5 Tips For Starting A Real Estate Blog

5 Tips For Starting A Real Estate Blog

The existence of such a wide array of blogger tools available for free today, starting a real estate blog has never been easier.

Blogs are a good way to provide personalized content directly to your target audience.

Writing your own content is the perfect way to demonstrate to your social sphere that you are the arbiter of knowledge and experience in your local real estate market.

Just follow the step by step guides provided by one of the blog building software available online like SquareSpace or TheBlogBuilder and begin producing valuable content for your clients and readers right away!

In today’s user-friendly online environment, creating, implementing, and promoting your blog is easy as ever.

The hard part, is writing content for your blog in a way that best expresses the value you provide as a Realtor and real estate market place guru.

We have compiled a list of advice and tips for best reaching your audience, claiming a high SEO score, and generating leads from your blog.

Consistently producing high value content peppered with optimal key words, increasing traffic to your website, and retargeting visitors is a key component for keeping up with the changing landscape in the increasingly technologically driven business of real estate.

Failure to adjust to new marketing trends like localized blogging surrenders territory to those who do adopt the new ways and allows them to dip their hands into your lead and referral business.

Reposting from other sources is a good way to accomplish this when time is short, but generating your own content as well will better guarantee your posts are localized and relevant.

Stop using a lack of ideas for content as an excuse to begin this essential cornerstone to your business. Here are your tips for setting yourself up to create valuable, recurring content and ensuring you capture as much business as possible with your new blog:

1. LOCAL NEWS

Providing your target market with information relevant to your local community is absolutely crucial for imparting valuable content and establishing an authoritative SEO score.

There are several earmarks in your local community that will consistently give you the opportunity for generating this content since there will often be updates and changes within those earmarks.

a. Local Schools

Local elementary schools will host fundraisers, sporting events, concerts, plays, and a variety of other events that you can report to your local community. This information will be relevant both to your immediate sphere of influence and anyone interested in purchasing property there from out of the area.

This content will likely be shared by social media friends with children or relatives participating in any local school events, expanding your outreach and driving more traffic to your blog.

b. Local Events

Most communities engage in shared events periodically throughout the year. These events usually relate to some holiday, like a local 4th of July parade or a community Easter egg hunt. 

Take advantage of these events by creating consumable lists for engaging in these activities specific to your community, like, “5 Tricks for Staking Out a Good Spot at the Walnut Creek Parade,” or, “7 Worst Foods to Cook at the 4th of July Crocker Heights BBQ.”

c. Local Sporting Events

If your city is fortunate enough to have local minor league teams, promoting their games, new acquisitions, or halftime extravaganzas are a good way to provide support for your local teams, and therefore help to establish you as the active go-to Realtor of the local community.

This will also be content that may be shared by team administrators, making your presence and expertise known to players and staff alike. Considering the high player turnover on semi-professional teams, this will allow you to position yourself as the preferred Realtor to be contracted by any new acquisitions. This is a more feasible goal than doing this at the professional level, since the amount of content covering these teams is much scarcer.

d. Local Policy Changes (Especially Affecting Real Estate)

Policy changes often go unnoticed by communities, as there is very little content relating to these changes at a hyper-local level. 

Take some time to attend City Hall meetings occasionally. Try to hand pick any new policy changes that will have a direct effect on the lives of citizens in your local community. Not everyone is willing to take the time to attend these meetings, but they’ll be much more likely to click an article discussing any new potential changes in their daily routines.

e. New Local Hotspots

This will help to provide additional relevant neighborhood information to keep you at the fore front of your local community. Anyone interested in the food and dining your neighborhood has to offer will be highly inclined to click on a localized article like, “New Dining Experiences to Try in San Jose.”

Notify the restaurants or bars you’re discussing. They’ll likely share it on their social media channels as well, heightening your outreach and driving more traffic to your site.

f. Local Charity events

Promoting local charity events will drive traffic to your site in addition to helping convey your charitable inclinations to the surrounding community. Displaying a list of charities your site promotes can also help to do this, as well as link your site to anyone outside your community searching for more information or trying to donate to these charities.

2. PERSONALIZED CONTENT TO INCLUDE HOBBIES AND INTERESTS

We’ve said it before, but it merits repeating – people like buying from other people like them.

By expressing your interests and hobbies outside of real estate on your blog, then tying them back to your real estate business, you will attract buyers and sellers who also express interest those shared activities.

Pick a hobby or activity in which you hold an exceptionable amount of knowledge and insight, then write articles that conflate it to real estate through analogy or metaphor.

