Housing Market 2017 – Latest News on US Real Estate Market Report

US Housing Market Report

If you haven’t read this post on the US housing market outlook for 2017 to 2020, please give it a good read. If you’re a home buyer, rental property investor, or you’re wondering where the best job prospects are for 2017 and beyond, there are several in depth reports on this blog with links to various data sources. This is helpful information to both investors and homebuyers. And you’ll find more in this report of best cities for real estate investment.

Too many of us have little insight into macroeconomic factors. We may have found such topics a bore in our youth, and the way reports are presented online, no one ever attempts to read or understand them again. How about we simplify them so we can can understand the US housing market 2017.  but these have immense influence over home prices, sales, mortgage rates, and whether anyone can afford to buy. One such macroeconomic factor is demographics. The fact that so many Millennials are reaching their home buying years now through to 2027 means there will be fundamental demand for homes and that puts huge upward pressure on home prices. Prices are already rising in what is the longest US economic expansion cycle ever.




The National Housing Scorecard for December 2016

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has just released its overall US housing market health report for December 2016 and here are the findings:

  1. Sales of previously owned (existing) homes rose again in November (sales up .7%)
  2. Sales of existing home were up 15.4% from a year ago.
  3. Homeowner equity grew sharply
  4. Purchases of new homes were up slightly in November (were down in October).
  5. Underwater borrowers continued to decline in number (down 74% since 2012)
  6. Obama’s programs continue to help struggling homeowners.

New housing Starts: Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,226,000. This is 11.3 percent (±10.4%) above the revised November rate of 1,102,000 and is 5.7 percent (±12.0%)* above the December 2015 rate of 1,160,000.

Except for the increase in foreclosures, the report isn’t too bad — sales are up and prices are up yet there are signs that everyone is waiting to see what President Trump decides what to do. Were Obama’s policies more just to mitigate the situation his administration created? And will Trump’s drain the swamp clean up strategy leave the door wide open to economic growth in all states and cities burdened by the Democrat’s administration? We’ll need to keep an eye on how investment money flows and how long ailing regional markets might be regaining their strength in the years to come under Trumps new rules.

Home prices are rising faster than incomes, so this is likely to slow demand from buyers as affordability becomes an issue. Still from this we can see a strong demand for multi-unit residential dwellings and other rental properties. See which cities are best for rental income investment.

A factor that’s plaguing many cities who have foreign real estate buyers — Houses held off the market. See this report on foreign ownership of land in Los Angeles.

Home Equity is Up – Will this generate optimism, confidence, and more spending?

 

10 Top Factors in Housing Market Demand

Here’s 10 key macroeconomic factors to keep in mind before you invest in any particular city market across the US.

  1. demographics – how many immigrants and Millenials/Gen Xers are buying and how many babyboomers are selling?
  2. economic confidence – the mood of buyers and sellers?
  3. outlook – the general incomes and employment rates of Americans
  4. housing availability – how much resale and new construction units are available
  5. mortgage rates – how high are mortgage interest rates
  6. credit – how available are home loans and refinancing
  7. immigration trends – where are people leaving and going to
  8. consumer debt – home much debt overall are consumers/homebuyers carrying
  9. cost of living – how much are earnings and savings eroding or increasing
  10. govenment programs – how is government assisting with buyers – Freddie Mac, HUD, Fannie Mae




You can read even more explicitly about housing market factors in the Los Angeles Real Estate report. The stock market is another factor that can affect a home buyers decision and timing. Investment money can move from stocks to real estate thus putting upward pressure on home and condo values.

Price Trends: Before you make the decision to buy a home or sell your home, get some deep insight into these big data trends. In only 4 years, the average home price has risen $45k and as Zillow suggests, it will climb into 2017.

Mortgage Rates

Where are interest rates and mortgage rates headed?

Screencapture courtesy of http://longforecast.com/usmg/mortgage-rates-forecast-for-2015-2016-and-2017.html

Hot Economies – But Which are next

Read the best cities to invest report and you’ll see that cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco may not stay hot. Regional economic outlooks change. While Detroit and Warren Michigan looked really awful with the disappearance of their auto manufacturing business, they might now be the darlings of the real estate investment world. The San Francisco and Bay Area apartment rental market remains scorching hot, but will it remain so if the tech sector slides?

Graphic courtesy of JLL Research

The Trump Effect on Housing and the Economy

Over the last month there’s been a lot of hype and scare mongering regarding President Trump’s forecasted policies.  Certainly a number of factors could reduce demand for housing in the states of Florida, Texas, and California by removing millions of illegal aliens. The latest furor over mortgage rates surpassing 4% is not panning out as influential.

A recent Fox News report shows that prospective buyers would benefit more by buying than renting:

Under Trump’s plan, the amount of tax-exempt income for single filers may soar from $6,300 to $15,000, and the exemption for married couples could rise to $30,000. If that happens, fewer people would need to file itemized deductions and take the mortgage interest deduction.

If this is true, it would stimulate home construction and reduce upward pressure on rents which you know are out of control in some cities. Home construction would stimulate further economic activity which it always does.  You can read more of Fox’s report here: http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2016/12/06/heres-how-trumps-tax-plan-could-affect-housing-market.html

 

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TREB Market Watch Report for August 2016 – The Vancouver Tax

Toronto Real Estate Community Set for Big Welcome of Vancouver Real Estate Investors

TREB’s monthly market report showed 9989 homes were sold in Toronto (GTA) in July, which was one of the best July’s on record. Data is is suggesting 2016 will be a record year (It was!).  TREB has just released its August sales report (Sept 7) and sales were strong and housing stock is slim which isn’t much of a surprise. 9814 homes were sold in the TREB MLS zone.

Here’s a snippet from their Sept 7, news release:

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark for August 2016 was up by 17.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.  Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 17.7 per cent on an annual basis to $710,410.  Both the MLS® HPI benchmarks and average prices for low-rise home types were up by double digits percentage-wise.

Toronto Real Estate: [bctt tweet=”Latest Update: Toronto Real Estate market is up substantially, whether foreign investors are involved or not. #hotrealestate” username=”@gord_collins”]




August sales was a new record, up 17.2% from August 2015.  Is this due to the exit of investment from the overheated Vancouver BC market to Toronto. Or is this just due to the constrained availability in Toronto and surrounding area such as York Region?  What’s obvious about the Vancouver and Toronto markets is the degree of available land and developments are causing price pressures. Will BC and Ontario governments change their directions or will this severe pressure continue right through 2017?

