8 Top Vexing Real Estate Agent Problems

Realt Estate Agent Empowerment 2018

It’s spring again. Time to start feeling really good. And it’s peak selling season from New York to Toronto to San Diego and Los Angeles. Right now, you and hundreds of thousands of other Realtors are wondering how they’re going to gain visibility and distinguish themselves in their market.

Someone’s not going to get that home seller and home buyer attention. Yet some will, because they’ve resolved the BIG 8 Realtor Problems. If you examine each one and solve them right now this spring, while you’re motivated and alert, you have a chance to truly make your career outstanding.

Let’s Get To It: The BIG 8

1. Missing Value Proposition – Let’s tackle the number one issue right away. Your UVP sucks. Why should a homebuyer or seller work with you? Why are you the most relevant person to help them with their buying selling experience? Are you personally aligned with their goals?

How will you get them their dream home and negotiate a great deal? Did you indicate it on your website? Seeing is believing so your content has to convey your expertise, authority, and how wonderful it is to work with you.

The UVP has evolved. It’s now the personalized, significant, unique value proposition and it underscores everything you do. If it’s missing, even a great Internet marketing specialist will struggle to do anything for you. Visit the websites of the agents in your marketplace, and find out what their value proposition is. How would you go one better than them? How would you become buyers’ and sellers’ dream agent?




2. Poor Online Presence – Another big issue. With no presence online, how will you communicate and reinforce your value to prospects? How will you even reach them and nurture an ongoing relationship? How can they believe that you can reach the market? Are you old school relying on the MLS? A good website with great content shared via social media and syndication can make a big difference. Advertising too will give you exposure at key times to buyers who eagerly looking right now. Presence is an attitude that you want to get seen and be known as the most helpful agent.

3. No Impact! – You’re not awesome, you’re run of the mill. Wow, that sends the wrong message doesn’t it? Why would you want to work with someone who isn’t authoritative, fun, generous, and effective? Make a big splash with your content and social postings to wake prospects up. Create something dazzling like an epic blog post, or entertaining, jaw dropping video, or give them a free ebook, or run a cool contest that’s a shared experience for winners so people pass the offer around their office. Use big fonts, big graphics, and show them the impact you’ll have on their lives. Be Bold.

4. Missing in Action – You’re not present in your marketing communications. Maybe you handed it over to a low price agency to pump out depersonalized, syndicated content. If you’re not engaging everyone can see it. People want to see the real you online, so you must be doing personal posts, making comments, offering stories and insight from your own personal experience – (significant, personalized). This is the only way they can relate to you and bond with you emotionally. It’s emotion and personal connection that creates that phone call.

5 Missing or Poor Quality Content – In the mobile, digital era, good content is what people are hungry for. It’s not just data, it’s about support for their quest. Good content shows you’re enthusiastic about your business and your desire to help your customers. Online content is more than fodder for Google’s search rankings. Great content associates you with the customer’s ideals and intent. It aligns you with their dream. It makes you look like a leader. If other realtors have excellent content, they’ll grab up that prospect because buyers and sellers are surfing the web. By the way, stats show visitors go for the mls listings or your blog posts.

6. Transaction Oriented – this is where the Realtor looks at a sale as an isolated event where they collect a commission. It’s about not being deliberately strategic and goal-oriented. But what if this one sale is used to help promote you online in a more meaningful way? We all know having a listing is vital, but what do you make out of that listing? Get more yard signs out, and advertise heavy with your one listing. Make the listing the focus of your online content. Leverage the heck out of it. Talk about the home, its benefits, the neighborhood, and invite comments on social media from people in the neighborhood. The listing is bait, put a hook in it and watch it draw many more prospects.

7. No Google Rankings – Search is huge whether free organic results or PPC ads. You have to be there. These are the house hunters and home sellers who are online doing research. They’re the most qualified prospect possible and easiest to convert. Get your ads right at the number 1 position because through my experience, I can tell you that this is the position that converts. Don’t let that searcher get to another realtor’s content. Stats show they sign with the first Realtor they find. Be that Number 1 Realtor and get an uncontaminated lead.

8. Ugly Website – Okay, you got me here. My site is ugly too. And I agree, an ugly web design, with poor graphics and a non-inviting, non-engaging interface is an awful statement. I’m inspired now to get my new site up and running.  A $30k website from Real Estate Webmasters is wise if you can afford it. Whoever you get to redesign your new website, make sure it looks and feels right. You’ll find WP templates that work very well, although you’ll have to look hard to find the right one. Visuals and how the site looks and feels are really important. Images? I would chose bold imagery that’s not like anyone else’s. Differentiation is hard but you have to achieve it.

 

Powerful Online Marketing Solutions: LA Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing SF Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Company Toronto | Real Estate Marketing in San Diego | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing Company | Real Estate Websites

These aren’t the only challenges Realtors face when building a productive website and lead conversion strategy.  Check out this post on how to convert Internet Leads featuring a video from Kevin Ward of Yesmasters.com. And see this post on how to make an impact and how to be more engaging.  Internet marketing is tough but the solution isn’t to automate – it is to give your visitors and clients what they need.

Fix these BIG 8 Realtor problems and the market should open up to you. And remember that this isn’t going to happen overnight. You need some faith in yourself and the people you hire. If there’s someone missing from your team, find them and hire them. Don’t continue on year after year with same old formula. Try something bold, new, courageous and you’ll be rewarded.

Of course, Tom Ferry and your brokerage manager have a different view of Real estate agent problems. They’d point to transactional issues – such as aggressive tactics, cold calling, etc.

Follow-up, CRM, drip campaigns, and all else are kind of telling you that your pitch or value proposition didn’t work. Now you’re chasing the prospect. That’s not fun. The last point in this graph from socialsinergy is a good one too about agents wearing too many hats — jack of all trades, master of none. Your number one job should be to optimize your value proposition and then get your digital marketer to get that communicated to everyone. That’s building a powerful brand that lasts decades, and which other agents won’t overcome.