For example, if you’re a dog person, write something like, “Why Single-Family Tudors are the Golden Retrievers of Residential Real Estate.”

Or, if you’re an NFL fan, “Which NFL Team best represents your neighborhood?” 

Then discuss commonalities between the two categories you’re comparing. These can be very broad comparisons, but will serve to attract like-minded people to your site.

3. PROMOTE YOUR EVENTS 

Hosting community events is a great way to rub elbows with your neighbors and potential clientele.

Not only can you meet new clients by attracting them to attend, but these are ideal for capturing new content to share on your blog.

The content you share can conform to what activities you arranged for your event. Discuss prize winners, contests, charitable givers, or whatever you feel best portrays your events as community unifiers.

Content generated from these presents the opportunity for promotion both before the event, and advertising your business afterwards.

4. DEMONSTRATE YOUR MARKET KNOWLEDGE

This might not necessarily be the focal point of your blog since it won’t generate as much interest, but demonstrating your professionalism, experience, and knowledge of the local real estate market is a good way to present your aptitude as a Realtor, and give you an additional recurring source of updates and information to maintain a blog with consistent posting.

a. Market Open Houses

Every time you host or hold an open house, this presents an opportunity for a blog post.

Write pricing comparisons of the house you’re hosting relative to the surrounding area, and include graphics from you’re CMA provider.

Describe the house briefly, (this can be the same description in your local MLS or on consumer facing listing platforms like Zillow), then add visual content like embedded drone videos, virtual tours, or listing photos.

This will not only increase traffic to your site and open homes, but demonstrate to sellers the amount of effort you put in when given the opportunity to represent a listing, increasing the number of leads you receive and your referral business.

b. Local Market Updates

To demonstrate you have your finger on the pulse of the local real estate market, periodically post market updates for the neighborhoods in which you operate.

These updates can also show readers that you are a credible source of real estate knowledge in their local area and can lead to more business.

c. Mortgage Rate Updates

Keeping your readers up to date with changing mortgage rates will help further establish your reliability as a real estate expert.

These posts are quick and simple since the data is readily available and require only short blurbs as to the effect on potential buyers and sellers.

5. TIPS FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT

We mentioned utilizing reposts from other blogs is a good way to uphold a consistent posting schedule, and there is no shortage of posts for this topic.

If you do use other posts for this category, try to make sure they reference local companies that can carry out these tasks for home owners. That way, your blog remains more relevant to the local community and additionally increases your SEO score.

If posts referencing local businesses don’t exist, use ideas or concepts from these other posts, then include services of local businesses that can remedy or help with these ideas.

As always, be sure to contact the local business when you do this and encourage them to share your post on their social media as well.

Key Takeaways:

Choose generalized topics in your local community that consistently generate new updates and information.

Once you’ve written about those changes and shared them on your social media channels, contact the organizations or companies mentioned in your article, and ask them to share it on theirs’ as well. 

If you’re busy with other facets of your real estate business, posting content from other sources particularly with regard to market updates or broad real estate questions the general public poses is a good way to maintain a consistent posting process.

9 of the Best Realtor Conference and Event Practices

9 of the Best Realtor Conference and Event Practices

A great way for real estate agents to learn about new developments in the industry, expand their referral network, and generally make new connections for their business is to attend real estate conferences and events. Many agents already implement this tactic, but are they positioning and marketing themselves as effectively as they can? If you’re going to spend the time and money to attend a real estate event, make sure you’re doing everything before, during, and after to optimize your experience and get the most out of their marketing ploys. Here is our list of tips for real estate agents to accomplish that when attending real estate events and conferences:

1. Collect numbers, not business cards.

Business cards create clutter, are ineffective at establishing yourself in the memory of your cohort, and generally yield very low call back rates. Instead, offer to exchange your phone number and email by creating a new contact in your phone on the spot. Then, send them a short, personalized email or text right away. They’ll be more likely to respond and remember you if you use this practice instead of being one of the hundred other agents that handed them a card.

2. Find the bar and stake it out.

Rather than trying to meet people by approaching groups or actively seeking certain individuals, get a space near the bar. You can strike up conversations with any agents who go to order a drink more innocuously this way. For those that have ever attended a real estate event or conference, you know you can expect a lot of agents to patron the bar.

3. Leverage the event to boost your social media outreach.

Post about the event before, during, and after on your social media channels. Be sure to include tags relevant to the event and referencing it so any agents searching for information about it see your posts. Your posts can be as simple as a photo of a speaker or a new insight you gained at the event.

