacent in the marketing of their own listings beyond the hundreds of relationships their brokers and the association have already concreted for them.  The past success of this is still winning new listings and sales. The majority of time in the recent past, another realtor would bring their client after the realtor emailed them the home or they found limited information online and contacted their agent to show them and get more details.  In years past, the buyer did not have the access to information the internet now provides, hungry for house details, more consumers would engage agents earlier in the home buying process relying on them to provide this information, allowing this old school marketing to reach all consumers. This is only one side of the new world of real estate.

Realtors now have more access to consumers in the home buying process but its going to require more effort to draw them out.  

Realtors have traditionally spent more time trying to attract other realtors because they were the one in charge of getting their client to come.  This model is weakening as the buying public is out in front of the search process exposing themselves to listing agents like never before.  This is very cool as next generation marketing methods are changing as we speak away from traditional models. This will cause further innovation in the world of real estate and what has encouraged us to come out with the Real Estate 2020 podcast, to discuss the evolution of the industry and what it takes to be successful.

The advancement of technology, the explosion of photography and the acceptance of realtors letting the consumer control the house finding has decreased the engagement of their traditional buy side agents and empowered the consumers to shop alone until ready to write.  

This approach is not exposing the consumer to portals to get their data.  This has also changed the influence that agents have on reaching the consumer directly through effective and enhanced market brought online.  This enables listing agents to reach their intended target consumer directly, the buyer, making it easier to sell the house versus selling through the agent.  The intent is not to cut out the buyer broker (I double dipped less 5% of my sales as I keep my reputation high) and often buyers have an agent they prefer to write the contract, but to get more traffic through your house in hopes of selling faster and for more money.  Your goal as a listing agent is to drive maximum traffic through your listings, which leads to faster sales for higher return for the seller.  Advertising directly targeting the consumer goes way beyond photos in MLS that are syndicated to agents and consumers, and now leading agents will win deals at massive rates when they understand how to leverage this paradigm shift.

Now that consumer friendly companies that are in control of the data, like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com and Realtor.com, that have eloborated and expanded the offering gaining the trust of consumers.  I am talking about how realtors can leverage this versus selling against it.  These portals are accepting consumer contact information hand over fist.  It is best to get engaged with the portals, understand the offerings and benefits in hopes of luring their viewers to the homes you are trying to sell and this does not mean buying the leads. The best way to do this is clearly the open house.  We have seen spectacular results having 50% of our homes sell from open houses over the past 6 months, which amount to 4-5 sales per month.

Listing Strategies

The Shift 2.0 – Why Your Phone is Not Going to Ring in 2019

What are the TOP 6 Reasons Realtor’s phone will not ring in 2019 due to the Shift?

We are most expecting a Shift like last time meaning the Shift (2006-2010) meaning less volume and lower sales prices eating at our commissions. Yet, but this time I don’t expect those 2 effects to be as severe, but I do expect more and different impacts comprising the SHIFT, which may not recover in the future years, as we did last time as the volume returned!  See the top 6 reasons below.

    1. Reduction in force – Teams are upping their game and individuals chose independence over comradery, the following list comes with commission compression caused by these forces reducing deals through referrals, once lining their pockets, putting pressure for the individual agent to look elsewhere for income as skill set lags and objections change and phone rings less!  Teams are gobbling up the business by training, marketing and focusing on their skill set more by training produced by Elite Agents vs Broker who have not recently sold homes in the current market.  
    2. Your sphere shops online – Before they contact a friend/relative and the RELATIONSHIP referral loses to a partnership or value added realtor- The focus of this one is that your past clients and friends first call for real estate used to be you, now they begin online and get “Syrupped IN” meaning they do a lot of searching on their own and get involved in a deal involved with another agent or builder before even thinking of reaching out to you!  (10-15% of past referrals lost to this)
    3. PEOPLE BELIEVE THE INTERNET –  (PBTI will cause 10-15% reduction of referrals you once received) Google your name, then go to the neighborhood you sell most and search on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, YahooHomes, Rocket homes! If your internet presence is not close to the experience they believe they can get from what they found online, you don’t get the call!  Book will be ready soon!
    4. RELATIONSHIP loses to a PARTNERSHIP  (Zillow, Realtor.com,YahooHomes, Homelight, Rocket Mortgage, Opendoor) – this is the biggest cannibalization of a Traditional Agents referrals – Aggregators listed above send their deals to their agents through paid fees or referred commissions and valid their elite status whether true or not but either way they are referred strongly before you get the call. (15%-20%)
    5. RISE OF LOW COST HIGH SERVICE – The volume is at the low end and unfortunately Traditional Agents have not worked to improve their market of homes from 5-10 years ago leaving it up to syndication to sell their homes and therefore other agents to sell their houses when clearly the consumer is searching on their own.  This has allowed low cost-high service MODELS (meaning their marketing plan looks like yours) like Redfin, PurpleBricks, Homie, OpenDoor, OfferPAD and many provide the similar level of service as Traditional agents.
    6. Volume will lessen, but significantly through traditional measures – In most years, except for the hottest of markets in 2004, 2005, end of 2012, to mid 2013 and 2017 and 2018, meaning super low inventory, 95% of the homes sold MLS and the traditional listing process. This is and has been changing and affect referrals (10-15% of past referrals lost)

