Los Angeles Housing Market

Housing Forecast for Los Angeles 2018 to 2020

The real estate/housing market in Los Angeles enjoyed good growth during 2017. And predictions are for higher prices and good conditions for sellers.

However, the stats for January 2018 were a little sobering. According to curbed LA,  only 4,847 homes were sold in LA County. That’s an alarming drop from 6,613 in December and much less at 5,188 sales in January of 2017.

Prices grew $41k this spring of 2018. Predictions are for continuing high prices due to ongoing shortages.

The wild fires had an effect, in LA County and hitting regions such as Sonoma and Napa valley regions hardest. The insurance driven recovery should revive the housing market in LA.

The losses were estimated at nearly $10 billion with a $500 billion hit to the economy. The numbers are similar to the floods experienced in Houston TX or Miami FL .  Some homeowners are discovering they weren’t covered sufficiently with their home insurance.



The California Association of Realtors Outlook

CAR reported that:

  • single-family home sales fell 7.6% in January down to 388,800 and down 2.9% from January 2017.
  • January’s statewide median home price was $527,800, down 4.0% yet still 7.3% higher than January 2017.
  • entry level homes in California rose to $220,000 in California, up more than 10 percent from 2017 when entry-level home averaged $200,000.
  • the DOM for a single-family home remained low at 27 days in January, compared with 36 days in January 2017.

The California Department of Insurance said the fires cost $9.0 billion in insurance claims so far, which was 3 times the $3 billion claimed previously.  For the next few months however, California housing will be in extra short supply.



Fires might actually be an unfortunate distraction from the housing crisis that’s existed for many years now in Los Angeles and across the whole state of California. The state just can’t seem to get a handle on the need for more homes.

The OC Register reports that CEQA lawsuits against developments are a serious issue for housing, especially in the LA area. As Los Angeles residents suffer financially, and while housing crash rumors float around, prices are rising.  You’ll need an income of $120,000 to buy a home in LA in 2018.

Prices of condos in downtown LA are reportedly $90,000 higher than last year.

Insurance Companies Fielding Claims from Homeowners

Is it instinct or just common sense that California will continue as the most desired place to live on the planet? Does the climate in San Diego, Sacramento , Bay Area, and Los Angeles along with the high paying jobs, interesting geography, lifestyle and recreation, California is a magnet for people around the world.




Infographic Courtesy of CAR.org – LA Buyer Profile

In 2017, real estate sales in 2017 in California eased however house prices remain high in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco / Bay Area housing markets which had previously approached prerecession highs. But will they rise further and is this the right time to invest in an income property?

The short answer is Yes. Houses for sale in Los Angeles County and Orange County are in short supply and new residential development is not keeping pace. It would take a market crash to stop the price rise and even then it would only be for a few years. For wealthy investors, a few years is well worth the wait. The question is where to get a realistic price? The hunt continues.



Santa Monica House Prices

Average House for Sale Still Sells

CAR reports the average house price in LA rose about 10% in late summer of 2017. San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange County had strong price growth of 8% to 10%.   Contrast that with the drop in the Bay Area of more of about 3% or $14k to $33k for detached homes and you realize LA is a more attractive housing market for property investors.

The effect of the fires will be to reduce availability and raise prices. So not much relief in site for the LA market. As in most housing markets across the US, millennials have been shut out of the markets. They’re in their child bearing years and have saved up small fortunes to ready them to finally purchase. They’ll be buying in LA or Orange County somewhere.

Sales volume actually increased 11.5% in the last month, so homeowners appear to be loosening up finally.  Realtors are wondering how they can get people to sell their homes. Inventory is the big story for the fall of 2017.

This graphic from CAR.org’s latest report shows inventory in California is sharply down from last year. Sales above $500k were up up. Active listings in the lower price ranges are down considerably ( -10% to -28%).

Screen capture courtesy of CAR.org

And buyers
real estate investors are hopeful they can find the right property in the right city or zip code. Zillow has forecast house prices in Los Angeles to rise throughout 2018 while CAR shows it moderating. A lot depends on the political climate and interest rates.

Screen Capture courtesy of Trulia

We should keep in mind that only 30% of Californians own a home so the door is wide open for opportunity and new sales, particularly with first time buyers.  The problem is that homeowners don’t want to sell and buyers can’t afford the prices.

Why are Buyers Buying in California?

CAR’s 2016 survey showed only a small portion of buyers buy property as an investment. Only 13% are real estate investors.

California Home Buyer Survey Buyer Survey – Screen Capture courtesy of CAR.org

The US economy will pick up steam and Californians will be buying a home again even if they have 1 hour+ commutes, higher interest rates, and out migration to remote towns.

Check out the top housing factors below affecting housing prices in discover a better homes for sale search process.