4. Build a website page exclusively for the event.

Another good post you can promote on your social media channels is your personalized website page about the event. This is a good way to improve your website SEO for anyone interested in the event and is a good way to directly provide value to attendees searching for information about it. A call to action on this page like a newsletter signup or an eBook download. This will further help you stand out and increase your connection rate with attendees.

5. Research sessions beforehand and come prepared with questions.

Know what the topics of discussion will be so you can anticipate how you can better be proactive and participatory during sessions. Asking good questions can help you get noticed and increase the interest of other attendees in connecting with you.

6. Follow hashtags for the event on social media.

Another good way to stay on top of sessions and topics of discussion is to follow the event tags on social media. This will allow you to better provide value on your own posts and take advantage of any offerings or promotions advertised by the event hosts.

7. Learn about new developments in the industry and blog about them.

If you’re strapped for blog post ideas, this is a good opportunity to gain insight into changes in the industry or new technology being introduced. This will help you establish yourself as a real estate agent with their finger on the pulse of the industry, making you stand out to fellow Realtors and potential clients alike as a reliable, knowledgeable source for all things real estate.

8. Use name association to remember people.

You’ll meet a lot of people and remembering all of them can be difficult if you try to rely on your memory alone. Associate their names with unique physical features to improve your name retention. For example, if someone you meet named Dan has curly hair, use a simple word association process to connect his curly hair to his name. Curly hair -> curling iron -> iron man -> man rhymes with Dan.

9. Follow up afterwards.

Finally, to cement the connections you make at the event, be sure to follow up with new contacts after the event. Try to work in a reference to something that was brought up in your conversation with them to help them remember who you are, and convey that you were listening and care about this new relationship. Alternatively, you can send them an article that discusses solutions for any issue that in the industry that was referenced in the conversation.

 

Real estate agent conferences and events are great opportunities for networking and learning about new industry developments like REBO’s flat fee outsourced transaction coordination service. Sign up with REBO’s white-glove concierge service and let us handle all the paperwork and communication involved in a real estate transaction from offer to close!

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Event Marketing For Real Estate Agents – Step by Step Guide

Event Marketing For Real Estate Agents – Step by Step Guide

An often-overlooked marketing opportunity for Realtors is the power of hosting local community events.

Hosting community fundraisers or events is a great way to rub elbows with your neighbors and get your name known.

This demonstrates a philanthropic inclination on your part and will make your clients feel a sense of attachment to your charitable contributions by signing with you.

You can inform surrounding community members of the event by going door to door, which is a time-tested lead generating technique. However, since you’re going door to door to promote a charitable event, it will come off as less intrusive.

Hosting an event is one of the best ways Realtors can establish themselves as the local go-to real estate market guru in their community.

However, event hosting tends to fall off the map of viable marketing techniques for Realtors for one reason: it’s hard.

The amount of energy and resources spent successfully organizing, marketing, and executing a community event can appear to be a daunting obstacle.

Despite the work involved, the windfall of new business resulting from this more than offsets the woes experienced during.

This topic has enough moving pieces and creates so much opportunity for expressing your personal brand as unique, it could be an eBook in and of itself. Making the details specific to your brand and community is largely left to your discretion, but here we will outline the basic stages of pulling such an event off.

DETERMINING EVENT LOGISTICS

When deciding what activities, speakers, performers, and hooks you will use for creating an event with a favorable turnout, keep in mind the ultimate goal of the event: generating, nurturing, and converting leads.

Nurturing and converting patrons of your event will rely heavily on how you display your brand at the time of the event. Generating these leads will be done largely through marketing leading up to the event. That being said, a crucial component to generating leads at the event depends on your ability to incite guests to provide their contact information.

Before we go any further, understand that setting up the event will require a decent amount of leg work on your part, so learn from the mistakes of Fyre festival founders, and give yourself enough time to arrange all necessary amenities. Schedule your event at least ten weeks out from when you begin marketing.

Type of Event

Consider what type of event you want to host for your community. Your idea should include activities that require guests to provide contact information before-hand to secure entry like contests, raffles, talent shows, trivia competitions, or auctions.

Choose a charity to sponsor and advertise that proceeds will be donated. By adding a philanthropic aspect people in your community will feel more inclined to attend and participate.

Both the type of event you choose and the charity you support will depend largely on your audience. Consider the demographics and interests of your surrounding community to help you decide what these themes should be.

