By York Baur, CEO MoxiWorks
As we close out the second quarter of 2020, there remains a lot of uncertainty in the still very prevalent COVID-19 world. Looking back on the last few months though, the real estate industry has pivoted more rapidly than most expected.
We’ve been analyzing the market data closely, waiting to see if there’s another shoe to drop. But, through this whole experience, even when we were at the peak of new COVID-19 cases, we continued to see agents staying in touch with their spheres and people buying and selling homes across the country. This gave us confidence that no matter what happens, homes will continue to transact.
And, while we’re not out of the woods yet, with several cities and states beginning to see another rise in cases, I’m still bullish about the recovery of our industry as we enter the second half of 2020.
The current landscape
We believe in being transparent and honest with our fellow Moxians and have been reviewing market data with the company every week during our company-wide town hall meetings. We want to make sure our entire company has insight into how the real estate market is doing, and what we can be doing to help. While we still believe that no one can truly predict the outcome of this pandemic, there is a lot of data trending into the recovery, some of which is even surpassing data from the same time last year.
Pending Home Sales
In NAR’s most recent report (June 29, 2020) pending home sales spiked 44.3% in May compared to April. This is the highest month-over-month gain since NAR started their Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) series in January 2001.
Our own data shows this same trend. We have over 95% of the US home sale footprint in our systems, allowing us to do additional analysis. For instance, inventory continues to be highly constrained – just take a look at what’s happened over the last year in the chart below – the normal Spring listing season was skipped this year due to the pandemic, and national inventory has been compressed substantially.
Given this low inventory combined with surprisingly good closings, the result is steady prices with even some upward pressure in certain markets. This is particularly true in tech-driven housing markets like San Francisco (grey line in the chart below) and Seattle (blue line), where pricing has been pushed up substantially due to lack of inventory.
Listings & Solds
We’re seeing a continued trend up and to the right for new listings and solds in a given week, which is a great sign of the beginning of recovery. Overall, the year-over-year gap has narrowed, which is a hopeful sign of recovery. It’s also worth noting that following the massive dip at the start of the pandemic, the shape of both curves is following last years – another sign of some return to normalcy in the market.
National vs. Regional Data
One quick note on the data we’ve been reviewing. Because we are a national SaaS company, we tend to focus in on the national housing data, but I know it’s not always enough to just look at the national data, often it’s more pressing to pay close attention to the regional data on listings, pricing and solds. Mike DelPrete has created The Real Estate Market Tracker so you can do a deeper analysis of your regional data. I’m a big fan of Mike’s work – he’s worth following for his insights and analysis.
Leading Indicator: Agent Activity Remains Strong
Everything I’ve shown you in the paragraphs above are lagging indicators, in other words, stuff that’s already happened. It’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at lagging indicators like these and trying to predict the future, but that’s a mistake. Instead, we need to find leading indicators – activities that precede and lead to the outcomes shown above.
For us at MoxiWorks, the leading indicator we look at most closely is agent activity in our products. Our technology has always been about sphere-centricity, helping agents be good with the people they already know and to help them stay in flow with their sphere of influence. In spite of the industry’s obsession with leads, the reality is that the agents that command the vast majority of the transactions have their sphere of influence to thank as their primary source of business. Therefore, when agents use our CRM, presentation tool, and other products to interact with their sphere of influence, it’s a very accurate predictor of future business.
One of the best of these leading indicators for us comes from MoxiPresent, MoxiWorks’ presentation product. While it’s a general-purpose tool for presenting to consumers in many different ways, a primary use is for presenting seller presentations, or CMAs. Our historical analysis of this data shows that it’s a great predictor of new listing inventory 60 days from when the listing presentation is delivered to the homeowner.
At the end of June, the volume of MoxiPresent listing presentations created is almost the same as last year. So, while total inventory will take a while to even out, we’ve historically been able to predict the highs and lows of future transactions based on the number of MoxiPresent presentations being created. As you can see in the pink line in the chart below, seller presentations have recovered to last year’s levels after a severe dip at the beginning of the pandemic. This implies that there will be a rebound in new listing inventory in the coming 60 days – a great sign that there’s some relief for the tight inventory situation coming soon.
Additionally, when we look at product usage across all of our products year over year almost everything is increasing week over week and year over year even as we embark on month four of this global pandemic and uncertainty. All positive signs.
Where we go from here
When this all started at the beginning of March, we shared the three principles we planned to live by which were to: be optimistic, be supportive, be productive.
We’ve seen so much creativity, ingenuity, and positivity from the real estate industry and we are looking forward to seeing how the industry continues to hold steady, push forward and help our economy recovery in the months to come.
By Tiana Baur
Moxi Insights is a prospect tool sitting in your CRM that instantly supplies you with helpful information and prompts agents when to take action. With the help of this aggregated data, it’s easy to know when people are getting ready to sell and how to best conquer your precious sphere.
We’ve even made a list of 100 ways to use public data to better market to your sphere! Here’s a sneak peek at the first 20:
1. Send investment opportunities to investors.
2. Invite all your sports fans to a night out at the ballpark. Buy ’em a ticket, a beer and a hotdog.
3. Send all the highly-likely-to-sell people your “How to list your home” guide. Moxi Insights lets you know when someone is highly-likely-to-sell.
4. Send about to be empty nesters your “Downsizing tips from the pros” guide. Moxi Insights informs you when people are probably thinking of downsizing.
5. Send invitations to the local gallery walk night to all the art fans. Do a meetup with them. Offer to buy them a glass of vino.
6. Got a boat and a bunch of boating fans? Invite them to a meet up on the lake. Have everyone tie up together and do a barbeque on your boat.
