How Much Could You Save By Shaving 5 to 22 points off Your Mortgage?
Shopping for a Lower Mortgage Rate might be a fun way to save money. Shaving 5 to 22 points off combined with better terms leaves you more to spend in your happy place.
Homes are expensive and you need to save money anyway you can. This is where you start, by searching and shopping for the lowest mortgages rates available.
Whether it’s our job, auto insurance, current home, and our lot in life, there are those who believe staying put is okay. However, staying with your current provider could be costing your tens of thousands.
In fact, corporate profits rely on you staying put and not comparing mortgage rates or auto insurance rates.
The mortgage rate quote, auto insurance quote, refinancing rate etc. you currently receive is likely not all that competitive. It’s a good time to refinance or shop around for an entirely new mortgage solution. Get the system working for you.
Mortgage Rates USA
Major USA Bank Mortgage Rates
Lower Mortgage Rates across USA You can Find Below
Mortgage Rates Canada
Major Canadian Bank Mortgage Rates
Lowest Mortgage Rates in Canada You can Find Below
Do it for Your Spouse and Family: Savings Are Smart
And sure, you’re not always looking for rock bottom rates, but you likely are paying premium rates for low quality mortgage loans.
Make Finding lower mortgage rates a priority right now, and you’ll save a lot of money. Consider how much savings translates to a 5, 10, or 20 year mortgage and it’s tens of thousands of dollars.
Saving Money on Your Mortgage – Is Money in Your Bank Account
That money is yours. You worked hard for it. Count how many hours and days you had to toil in your job to earn that money. See what I mean? People are penny smart and dollar stupid. It’s part of our culture.
Financially wise people on the other don’t get duped when they shop for a mortgage or their auto insurance. It’s your money, get full value for it. You can’t earn as much as you can save, unless you’re Donald Trump. Oh wait a minute, the President has filed for bankruptcy many times.
You’d better shop around. According to a report from Consumer Finance.gov, 77% of consumers apply to only one lender when seeking a mortgage.
You can Save a lot of Money just by Shopping for a Better Mortgage Rate
There are some particularly important tactics you can use to lower your mortgage payments. Here’s 10 good ones:
search on Google – the top ranking websites are there because people like them
get quotes directly from bank websites – compare them
clean up your credit score – make extra big payments for many months to show your intent to pay down your debt. Bank credit score rating expectations are ludicrous, created only to justify charging high mortgage rates
don’t leave your current job until you’ve landed that long term mortgage successfully
check out the mortgage rate quote tools below
use a mortgage rate calculator and crunch some numbers yourself – at least it’ll be harder for lenders to pull the wool over your eyes
talk to your current provider and ask for a much lower rate – tell them you’re unhappy and intend to get a cheaper mortgage
take a shorter term home loan, let’s say 3 to 5 years – it’s risky however it can you a cheaper rate
take the bank’s teaser rate on a short term then shop for a better one when that expires
check out a mortgage broker, many of whom advertise online. They’re eager to compete and they’ll do more to offer that lower rate and better terms
All you need to do is search for a lower mortgage rate. The offers are plastered all over Facebook, Google, Bing, news websites and even a blog like this one. How easy can it get!
Is the Forecast for Higher Mortgage Rates?
Some are warning about inflation and fast rising interest rates are about to go out of control starting in 2018. Rather than jump at the first fixed rate mortgage offer, shop around.
This forecast shows mortgage rates might go down so you an bargain effectively with this outlook.
Mortgage Rate History and Forecast 2018
Mortgage rates are expected to rise, and mortgage shoppers are looking for the lowest rate 30 year mortgages. That’s smart considering how low rates are currently. The sooner you find a good 30 year fixed rate mortgage the better.
This chart from FreddieMac shows 30 year fixed rate mortgage rates since 2013.
1 Year Adjustable Mortgage Rate is Climbing
Mortgage Loan Options – Which the Best Mortgages?
