Where There Are Problems, There Is Opportunity

Selling real estate to the next generation requires constantly reevaluating oneself and embracing the consumer’s point of view.  Of course, that’s true with every customer, not just a whole generation of customers.

Different realtors and brands have distinct histories, sizes and markets, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selling. However, panelists on “Next Gen Marketing Plan – Creating a Strategy for 2016” at Inman Connect New York 2016 on Jan. 28 were united in noting the importance of looking to other industries and embracing, rather than fighting, changes in consumer behavior.

For example, the millennial’s well-documented thirst for transparency can be an opportunity for a brand to sell itself.

“Unlike generations prior, they are significantly more skeptical because of the amount of information available to them,” Ms. Oge said. “That’s a reality and not necessarily a bad thing.

“Anytime we can be taken to task to be more transparent, more consistent, to be more straight-lined and linear with respect to our points of differentiation and our value proposition, I welcome it,” she said. “I think these next generations are kind of the garden rails that will keep us more honest, and there is nothing wrong with that.”

Listening to the consumer and understanding them psychographically will give marketers the information they need to devise a detailed plan. While the prospect may seem daunting at first, the work will save time and increase sales in the long run.

“When you think about doing a plan it couldn’t be more annoying to find that time, but don’t think about it as stopping what you are doing, think about it as making next year a lot easier,” Ms. Marchetti said. “You should take a really hard look in the mirror and be very very honest about what you’re good at and what you’re not good at, and the latter is more important.”  Also, it is advisable to ask your closest relationships what they see as your strengths and weaknesses.

Studies have shown repeatedly that millennials will use technology to assist in buying homes, but they still depend on agents. That means the agents need to make themselves ideal for these new consumers.

There are countless choices for people looking to find a home, and that means if the first one does not provide the necessary resources, is too opaque or does not provide sufficient information, it is on to the next one. Agents can do themselves a favor by making email and phone number readily available, be it for text messages or good old-fashioned calls.

Additionally, the question of marketing to the next generation extends far beyond the real estate sector. Looking at what other sectors are doing to reach the generation could provide answers for the real estate world.

“The good and bad news of all of this is [that] every industry will change, every industry will get disrupted,” Ms. Marchetti said. “When I first got out of school in 1998 we were sounding the death knells of big box retail.

“Those who didn’t adapt did start to die, but the way of doing business changed,” she said. “We always look outside because I’m never going to worry about what other [real estate] brands are doing; it’s a waste of time.

“If you focus on your agents, if you have metrics, if you are open to learning, then there are industries that have gone before us to the breach and survived, so let’s learn from their mistakes, not make them, stay focused and remember who your client is. If you remember who your client is and take their perspective, you will not fail.

And indeed, rather than thinking of changes as “disruptions,” it helps to think of them as opportunities. Precedents across all industries show those who try to dispel disruptions often sink. Instead, a focus on technology presents opportunities in contact and marketing.

Stay focused
One opportunity that other industries have embraced in reaching millennials that the real estate industry has not is gamification.

These game-like challenges could include liking items on Facebook or sharing purchases on Instagram to be recognized by the brand. Thirty-one percent of retailers used gamification in 2015, a growth from 6 percent the year before.

“I don’t come from this industry, I come from gaming,” Ms. Cornia said. “If you are not figuring how to use the principles of gaming in your mobile apps or digital experience you are missing one of the fundamental aspects of millennials,” she said.

Finding new ways to reach consumers in accordance with their habits will help brokers fight against a potentially slowing market.

 

Original article: http://www.luxurydaily.com/real-estate-should-see-disruptors-as-opportunities-not-threats/

One Time Close…It’s BACK!

There hasn’t been a decent retail construction loan product since the collapse in mortgage banking back in 2008.  Consumers have been left to their own devices and local community banks to fund any home renovations or ground up construction projects.

In the North Bay, we haven’t seen substantial new construction in a decade, although there are several new projects that are online at this time.  Finally, the mortgage industry is responding with several new loan products that could help homeowners and investors to fund desperately needed new homes and rehabilitate dilapidated housing statewide.

Our One Time Close (OTC) Construction to Permanent loan product has a lot to offer potential home  owners.  At its core, it is based on either an FHA or VA loan as the permanent financing after the construction phase is complete.  Low to NO down payment and liberal credit qualifying means many families could qualify.

Here is a quick video on the product (90sec) and a flyer below:

Here is a PDF of the flyer: OTC_Flyer_NB

Remember, this product allows consumers to buy the lot, improve it, build and end up with a great fixed rate loan at the end with little to no down payment.

Images are KEY

staged home

When you look at this picture, what comes to mind?  I notice what is NOT there.  There are no crooked images of an empty room, with the shades drawn.  There are not a lot of dark areas inside or shadows on the floor and walls.  Instead, the highlights are more as my eyes would see them.

The fact is that real estate photography requires a lot of interior shooting.  Surveys conducted every year by NAR and others tell us that people are using the web to shop for homes to buy or rent.  An overwhelming 90%+ of them tell surveyors that photos are the first thing they check out and they’re very important to them.  If they like the pictures, they’ll check out the descriptive text and property information.  If they don’t like them, they move on..

Many agents would rather run through a house in 10 minutes, shooting each room with their smart phone.  Others have embraced HDR, High Dynamic Range.  HDR photography uses 3 to 5 photos at different exposure settings to merge and create a single image with all of the bright and dark areas adjusted for a result like the one in the photo above.

Most of the digital cameras that are available in today’s market have a feature called “exposure bracketing.”  You set the camera to take your 3 photos with one underexposed, one properly exposed, and one overexposed.  You should use a tripod as you’re going to push the shutter button once and all three exposures will be created in rapid order.

Now you just need software to do the HDR process for you. There is free software out there, such as Picturenaut. There are many good software packages under $50 too. The software merges the three photos to create the perfect blend of exposures that are more like what your eyes do for you. Some of the newer digital cameras even have in-camera HDR, and the processing is done for you automatically.

If you are serious about marketing homes for sale or rent, you should definitely embrace HDR so that you can have the highest chance of getting the attention of your online viewers.