Graphic courtesy of socialsinergy.com




Additional Resources:

5 Common Issues Holding Back Real Estate Agents from Becoming Top Producers

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10 Ways to Avert a Toronto Housing Market Crash

How to Avert a Toronto Housing Market Crash?

Toronto’s real estate market overheated in 2017 due to housing availability problems. The possibility of an economy damaging housing market crash is very real in Toronto now because NAFTA is in jeopardy.

Why is an impending Toronto housing crash a disaster for us? The economy may crash creating unemployment and mortgage defaults, scare off investors, and ruin the home building trend that’s finally taking off.

Here’s 11 solutions below that don’t require housing development on the most ecologically sensitive areas near Milton, Mississauga, or Oak Ridges Moraine near Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Newmarket.

The Bubble is Spreading Outside the GTA

The heat from the Toronto market is spreading outward into Niagara region, Cambridge and Waterloo/Guelph and up into Barrie. The problem with all of these pressure valves is that the Ontario government’s Evil places to grow legislation is preventing growth in those areas too.

The core problem in the market isn’t out of control demand for housing, because demand for homes by Ontarians has always been present. The government’s arrogance toward people’s need for housing is seen in rising rents, home prices, hopelessness, and homelessness. The Liberal government in particular, is politically opposed to developed. The dreaded conservatives who will form the next Ontario government, may have a different outlook, at least enough to get them voted in.

The US Housing Marketing has never been better for real estate marketing and real estate investing.

The Lack of Housing Stock is Killing Ontario

The crux of the housing bubble in Toronto is lack of housing stock. Building and housing development have been suppressed and unsupported in the GTA region such that any increase in demand, foreign or domestic, would create a home price crisis. It’s our government who have funneled all demand at a limited amount of homes and this creates inflation in the economy (which makes for more short term tax revenue).

Anyway you cut the pie, the government wants to own, control it, and take the biggest piece.

The current attitude of government as you can see in this 2nd video below is irresponsible. Tax manipulation isn’t a solution nor is mortgage manipulation. Only a positive support of new home building will work. Millennials will not forego their family building years and will buy single detached homes or townhouses to live in.





Foreigners will continue moving here and how can the government prevent them from buying homes or condos.  Demand is booming and many are saying that a housing crash can’t occur because of that unending demand. But these people have forgotten completely about how much harm government can do as the begin making new policies to solve their previous mistakes.

Demand and Prices Highest in 8 Years: CBC Video

And here’s John Tory from 5 years ago warming how government is driving a problem in the Toronto market, but he goes on to blame foreign investment for high home prices and high condo prices. Tory still believes in rent controls which would discourage new housing.

It’s a big picture problem driven by government’s desperation for tax revenues which they then squander on pet projects that only make the problem worse. Now that we’re more sure of the origin of the problem, we can begin brainstorming some last minute solutions to ward off a Toronto housing crash.

11 Good Ways to Avert the Toronto Real Estate Bubble and Crash

The Toronto housing bubble is underway and heading toward an explosive burst. Here’s some solutions:

  1. Cancel the Places to Grow legislation
  2. penalty/fee for empty condos or homes
  3. severely restrict or disable the Ontario Municipal Board and change their mandate to support development not to prevent it
  4. give home builders generous new incentives and tax breaks for building outside of Toronto
  5. push builders and developers out into towns outside of the GTA
  6. provide tax incentives for businesses to relocate to communities outside of the GTA
  7. raise taxes on land gobbling monster homes and private estates
  8. lower taxes on townhouses and low rise condos
  9. cancel all land transfer taxes for the immediate future
  10. provide tax incentives for real estate investment in new projects
  11. tax break for home sellers to move onto retirement and moving to lower cost regions

These incentives and actions would encourage mobilization of government and money to create new homes and take the pressure off the Toronto and Mississauga areas.




Chime in on how you would solve the Toronto housing bubble pressure and avert a crash that’s looming.

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Competition is For Losers: The Simple 3 Point Success Plan to Build a Monopoly

Time is Running Out

Time is Running Out: Grow, Monopolize or Die

I don’t have to tell you the Real Estate sales profession is ultracompetitive and demanding, or that it’s getting worse. You experience that headache every day and night. Below, you’ll find 3 Keys to Carving out Your Monopoly.

And if you’ve grown your website and sales success already, congratulations. You’re very Good! (Let me know your secret). However, most successful business people think success will last.  But up against giant corporations who pay little tax and can compete freely across borders, you may be looking at a minimum wage future yourself. There are no protections for small business.

Realtor Competition: With home owner selling alternatives eating away at your sales and commissions, with brokers signing up more new agents, and with the digital, Uber-realty crowd aiming to get rid of you via digital channels, your income and survival are in question. What if you had a new plan to help you get to the next level of sales without eternal head to head battle with the hordes?

Powerful Online Marketing Solutions: Los Angeles Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Toronto | Real Estate Marketing San Diego | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Websites




Excessive Competition is No Good – Get Away from it!

I’m certain Internet marketing is just one more reminder of that insane competition out there that kills you slowly. I’d like you to you to check out the steps below that could keep you focused on a course to dominate your market and be rid of competitors. This post has some intriguing ideas about why striving for a niche type monopoly could be the way to go. There’s some insight here on how you can do it.

I don’t want to scare you but consider this. If you don’t pursue monopoly, technological changes could bring your career to a dead end.

Screen shot from the post “Death of a Real Estate Broker”: weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/death-of-a-real-estate-broker-10-ways-the-industry-is-changing/

And listen to what Paypal’s Peter Thiel has to say below about striving to become a monopoly just like Google, Apple, PayPal, MLS, NFL, NHL, PGA, Amazon, Facebook, Disney, Neflix, Uber, and Sutton Group West Coast Realty. There’s a principle here that can drive your business through the roof. He suggests that being less competitive and less concerned about the competition and instead focus on building differentiation, exclusivity and client preference.

