The Impact of Remote Working on the Housing Market

Some people still remember the old dial-up internet connection. Sometimes, it would take as long as a minute to load a particular page. And imagining doing any kind of serious work was a completely absurd thought. Fortunately, things are entirely different now. Today, almost everyone has access to high-speed internet connections. And the majority of businesses use it, one way or another. It is one of the backbones of whole industries, and functioning without it now seems impossible. As a result, working from home and even attending professional development courses from home have also become an ordinary thing, especially lately. However, that brings specific changes in how businesses operate and from where. Meanwhile, employees, employers, and real estate agents are starting to wonder about the impact of remote working on the housing market.

How significant is the impact of remote working on the housing market?

Given the recent changes forced upon the business world by inconvenient medical events, everyone is trying to adapt. And chances are, after all the adaption is complete, the remote working trend will remain for a while. Maybe even for good. If the researches are true, remote working is reducing business costs. In addition, it increases productivity by a significant measure. With such unexpected results, the housing market will have to adjust accordingly.

So let's take a look at current and possible changes we might expect:

Some people will leave expensive cities.

Besides those who really enjoy the city crowd, most of the workforce will probably leave large cities. Places like New York and San Francisco are costly, and most people who live there do so only because of their jobs. But, if you give them the opportunity to keep the job and live in a more affordable location, you can guess the outcome. Having a well-paid job without worrying about monthly bills is definitely a just goal. With this in mind, some of the residents are already calculating their moving budgets. As a real estate agent, you'll have to adapt and offer some tips to your clients. Looking in the long run, this will probably lower the demand in those expensive places. With lower demand, prices will undoubtedly go down. Eventually, it will balance the discrepancies that have lasted for quite some time now.

A pass between two buildings in one of the business centers.

There is no need to stay in large business centers with remote working.

Remote working will affect the demand for specific housing options.

With more people shifting toward remote working, a large percentage of those will work from home. With this in mind, many are already implementing a home office. Those who haven't, but plan to relocate, are now looking for different housing options. Because now they can afford a more spacious home, the home office has become one of the requirements. And not only that. Once you have the opportunity to customize your working space, the appetite rises. As they need to spend more time at home, they will need larger outdoors and even indoor gyms. People will ask for modern, tech-oriented features, like hi-tech appliances and energy-efficient solutions. Most older homes will have to go through the renovation stage to stay competitive on the market.

The contractor installing solar panels on the roof.

A lot of older houses will require contractors to implement energy-efficient solutions.

Even real estate is going remote.

Brokers will face difficult decisions if the remote work trend continues. There might be less and less demand for traditional apartments and similar housing options. They will eventually have to invest a lot to adapt all the property in their area. But, there is another option. They can change the way they work by following these remote trends. And this is precisely what some of them are already doing.

With a full embrace of technology, most aspects of the real estate job can be done remotely:

  • There are already virtual tours instead of open houses.
  • Modern communication apps allow easy interviews with tenants.
  • All security checks are accomplished online.
  • Digital certificates enable dealing with all the documentation.
  • You can even schedule maintenance and renovation tasks with contractors over the internet.

And these are just some of the benefits the entire remote philosophy is bringing to the table.

Making a business agreement with another person online.

Brokers can manage all their business tasks online.

Real estate agencies can expand to more distant locations.

All the potential shifting happening in the housing market is fundamentally reshaping real estate. But not necessarily for worse. Fortunately, brokers will have the opportunity to benefit by expanding the business to more distant locations. With all the remote options we previously discussed, great possibilities are emerging. These newfound potentialities will make it viable to control and handle far markets. Basically, you won't have to focus on one area, you can expand to both suburbs and the more distant regions, and more far-away cities as well. With online payments being one of the primary ways of transferring money, it is only a matter of time when all the payment procedures will be completely automated.

Remote investments

This remote control and automation could lead to an increase in remote investment. Since real estate agencies will be expanding their influence to other areas, people will have an easier time investing in distant property. They will also help people manage their property online as well. With all the advancement in technology, and all the remote working trends going on, living near your investment will no longer be necessary. This principle pretty much already works fine in several other business areas.

Will the remote working trends and changes stay?

In all honesty, people are aware that investing in a constantly changing housing market can be tricky. Especially now when changes are still without firm foundations. Also, the percentage of remote workers themselves believe that these trends are only temporary. Many expect to be back in their offices once the crisis is over. On the other side, some claim that this was inevitable, a sort of long-expected business evolution. Also, some people just can't decide if they like offices or remote working more. And this can reflect on the housing markets in unpredictable ways.

But the key is to find a middle ground between all the sides. In general, some larger companies are already seriously considering solutions. Opening remote offices all around the globe could be the right move. It will allow companies to get cheaper offices and almost eliminate commuting for employees. Everyone could be working everywhere if the nature of the business allows.

A young man browsing the internet on his laptop in a café.

The old stereotype of a remote worker is far from the truth.