While the lowest mortgage interest rate is one of the primary criteria home buyers take into account, there are other financial and real life issues you need to prepare for. Ensure you check out these popular and vital mortgage loan benefits.
fixed or variable rates
long term loans
skip a payment
Free Mortgage Calculator
Mortgage rates from Lending Tree. Lending Tree’s mortage rate inquiry process is a bit nasty. I include it just to let you know that not all online mortgage lenders are high quality and they may not see inquirers as human beings.. They will ask endless irrelevant (to you) questions that don’t relate to a simple mortgage rate request (just give us the rate) and some of them you may not like at all.
It might be tough to sell your home in its current condition so you’ll need to research with the help of your real estate agent, which types of home improvements make the best sense. If you’re considering selling your house, congratulations, it is a good time to sell. The market is high and it’s still rising which means home buyers see value in purchasing your home. It should sell quick whether you’re in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Boston, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto or New York.
The first thing visiting homebuyers want to see on your real estate website are home listings. But when they arrive, they may get a troublesome map widget to frustrate them, or mls listing pages with uninteresting and non-engaging pics and descriptions.
Add to that an ugly slow website with a poor unclear value proposition and wow, you’ve got a lead killing wonder.
Let them search quick, and then enjoy what they find. Oh and Google needs to find all the mls listings too!
What you Don’t Know Can Hurt You
The MLS Property Listings are a valuable Marketing asset — people love to view the homes. This blog post gives you a look at a resource you probably have little knowlege of — the new RETS IDX standard. Realtors who are technical whizzes do know about the MLS database feed, and they like to keep it to themselves.
If you’re a professional Realtor hoping to keep pace in the digital era, you need to know about the new standard. You can leverage it for a serious advantage online.
Do you know another Realtor who has no website or one that’s ineffective? Please pass this on to them.
You may have heard some talk about the IDX feed at your meetings, conventions, or conversations with other agents. But there’s a distinction that’s rarely mentioned, because it’s technical and no one understands it. I want to make that clearer in this post. Not only does RETS make a technical difference, it also enables tremendous content creativity — and this is where Google traffic and improved content engagement can pull in prospects for you. Choosing the right IDX RETS provider is very important and I want to lead you to the right one.
One simple change could open the floodgates for traffic to your site.
The Big Trend for Agents is RETS Adoption
It’s time to take a look at the RETS IDX framework and maybe decide to start using it.
What is your MLS’ IDX? IDX is the Internet Data Exchange.It’s simply a format that allows the visitor’s web browser to load the MLS listing info into the page for viewing. Yet FTP or file transfer protocol is an outdated technique which has some substantial setbacks. In today’s competitive marketplace (Google) using FTP could mean your SEO and content strategy may fail. RETS is the new solution.
Does NAR and Realtor.com Promote RETS? Take a look at their pdf that elaborates on the many benefits of RETS.
How Much Traffic can the RETS Framework Produce?
How much traffic could you expect by using the new RETS framework? With 10,000 home listings and more unique pages generated, you could have 15k to 20k pages indexed in Google. One very successful agent I know of has 90,000 pages indexed in Google. That’s what you call a formidable Google presence.
This video from SEO RETS gives a good introduction and is one potential solution that can increase your visibility and leads using RETS.
FTP IDX was the Standard
I’ve worked on quite a few Realtor web sites which used the FTP IDX standard. It required mental gymnastics to get the pages to perform in Google or Yahoo. There are hundreds of millions of MLS pages live online, but they’re barely visible, slow loading and not indexed by Google.
Sometimes Google can’t even reach them! And I’ve worked with the iframe solution you may also be familiar with. That was the worst solution ever and agents are still using it.
While working with one client who was using the IDX FTPFramework with Real Estate Webmasters, I actually did some custom optimization, a workaround, that allowed me customize those pages. It was a powerful SEO technique, and one that Real Estate Webmasters began utilizing themselves.