Word is, that Ontario is considering an extra transfer tax (they already have enough taxes).  We’ll be able to pay our carbon credit tax and extra transfer tax together?

Here’s a chart courtesy of TREB, showing price growth in the last year. Very big numbers which might make a number of Toronto homeowners get off the shelf about selling their home.  Houses and condos sold for record prices and yet we’re not hearing as much lately about bidding wars?  York region lead the way with the biggest gains (22%) in price. Are you a York region realtor? Why not check out my digital marketing  and Real Estate Lead Generation services?  I’d be happy to help you.

trebstatsaugust

The Big Shift to Toronto

Toronto real estate agents, developers, builders, and financial companies must be in very good spirits knowing the number of sales will boom.  Many foreign buyers search Google or Juwai for information on homes, and from the jump in visits to my pages, it seems interest is growing. Those realtors who are present on Google search are sure to see their inquiries and leads grow.

This chart courtesy of TREB covers the details of each MLS zone: (click to enlarge). Mississauga, Vaughan and Toronto Central remain the top districts in terms of value. Toronto’s C12 MLS district (Lawrence Park, Don Valley, St Andrew/Windfields) has the highest prices with an average composite price of $1,690,900 and a detached home average price of $2,054,800. Other Toronto districts had higher price growth, some over 32% year over year.  Toronto MLS average prices have levelled off with volume down 30 to 40,000 dollars since the spring high season.

treb-august-2016
TREB Summary of Sales of Existing Homes in Toronto MLS region — Screencapture courtesy of TREB

BC’s Foreign Buyers Tax is the Big News in August

The BC government voted to levy a 15% tax on real estate investment by foreign buyers and many believe this has caused Asian buyers to shift their focus eastward for homes and other properties and take their money with them. The forecast for the 2017 Toronto housing market was good before, but with this new influx from Vancouver, it may be a profitable fall season for realtors and builders.




foreignsalesincanada
This chart courtesy of the Toronto Globe and Mail shows foreign purchases make a small portion of the total Vancouver mls region and are centered mostly in Richmond and Burnaby.

The stats don’t support that Asian investment money is responsible for Vancouver’s housing boom, anymore than it was Toronto or Montreal’s improvement. Politicians are likely hoping the public will believe a symptom of Vancouver’s amazing success is the cause. Prices have slid in Vancouver, but it may do little to make housing affordable in BC. In fact, we have to wonder if the exodus of that money will depress Vancouver’s economy and optimism.  When you try to suppress the spirit of a city, you could be in for a tough go.  Many of the foreign buyers are buying because their children are attending schools in Vancouver. It will certainly make a lot of over-leveraged buyers nervous as well as many schools in BC (including UBC) who will lose these foreign students and tuition.

The Big Shift to Toronto

Toronto real estate agents, developers, builders, and financial companies must be in very good spirits knowing the number of sales will boom.  Many foreign buyers search Google or Juwai for information on homes, and from the jump in visits to my pages, it seems interest is growing.

In a news story from inews880, Jordan Teperman, executive vice-president of Haven Developments in Toronto, said Toronto is seeing the effects of the tax.

“We really don’t know what the effect of it is yet, but I could tell you from the seven projects that we have on the go…we are getting a lot of calls from brokers out west saying they have customers that would traditionally invest in Vancouver and are coming to Toronto now because they feel it’s a safe heaven, and two, they are so taxed out in their foreign countries.”

Teperman also said a major developer his company works with said the figures could be as high as 60 to 70% of the volume of investors that could go to Toronto instead of Vancouver. That would certainly make the Toronto Real Estate market jump in August and September.

trebhistoricprices

TREB doesn’t report mid-month sales any longer, so we’ll have to wait another 7 to 10 days to see what the Vancouver impact is.  What needs to be looked at further is how many sales will move to the US markets such as Los Angeles.

Latest Posts: Real Estate Lead GenerationReal Estate Investment | Toronto Housing Market TREB Market Report | Los Angeles Housing Market Predictions | Lead GenerationDigital Marketing for Realtors | Importance of a Real Estate Agent | Housing Market | Future of Real Estate Marketing | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | UVP of Lead Generation Companies | Lead Pospecting Tips | Blogging Tips |  Luxury Realtors |  Toronto MLS | Realty SEO Specialist | Real Estate Lead Generation | York Region Housing Report

Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Expert for realtors in Toronto, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Oshawa, Markham, Newmarket, Aurora, Bradford, Vaughan, Burlington, and Hamilton.

Social Media Listening for Real Estate Agents

You Social Media Listening Strategy – Techniques and Tools

A good number of realtors pride themselves on their ability to listen and empathize with their clients wants and needs. That’s all good, but if you can’t even find your prospects or reach your inner circle of key clients, how will you hear their voice? Answer: social media media listening!

Perhaps I can help you connect with your inner circle of clients, and even forecast who will be a prospect better than we can forecast the real estate market?

Listening for Clues

Social Listening has to be the biggest trend in digital marketing right now, and that includes generating leads for real estate agents.  It’s a technique that you can get the jump on your competitors and help you prospect better. Listening into conversations helps you find out what the trending topics are, monitor for activities and interests, and allow you to enter conversations with prospects. My role with you goes far beyond being an SEO specialist to helping you build your realtor image and unique value proposition to leverage high quality content and social media engagement. You will need to become proficient at social media listening.




What is Social Listening? A process predicting future clients and engaging current clients by monitoring words, comments, topics from a defined group of people and then engaging with them using relevant content, feedback and responses

I’m going to introduce you to social listening and some key software tools to help you with social listening for real estate. This way, you can develop your own prospect predictive intelligence tool to power up your ability to zero on the best prospects. Definitely an evolution in realtor prospecting technique.

Social Media Listening Questions

You might have a lot of questions on  and what to use and how to use it: [bctt tweet=”How to Start a Social Listening Strategy #Realtors #SMB #SocialMedia” username=””]

  • whose comments and accounts do I monitor?
  • who is a social influencer in my target neighbourhoods?
  • what do people in my neighbourhoods chat about on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • should I get involved in people’s broadcast emails where they send out material to all the people they know?
  • which words and topics should I be monitoring for?
  • what are the things these people do and are interested in?

Hopefully, we’ll have all of your questions answered by the end of this EPIC post!