Today, we realize that a remote worker is not a typical stereotype packed into a young freelancer working from the internet café.  It's an average businessman earning his salary by dealing with all the business demands online. And those average businessmen have different concerns when it comes to their housing options. The impact of remote working on the housing market is significant and will probably have an even more considerable influence in the future. Maybe some of them will not permanently leave their offices for the sake of working from home. But, all signs are pointing at the fact that it's something inevitable we might expect in years to come.

 


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The Importance of Referrals in Real Estate

In the real estate industry, the importance of referrals cannot be overstated. They are not only recommendations but also high-quality leads that are much easier to turn into clients. Research shows that more than 90% of people believe that recommendations from people they know and trust are important when choosing an agent. In the following article, we'll state the benefits of client referrals in real estate and how to ensure that you have more of them.

The benefits of word of mouth

In the real estate sales market, your imperative should be aiming to build your client's trust. One of the quickest, most efficient ways to do so is to be introduced to the client by a person they trust. They will be much more likely to trust you and become interested in what you do if they have already heard about a positive experience from their trusted source. Word of mouth should never be underestimated. It can create much more interest in you as a real estate agent and be much more effective than other marketing solutions. The word of a satisfied friend, family member, colleague, or acquaintance is so valued because it comes from a reliable party.

Word of mouth should never be underestimated

Higher profit margins

Real estate agents use referrals to increase their profit margins. Referred customers are likely to purchase your service at full price because they believe in a trusted and positive review. This means higher selling prices and higher agent commissions. Referred clients are very often less sensitive to price. The majority of referrals result in much higher profit margins because sales are made based on credibility.

Satisfied clients

When you know the importance of a client's referrals in real estate, you can build a strong network of satisfied customers that will basically do the central part of your marketing. Many successful and experienced real estate agents have a referral reward program for their clients. When the clients refer to a friend, they get a discount, and their friend gets a discount too when they contact you. That's a win-win situation for each party, wouldn't you say?

It's a good idea to offer some incentives for referrals, to encourage satisfied and loyal clients to talk about you and your services. People just like getting rewarded. They also like getting involved in something and feel like they're a part of something good. They will be delighted if they witness your business succeeding because of their help. Positive interactions lead to a higher audience engagement on your website and social media platforms.

Showing clients that you care

Word of mouth was already proven to be the most effective marketing method for real estate business, so let your clients know that you care about their opinion. It sends a strong message to both the prospective buyers and sellers. Only satisfied clients will refer people to their contacts. When your business grows and develops, it's crucial to implement an effective client referral system to cultivate profitable and long-term client relationships.

One more way to ensure that you have satisfied clients and more referrals is to understand what clients are going through. Each relocation comes with many challenges, but before even coming to packing their life into boxes, clients have the challenging task of finding the ideal home for them and their family. Usually, there is no ideal one, but finding something that suits the family's crucial needs, and making a few compromises, solves the situation or at least narrows down the choices. Promote open communication with your clients, have empathy and be polite. It will mean a great deal and show that you really care.

Show patience and understanding of what your clients are going through.

Saving money on advertising

Client referrals in real estate will save you money on advertising and effectively grow your real estate business. They help you create wide networks and a remarkable level of client loyalty. Simply asking for a referral is one way to go, but the best strategy is to offer your client an incentive in order to refer you to their friends and family. Recommendations are so valuable because they usually take less time and require fewer resources on your part. You'll save time on completing the mailing list, developing digital and printed material, covering mailing costs, etc. Motivated buyers and sellers also mean an increased likelihood of a completed sale, which is the goal for both parties involved.

How to get more referrals in real estate

Here are a few tips to increase your referrals:

  • Ask for them and offer incentives
  • Stay in touch
  • Be social
  • Build a reputation based on excellence
  • Publicize your services online, especially on social media channels

Ask your partners, associates, and past customers to give you a positive review on your website and social media. People give out referrals differently, so having a few sources from each area is good practice. It makes a referral pool more diverse, and that's exactly what you need. Clients who had a great experience working with you usually spread the word without you even telling them.

Sell yourself so well that your clients will want to recommend you to others. You can ask them to mention your name each time they talk about how they found their ideal home. One more way to go is to kindly ask them to tag you on a photo which they'll post on social media announcing that they just bought a new house. When someone sees the happy family and the beautiful home they bought right with your name connected to it, that creates a powerful impression. Continue to communicate with your past clients to build a relationship that will keep your name in their minds. Attend networking events in your area whenever you can. The number of people you meet equals the number of chances you'll have for getting referrals.

The importance of referrals in real estate is huge, so keep making contacts and stay in touch with people.

Conclusion

Referrals in real estate provide you with marketing at virtually no cost. They also remind you that you are doing something remarkable. Someone who's taking the initiative to refer your service is actually giving you the highest and most valuable professional compliment.

 


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Leveraging Major Appliances to Attract More Buyers

This year we’ve seen shortages on everything from toilet paper to sourdough starter. But while many of those early-pandemic items are now easier to find, there’s another selection of items that is still struggling to meet demand: major household appliances.