But the FTP method doesn’t work well enough to compete today. The new RETS system I want to introduce you to has the full power you need to dominate the Google results and improve impact and engagement with your visitors.
Take a good look at your current content and assess whether it has awesome impact and engagement. Visitors love home listings, but they’re usually very dull.
Yes, you can use it with your WordPress site. The end result could be career changing for any agent or broker just learning about this stuff. I’ve listed some RETS IDX site providers below. You can ask them your questions on cost and functionality.
There are web design and real estate site development companies that sell RETS based websites and this likely is the best route to go. However, don’t hire them to do your marketing. They’re programmers and web designers, not Internet content and SEO experts.
Open Up the Full Power of the MLS™ Listings
The MLS™ listings are extremely powerful if you use them right. Combine them with blogs and your Facebook posts and you’re giving homebuyers precisely what they want.
RETS and FTP are the two formats of data that your IDX uses. FTP has no flexibility and is impossible to use creatively. RETS on the other hand offers flexibility to utilize whatever data you want to include from the MLS property listing feed.
The MLS feed is just a big spreadsheet database and you pluck whatever you like out of it into your pages. So your pages don’t have to be copies of 4000 other realtors using the same data. Your site must be unique. Google loves unique and so do your human prospects.
Most agent IDX platforms use FTP to access the listing IDX feed. This feed as it’s called is actually a simple spreadsheet or .csv file with all the listing details of the homes for sale. The data is held on your MLS server. When a visitor views a page of mls listings on your site, the page data comes from the csv file on the mls server (and you can have a copy of this file located on your server).
Pass this post on to other agents in your office.
With ftp feeds, the whole listing is downloaded rather than the bits and pieces that have been updated. Considering the MLS feed is many hundreds of gigagbytes, the servers get bogged down. That slowness is not appreciated by your visitors who might be viewing on a mobile device. And Google and Bing don’t like the slowness either, so they’ll lower your search engine rankings.
Your MLS server too, may actually be very slow, something you can’t control, unless you get the idx feed placed on your own hosting platform. Then you can get superfast hosting and be Google friendly!
Test Your Page Speed and Mobile Friendliness
You can check your listings mobile friendliness and load speed here: First, cut out the url of one of the mls home listings on your site. It will likely be very long. Make sure you get it all, and then paste in the PageSpeed Insights box:
Duplicate Content is Considered Spam By Google
Your MLS listing page is the same as thousands of other agent’s listing pages Google has indexed. So Google’s spam team and anti-spam filters will seek to reduce that glut of duplicate pages (duplicate content) in the search results by focusing on the top real estate domains.
Thousands of other agents may have the same listing on their site, but Google’s not going to show their pages in the search results. If they did rank at all, it might be ranked 945th. Most often now, Google won’t let searchers go down that far into the results. They’ll force the searcher to do another search using different keywords.
Duplicate content isn’t subject to a penalty, unless there’s lots of it. Most times, Google will just ignore your duplicate content and only show the top 20 or so sites with that particular “syndicated” content. Your site needs to be optimized so it’s considered the premium website by everyone.
Remember too, that with social media sharing, people won’t share something that’s not valuable and unique, looks good, and loads fast.
Does Your Site Use the FTP IDX Feed?
It almost certainly does. And worse, it does it in a plain, mediocre way that loads all the MLS data into your page. Sort of like getting your food at the mess hall kitchen. It’s slopped onto your plate, good or bad, same as all the others. It is what it is.
Why is This RETS Stuff Getting So Much Attention?
RETS has so many advantages: customization, speed, fast updates and more.
For developers, RETS is written in XML which provides more standardization so it can be used in endless applications.
RETS data can be loaded in pieces which allows you to present what you want about the listing in the way you want. The result is a listing page that reads better, is more interesting and engaging (please note that your MLS compliance board will want to approve your pages according to their compliance standards).
RETS data updates only the changes in the listing, not the whole database over again which saves time
RETS fits nicely with a customized content strategy where you can place your own optimized content into the page.
