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Posts Tagged National Association of Realtors

Economist: Here’s What You Should Know about the 2014 Housing Market

by Courtney Soinski

housingDo you know what to expect in this year’s housing market?  No matter what you think you know, listen up!  Veteran housing economist David Berson, who previously served as the chief economist at The PMI and Fannie Mae, gives us his professional housing forecast for 2014.

Berson’s first prediction is that 2014 will be the strongest year for housing since before the Great Recession.  With employment growth accelerating and unemployment declining, most economists expect an improved job market in 2014.  In turn, this will improve housing demand this year, even if mortgage rates rise and affordability declines.

Secondly, demographics will begin to favor housing activity.  Housing is most affected by the demographic factor: household formations.  In the years following the Great Recession, people who normally would have lived on their own decided to move in together if they were worried about their job or economic standing.  Now, there is a pent-up demand for household formations.  Berson explains, “Beginning in 2014, the pace of household formations should accelerate to an above-trend pace for several years, pushing up housing demand.”

Lastly, mortgage availability shouldn’t worse and will potentially improve.  Compared with recent years, mortgage availability has slightly increased.  According to Berson, “the increase in new households expected to be created this year, spurred by a stronger job market, should find that qualifying for a mortgage loan will be somewhat easier in 2014 than in prior years.”

 

Source: “Economist: What 2014 Holds for Real Estate,” REALTOR® Mag, Daily Real Estate News, March 20, 2014

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Just Say NO to Listing Agents!

1627657_origby Allan Dalton, President – HomesIn.com
During the seminar on Strategic Thinking that Michael Oppler and I conducted at the National Association of Realtors® in San Francisco, I passionately beseeched the audience to support my following assertion and emphatic suggestion…that we never again refer to anyone (unless, of course, they are not a Realtor®) as a ‘Listing Agent’ – as doing so is destructive, demeaning and undermines our entire Industry.  Here’s why!
Regrettably, since many home sellers are not fully aware of the tremendous negotiating, marketing, merchandising and social media skills of top-notch Realtors®, they understandably and mistakenly conclude the following:

“That if I am paying such a handsome fee to a mere ‘Listing Agent’, then a real estate transaction must be a fee inflated event which I must subsidize in order to promulgate an inefficiently run Industry.” This is a totally incorrect assumption in my view.  Why the misperception?

It begins with our Industry (and therefore consumers) referring to the individual representing the seller or marketing the property in the dreadful, if not horrific, following fashion…

“WHO IS THE LISTING AGENT?”

Do you think, as I do, that it would be more strategic, correct, and impressive that after saying the aforementioned, for over a century, we consider gifting ourselves a “professional upgrade’?

Why not collectively rally instead in support of…”WHO’S THE MARKETING REALTOR®?”

“Who’s the Listing Agent,” or worse yet, “I am the Listing Agent” implies:

  1. My job is complete…I already have the listing.
  2. I do no marketing.
  3. I represent the listing (a piece of paper) vs. the client.
  4. Consumers can ‘list’ their own properties with very little skill involved.
  5. I am not a Realtor®, just a licensed agent (What’s next, the National Association of Listing Agents vs. Realtors®?)
  6. I am one step closer to a For Sale By Owner (or For Listed by Owner).
  7. That buyers determine the price…because Listing Agents, and, therefore, the listing side of the transaction, have no value and therefore, due to their modest role, cannot influence or contribute to either value or outcomes.<
  8. Because I have no value, I will use words like “comps,” “similar homes” and “commodity” to refer to and marginalize your home…because a Marketing Agent uses the “Four P’s of Marketing” (product, price, place and promotion) and views each property as a customized opportunity – unlike a Listing Agent, who by definition, must view properties either as a “commodity” or, worse yet, an “interchangeable widget.”
  9. When MLS’s mimic one another by their use of L.A. to refer to Listing Agent or S.A. to stand for Selling Agent, this also, tremendously exacerbates this problem and undermines the Realtor® brand.

When a million plus Realtors® pay their dues (a bargain of the century) at the very least they should use the brand they are paying for in every way that is informative to the consumer/client.

While the word “agent” might connote agency to some, there is a reason why doctors and defense and prosecuting attorneys memorialize their brands even when agency is involved much more fulsomely than many Realtors® seem to be doing.

Now, of course, one will always use the word ‘listing’ as it is an agreement. Such definitional minimalism however…”Listing Agent” ..should not be used unwittingly as a weapon to minimize the enormous value of Realtors®  willing to assume and complete the complex marketing role.

Suggestion: Next time, try asking, “Who’s the Marketing Realtor®?” or “Who’s the Selling Realtor®!” I think you’ll like it…and you will create greater respect, not only from consumers or clients who need to be illuminated as to how sophisticated and skilled Realtors® truly are – also yourself.

Please spread my suggestion…if you agree with my recommended change,
Allan Dalton

allandaltonconsulting@gmail.com

P.S. – Perhaps if all Realtors®  would ask “Who is the Marketing and Selling Realtor®?” there’d be fewer folks saying “Real-a-tor”.  There may not be a better way to honor the greatness of state and national Realtor® Associations than by better honoring the brand Realtor®.  Isn’t this the strategic way to think?

Editor’s Note: The reason why I selected NewPoint Media Group, home of The Real Estate Book, to publish this important message is that the excellence and enormous marketing leveragability of The Real Estate Book serves as an example of the difference between Listing Agents – who settle for the bare minimal on behalf of their homeowners – versus Marketing Realtors® – who seek to market real estate at the highest level possible and who truly understand the value of comprehensive real estate marketing.  Such professionalism describes Realtors® who professionally market versus Listing Agents who merely list.

Former CEO of Realtor.com

President, HomesInYourTown.com

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Food for Thought – How to Amplify Your Referral Base

By Rebecca Chandler

ReferralBaseLast week, as we finished up the National Association of REALTORS® Convention, I made an observation.

Some people think they absolutely need to market themselves, their listings, and their businesses.

Some people do not. They say they rely on referrals.

It’s not quite that simple, but almost.

I heard one say last week that they received ALL their business from referrals. And, I think that’s a testament to the level of professionalism and service they provide their clients – that they become confident to refer their friends and family. But, I think that as the sole source of business, it’s extremely risky. There are times when your referral base may just not know anyone who is buying or selling – or another good, professional, agent could also be considered and may begin to erode your referral base. Let’s assume that you are not the only reliable real estate professional in town.

From time to time, we have all liked a product so much that we would refer it to our friends. For example, I like my new Skechers boots. They look sharp and they are extremely comfortable. I would recommend them to my friends. However, not all my friends are in the market for boots, my tastes may not be theirs, and there are just certain times of the year when you are less likely to buy boots and we’ll all be less likely to be talking about buying boots. Some may take my recommendation and shop for Skechers boots, but, in the end, they will make their own decisions. Skechers certainly shouldn’t rely on me as a consistent source of business.

I wonder how many times someone in your sphere of influence is asked about a real estate transaction, and they don’t recommend you? It just didn’t occur to them. Or – they did recommend you and the prospect chose differently? Or they did recommend you and another agent crossed their path before they contacted you? There could be a multitude of reasons why you did not get the referral. Truth is, you may be getting a good number of referrals, but it’s highly unlikely that you are getting them all.

Let’s think about this a little differently. You are a very good, highly professional real estate agent who leaves a trail of happy clients. If you were to consider that for every piece of new business you gained through advertising or another lead generation activity, each of those would refer even more new business to you, your referral base would be amplified. If you are very good at getting referral business, just think how good you’d be if you also advertised.

Food for thought.

For More – Is Your Listing Presentation Missing Something?

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