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Existing-Home Sales: Hello, 2015…

Jul 23, 2019 by

With inventory still stubbornly tight, existing-home sales sank 1.7 percent, according to the June National Association of REALTORS® report, newly released. Compared to June of last year, sales underwhelmed, down 2.2 percent.

Credit: National Association of REALTORS®

We’re in familiar territory, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Home sales are running at a pace similar to 2015 levels—even with exceptionally low mortgage rates, a record number of jobs and a record high net worth in the country,” says Yun. “Imbalance persists for mid- to lower-priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices.”

Although inventory in June picked up—1.93 million, according to NAR’s report—the amount of for-sale homes has not materially risen year-over-year.

“Either a strong pent-up demand will show in the upcoming months, or there is a lack of confidence that is keeping buyers from this major expenditure,” Yun says. “It’s too soon to know how much of a pullback is related to the reduction in the homeowner tax incentive.”

Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), June’s median price was $ 285,700—a new record, and a 4.3 percent increase year-over-year, the report shows. The median price for sales in the single-family space was $ 288,900; the condo median was $ 260,100. By region:

Midwest
Existing-Home Sales: 1.25 million (-1.6% YoY)
Median Price: $ 230,400 (+6.7% YoY)

Northeast
Existing-Home Sales: 680,000 (-4.2% YoY)
Median Price: $ 321,200 (+4.8% YoY)

South
Existing-Home Sales: 2.25 million million (-0.4% YoY)
Median Price: $ 248,600 (+4.9% YoY)

West
Existing-Home Sales: 1.09 million (-5.2% YoY)
Median Price: $ 410,400 (+2.3% YoY)

Currently, inventory is at a 4.4-month supply, the report shows. In June, the average listing was on the market for 27 days, one day longer than the prior year. Fifty-six percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.

Of June’s sales, 4.69 million were single-family—a decline from 4.67 million the month prior, and from 4.77 million year-over-year. Condo and co-op sales totaled 580,000, a 6.5 percent drop year-over-year. Sixteen percent of sales were all-cash, and 10 percent by individual investors. Two percent were distressed. First-time homebuyers comprised 35 percent of sales.

“Historically, [today’s] rates are incredibly attractive,” says NAR President John Smaby. “Securing and locking in on a mortgage now—given the current, favorable conditions—is a decision that will pay off for years to come.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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Four Great Summer Destinations

Jul 22, 2019 by

There’s a lot to be said for tradition, and long summers on the Cape or on Baja beaches may be exactly what you want. But if you long for something different, the travel editors at Town and Country Magazine suggest these destinations:

French Polynesia. The Vahine Island Resort is located in the same archipelago as Tahiti and sits on its own small island, in the middle of a clear lagoon. The nine units are more low-key than the area’s more opulent resorts, but they still offer life in a Polynesian beach bungalow with endless sea views. Meals are provided by a French chef, and, of course, seclusion is a given. If you’re looking for an activity, try sailing the Society Islands on a crewed catamaran. From mid-June through September, French Polynesia is sunny but not too hot.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For active families, Jackson Hole provides everything from taking in views of moose, bison and hot springs, hiking around the Tetons, whitewater rafting down the snake river, horseback riding and mountaineering for the more adventurous.

Kenya. You can take in one of the most incredible displays of wildlife on the planet, East Africa’s annual migration, when it reaches its peak in Kenya in August and September. During that time, nearly 2 million wildebeest, zebra, and other animals thunder through Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. Check out the Angama Mara lodge, which is just a 20-minute drive away, yet removed from throngs of tourists. It’s floor-to-ceiling windows and infinity pool add an incredible sense of luxury to this journey.

Lake Garda, Italy. Known for its crystal-clear water, Lake Garda is a popular holiday location nestled in the mountains of northern Italy. Consider staying at Villa Feltrinelli, a pink-walled luxury hotel set amid olive trees. For a more intimate experience, try the Lefay Resort, which is closer to town, right on the lake, and features award-winning cuisine. While in town, consider taking a private boat trip to the nearby vineyards, Roman ruins and lovely harbor towns. Or, take in one of the many festivals that occur during summer.

