5 Ways to Promote Your Real Estate Video

1. YouTube It: YouTube is the Mecca of all things video. Listen to this: YouTube’s monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly 10 Super Bowl audiences, 500 years of YouTube videos are watched every day on other social media sites and over 700 YouTube videos are shared every minute on Twitter. And it’s implications for real estate is pretty staggering – According to a study from Google and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), 51% of home buyers chose YouTube as their preferred online video destination when shopping for homes. Further, 65% of YouTube videos posted by real estate professionals were able to pull leads. So our point here is, if you don’t yet have a YouTube account, get one stat! All

2. #Hashtags, Keywords and Descriptions: Just as you would for traditional marketing materials, describe the property! However, by associating specific terms with your YouTube video, it can now be indexed by search engines that rank it so that home buyers can more effectively view it based on their search terms. Descriptions should identify its location, features and other branding information but try to add special details that were not revealed in your traditional marketing pieces. Use geo-targeted terms relevant to the location

including city, state, zip code and even neighborhood and community name (i.e. #oceanfront, #virginiabeach, #mainstreet, #Tribeca, #UpperEastSide, #ABCRealty, #wilmingtonhomesforsale, etc.). Hashtags allow users of sites such as Twitter, Google+, and now Facebook, to discover your video even if they aren’t following you.

3. Post, Share, Embed, Tweet and +1 that Video: Seventy percent of home buyers look for a video on a website, Facebook, or YouTube . So be there or be square! With one billion users on Facebook, 500 million on Twitter, and over 340 million on Google+, odds are your clients and prospects are among them and will likely view and share your video. Embed the video on your website, blog, newsletters and emails. Home buyers and owners researching real estate agents and properties like to see that you are incorporating the newest technology and marketing trends to help them buy or sell their next home.

4. FREE Homes.com Agent Profile: Nearly 12.5 million consumers visit Homes.com every month to find a home, real estate agent and other home-related services. Take advantage of this audience by showcasing your video on your free Agent Profile. Add your contact information, social media links, property listings, client endorsements and real estate videos in one place. For even more exposure, promote the video in a Local Ad in the city or zip code of your choice on Homes.com.

5. Video Marketing – the Next Level: To fully master video marketing in real estate, watch and learn. watch Realtor Guru’s webinar’s such as, the Secrets of Top Selling Agents free webinar on Tuesday, July 30th featuring , Raj Qsar of The Boutique Real Estate Group. National Speaker and named Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders by Inman News, Raj will show you how video marketing is done.

Now that you know what it takes to produce and share the most powerful form of real estate marketing that is video, it’s time to see it in action and evaluate your investment!

Is it a Boom or a Bubble?

The June jump in California home prices is the highest we’ve seen in years! Data Quick recently reported an increase of 28.3% in home prices within Southern California since June 2012, the largest growth recorded since 1989. With such a dramatic increase, many experts have found themselves asking one question – is this increase the boom needed for the market to recover or is it the start of another bubble?
Why-Home-Prices-Are-Rising

Are you encouraging your clients to buy before prices go even higher?

Home values in Southern California have jumped by 4.6% since May, reaching a median price of $385,000, some of the highest prices seen in over five years. Although this is still well below the 2007 peak of $505,000, many brokers and agents believe this deficit will be cut soon.

One optimist, founder and president of Rodeo Realty Syd Leibovitch, reported that he expects the price of homes to double from the lows of last year. According to Leibovitch, prices have historically doubled in cycles like this before they begin to fall again. A doubling in price like this could be exactly what the market needs to return to its pre-crisis highs, but if it occurs too quickly we’re likely to see the market stall, potentially leading to another crash.

Similarly, hedge fund expert John Paulson believes there are more increases yet to come. In a conference on NCBC, Paulson stated that he believes we are at the beginning of the road to recovery, and expects this trend to continue for another 4-7 years.

On the other hand, there are numerous experts who believe this trend will end shortly. Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin, is one of the many. Kelman has predicted that the market will cool off later in the second half of the year due to the loss of investor activity leading to a major reduction in demand. We’ve already seen some loss in demand over the past few weeks. In fact, home sales have dropped by about 4% since May.

Although many experts have speculated on the outcome of this increase, the ultimate impact of the price jump is still up in the air, so we’ll have to wait and see how things play out over the remainder of the year.

Do you believe this increase in price indicates the recovery of the housing market? Or will it turn into another bubble waiting to pop? What are your thoughts?

Posted by  on 7/26/13

Buying A Second Home

Buying a second home – should you or shouldn’t you – that is the question.  Well, buying a second home could very well be the absolute best thing you have ever done but you have to do it for the right reasons.  Let’s talk about a few of the things you need to consider before making any quick decisions.

First you must ask yourself why you want to purchase a second home.  Is it to invest in your future?  Is it to use for a vacation home?  Are you doing it for an additional income?  The answer to these questions is critical so let’s look at all of the facts.