A New Focus on Social Media

Why social media and social media listening? Social media allows everyone to let loose and express themselves. They tweet and instagram and snapchat their faces off. And were you were complaining? Well no more, because when they express themselves, you get cues as to whether they’re interested in moving, buying or selling. And that’s music to your ears! Whatever social channel they prefer, you can have a good listen, and then you’re able to respond and engage that person slowly.

socialforsmallbusinessstatista

Learn to love social media. There’s a reason people spend so much time on it so don’t judge and don’t turn your back to it. It’s very fortunate that right now, that you can collect all this chatter via various platforms using data feeds and look for clues to real estate prospect’s behavior and intentions.

The beauty of social media is that more info is available to about the individual, where they live, where they go during the day, and their conversations with others. In, fact you can stimulate some of that conversation yourself and purposefully get people talking about topics that lets them divulge their intentions.  You could launch the conversations that leads to key insights. For instance, lets say you create an article about neighborhoods in your city, schools, restaurants, businesses, about types of homes, and you get your connections to respond to them. That’s a fantastic content strategy to get the information you need.

You can’t get this information from Google, because Google won’t let you have it and because they want to leverage it for themselves (and make politicians look like the villains. And you thought the Google guys were dummies:))

Turns out that social media hasn’t been oppressed as yet, so there’s time to utilize social engagement and posting for marketing. This data comes from normal internet connectivity and from involvement in social channels and from the cloud and Big data. Very technical sources of user information yet handy because over time users reveal quite a bit about themselves and their daily thoughts, values, activities and intentions.

Social Media Listening Tools

From Hootsuite to Talkwalker to SmartZip, there’s apps you can use and which you may have to experiment with to get the results you’re hoping for. Some have developed data filters and database processing algorithms that discover patterns of behaviour. A few companies such as SmartZip have programmers who comb through all that data and discover paths to purchase. So from early conversations, they can tell where that chatter is actually leading. Your chatter is directly related to your goals. You think they’re hidden and personal but they’re not.

Your chatter reveals what you value and where you’re headed. If you keep talking about Vancouver Canada, it doesn’t take a genius to know you’re going to move there. A realtor can pick up on that via social media listening and other sources and offer a way to make your dream a reality. Because realtors are just people who make dreams comes true.

You’re a realtor. Does Sothebys, Remax, Century21, ColdwellBanker, Homelife, Royal Lepage, Keller Williams and other brokerages give you this precog awareness of people’s desires and intentions? From what I hear, absolutely not. You have to take the initative and get this done.

Fortunately, you have an ally in this quest (me). So let’s find out how you can use social media to listen for these cues that help you sniff out a seller like a hound dog. When Elvis said “you ain’t nothin but a hound dog“, well you know he meant now:)

Your Social Media Listening Strategy

A strategy is plan that uses tools and a systematic method to carry out tasks that will generate the insight and connections with prospective clients.

  1. use tools to find prospects in your designated towns, zip codes, and neighbourhoods and start or seed your strategy with them first (start with your own client list)
  2. discover or compile a list of words and topics that people commonly use such as neighborhood, broker name, mortgage, moving, commute, garage sale, landscaping, windows, renovation, roofing, school, and the questions that your prospects would be using if they were going to move to a neighborhood
  3. audit your website content to compile a list of pages/videos etc that you use to generate conversations or take part in conversations
  4. create a list of all the content you need to develop to be more informative, compelling and responsive
  5. find a social media tool that will allow you to listen to people in a specific geographic region
  6. discover those who are talking about you or praising you and compile their social accounts
  7. compile a lost of local business owners, politicians, clubs, and other influential people’s social accounts to follow/listen
  8. be active and tweet or message about people, events, places and topics – seed the conversation with interesting, fun comments

Social Media Listening Tools

Here’s a few of the best tools available to help do social media listening for real estate:

Talkwalker Real Estate Agent example, using app for Hootsuite

Yelps Strong Local Coverage Makes it a Worthy Component for social listening

If you’d like to do social media listening on your own, you can set up a Hootsuite account and begin listening on all your social media accounts.

Mention is yet another app you can use to begin listening on your accounts.

This social listening infographic talks about sentiment, share of voice, trust, responsiveness and more that you need to be more familiar with.

sociallistening-infographic
Infographic courtesy of PWC.com

Real Estate from 2107 to 2020

There are so many new technology, technique, influencers, and trends impacting on the markets.  To help you become more informed have a good look at some of the latest posts:

Toronto Housing Market Forecast | Los Angeles Housing Market | Lead GenerationTREB Market Report | Importance of a Real Estate Agent | Housing Market | Future of Real Estate Marketing | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Lead Generation | UVP of Lead Generation Companies | Lead Pospecting Tips | Blogging Tips |  Luxury Realtors |  Toronto MLS | Realty SEO Specialist | Real Estate Lead Generation | How to Choose the Best Real Estate Agent | Real Estate Lead Generation | Zillow Lead Service

Top Real Estate Lead Generation Sources

What are the Top Sources of Real Estate Leads?

Jay Sherer in his video (below) suggests most realtors, based on industry stats get most of their leads via their contacts and referals. That’s misleading because most realtors don’t have much of an Internet presence so how could they acquire Internet leads?

We could ask doctors and dentists where they get their real estate leads and we get the same stats. In other words, these widely “dished out” stats are actually a skewed look at each of the potential sources of real estate leads. To get accurate stats, we need to interview the top selling individual agents online.

Buyer Side Lead Generation Sources

Jay points out that agents get buyer leads mostly from their own contacts, but is this because that’s all most agents to get their leads?  If they’re doing online lead generation at all, or well, they won’t be getting much action there.

buyersideleads

Seller Side Real Estate Leads

It’s the same for seller side leads. Most buyers are sellers so they’re going to go online before they sell for one reason or another. As a realtor, you just have to be online in the right locations and voila, they see you. That one seller you get contacted by, may know others who are selling too. They usually share that infomation too.




seller-sidelistingleadsources

Jay mentions that one agent lost a sale from one of his top contacts because he wasn’t in touch with them, and they went with another agent.  If you’ve got 500 contacts, ya, it would be tough to keep tabs on them all, and one could slip through your fingers.

The internet can be used to build personal contacts and it’s a fantastic source of buyers and sellers looking for a home or agent.  Real estate agent, you may not know, is a popular search term on Google search and is one of the most expensive keyword phrases you can bid on in Google Adwords. Many people aren’t acquainted with a real estate agent, or they’ve simply forgotten names.