Please note these companies mentioned and highlighted in the article are attempting to provide a high level of service to the consumer and ultimately sending their business to Realtors like you so they are not the enemy but do represent the Shift that will threaten the Traditional Agents and Broker practice and income more forward!

Agent Training

Selling Challenges

Most sellers are unsentimental about their homes, instead they prioritize profits from the sale over concerns about the home’s future under a new owner. As reported in the Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report, half of sellers say maximizing profit is the most important goal, while 38 percent of sellers prioritize selling within their target time frame, and 12 percent say making sure their home has a good next owner is the most important priority.

TIMING CONCERNS

Urban sellers are more concerned compared to suburban sellers about selling within their target time frame. Urban sellers are usually selling in competitive markets where they often get their list price or higher, so it’s little surprise that these sellers are less likely to say that maximizing profits is a top concern.

SELLING FOR THE RIGHT PRICE

When sellers reflect on the entire selling process, they are overall satisfied. Sellers who do face issues during the sales process say the top four they find difficult are timing the sale with the purchase of their new home, selling within their desired time frame and price range, and entering a competitive buyers market after selling. As expected, younger generations seem to experience slightly higher levels of difficulty than older sellers. All generations find most aspects about the process easy to navigate or deal with. Baby Boomers and Silent Gen sellers report breezing through some of the activities that Millennials and Gen Xers rate difficult. Yet, as crazy as the selling process can be, most of those sellers will still go on to buy another house, and find themselves back in the market as sellers in another decade.

Are you efficiently assisting your client through the home selling process ? WE CAN HELP…LET’S GET STARTED TODAY!

Preparing to Sell

 

Before putting their homes on the market, Zillow reports sellers spend about seven months on average thinking about their decision. The older the seller, the longer they spend thinking about it, with the oldest generation spending twice as much time as the youngest sellers to commit to selling their home. On average, Millennials spend five months in contemplation, while Gen Xers spend six months, Boomers spend eight months and Silent Gen sellers spend 10 months.

MILE LONG LIST BEFORE THE SALE

Anyone who has sold a house knows there is always a mile-long to-do list before the for sale sign goes up. Getting rid of stuff, some of it accumulated over decades with older sellers, is the most difficult task for sellers. Many sellers indicate “decluttering” as difficult or very difficult when preparing their home for sale.

SELLERS MAKE AT LEAST TWO RENOVATIONS

Most homes need some TLC before listing, thus being part of the delay in deciding to sell. On average, sellers make at least two renovations or improvements to prepare to sell their home, with 79% of sellers making at least one improvement. Painting the home’s interior is the most common update, followed by landscaping the yard, replacing or repairing carpeting or flooring, and making improvements to the bathroom. Only 21% of sellers list their home “as-is”. Younger sellers are most likely to make improvements prior to selling compared to older sellers.

Are you having a hard time persuading your clients to make the necessary updates to sell their home? WE CAN HELP!

Renovating to Sell for Top Dollar

Being able to estimate renovation costs for home updates is impactful for both the buyer and the seller side. When working with buyers, they may see a home they’re interested in online but they’re concerned that the updates they desire won’t fit within their budget.  They may overestimate the costs required for those updates, and perhaps won’t consider homes at a higher price point because of this inaccurate information.

When working with sellers, being able to estimate accurate renovation costs will help to convince the seller to set a more realistic listing price.  Moreover, updating a home will help it to sell much more quickly.  Sellers typically don’t have a realistic idea of the actual costs of updating their home.  Setting up some estimates from contractors will go a long way toward educating your client about the actual costs of updating their home, and will help you to become even more of a subject matter expert as a seller’s agent.  

Convincing sellers to make the updates that buyers want is a little more difficult in today’s market.  Ten years ago, when the house down the street with the same square footage and the same floor plan sold for a higher price, it didn’t matter if that house had updates that yours didn’t, because you couldn’t see them without going inside the house itself.  Nowadays the impact of the internet and the syndication of listings with tons of photos has made price per square foot comparisons irrelevant.  

Buyers can see the upgrades they want, and if the listing doesn’t have those upgrades, the offered price will be discounted accordingly.  

When considering what to update and upgrade, price ranges and impacts on the buyer should be considered.  Buyers make a decision based on emotion within the first 7 steps inside the house.  Consider where the seller’s updating dollars will have the most impact.  For example, it’s important to focus first on the spaces where updates will have the most impact.  