The Telling Stats about LA’s Forecast

If buyer’s are hoping for bargains in the next 4 years, they’re unlikely to find them. Despite a dip in September, prices for homes and condos are up $24k to $30k from one year ago. Are the Asian and Persian buyers pulling out of LA?  The Trump instability and trade issue might be a pause before even more money pours into the reviving American economy.  Make American Great Again, also creates excellent investment opportunities in California, paying out in $US.

  • jobs being repatriated back to the US from Mexico and China
  • employment already good and rising
  • the end of Obamacare?
  • the end of Dodd-Frank restrictions on lending
  • general Federal easing of real estate development expected
  • it will take some time for mortgage rates to rise
  • still isn’t enough housing to house LA’s growing population (recession)




It’s the Los Angeles housing forecast that is perhaps one of the most interesting forecasts for the US for the next few years. California’s housing developers are hard pressed to build homes to house the population. We can speculate that homes will rise in price for the next 4 years. It’s not easy to predict though when people are talking real estate bubbles, NAFTA cancellations, Brexit, skyrocketing prices, vacillating oil prices, reduced immigration, and presidential elections.  




malibusmall
Malibu Coastal. Photo courtesy of marisolmalibu.com

Overall, the Los Angeles forecast was very good for sellers with plenty of demand and with the average price of a home hitting $690,000 last summer. Affordability is dropping though and only 30% of LA county residents own a home. 

Given the nasty commutes Los Angeles workers are enduring, this housing crisis should be a top priority for the California state governor.

A few pundits are suggesting homeowners need to build granny flats in everyone’s back yard.  Political battles are forming over the effect of regulations on LA’s and California’s home construction. Who will win? Will they battle Trump head to head to stop new development?

The situation may become worse than what San Francisco, Vancouver, and Toronto have been through, and what Miami, New York, and Boston may be into now.


Save your Money on Auto Insurance Quotes in LA

Are you paying too much for car insurance in Los Angeles? Some zip codes and neighborhoods are subject to higher premiums. Are you okay with that? How about finding lower car insurance rates and making it a habit of shopping for auto insurance every year? 2017 is a good year to save:)

Here’s the Hottest Zip Codes in Los Angeles

LA Curbed’s list of hot zip codes: Los Angeles’s 90012 zip code is shaping up to be the 2nd fastest growing area in the nation at 8.8% growth, 2nd behind only Gilbert AZ. The 90012 zip code includes Chinatown, the Civic Center, Elysian Park, Victor Heights, parts of the Arts District and Bunker Hill, and most of Little Tokyo.

Here’s the LA Times hot zip code list:

Santa Monica 90402 – Average home price: $3,237,500

Hermosa Beach 9025 – Average home price: $1,693,500

Lincoln Heights/Montecito 90031 – Average home price $458,500 +14.6%

City Terrace  90063 – Average home price: $320,000 +18.5%

Marina Del Rey 90292 – Average home price: $2,157,500 +23%

Manhattan Beach 90266 – Average home price: $2,100,000 +10%

Compton – 90220 – Average home price: $285,000 +9.8%

Playa Del Rey 90293 – Average home price: $1,517,500 +26.5%

Toluca Lake Studio City  91602 – Average home price: $1,022,500

Read more on the best zip codes in the US for investors and homebuyers.

LA Home Prices Fully Recovered?

The Los Angeles home price graph below courtesy of Zillow shows how prices have almost returned to pre-recession values and are beginning to level off. To forecast prices and demand for the LA region, we’d have to examine the cause of the moderation and if it’s a fact. Here’s LA’s hottest zip codes.

 

Last year, home prices in LA rose 7.8%. That’s a fairly strong ascent to just snap out of, so we’re left wondering what really is the outlook is for the 2017 to 2020 period? With prices high and rising, it makes sense that the number of buyers will dwindle (preferring to rent) and a leveling off would occur. It seems however, this is more of a guess by forecasters not really backed up by a solid consideration of all the factors that will be in play during the next 4 years – defeated regulations, growing economy, and reduced immigration.

Homes for Sale in Los Angeles: Prices, Trends from Zillow

Try the Zillow Home Search Widget to learn more about LA Homes for Sale. Realtors, click here to hear more about the Zillow leads program:

 

Home Sales Volume Chart: Los Angeles

la-home-sales-firsttues

Is there a Housing Bubble Market?

harvardHere’s the thing. According to a Harvard real estate guru, bubbles don’t burst until demand dries up — an increase in unsold inventory.

Do you honestly think there will be no demand for coastal California property, especially Los Angeles county or Orange county?  As you’ll see from the data in this post below, there is huge demand for property. Supply is the problem.