Realtyna Organic MLS Listings Optimization
RETS and SEO
Besides the page load time advantage, we can creatively select the listing information and create more pages using that data. And we can bring in unique, well optimized engaging content into the page. This increases the page’s uniqueness, something Google likes and generates more impact and user engagement.
If people stay on that listing page longer, Google sees this. Google will raise the ranking of pages that people are engaged with and return to again.
This only makes sense. Google wants good content, not duplicate content. When I optimize pages, Google considers them unique and will give the page a shot at a high ranking.
More Experty Optimized Pages! — This Just Isn’t Fair
I can create more pages and much more well-optimized pages. Some agents have as many as 90,000 pages indexed in Google. How about that army of pages competing to gather as many homebuyers as possible via Google or via social media shares?
Because RETS data can be sliced and diced to a certain degree, you can create a much more engaging and persuasive experience for visitors. You’ve worked hard or spent a lot of money on Facebook or Adwords ads so you need to increase your visitors to subscriptions and phone calls rate.
RETS gives us Content/SEO Strategists a lot of tools and flexibility to win the ranking wars, and to maximize visitor engagement. Those are 2 key goals in our quest to build Realtor leads and commissions.
If you’re still using the framed IDX solution or the standard FTP service, you should look into the RETS solution. Your website is an asset if you treat it like one.
What are the Issues you’ll face when Examining RETS IDX solutions?
is the solution hosted on your website (not theirs)?
who will help you customize the layout and content of your pages?
do they include a high converting CRM system with it?
is it WordPress compatible?
can you use any WordPress template or only theirs?
what limitations does their system create?
There are issues to face when you’re shopping for the best solution. Of course, you want it all and you want it right now, but I know the choices are tough and you’ll need to compare a lot and make decisions. It’s never easy to be the best!
RETS IDX Resources:
RETS Programmers/Websites: (I have one more that’s excellent, but you’ll have to become my client to find out).
Simply RETS: https://simplyrets.com/services – WordPress plug-in and a marketing analytics add on.
Agent Evolution/IDX Broker: https://www.idxbroker.com/compare-idx — Geo-specific content delivery add on
SEO Rets: http://seorets.com
Ultimate IDX: https://www.ultimateidx.com/agent/
There’s a lot to learn about RETS IDX and how to plan, otpimize and implement.
I know, you get all your leads from word of mouth and all the rest “don’t do nothin” for me. What you may not be recognizing is that all channels power up your personal referral network and build word of mouth referrals from anywhere.
Staying old school agent and procrastinating on using all methods to grow your word of mouth referral network is unwise. 90% of agents avoid digital marketing. I hope you’re not one of them, because the top realtors I know all talk about how online is their growth area.
What is random and slow can be accelerated and improved. You can build your audience and continuously engage them and avoid leaving your local neighborhood markets to your competition. Weave these 11 tactics below into a powerful overall strategy that is self-supporting.
How Impressed Will Clients Be if They See You Have it All Together?
It’s not this or that tactic or, it’s using all of them to win. Smart professionals who take the future seriously know they need to combine tactics like these and stick with them. Persistence is paramount.
And social media? Well, that has a special place in the engagement of your inner circle and their connections. Each of these 11 tactics below will feed the others. Look at them as an army that will bring it all together for you. Have faith that this inexpensive effort will pay big dividends.
Most Realtors lack an overall strategy and they resort to hacking tactics to scrape out leads. Wouldn’t it be better to put together a multichannel strategy that helps you dominate local presence? These tactics below should help you step it up in lead gen.
Feed the Team!
If you’re a Realtor team leader, it’s not just about you. Teams are where the success is, yet your team members need leads and to feel they have reach into the market. and supporting them generates big returns for you and a healthier sustainable agency. If you’re not doing it, your agents know it and begin jumping ship.
Let’s revisit the whole lead gen thing quickly with the 11 Best lead generation tactics.