If the agent had been doing social listening (predictive analytics) he might have known quickly that his client was making noises about buying and selling. So even though he had the client in his stable, it actually meant nothing. The internet is a more active medium and keeps you on your toes.

Here’s a number of graphics showing potential lead sources. What do you think?

This graphic from Agent Jet shows that Facebook advertising may be becoming one of the better lead sources due to its excellent demographic targeting.

lead-sources-agentjet
Graphic courtesy of Agentjet.com

Survey by Private Communities about best real estate sales prospects.

privatecommunitiescom_marketingsurveyresultscrop

Placester_real_estate_leads_infographic

The Top 10 Best Lead Sources

Here’s the top 10 best sources of real estate leads. If you don’t like the order, then please leave a comment and give your reason for which lead sources are the best.

  1. New meetings with people: phoning, socializing, and door knocking — talking to as many people as possible builds your local network. 50 introductions should create a lead.
  2. Past clients and your Contact Database — send them info they can’t get anywhere else – market updates, just solds, and become the local expert they can rely on for insight they want
  3. Online Leads — Google and Youtube indexes your videos, website pages, blog posts and social media posts and presents them to prospects who area searching for homes.  Being in those searches is critical. If you have a high traffic generating site, it could brings tens of thousands of visitors and out of that volume, a lot of excellent prospects and new clients.
  4. Outdoor Billboards and Transit ads – Still very visible in local areas but takes time and persistene to pay off (perhaps years)
  5. Passive Expireds – they didn’t sell their home. Why?
  6. Open Houses are an invitation via email, social media message, or yard sign.  It gives you a face-to-face opportunity to meet people interested in buying or selling a home. You can hand out business cards to those who are curious and get them to look at your website and start searching on it.
  7. Yard signs – your sign gets seen in action in your target neighbourhoods, thus drawing attention and getting people thinking about selling their house themselves
  8. Realtor.com or Realtor.ca – major associations listings from your feed
  9. Major Brokerages  –  Remax, Centur21, Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams something dish out leads who came to their offices (walk-ins) or online searches at their brokerage website.
  10. Online Lead Generation Companies – They do mass advertising campaigns on Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and other websites as their lead farm. Check out which are the best lead generation companies and evaluate which are worth a try.

Jay Sherer mentions that one agent reportedly paid $8400 to Zillow for leads. That’s great yet you can do better if you get yourself front and center online. Don’t think that Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Remax and all the rest of the big portals are too competitive. They aren’t. I beat them and so can you. Great content and really good real estate SEO can make you a high traffic, online lead generator comparable to the best lead generation companies.

Call me and let’s get started!

Related posts: Housing Market 2017 | Rental Investment Market Outlook |  Los Angeles Housing Predictions | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Forecast | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Forecast | Real Estate Leads | Toronto MLS | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Real Estate Lead Generation | Zillow Leads | Aurora Newmarket Real Estate Forecast

Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Consultant —  I generate leads for realtors in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu. Find a Los Angeles Real Estate Agent who will actually work for you.

Your Sales Strategy Upgrade for 2017 is Here

Don’t Go Into Hibernation – Spring 2017 is Coming

Now that the Chicago Cubs won the world series in a squeaker, we know they’ll be celebrating and get some down time over the fall and winter. A deserved celebration yet many major league players will let themselves go over that time and come back out of shape and prone to injury in 2017. Not so good.

bearninja
Bears don’t hibernate anymore. They go into ninja training:)

As a business person, your business has its sales cycle too.  Most sales are weak after the holiday season, and this so called quiet season gives you the time and energy needed to develop outstanding digital content. This may be when you can create a fantastic video that gives your brand a huge boost. Or maybe your weak content can be made more impactful, engaging, and trustworthy? Now’s the time to build a strategy. Think about where your your digital marketing could be more powerful and get it going!

If you have some doubts right now about next year’s performance, that’s your mind urging you to pay attention and deal with it.

I’ve highlighted some important business development steps you need to take now so that not only will 2017 be a sure hit, but you’ll you hit some home runs next season and raise your batting average.




For a real estate agent, the big spring season is coming and if you ramp up your web site content, Google rankings, and conversion strategy now, you’ll hit your mark. Wait till spring, and you’ll be desperately pushing your marketer to pull off last second miracles.

It’s like a baseball player preparing for the World Series in 2017. If they don’t take it seriously, then the chances of them excelling next season are slim. It will be one of those “coasting” seasons the fans hate to see (and know they’re paying the player’s huge salary during their bad year).

Mentally, emotionally, and skills and resource wise, you need to begin the climb to more opportunity and leads, and to begin to perfect your sales conversion strategy for 2017.

2017 Forecast: Winners Win and Losers Lose

An intelligent sports coach knows he or she needs to have a game plan. If the other coaches are poorly prepared, then the chances of victory are high. Either way, he’s prepared to recruit the best players and train them the right way, before the season begins.

Similarly, it’s likely your competitors are poorly prepared and slack off during the winter. They come back in March or April to begin, but by then, the winners are already determined. Their game plan is hurried, unsupported, and poorly executed despite all their self-deceit and puffed up pride. That’s when the doubt creeps in about their sales and prospecting skills and competence as a realtor or business person. Avoid those demons and dark moments by being prepared.

Business is won and lost through preparation — set a great foundation and you’ll win and dominate your market segment. Winners win and losers lose. That’s how business is. If you had a bad sales year, it doesn’t mean you have poor skills. Rather, your business development strategy is poor — you lack a good game plan and powerful follow through. You need the foundation before you have anything to follow through with.

2017 Forecasts: Interested in knowing more about the US housing market, Los Angeles real estate market, or Toronto real estate market through 2017?  Read up on the key factors in forecasting sales in any market.