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Don’t Retire…Reconsider

Jul 21, 2019 by

In pursuit of his record-setting, 21st masters championship, Roger Federer, the third-ranked tennis player in the world, recently lost an epic and grueling five-hour, five-set tiebreaker in the Wimbledon finals.

After the celebrated match, Federer was asked by one reporter, “Are you considering retiring?”

Well, if the third highest-ranked and, to some, the greatest tennis player of all time, encounters pressure to retire as he nears the age of 38, or at least consider packing in his tennis racquet, then what should those in real estate who are in their 50s and 60s and who are in the 50,000th place in productivity rankings be thinking?

You can take it from this 70-year-old, grizzled industry veteran, and I am sure from your deeply appreciative broker as well, along with your many clients, that you should not even think about the possibility of retiring…too soon!

Listings expire, but you cannot prematurely afford to! Especially those of you who have enjoyed success for years—and here is why.

According to social scientist Arthur Brooks, there is a phenomenon that he refers to as the principle of psychoprofessional gravitation. This, according to Brooks, is how, “the agony of professional oblivion is directly related to height of professional prestige achieved.”

Each week, I am on an accountability call led by Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices of America. On our calls, after making our business reports, we are all asked by Gino to announce what we are doing to improve that week. Not wanting to call unwarranted attention to myself, I too mention my diet and exercise, but what I don’t mention is that I am really asking myself, as a former Boston Celtics draft choice, what I will need to do that week to slow my decline.

Therefore, to both you legendary brokers and iconic community real estate professionals, I respectfully suggest that you take a page out of the world of politics regarding how one’s inevitable declining years can be managed. Nobody works harder at managing their decline than our highest-rated presidential candidates. This is not to say that you should seek to emulate them in all ways – unless you want to become duplicitous, conniving and self-promoting.

Instead, I do suggest that you look to emulate the geriatric galaxy of presidential contenders in how they validate the fact that society values experience, resilience, career stability and longevity. Remarkably, our leading presidential contenders from both sides of the proverbial aisle, are of the following eye-popping ages: 77, 76, 73 and 70…according to 71-year-old cable news anchor Wolf Blitzer.

Clearly, our political aspirants, who like real estate professionals, must rely on brains versus brawn, did not receive or pay attention to society’s collective email delivered to all of we who are aging!

Accordingly, why would a professional REALTOR® who has spent decades developing experiential knowledge, invaluable skills, a considerable real estate retinue, and widespread admiration for their resilience and how they have withstood numerous watershed industry changes, retire now at the peak of his or her real estate powers?

Moreover, what an opportunity they have to engage in so-called reverse mentoring – that is, accepting technology advice from younger (and based on evolution) more intelligent generations to come.

My advice for our much younger agents is, rather than mocking your older counterparts for not being as adaptive regarding emerging technologies as you are, why not offer your more contemporaneous grasp of our digital world to them? They can then reciprocate through providing meaningful career and life lessons.

Given the importance of not only developing spheres of influence, but actually influencing spheres, our industry might not be able to withstand a massive exodus of long-tenured agents. This is due to how new-business-modeled entrants will at the same time seek to dislodge the relationships that many real estate professionals have built with home sellers. Indeed, if selecting a so-called listing agent now becomes as random as how buyers select an agent when they buy, then “industry beware.”

The most effective way for us to generationally move forward, as I stated, would be through the formation of symbiotic relationships. This is where in exchange for tech support from younger agents, aging agents can turn over or sell their career “book of business” to a younger agent who was helpful in its sustenance.

This transition, however, in my view, should only happen when our top and more seasoned agents are ready to retire and on their terms. This is in contest to being rushed to retire, based upon society’s pressure to speed up the beginning of the so-called golden years. Doing well in real estate and making a major difference in the lives of those you serve are your golden years.

Thus, I fervently hope that whether you are a broker, manger or agent, that you get to enjoy your real estate golden years for years, if not decades to come.