Let’s Hear What you Think About the Future of Real Estate Agents

I’d really enjoy hearing your comments about how you differentiate yourself and what strategies you’re employing to protect your business.

Sharing is Good for Your Social Health!

Please Share this post with anyone who needs to boost their business and stay relevant to the market.

In this video below, here’s Peter Thiel speaking about Monopoly at Stanford – where Google started. He makes some funny analogies about useless positioning  for startup entrepreneurs. It’d be a treat to attend classes at Stanford!




Beating the Competition Means Getting out of the Race

In my sector of Internet marketing, competition is sickening and counterproductive. Desperate low cost automated marketers from around the world pump out low quality “messaging” in a quest to live another day. Well, after a few years of robot driven global competition, you realize this era of marketing is coming to a close.

Competition has its downfall. So with this in mind, let’s take a look at the 3 key areas you could focus on, which few Realtors, realty investment advisers, home builders, and real estate publishers do. 3 Steps for excellent differentiation and winning results that all of a sudden make Internet marketing make sense again.

  1. Gain Wide Visibility with Correct Prospects – lots of high quality prospect traffic and making a big impact when they arrive. Stats suggest that clients hire one of the first agents they find. Please be at the top of the serps!
  2. Build Authority & Trust – demonstrating expertise, thought leadership, local knowledge, and skills in action in a helpful way – clients are impressed with knowledgeable agents who have the angles covered to help them avoid a serious buying mistake or to get way over asking price.
  3. Be Persuasive and Convincing – delivering your unique value proposition with a personalized, relevant impact, in a way they can relate to — which clearly makes you their one and only choice. Is your UVP perfectly clear?

In this post on real estate lead conversion, I spoke of the importance of working on your unique value proposition to build preference for you. This preference is vital in all relationship building. Your Realtor UVP or your brand, needs to be spot on, specific, and to set you apart from other agents.  It creates/increases a compelling desire in them to call you right away. Capturing the moment, building intent and getting the desired action is our goal.

The goal for any business is monopoly, and some top agents do a pretty good job of building a near monopoly. Merrily Hackett of Sutton Group West in Vancouver, who has $12 Billion in yearly property sales comes to mind. Your local MLS has a monopoly too, unless we don’t consider FSBO and Zillow. With monopoly (or loyal customers), you can generate greater value for your clients and time/energy for yourself.

I’ve become, I think, much more self-aware over the years about the problematic nature of a lot of competition,” — Peter Thiel from CNBC article.

Peter Thiel – Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

Striving For Market Monopoly or Loyalty

A post Inc.com featuring billionaire Peter Thiel who co-founded PayPal, talks of his ideas on building a monopoly.  He says monopoly is the proper goal and that competition is for losers. Thiel advises to focus on specific niches and then scaling over time.

By pursuing monopoly, you gain more expertise in key niches, create more productive working time, produce more valuable output, and create better loyalty with your best clients. Monopoly and differentiation are connected.

You also stave off copycat competitors in your market. Unique differentiation is the only way to stop competitors from copying you and it’s the only way you’ll stand out. Differentiation is generated online through interesting, entertaining, thought-provoking, epic content, timely social media posts, deep insight into specific buying and selling issues, unique selling strategies, creative storytelling, amazing videos and graphics, a website they love to visit, contests, giveaways, and unique insightful market reports.

The key as Theil says is to one to do one thing exceptionally well for a specific type of prospect. Nail that first and move onto the next.

You may have already specialized in condos, first time buyers, divorce, retirement planning, financing, and other areas. You may have to specialize much more deeply to get recognized meaningfully.

Monopoly is owning a market through which the business can set its own prices. Monopoly companies stand to create (and maintain) lasting value for themselves”, Thiel says, citing Google as a good example – from post on Inc.com

Thiel’s explanation of monopoly is to own a market so you can set your own prices. In your situation as a Realtor, you’re setting yourself up as their trusted authority and the one who understands their dream and can make it happen.

My Real Estate Marketing Value Proposition: I help top flight Realtors get to the next level in sales and customer loyalty by helping them differentiate, become an authority, and create big visibility which leads to sustained, high quality leads online. I do all that automators can’t do.

Making a Commitment to Your Success

As a fairly successful Realtor™, you have the resources to make it happen, but may lack the strategic digital marketing partner who can convey your impressive value proposition to create your monopoly.

If homebuyers and sellers choose with the first agents they find, why aren’t you at the top of Google’s search results pages? 90% of them go online.

If they respect an agent’s authority and promise of value, is your website content demonstrating your excellent marketing and sales knowledge?  Do you show empathy for their dream and the things they care about?  For instance, luxury homeowners selling their home like to be able to have a story to tell about their home. Can you help them with that?

If they want the best value from their transaction, are you demonstrating and expressing that right away so they understand it in 3 seconds?

Make an Impact Fast

Our goal is to help you make a big and fast impact on them emotionally and ultimately psychologically. They will delve into your content, testimonials, and listings with fervor. The more they engage with your content the more they will only work with you — and that’s Thiel’s monopoly idea.

Thiel also talks about the end game which you can read here. Endgame means you need to have a goal and a path to it. That path is impossible to see unless you find a success model and do some reverse engineering. Get curious about the top Realtors and how they built their empire.  Those secrets they don’t divulge are the keys.

However, if you follow this model of real estate marketing strategy I outline here on my blog, you’re going to get there. I will help you do it. If you do this right and persist at it, it will come true. It all comes back to faith in yourself.

Additional Resources:

Top Real Estate Lead Conversion Factors

Upgrading to RETS Means all the Difference

How to Build Traffic that Converts

Real Estate Zip Code Search – A Unique Opportunity for You?

15 Prospecting Tips for Smart Realtors

 

Becoming an Expert in a Niche Real Estate Market

Selling in the Luxury Home market Niche

Why Construction Companies should Strive for Monopoly

Los Angeles Real Estate Forecast

San Diego Real Estate Forecast

San Francisco Real Estate Forecast

Toronto Real Estate Forecast




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What Are the Top Real Estate Lead Conversion Factors?