7 Stages for your 2017 Spring Training Process

  1. Refresh Your Target Market – have the demographic, ethnicity, buying power, and circumstances changed and are there new buyer and seller opportunities out there?
  2. Do an Asset Inventory – does your website rank well, have great content and generate a lot of leads? Contact a digital marketer who can help you create a digital marketing strategy to design and build your traffic generating and lead generating resources. Without traffic and leads, the rest of your plan is in jeopardy. Don’t skimp on this phase.
  3. Build a New Excellent Website — You must have your own website, under your control and customization to achieve real results. From visibility to appearance to mobile friendliness, you need a site that delivers quickly to people using any digital device. Do you have videos, blogs, photographs, and other interesting content for customers to delve into so they can understand your value? You can avoid spending all your funds on web development and put them into something that returns leads and sales.
  4. Review your Brand Image. Are you approachable and engaging enough? Does it sound like you enjoy your business and delight in the city your work? No? Maybe a change in how you view yourself and your market is in order. Do you come across as professional, sincere, trustworthy, and someone who can produce boatloads of qualified offers for sellers? Work intensely on your personalized, significant unique value proposition (or brand image, they’re actually the same thing). Summarize what you offer and understand why prospects are eager and delighted to be able to work with you. When they think they’re lucky to work with you, you’ve gotten your value proposition across beautifully.
  5. Get Visible on Google. Whether it’s through the paid ads or free search engine results, being top ranked is very important. In fact, no rankings could be disastrous to your long term career. Think intensely about your lack of interest in the world’s number one source of leads. Find a really good SEO consultant with good all round skills to build a plan to create superb content that creates rankings, shares, likes, and visitors. No matter how engaging you think you are, the focus of all conversations is “something tangible” whether it’s a home or condo, market statistic, or event (moving). Your content is that tangible thing and when it becomes a medium of exchange, it’ll be passed around like houer’derve’s at an upscale house party.
  6. Create a Social Media Strategy. Whether you like it or not, buyers and sellers are using social media. Social media users are eager sharers and supporters — they can help you. Engaging with people on social media can be fun whether it’s instagram or Linkedin. You need a comfortable process to reach them, engagement them, and motivate them to work with you.
  7. Create a strategy document. A strategy document gives you the active process of how you’ll use the assets you’ve created. Don’t create a marketing plan or business plan — that’s for investors and bankers. This is a process document that helps you visualize and get excited about what you’re going to do in 2017.

Perfect your Lead conversion process – from beginning awareness to inquiries to signing sales contracts, the full sales funnel process needs to work without nasty gaps. You can use your CRM and lead management tools to help however you should review your process and your conversion stats to understand why it isn’t working. That takes some study and you may have to test different hypotheses and tactics. Better to test these processes during the winter instead of waiting till you’re inundated with sales calls.

This complete process of leads and sales improves will result in sustained improvement year and and year out for decades ahead. You’ll learn from increase leads, inquiries, social relations, and battle in the marketplace.

Winners Win because they Prepare Well

The preparation and strategy alone makes them a formidable force in any market. They start on the periphery but over time you see them becoming more prevalent each month whether it’s in Google search, social media or in the neighborhoods with their sales signs.

Winners don’t waste their winters in hibernation. This is early spring training. The 2017 season isn’t far off. Show you’re making a commitment to yourself — you’re the toughest one to convince. When you turn business success into a personal mission, a fun pursuit of a better more meaningful professional life, you’ll find the motivation to improve every aspect of your life. This success stuff is contagious so take a bath in it.

If online success is the key (and it is) then you should be contacting me. I’ve got the right skills and production capability at the right price. But price won’t be of much concern once we start dominating your market.

It doesn’t matter whether your market is Los Angeles, Toronto, San Diego, San Francisco and the Bay area, New York, Seattle, Denver, or Boston. We can be the big Kahunas in these markets. Your will and finance, combined with my skill is a sure winner. Let’s get started!

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Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Consultant —  I generate leads for realtors in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu. Find a Los Angeles Real Estate Agent who will actually work for you.

7 Creative Ways to Get Seller Leads

7 Ways to Build Your Real Estate Seller Leads

How can you improve your lead prospecting and get more leads? You could use lead generation companies, advertise on Google and Facebook, use predictive analytics for realtors, or shadow other agents and steal their clients. Each of these has its drawbacks, some frustrating and some painful.

One expert I listened to recently in a Youtube video advised realtors to build diverse lead channels and be consistent at it, day in day out, and set aside 15% of your total sales commission revenue for marketing.

Image courtesy of merchant.iitc.ie

He’s suggesting real estate agents use many online and offline channels and perhaps funnel them all to your website where you can deepen the relationship with as many as possible. Then at some point during this buyer/seller experience you give them a good reason to call you right away where you can move them to the face to face, in person meeting where you establish a sense of trust and capability with them. I like that.

But getting seller leads is tough. Even buyers don’t want to meet with you until they’ve made up their mind what they want to do. And how do you present a better value proposition to sellers? Do you offer cash back, referral fees, prizes, reduced commission, or other goodies?

The new stat out apparently, is that you must meet 50 people before you get a client, down from the old days of 100 contacts. So you might want to get into a jovial mood and start introducing yourself to everyone. If everyone starts avoiding you, then you can always start digital marketing with me:)  I won’t avoid you, I’m a real estate SEO specialist and I’ll listen to all your stories and give you a proposal on how to get rich.

So let’s get on with this digital marketing thing, because one way or another, you need to be highly visible online and then find a way to meet all these people in person. It’s worth it, and with all the data mining and predictive algorithms used for social media listening, you can find prospects that show all the signs of wanting to sell. Everyone’s rushing into it so don’t be the last.

No doubt you’ve learned that a lot of sales and marketing has been transformed into inbound marketing and your website is usually the endpoint of that seemingly passive, new approach. So what can you do with your web presence and your personal skills to present an ideal image to buyers and sellers out there. Here’s 7 key ways to make you the person they’re all talking about.

