With all the paperwork that changes hands between realtors and their clients, real estate offices are an attractive target for identity thieves. In a recent article for Inman News, identity theft expert Robert Siciliano, gives real estate agents a refresher course in best practices they should be following to help protect their clients’ confidential information. One seemingly obvious practice on the list is the importance of shredding all documents that include client information. While this may be standard in all real estate offices, Siciliano points out that realtors who have recycle bins in their offices need to be vigilant to ensure they are not inadvertently recycling documents that should be shredded.
Read the full article to see if you are doing everything you can to protect your clients’ financial security.
Image credit: Don Hankins
Timing is everything when it comes to putting your house on the market. But how do you know when the time is right to sell? According to Maria Patterson, Executive Editor at RISMedia, there are five lifestyle and financial indicators that help you know it’s time to list your home. Patterson says outgrowing your current living space is one of the biggest lifestyle signs that it may be time to list. If you are busting at the seams and you have equity in your home and you notice other homes selling in your neighborhood, you likely have the perfect scenario for selling. What may come as a surprise to many homeowners is that 94 percent of homes in the $200,000 and above range now have positive equity based on a recent Corelogic Equity Report. That, coupled with an inventory shortage in most markets, could make now the perfect time for many home-sellers.
To learn more, read the entire article.
Image credit: tom stovall
Having a good real estate attorney on your team is one of the best ways to protect a client’s investment. Learn 4 reasons realtors love working with Fournier Law Firm, Ltd.
With the average homebuyer browsing home listings online for three weeks before they call a realtor, a strong online presence is the single most important tool real estate agents have to hook new clients. In a new article for Inman News, David Greenberg , chief revenue officer for HouseLens, the nation’s largest provider of full-motion walk-through video tours for real estate listings, shares four web marketing tips to help realtors make a good web impression. At the top of his tip list is catering to mobile devices. He cites a surprising statistics that 77 percent of buyers use their mobile devices to shop housing listings even when they are at home where a laptop or desktop is readily available.
Read the full article to learn more.
Image credit: Brandon Hunt
For real estate agents who are always on-the-go, mobile apps and widgets make organizing life and business simpler. But, with more than a million apps available for both Apple and Android devices, it is increasingly difficult to shop them all and find the ones that add the most value. Luckily, Home.com has done the legwork for realtors. They presented the top 15 real estate apps for 2015 at this year’s National Association of Realtors Expo in New Orleans. One helpful app that was launched with realtors in mind is Slide Bureau. The easy interface allows real estate agents to create slick, multimedia listing presentations, property flyers, and other marketing materials on-the-go. They can then be shared from an iPad in a one-on-one meeting, via the web, or projected onto the big screen for more formal conference room presentations.
Learn about the other 14 apps on the list here
Image credit: Sean MacEntee
The holidays are fast approaching and there is no better way to stay top-of-mind with your clients than with a strong holiday marketing campaign. How can you make your client gifts stand out this holiday season? Jennifer Snyder, a marketing consultant that works exclusively with realtors, shares her top six gift ideas for clients in a new article for Inman News. One of the ideas she shares is to think local with your gift card giving. For example, she suggests sending a newly relocated client a gift card to a popular local restaurant or giving family clients a gift card to a local bounce house.
Read the full article for more client gift ideas.
Image credit: senor_codo
For most real estate agents, the MLS listing is the most effective marketing tool they have for getting a property noticed and ultimately sold. But, according to Sam DeBord, state director for Washington Realtors, there are three common digital mistakes many realtors are making when creating their MLS listings that hurt more than help their property’s chances of getting an offer. In an article for Inman News, DeBord says the popular $9.99 trick realtors use to make a $499,999 price more attractive than $500,000 is counter intuitive to the search parameters of real estate portals and websites, which end in zeros. Someone searching for a home in the $500,000 to $550,000 range would completely miss the property priced at $499,999.
Read the full story to learn more about common digital mistakes realtors make.
Image credit: opensourceway
If you’ve ever wished you could test drive a neighborhood before you commit to buying a home there, you may be in luck thanks to a new partnership between Airbnb and Realtor.com. Airbnb has become the industry standard for people looking to rent a home for vacation or other short-term stay while Realtor.com is a go-to resource for homebuyers looking to check out the latest listings on homes for sale. The partnership will allow homebuyers to search available property listings on Realtor.com and then book a stay in the neighborhood in one of Airbnb’s available properties. Chip Conley, CEO of Airbnb, says, “As we offer a variety of unique accommodations in neighborhoods across the country, we’ll be able to allow potential homeowners the special opportunity to experience those neighborhoods as if they already live there – before making the decision to buy.” (more…)
United Wholesale Mortgage, the nation’s second-largest wholesale mortgage lender, is expected to bring back interest-only mortgages as early as next month. The loan, which all but disappeared after the housing crisis, will offer initial interest rates that are slightly higher than a five-year ARM. After five years, the rate will adjust as much as two percent annually and five percent overall with borrowers required to pay down the loan after 10 years. These tricky loans caused many borrowers to go into foreclosure during the housing crisis because lenders qualified them based on their ability to pay the initial payments not the future payments. United Wholesale Mortgage says they will only make these loans to qualified borrowers who can pay 20 percent down, have a 720 credit score and whose future payments would not exceed 42 percent of their current income.
Zillow Group took steps this week to make it easier for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals to conduct an entire real estate transaction online from listing to closing. The online real estate powerhouse announced this week it will acquire DotLoop, an e-signing service that allows users to digitally share, edit, sign and save everything from a listing agreement to actual closing documents. Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff released a statement about the deal saying, “Now we will be able to make their technology more readily available to Zillow Group’s 10,000 broker partners and the agents they represent, as well as our approximately 100,000 real estate agent advertisers, resulting in a smoother and more efficient transaction process for everyone.”’ (more…)