How to Increase Your Real Estate Lead Conversion Rates

If you were to double or triple your online real estate lead conversion rate, how would that factor into your commissions? You’ve asked “how do I convert more of my Website leads” so here’s a number of things you need to do. One is to Wow them with a fantastic unique value proposition right off the bat. Then you build trust and relevance right away.

What Realtors never talk about is their value proposition. If you don’t have one, they won’t call and they likely won’t convert later via your CRM. With people: first impressions count but it’s more than web design they’ll looking at.

Research shows that 35-50% of home buyers go with the first agent they find. (Source: InsideSales.com).  How can you wow them and make them an offer they can’t refuse?

When They Land on Your Website

Websites, good content and SEO have never been given proper credit for their help in generating real estate leads. Social media too isn’t getting credit. In reality, prospects do visit your website and you need to convert them quick.




CRM and Nurturing Means You Missed Them

Sometimes, the value they seek is “way over asking

CRM Solutions aren’t lead conversion. I’ll tell you why you need to ignore CRM solutions shortly. Right now, I know you’re thinking “if I could triple conversions on my website, that would be magnificent.” You’d be right. In the realm of real estate sales, it could mean millions of dollars and sustained future sales. It’s time you started getting into this conversion thing in-depth. And that’s the thrust of this post.

The words lead conversion today have been unfortunately branded and tied to marketing automation. And that’s sad.

That’s “after the fact marketing.”  We must convert those leads right away on your site. This is your top mission. If you’re not, something is definitely wrong — they gave you the thumbs down, and now you have to chase and nurture them. That’s doing things the hard way. So lets fix it, so you don’t have to get into all that obnoxious marketing automation silliness. You’ll find out what the key is and then apply it to your website like a pro.

Powerful Online Marketing Solutions: Los Angeles Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Toronto | Real Estate Marketing San Diego | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Websites

Creating Value and Delivering It

If prospects begin to associate you with the value they want, those leads will begin to convert. With no value presented, they’re onto another agent online, or in their community or, they just don’t bother selling their house. So if Realtors have failed online, it’s because of a lack of communicating value to visitors. Without that, there can be no trust, relevance, or magnifying of their buying intent.

Sometimes, spectacular images tell them you respect their dream

And I have to say that the keywords searchers type in tells you a lot about whether you’re going to convert them too. Crappy keywords generate crappy leads and so do low search engine rankings.  The leads that convert are at the top.  Just do some Adwords ads, and you’ll find out.  So a good part of your lead conversion is due to the fact you’ve got the wrong people coming in, or they’re just tire kickers and time wasters. Even if you have all they want, they’ll still waste your time and not convert.

Buyers and Sellers are online. You know the stats. 90% go online. So the question is, why aren’t you getting in front of them and delivering the value they want?

You Convert Leads with Your Value Proposition

What plagues most realtors is a missing value proposition. It’s not unique, differentiated from all the hordes of mediocre realtors out there. It’s not personalized nor significant to them. And it makes no impact and doesn’t engage them for very long. Yikes, why would they want to work with you? Building a clear preference for you is what it’s all about.

And your Realtor UVP is actually fairly complex and has to be presented well. Realtors blame design, poor CRM tools, and ineffective digital marketing techniques. But most visitors can see through shiny buttons and ragged clothing and know instinctively whether you deliver the goods. You need a way to infuse your value proposition into your content, your webdesign, and your ongoing client nurturing campaign — so it’s laser clear.




If you haven’t explored and built your best Realtor unique value proposition, read my in-depth post on the topic. It could be career changing for you. Then after you’ve developed your personalized, significant unique value proposition and refined your approach with the techniques in this post on lead conversion, who do you think will be the most preferred Realtor?

If you have to nurture hard via email campaigns, then something is wrong with your value proposition as they first encountered it on your website. Now that they know you don’t offer much, they’re reluctant to listen to you. If you try too hard, your email subscriptions and engagement will fall. Sound familiar?

The quest of most marketers today is conversion rate optimization. It’s wise to take their lead. But here’s the thing. Lead conversion is a personal thing and it’s all about building trust. In a previous post I mentioned the top factors of building relevance and trust. It’s a very important read and takes you into the mind of customers.

Most Realtors fail to convert leads because they apparently have little to offer — they’ve never even looked at their value proposition and don’t present it well

The old days of offering a photograph and sales awards seems silly now, but how far have you come in delivering an excellent promise of value to your prospects?  You’ve tried lead generation companies and discovered that converting real estate leads requires sincerity and time and not something for nothing attitudes. Visitors need a reason to trust you and like you.

Think about your losses over a lifetime because real estate is a long term business. Repeat sales happen over decades, but those sales are serious business.

Hans Ohrstrom is a top Toronto area Realtor. His promise of value is front and center including generosity and sales records

Let’s Take a Good Look at Your Value Proposition right now:

  • do you communicate your experience?
  • have you shown/communicated your past and current success?
  • do you demonstrate your knowledge of your local city and micromarkets?
  • do you mention events with your past clients?
  • do you have testimonials and what is the real message in those testimonials?
  • have you expressed how you are dependable and honest?
  • have you shown empathy and willingness to listen?
  • do you mention your performance of getting over asking price?
  • did you mention your record of putting in winning bids?
  • do you have authoritative content easily found on your website?
  • does your website content/blogs/FB posts show you are knowledgeable and have good judgement?
  • does your website suck or is broken or slow with irrelevant content?
  • do you communicate a friendly, professional image who is easy to work with and not a hard nosed troublemaker who won’t bend?
  • do you offer free home staging and cleaning services?
  • is there a link to your Linkedin profile?
  • can customers visit your Facebook page?
  • are you using the latest technology on your website?

The Calgary Home Boys have an amazing website (with a superb CRM system). It gives visitors what they want most, a great home search experience.

