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.

Social Media Success for Real Estate Professionals

Now more than ever, social media marketing is essential to promoting yourself as a real estate professional. Gone are the days when home buyers would open a newspaper to look for properties for sale or look up names of real estate agents in a phone book.

Therefore, it is imperative for any real estate agent to use social media in marketing their businesses and listings. And while any realtor can open a Facebook or Instagram account, it's not always as clear how to use social media as a tool to send the right message to the right people at the right time. In our course Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Professionals you will find valuable need to know information to make yourself and your business a social media success! Here are 3 steps to get maximum exposure for your brand and properties online.

1. Use Different Platforms

Remember all platforms are different and the voice and message should match that. The top 3 social media markets are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Of course, there are many more, but don’t spread yourself to thin trying to market on every platform.

Post photos on Instagram to generate leads.

Instagram is widely considered the perfect social media platform for realtors. There are more than 700 million users on Instagram, who reportedly press the "like" button on images about 4.2 billion times per day.

  • You get engagement by doing polls on insta-stories (very effective) and asking a question in the last line of the caption. Getting users to engage on your account is one of the best ways to grow and connect with your audience.

Without a doubt, Facebook is the king of social media.

With more than 2 billion users worldwide, it is easy to understand why the brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg is the first thing that comes to mind when one hears "social media."

  • Use the 80/20 rule with updates: 80% of posts ought to be customer-centric while 20% should be about the business. It also helps the cause of agents to post about happenings in and around their communities like local charity events, school-related activities or even gas prices (especially when they're low)

 Tweet to promote listings.

The volume of tweets will greatly boost a realtor’s exposure. The more tweets a real estate agent sends out, the more leads can be generated. In addition to sharing listings, there are other types of content or pieces of information worth tweeting, like advice on moving as well as tips for staging and upgrading homes.

  • Hashtags are also very important, as people use them to search for a particular topic on Twitter. Agents should use hashtags like the geographic area they operate in, recent events or keywords that their target market may be searching.

2. Use more videos and photos

Just like many others, it’s tough to turn the camera on yourself….but you have to get over it! The reality is that no one cares that your video isn’t professional grade all the time, your hair isn’t perfect or that you stumble over your words occasionally. Being yourself is the key. People will respect your effort and want to do business with you if you are authentic. Establishing that you are likable, good at your job, and can be trusted are the keys to winning!

  • Sharing images and video clips on your social media platforms can also greatly enhance the engagement level of real estate agents online.

3. Measure social media metrics.

Finally, real estate agents should identify and track their social media metrics to gain a better understanding of which strategies are working and which should be replaced or tweaked.

    • Metrics like the number of "likes" per share, number of followers and level of engagement can guide real estate agents toward what they ought to do with their social media campaigns. Facebook Audience Insights will tell you which kind of posts generate interest, and which kind lead to unfollows.

 


 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate.  Use these tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, and increase business.

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Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against NAR

The lawsuit filed by home seller Christopher Moehrl in March of this year is on its way to making traditional home buying and selling a thing of the past. The NAR, 20 of the largest MLS’s across the country and 4 of the largest real estate broker franchises, are being accused of violating federal antitrust laws by conspiring to require home sellers to pay buyer commissions at an inflated amount. The end goal of said plaintiff is to make selling a home more affordable by changing how agents share commissions on local MLS’s.

NAR’s “Buyer Broker Commission Rule”, “requires all brokers to make a blanket, non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation” in order to participate in MLS. Without using MLS brokers cannot effectively market their properties and sellers are paying both brokers commissions which results in an ineffective and anti-competitive market.

There are 2 problems with the current archaic system. First, since the buyer’s agent will get ½ of the commission, it may induce them to cherry-pick listings to show only those properties with the highest commissions. The second problem is that the commissions presume full-service work on the parts of both agents. What happens if the buyer knows what property they want? That greatly reduces the workload of the buying agent, yet they still receive the same commission for less work.

What does this all mean for the future of Real Estate? This consequential lawsuit (if the plaintiff wins) will change the percentages that come with Real Estate transactions, making a big impact in the Real Estate Industry. With the opening of MLS to something that provides for competition, it will swing the doors wide open for internet brokerages such as REDFIN and ZILLOW. With more transactions happening virtually, salespersons and brokers will have to market themselves in new ways. The days of print and tv ads are dwindling and social media presence will be essential. We can help guide you in making yourself an invaluable player online with our Social Media Marketing Course! Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate. We provide you with tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, increase your network and business!


 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate.  Use these tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, and increase business.

$39.00Add to cart

Virtual Real Estate

Social Media has become one of the top ways Real Estate salespeople and brokers advertise themselves. You can expand your network, engage business partners and attract new customers all with a few keystrokes on a computer or smart device. Social Media can be the least expensive and most effective of advertising out there today. Forecasts by eMarketer show digital advertising surpassing both print and tv for the first time in history. Now is the perfect time to dive into social media marketing and get ahead of the future of digital Real Estate.