  1. Provide unique information they can’t get anywhere else and be an expert or Big Kahuna in a local area. A monopoly is the oldest goal in business and don’t forget it. Monopoly is at the root of huge wealth and always will be. Be the guru of something and be the missing piece of the puzzle so they believe they have to hire you.
  2. Choose a geo or demographic market to focus on so you can dominate it. Find a neighbourhood that has the type of people who typically respond well to you in person. Don’t go for young millennials if they don’t like you or trust you on sight. It might be your clothes, haircut or the way you walk and talk, but that’s you. Some agents focus on lifestyles since building one common interests is a great way to get conversations started, often you speak the same lingo. Create a physical presence in that market and ensure your realtor branding and website content reflect their values.
  3. Make high quality videos to make an impact visually and get yourself in front of prospects. Introduce yourself and a beautiful home you’re selling just as a way of showing how you look in action. Get relaxed and have the camera follow you. Remember to really like yourself first. You are worth knowing and they’re lucky to meet you.
  4. Be social — think about places you can meet people, get active in many activities and engage them in conversation. Do more and work on doing more. Play some golf, tennis, attend some meetups, and make social time a big priority. And think about the things you like to talk about and others will feel your enthusiasm no matter what it is. Get them to ask you about the market and talk about positives and negatives and when they ask you “is this a good time to sell” say “It depends.” Then you’ve got them immersed in all the issues you can help them with. Brilliant.
  5. Huge volumes of leads expire– follow up before someone else does. Give them an incentive to stay in touch, and to meet with you to discuss ways you can help them. Ensure you have a number of new things to help them with, even if it’s inexpensive landscaping or roofing contractors.
  6. Play up your open houses — and get lots of signs out in that neighborhood. Then walk the neighborhood and leave your custom logo usb stick with files will take them to an online contest on your website! Oh ya, give them an adventure and they’ll be talking about you.
  7. Create a big presence online with a well indexed mls idx website and lots of properties for visitor to easily peruse. And make sure all your city’s MLS listed property pages on your site are indexed in Google. Most site do not have them, so you need to talk to me about all that online stuff. Create some active social media accounts and be active. You never know when a tweet or FB post creates a ripple and creates a lead. Original humor, pets and kids, and fun food recipes are much shared online. Buyers, sellers, and homeowners are all online and you must get your face and name in front of them. Build your online presence to be as powerful, authoritative, helpful, friendly, likable, trustworthy and capable as possible. Repetition and familiarity go hand in hand. People trust people they know.

Now you’ve got the fundamentals of a powerful multi-channel lead generation and presence builder that’s going to spread the word about you. Your blogs, tweets, and FB posts will put you front and center in the lives of your niche target audience. Your social and professional in person activities keep reinforcing the idea that you’re very helpful and they’ll be keeping more of their money (and selling above asking price) if they hire you. You’re entering their lives as a respected friend and advisor and they’ll be glad to be associated with you.

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Predictive Analytics for Real Estate and Mortgage Agents

Forecasting Buyer / Seller Behavior?

I can predict you’ll be meeting more buyers and sellers in 2018 if you get smart about your marketing. And your strategy might include some new technology that’s giving realtors predictive powers. Who wouldn’t want their own crystal ball?

For instance, let’s say you discovered 300 young people, graduated and employed (linkedin), mentioning moving, houses, lack of space, frustration, or weddings (facebook), and displaying intent on instagram, blogs, twitter and other social media. Those behaviors tell you which of the 300 have the highest purchase intent.

Sellers too, express things long before they actually decide to sell such as retirement locations, health issues, kids moving, travel, and vehicle expenses etc. These are the events that lead to the sale of a house.

I Wish I Knew More about My Target Prospects

Your biggest challenges as a real estate agent or mortgage agent is a lack of information about potential clients and what they’re up to – especially for seller leads. Think of the potential value of you knowing who might be buying or selling way ahead of everyone else?

See the videos below and you’ll learn something fascinating.

Forecasting or predictive analytics is a dominant technology innovation happening right now and obviously has big implications for marketing and sales. Companies such as SmartZip have hopped on it and are providing techniques to mine social media activity to predict buying behavior.

There are other companies too, such Adgorithms who use artificial intelligence software to assess click behavior which leads to buying and selling.

What if you could watch your social media followers and draw a good picture of when they might be ready to sell?

Predicting Buyer and Seller Behavior

Google itself is into predictive modeling/analytics extensively with their RankBrain technology. They use it to serve up ads to searchers because they know what consumers will be searching for next in their buying journey. It’s sort of a precognition unit of Google. It works and has grown their ad revenue significantly.

minorityreportcruise
Tom Cruise in Minority Report image courtesy of tvtropes.com

Major national real estate forecasters have had access to excellent market data to map out predictions on housing markets resulting in a few good predictions (well, okay very few:)  So forecasting and prediction can work if there is enough high quality data, and an algorithm which can filter through it.

Amazon has their AI software helping them predict what their customers are going to buy next based on past searching and buying behavior. Then they suggest behaviors and products to their visitors.

It’s easy to lead someone if you know where they’re going.

You may have watched the Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report starring Tom Cruise. If not, check it out on Netflix.  The movie presented an interesting corollary to predictive modeling and predictive analytics. In it, 3 human brains are used as “precognitive” oracles and are fed all the data known (big data) in order to predict every person’s future behavior.

This is the beginning of what may become the precog world of the future. I’ll introduce you to one of the most intriguing lead generation services going — SmartZip which is unique approach to real estate sales forecasting.




How to Read Homesellers and Home Hunters Minds

What if you had some sort of crystal ball or oracle that could tell you where people wanted to live and when they were going to buy a home or condo? What if you could narrow down the most likely home seller leads?

With Predictive Analytics, real estate agents may be able set up and use their own predictive modeling of their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin, and other feeds to find buyer and seller leads, and other realty trends. This could help with your word of mouth networking since it at the very minimum gets you to focus on the daily activities and psychology of your connections.

The Amount of Data Available keeps Growing

Work that Data!  Predictive analytics or predictive modeling.  That’s why programmers are making so much money and why some startups are hot properties themselves. Investors and businesses want to know what and when their customers will purchase in the coming days to years.

As a realtor, this information can also help you find buyers in your city or those interested in your city, who may want to sell their home and buy another.

How do they do it? Analytics experts are extracting data from social listening and other data held or data transferred in the cloud. Whatever activity is viewable and therefore downloadable, is extracted into a database and analyzed.

Big Data, and There’s Small Data Too

Big Data as it’s called is often collected from the cloud and other private databases and pooled to create an informative source of real estate information for realtors, investors, developers, politicians and civic planners. And the other part, small data, is the stuff you can collect from your own circle of connnections (social media).

The process might also be called data mining, however the semantics of it all is confusing. The key point of predictive analytics is that this huge amount of data makes it possible to extract patterns of behaviour online and foresee possible future behaviours and intentions.

The experts including those at NAR are using it to predict housing prices and investment risk. Understandably, a lot of people are pumped up about predictive analytics.

“Linking information can give you an incredibly detailed picture,” he said. “NAR’s strategy going forward is to determine the strategy and initial objective, identify models worth emulating, assess existing Realtor® resources, acquire and develop missing capabilities, run a pilot project, and then scale up.” – NAR 2013.

Core Logic is one such company utilizing data from the MLS databases.