If you are buying a second home as rental property to use as part of your retirement plan then you have made the right decision.  Buying a home forces you to make regular savings in the form of a mortgage payment each month and that is money in the bank when it comes to a retirement fund.

You must make sure,however, that you have enough money to cover the mortgage payments plus any additional expenses such as repairs, yearly taxes and insurance, if they are not a part of your mortgage payment, and anything else that may arise.  The good news is if you buy the right house at the right price, your rental property should always stay rented.

Another reason a second home as part of your retirement plan is a good idea is due to the fact that your investment money is subject to less income tax and the interest and taxes may be deductible.   So planning ahead could pay off in a big way.

Housing, for the most part, appreciates over time.  There are definitely ups and downs in the housing market but buying a home is a long term investment that can ride those tides very well.  A home is an inflation proof investment.

The experts have predicted that both fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages will probably remain in the single digits for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, financing a home with a nominal down payment should remain achievable for quite some time.

Buying a home is very exciting and can be a very profitable experience but your decision cannot be made lightly.  It is wise to give a lot of thought to why you want a second home, then make a financial plan and stick to it.

If you have some disposable income, then purchasing a vacation home may be just what you need to add a little spice to your life.  Then by all means, go ahead and find the perfect house, buy it and enjoy.

Whatever the reason you want or need a second home, please think about your reasons, make a plan and follow through.  It is also advisable to talk to a real estate agent about all of your options before diving in.  A real estate agent can help you make the best decisions and could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Buying A New Home Any Longer

As you know the real estate market has been in shambles for about six or seven  years.  But you may have noticed that times are changing.  There is an upward trend in the housing market that should make you stand up and pay attention.

Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t put off buying a new home any longer.

1.  Although interest rates have been at historic lows, there have been some small, but rather insignificant, increases over recent months.  However, the interest rates are still very low – but they won’t stay that way for long.

2.  Some of the debt buyback programs the Federal Reserve has in place will be ending soon.

3.  Because of the interest rates being so low  and the number of below market value  homes on the market,  a buying frenzy has been created.   As these homes are purchased and the inventory  dwindles, the price of homes will go up and the interest rates will go up with it.

4.  HARP 2.0 is about to expire at the end of 2013.

5.  Rental rates continue to rise.   Therefore it is to your benefit to take advance of the below market housing prices and the low interest rates now before they increase any further.

6.  Home mortgage delinquencies are declining resulting in fewer foreclosures.  With fewer foreclosures on the market, the value of available homes will climb.  Meaning the price of homes currently on the market will rise.

7.  People are starting to get excited about buying homes again.  Over the past few years, due to  the downward economy and the rise in unemployment,  many people were not buying homes.  However, now that the economy appears to be stabilizing, many people are beginning to spend money again.  This includes buying a home.  An instant demand is being created because of the sheer number of people who were not spending money are now going out in droves to purchase a home.

How To Present A Winning Back Up Offer

Have you found your dream home but just learned that it already has a pending offer in place? This is a very common occurrence, especially if the home is in perfect condition and worth every penny they are asking for it. So what should you do? Should you give up? No! You should submit a back up offer. However, there are a few things you should learn before submitting your offer.

Here are a few things that will help you submit a winning back up offer.

1. It is not necessary to offer significantly more than the asking price. You don’t want to overpay for the home. Remember, it will still have to have an appraisal and be approved for that appraised amount. However, it is recommended that you offer the seller what they are asking for the home or just slightly more if the current offer is already at the asking price.

2. You should always get pre-approved before attempting to buy any home. This could mean the difference between having the seller accept your offer or someone else’s offer. If you submit a back up offer, and the other deal falters in any way, you will more than likely get the backup offer over someone else that has not been pre-approved. In addition, you should include in your offer that your credit and your financials have already been reviewed by your lender. This just puts you one more step ahead of everyone else.

3. You should show the seller that you are flexible. Sometimes sellers need to close quickly and others need a longer period of time close. The more flexible you are the more likely you are to have your back up offer accepted over another offer.

4. Try to write your offer without contingencies or as few contingencies as possible. If your offer has no contingencies and with the other offer the seller will have to wait for the buyer to sell their home, you will more often than not get the deal.

5. Try to appeal to the seller on an emotional level. Ask your realtor to give the seller a personal letter from you introducing yourself and letting them know what you love about their home and why you feel you are the perfect buyer.

Generally, a seller has an emotional attachment to the home and wants to see it go to someone who loves it as much as they do and will care for it as they do. Also, by doing this, you will put a “face” to your offer whereas all of the other offers are all going to come across as impersonal, anonymous offers. It’s worth a try. You never know what might get through to a seller.