Kitchens are the most important rooms in a home.  

Then, outdoor space is important in terms of updating, especially here in Arizona.  Make sure the pool deck is in good condition, either by painting or replacing.  Sun exposure fades the decking, and makes it feel old and worn.  Also, try to eliminate functional obsolescence.  Sellers shouldn’t out-upgrade their neighborhood.  Always consider the impacts of neighborhood on value of upgrades, and discourage upgrades more than the neighborhood requires or supports.  Bottom line, sellers shouldn’t price themselves out of their neighborhoods.  

Typical Home Sold

The typical home for sale is a 3-bedroom, 3-bath house with 2,000 square feet and a median price tag of $210,000 according the the Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018. Single-family detached homes account for the largest share of the homes sellers sold, but the types of homes differ by the generation of the seller and the locale. For example, Millennials, who comprise the largest share of sellers and tend to live in more densely populated cities and suburbs, are more likely than older generations to sell a townhome (15% compared with 8% of Gen Xers, 8% of Baby Boomers and 6% of Silent Generation sellers).

Thirty percent of sellers are selling a home in an urban area, about half are selling in the suburbs and less than 20% are selling in a rural areas, which is similar to the areas where buyers are purchasing.

SELLERS’ HOMES VARY BY LOCATION

After single-family homes, townhomes account for the largest share of homes sellers sold, followed by condos, manufactured/mobile homes and duplexes/triplexes. Suburban sellers are more likely to be selling single-family homes than sellers in urban locations and urban sellers are more likely to be selling townhomes.

Condos are rare among rural sellers, instead, they’re more likely to sell manufactured homes on lots they either own or rent. Among generations, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are most likely to sell single-family detached homes, while Millennials are most likely to sell townhomes.

WE HAVE LISTING STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU WIN YOUR LISTING APPOINTMENTS!

The Typical American Home Buyer

The median age for a typical buyer is 41-years-old, the largest share of home buyers are Millennials. They account for 42 percent of all home buyers and 61 percent of all first-time buyers. While Millennials account for the largest single share of buyers, two other generations account for another 50%- Gen X, between the ages of 39 and 53, comprises 26% of buyers, and Baby Boomers, between the ages of 54 and 73, account for 24%. Gen Z, young adults between the ages of 18 and 23, only make up 3%of buyers, and the Silent Generation, 74 and older, comprises 4 percent.

TODAY’S BUYERS: YOUNG, EDUCATED AND MARRIED

The typical first-time buyer is 34-years-old, compared with 52-years-old for experienced buyers who have purchased one or more homes. First-timers comprise almost half of buyers, and more than 6 in 10 first-time home buyers are Millennials.

Today’s average buyer earns an annual median household income of $72,500. Nearly a third of buyer households earn less than $50,000 and a third earn more than $100,000.

Most buyers are married, while 16% are single and have never married. Nine percent of buyers live with a partner, and 11% are divorced, separated or widowed. An large majority of buyers – 86% – live with others, mostly family, while 7% have roommates and 5% live with renters or tenants.

With the diversity of buyers, how are you making yourself valuable to buyers? WE HAVE THE TOOLS TO INCREASE YOUR VALUE!

Buying a Home in America

A buyer spends an average of four months looking for a home that they will share with some combination of spouse, partner, children, parents, roommates, tenants and pets. In fact, 86 percent of all buyers who purchased a home in the past year live with someone else, this requires emotional and financial calculations as buyers look for a home that meets everyone’s needs for space, privacy and togetherness.

Although the typical buyer is a well-educated 41-year-old couple who has previously owned a house, buyers are increasingly younger and new to the process of home buying.

Are you ready to educate new buyers about the complete home buying process?

AGENTS ARE SEEN AS A STRATEGIC PARTNER

Today’s buyers need more than a down payment and a mortgage to buy a new home. They say they also need a partner who can guide them through the home buying journey. Mortgages are a worry of 54% of buyers who seek financing and down payments are a source of strain, reflected by the fact that just over half of buyers put down less than 20 percent on their purchase.

HOME BUYING IS PERSONAL

Buyers place a tremendous amount of trust in agents throughout the process, which may explain why trustworthiness is the most important quality they look for in an agent. They trust agents to provide guidance on legal terms and requirements, expertise on negotiating the offer and much more. Yet still, home buying remains deeply personal. Although most buyers rely on agents to help them with many decisions, nearly half say that they alone decide whether a home is right for them.

At some point during their home-buying journey, 43% of buyers consider renting, this likely a reflection of the frustrations of the home search and applying for a mortgage. Yet, those who stay in the journey are rewarded with a new home!

Are you educating your clients enough about the home buying process so they don’t back out? WE CAN HELP…LET’S GET STARTED TODAY!