Factors Affecting House prices and Availability in LA

  1. Housing Demand – High overall demand – “all cash bidding wars” in some cases
  2. Housing Supply – Throttled, supply is far from what’s needed
  3. Mortgage Rates – Continuing Low, especially in light of global economic slackening
  4. Down Payment and mortgage rules – Banks are withdrawing FHA loans however some are offering downpayments as low as 3%
  5. Regional Employment – Very low and remaining low
  6. Buyer Income – low and not rising much
  7. Home Prices – High and rising – out of reach for many buyers – many consider LA homes grossly over-priced
  8. Demographics – Millennials coming into family and home buying years and LA millennials have had the lowest rate of home buying (pent up demand)
  9. Number of Renters – increasing fast
  10. New Home Construction: slow (100k to 140k per year)
  11. Economic-Foreign Trade – Trump expected to reduce US deficit
  12. Election Year – Voters uncertain of what Trump will create
  13. Taxes on Sale of Home – Tax situation is great for sellers




Historical Data

This intriguing graphic courtesy of https://journal.firsttuesday.us/ reveals that home sales in Los Angeles is actually well down from historical levels. The likely reason for that is lower income buyers simply have even less income to buy and of course the high prices. Home ownership is lowest in California.

la-case-schiller-index

A complete recovery of around 110,000 annual home sales will likely occur in 2019-2020, as end user demand in Los Angeles County is buttressed by a Great Confluence of Baby Boomers (Boomers) and first-time buyers who are lured by further employment (needed to accommodate population growth of roughly 1% annually since the beginning of the Great Recession).

That’s a forecast growth of about 20,000 homes per year over current current 2016 levels.

Another interesting stat provided by firsttuesday is the very low rate of home ownership and how much it’s plummeted. It’s on the uprise now, and you’re left wondering whether Trump’s renewed emphasis of America First will encourage the growth of home ownership?

la-homeownership

LA Economic Forecast – Very Rosy

la-economic-forecastThe forecast for economic growth for the Los Angeles is optimistic at this point. Visit https://laedc.org/2015/09/30/new-2016-2020-economic-forecast-published-93015/ for the most recent info and their forecast up to 2020.

 

This Stat from CAR shows homes have been on a rollercoaster ride of sorts yet, 2016’s expected resale volume is still well down from 2011 and 2012’s highs. If incomes should rise in the LA area, it could have the effect of stimulating new housing construction and increase sales of homes. With the number renters skyrocketing, there’s a huge pool of potential buyers.

Home reSales Forecasts 2016f

la-housing-stats

This graphic reveals the exceptionally high cost of renting in Los Angeles compared with other major centers. The housing availability problem isn’t isolated to California or LA, it’s a US wide issue. The high housing costs in the coastal California areas however may prevent many skilled workers from migrating to LA to work. Startups for instance may be forced to leave San Francisco, Bay Area and LA because of the cost. San Diego County may be a better option for the short term.

la-rentals

This is a short term forecast from LA realtor James Campbell, who believes prices will drop?!

What can we conclude from the above data? That LA’s market for realtors is very promising, yet just as it is in San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver, finding sellers and convincing them to sell will be a key challenge.  Digital marketing efforts could be vital to any realtor hoping to maximize demand and achieve highest price for their clients. Is this the right year to buy rental income property?  Find out which are the best investments in 2017 including investing in real estate.

Check out other posts providing realtor tips, prospecting strategies, social media strategy, and tactics used by top flight luxury realtors and even lead generation companies.




Related posts: Housing Market 2018 | Florida Real EstateBlockchain Real EstateSan Francisco Housing ForecastLos Angeles Housing Market | Sacramento Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Blockchain Real Estate | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing Forecast | Affordable LeadsRealtor Branding | Realtor Branding |  Realtor Growth Hacks | Realtor Skills | Realtors Benefits | Home SearchHousing Crash  | Stock Forecast | Foreign Exchange Rate Forecast | USD CAD Exchange Rate Predictions |  Oil Prices | Mortgage Refinance Rates 

Gord Collins —  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, Sausalito, Santa Clara, Mountainview, Fresno, NAPA, Tiburon, Oakland, Palo Alto, Anaheim, Beverly Hills,, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Encinitas, Orange County, LA County, Riverside, Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Chula Vista, Escondido, and Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and La Jolla. See additional housing market reports on New York NYC, San Diego CA, and San Francisco CA.

The Future of Real Estate | AI Blockchain Software Cryptocurrency Bitcoin and the Housing Market 2018

The Future of Real Estate

While housing markets in US cities waffle back and forth between market crash and price peaks, homebuyers, property investors and Realtors are wondering what real estate will look like in 5 to 10 years time.

Courtesy of Pinterest — kevin-miller-0125.blogspot.com

In this post, we look at the future of real estate technology (Fintech and Proptech). If you’re a homebuyer considering buying a house, these changes affect how fast you can buy and sell, and how your gain could be thousands of dollars.

When is All This Happening?

Changes are here now. Realtors and Brokerages will have to alter their roles and value proposition to add new value rather than being transaction facilitators, and find new opportunities that are appearing. New tech brokers have already arrived but they don’t have it all figured out yet.

