Agents looking at strongest market in years

AgentAndClients_572358601

Across the country, real estate professionals and their clients have benefited from the economic growth seen in the past few years. More people can now afford to buy homes, sellers enjoy ever-increasing competition that helps to raise asking prices, and many agents see business growing in a way not observed in at least a decade. The good news for all involved is that this trend could continue for some time.

Today, 90 percent of all millennial sellers and 92 percent of buyers in the same age group use agents to help guide them through the real estate sales process, according to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. Much of the focus in the real estate industry over the past few years has been on both millennials and boomers, but the NAR’s data suggests that it may soon be Generation X who pushes the market forward.

Alleviating the constricted inventory
It’s worth noting that many members of Gen X are already homeowners, but they had to delay their home purchases – potentially for years, and longer periods than even millennials now face – because of the student loan debt they carried, the data showed. Even now, Gen-X buyers say they’re still dealing with an average student loan balance of about $30,000. But another group of Gen Xers has an even greater role to play: selling their homes.

The average Gen Xer now selling a property has been there for 10 years, and have often been locked out of selling simply because they wouldn’t get a good return on their investment until home prices reached, and then surpassed, pre-recession norms. That’s now happening in most parts of the country, and may encourage current owners to sell in the months and years ahead.

“Fortunately, the much stronger job market and 41 percent cumulative rise in home prices since 2011 have helped a growing number build enough equity to finally sell and trade up to a larger home,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “More Gen X sellers are expected this year and are definitely needed to ease the inventory shortages in much of the country.”

Growing demand for agents
The good news is that the market now seems to be adequately prepared for a potential glut of new buyers and sellers in the near future, according to the latest NAR membership data. Through the end of February, more than 1.21 million agents were members of the NAR, up more than 5 percent from the 1.15 million seen in the same month last year. Not surprisingly, some of the most populous regions in the country also have the largest membership numbers; California (more than 174,000), Florida (almost 161,000) and Texas (nearly 103,000) are the only three states with upwards of 100K agents. However, the state with the most agent growth on an annual basis is South Carolina, at nearly 11 percent.

With more agents, comes more competition, even as the number of sales is likely to rise in the near future. To that end, it’s important for agents to do all they can to stand out from the crowd by marketing themselves as experienced local experts.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

April Market & Tech

This month’s Market & Tech stat features a few of the main reasons why it’s beneficial for buyers and sellers to utilize a real estate agent. This is a great tool to show potential buyers the benefits of using an agent.

Click the links below to access the corresponding items:

April 2017 Market & Tech

PDF Version: If you have issues viewing the flyer, save it to your computer first.  This can be printed and then mailed with your business card.

JPG Version – You could use this graphic by saving it to your phone and uploading directly to Instagram and other social media sites.

Click here to easily share this as a blog article on your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). You’ll be redirected to AskHomesale.com where you can simply scroll to the bottom of the article and select the social network you want to share it to.

You can also access the ecard template on the Market REsource by selecting ecards and searching for “Market and Tech Stat – April 2017.”

Virtual reality keeps making an impression

vr pic

Emerging technology is always going to be attractive to younger buyers. And given the power millennials now wield in the housing market, it should come as no surprise that real estate professionals are investing in the latest high-tech tools. With this in mind, it’s time for agents to start thinking about whether using advanced video options in their sales efforts will help them find a foothold with younger shoppers, especially with the new buying season now underway.

Recent data suggests that as many as 2 in 5 buyers today will use at least some kind of video tour to make a decision about a home purchase, and homes with video as part of their listings tend to be far more popular than those that leave video out, according to Real Estate Tech News. Consequently, it’s time for agents to decide whether their clientele would prefer this kind of technology be included, or whether they want to take an additional step to really stand out from the crowd.

Going with VR
While it’s unlikely that clients are going to want to skip real-world open houses altogether – at least not any time soon – using virtual reality video that guides would-be buyers through a property before they ever visit it in person can be a good way for agents to help people get a real feel for a property. And surprisingly, the equipment and software needed to properly engineer those virtual tours isn’t that expensive, especially when considering the potential return on investment.

Here, too, recent polls suggest that virtual tours tend to be a little more popular with would-be buyers than standard video, at least when it’s presented as an option. Moreover, there’s an added benefit in that agents can record multiple homes they’ve listed and potential buyers can take multiple virtual tours in just one office visit. That, in turn, helps them get a feel for which listed properties they might like to visit for a real-world tour, saving time for all involved.

What’s needed?
To the earlier point about equipment investments, all agents will likely have to do is buy a camera capable of recording in 360 degrees, which typically cost a few hundred dollars, and have a smartphone and headset handy, according to The Los Angeles Times. And despite that small investment, this kind of capability can really stand out for buyers who may be wowed by an option relatively few agents make available at this time.

“It is so helpful to buyers,” San Diego-based real estate agent Jason Cassity told the newspaper. “You could have someone sitting in Boise walk through your house, and it just does so much more than the photos can. It gives them a sense of how the layout feels.”

In general, using the latest technology can be a definitive way to stand out from crowd during the busy buying season. Embracing the latest technology as it emerges is often a good way to meet that goal.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

8 Fun Ways to Decorate Your Easter Table

With April almost here, that means Easter is right around the corner. Many families will be hosting parties, egg hunts, and dinners over Easter weekend and often look for ways to spruce up their décor to get ready for the spring holiday. Maybe you have a recent buyer that’s hosting their first holiday in their new home. This would be great to share with them!

Click the links below to access the corresponding items:April IOV

PDF Version: If you have issues viewing the flyer, save it to your computer first.  This can be printed and then mailed with your business card.

JPG Version – You could use this graphic by saving it to your phone and uploading directly to Instagram and other social media sites.

Click here to easily share this as a blog article on your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). You’ll be redirected to AskHomesale.com where you can simply scroll to the bottom of the article and select the social network you want to share it to.