Key CoreLogic ListingTrends metrics include leading indicators of house prices, listing inventories, days on market, and absorption rates by listing type—new, active, pending, closed, and sold. With deep and broad coverage of U.S. Multiple-Listing Services (MLS) data, CoreLogic ListingTrends provides monthly snapshots of time-series housing data—at the ZIP Code-level.

inman-innovator-awards

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Enter SmartZip Predictive Analytics for Realtors

In a previous post on , I mentioned Smartzip, who offers services for real estate agents and mortgage lenders. You’d be wise to check out their service packages and give them a try. They offer insight on ZIP code level which is a little more practical and relevant or the average agent. This can work in concert with my work as your real estate SEO specialist.

What you’ll want to focus on with SmartZip is their data backed selling predictions service to identify seller leads. If you’re selling income generating condos, luxury homes, rental properties, commercial real estate or purpose built student housing investment units, SmartZip could be a big asset.

SmartZip uses up to 24 segments or 2000 variables of data from a number of large listings and real estate firms. As Peter Grace, SmartZip VP says, “You’ve got a 1-in-20 chance in finding a potential seller client if you randomly knock on doors… but you’ve got a 1-in-10 chance if you knock on the doors we tell you to knock on.”

According to a report on mortgagenews.com, that after identifying the best prospects, SmartZip provides a multi-channel marketing program that produces emails and direct mail pieces, including digitally hand-written letters and post cards. It also has a backend lead management CRM feature that looks good. What can it integrate with?

SmartZip’s latest development is called Sphere Targeting – offering home seller analytics and targeted marketing campaigns for an agent’s sphere of influence — or your databases. You upload your personal contact databases to Sphere Targeting’s predictive analytics engine and their software delivers rich data insights and seller predictions for each contact on an ongoing basis. Very interesting.

SmartZip Reviews and Testimonials

Avi Gupta, President of SmartZip explains how SmartZip Works

If you combine predictive analytics with SEO, social media marketing, PPC and maybe remarketing, you’ve got a powerful online arsenal.

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10 Powerful Tips for Home Sellers Who Must Have the Best Price

Number 1 Priority: Get the Best Price for Your Home

Chances are if you’re looking at the housing market stats or the MLS listings, it’s because you want to time the purchase or sale of a home — yours. It is a great time to sell, where once in a lifetime fortunes will be made. But your mind is made up, you’re going to sell your current home, and trade up, or move to a better neighbourhood. You’re looking ahead to a better life.

Homes for sale are scarce, but it won’t be like this forever.  We’re at a dicey point in the housing market right now. You’d be very wise to begin your plan and strategy to sell your home for the maximum price.  Why the maximum price possible using a strategy?  Because your home is the biggest financial asset you’ll ever possess. It’s a real estate investment that could launch your life into a beautiful direction. Put a little mindful effort into this.

Please don’t tell me you’re “Content” with the status quo, because we all know how temporary that is today. Nothing and no one is secure anymore. Contentment is a fool’s paradise.

[bctt tweet=”Get the Best Price for your home isn’t guaranteed. Get tens of thousands of dollars more, and get your real estate agent for free! #tips” username=”@gord_collins”]




Graphics courtesy of learnairbnb.com
Graphics courtesy of learnairbnb.com

If you’re also into real estate property investment opportunities, the tips here apply equally. It’s all about make your next real estate transaction work out with a positive return. Why should put up with losing money? You need to cover the agent’s commission and all the fees and taxes and more, so you’re going to need a good selling price.

You Need a Good Solid Selling Price You can Focus on

You’re looking for proof of your home’s value and how you might get the very price on the sale of it. That’s fine. You should get the best price in a market driven economy. Will you get the best price using a local agent you saw on a garbage can in Los Angeles or the backend of a San Francisco trolley car? Or is it better to visit realtor’s websites and get to know them first? Don’t finagle about realtor’s commissions because a good one is going to get you tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars more in San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a sellers market with a great forecast.




You want to improve your life and you need emotional justification for getting a selling price and begin figure out the when of the move. With a little study of the market and realtor marketing strategy, you feel you’ll be more on top of this transaction. Completely understandable because a home sale is a rare event and it’s your huge fortune on the line.

I Don’t Want to Talk to An Agent

At this point, you don’t want to talk to an agent because you’re not sure what you want, so how can you tell them? The good agents know this and they’re going to present lots of options in neighbourhoods, home styles, price points, and amenities and carefully gauge all the things you want. Some will ask you that on their website.

Why don’t we speed up the process of you understanding what you want to buy and how you can sell your home for the best price? That’s the complete transaction for you. Your goal is to get the maximum amount of money for your home, or get a big mortgage loan, and then search for the perfect home for you.

The Best Home Selling Tips Possible

  1. Find an agent with good character and personality, who can reach more buyers — do an audit of their online marketing because 90% of buyers go online. Is their online material all about them or all about helping customers? The Real estate agent’s linkedin profile will show how many connections they have created, and their Facebook account will tell you about their ability to engage prospects, and their twitter account will tell you how active they are online. Their presence on Google search will tell you how much reach they have to buyers searching online. (type this into Google site:http://therealtorswebsitedomain.com (or .ca ). Basically put site: before their domain name and click search! Google will show you how many pages of that realtor’s website they have listed in their index. If they have 26 pages listed, that’s not good. If they have more than 2000 pages indexed, that’s good). Check their testimonials and do a Google search of their name. Seriously, check them out – don’t hire an unknown stranger even if you saw their face on the back of a bus.
  2. Ask them for a report on their sales activity — what was listed price and what did they sell it for
  3. See how many homes they are the listing agent for right now
  4. Certainly get comparative evaluations of many homes in the neighbourhood
  5. See how the agent sells homes, such as how good is the photography and have they done videos, and is the layout of listings on their website attractive and easy to read
  6. Ask them how they would improve the appearance or curb appeal of the home
  7. Fix or renovate anything that is awful in your home or property – and a realtor can tell you what’s unacceptable in your home which will drive the price down
  8. Make buyers feel comfortable and special by cleaning up your driveway and walkway areas. put in some shrubs and ornamental trees to create a visual break between the house and the street
  9. Have your home professionally staged so it looks perfect for buyers – move most of your stuff to a storage area or rent a portable storage bin for the backyard.
  10. Clean the bathrooms and the kitchen so they’re spotless — replace the toilets and worn fixtures – buyers don’t want that stuff!

Selling Strategies and Tactics Galore!

If you’d like to learn more about how to get your realtor to sell your home over asking price, why you need a real estate agent,  what skills good realtors possess, and which cities have the best selling prices, I’ve got a blog post for that!  Yes, the real estate forecast across the US is very good for a while. Even if prices in your neck of the woods isn’t rising, I’m predicting you’ll be a big winner when you sell.