Talk to your realtor about any other tactics they have successfully used to secure a winning back up offer. Your realtor deals with these types of things every day and will be able to guide you through to the purchase of your next perfect home.

Curb Appeal Tips

How would you like to sell your home for top dollar?  Well of course you would!  You have probably heard of “curb appeal” .  Curb appeal is the first thing your buyer sees when he drives up to your home.   Yep, you got it – you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.  Your homes curb appeal can determine whether a buyer stops to consider your home or just drives on by.  It will also set the buyers mindset on whether or not your home has been well cared for and if it’s worth what you are asking for it.

Here are a few curb appeal ideas that will help you sell your home for top dollar.

1.   You should take a look around your home with fresh eyes and ask yourself “what do I see?”  Take care of all major and minor maintenance issues.  Anything from loose gutters, crooked shutters, cracked windows and loose mortar.  Nothing should be left undone.  The time you spend on these things now could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  For example:  if you have a cracked window, the buyer will have it in their mind that your home needs new windows , whether it does or not.  Once the buyer has a certain mindset, it’s hard to change it.  Whereas it would have been much cheaper to just replace that one window and the buyer would have more than likely never noticed and therefore it would never have been an issue.

2.  If you can afford it, it will pay you back in spades if you paint your entire house.  If you can’t, make sure you powerwash it or at least paint the trim and the doors.  You can  rent a powerwasher for a day or so to make your home look as fresh as possible.  This should include cleaning the windows as well.  This goes back to the scenario above.   If the buyer sees dirty windows, he might perceive them as old and in need of being replaced.

3.  Clean up all the clutter and anything that doesn’t need to be there.  Depersonalize it as much as possible.  You want your potential buyers to be able to envision themselves living there.  You should add some fresh mulch and perhaps add some flowers to a nice pot on the porch or to  your flowerbeds.  A splash of color will catch their eye and enhance your curb appeal.

4.  Most people don’t consider the little things like their mailbox and their house numbers.  What is the first thing your buyer will see when they are driving down your street looking for your house?  Your house number right?  So whether your house number is on your mailbox or on your house or both, that is the first thing your buyer will see.  So go ahead and spend a few extra dollars and get a new mailbox if you need it and if not, you can plant some flowers around the base and add some fresh new numbers to it. In addition to your mailbox, buy a nice, tasteful new plaque for your house with your house numbers on it.   It’s the little things that go a long way.

 

5 Tips to Make Summer Home Renovations Pay Off

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Younger homeowners are likely planning renovations this summer, according to a new study, with some improvements benefiting property values more than others.

The Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending survey found that 71% of those aged 18 to 34 plan a home improvement or addition compared to 51% of homeowners 55 and older.

The survey found that 40% plan to work on their outdoor spaces while 17 percent plan to improve their bathrooms.

“As we head into the long days of summer, we are seeing increased interest in outdoor spaces with very natural elements such as stone fireplaces as well as bringing more light into bathrooms with clear glass on the walls and shower enclosures,” said Cynthia Nowak, a trend expert with Zillow Digs.

Overall, 60% of American homeowners plan renovations and expect to spend $1,200 with 65% of homes housing children planning three or more home improvements compared to 57% of homes without children.

But not all home improvements pay off and positively impact property values, according to the Appraisal Institute, a professional association of real estate appraisers.

Siding replacement, entry door replacement, attic bedroom addition, minor kitchen remodel and garage door replacement rank among the projects with the highest expected return on investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s most recent Cost vs. Value report.

“Projects that take a home significantly beyond community norms are often not worth the cost when the owner sells the home,” said Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges. “If they don’t match what’s standard in a community, they’re considered excessive.”

Other renovations with high expected pay-offs include basement remodel, deck addition and window replacement.

“Consumers should be aware that cost does not necessarily equal value,” Borges said.

Below are 5 tips to consider before launching home renovations:

  • 1. Arrange a feasibility study for an unbiased evaluation. “During a feasibility study, a professional real estate appraiser will analyze the homeowner’s property, weigh the cost of rehabilitation and provide an estimate of the property’s value before and after the improvement,” said Borges.
  • 2. Add green and energy-efficient renovations. “Adding Energy Star appliances and extra insulation are likely to pay the homeowner back in lowered utility bills relatively quickly. Lower utility costs also are a draw for potential homebuyers,” said Borges.
  • 3. The longer a homeowner stays in a property, the greater the opportunity for a return on investment. As a result, Borges advises holding off on big renovations when a homeowner isn’t sure how long they will be in their home.
  • 4. Check online for home renovation ideas. About 37 percent of homeowners look to the internet for home improvement ideas and inspiration, according to the Zillow Digs survey. HGTV.com, Pinterest and Zillow Digs were among the most common online sources for inspiration.
  • 5. Download the Appraisal Institute’s free Remodeling & Rehabbing brochure at http://www.appraisalinstitute.org

–Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet