big houseMay 2018 — Rising interest rates, a nationwide inventory shortage and buyers out in full force this spring market—this is the current real estate climate most agents are doing business in. Even with market challenges, agents also have to compete with each other, especially when it comes to open houses. In recognition of April as Open House Month, agents can create a competitive edge by increasing open house visibility and attendance to convert more leads and sell faster. 

Warning iconMay 2018 — Mold. Radon. Lead. For many homebuyers, these are words that strike fear and introduce uncertainty into a real estate transaction. Depending on how severe the conditions are, they not only may be hazardous to the health of the home dwellers, but also may be deal-killers, as well.


So, what's the best way to manage a transaction in which inspections reveal the ugly truth behind a typically picture-perfect home? The answer isn't simple, as it largely depends on the severity of these hazardous home conditions, the location of the home and the temperament of the buyer.

marketingiconApril 2018 — From inquiry to sale, communicating with consumers throughout the process is vital. According to recent research out of Ellie Mae®, the financing industry platform, communication preferences are shifting to text. 

"Consumers have been telling us that text messaging is well suited for their on-the-go, digital lives," said Nick Hedges, senior vice president, Consumer Engagement Strategy at Ellie Mae, in a statement, "and while consumers expressed a nearly universal expectation for text communications from sellers, there were a number of surprises regarding the appropriateness of texting them for different reasons."

smartphoneApril 2018 — It's that time of year again. New commercials are rolling out and everyone's itching to get their hands on the latest release of their beloved cell phone, whether that be Apple's iPhone, Samsung's Galaxy, Google's Pixel or others. Samsung isn't releasing its newest entrant—Galaxy Note 9—until late summer at the very earliest, but the other two models—Galaxy S9 and S9+—are now available for purchase. So, what do these phones offer and how will it help your business? Here's what you need to know: 

social mediaMarch 2018 — Many companies will tell you that referrals are the bread and butter of their business. And how do they come about? That's simple—word spreads quickly when you offer a good product. But, it's not as easy as sitting back and waiting for that word to go viral. To keep the business coming, you have to keep the testimonials going up on social and across the internet. Here's how you can take your reviews to the next level:

Create Unique Testimonial Opportunities

The days of posting only simple written reviews are gone. Consumers want to see excitement and engagement in your company and changing up the testimonial format is a great way to show that. Let your clients choose from a variety of testimonial options so that you have different ways of promoting a review, which will also help your clients feel more comfortable.

Video testimonials are a little more personal and have a higher chance of going viral. Since social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are becoming more popular, you need to continue putting out digital content to stay relevant. These can be simple, selfie-style videos that your clients shoot themselves and then send to you, or you can ask them to pop into the office or film them in front of a branded background. Some buyers and sellers may be wary of being in front of a camera, so find out what they're most comfortable with. 

Piggy BankMarch 2018 — The three most powerful words in real estate are "mindset, model, and marketing," said Tom Ferry, author of "Mindset, Model and Marketing!" and New York Times bestseller "Life! By Design."

Ferry is also the CEO of Tom Ferry International, a multimillion-dollar, full-service sales and marketing business. He leads more than 200 business motivation seminars a year across the United States and is Swanepoel Power 200's No. 1 Real Estate Educator. He's been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, REALTOR® Magazine, and many other national publications. A popular speaker among REALTORS®, this is his fourth time on Secrets of Top Selling Agents. This time, Ferry spoke about the top three real estate trends REALTORS® should look into. 

Mindset

Mindset matters—perhaps more than anything else. The only glass ceiling you're going to hit is the one you create for yourself. With every request made of you, your mind automatically moves to a "fixed" or "growth" mindset, Ferry said. People with a fixed mindset believe qualities like intelligence, talent, or networking and social skills are fixed traits that can't be improved on.

smallhouseFebruary 2018 — Trends are an excellent way to predict things like homebuyer behavior over the coming months or years. Unlike a fad, which ends quickly, a trend is something that may continue on for 10 or more years.

Each year, Fixr conducts a survey of influencers within the building and design industry—those professionals who are helping to shape the trends that impact homeowners and homebuyers alike. This year's survey results have shown some surprising (and not so surprising) trends that real estate professionals can use to help sell homes more quickly and influence homebuyer behavior. 

Pay close attention to these five trends to help make the most of all your real estate transactions in 2018:

Smart Home Technology
The No. 1 trend influencers say homebuyers are going to be looking for in 2018 is smart home technology. Smart homes have taken off in the last few years with the introduction of systems like Apple Home and Amazon's Alexa. Adding smart home features to a home makes it much more attractive to younger homebuyers who currently make up the largest population of buyers.

UpFebruary 2018 — Confidence in housing is breaking new records, soaring in January in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI). The HPSI overall posted 89.5 in January, 3.7 percentage points higher than the month prior and 6.8 percentage points higher than the year prior.

The ascent can be attributed to homeowners recognizing sale value, says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae. Moreover, prices are rising steadily, and the belief that they will continue to do so is tracking up.

big houseJanuary 2018 — If you’re getting ready to paint, make sure you’re on point with the latest color trends. Consider the recently released 2018 Color and Design Trends Report from Dunn-Edwards Paints, featuring five color palettes.

To predict what will be trending next year, blogger and Dunn-Edwards color expert Sara McLean looks at the big picture of the many influences that drive color and design trends—everything from world events, lifestyle, fashion and food to trends in travel, wellness and individuality. According to Dunn-Edwards, here are the five color trends—and the inspiration behind them—that are set to be big hits in 2018:

1. Memories. This trend symbolizes a return to the classics of the 1940s French fashion chic, art deco and art nouveau. The color palette evokes a romantic spirit, with a design that is luxurious and feminine. Colors include blue-greens, lacquer red, dark-brown wood hues and bronzed caramel, lightened with touches of grayish pink and gold.

uscapitolbuildingJanuary 2018 — The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could bring changes to homeownership, as well as the real estate business as a whole. With many of the modifications affecting buyers and sellers, real estate professionals need to approach the subject carefully to reduce the chance of miscommunication. Educating clients on matters outside of the services agents are licensed to perform can be a liability; therefore, agents should direct their clients to a tax professional, instead of providing advice themselves.

While agents and brokers need to be knowledgeable about how the new tax law could impact homeowners and prospective clients, they should also be aware of the implications these changes could have when it comes time to file their own taxes. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), these are the tax policies that could have the biggest impact on real estate professionals.

social mediaDecember 2017 — Posting on social media a few times per week may not be as effective as it once was without the right marketing, regardless of the industry you work in. In a cyber world that is inundated with a continuous stream of digital content, it is more important than ever to not only post more, but to stand out. That's where brand consistency comes into play. In order to become a trusted source for real estate information on the internet, consumers must first develop an understanding of what you have to offer, and that translates into recognition of your content and your value proposition.

Follow these guidelines as you work toward creating a strong brand with a loyal following:

Build a trustworthy brand. To maintain consistency, you need to have a brand in the first place. Your brand should be based around a set of core values that consumers will be proud to stand behind.