Articles

Tips for Turning Real Estate Client Referrals into Recurring Business
In an era of online reputation and reviews, all businesses are impacted, making customer satisfaction and differentiation all the more important It's no secret--your clients are online and, more often than not, that's where they find your business. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the home search now begins online 95% of the time. Where does that process begin, where does it end, and what are the steps in between? Throughout this journey, there are many points where agents can find the opportunity to be an asset for the information they seek and offer brand differentiation.
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Why Are Floor Plans Important?
Real estate agents may be surprised to hear that a 2018 report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that home buyers don't just want to see a floor plan as part of the listing, they think it's essential information that must be provided with every listing. In fact, homeowners rated floor plans as the third most important part of a listing and more important than neighbourhood information. According to a study from Rightmove, one in five homeowners will even ignore a listing that doesn't include a floor plan. However, floor plans aren't just important because buyers want them. They also offer value to real estate agents too. Floor plans can become an essential part of your real estate marketing efforts, and save you time. Here's how.
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5 Tips for Standing Out from Your Real Estate Competitors
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Key Findings from Our Third Annual Referral Report
Agent-to-agent referrals are a key part of every serious real estate agent's business — especially as markets slow from peak activity and business slows for many. ReferralExchange recently released their third annual referral report, "Why Agent-to-Agent Referrals are Key in 2019," where they surveyed more than 1,200 agents about their referral business, use of social media and the qualities they value in referral partners. Below are key findings from the report.
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Products

BrokerSumo
BrokerSumo simplifies back office operations that real estate brokerages and agent teams manage on a day-to-day basis. This includes on-boarding/hiring real estate agents, managing their profile including their commission plan, monthly fees, transaction fees, license expiration dates and credit card and banking information. It allows brokerages to bill agents’ credit cards for their monthly fees and pay them electronically with direct deposit with no transfer fees, eliminating paper checks forever. Commission disbursements are automatically generated based on the agent's commission plan. The reporting dashboard gives the brokerage insight into their revenue and their best performing agents. Accounting features allow users to manage their expenses, run profit and loss reports and export their data in an accountant friendly manner making tax time easier or the QuickBooks integration allows users to sync their data to QuickBooks to manage their accounting. BrokerSumo does this from one dashboard and eliminates the need for multiple products to handle these day to day operational
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Featured Homes (SM) by realtor.com®
Secure one of the most visible and exclusive positions for YOUR listings. What Featured Homes(SM) can do for you: Prominent callouts Help you grab the attention of buyers looking for a specific property type. Attract more buyers More visibility for your listings and more inquires to you. Help generate more interest                Move your listings to the front of the line in a highly visible position. The ultimate listing tool Show potential home seller clients how your exclusive marketing will more their home to the top of the Search Results Page. Create more visibility For you, and for the marketing you provide to clients. Your homes seen first Feature Homes(SM) are seen at the top of the Search Results Page, then seen again when the consumer clicks “next.” Capture market share Display your listings and the marketing you provide your home seller clients by securing zip codes in your preferred farming
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Homes.com
Homes.com is an online portal for homebuyers to conduct property searches and finding a real estate agent.  Homes.com includes property listings, brand advertising and marketing solutions, both online and in print. Homes.com provides lead generation, branding, reporting and listing exposure for agents, brokers and builders alike. Homes.com currently quotes its monthly traffic to number 4 million buyers and sellers. Homes.com provides real estate agents and brokers with the option to post their listings on their online portal. Listing exposure on Homes.com benefits include: Exposure - Manage listings from the MyHomes Agent Profile including photos, virtual tours, contact info and more Targeted Leads - Leads are routed directly to the agent or broker’s email or via text message to their cell phone. Each listing includes a contact form next to all of their listings, plus their picture and contact information are displayed in two places in the listing detail pages Direct links – Home buyers can link directly to an agent or broker’s information available online, including a link to all their listings, website, phone number etc. Go mobile - All an agent or broker’s listings on Homes.com are also featured on the Homes.com real estate search applications the iPhone, Blackberry and from all cell phone web browsers Agent Profile - A link from each of an agent or broker’s listings directs home buyers to their personal profile which includes a bio, listings and endorsements on their Homes.com agent profile page Prime Positioning - Preferred listings display at the top of search results to give your listings maximum exposure to your listings. Call Tracking - Track consumer inquiries on your listings with a special 800 number. More Photos - Unlimited photos allow you the ability to showcase every feature of your
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Industry News