Allan Dalton is CEO, Real Living Real Estate and senior vice president, Research & Development, HSF Affiliates. For more information about Real Living Real Estate visit https://www.realliving.com/.

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Car Rental Deals Add Dash of Magic to NAR Members’ Summer Vacations

Jul 20, 2019 by

An ideal summer vacation involves a mix of indulgence, relaxation and rejuvenation. A fun or stylish car just adds a touch of magic to the experience.

Speedy Check-Ins, Deep Discounts
Members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) can find that perfect vacation ride at a discount, thanks to NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. When they rent from Avis®, Budget® and Hertz®, NAR members can save up to 25 percent on car rental base rates. Members benefit too with special limited-time promotional coupons that can be combined with the NAR member discount, where savings can really add up and further reduce costs. For those interested in eco-friendly cars, hybrid or electric options are offered at select locations.

The Member Benefit and Additional Perks
Each car company offers exclusive member perks and discounts all year long:

Avis®
By signing up with a complimentary AVIS Preferred account and storing their personal car rental preferences, NAR members can expedite the entire process of renting a car, skipping the lines and the check-in counter. NAR members must use the Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) code when making reservations to access the discount benefit. At reservation time, it’s also necessary to include any applicable promotion coupons found at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Avis to maximize savings.

Special Avis® offers, good through Dec. 31, 2019, include:

  • A weekend away, plus a day
  • Complimentary upgrade
  • Additional $ 10-$ 25 savings off car rental base rates

Advance reservations are required, and terms and conditions apply. Explore additional promotions at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Avis.

Budget®
Budget® provides a Budget Customer Discount (BCD) code unique to NAR members, which must be used in order to receive the discount benefit. To maximize savings, Budget coupons can be combined with the regular NAR discount. By enrolling in Budget Fastbreak, NAR members can escape the lines and speed through both check-ins and returns.

NAR members may tap into some special offers good through Dec. 31, 2019. They include:

  • Free upgrade
  • 10 percent savings off base rates on long-term rental

See details about Budget’s offers and its coupon codes at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Budget.

Hertz®
Get in the car, not the line. With Hertz, NAR members may sign up for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® and access an array of premium perks, including the ability to bypass the counter for a faster checkout. NAR members can enroll for free to save time and:

  • Save up to 25 percent on base rates at participating locations worldwide
  • Add a free additional driver for a spouse or domestic partner in the U.S.
  • Choose what they drive with Ultimate Choice®
  • Earn points toward free rental days or more

Plus, NAR members can take advantage of promotional coupons available online. Terms and conditions apply. See site for full details. Learn more about current coupons and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Hertz.

For complete information on the car rental discounts available through the REALTOR Benefits® Program, see NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/TravelAndAuto.

Summer Driving, Arriving in Style
The Alfa Romeo brand immediately brings to mind style, performance and craftsmanship. Summer is the perfect time to splurge and take advantage of special deals on the Giulia, a luxury sedan, or the Stelvio, a high-performance SUV, both available through the REALTOR Benefits® Program.

FCA US LLC, the Official Automobile Manufacturer of NAR, is extending to NAR members an exclusive $ 500 cash allowance and an exclusive maintenance package (including oil changes) on the purchase or lease of the Alfa Romeo Giulia (excluding Quadrifoglio) and Stelvio (excluding Quadrifoglio). Valued up to $ 1,000, when combined, this member benefit equals the value of NAR membership dues for more than six years. Alfa Romeo offers a world-class driving experience that ensures that drivers of the Giulia and Stelvio always arrive at their destination in style.

NAR members can visit a local Alfa Romeo dealer to test drive a car and learn more about the offer, which is also available for additional select vehicle brands, including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram and FIAT®. For eligibility and details, see NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/FCA.

Need auto insurance? Liberty Mutual is NAR’s exclusive auto, home and renter’s insurance provider offering special savings for REALTORS®. Learn more at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/LibertyMutual.

The REALTOR Benefits® Program is the exclusive member benefits program of the National Association of REALTORS®, bringing savings and special offers just for NAR members. Program partners are carefully selected and understand the unique needs of real estate professionals. Learn more and save by visiting NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits.

