I’ve seen people complaining about promoting your listings on ActiveRain. Long, lofty, self-righteous, and often poisonous diatribes about why you shouldn’t clutter up their experience with your incessant need to do business or make money- well screw them. I say be in business while they’re not.
Chances are, if they unfriend, unfollow, or unsubscribe, they weren’t in the market to buy a home from you anyway, and anyone in the business of real estate knows that it ain’t about your competition, it’s about attracting those that desire to buy or sell a home right now, right?
So let them unfollow, unsubscribe, or unfriend you, and wish them a happy “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
The minute the ActiveRainers encouraged and incentivized Realtor on Realtor action was the day their business model telegraphed a severe identity crisis. In other words, it apparently only really attracts consumers by accident, unless you’re doing it on purpose. Maybe I’m right, and maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it.
They preach transparency- fine, give it to them
Be transparent about the fact that you’re in business to SELL real estate, be transparent about the fact that you want to speak directly to consumers, and be transparent about the markets you sell. There is no shame in admitting you’re a lousy writer, but a great agent- that’s the only way to be. Passively writing about everything but the point isn’t exactly transparent, it’s simply a failed tactic.
Blogging is not about points nor one hundred comments to some blurb about the latest and greatest social media tool in an environment like ActiveRain. Use the power of their (ActiveRain) real estate SEO to plant you firmly in front of searching consumers. List your properties and let everything in between be valuable content consumers in your hometown are searching for, otherwise, the ending you’ll get won’t be the happy one you had hoped for. Besides, wouldn’t a better agent referral be one based on professional equity (purpose driven real estate pro) rather than perceived popularity (coolest drinking buddy)? You would be doing the referred consumer a favor, would you not?
Not everything can be “Agent Networking”
Too many agents are complaining that their blogging efforts aren’t working and why would they if all you’re writing about is stuff consumers are not hunting for when buying or selling property?
Be in business everywhere you are if that’s really what you are. Spare the online locations you want to network with professionals of your listings, but everywhere else, be exactly what you are- a powerful asset in the arsenal of the home buying and selling consumer.
As a sidebar, if you see an opportunity to utilize a Twitter account to promote your business, local market, and your blog, then do it. If you’re using your Facebook to reach home buyers and sellers, then you should at least have some mechanism for promoting your product indirectly.
But here’s the warning…
Other Realtors may leave your sphere, but consumers should fill the gaps. Reducing agent noise should give you a much better view of who’s paying attention. If you’re being obnoxious and spammy, you’ll even lose those consumers, so be smart about it, but certainly and absolutely, be in business. Trust me, you would rather have 10 buying and selling consumers over 1,000 busy bodied competitors mucking up your conversation.
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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