Real Estate as we know it is facing many changes. Virtual companies are on the rise and the only way to capitalize on what’s coming is to jump out in front and embrace the change. You cannot be overrun by these virtual companies if you build a virtual presence yourself. Perhaps your business will never be as big as Zillow or Redfin, but it doesn’t need to be. Your biggest asset as a Real Estate agent is your network. Currently, the biggest Real Estate buying group are Millennials and these Millennials account for 70% of Instagram users. Your buying audience is literally at your virtual fingertips, and when the market becomes digital, your business will be secure.

As history has taught us, fighting change won’t help your business. The best course of action that you can take for yourself and your business is knowing how to navigate the virtual world and accepting that very soon it will become priceless. Social Media can be a complicated and confusing landscape, If you are unsure of how to begin, check out our course titled: Social Media Marketing and you will become a social media whiz in no time. Get started below!


 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate.  Use these tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, and increase business.

$39.00Add to cart

Who Should Pay the Buyer’s Agent?

Traditionally in America, the home seller pays the buyer’s agent, however--that tradition is under fire due to new lawsuits filed in Chicago against the National Association of Realtors and others. The outcome of the cases could have far reaching impact in the world of American real estate.

According to a recent Washington Post article, class-action lawsuits have been filed against NAR, the nation’s four largest real estate brokerages, and the MLS companies they use. The suits state that federal anti-trust laws have been violated by the named entities by forcing sellers to pay the buyer’s agent inflated commissions.

The claimants state that the buyer’s agent should be paid by the buyer in a competitive market, and also that the split commission contracts enforced by MLS companies often cause the seller’s agents to be unfairly compensated.

The outcome of these suits could affect home owners and buyers as well as agents and brokers.  Some say that if the courts rule against the defendants that commission rates for buying and selling agents will go down in order for agencies to stay competitive in a customer’s market. If home buyers were required to pay their agent’s commissions instead of the sellers, they would negotiate directly with the agent to pay only for services rendered, as opposed to the blanket commission currently paid by the seller.

The downside to such a situation going into effect is that when it comes to purchasing a home, buyers are already at a financial disadvantage—forced to pay for closing costs and moving costs on top of the price of a home. According to the Post, some Realtors say that the added expense of having to pay their agent’s commission would put a heavy strain on “first-time and other cash-short buyers”. This could have a negative impact on real estate markets across the country.

 


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A New Type Of Credit Score Is Coming

The current score system works well in that it provides a sufficient way to figure out low costs and in an automated way how likely someone is able repay you. But it has a disadvantage in that a lot of people don’t provide a payment history because they don’t have credit cards such as younger people and immigrants.

Ultra FICO changes that dynamic by using consumer contributed data. The Fair Isaac Corp., the creators of FICO, announced that Ultra FICO will be more widely released in April 2019. Alongside traditional metrics, the Ultra FICO looks at your banking behavior in 3 areas:

  • Your account history
  • Your account balance
  • Your account activity

It gives consumers the ability to give permission for their data—rich data that can be used as valuable insight for lenders. It has the potential to score people that are considered unscorable and enhance existing scores. This may help people get better interest rates.

Marketplace.org reported that “there are 53 million people in the United States who do not have FICO scores, and the new Ultra FICO will catch 10 million to 15 million of those.”

Don’t look for Ultra FICO to replace the regular FICO score. Ultra FICO is voluntary, so it will likely be used to give more insight to lender if the regular FICO is not high enough to qualify the consumer.

 


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Steph Curry is Selling his Beautiful North Carolina Mansion

Steph Curry's North Carolina Home | Realtor.com

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry plays like a champion and lives like a king. To see what I mean, just check out his North Carolina home on Realtor.com, the place is stunning. The European-style new construction home features four bedrooms, three full and three half baths and is 7,467 square feet on a half-acre lot.

The home, built in 2008, has luxurious touches including stone fireplaces, stain panel rooms, mahogany doors, a four car garage, huge tub in the master suite, a movie room and finished basement. Jacarr Realty is selling the property and asking $1.55 million. The North Carolina native moved into the home 30 miles south of Charlotte in May 2011 and paid $1.275 million.

Currently, his wife, Ayesha and their children live in Alamo, California. The Sacramento Bee says their new pad is 10,290 square feet with a 1.56 acres. They’ve lived there for nearly three years.

 


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Artificial Intelligence Opportunities in Real Estate

Real Estate, along with every other industry, has advanced from using Artificial Intelligence to improve and support healthier lifestyles for people. In commercial real estate, health-focused principles are more than just trends. They are the beginning of the industry’s promising future. From 2008 to 2017, the number of tech-oriented real estate startups have exploded from a mere 176 to over 1,200 companies. The areas in Real Estate that can really use artificial intelligence to offer healthy solutions are safety, data-driven comfort, and sustainability.

Artificial intelligence in the safety sector of commercial real estate has made a big impact. It provides, for example, better security for those that occupy these spaces. AI and machine learning use anything from voice commands to facial recognition to improve accessibility, security, and infrastructure stability after construction. Eventually, developers will be implementing robots to assist with inspection and repairing damage without utilizing human workers, making it safer for everyone.

Real Estate companies have realized the usefulness of AI data and sensor technology to provide higher comfort and more efficient spaces for consumers. Buildings can become personalized for monitoring, home safety and even senior care. For example, motion sensors can track the tenant’s daily movements so it can then adjust door locks, faucets, electronic devices and monitor optimal temperatures for each tenant. Even though these are simple solutions consumers will enjoy focusing on bigger things while your home adjusts to your comfort.

In Manhattan AI has been implemented in commercial structures already, one such project is the Empire State Building. It currently collects data to identify the buildings energy efficiency so adjustments can be made to keep this historical monument standing and useful for as long as possible. It’s not just HVAC systems and lighting controls that AI can help with. It can also identify roof and insulation issues during construction and water usage patterns which can then be used to identify the best materials to use during construction to offer energy efficient resolutions.

In time, Artificial Intelligence can provide the Real Estate market even more opportunities to make a sale by offering a safe haven with technology both inside and outside of the home.


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Tick Tock: Nebraska Real Estate Agents & Brokers License Renewal

Nebraska Realtors and Brokers with a license beginning with an even number are required to complete 18 hours of continuing education which must include 12 hours of designated subject matter.  The deadline is November 30th, 2018. Real Estate Training Institute has everything you need to meet Nebraska's continuing education requirements.

We provide: Nebraska approved continuing education that meets all of your requirements.

You can complete your continuing education anywhere, anytime with a smartphone, tablet or computer that is connected to the internet. These courses also allow you to print a certificate immediately upon completion.

License renewal costs:

Salesperson Renewal Fee (2 years) - $230
Broker Renewal Fee (2 Year) - $290

We've taken the liberty of answering a few of your questions below.

How much real estate continuing education is required?

Nebraska licensees are required to complete 18 hours of continuing education each two-year cycle. Of that 18 hours, 12 hours must be in designated subject areas. Courses that are approved for designated subject areas contain an “R” in the approval number.

If I am unable to complete my Nebraska real estate continuing education by the expiration date, can I still renew?

Yes, licensees may renew their license after the expiration date. Continuing education must be completed before a license may be renewed. There is a late fee of $25 per month that the license is expired. Licensees must renew their license prior to June 30 or they will be required to re-take and pass the exam. Continuing education requirements must be met before the licensee will be approved by the NREC to take the exam.

How Do I Renew My Nebraska Real Estate License?

You can complete your renewal form by following the link listed here: Submit Renewal Form Online

 


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Haunted Houses Scare Buyers Away

Sellers are required to disclose material defects such as a structural issue or a leaky roof, but when it comes to a haunted house’s reputation, if it elicits an “emotional response,” that’s when it gets tricky for real estate agents.  Haunted houses are often stigmatized and scare buyers away in what may otherwise be a perfectly fine structure.

A recent survey conducted by Realtor.com shows desirable features like a reasonable price or a bigger kitchen helps buyers get past the spook factor. The survey found that 1 in 3 people are willing to take a chance on a haunted home if the deal was attractive.

In one extreme example of a haunted house impacting the sale of a property was Stambovsky v. Ackley, a landmark case in New York better known as the “Ghostbusters Ruling.” In 1989, a woman named Helen Ackley was selling her circa-1890 Queen Ann Victorian. It was a nice house right on the Hudson River in Nyack, New York, with 5 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths…..oh, and 3 poltergeists. According to Ackley, she had reported the existence of ghosts in the house to newspaper and magazine articles on 3 occasions between 1977 and 1989. Stambovsky was a buyer from out of town and claimed that Ackley and her real estate agent failed to tell him that the home had a haunting reputation. He argued that the house’s ghosts, real or imagined, affected the value and the potential for resale.

The New York Appellate Court ruled in the plaintiff’s favor stating, “as a matter of law, the house is haunted,” mostly because Ackley proclaimed it to be. Stambovsky was refunded half of his down payment and set a precedent to make sellers disclose if their house had a ghost. After the court case, Ackley had no issue finding people who want to live in a haunted house. Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson owned the home for a short while before selling it in 2015 for $1.7 million. Although, nobody reported any spooky occurrences since Ackley sold it.


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