7. Quickly and easily learn more info about the internet leads you receive.
8. Learn the interests of your client or almost-client to buy them the perfect “thank you”, “happy birthday”, or closing gift.
9. Got a bunch of literature fans? Invite ’em to a local bookstore with a cafe and offer to buy ’em coffee and a scone.
10. If anyone has a Moxi Insights badge, send an unsolicited CMA, a handwritten note, text or Facebook message them for a coffee date just to chat and catch up. Spend extra time with them – not necessarily talking about anything on the Insights report, but reconnecting with them at the perfect time.
11. Save some money by taking them to a minor-league game (which are typically very fun and engaging BTW).
12. Invite them to join your team for charitable runs, walks, etc.
13. Do they have children? Get them tickets to the state fair
14. A weekend of free dog boarding at a reputable place
15. Invite car lovers to a car show/new car unveiling
16. If they’re into a healthly lifestyle, get them a free month at the local gym
17. Host an outdoor movie night for those film lovers
18. Those that enjoy international travel, get them a customized passport holder with their name on it and your logo
19. Impress your seller by incorporating information from Moxi Insights to impress your seller on how you’re going to market their home to your sphere
20. Better relate to ALL of your clients with new found information you wouldn’t necessarily know otherwise
Download the full eBook here & find out 100 ways to segment, market, and master your sphere!
Win more client listings.
Now that I have your attention, here is a simple fact: you already have everything you need to win more client listings – immediately. How you are using it, however, is the question.
The key to winning more listings lies in your current database of contacts. Seriously. Here is how to do it.
1.) Get Contacts in the CRM
Yes, you hate it, I get it. However, unless you do this you will never be able to make the magic happen (more on this later.) Collect all your notepads, napkins, people on your phone, and your pirate treasure map, and get them into your CRM.
Key contact info that matters most:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Email Address or Phone
- Address (if available)
Don’t want to do this yourself? Hire a hungry college student from the local community college then – just get them into the system (mandatory to make the magic happen.)
2.) Categorize Your Contacts
Break up your contacts into three groups over, say, over the course of a 10-year period:
- “New” Known for 0 – 3 years
- “Establish” Known for 4 – 6 years
- “Need to Verify” Known for 7+ years
Now that you have people in these buckets, chances are they likely have some things in common with one another. Some are ready to upgrade to a bigger home, downgrade their home, etc. These are good things.
Now, here comes the magic.
3.) Hit the Button: The Moxi Insights Button
Yes, there is a catch, but a worthy one. To see the magic, you need the wand – enter Moxi Insights.
Moxi Insights helps you to win more client listings by showing you 30+ indicators that can signal a person’s likeliness to list.
I can see the eye roll now (I am secretly watching you) and the exasperated reaction… I know, it is like I am Billy Mays trying to tell you about the ShamWow. However, here’s the difference: Moxi Insights really does works.
Some of the potential listing indicators we include for determining client readiness:
- Family demographics like number of children and their ages
- Educational history
- Personal interest categories such as vehicles, charitable work, sports, fashion
- Financial health and stability
Clients Want Trust in an Agent
Fact: 70% of consumers want to work with and do repeat business with the first agent they meet future. If you can connect on a personal level with those clients and others like them, the probability of you winning their listing(s) increase exponentially. Knowing what matters to clients, who they are, and relatability is key to earning their trust.
Become a More Effective Marketer and Grow Client Relations
Moxi Insights can be leveraged in a variety of ways for you to show marketing savvy and grow relationships with clients. Here are five examples of how to become a more effective real estate marketer and grow cleitn relations that you can try using in your own market.
1.) The Birthday
If you have a Moxi Insights subscription, you have instant access to a contact’s birth date. Send them a birthday greeting, say, a $25 gift card for Loop & Tie to have them pick from a range of client-gifting options to remember their special day. Simple acts like this are both personalized and memorable. Well played, you.
2.) The Investor
With Moxi Insights, one of the things you can get client exposure into is financial stability. Insights can help you to identify contacts (or five) that have some promising indicators of pursuing rental or investment properties. Send these folks relevant information about properties in their area that appear to be in line with their financial portfolios. Keeping top-of-mind is crucial and shows sincerity.
3.) The Tailgate
Football season is right around the corner! Use Moxi Insights to find all the sports fans in your database and throw a Week 1 tailgate or BBQ to usher in the return of the football season. Not only does this give you a chance to connect with people you already know, but it also gives you a chance to meet friends of your clients (aka new leads). Make it an open invite and network with new folks during the festivities.
4.) Time to Upgrade
Maybe you sold Bob (we will call him Bob) and his wife their first starter home several years ago. A cute couple like that, chances are good their family has grown, and they might be in the market to upgrade. Moxi Insights incorporates countless ways to show that Bob is ready for that new house:
- Number of children in the house hold
- Estimate ranges
- A new baby on the way
Public records data and in-product badges help you to easily see that, yes, Bob is indeed ready to upgrade to a new home. Now you can cater your listing presentation for relevant homes ahead of engaging with Bob. Now, not only do you show personal interest, but you also look sophisticated and in-tune with their needs.
5.) The Downgrade
Now, let’s take a look at Debby. You sold Debby a home 10+ years ago. At the time, Debby had two teenagers heading off to college. Moxi Insights can show you where those kids are now. With the kids out of the nest, Debby and her husband are ready for the next chapter: retirement and a downgrade. Another opportunity to get ahead of the competition and flex your client prowess.
Are you ready to start winning more listings and beat out the competition? Click here to learn more about Moxi Insights.