When usage hits whats called critical mass, that’s when real estate businesses will adopt it completely as the new standard. It’s about more than blockchain in real estate alone.

Of course there’s resistance to new tech such as blockchain and bitcoin in real estate. Blockchain is tranformative. Yet when someone like rexmls lost $1.3 million mistakenly sending cryptocurrency to the wrong address, we know there is risk all round.




Realtors, investors, lawyers, mortgage agents, title/escrow people, and homebuyers are about to see the real estate exchange and financing business streamlined.

For instance, it’s estimated that 50% of major corporations will switch to blockchain business technology this year. Blockchain by itself is rocking every industry including real estate.

I’ll introduce blockchain and bitcoin below in more detail. In a nutshell, blockchain is the software platform that’s underneath Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While Bitcoin is well known, it’s actually blockchain that has the best potential for all industries.  For some of us, this change is exciting. Change means opportunity.

I know you’re curious about Bitcoin cryptocurrrencies and blockchain, but understanding them technically is really tough. You don’t need to be an expert, but you may want to know what is driving this coming change.




2018 Housing Market Reports

Check out the Sacramento Housing Market, San Francisco housing market, Los Angeles Housing Market and Florida housing market forecasts.

The Blockchain Opportunity

Instead of being threatened by the progress to digital real estate via blockchain and other technology, Realtors, lawyers, investors, builders, property managers and mortgage agents should welcome the opportunity of this new era.

Here’s a small list of blockchain startups that have jumped at it.

And the key opportunity might be in first mover advantage. Realtors might redesign their brokerage to utilize RETS IDX listings, AI driven marketing, and blockchain-based transactions.  It’s early, but the right time to learn.




What’s coming is an era of weakening monopolies, greater efficiencies and perhaps lower home prices.

You can imagine how the establishment would like to maintain the old paper-based, complicated transaction process that allows the banks and big real estate brokerages to guarantee their cut of this $116 Trillion dollar global real estate market.



New tech entrepreneurs relish usurping the dominant role in an entire, lucrative industry. They’re motivated. The high rising price of bitcoin should tell you that something big is brewing. They’re already at it in real estate.

Real estate sales using Bitcoin or Ethereum are adding legitimacy to the use of cryptocurrencies in the real world” — Manuel Perez of the Coral Gables, Fla.-based Elizabeth Perez Team. Screen Capture courtesy of Housing Wire

What’s Driving the Push to Blockchain and AI?

The real cause of this future is the high cost of real estate, monopolies, and the over-complicated/regulated process that real estate professionals must follow to buy and sell homes. It raises prices and slows transactions. And younger consumers don’t like the ring of “million dollar homes.”  They like this new technology because they think it will save them money.

From smart contracts to Bitcoin currency to fractional ownership, and artificial intelligence driven buying and selling, the entire real estate industry is about to be streamlined. From finance to construction, blockchain technology in particular is about overwrite the sector. Real Estate will be hard to recognize.

But can the big companies control blockchain to keep the market to themselves? That’s very unlikely since blockchain opens everything up to innovation, transparency, ease of purchase, and lower costs. Buyers will find that very hard to ignore, as will real estate professionals. The smart Realtors will be on this now, to give themselves an advantage in branding and expertise.

Realtors may not have to be blockchain experts, they can use the myriad of blockchain applications and services that will be available. It could be a period of entrepreneurship and creativity for Realtors, and for home buyers and sellers as well.



Who Guards the Status Quo?

Brokers, marketing, banking, retail agents and others facing sudden disruption may enjoy their monopoly and legal power to keep the old system intact.

This new wave of well funded cryptocurrency, blockchain and Realtech startups change the game and playing field. The new blockchain based system is a completely new approach to transferring ownership of property from one party to another. With Cryptocurrency, the banks, mls associations, forex companies, and others could be completely bypassed.

Even the mortgage industry is seeing new startups that offer reduced costs, fees and fraud, and improved efficiency, speed, and transparency.

 

Sharing is Good for your Social Life — Make Sure others get an introduction to the new technology on FB or Linkedin

Change from Many Directions and It’s Just Starting

The future of real estate will see disruption from many sources, technological, cultural, financial, and political.

The $36 Trillion US real estate industry is pressured by issues of complexity, affordability, frustrated demand, housing development restriction, rising interest rates, competition, big data, blockchain, and more. They’ll all play a role in a complicated forecast amidst an uncertain economic outlook beyond 2020.

Will you be buying your next home via an app using Bitcoin? Should you even buy a home, or rent? It’s not only about techno changes in 2018. The future of real estate involves lifestyle, economic, and investment factors.




Will Realtors and Financier’s Roles Change?

While removing the middleman might be the uber utopia for tech-obsessed 20-Somethings hoping for a price break on a million dollar house, it will not be easy to push big banks, MLS’s, state govnernments, and real estate companies out of the future of real estate. Politics, law, habit, and need for expertise will ensure Realtors don’t fade away too quick.