What are the Top 8 Conversion Rate Factors?

  1. the quality of incoming lead/visitor
  2. the source of incoming lead/visitors
  3. the generosity and transparency of your value proposition
  4. relevance of your personal services, experience and knowledge
  5. a clear presentation of your personal/professional brand image
  6. a clear call to action
  7. incentives and feel good content given free
  8. immediacy and fast response – they must contact you right now and you’re ready for them

If you optimize these 8 conversion rate factors above, prospects will be good quality therefore easier to convert and you’ll have given every reason to work with you.

Remember that prospective home buyers or home sellers want to feel trust, comfort, happiness, confidence, and even euphoria about their decision to buy or sell. They want to feel that you’re going to be a positive part of their dream and that you’re a good fit.

They’re going take your brand image and try to include it as part of their beautiful puzzle picture. You have to be a relevant part of the dream.

It all comes down to their moment of decision. If you exalt and maximize their moment of decision with you in it, you might get the call and be their preferred Realtor. And this applies equally to any other profession including mortgages, home loans, home renovation, replacement windows, plumbing, landscape design, and interior design.

They see your trustworthiness in your web site design and the value proposition expressed in your copywriting. You may have thought pretty copywriting was all you needed. Do you have standard copy blurbs that appear on many other Realtor websites? Oh man, you’ll killing your conversions and making yourself look run of the mill.

Get Into Their Dream or Be Forgotten

To get the quality, relevance, impact and trustworthiness message across, you need epic level, information-rich, and affirmative copywriting. Pretend you’re creating a business case for their purchase and you get the idea. They’re looking to you for emotional support, data, direction, and help in presenting this to their significant others.

Remember that they need to justify the purchase (and to hire you) to their spouse, children, friends and banker. If they can’t do it, the discussion is short lived, never to be mentioned again. If you can align with their dream, they’ll choose you to sell their home. All you need to to do is express it on your website.

If you’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about a CRM solution. There are some good ones sure and you need to manage your leads of course. The point is, that if you convert them right away with a phone call, you may not need to spend so much time chasing them, nurturing and paying for expensive, time consuming marketing automation (which could be harmful).

CRM software solutions are passive tools for converting weak leads — create value and convert now!

How about pretending you don’t have any follow up and lead nurturing solution? Now you must convert them right away. If you think it’s time for you to look into redeveloping a new real estate website and your content then give me a call at 416 998 6246!

Additional Resources:

http://www.realestatewebmasters.com/blogs/michael-audet/the-truth-about-improving-lead-conversion-rates/show/

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Zillow Homes for Sale

Zillow is making quite a stir in the real estate sales sector in 2017. Pundits are awarding its success to things like Big Data or company culture, but the real reason may be technology and Realtor’s frustration with NAR and the MLS. I’ve written a post on Zillow and its leads generation program. Have a look if you’re an agent.

Zillow Group (NASDAQ) is actually made up of 7 brands serving conumers including internet-based real estate and rental marketplaces. Zillow is growing fast, grabbing a good share of mobile phone searches. With almost 2000 employees today, and the 48th most visited website in the US, Zillow Group has come a long way in a short time becoming a force in the US housing market.




But it hasn’t been without controversy. They’ve drawn criticism from MLS associations and by others for selling home buyers personal information, for not protecting consumers from dishonest sellers/advertisers, and for their advertising practices in general. As a home seller, you may like that you have Zillow to help you reach more buyers. As a Realtor wanting to leverage the Zillow search and advertising system, you may like the potential visibility but not like the home buyer interaction results.

In 2017, Zillow is now to Real Estate what Uber is to a taxi driver

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Zillow Home Search Los Angeles

Take their home search for a test drive, using a search for Los Angeles Homes. The video walkthroughs are a unique feature you might like.  Have you used Zillow to search for homes for sale before? How did you like it? Was the Zillow Zestimate tool helpful to you? Do a Zillow homes for sale in Los Angeles now.

And how about searching the San Francisco market for homes? Do a home search in San Francisco now.


Zillow’s Technology is Worth Talking About

The upstart company’s zealous enthusiasm for growing marketshare and online services delivery, and making home and mortgage searches more enjoyable for home buyers might be factors that aren’t discussed enough. The company has invested big time in marketing and advertising and in doing things NAR and realtor.com won’t.

If you’re a Realtor, have you used Zillow Leads generation program called Zillow Premier? Does it compare well to other lead generation services? Is Zillow’s success suggest that Real Estate sales is being Uberized?

You can read all about Zillow’s update to its Premier Agent platform at Inman.




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Bookmark this page and return for further housing market forecasts, predictions, expert opinions and market data for most major US cities including  Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Miami, For Lauderdale, Orlando, Boca Raton, Wellington, Delray Beach, Boyton Beach, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa,  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.

When Should I Sell My Home?

Should I Sell My House to Avoid the Coming Market Crash?

Timing is everything. Buy low, sell high and right now, the housing market is high. But the question a lot of homeowners are asking is “When will the real estate market crash?”

The Toronto housing market does have all the earmarks of a soon to crash market. And we know from viewing the historic charts that Toronto doesn’t recover well from these events. After the big crash or burst bubble event, housing prices stayed low.

Selling with experts means you may get an over asking price which is still common now.

Yet, today’s market is fed by International money — buyers from China, Russia, and the Middle East. And they can’t buy in the US because of wicked prices there.  So they’re coming here where their kids can get a first rate education and get citizenship in Canada. They definitely see a home as an investment and their money will continue to fuel the Toronto market.




So the “should I sell my home question” doesn’t have a certain answer, but the time is coming soon. The Toronto real estate market crash could happen late this year or may not happen for several years yet. We’ve all been expecting a Toronto market collapse for some time now, but it just hasn’t happened. We haven’t been finding and examining the real underlying factors.

Looking at the price charts alone isn’t sufficient. First we’ve just come away from the worst financial and housing recession ever in the US, and now the US is getting its financial act together. That fuels strength for a long time.