Fundraising for a local cause or organization is a good way to kill both these birds with one stone. For example, you could do a fundraiser for the local football team and hold football related competitions like NFL trivia or combine events. What you choose should not only reflect community interests, but your personal interests as well to ensure passion and knowledgeable delivery.

The decisions you make here will likewise guide your decision for time and location of your event. Since you’ll be marketing to a large number of people in your surrounding community, make sure to secure a location that is flexible with regard to maximum capacity. The last thing you want is to have more attendees than your location can handle.

Choosing Co-Hosts/Sponsors

It will be difficult to pull off a venture like this on your own, so secure help early in the process. The help you employ should be both active in the community and ideally, local idols that embody your selected charity and activities.

If it’s a fundraiser for a local school, ask teachers or prominent PTA members. If it’s a sports team, ask coaches or team administrators. If you are promoting and raising money for a local organization, the chances are good that anyone involved with the organization will be eager to help.

These will be essential contacts for helping with set up, spreading the word, and offering insights to best execute your event.

Performances/Speakers

The co-hosts and sponsors you select for the previous step will additionally make good speakers at your event, particularly if they’re already well known within the community as the local arbiter of your event theme.

If you want to utilize performances, try to employ performers that likewise are representative of your theme in the minds of the local community. To paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg as to why FaceBook became popular, “people don’t go online to look at people. They go online to look at people they know.” Performers that are personally known by attendees will be a cheap and effective way to engage your audience.

Reach out to those you know personally in the community who are capable of participating in whatever activities you have planned. Tell them to share their participation on social media to attract other potential contestants.

MARKET YOUR EVENT

Now that the event location, time, and logistics are in place, you’ll want to market the event for a few weeks leading up to it to achieve maximum reach and attendance.

Brand Your Event

Before distributing any marketing materials, it’s a good idea to brand your event with custom logo and slogan.

Your logo and slogan should tie together the symbiotic relationship between the organization the event is helping, activities involved in the event, and your personal real estate business.

Independently contracted graphic designers are cheap on Fiverr, and with guidance, can help generate a totally custom logo for your event.

This logo can be printed on T shirts, flyers, and any merchandise you may be giving away at the event, increasing awareness for the next time you host it.

Your slogan should be something catchy and easy to remember. Have it in some way convey the contribution of your personal real estate business to the event as well. Additionally, you should also connect the slogan geographically or by a local indicator if you can for SEO improvement. For example, if you’re raising funds for the local school soccer team by hosting a musical talent show, try something like, “Support Leighton Soccer by Judging Rockers! –  an event powered by Jane Doe Realty.” This is a good opportunity to express your creativity and make the event unique to your personality.

By branding your event successfully the first time around, if/when you decide to host the event again another year, you’ll have the advantage of having an already established recognizable brand within your community.

Traditional Marketing Tactics

Marketing your event is a good excuse for going door to door and introducing yourself as the local Realtor. Make flyers or brochures to hand out to neighbors when you do this.

If you really want to go all in on this, invest in display ads at local grocery stores or park benches. Traditional real estate marketing will work better if you’re advertising an event than the typical Realtor photo and phone number technique.

Local media spots also provide good reach at relatively low costs within your community. Get a local DJ to advertise your event on air or buy newspaper ads in your neighborhood paper.

Keep in mind the audience likely to see your ads based on where and what platform they’re being deployed. Adjust your advertisements accordingly to speak more directly to your audience.

Notify Leads

If you’ve been employing any of the lead generation techniques we’ve discussed in prior posts, you probably have the contact information of a set of warm leads in your local community. Use your event as an opportunity to engage another touch point and connect with them. If you advertise the speakers, performers, or other people they know in the header of your email you’ll increase the chances they view it and attend.

Hyper-Local Influencers

Hiring social influencers to promote your business or event can be costly and won’t necessarily reach the ideal target audience. However, if you can hire people within your target community with large local followings on social media, you can better target your audience for a cheaper price. They may not necessarily have done any social media influence work in the past, and will probably be excited by the opportunity. These people can be the heads of local clubs or organizations, including people involved in local civic groups, schools, churches, business owners and nonprofit (nongovernmental) organizations. 

If one of your co-hosts or sponsors fits the bill for a local social influencer, be sure to ask them to promote the event on their social media channels as well.

Blog + Podcast

Earlier we discussed setting up and gaining a following for your personal website’s blog and podcast. Event marketing provides relevant content to your audience and promotes your event. It is a perfect content piece to blast out from all your marketing channels.