Realtors Midyear Forecast: Home Sales Expected to be Stronger
WASHINGTON (May 16, 2019) -- Continued economic expansion, rising home sales and an increase in wage growth that is on par with home price growth are some of the expectations for the second half of 2019, according to speakers at today's residential real estate forum at the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors®, delivered his 2019 midyear forecast, which predicted changing future migration patterns as buyers search for more affordable markets. Inventory in the U.S. has grown for eight straight months on a year-over-year basis, and Yun expects that to continue. "Home sales should be much stronger based on the economic fundamentals of jobs, interest rates, population and consumer confidence," said Yun. After several years of wage growth outpacing home price growth, this year both are more closely aligned as average hourly wages accelerate. "With strong job creation, wages are growing at a faster pace. Finally, wages and home prices are aligning," Yun said. "This is good news for employees." He added that this shift is a healthy development toward keeping housing affordability stable. That said, because of significant differences in home prices between metro markets, Yun says there may be a steady shift in the relocation of people and companies into more affordable regions of the country. Housing affordability had been falling according to NAR's Housing Affordability Index. "While affordability has been sliding, it is still better than we saw in the year 2000. This is due to much lower mortgage interest rates today," Yun says. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com®, also spoke and projects that year-over-year inventory growth will be moderate nationwide. Realtor.com® has seen listing prices up 6.9% year-over-year in April. The REALTORS® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score produced by NAR and realtor.com® shows that higher income households have more access to available inventory. "We used to see home price growth only around the coasts, but now we're seeing it throughout the country. Nationwide there are not enough affordable homes on the market, and those numbers have been declining," Hale said. The third panelist—Dr. Johannes Stroebel, associate professor of finance at New York University—discussed a recently developed paper on behavioral economics and housing. His research evaluated how Facebook data and individual beliefs about the local housing market could influence friends' purchase choices. People's beliefs about whether buying a house is a good investment are driven by the house price experiences of their friends, Stroebel said. "Friends experiences are fundamentally related to personal beliefs of the housing market investments and influence personal behavior." According to Stroebel, having Facebook friends who experience a 5% increase in home prices over the past two years can increase the probability that a renter buys a home over the next two years by 3%. "Individuals do discuss property value with their friends, and this changes behavior," he said. Positive experiences were even shown to increase size of a home individuals purchased. "When home prices in socially-connected counties go up, it causes a reaction that changes home prices locally." The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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RatePlug Integrates with Optimal Blue's Scenario Pricing API to Improve Purchase Loan Transparency
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Metro Home Prices See 3.9% Increase in 2019's First Quarter
WASHINGTON (May 14, 2019) – Inventory increased and metro market prices rose in the first quarter of 2019, but at a slower pace than the previous quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors®. The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $254,800, up 3.9% from the first quarter of 2018 ($245,300). Single-family home prices increased in 86% of measured markets last quarter, with 153 of 178 metropolitan statistical areas showing sales price gains compared to the first quarter of a year ago. Thirteen metro areas (7%) experienced double-digit increases, down from 14 in 2018"s fourth quarter. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the first quarter has been beneficial to U.S. homeowners. "Homeowners in the majority of markets are continuing to enjoy price gains, albeit at a slower rate of growth. A typical homeowner accumulated $9,500 in wealth over the past year, he said. Total existing-home sales, including single family homes and condos, increased 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.207 million in the first quarter, up from 5.143 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. That is 5.4% lower than the 5.507 million-pace in the first quarter of 2018. At the end of 2019"s first quarter, 1.68 million existing homes were available for sale, 2.4% up from the 1.64 figure at the end of 2018"s first quarter. Average supply during the first quarter of 2019 was 3.8 months – up from 3.5 months in the first quarter of 2018. National family median income rose to $77,7524 in the first quarter, while higher home prices caused overall affordability to decrease from last year. A buyer making a 5% down payment would need an income of $60,143 to purchase a single-family home at the national median price, while a 10% down payment would require an income of $56,978, and $50,647 would be necessary for a 20% down payment. The five most expensive housing markets in the first quarter were the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., metro area, where the median existing single-family price was $1,220,000; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., $930,000; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif., $800,000; Urban Honolulu, Hawaii $794,100; and San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., $620,000. "There are vast home price differences among metro markets, Yun says. "The condition of extremely high home prices may not be sustainable in light of many alternative metro markets that are much more affordable. Therefore, a shift in job search and residential relocations into more affordable regions of the country is likely in the future." The five lowest-cost metro areas in the fourth quarter were Decatur, Ill., $80,800; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, $89,200; Elmira, N.Y., $90,400; Cumberland, Md., $99,300; and Binghamton, N.Y., $107,200. Yun continues to call on the construction industry to develop more affordable housing units, which he says will combat slower price gains and buyer pullback. "More supply is needed to provide better homeownership opportunities, taming home price growth and widening the inventory choices for consumers. Housing Opportunity Zones could provide the necessary financial benefits for homebuilders to construct moderately priced-homes," Yun said. Regional Breakdown Total existing-home sales in the Northeast sat at an annual rate of 683,000 (down 1.4% from last quarter) and are down only 1.0% from a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast was $277,200 in the first quarter, up 3.7% from a year ago. In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 4.0% in the first quarter and are 5.5% below a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the Midwest sat at $194,100, a 3.9% increase from the first quarter of 2018. Existing-home sales in the South increased 4.3% in the first quarter but were 4.0% lower than the first quarter of 2018. The median existing single-family home price in the South was $225,700 in the fourth quarter, 2.5% above a year ago. In the West, existing-home sales in the first quarter grew by 2.8% and are 10.7% below a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West increased 3.5% year-over-year to $384,300. The National Association of Realtors® is America"s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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NAR Partners with CREXi, Industry Leading Commercial Real Estate Listing Marketplace
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Companies