The essence of excellent lead generation is wide scope visibility to the buyer and seller market and creating a clear emotion to choose you. Sounds so simple and maybe it is?
Create topics, events and beliefs that bring you and prospects together. If they fish, play golf and tennis, travel, like fixing old cars, build furniture, grow flowers, watch HGTV, or eat health foods, then shouldn’t you be into these things too? This is more than blog and FB posting. It’s a way of getting invited into their lives.
Create a visually welcoming website: a new website is fresh, easy to read and navigate, and has pics, videos, text and interesting headlines to draw them in. They’ll come back again and again because it’s fun, helpful and interesting. You may need to hire a good creative content person to get this accomplished. No, it isn’t easy but if you have the goal of a great website in mind, you will get your wish.
Promote through social media, print flyer and local radio ads: A multichannel approach helps to focus the impact of your promotion. One channel by itself may not be engaging enough for your audience. Your offline promotions should bring them to your website and FB page, and get them on your email list. How well are you doing that now?
Create a highly visual brand image and use it on your website, lawn signs and vehicle wrap: bright and ugly is what one very successful agent did, it really worked and made him stand out from the rest. Differentiation is the key. Don’t be boring.
Leverage the new RETS industry standard MLS IDX system: RETS IDX gives you more flexibility and success in using your local MLS listings. These are the assets that your prospects crave.
Use a new CRM system: with advanced lead scoring and engagement/conversion analytics, and the ability to send to a friend thus getting your circle to promote for you. Are your Google leads looking for bungalows, condos, or 4 bdrm houses near schools? Let your analytics tell you what they want and then give it to them.
Hire an SEO / Content Strategist: 90% of buyers and sellers go online as part of their sales process. To create high Google rankings along with epic, lead converting content that gets shared social you need someone who loves doing this stuff. Plenty of strategically generated, amazing content optimized for Google really can generate huge traffic and leads. Don’t stick your head in the sand about online traffic — it’s the future of real estate and it’s your future.
Build social media connections, interact with them, make them feel good: because people buy when all their miseries fade away and they’re left with one clear state of feeling good. You make people feel good when you rid them of their troubles. One agent I know of relies totally on Facebook and uses it as a central lead conversion center (he revealed some of his secrets to me). You can only have 5000 connections but that’s a big farm to grow sales. The points is that homeowners are avid FB users and you can go from stranger to friend.
Travel, meet people, study industry news and be more interesting: dull and uninteresting killsso build interesting material for your blog and FB page. That’s engagement. All that activity inspires others. Show your travels, celebrations, achievements, learning, and other people’s good stuff too. Celebrate everything and show them life is a fun blast and they need to buy or sell and start living themselves. Who wants a dull life? Yes, travel is expensive. I wish I could travel because it can take your business to a whole new level and revitalize your personally. You need an “experience strategy.”
Start a charity that helps homeless people, unemployed people, physically challenged and other forgotten people: show genuine caring by doing something them to suffer less and feel more hopeful: generosity does work so give away things for free and don’t favor any recipient. Be fair and helpful. You’ll get respect and admiration with your own local charity.
Advertise on Google and Facebook: Can’t ignore his quick direct connection to prospects. It isn’t because you can’t afford it, it’s because you can’t convert the leads with just a phone number. This comes back to your CRM and lead conversion system, and the quality of the value offer prospects are seeing in your web content. Some agents win solely with PPC ads because with local targeting on FB, Google and remarketing. These give you an economical, continuous presence. Don’t use the lead gen companies. You can do it yourself.
There’s plenty more lead generating ideas, but these 11 give you the best bang for your buck. Check out these top skills for luxury real estate agents.
Search Engine Marketing Services
I provide packaged services for successful agents, yet I am fully open to helping agents at a lower price point. Take another good look at your website and ask yourself what’s missing. Does your website and digital promotion really hit to the heart of what buyers and sellers like? Are you making them feel really good?
Call me anytime at 416 998 6246. I’m looking forward to working with a progressive and success minded realtor.