Keep in mind the keys to improving your SEO score when constructing your articles promoting your event. Use local words, include the names of all co-hosts and sponsors, performers, speakers, organizations, and clubs involved and tie their names to your local community as often as you can to see to it that any Google queries remotely related to your event returns your article at the top of the list.

Social Media

Sharing the content created for your blog and podcast on your social media channels is just the first way to promote your event over social media.

It’s also imperative that you create an “Event” on FaceBook and invite your contacts to join. Be sure to include organizations and people being helped, organizations and people helping to administer the event, activities to be held, prizes to be won, handouts, performers, and any other relevant information to the event. Allowing people to see everyone else who has been invited and who has responded to the invite will not only help establish credibility for your event in the local community, but instill a sense of ‘FOMO’ for those on the fence about going.

Be sure to use this medium as a way of accepting applications to perform or speak as well, (after they’ve provided their contact information of course!)

After posting articles and other advertising content on social media, boost your ads and set your target audience to make sure your ads are seen by local residents repeatedly.

Include a “tag” to be used in every social media post so other people can easily post about the event and refer back to it. You may want to use multiple tags so you can direct some tags at the event activities, performers, etc., and at least one that’s directed at your real estate business.

Partner with Local Businesses

Allowing local businesses to participate in the event will not only help provide more merchandising and event activities, but open the door for cross promotion.

In exchange for allowing participation, see if local businesses will help promote your real estate business in their facilities. This will bulk up your event for free while simultaneously promoting your personal brand.

Incentives and Free Giveaways

Everyone loves free stuff! Be sure to include some sort of giveaway for a raffle, or prizes for competitions, and advertise exactly what merchandise attendees will be getting in your social media posts, flyers, articles, etc.

The merchandise and prizes to be given away can include your personally branded logo and slogan. This will serve as a reminder to patrons of the event that you are the local real estate guru for as long as they keep their prize or gift.

Your event should be free entry, and this fact should be advertised as well. Remember, you’re in the business of generating leads for your personal real estate venture. You’re an event planner only as a means to accomplishing this, not generating revenue.

Leverage Other Events and Public Forums

Anytime there is a gathering of local residents, this is an opportunity to promote your event.

Ask your local church if they’ll allow an announcement. This can also be done at PTA meetings, sporting events, etc.

ENGAGE GUESTS AT YOUR EVENT

There are two focal points for when your event is taking place to be used for the purpose of generating and nurturing leads: Getting guest contact information and capturing new content.

Capturing content at the event will allow you to market yourself further long after the event has ended. This is content that can be reused in your social media marketing, blog, podcast, etc. It will also provide marketing materials for when you decide to host an event again. There are several ways to create this content:

Encourage Attendees to Share Their Own Content

One way to maximize your reach at your event is to create circumstances in which attendees will capture their own content and share it on their social media channels. Offer post-event prizes to whomever captures and shares the best photo of an activity or event with the predetermined hashtag attached.

In a previous article about how Realtors should advertise on digital platforms, we talked about utilizing Snapchat Geofilters for community events. Implementing Geofilters through Snapchat’s advertising platform and informing guests of this feature, they’ll send out snaps to their friends using your branded advertisement.

Hire a Professional Photographer

You’ll want to additionally employ a professional to capture fun moments from your event. These will be better quality and better for sharing than any content generated by attendees.

If you really want quality video to share, get a drone to capture aerial images and footage of your event. This will help convey the appearance of professionalism and legitimacy of any event you decide to host in the future.

Collect Contact Information

You’ve already collected contact information from your marketing efforts for the event, but the event itself presents an opportunity to gather even more.

Don’t charge fees, but rather require contact information be provided for entry into any event performances, giveaways, donations, or general queries. These can be added to your CRM later, one of the ultimate goals of hosting the event to begin with.

FOLLOW UP

Use the contact information you’ve gathered to probe for suggestions, reviews, and feedback for your event. In addition to growing your customer database, you can use replies to refine any future events to provide an even more beneficial experience for you and attendees at your next year’s event.

These contacts can also be used as a foundation for employing hosts and sponsors for your next event. Ask if anyone has or knows of any other reputable organizations within the community that could benefit from an event like the one you just hosted.

The extra data you’ve acquired from attendees can also be used for more relevant retargeting of event guests that visited your personal website either before, during, or after the event. More specific ad retargeting is a great way to funnel warm leads into conversions.

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5 Strategies For Promoting A Personal Real Estate Agent Brand

5 Strategies For Promoting A Personal Real Estate Agent Brand

Many realtors plummet into the pitfalls of traditional real estate advertising for their personal brands without ever asking –  “Is this type of advertising the most effective use of my marketing dollars?”

