For your convenience, we will begin doing a weekly roundup of all the articles from the prior week in case you missed something great! Below is a list of each article and by clicking here, you can download a free printable PDF of the last week’s article, complete with live links so you can click over and leave a comment! It’s like a newspaper that you’ll actually want to read from start to finish!
To get the Weekly Roundup PDF in your email inbox, sign up by submitting your email address to the “Get The Weekly G” on the right (in the sidebar under comments & most popular articles). It’s easy!
AGENT GENIUS NEWS:
- National Trainer Joins the Genius– most of you have probably seen her speak sometime in the last decade, please welcome Amy Chorew, national speaker and trainer to AG!
- MLBroadcast- Are You Broadcasting?– are you leveraging the power of video and podcastin in your marketing? It’s inexpensive and easy to do, check it out!
- Could Private Money Fix Wall Street?– before the passage of the rescue/bailout bill, Benn asked a crucial question about the role of private money in the market crash. Brilliant.
- What Turns Your Dial?– find out if Russell Shaw thinks we’re going to survive this market. He’s seen it before but is he hopeful for this next cycle?
- Why Lenders Piss Me off– Jay Thompson notes that despite a “credit crunch” that many lenders still don’t have any giddyup and closings are dying because of inaction NOT because of Wall Street.
- Complexity & Simplicity– “Anyone who had the well being of his fellows in mind wouldn’t work to make a simple subject incomprehensible to everyone else. The current mess didn’t just happen. It wasn’t an ‘accident’.” Do you agree?
- Stigliano Jones & the Template of Doom– The Stigliano Chronicles kicks off with the first adventure- debating template sites, wordpress themes and what a new agent/new blogger should do- help!
- When in Doubt, Make it More Difficult to Participate– Jonathan Dalton notes a problem with the Trulia news feeds and has unsubscribed- should you or should you jump in?
- Where Are They? Go Find Them!– Kim Woods’ first article addresses how to find your next client- is it in the store, at a car show or at the PTA? Read to find out!
- Do You Have a Strategic Network?– Mark Eckenrode builds on Kim Woods’ article by diving into specifics of building your name and reputation.
- Top 10 Ways to use Blogging in Real Estate #8– get some tools of the trade and learn why staying ahead of the game is advantageous.
- Zillow Professionals Directory Launch– Zillow launched a free directory this week, should you add your name to the list? Join the conversation!
MARKETING & BUSINESS:
- Sensuality in Real Estate– sex sells really well, but does it also put you in a dangerous situation? You may have missed some interesting comments on this one, go peek.
- Confidentially Speaking– it’s amazing how many agents have loose lips and don’t even *realize* that they’re violating the Code of Ethics. Are you practicing properly?
- R.E.O. Ain’t the Name of Some 70s Band?!?!– although Speedwagon does rock, we’re talkin’ real estate REO today, Rocky defines common terms for you (sweet!).
- Increase Your Persuasive Pulling Power– do you have pulling power? Dive into the 5 Cs in depth and get the lowdown on how to make your marketing persuasive.
- Language: How Do You Use It?– what’s the difference between a client and a customer and is this all just semantics? Weigh in now!
- It Should be a Hard Career!– with major changes in the real estate landscape, the writing’s on the wall- is it YOUR business or is it your client’s?
- URL Shortener With Built-in Metrics– Don’t just shorten a URL for Twitter or your site, know how many people and from where they are clicking on links you publish! HOT TOOL!
- Pay-Per-Click Isn’t a Dirty Phrase, It’s a Tool– Google Adwords is a highly underused tool in Real Estate- some say it’s evil, others say it’s big money- go find out the truth!
- Animoto- Rock Star Un-Slideshows– get a guaranteed unique music video for your photos and impress the coolest of clients and friends and check out what other agents have put together.
- The Cloud– cloud computing sounds scary but it’s not, it’s the inevitable future. Do you know what it is? If so, how are you in the cloud?
- I’m a HTML Purist, Are You?– do you know how your dirty HTML may be damaging you? Do you have any idea how easy it is to fix? C’mon, be a purist, it’s not elite, it’s awesome!
- PDF Slicer & Dicer– we deal with duplicates, out of order, long contracts in PDF form all day- learn about a FREE tool to make it all manageable.
- SlideRocket Better Than Slideshare?– do you need polish on your online presentations? SlideRocket is now out of private beta, take it for a spin and see a sample.
- Picnik Photo Editor Adds New Features Today– when editing photos, some cool new features are available now: puzzle effect (turns your shot into a puzzle) or panography, look!
- HouseFront Mobile Info Tool– have you ever driven by a FSBO and thought “I should write that address down” or “I wonder how many bedrooms that has” and forgotten by the time you get to the office? Then try this out.
- YouTube Video Splicing– don’t force someone to watch an entire video just for that 10 second bit you want to share, go find out how in 3 seconds you can splice video!
- Choosing Colors That Support You– Feng Shui expert Nickie Rothwell shows you how the colors of your environment impact you psychologically, tell us in comments what color YOUR environment is!
- Staying Positive in a Negative World– what great timing for tips on keeping life positive. Your health, family and business will thank you.
It’s a lot, we know- with one click, you can print it all up now so you can read it while on the subway or sitting in an open house!
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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