Propy is a new blockchain based online brokerage serving the world

Realtors, MLS associations, and big brokers control the mls data and in this day age data monopoly is how you eliminate competition or gain monopolies.

A number of tech driven competitors are disrupting and trying to weaken the current megalopoly in real estate markets. Thus far they haven’t been able to land a decisive blow. Big Data may be the weapon to topple the traditional system unless the big brokerages learn to utilize it somehow.

Technology driven companies such as Zoocasa, Zillow, and Compass are growing fast and making inroads on various MLS and Realtor competitors. The fact that the majority of Realtors have few listings or sales and aren’t well supported by the big brand brokerages means these tech companies have opportunity with their own hungry masses of agents. The fact the big brokerages don’t share information with agents now, tells you that Realtors would jump ship quick.

And for consumers, a reduction of commissions and expansion of marketing capabilities means consumers might gain from new tech entrants. And in terms of streamlining, it’s estimated that closings could be reduced to 10% of their current duration.

Yet the MLS associations and brokers hold a lot of data and can keep it out of the hands of real estate startups. Legal battles are raging, but the MLS’s aren’t winning the wars.

Propify, an Australian startup, hopes to leverage the technology into a one-stop shop for home buyers. Drawing from various listing sites, governmental databases and social media, the software company aggregates all available information about available properties into a single space, sourced from a blockchain – from Real Estate Weekly.

Who Owns Big Data?

Big Data is owned by big tech, finance and retail companies right now and the battle over who gets access is being waged. The data is so important, it stands to reason that a few companies would not be permitted by government to own it or leverage it for massive monopolistic wealth. However, that conceivably could happen in the Amazon era.

If everything from finance, real estate to AI driven robots, having it locked and controlled by any money hungry company could bring the system and economy to halt. Big data and open source access will have to be made a basic freedom.

For that reason, how could the NAR or MLS or anyone hope to monopolize their data and market access? It’s a losing battle.





The Coming Blockchain Revolution in Real Estate

According to Forbes, real estate venture investors deployed over $5 billion in real estate technology in 2017. That’s 150 times the $33 million invested in 2010. Blockchain is just one part of that investment.

Blockchain technology is important to the commercial real estate market since it streamlines processes, reduces fraud and cuts costs

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is a secure network of computers that creates as a living ledger for transactions. When the record is updated with new information — the signing of a contract, the movement of funds, the transfer of ownership — it is updated and time stamped in every computer simultaneously, whether there are two dozen or 2,000. The records are the blocks, the network is the chain — from Real Estate Weekly.

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency  may influence how real estate is transacted in future and who will participate in buying and selling.

Coinify states that blockchain will speed up real estate transaction, decrease fraud, and increase transparency. For those who worry about international money laundering and organized crime, Blockchain could cut police and investigation costs. Blockchain offers a real digital paper trail.

Blockchain leverages mls type housing data and makes it usable on a larger scale. So the potential power of blockchain systems will threaten the data monopolies that exist in some states and mls districts.

Direct Transaction between Buyers and Sellers

The rewards of listing on a blockchain accessible system will be too much for homeowners and real estate agents to resist.  With blockchain technology property and transaction information is published to a public ledger giving all parties access to the home-buying or leasing process.  Owners, tenants, operators, and service providers will have access to this stream of incorruptible data. The buyer and seller deal with each other directly.

According the IBREA, “Blockchain offers an open source, universal protocol for property buying, conveyancing, recording, escrow, crowdfunding, and more. It can reduce costs, stamp out fraud, speed up transactions, increase financial privacy, internationalize markets, and make real estate a liquid asset.”

How To Buy Real Estate Using Bitcoin

Yes, a lot of people want to know.  I’d advise reading this post on HGTV to get started. Will you still need a real estate agent? Yes, and a real estate lawyer to review all the documents. And these people are insured just in case something does go wrong.

However, make sure you trust the second party if you’re thinking of buying into real estate. “If you want to reverse the transaction due to any litigation, then you need both parties to be compliant,” says Jake. “Bitcoin transactions are not reversible.”  — HGTV




Bitcoin and Real Estate

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are highly volatile right now, however once they stabilize, homeowners will not balk at selling in Bitcoin. The bitcoin cryptocurrency is set to rock the banking and retail industries, so why not real estate?

Need to know how to Buy a House or Condo using Bitcoin?

Real estate can be a lucrative business yet the drive for cost savings and high prices makes players investigate and try out different solutions. Real estate agents, landlords, mortgage agents, and others have been reluctant to adopt software solutions for fear they would lose competitiveness. The future of real estate is technology in almost every area.

