Mind Shift: 4 Quick Tips to Jumpstart 2018

Dec 6, 2017 by

Can you believe it? It’s less than a few weeks until 2017 closes and 2018 launches. If you’re reviewing your numbers and aren’t exactly where you planned to be, let’s focus on how to jumpstart your 2018 with high production.

Many agents buy into limited thinking about the “slowing down of the market” due to the upcoming holidays, but nothing could be further from the truth. What really happens is serious buyers and sellers need the help of agents who are available to assist them right after the holidays end…so we need to be ready. Don’t miss the opportunity to maximize these last few weeks to jumpstart your income and productivity before the first quarter of 2018 ends.

Here are a few quick tips to ensure your income rocks into 2018:

Use holiday celebrations to connect. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with all your current and past clients/prospects and referral partners. Whether it’s hosting a simple open house during the week for holiday cheer or a full-blown event, make contact to let them know you appreciate the opportunity to work together. Double the effectiveness of the connection by adding a charity benefit element. Ask for a food donation for the local food bank or animal shelter, or a Toys for Tots contribution. Don’t miss the chance to reach out with a face-to-face meeting when possible.

Make a donation in the client’s name. If a face-to-face event isn’t an option, send buyers and sellers a handwritten note thanking them for their business and let them know you’ve made a donation in their name to a local charity. By making a donation to a client’s favorite charity (for example, if they’ve recently adopted a dog, make a small donation to the local animal shelter), you’re showing them that you’re interested in their lives. Save those donation receipts, as those are a tax deduction for you, as well.

Go through your 2017 closed transactions. Pull the names and addresses of both the buyer and seller of each transaction that closed. Make hard copies of the closing documents and include a letter scheduled to be mailed the first week of January. The letter should acknowledge that the holidays are over, and remind them that tax season is right around the corner. For their convenience, you’re sending an extra copy of their closing documents to help them prepare. Include an offer from your lender partner to contact them for a no-obligation, no-cost annual mortgage review and identity-theft screening. This sets the stage for your lender and you to connect with purpose every year as an ongoing consulting opportunity. For a complimentary tax letter, go to

Set up a quiet hour to lay out your business plan for 2018. Review where your business came from and inspect the return on your investment from lead-generation platforms you may be paying for to be sure they’re worth the cost and conversion of each lead. It’s also important to determine your four pillars of income for 2018. Need more builder business? Develop a marketing plan to connect with more builders. Want to convert more expired listings? Look at online platforms to systematize daily contacts. Inspect what you expect for more profitability with consistency and focus.

Real estate will always be a person-to-person business. Reach out and “touch” clients during the holidays in order to propel yourself to profits, and to purposefully plan for more sales in 2018.

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/co-author of five books, and founder of Contact her at, or

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Housing in 2018: Where Are Home Values Headed?

Dec 5, 2017 by

Analysts are expecting even higher home prices in 2018 than originally projected, according to new research.

Zillow’s 2017 Q4 Home Price Expectations Survey reveals experts are anticipating a 4.1 percent hike in the new year, up from the 3 percent they forecasted a year ago. Over 100 experts, including economists, participated in the survey.

Their reasoning? Home-building has not panned out as planned—yet.

“The American labor market is stronger than it’s been in decades, and Americans, particularly young Americans, are increasingly feeling confident enough to buy homes,” says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. “Home-building has not kept pace with this surge in demand and remains well below historical norms. We don’t expect that these demand-supply imbalances will fundamentally shift in 2018. Demand will continue to grow and, though supply should increase somewhat, we still won’t build enough new homes to meet this demand, contributing to higher prices.”

Less than 20 percent of experts forecast home-building to pick up next year, the survey shows. Approximately 313,000 new homes were on the market in October, representing 4.9 months supply, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Entry-level homes, especially, are scarce—down 20.4 percent year-over-year over the summer, reports Trulia.

Additionally, experts foresee increasing mortgage rates, with the 30-year, fixed rate ranging anywhere from 4.28 to 4.70 percent. Currently, the 30-year averages 3.90 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

“Higher mortgage rates will eat into buyers’ budgets, putting even more price pressure on the most affordable homes for sale,” Terrazas says. “Unless there is a fundamental shift in the number and type of homes for sale, this is the new normal of the American housing market.”

One factor in the health of the housing market is the homeownership rate; experts predict it, too, will rise, though slightly, to 64 percent. The homeownership rate has improved twice thus far this year, up to 63.9 percent in third quarter, according to the Census.

Beyond 2018, analysts are divided.

“Our most optimistic group of experts projects average annual home value appreciation of almost 5 percent annually through the five-year period ending in 2022, while the most pessimistic group expects an average annual rate of just 1.4 percent,” says Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics, which conducted the survey in conjunction with Zillow. “I don’t foresee a stronger consensus emerging until we have greater clarity concerning tax reform and the pace of entry-level home building.”

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Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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2018 Forecast: Is Inventory Relief on the Way?

Nov 29, 2017 by

Ask the 60-some percent of brokers in RISMedia’s 2017 Power Broker Survey: Almost every housing market is plagued by short supply. In fact, inventory nationally for pre-owned properties is at 3.9 months, down 10.4 percent from last year, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently reported.

The challenge, according to®, could moderate in the next year. Groundbreaking is projected to ramp up 3 percent, with single-family starts up 7 percent,’s 2018 National Housing Forecast reveals.

The catch? Activity won’t kick up until later in the year, and many builds will be higher- and/or mid-priced—not an ideal scenario in the short term. Lower-priced homes, which were hit hardest in the recession, will be the last to recover.

“We are forecasting next year to set the stage for a significant inflection point in the housing shortage,” says Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research for “Inventory increases will be felt in higher-priced segments after home-buying season [in the fall], which limits their impact on total sales of the year.”

Home prices will increase in 2018, but at a lesser pace than in 2017, the forecast shows: 3.2 percent. As with inventory, prices in the starter supply will take longer to lose steam. Existing-home sales are expected to grow 2.5 percent to 5.60 million. Considerable gains in prices and sales will be seen in: Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.; Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington, Texas; Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla.; Stockton-Lodi, Calif.; Lakeland-Winter Haven, Calif.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.; and Tulsa, Okla. also anticipates 43 percent of buyers in 2018 will be millennials, up from the 40 percent projected for 2017. The biggest group of millennials is turning 30 in 2020, so their share is likely to continue tracking upward.

Expected to grow, as well, are mortgage rates, averaging 4.6 percent and possibly reaching 5 percent by year-end, the forecast states. Action by the Federal Reserve and economic factors, including inflation, will precede the rise. Markedly, more first-time homebuyers were able to get a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage this year than last year, despite a rate uptick. The 30-year, fixed mortgage rate averages 3.92 percent at present, according to Freddie Mac.

2018’s homeownership rate, meanwhile—which has gone up thus far this year—is forecasted to land at 63.9 percent.

A potential wrench is tax reform. The forecast was made prior to the House bill passing and the Senate bill being voted on; as such, cautions that certain cuts—among others, the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax (SALT) deduction—could lead to less in the way of prices and sales.

The forecast, however, is optimistic overall.

“As we head into 2019 and beyond, we expect to see these inventory increases take hold and provide relief for first-time homebuyers and drive sales growth,” Vivas says.

For more information, please visit

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

The post 2018 Forecast: Is Inventory Relief on the Way? appeared first on RISMedia.


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