Inside Real Estate
Inside Real Estate's Core3 Platform allows agents to utilize all of the latest online technologies in the easiest and most powerful all-in-one marketing tool. Full-Power IDX Home Search, Professional Website, Blogging, Social Media Integration, Facebook Home Search, Search Engine Placement, and high automation all come together into a solution that has agents seeing from 50% - 150% higher results. Inside Real Estate serves individual agents, office and brokerage sites, as well as partnerships with MLS and industry organizations. Is it time for you to unlock the power of online in your business? See more at
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Property Panorama
Property Panorama is proud to provide cutting-edge, yet highly affordable, Virtual Tour Solutions that allow every Agent to enhance their listings with engaging Virtual Tours, Videos, Flyers, and More! Property Panorama's continued determination to create and distribute unprecedented Real Estate marketing technologies has allowed us to become a respected leader in the industry and secure our position as the world-leading Virtual Tour
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RateMyAgent
RateMyAgent is a digital marketing platform that helps agents collect, share and promote reviews. A RateMyAgent review is superior to any other review because each review is linked to the sales transaction and creates its own 'microsite'. As a result, every review on RateMyAgent grows your digital footprint and becomes a powerful marketing tool by helping you attract more
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realtor.com®
realtor.com®, where the world shops for real estate online, is operated by Move, Inc., (Nasdaq: MOVE) and is the official Web site of the National Association of REALTORS®., realtor.com® currently offers potential homebuyers access to nearly four million property listings, as well as the most brokers and agents. It also provides REALTORS® and the home sellers they represent with the Internet's largest real estate marketplace, where real estate consumers spend more time searching than any other comparable real estate site. Agents and companies have the power to customize realtor.com® resources to maximize their brand and
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Webinars

Video: Winning With Digital Prospecting
Last week, real estate pros who attended our webinar, "The Game Changer for Real Estate Agents: Winning With Digital Prospecting," discovered what every agent's greatest asset is and how to leverage it. If you missed the webinar, don't worry. We recorded it for you! To learn more, check out the recording below or click through to our notes on the next page.
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Video: iPad Listing Presentations
Yesterday's webinar was our most popular event of our Summer Webinar Series so far (see our previous event here). We can't say we're shocked--the iPad is a favorite tool of agents and attendees got a live demonstration of how to leverage it in a listing presentation. If you missed the webinar, don't worry. We recorded it for you. See the video below to catch up on what you missed:
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Video: Your Clients Are Cheating on You – Learn How to Keep Them from Going Astray
Our Summer Webinar Series keeps marching on (see our previous event here). On Wednesday, we teamed up with Listingbook to learn about a tool that can keep clients loyal--all while offering better data than any consumer search portal! If you missed the webinar, don't worry. We recorded it for you. See the video below to catch up on what you missed:
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Video: How to Market Yourself on Facebook WITHOUT Annoying Your Friends and Family
If you didn't attend our webinar yesterday, you missed a veritable Facebook extravaganza! Realtor® Shaun Nilsson of CityBlast shared his secrets to marketing on Facebook without annoying your friends and family--and stayed overtime to answer the dozens of questions that poured in. It's safe to say that Facebook is a hot topic among agents and brokers, so if you couldn't attend yesterday's event, don't worry--we recorded it for you. Watch the video below to catch up on what you missed and then click through to the next page to claim an exclusive discount for RE Technology readers.
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The Secrets to Email Marketing Success
Last week, agents from across the country joined RE Technology to learn more about a powerful way to stay in touch with their database. In "Power e-Prospecting Made Simple," we talked to three different real estate agents about how they use email newsletters to stay top-of-mind with their sphere of influence. To learn more, check out the recorded webinar below or click through to our notes on the next page.
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