However, that intense competition is yet another driver of the kind of change that could see agents and brokerages disappear. I hope that’s not you, but let’s say the flock is culled. What kind of new real estate sales environment is being created and how will you adapt? There’s opportunity in everything.

Younger Buyers Love Choice and Apps

Millennials are the biggest, most wealthy group of consumers now and they’re proving to be brand agnostic and want open source everything. Throw in millions of wealthy young Chinese immigrants/investors, and you can guess that tradition in real estate is about to be replaced by a new culture — the Uber culture mostly online. On Tech.co, Boris Dzingarov suggested 3 factors will change real estate marketing greatly:

  • Video
  • Mobile devices
  • Online reputation management





Yet, many agents are using video, have already set up mobile friendly sites, and even dressed up their Linkedin and Facebook pages. And they’re not anymore disruptive than anyone else. I think what may mark the new agent is using technology and digital marketing to connect with more prospects.  What may be difficult for them though is that homebuyers and sellers may not accept their pitches. If you can’t go to them, then you’ll have to show up online so they can reach you.

If you have no digital marketing strategy to connect with prospects, make an impact, and remain visible online (top realtors are taking it all for themselves) then perhaps the forecast is as stormy as Dzhingarov is predicting.

Why Agents Will Still Be Needed

Currently, 80% of home purchases are conducted using Realtors, and given the various services they handle, it’s hard to conceive they would be made completely redundant by blockchain or other technology.

Here’s where we can’t do without them:

  • better knowledge of local neighborhoods
  • assessment and advice on contracts
  • real human advice on quality of the property instead of property data collected
  • price negotiation with buyer or sellers
  • spares you the anxiety of buying and selling real estate online
  • help you get a higher price through staging, presentation and sales support
  • arranges inspection and home showings – saving you time

The Outlook for Real Estate Brokers

I’d like to take a moment to discuss what I see happening in this industry. Here’s the top 15 disruptions that may hit the real estate biz in the coming years:

  1. Real Estate Teams – teams loaded with extra services will battle it out with discount brokers to offer better service, particularly in the luxury real estate market where Luxury realtors will go the extra mile.
  2. MLS Data Freely Available to Everyone – no secrets for realtors to use as a trump card. Homeowners will feed home stats to online vendors who will provide increasing marketing power for them.
  3. Social Media Growth – Realtors will expand their circle of contacts via Linkedin and Facebook, and home sellers will look to engage more buyers to get higher bids for their client’s properties. Social media engagement will keep them connected and actively top of mind to prospects, as other realtors impinge on all their clientele.
  4. Content Marketing – more sophisticated and engaging visual content such as interactive infographics and pdfs, and interactive home tours will let buyers drill down quickly to everything they want to know about the home and neighborhood.
  5. Sophisticated Video – slick videos with aerial shots and stunning quality will become templated much like WordPress web sites are now
  6. SEO & SEM– optimizing for whoever is looking for real estate or wants to prepare for sale. This means having a good SEO is critical for inbound marketing, link building and MLS listing optimization. PPC advertising and remarketing ads will play a role too.
  7. Trustworthiness – the insecurity of Uberization will mean parties will be scrutinized for their reputation and professional credibility. Those realtors that have this all laid out strategically will pass the cred test.
  8. Thought Leader/Advisor – generosity of key realty knowledge will influence because real estate is an expensive investment that the average Joe homebuyer doesn’t understand. The realtor’s role will evolve to become a trusted advisor.
  9. Complete Property Transactions Done Online – from bids to closing costs, every aspect of the transaction will be done online, perhaps via a large tablet device connected to a printer. See Realtypoint’s excellent post on this. 
  10. Google, NAR and CREA will lose control of the online realty market – homeowners will list with online entities for exposure and pay minimal fees.
  11. Property Management – More brokers and agents will move into the property management and mortgage business to create more relevant clients, retain them, and build visibility.
  12. More Real Estate Agents Will Go Out of Business – deals will disappear, commissions will fall and competition will be intense and only those with huge client bases will make it.
  13. Clients will gravitate to Large, insuring Finance Comapnies – these firms are capable of insuring transactions, because regular consumers are likely to make big mistakes. Right now of course you and your brokerage and (CMHC in Canada) or (FHA/PMI) in US provides it.
  14. Niche, Boutique Brokerages – they’ll have an edge in relevance, usefulness, and attraction to many buyers and sellers – particularly brokers that offer a la carte services, and prove they have specific types of buyers for a property (e.g., Chinese or Middle Eastern buyers).
  15. Intense Hyperlocal Focus – realtors and teams will use outdoor advertising and social media to dominate local markets.

The Uberization of real estate has already happened. I’m wondering which new Zillows and Trulias rise up to serve this new market? No doubt it’s being discussed in boardrooms right now. [Note: I was invited recently for interviews for a senior digital marketing position with a big, new up and coming lead generation business in Toronto].

Where Will You Be in 5 Years?

