I’ve been wanting to address referrals here at Agent Genius for a while – not so much the logistics of it but the attitude behind them. We can agree that the Internet has changed the way we do business in this industry – whether you are a Realtor, a mortgage broker, building inspector or whatever.
In the past 3 years, our Internet referral business has grown exponentially but there is always a dark cloud that hangs over a lot of the transactions either before they occur or after they are completed. From the person that keeps referring leads that are not very strong and never come to fruition, to the friend of a friend who ends up not completing their part of the deal.
Whether we are on the giving or receiving end – sometimes these can get a bit complicated – could be paperwork, could be lack of response from actual clients and the result can leave a sour taste in your mouth. I’m always beyond appreciative of referrals and will go out of my way to help those clients – I also don’t hold the referring party responsible for the clients’ lack of commitment or disloyalty but I know many in this business do.
We’ve had 3 referrals from the same source in the last 3 months and all have turned out to be working with other agents and not been very upfront with their objectives – although we kept on top of the communications with the referring source, I wonder if the client’s lack of commitment reflects on me.
I’ve also referred business to different local agents with different communication styles and even if they don’t close those deals have found that the ones that kept us in the loop are the ones that continue to get our business. Disheartening when someone you trust ends up stabbing you in the back…..but that’s a different post for another occasion.
If you refer business, don’t consider that to be a gift either – some of those transactions can take more work that ever imagined, and it’s only right for you to be thankful that the client was taken care of – even if you helped someone make a buck. I confess that the easiest money we make are referrals that we don’t have to move a finger with and we make sure we don’t ever forget that.
What I’m trying to say here is that in a business of referrals, we need to expect the unexpected and always keep communication channels open. We need to be honest with ourselves about the level of commitment it will take to service those referrals and never hold the referrer hostage.
And when all else fails – just start drinking the kool-aid and come back and tell me if it helped. As a mortgage friend of mind just reminded me this weekend when I was complaining about work….. It’s all in the ‘tude. 🙂
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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