Screen Capture courtesy of Toronto Real Estate Board

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Why Wait for the Last Minute to Sell?

Quite a few homeowners are selling already and choosing to rent. Yet, finding a rental in the GTA for a decent price is very difficult. There is a rental crisis going on right now too. If you can find a rental, it’s a good time to sell your home.

The more sensible choice is to sell and move to parts of Florida, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, or even Nicaragua. The cost of living is way less and you can get a lot for your $800,000 plus investment. You can rent an apartment in the Dominican Republic for $1000 month and live very well too. The health benefits of moving are something to consider.

Should you sell your house so you can travel? This could be your travel time, before you’re too old to travel.

Should you sell your home because your neighborhood isn’t what it used to be? All neighborhoods deteriorate over time.

Should you sell to move closer to your kids? Prices are really low across Canada.

 

 




Bookmark this page and return for further housing market forecasts, predictions, expert opinions and market data for most major US cities including  Los Angeles, Toronto, Mississauga Vancouver, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, and Dallas.  Check out local outlooks for Newmarket/Aurora, Richmond HillBradford ON, and Vaughan.

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Evil Government Responsible for Toronto Housing Market Mess

Policies Designed to Maximize Taxes at Any Cost

If you listened to Kathleen Wynne, Justin Trudeau or John Tory, you’d get the impression that government plays no role in housing availability or home prices. The problem they suggest is evil speculators and petulant Torontonians who won’t buy the shoebox in the sky condos being built all over the GTA.

Fortunately, it’s easy for us to see through their thinly veiled agenda of tax gouging and greed.  Their policies have created a housing and investment crisis.  And the issue isn’t just high home prices and a likely housing market crash, it’s an ongoing lower quality of life for us all. We should be outraged.




It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone young or old, that politicians are evil. I don’t think we realize just how evil ours are. When politicians put us through the financial wringer like they are, for ideological reasons, and create the market conditions we’re in, it’s justifiable to call them evil.

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/wynne-s-approval-rating-has-dropped-to-record-low-poll-1.3125205

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/03/27/tory-makes-unsubstantiated-claims-in-support-of-subway-plan.html

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/03/25/trudeaus-popularity-drops-in-wake-of-budget

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To Raise Home Prices and Taxes: Constrain Housing Supply

The most effective tactic to raise home prices in Toronto, Mississauga, Newmarket, Vaughan and Oshawa and even Vancouver is to restrict land development and tie up builders in red tape. And while huge tracts of usable scrubland could be developed north, west and east of Toronto, it is government that stops home builders from building and enabling people’s home ownership dreams.

They named their cancerous anti-development legislation “Places to Grow,” a sick joke to those who find themselves homeless, or are depressed that all their income goes to the rich Canadian banks in mortgage payments. And while gasoline prices and food prices rocket here in Ontario, the anger is easy to read. The phrase “urban intensification” instead might be describing Ontario voters angry mood.

Screen Capture courtesy of the Government of Ontario

The last people these politicians think about is us. At a time when banks and foreign multinational corporations can trade across borders freely and print money and freely move it to avoid taxes, we get trapped in a high priced, high tax, urban intensification zone.




Dousing the Fire She Created? Photo courtesy of the Financial Post

The 3 Worst are the Ones We Voted in!

Just yesterday, Kathleen Wynne said she would utilize all administrative channels to prevent high home prices and higher rents, yet raising taxes, adding taxes and levees, applying rent controls, and punishing foreign investors just makes it worse. And if speculation is happening, it’s because these politicians have created the conditions for big profit dreams. If speculators are vultures, then surely our 3 Stooge politicians are too.

Toronto Mayor John Tory doesn’t worry about it since he like Wynne can collect the inflated land transfer taxes and beef up their “pet projects” funds. Tory doesn’t discuss better solutions because the City of Toronto helps dig itself out of its debt and deficit misery with all the fees associated with housing. And his $8 billion subway dream is what he actually believes Torontonians need most.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t mention supporting moving businesses and people out of the over-congested Toronto region and create jobs in towns that need them. He doesn’t talk about the fact foreign investment in Canada is at its lowest level ever.

He hasn’t mentioned lowering taxes on real estate or gasoline to ease consumers burden. He has reiterated a commitment to more Carbon taxes and a scheme that is very unfair to Canadians who live in a very cold climate. And he has no problem announcing $1 billion aid packages for any country that looks like it could use one.

More Nails in the Coffin for Ontarian’s Dreams

Even if a politician could lower prices through administration, having them drop from $1.3 million down to $1.2 million would do little for home buyers. And while these politicians give their buttery statements about home buyers dreams (which they’ve dashed) it’s ridiculous to think anyone can afford to buy a home now. And homeowners can’t sell because there’s nowhere to go. There are other municipal people who add fuel to the fire, but none are more destructive than Wynne.

Experts including Royal Bank’s president and CEO stated that Toronto’s and Canada’s economy could be damaged by what’s going on in the GTA housing market. So now the risk isn’t just Toronto, instead Wynne’s misery could bring the whole nation down!

When the Toronto housing crash occurs, everyone will be looking at “Places to Grow” as a simple political scam that should have been de-loused long ago. The sound will be so loud, even Justin Trudeau will hear about it from his hotel room in Nigeria, where he’s handing out more Canadian money.

While we’re waiting and wondering when the Toronto housing bubble will burst, we should begin planning new political representatives in Toronto, Ontario and Canada. The ones in office have failed to protect our interests and create sustainable economic conditions. As Donald Trump says, “You’re Fired!”




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Home Sellers Pricing Guide – Getting A Better Sales Price is All About Strategy

How Sell Your Home for the Best Price in 2018

The market is heating up and like so many homeowners, you’re wondering if this is the right time to sell? And what will your home sell for in 2018?