The point of this post is to ask you where you’ll be in the coming years and whether you will have initiated the steps to build your future realty business. It’s wise to start planning and connect with the people who will help you grow and sustain it.

What are you thoughts? What changes do you foresee? Will 2018 to 2020 look much different for you and your brokerage? What are you doing to help you survive and thrive in the blockchain era? 

Speaking of hot markets, read the forecast, outlook, and predictions for housing in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Vancouver.

 

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Realtors: Are You Using the New RETS Technology?

Compare RETS vs FTP IDX Feeds

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.

What’s worse, is that your current listings aren’t indexable by Google so you’re getting no free Google referrals.  That old technology called ftp IDX is ruining your impact and engagement with your prospects and eliminating your Google search engine rankings and referrals.

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.

Graphic Courtesy of cloutsoft.com

 

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 your MLS support RETS? Find out here.

Does NAR and Realtor.com Promote RETS? Take a look at their pdf that elaborates on the many benefits of RETS.

Screen Capture Courtesy of Realtor.com

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.

Typical FTP based IDX data fed home listing on a Realtor’s Website

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 FTP Framework 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?

  1. is the solution hosted on your website (not theirs)?
  2. who will help you customize the layout and content of your pages?
  3. do they include a high converting CRM system with it?
  4. is it WordPress compatible?
  5. can you use any WordPress template or only theirs?
  6. 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

RetsPro:  http://retspro.com

SEO Rets:  http://seorets.com

Ultimate IDX:   https://www.ultimateidx.com/agent/

Ultimate IDX Rets Solution — The CRM is Important Too

There’s a lot to learn about RETS IDX and how to plan, otpimize and implement.

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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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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.

MLS Real Estate Listings – NAR CREA – TREB Homes Condos for Sale

What is the MLS?

MLS is the term you often see used on realtor’s websites casually or formally. It’s also referred to frequently in housing forecasts and Realtor sales reports.  The multiple listing service or MLS is essentially a database of homes for sale. In the US, the National Real Estate Association owns the rights to the term and in Canada, including Toronto, the MLS® is a registered trademark of the Canadian real estate association.

mlsNAR and CREA consider both the acronym MLS® and the information collected in the MLS database as their sole proprietary asset as are the terms Realtor®, Realtors® and Multiple Listing Service® as well as the Realtor.com and Realtor.ca websites.

The governments in the US and Canada have a different view of that information and who is the legal owner. CREA in Canada and NAR is the US are the respective organizations who own the trademarks and MLS databases.  They are associations of trained and accredited professional realtors.  CREA and NAR member associations designed and built their respective MLS databases as a private collection of information for their members and for national members. There is quite a bit of cooperation between US and Canadian associations because of national real estate brokers such as Remax, Century 21, Royal Lepage, Coldwell Banker, and others.




NAR – The National Association of Realtors in the US

nar2NAR or the National Association of Realtors is owned by a private company headquartered in Chicago. It is a self regulatory organization of 1.1 million members who are either Brokers or Realtor associates. NAR governs the hundreds of local Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) which are the information exchanges used across the nation by real estate brokers.

After being charged by the US department of Justice for  antitrust activities, NAR responded by proposing a single Internet Listing Display system that allows its members to exclude individual brokers (whether of a bricks-and-mortar type or solely internet-based) and opt out of display on all other brokers sites. In Canada, there is a similar agreement.

crealogoRecently, Canada’s competition bureau ruled against TREB several times with respect to anti-competitive activities. It seems TREB and CREA want to favour their members and retain their monopoly on the MLS data. As you may know, a monopoly is one of the most cherished goals of any free enterprise business. When you have monopoly, you can set the rules and charge whatever you want for your product and services. Microsoft and Google are two other organizations that have possessed almost monopolistic power and it worked very well for them. No anti-competitive charges have been laid against Google.

Most of us would uphold the right of a company to own their products including a database and charge whatever the market will bear. Sort of like how Miami, Boston, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas and Toronto realty markets are going right now.

Others believe that this type of monopoly is unfair to consumers who may be forced to buy services they don’t really want or need. The Internet has imposed itself on the real estate industry and consumers are doing more of the real estate buying process themselves. Realtors are sought for their added value as expert consultants.

CREA has not accepted or updated their view of the situation, yet CREA does want to claim to be a governing, ruling body of authority with respect to who practices real estate and to enforce that through local town bylaws and licensing regulations. All of a sudden, free market ideology isn’t quite being realized here. Without the formation of a competitive alternative, the government can claim an unfair monopoly for CREA and seek to rectify it or punish CREA for its behaviour, and it is doing so.

Canadian MLS

There are a number of MLS’s across Canada, BC, Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario. The Toronto Real Estate Board controls the Toronto MLS district which is known as the TREB MLS system which includes properties in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Scarborough, Vaughan, Markham, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Oshawa, and Etobicoke.