The National Association of Realtors and NPR recently reported that dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, and other household appliances are still struggling to stay in-stock across the nation. During the first half of 2020, manufacturers shipped fewer (a 7% dip) major appliances to retailers and builders compared to 2019, according to data from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. And unfortunately for homeowners, NPR reported that experts are “warning of backlogs on some appliance brands and models through the end of the year and potentially into 2021.”

"I have never experienced a year where there were shortages like we've seen this year," said Sandy Tau, the owner of AHC Appliances on Long Island, who's been in the business for some 25 years. "We have freezers that are on backorder since the end of March that have still not come in."

As demand continues to outpace the supply for these necessary household items, this may be a good opportunity to take advantage of your listings with new (or newer) appliances included. Simply giving more attention to your homes with the new stainless steel kitchen appliances or the modern washer and dryer can help create that bidding war the owners (and you) are hoping for.

With home sales still on the rise, will appliances be something you mention more often to potential buyers? Let us know on social media!

 


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Millennial Home Buyers: What They Really Want

Millennials love analyzing and making very informed decisions about everything in their life, given the Internet has made this process quite easy.

They have different expectations for their lives and look for uniqueness in all aspects. The majority of real estate markets nowadays consist of a large number of millennial home buyers. In 2018, Millennials were responsible for 1/3 of all home purchases. Millennials will continue to drive the market, especially as they become more financially stable.

It’s important to understand what features home buyers are looking for in a home and to know how to make sure those features are being showcased, especially when targeting Millennial home buyers. Here are the top 4 selling points Millennials are looking for in their home. 

  1. Walkable location and accessible amenities
    • Proximity to work and play options are high priorities to this group. Contrary to popular belief though, Millennials are targeting suburban communities with a short drive to a big city for social interaction. 
  1. Move-In-Ready, Single Family Homes
    • Millennials are eager to swap their rental apartments for single family homes. Homes that require little maintenance appeal to this market so that they may spend weekends relaxing instead of completing repairs & maintenance. 
  1. Energy Efficiency & Technology:
    • Millennial home buyers want to have complete control over their systems. This generation will pay more for automated or voice-activated devices like HVAC systems and appliances. 
  1. Fancy Outdoor Space:
    • Weekend entertainment is especially important to this generation. As such, must-haves include fenced-in backyards, patio areas and outdoor cooking areas. Millennial buyers want to create a relaxing outdoor retreat. 

It is important to understand what Millennial buyers, those born between approximately 1980-1995, want in their next home. Location, community amenities and energy - efficient features all factor into their buying decisions. Since they make up such a large portion of today's potential home buyers, it’s vital you understand the above things they are looking for when shopping for home. Homeowners and real estate agents who understand these things and who know how to highlight them greatly improve their chances of a quick and profitable sale.

Real Estate’s American Dream

The American dream. Owning your own home is the largest transaction an average American will make in their lifetime. Conventionally, as a salesperson or broker, you are the catalyst to make that dream a reality. Showing homes, placing offers, negotiating and eventually making the deal. Customarily you work on commission which incentivizes you to get the buyer into the highest transaction you can. To the untrained eye that customary 3% commission doesn’t look like much but as an agent you know that it can add up to thousands or tens of thousands. In 2018 $80 billion dollars were paid in real estate commissions.  This is where the traditional real estate market exists and where current events seek to shake the ancestral market.

Now, more than ever, social media marketing is crucial to reach those customers. Networking, blogging, creating relationships online will all make or break your business. When you have real estate brokerages that are setting new precedence online by allowing more time for focusing on the customer - whether it’s for the buy or the sale. They offer a do-it-yourself approach, such as providing title services, and securing the best mortgage, ultimately offering the buyer an all in one experience. How can you compete? Get online. Start with a social media marketing course like ours and learn how to open doors to new customers and keep your legacy clients coming back. The lessons in this course will take you through the development phase of your social media presence, and on to a place where you are confidently creating online content that represents you in the best light possible. Aligning yourself with your buyer or seller and maintaining a virtual presence will keep your business and reputation attractive to clients. Using Social Media effectively as a real estate professional takes a certain amount of finesse, but if done correctly, can be a major catalyst for advancing your career.


 

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Dress For Success

What would you do to sell a home? Most real estate photo galleries are staged and they rarely feature people but some real estate agents are taking a unique approach by dressing up in costumes to help bring more views to their listings.

In 2016, an agent in Texas dressed up as a Panda and it helped her get 12 showings in the first two days. Another agent went prehistoric and donned a T-Rex costume,  and agents in Baltimore dressed up as Spiderman and a Unicorn to show off their listings.

Real estate agents trying unconventional marketing techniques is a smart way to get listings to stand out in the internet age. People like to go viral and are always looking for something new and refreshing online. In the past, real estate agents used different strategies during open house events like baking cookies to make a home smell good or playing music to cancel out traffic noises. Dressing in a costume is just another way to get buyers to pay attention and in the door.

Real Estate agents Christina Dudley and Michael Frank think the costumes are a great way to show some of Baltimore's local flavor too. They plan on doing another stage photo shoot featuring another goofy character, but they understand it’s not for every house, agent, or seller.


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