HouseHunt Network

A Blog for Real Estate Agents

Month: April 2012 (Page 1 of 3)

Affordability Index Another Positive Factor for Housing

Published by Jim Droz

If you work primarily with buyers, you’ve probably used historically low interest rates as one of the carrots to dangle in front of potential clients. Now there’s even more positive food for thought to offer in the form of a recent National Association of Realtors report showing housing affordability at its highest level since records started being kept in 1970.

NAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose to a record high 206.1 early this year, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power. And the more positive figures you have to show your prospects, the greater the possibility they’ll work with you to get a deal done.

The high affordability figure, an improving jobs outlook and the holding steady of low interest rates have many agents optimistically looking ahead and letting their clients know about it.

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13 Months of Persistence Finally Paying Off

Published by Jim Droz

Want fries with that? That question isn’t in many real estate agent handbooks, but when things got especially tough for Josh Herbel he started serving food at a restaurant to make ends meet.

Now after thinking about quitting his day job Herbel can’t wait to exit his night job because of a market turnaround in the California desert region of Rancho Mirage. Much of his optimism springs from a $1.25 million transaction that resulted from a HouseHunt lead, two more strong possibilities on the horizon and a pipeline that includes at least a dozen prospects he’s actively in touch with.

“This has finally given me the freedom where I can get things going in the right direction and cut down from five nights to two nights to zero nights a week as fast as possible,” Herbel said about his night shifts at the restaurant. “Thank you HouseHunt. That $25,000 commission check will be pretty sweet.”

Herbel, who has been a licensed agent since 2006, started in the real estate business when things began turning south all across the country.

“People were starting to get pessimistic about the bubble starting to burst and homes were going to go down in value, so I kind of caught it at the start of the downfall, and then 2007 was just a horrible year, followed by a bunch of years with not much happening,” Herbelsaid. “But I knew it was going to turn around and that I needed to get out there and get some advertising and marketing help and HouseHunt seemed to be the best option at the time and, wow, I’m glad I went with it because I can definitely see the results panning out.”

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Get Blogging Right with the Write Stuff

By Jaime Westman

If you’re a real estate agent there’s a good chance you didn’t major in English or world literature in college. And that’s OK because the type of writing you need to do to get noticed doesn’t require grand prose or a never-ending supply of flowery adjectives.

When it comes to blogging, you basically need to be yourself and write about things you enjoy about your community, such as the views, historic neighborhoods, parks, churches, schools or social activities. If you want your blog to be well received, you should post articles that are important with an informative and entertaining flair. Only posting listings could turn interested homebuyers off; they also want news and information that will affect them and their family if they decide to work with you and move to your area.

Blogging, if done correctly and with some wit, will generate leads for your business if you capture each lead in your contact management system and assign them to a drip e-mail or marketing plan. You should also devote enough time to drive traffic to your site and share your posts on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, in addition to sites popular with Realtors and homebuyers and sellers.

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Negotiation Tactics

Published by Jim Droz

Any job involving sales will undoubtedly involve wheeling and dealing along the line. But the negotiation process for real estate agents the past few years has been elevated dramatically because of the up-and-down state of the market, interest rates and economy in general. Negotiating can be artful and strategic, in addition to nerve wracking and frustrating.

Successful negotiators know the importance of preparedness. Local real estate conditions should be right in your wheelhouse, so use them to your advantage and cite updated figures whenever possible. Beyond the financial numbers, figures such as how long a house has been on the market or why the seller put it there are essential things to know in pricing negotiations. Other facts and figures to know,

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Colorado Agent Answers the Calls to help his Area’s Military Personnel

Published by Jim Droz

Scott Ignatius isn’t on active duty but he feels a duty to be active when it comes to finding housing for military personnel in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“I enjoy working with these guys and their families who are based at Fort Carson,” said Ignatius, a HouseHunt agent who focuses on that section of the city. “Military personnel have enough to worry about. Helping them with their housing needs is the least I can do. They’re always coming and going, so things have to be done quickly a lot of the times. It’s part of the job and the reason I enjoy doing it.”

Ignatius said quick responses to leads and inquiries with phone calls and e-mails are important, as is being flexible and creative.

“Sometimes we sell houses to military guys in Iraq or Afghanistan whose wives are here and have power of attorney,” he said. “We’ll take a video of a house they want to buy, upload it on YouTube and e-mail it to them for viewing. Then we can handle the paperwork on this end. We have to be very flexible and creative when it comes to our business, but we do whatever we can to make the customer happy.”

Ignatius also knows the drill when it comes to working leads, whether they involve military personnel, the public or employees at the Air Force Academy. Of the 12 methods he employs to attract and maintain business – which includes past clients, referrals, multiple websites and helping military families obtain VA financing – his affiliation with HouseHunt the past six years has been especially beneficial.

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