The latest MLS sales reports show that most listings in the hot Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Seattle, and Miami regions for instance, tend to sell over asking price. That means the seller got more than they were asking for. That’s a nice bonus that actually vaporizes the cost of selling of your home. You get your cake and you get to eat it too.

On the other hand, you could end up selling too late, as you’ll note in the Calgary Housing Forecast.

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!
Selling at 3% to 10% above asking price tastes this good!

We’ve seen years of homeowners all playing the waiting game, hoping for the market to fully ripen before they harvest. It looks like the fall harvest has arrived. But will sellers get what they’re asking for or more? Will they be too late?

How to Get the Best Price for Your Home?

For those of you in hot markets, the price you ask for is just a starting point on the way to the price you’ll ultimately receive. The key to maximizing the return on your real estate investment is in how your Realtor conducts marketing for your property — not in high pressure negotiation which brings smaller gains.




It’s important to know what to look for in a good Realtor so you don’t get unpleasant surprises and have to work with a poorly qualified buyer.  Big sales prices come out of strategy and targetting well qualified buyers – not last minute tactics.

The Market Changes Month to Month

Right now you may not get the all-cash offer from a wealthy buyer. Instead you may have to sell to someone who saw your mls listing, or who is financing the purchase, or who is buying conditionally. When you cancel out all the “on the edge” tire kicker type buyers, you’re left with a small number of well qualified prospects. These are the ones you want to market to strategically, and whom your Realtor should have fixed on his/her radar.

What does a thorough, effective Realtor Marketing Service Package Look Like? Definitely take a look.

Home Pricing Tips to Help You Get Your Price

Home Pricing Tip #1

Sell at a lower price than you want to.  If you price high, few will be interested. If you price low, you’ll get a herd of tire kickers and your real buyers will be more motivated to get an offer in. It’s a common practice and in this era, it’s a fool proof approach. In fact, the bidding war news stories you’ve heard about likely were priced low.

Home Pricing Tip #2

Have Your Realtor do a Foolproof Market Evaluation. Your Realtor’s free market evaluation will generate a price, but it won’t always get the comps right.  Your Realtor will look for similar homes and it’s important to know why they sold for the price they did. Your Realtor likely knows what’s happened and will be ready to utilize that knowledge.

Home Pricing Tip #3

Set the asking price just below a round number.  Sell at $105 lower than a major number. If your house could sell for $1 million, don’t just price it at $999,995.00 Everyone is familiar with that pricing trick. Instead, take the third last number down by $5. So your new price would be $999,895.00 Psychologically, that 8 stands out. It looks like a nice discount when in fact, it’s only $105.

“Our study suggests that by using the just below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers,” says Eli Beracha, author of a study published in the Journal of Housing Research. “As a result, they end up selling their house for more.” The study revealed a 2.5 to 3% increase in sold price.

Home Pricing Tip #4

Many homebuyers look for homes for sale in a certain price range that varies from city to city. In Toronto where the average price of a single detached home might be $1.4 million, a home priced just below $1 million is going to be found by more home searchers. Your first goal is maximimum visibility since you’re likely to get a better offer from 100 people than you are from only 15 people.

Home Pricing Tip #5

Create a home marketing plan and a home pricing contingency plan with your Realtor or a marketer before you put it up for sale. You want a marketing campaign that’s going to ensure 100%, that you get maximum exposure and the very best price. Better safe than sorry! If you price low and your Realtor relies only on the MLS and his own small circle of buyers, you could be in for disappointing bids.




Home Pricing Tip #6

Definitely go for a bidding war. Ensure your home’s most salient features, the ones buyers drool over, are clearly explained and shown in photos and video. Ensure your Realtor has good exposure online, has a great website, is advertising, and looks like they’ve got their stuff together. Everyone’s should know you’re selling your house in this market of desperate buyers.

Home Pricing Tip #7

Use hi definition photography, video and 3D home tours. People look online, and the impact you make is key to getting call from prospective buyers. Some videos are spectacular and the cost might be very reasonable. Seeing is believing and when you’re transparent, the buyers know they’re not wasting their time. Their time is just as valuable as yours.

Home Pricing Tip #8

Listen to your Realtor’s pricing strategy. If they’re experienced, they know how the selling game is played. All Realtors say they can close any prospect, but it’s just not true. They should be able to explain the jist of how to get the home priced right and how to negotiate with buyers.

Home Pricing Tip #9

Have your home professionally staged. Get your stuff out of there and let them bring in the furniture and dressings to appeal to the targeted buyer. It’s another cost, but if your marketing and pricing plan is good, you’ll easily recover that money.

Home Pricing Tip #10

Time your open houses well and advertise heavily during that time. There will be buyers driving around and they may be using a variety of house hunting apps on their smartphone. Buyers are desperate and thorough these days. Don’t rely on the MLS listings only.

Home Pricing Tip #11

Ensure your listing is well advertised and that your open house is visible via Google. If you know of a real estate blog that is high trafficked, advertise on it, or better yet ensure your open house listing page is indexed in Google and optimized for “open houses + city name, or neighborhood”




Home Pricing Tip #12

In your marketing, ensure you’re not just selling a house – a big box made of wood and cement. You need to evoke the buyer’s dreams because a home is all about dreams. Dreams are why some buyers will pay $1 million over asking.

Home Pricing Studies and Resources:

http://www.builderonline.com/money/prices/left-digit-in-sale-price-affects-home-buyers-most_o

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/08/12/study-reveals-best-real-estate-pricing-strategy

“http://globalnews.ca/news/3162259/toronto-house-sells-for-more-than-1m-over-asking-amid-record-year-for-home-sales/”

“http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/mortgages-and-rates/top-10-ways-to-win-a-real-estate-bidding-war/article4559578/?page=all”

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Homes for Sale Searches Heating Up in Central US

Google Trends Keyword Search Reports Showing Sparks

It’s normal to see search activity pick up as spring approaches, yet this year’s activity seems to be a little stronger. Kind of harkens back to the pre crash era where real estate was huge and people actually believed they could buy a home. Why do they search for homes for sale? Because they must be thinking a home is in their future. Will the flame get snuffed out or will the fire grow?