While the same advertising tactics have reared their head in the industry for decades, most are not the best in terms of cost effectiveness.

We took a look at the best performing agents in the game today and outlined five of the most cost effective tactics to incorporate into your personal real estate marketing as well as which delivery platforms you should utilize in your real estate business to deploy them.

1. Personal Website

Personal websites are extremely powerful retargeting tools.

A website with a purposeful layout and valuable content is crucial to driving traffic that turns into leads. Building a website to automatically capture and nurture these leads is essential to growing a real estate brand and business in today’s digital landscape.

When a real estate website is setup properly, visitors are tagged with a pixel that allows agents to create targeted audience that can be advertised to again and again, keeping the real estate agents business and brand name at the top of the clients mind.

An incredibly strong online presence demonstrates the importance of a personal website to the top agents in the industry. Capturing leads and turning them into clients online will give even the newest (or most seasoned) real estate agents a competitive edge over other agents.

2. Social Media

Social Media allows real estate agents to connect with potential and current clients on a personal level. It is a great tool for driving traffic to a real estate agent’s personal website  or even a real estate broker’s main website.

Just like the personal website mentioned above, social media gives real estate agents the ability to target hyper specific demographics and collect data on their best leads. Using this information to run ads not only generates leads for buyers but it is also a powerful way to build interest for current home listings.

Be sure to test a few different advertising techniques (test ad type and delivery method), for example, testimonial advertising on LinkedIn, valuable articles on Facebook and Twitter, and beautiful photographs of your current listings on Instagram.

Always keep track of your data and compare how each performs. Then refine your ads and target audiences accordingly.

3. Podcast

Create a podcast about your local community and home improvement projects. Potential clients listen and respond to this type of content because they are not necessarily looking for real estate-centric podcasts (whose listening base is more largely populated by other realtors).

Hyper-local informative podcasts will drive listeners from certain neighborhoods or cities to your site. Focus on the value of your content rather than the number of listeners. The more value you provide to these communities the more valuable the listenership will be when it comes time to buy or sell their homes.

4. Radio Interviews/Advertisement

This may seem like an old way to advertise with all these other digital options but running a personal brand advertisement on local radio can generate fantastic leads. We found the that the most effective advertising spots are when popular DJs personally recommend your business on the air as first person testimonials.

Other effective types of ad content for radio include talent testimonials, personal website promotions, and informing listeners to Google your name.

The “Google me” technique is particularly effective if you have an authoritative SEO score.

5. Community Events

Looking to sell in a hot neighborhood? Want to raise the value of the homes in the neighborhood of your listings? Hosting community fundraisers or events that help schools with supplies is a great way to rub elbows with the neighbors and get your name known.

Demonstrating a philanthropic inclination as a real estate agent will make clients feel a sense of attachment to an agent’s or brokerage’s charitable contributions by listing homes with those involved.

Agents can inform surrounding community members of the event by going door to door, which is a time-tested lead generating technique. However, by going door to door to promote a charitable event, real estate agents will come off as less intrusive.

Written by:
Tommy Wolf
California Licensed Realtor
tommyw@realestatebackops.com
DRE # 02044169

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States on the Rise: What data influences home prices?

States on the Rise: What data influences home prices?

Article Highlights:

  • If current household income and educational attainment rate trends continue in Washington, Ohio, and Colorado, the rate of change of median home prices in those states will greatly exceed the national average.

US News state rankings give insight into where each state stacks up in many lifestyle, political, and economic categories including health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability, and quality of life. And while many syndicates claim to have discovered the holy grail of real estate investing in the form of an infallible algorithm, the truth is no one has a tool that can accurately predict the future of real estate prices. But in regard to the rankings assigned by US News, is there any correlation between any of these categories and real estate prices in corresponding states? We ranked each state by median home price, then performed linear regression analyses between each category and home price ranking to determine if there is in fact a correlating category that could be influencing real estate prices, and consequently, determine where real estate prices would be likely to go up based on local trends that could potentially raise a state’s ranking in relevant categories. Here’s what the numbers suggest:

