Call it The Feverish Fall of Oh! Nine. Buyers, eager to drive their chest through the tax credit deadline ribbon, are calling non-stop. Ready, motivated and preapproved. Some we represent while others buy our listing inventory filling our pipeline to the crest. Five out of seven days in the last two months, we’re doing double, even triple sets of showings to different clients. In the remaining two out of seven paper is being pushed, transactions managed and fires extinguished. Which brings us to the point of this post. I’m no advanced mathematician, but simple arithmetic shockingly reveals that in the scenario above there’s very little time for sleeping, let alone blogging. Call it a coincidence but during this latest “swelling” my status updates on Facebook, tweets, blog comments and posts have been rare if any. Last week, I didn’t even find time to post here (apologies are definitely in order). So What? – I hear some saying – you are taking care of business and that should come first. A statement with which I agree to a point. But the age old question still lingers: Which came first? The egg or the chicken? The business or the efforts that generate it?
Catch Twenty Two
When done right, blogging for business works like a well oiled Maranello. Hell, when done consistently enough, it works even if you are clueless as I was in the Paleolithic Active Rain period. And when you start, the goal is crystal clear: Share your expertise and get business. The rest is a bridge you cross when you get there. But before you’re finished blinking the bridge is already here in all its majesty. The phone is ringing, email is buzzing, and business is here. But now there’s no time to blog anymore. If you do continue to blog, prospects are going unattended, phone calls unreturned. What’s the point of generating it if you won’t do anything with it? Result: Immense Guilt. You decide to get real, remember what business you are actually in and remind yourself that you’re no Thomas Friedman. Sixty days later all generated business closed, you find yourself with no new prospects starting from scratch. Again. And Again. Result: Frustration. And it’s easy to pontificate and blurt some shallow cliche about needing some balance in your professional life but this is real.
What to do about it?
For starters, I am at Barnes and Noble nine minutes before 9pm writing a post that was due this morning. So, I’m not exactly in a position to lecture you all on how to solve a problem I don’t have a silver bullet solution to. But I have ideas, and I’m hoping to get some from you all as well
1. Costco your way out of it
When business is down or slow, avoid the moping watercooler and write posts like a chipmunk on crack. Don’t publish yet – Keep a stash of posts you can then slowly release to your readers (like banks are doing with REO inventory). All major blogging platforms offer a scheduling feature of some sort.
2. Partner your way out of it
Hook up with non competing on complementing colleagues and help a brother out in times of need. When they’re busy, you guest post for them and vice versa. If you both get busy, hit the watercooler and you’re sure to find a healthy supply of folks with nothing but time on their hands. 🙂
3. Hire your way out of it
I’ve previously made the argument that the brokerage of the future will require the agent to be a content producer in addition to being a sales person. So why not start now? Start a brokerage blog, have all agents contribute to it and share the load and leads. (Careful, that may be a slippery slope as the last thing some agents need to be doing is blogging). Or hire specialist agents and make it part of their duties to create content that generates business.
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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