Central Northern US is Active

States in the central area of the country are seeing a big rise in searches for homes for sale. It may be an indicator of a strong 2017 for real estate.




Of course to put it all in perspective, let’s go back to 2004. Wow, is the levels we’re headed back to? It shows us clearly how bad the economy and housing market has been the 10 years.

See how demand stacks up in each state:

 

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Toronto Housing Market Crash Getting Closer?

When Will Toronto’s Real Estate Market Crash?

The experts have been calling for a Toronto Housing Crash for several years now, but it never happened. But is time finally running out?

What happens before a Housing Crash? This is the question more people are asking.  If Toronto’s economy is strong, could a crash possibly occur? Do we need to know the factors? If housing does crash, that doesn’t mean the economy would crash would it?

Canada is now a real estate nation, with little else to keep the economy from sinking into an even deeper funk — in the Globe and Mail.

Every month in 2017, brings a new context with new threats. And when prices are this high, perhaps down is the only direction? Some writers in the media including Gordon Pape the finance guru, and Douglas Porter of BMO are hinting about a housing crash.

What are the current issues people are discussing?

  • first time buyers – are they over-leveraged, seriously in debt and able to pay higher mortgage payments?
  • are homeowners exposed to higher mortgage rates?
  • is the renegotiation of NAFTA going to create a wave of mortgage defaults and business failures?
  • fast rise of home prices – going vertical on charts can’t continue
  • what are speculators and the media saying about the market?
  • will Chinese buyers disappear from the market?

In the first 2 months of 2017 have prices in Toronto have been rocketing. March to June, prices will launch into the stratosphere.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, active listings in the GTA were down by 50.5 per cent in February compared with the same period last year.  “Inventory hasn’t been this low in 15 years.” from a news post in the Globe and Mail.

Chart courtesy of Trebhome.com

What Causes a Real Estate Bubble and Housing Market Crash?

A Real Estate bubble happens when prices become inflated well beyond their apparent or historical value. Reality may be ready to snap them back to normal. The excessively high prices mean some buyers are likely over leveraged or in financial risk. If the market plummets they will be holding an “underwater mortgage” where they owe much more than the home is worth. They could decide to abandon the home as was evident in past recessions.

There are so many housing crash indicators to consider that even experts and mortgage corporation CEOs can’t provide a very good forecast. And past crashes may not give us any clues. But one insidious factor might be most telling even more than prices — that the economy can’t support it and wage performance in Toronto isn’t good — homeowners really are overleveraged. CMHC has sounded the warning, doing what they can to stop first time buyers from being future victims. Homeowner’s financial position is likely worsening and they’re increasingly in danger of default.

I’m not a qualified housing market economist but who is? You can read forecasts from 4 years ago from the experts who got demand wrong, bubble forecasts wrong, and made other embarassing statements such as “Toronto’s condo glut.” It’s a lot of guesswork. If you’re well to do, the price crash might not mean much, but a housing crash could bring the Ontario economy and indebted Ontario government crashing down. That’s when all hell breaks loose.


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When Will the Housing Crash Happen?

A housing crash occurs when housing prices plummet, due to economic failure, or to a wave of sellers who dump their properties onto the market in desperation to sell them. As in 2007 in the US, if defaults occur, it could bring down the market including mortgage lenders, sending it spiralling downward for years. The US housing crash brought the whole economy down and the damage spread internationally due to economic integration and capital flight.

Canadians, including Torontonians are deep in personal debt and first time buyers may have big student loan debt. Wealthy people would be quick to sell to protect their own fortunes. Once the fuse is lit, we can expect terrible consequences.

What do The Home Builders Think of the Toronto Market?

Are builders jumping into the Toronto market with both feet? That’s a good sign of market direction, because new home development builders have a lot on the line if the Toronto economy should tank. They’d be exposed for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Yet if you look up in Vaughan, Newmarket, Aurora and especially Bradford West Gwillimbury, you’d see massive developments going full steam ahead. In East Gwillimbury, one development just north of Green Lane in Sharon, will have 9000 new homes. Builders seem pretty confident they’re going to sell them all. And generally, they’re sold quick and at very high prices. Chinese buyers are still supporting the market however, buyers from the Toronto area are keenly interested in York Region.

Selling Your Home in 2017

I’m getting more frequent inquiries from Toronto area home buyers and I expect that to grow. They can sense the possibility of the Toronto housing bubble bursting, and that now is the right time to sell their Toronto or Mississauga home and make the migration north. It is a wise time to sell your home anywhere in the Toronto region and settle into something cheaper. We will never see the winfall homeowners are getting now from selling, again in our lifetime.

If you are ready to sell, why not contact me to help you get the best price for your Toronto or Mississauga home? You’ll get an experienced and helpful Realtor to get it sold fast, but for a fanastic price. You won’t be even thinking about their commission.

When the next recession happens, all those who didn’t sell will look back with regrets. The opportunity to benefit by hundreds of thousands of dollars is no laughing matter. You can sell now and move to Costa Rica, Palm Beach Florida, Kelowna BC, Arizona, or Belize and live a wondrously happy existence.

The Kids Will Be Happy and So Will You

Some don’t sell their house because they don’t want to uproot their kids. But kids are resilient, and 100s of thousands of dollars buys a lot of health, high quality education and other youth development benefits. Think how nice that could be?

It may take another year or two before the bubble bursts, buy why wait? You have the big winfall now. If you’re a babyboomer, did you work hard all those years to sit in a house that needs constant repair? Come on, you deserve better than that.

Contact me and I’ll help you get launched on the whole process and get you moving onto a better life. My Realtor associates in your town will do a market valuation and then help you optimize your property for sale. This is an exciting time for you, your spouse and family. Suddenly, you have options you never dreamed of. Be happy and let’s get started!  — Gord

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