Important Links: Los Angeles Real Estate Marketing | LA Housing Forecast 2017 | TREB Market ReportSan Francisco Real Estate Marketing | San Diego Housing Outlook | Top Cities to Buy Income Investment Property | Vancouver Real Estate |  Smartzip Predictive Analytics | Prospecting Tips | Realtor Branding | Housing Predictions | Toronto MLS | SEO Expert  | Top Real Estate Lead Generation Sources | How to Pick a San Francisco Real Estate Agent | York Region Real Estate Forecast | San Francisco Market Predictions

Real Estate Agents – Find A Realtor in Your City

2 Million Real Estate Agents and Counting

Close to 2 million people are involved in selling and buying real estate in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento, or San Jose, and that number continues to grow.  Real estate is a hot sector as the housing market grows. Finding the right realtor for you is a lot easier now. In fact, there is a service that matches you with a real estate agent with your preferred personality traits.

Sam McDadi sells over 700 homes a year. That tends to create some believers in the BIG Kahuna
Sam McDadi sells a lot of homes via 30 agents, but will he be selling your home himself?  Screen capture courtesy of Mcdadi.com

Personality aside, it’s usually character, skill, experience, good judgement, communication, and intent that are the key traits you should be looking for. And there are agents who are professionals and have your best interests at heart. You just have to find them.

Before you choose an agent from Remax, Century21, Coldwell Banker, Sothebys, Keller Williams, Homelife, Sutton Group, and the other big brokerages, continue searching on Google as you’re going to get an idea of who is available and what their strengths are. If they don’t tell you on their website, then there’s not much reason to hire them.

Search on Google for A Worthy Realtor

Type in: homes for sale + your city name, to see who is at the top of the rankings in your city or residential area.  With this search of homes for sale in Malibu, California, shown below, 2 top realtors come up. Cortazzo and TheAgencyRE have risen because people either like them or respect them. The others are just major brand brokerage sites who are present in the search results only because their individual agents link their websites to the broker site — so that’s not a legit vote from customers, and Google needs to improve this part of their algorithm.

The point is that realtors who try to get top rankings put in an effort and their websites are visible to home buyers and home sellers. They’re proving to you that they are serious about marketing. It’s a strong sign of effort, honesty and competence. Hopefully, they’ll have a sizable social media presence too and aren’t just using Google ads or Facebook ads to gain visibility which could signify laziness.

A high ranking realtor has to work very hard to get that top ranking — so Google’s telling you something.

Chris Cortazzo Realtor

Look for those who the needed skills in the specific housing market you’re looking to buy in and that they demonstrate good negotiating skills. Big brokerages will pawn you off to some agent where you hope you’ll get good service and results.

Real estate agents in the US are licensed by their state and provincial realtor associations which are in turn associated with NAR and CREA.  These organizations own the MLS (multiple listing service) listings which are managed locally by MLS associations such as CAR, TREB, SDAR, SFAR, GVREB, ARA, GBAR, PAR, and others throughout the US and Canada.

How to Choose a Good Real Estate Agent

hans
Is the “Sold Over Asking” tagline obscuring the rest of the realtor’s value proposition to you?

Unfortunately, there are incompetent, lazy, ineffective, agents who may have little integrity and it would be unfortunate for you to get matched up with them. If you’re a senior who needs help with selling your family home to buy a condo, there are realtors who may bilk you and could trick you into a bad contract. This happened to one of my friend’s mother, a brilliant woman in her day, but the realtor was successful in getting her to sign a horrible locked in contract at 6% commission. She said she thought the realtor looked trustworthy and sounded very professional. The realtor knew she was elderly and should have been careful with any negotiations and given her time to consider.

Relying on brokerage brand reputation or the agent’s appearance isn’t a reliable method of choosing the best real estate agent for you. A cordial, flawless presentation could mean their very practiced in misleading as the realtor in the above story highlights.

How To Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Their awards, accreditation, references, testimonials, and nice photograph are enticing, but you’d better have a checklist of items and questions to go through such as these:

  1. Do you know them and have you had previous conversations with them?
  2. Do you feel trust and confidence in them?
  3. Do they show that they’ll take care with you and lead you through the whole process patiently?
  4. Do they have a strong presence online?
  5. Do they rank on Google for common searches such as homes for sale, condos for sale, real estate in [your city]?
  6. How long have they been a licensed practicing realtor?
  7. What does their Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter accounts say about them?
  8. Ask them if they’ve sold any homes in your neighbourhood and ask for the names of the people involved in that sale and then phone them.
  9. Do their references sound like they’ve been coached?
  10. realtors have busy hectic schedules with multiple projects going but are they calm enough to pay attention to your needs and wants?
  11. Ask them how many clients they are selling with right now
  12. Do a name search on Google and learn more about them
  13. Do you like them and how would you describe their personality?
  14. How does their energy level look and are they persistent?
  15. Ask for a property evaluation and ask the realtor to justify the selling or bid price
  16. Does the agent work well with other agents?
  17. Does the agent specialize in properties and price range like yours?
  18. Ask them what their strengths and weaknesses are
  19. ask them if they double end or if they’ve bought their client’s house for any reason?
  20. ask them to describe their negotiation style
  21. ask them to describe their marketing strategy in full, including all online and local media
  22. ask them about the most complicated transaction they did
  23. ask them how many career transactions they’ve done
  24. ask them why they want to represent you
  25. ask them what legal, insurance and financial backing they possess
  26. ask them how they will market and sell your property

This realtor discusses technical and other key skills that you may want to ascertain in the real estate agent you choose.

And what is the day of a successful, busy real estate agent like?

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Even More Beautiful Homes in Aurora Ontario

Home in Aurora Neighbourhoods to Go Ga Ga Over!

Here’s the final gallery of beautiful Aurora homes.  Ascot Park is an enclave of luxury homes located just off Elderberry Trail in south Aurora. It’s also located next to the new Glen Ridge Estates homes currently under construction.

Are you considering a move to Aurora, Newmarket, Richmond Hill or Vaughan? Check out all the galleries of homes in these communities. Each has its own charm and new home selection. Moving to York Region makes a lot of sense.

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This acreage is where Opus Homes is building new large luxury homes called Glenridge Estates.

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And from Bayview Greens, you can find homes and condos from under $1 million!

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Homes along Mavrinac Blvd in Aurora range from $800,000 to $1 million +

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