OVERALL R^2 Value Correlation
Health Care 0.411 Moderate
Education 0.1685 Weak
Crime & Corrections 0.1355 Weak
Economy 0.108 Weak
Fiscal Stability 0.017 None
Opportunity 0.0115 None
Infrastructure 0.0001 None
Quality of Life 0 None
HEALTH CARE
Public Health 0.497 Moderate
Health Care Quality 0.2526 Weak
Health Care Access 0.0473 None
PUBLIC HEALTH
Low Obesity Rate 0.6135 Strong
Low Mortality Rate 0.5217 Strong
Low Smoking Rate 0.5197 Strong
Low Infant Mortality Rate 0.321 Moderate
Mental Health 0.2021 Moderate
Low Suicide Rate 0.0202 Weak
HEALTH CARE QUALITY
Preventable Admissions 0.3959 Moderate
Nursing Home Quality 0.1664 Weak
Medicare Quality 0.075 None
Fewest Hospital Readmissions 0.0489 None
HEALTH CARE ACCESS
Adult Dental Visits 0.2266 Weak
Health Care Affordability 0.0966 Weak
Child Dental Visits 0.0391 None
Health Insurance Enrollment 0.0179 None
Adult Wellness Visits 0.0163 None
Child Wellness Visits 0.0031 None
EDUCATION
Higher Education 0.1216 Weak
Pre-K – 12 0.0348 None
HIGHER EDUCATION
Educational Attainment 0.4328 Moderate
4 Yr College Grad Rate 0.0502 None
Low Debt At Graduation 0.0107 None
Tuition and Fees 0.0093 None
2 Yr College Grad Rate 0.0007 None
PRE-K – 12
NAEP Math Scores 0.1334 Weak
College Readiness 0.101 Weak
HS Grad Rate 0.0549 None
NAEP Reading Scores 0.0483 None
Preschool Enrollment 0.0422 None
Pre-K Quality 0.0017 None
CRIME & CORRECTIONS
Corrections 0.2097 Weak
Public Safety 0.0405 None
CORRECTIONS
Low Incarceration Rate 0.266 Weak
Sexual Violence in Prisons 0.0758 None
Least Juvenile Incarceration 0.0625 None
Low Recidivism Rate 0.0311 None
Equality in Jailing 0.0281 None
PUBLIC SAFETY
Low Violent Crime Rate 0.0711 None
Low Property Crime Rate 0.0143 None
ECONOMY
Business Environment 0.2464 Weak
Employment 0.1095 Weak
Growth 0.0226 None
BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Venture Capital 0.2572 Weak
Entrepreneurship 0.2347 Weak
Patent Creation 0.1824 Weak
Low Tax Burden 0.0349 None
Top Company Headquarters 0 None
EMPLOYMENT
Labor Force Participation 0.2111 Weak
Job Growth 0.0801 None
Low Unemployment Rate 0.0032 None
GROWTH
Net Migration 0.0458 None
GDP Growth 0.0387 None
Growth of Young Population 0.0019 None
FISCAL STABILITY
Long Term Fiscal Stability 0.0123 None
Short Term Fiscal Stability 0.0046 None
LONG TERM FISCAL STABILITY
Pension Fund Liability 0.0125 None
Government Credit Rating Score 0 None
SHORT TERM FISCAL STABILITY
Liquidity 0.0227 None
Budget Balancing 0.0015 None
OPPORTUNITY
Economic Opportunity 0.3323 Moderate
Equality 0.0217 None
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
Household Income 0.5576 Strong
Low Poverty Rate 0.3605 Moderate
Low Food Insecurity 0.2462 Weak
Gini Index 0.02 None
EQUALITY
Income Gap by Gender 0.2365 Weak
Employment Gap by Race 0.1294 Weak
Education Gap by Race 0.0834 None
Income Gap by Race 0.0504 None
Disability Employment Gap 0.0269 None
Employment Gap by Gender 0.0039 None
INFRASTRUCTURE
Internet Access 0.0491 None
Transportation 0.011 None
Energy 0.0085 None
INTERNET ACCESS
Broadband Access 0.09999 Weak
Ultra-Fast Internet Access 0.0226 None
TRANSPORTATION
Public Transit Usage 0.2968 Moderate
Commute Time 0.1279 Weak
Road Quality 0.1276 Weak
Bridge Quality 0.0994 Weak
ENERGY
Electricity Price 0.122 Weak
Power Grid Reliability 0.0596 None
Renewable Energy Usage 0.0011 None
QUALITY OF LIFE
Natural Environment 0.029 None
Social Environment 0.0087 None
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Low Pollution Health Risk 0.2218 Weak
Low Industrial Toxins 0.1014 Weak
Urban Air Quality 0.0457 Weak
Drinking Water Quality 0.0002 None
SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT
Community Engagement 0.0747 None
Voter Participation 0.01 None
Social Support 0.0077 None

As you can see, very few categories demonstrate a correlation between their rankings and median home prices with the exception of several public health categories, household income, and educational attainment. While this likely doesn’t suggest a direct cause and effect relationship, the fact that there is a correlation between some categories and median home prices alludes to a possibility for predicting where some state’s markets are likely to outperform the national average based on which states are trending in the positive direction for relevant categories. While there is little data on general health trends by state over the years, it’s safe to assume that public health is a direct product of educational attainment and household income, so we’ll only be examining those two categories instead.