Each licensed and qualified realtor in the TREB district can obtain a datafeed of the Toronto MLS for a monthly database usage feel. That list of properties and its details are then presented on the realtor or agent’s website and you can search their listings for homes and condos for sale.

Competitors of the MLS’s include Zillow, Zoocasa, and Trulia. These organizations are generally not liked because they threaten the MLS and the status of realtors across North America. Realtors® often talk disparagingly about these services including complaints about their method of estimating the value of a home.

The truth of this might be that we’re in between a rock and a hard place. CREA’s power to own home sales data across Canada is coming to an end. They can only delay the inevitable, and the more they resist, the stronger new competitors will be in building their business to compete with CREA. The battle continues.

MLS Property Details and Homes for Sale

When you do a search for a home using the MLS system you won’t see all the information a realtor sees. They have access to extra information such as old listing prices and previous selling prices. If the sale happens on the free market, then knowledge of old selling prices isn’t all that meaningful anyway. What a property was evaluated, listed at, or sold at 5 years ago, has little relevance in today’s fast rising market.

As you can see in this map of TREB areas below, TREB MLS coverage is large and actually encompasses other mls associations. Other Ontario real estate boards having their own MLS’s include the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington, London St. Thomas Association of Realtors, Niagara Association of REALTORS and many others.

TREBregions

Toronto MLS Districts

TREB MLS coverage includes Mississauga, Markham, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Scarborough and Oshawa. The graphic below delineates the TREB mls districts (small blue rectangular areas) in its purview.

mlsdistricts

You can learn more about home selling prices in each MLS district on the Toronto Real Estate board website were you’ll find their monthly reports. Some like these give you a breakdown of homesale in each area, and home much they are typically sold above asking price.

 

existinghomesales2016




What can we say in final comments about the Toronto MLS? That it’s a handy listing of homes and condos for sale, and a valuable repository of information about a specific property’s details and history which buyers will be interested in knowing should they be willing to buy that home or condo. Homes hold many dark secrets and sometimes buyers are left with a bad financial surprise revealed later. If you’ve bought such a home, you can seek redress in the courts if it looks like the seller should have revealed it.

After you’ve done your initial perusing of the Toronto MLS home listings, find a trustworthy realtor who has the ability to market your home to as many home hunters as possible. Your goal as a home seller is to get the best price for your huge investment. That’s what your home is — an investment and one day you will sell it.

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Realtor.com and Realtor.org

The National Realtors Association Websites

Realtor.com the official website of the National Association of REALTORS  which operates in the US. NAR as it’s known owns the copyright on the acronym REALTOR® and MLS® which stands for the association’s multiple listing service.

realtorcomlogosNAR as an association has 1 million members practicing across all states.  NAR considers itself a facility for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members.  It offers guidelines and training for realtors, and news about the state of real estate in all states and nationally. NAR offers member’s help in realtor marketing, home listing guidelines, and info on home prices and affordability in all states.

According to Wikimedia, Realtor.com has a relationship with 900+ multiple listing services (MLSs) and displays more than 3 million for-sale listings in its own database. These listings represent more than 97% of all MLS-listed homes for sale.

Realtor.com was purchased for almost $1 Billion by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in 2014.  The company owns move.com, and Top Producer – a leading marketing and lead generation system for real estate professionals, along with tigerleads.com an realtor lead generation company.

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One of the Top Visited Real Estate Websites

Ranked as the 100th most visited site by Americans, realtor.com has traffic above million per day and is an important source of realtor leads. Keyword Spy suggests the company pays over $31,000 daily on Google Adwords ads and that it bids on more than 111,000 unique keyword phrases. 

realtorcomjanstats

Amazingly, Zillow.com has much more daily traffic as the graphics below reveal:

realtorcomjanstatssites

Consumers use the realtor.com site to search for homes and realtors use it to read news updates, learn sales and marketing tips, and read about home design and research statistics.

realtorcomjanstatsdaily

Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix, New York, Boston, Seattle, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, and Charlotte all have their own local MLS associations and they feed their homes for sale listings into the NAR database. This is why many homebuyers go to realtor.com to search. Toronto and Vancouver are governed by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) at realtor.ca.

Although the association is well known realty site, it is still dependent on Google for a good portion of its traffic. This means brand strength and ranking power for SEO is an important asset for NAR and realtor.com.

The fact that home buyers search for homes for sale or condos for sale on Google, is a big reason for creating unique content and optimizing that content for high rankings. If your current realtor marketing plan is not leveraging the power of organic search lead generation, then you’re leaving money on the table, and underlying your long term sustainability in real estate sales. Check out my realtor marketing packages and discover a level of service you’ll be impressed with.

Relying on word of mouth networking today is really old school and providing diminishing returns. Other modern realtors will reach your old contacts and impress them with their value proposition. Your contacts and former customers are not a sure thing for future sales.