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9 Self-Management Insights for Real Estate Professionals

Jul 19, 2019 by

Ninety-five percent of the problems you and I have in the area of time management are not really about managing time at all. What most of us call time management is really about managing our attitude.

Chances are good that you’ve attended a time management seminar before, or you’ve read a book or listened to an audio on the topic. There’s also a good chance that after those things you weren’t much more empowered or effective in the area of your time than you were before. That’s because, in my opinion, time management is really an attitude issue, not a technique issue. By attitude, I’m talking about being truly focused on and enthusiastic about your goals. You see, when you are really passionate about your goals, your vision, your Next Level, etc., you’ll automatically do the most productive things to achieve those goals.

  1. Think like a ballerina. When a ballerina is being the dance, it’s a beautiful sight to behold. When she is simply doing the dance, that’s when she messes up. If you want to become effective in your career, and you want to really master managing your time, then focus on “being” real estate and not “doing” it. When you’re “doing” real estate, that’s when it’s work; that’s when it’s all effort. When you’re “being” real estate—when you’re being what you say you’re committed to—then your actions will just naturally correlate with that commitment.
  2. Think self-management, not time management. Time management isn’t real. You can’t manage a second or a minute. Time just is. But what we can manage is ourselves in that time. We can manage our actions.
  3. Work by objective, not by crisis. Working by crisis might mean that there is no money in your bank account. Now we’ve got to go out and list and sell to get some money to get out of crisis. Working by objective, on the other hand, is having goals, designing who you are, determining your Next Level and living from that. When you do that, you have less stress. So, the concept is to consciously manage your actions.

    What determines the actions one takes? What you’re committed to (your objectives, goals, and commitments). Here’s an example: Some days seem really long while others seem to fly by. Have you ever cooked for a family event? You have so much to do—you must cook loads of food, clean the house, do the laundry, etc. When you are in action, there are no thoughts, judgments or opinions getting in the way. Ten times more is done in this short period of time because you’re working with this objective, this goal of what you’re committed to. Take that concept and apply it to your career. When you’re committed to something happening in your career and you’re crystal clear about it—and when you’ve got a real desire to reach the Next Level—your actions will automatically flow. Time goes by quickly and you get the results to show for it. That’s when real estate’s not hard. That’s when it’s fun and exciting.

  4. Time management is a system of organized activities. We have this in certain areas of our personal lives; they’re called routines. Routines are useful to establish positive behavior patterns that bring about the results we desire. Later in this chapter, I’ll give you specific techniques that will help you to build powerful routines.
  5. Time can be invested. You can invest your time. It’s like when you invest five dollars and make ten back. You can invest five minutes of your time and get back great results. You’re in the office from six to seven. You can return phone calls, clean your desk or pick up the phone to schedule listing appointments. What would be the best return on your time invested? My point is, start to look at your time as a valuable commodity. Invest it as you would invest in stocks or bonds, like you would invest in anything that would give you a positive return on your investment.
  6. You can’t get it all done! This is a truism. You can’t. At the end of the day, you’re going to still have things that you didn’t get finished, so stop trying to get it all done in 24 hours. It’s like a rat on a wheel in a cage. We work longer hours, we come home stressed, we unload it on our spouse, and so on. Understand this concept: you’ll get as much done as you get done. Period.
  7. Do something as opposed to nothing. This is for the procrastinators. Get busy. If you’re sitting in your office and you’re procrastinating, or you’re taking papers from one side of the desk and moving them to the other side and then back again, you’re procrastinating. If you’re sitting in the office and it’s six o’clock and you’re trying to think of what the most productive thing would be to do at this time… you’re thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking, and you’re looking and you’re searching… I’m saying stop all that nonsense and just get busy.
  8. Live a balanced life. How many hours are there in a week? 168. We have a career, family, personal obligations, which includes sleep. According to Alan Lakin, who wrote “How to Manage Your Time and Life,” a good workweek consists of two 12-hour days, three nine-hour days and one four-hour day. That’s a total of 55 hours per week. Here’s the point of this. If you spend 55 hours in business and let’s say you have 73 hours personal (including sleep), that would leave you with 40 hours for family. That would total 168 hours. What most of us in the real estate profession do is we work more than 55 hours, and then we take the extra hours from somewhere else, typically our family.
  9. Work a schedule. Let me tell you something. In my travels, I’ve met many top-producing salespeople. What makes them top producing is that they work a schedule. If something falls outside of their schedule, they do one of two things. They’ll either not do the business, or they’ll do the business knowing that they have to make up for it somewhere else. What I would do if I were you (especially if you’re having some struggles at home) is to make up a work schedule from Monday through Sunday and give it to your spouse and your manager and tell them that this is what you’re committing to. I’ll tell you something else. In one of my training programs, there was an agent in Austin, Texas who was the top-producing agent in the whole program for a three-month period. What was really interesting is that he was a part-time agent and he listed more houses than any other full-time agent in this program. Why do you think that was? Because he managed his time. I asked him how he did it. He said, “When you can only work from six to nine at night you have to be busy. You can’t take the time, when you go into the office, to talk with people. You have to be productive.”