US news defines educational attainment, “The achievement of college degrees in any state is a measure of how well the educational system has prepared its citizenry for advanced study beyond high school and enabled students to succeed.” Interestingly, this refers to the quality of high schools in each state, not necessarily universities. The top-ranking states in positive change in high school education over the last three years are as follows:

PUBLIC SCHOOL RANKINGS 2016 – 2018

State Total Rank Change
Washington 28
Colorado 22
Ohio 14
Florida 13
Idaho 13
Minnesota 12
Oklahoma 12
Wisconsin 11
Utah 10
Wyoming 9

As for household income, here are the top ten ranking states in greatest rate of change since 2014:

HOUSEHOLD INCOME RATE OF CHANGE SINCE 2014

Rank State Total Change
1 Washington 26%
2 Tennessee 24%
3 Arizona 22%
4 South Carolina 22%
5 D.C. 21%
6 Mississippi 21%
7 Indiana 21%
8 Colorado 20%
9 Alabama 20%
10 Ohio 19%

So, assuming these trends continue, Washington, Colorado, and Ohio, being the only three states in the top ten in both likely influential categories, expect the median home price to exceed the national average in these three states in the near future. To reference descriptions and explanations for any categories, visit https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states, or if you have any questions or would like to see our full data lists for this study, please contact our Director of Marketing at tommyw@realestatebackops.com.

How Real Estate Agents Should Spend Their Time: The Cost of Transaction Coordination

How Real Estate Agents Should Spend Their Time: The Cost of Transaction Coordination

Article Highlights:

  • Real estate agents waste a lot of time managing their own real estate transaction paperwork.
  • Outsourcing their real estate transaction paperwork to a transaction coordination service will ultimately save them time and earn them more money.

In a typical work day, the responsibilities of a realtor may include marketing themselves on social media, cold calling potential clients, responding to emails, following up with current clients, meeting with inspectors, doing listing presentations, creating CMA’s, negotiating contract terms, etc. The list goes on and the role of the realtor is confined by blurred lines and expectations. So, what are the most important aspects of being a realtor, and how should your time be allocated to each with regard to your bottom line? While we don’t have an answer concerning how much you should be marketing where, how many hours a week should be dedicated to talking on the phone, or where your money is most effectively spent to generate leads, we have a solution to how many hours you should spend managing the transaction coordination side of your business. The short answer: 0. At first glance it may seem that you would be saving money by doing your own transaction coordination since this technically costs you nothing, but when making business decisions, you have to take opportunity cost into account. What this means is if you spent the time you currently spend on transaction coordination on your business instead, would the net gain from spending more time on your business be greater than the cost of hiring an outsourced transaction coordinator like REBO?

Take Dave for example. Dave is a high producing Realtor who handles all his own transaction coordination. He sold 12 houses last year at an average price of $250,000, working a typical 40-hour work week. With the 3% commission he earned, minus a 20% split for his brokerage, He earned $72,000. Not bad, right? And since Dave spent 15 hours each transaction doing all his own paperwork, he had no transaction coordination expenses. But would he have had the time to produce more if an outsourced transaction coordinator handled his paper work instead? He worked approximately 1920 hours (based on 40-hour work week) and sold 12 homes, meaning each home was the equivalent of 160 hours of work. He spent 15 hours on each transaction, adding up to 180 hours total. So, if he had hired an outsourced transaction coordinator instead, it stands to reason he would have sold 13 homes instead of 12 and had 20 hours more free time to spare. Based on these numbers, if he had chosen to hire REBO, he would have had an income of $78,000 minus REBO’s $250/transaction charge, coming to $74,750. So, he would have worked 20 hours less and earned an additional $2,750 by switching to REBO. Use our formula to determine how much you would save by switching to REBO:

C = current income/year

D = total work hours/year (1920 based on 40-hour work week)

X = number of transactions/year

Y = average hours spent on transaction coordination/transaction

Income with REBO

C/(1-((X*Y)/D)) – 250*X

Written by:
Tommy Wolf
California Licensed Realtor
tommyw@realestatebackops.com
DRE # 02044169