The bottom line is when you set a schedule for yourself and you’re serious about keeping it, I promise you that you’ll be more productive.

Darryl Davis, bestselling author of “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate and owner of Darryl Davis Seminars, has trained and coached over 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe for more than 27 years. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system, The Power Program®, which has helped agents double their production over their previous year. For more information, and the new agent tools that can help take you to your Next Level®, please contact darryl@darrylspeaks.com or visit www.ThePowerProgram.com/NewAgentSuccess.

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Strengthen Your Real Estate Business With Facebook Groups

Jul 18, 2019 by

As an agent, you have to be able to keep up with the latest trends in social media. It can be difficult, but it is a vital part of your job. Recently, Facebook announced some changes for how their content would be prioritized and shared, favoring the content and building engagement in Groups. 

Managing Facebook Groups can be fun, but you have to get members in the group and get the content rolling in. Now is the time to tackle Facebook Groups and begin to incorporate them into your strategy as a real estate agent.

Why You Should Use Facebook Groups
With the recent changes announced by Facebook, Groups will be featured more prominently in users’ news feeds. This means that the content from users’ Groups will be prioritized over content from regular pages they follow. As an agent, you have a great opportunity to create a Group that focuses on your local area and helps you interact with your Facebook followers, establishing yourself as the local expert for real estate.

What Is a Facebook Group?
A Facebook Group is just what its name implies: a group that is found on Facebook. In a Facebook Group, you can create content that is geared towards a specific audience. Depending on your goals, that audience could be a Group of local residents, fellow real estate agents or DIY enthusiasts. There are endless possibilities for what you can do in your Facebook Group.

Different Groups to Create
Facebook Groups can be great for many different reasons. Before you create a Group, try to think about what your goal is so you can target the audience you are trying to include in the Group. To start, we have some suggestions of groups that you can create:

Specific Neighborhoods: A Group focused on a neighborhood could be a great place for you to start. As mentioned before, think about the audience that you wish to target. Invite past clients who live in the neighborhood to join the Group and have them share that Group with their neighbors. Then, get the conversation started by asking members to recommend their favorite spots around town.

Buy, Sell, Trade: You can also make a Group that is targeted to buying, selling or trading goods, otherwise known as a BST Group. A Group like this can help create a sense of community, especially if members regularly engage in the Group. You also have an opportunity for Group members to organize a group or neighborhood sale.

There are endless opportunities for engagement and exposure for you when you create a Facebook Group. Even though Facebook is still a great way for you to reach new clients, it can take a lot of time to nurture social media and to create Groups with a targeted audience. Social media can be a difficult part of your real estate business to manage, but Homes.com can help with that! We have a team of social media experts that can help you find and engage with your audience. Learn more about Homes.com Social Fuel at Marketing.Homes.com.

Patty McNease is vice president of Brand Marketing for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

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