By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator & Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally Fall. That means we can spend more time focusing on hitting our Q4 goals and less time sitting in our own sweat – hooray! September was chalk-full of events and news stories that impacted the real estate industry, so without further ado, here are the top five stories to know:
1. RISMedia’s 2018 Real Estate CEO Exchange
A couple key quotes from Boomsma via RISMedia:
“There are 350 languages spoken in the U.S., and 22 percent of the country now speaks something other than English at home,” added Boomsma. “We need to be thinking about inclusivity, and be inclusive of all groups,” citing the growing influence of the Asian American, Hispanic and LGBTQ segments.
“The world, in my opinion, is so filled with noise,” said Boomsma. “I think part of our job is to provide a certain amount of peace. Being gracious is something that’s been overlooked, and I think it’s something we have an opportunity as leaders to instill in our organizations. Gracious people are kind and their behavior is characterized by tact. Graciousness may be superficial, but sometimes what’s on the surface is good enough.”
Paul – thank you.
2. “Hurricane Florence: 42 Deaths, Housing Shortages and Increasing Flooding Dangers”
As we all know, Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas and wreaked havoc on the entire region. Over 42 people lost their lives to the hurricane. There has been over $22 billion in damage done. RISMedia said that, “According to realtor.com, the hurricane could create a months-long stall in home sales and construction.” If you would like to donate to The South Carolina REALTORS® Foundation for disaster relief efforts, please do so here.
3. “Zillow breaks into lead referral business”
Inman News says that Zillow is “testing a new referral service in Florida that could shake up how it does business, and for the first time in the company’s history, earn a piece of the real estate commission pie.” No word on how big that piece will be, but the program will fall under their Premier Broker lead-gen umbrella.
4. “Compass rolls out ‘Coming Soon’ pre-marketing blitz nationwide”
“Compass Coming Soon” allows agents to market their properties before they are listed on the MLS. Some are saying this is shady, others are saying that this is by no means in the same category as whisper listings, especially since they don’t appear to anyone and everyone on the brokerage’s site. Makes sense to us.
According to Inman News, “Indeed, early or exclusive listings are extremely common, particularly among high-end clients who expect to know about a property before it hits the market. Some of the properties currently listed in Compass’ off-market category include a $3.95 million mountain villa in Aspen and a $5.3 million home in the Hamptons.” We’ll let you be the judge.
5. “Hamptons agent serenades buyers with original country song about $2M property”
Capping off this month’s #ICYMI is a story that should give you a bit of laugh. Apparently when life gives you lemons – and a great voice – you write a country song about your listing. Why not, right? After watching that video it’s clear this Douglas Elliman agent, Telly Karoussos, is definitely not afraid to break out the guitar and do something quirky to sell a home. While the Hamptons home has gotten its moment in the spotlight, the listing is still on the market with plenty (too many) photos of said guitar with it.
What do you think October has in store for us? I have a feeling some people out there will make headlines for questionable Halloween costume choices. Which reminds me, take a moment to think before you decide to wear costumes to work! If even a teeny tiny part of you is thinking, “hmm don’t know if this is appropriate,” then it’s not appropriate. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t give us more to write about!
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for another #ICYMI!
By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator & Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Summer is coming to an end and I think most of us are excited for it to cool down (but also for the holidays, sweaters, and an excuse to go to bed a little bit earlier). August was another exciting month for all of us at MoxiWorks and for the industry as a whole. So as per usual, we wanted to sort through the weeds and deliver the most notable headline summaries for this month.
Here are the top five real estate news stories to know:
1. “Talk of the inventory drought easing up”
Pop a bottle of bubbly because apparently there’s some easing up on inventory shortages. However, on the unfortunate side of things, it’s mostly in the higher-priced tier of homes. According to RISMedia, “In July, the inventory of listings priced $350,000-plus was up 5.7 percent but inverted in the lower segment—dropping 15.6 percent at $200,000 and under. Inventory in the $200,000-$350,000 range slipped 0.6 percent.” Plus, they said that, “inventory is down 4 percent year-over-year, which is half the average 8 percent observed in the past year, and inventory in 16 of the largest markets has risen year-over-year.” That’s some good news.
2. “KW to launch virtual brokerages for expansion business owners”
Keller Williams is diving into virtual brokerages. When was this decided you ask? Keller Williams had a Mega Camp aka business retreat and announced it there. According to Inman, the “new business model will be available to 166 expansion businesses, representing 509 locations and 3,433 real estate agents.” Alright, alright, alright.
3. “NAHB: Affordability Hits Lowest in 10 Years”
In less thrilling news, things are getting seriously expensive and many of us can’t afford to hop into the housing market just yet. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, affordability has hit its lowest in 10 years. And only “57 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were affordable based on income, down from roughly 62 percent in the first quarter.” #WhyTho
The most affordable major metro in the second quarter, based on income and local median price was Syracuse, New York.
4. “Deadly California Wildfires Claim Lives and Real Estate”
On a serious note, our heart goes out to all those in California who have had to deal with the wrath of the many fires burning, destroying, and devastating communities across the State. Just one fire in California alone burned “160,049 acres across Shasta and Trinity counties (at press time), as well as destroyed over 1,000 homes, 24 commercial buildings and 500 other structures.” To all the insanely brave firefighters out there, we salute you and thank you.
5. “Compass to acquire Pacific Union in blockbuster deal”
P.S. In other random real estate news, there’s a Men of Real Estate shirtless swimsuit calendar featuring Keller Williams agents in Chicago. Did not see that one coming.
Phew – what a month. Any guesses for the biggest headlines in September? Stay tuned for another #ICYMI!
By Tiana Baur
The next time you purchase a car, it very well might be a self-driving one. It’s a headline our eyes now only glance at because we’ve seen it so many times and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to fruition. We’re not only okay with that technology, we’re jazzed about it. We’ll all be able to work, read, and relax during our commutes and trust that we’ll get to our destination timely and in one piece. There’s foreshadowing of another technology too. One that would not only upset our industry, but would tear it to pieces, and that’s the tease of robots as real estate agents. It’s a viable conjecture, especially given how technology is now paving the way for the future of our industry. The problem is, the home buying journey has a very different barrier to trust and breaking down that wall will be close to impossible.
People got their heads out of the sand (some didn’t) and we’ve seen rapid change in the past couple of years. VR (virtual reality) tours are a “thing” homebuyers now expect when they’re house hunting. You can even pay your rent with bitcoin (crazy, right?). The one constant that our industry has always had, though, is that homebuyers choose an agent. That agent happens to be in the form of a human. And that will never change. The CEO of Compass even agrees with that.
Sure, some will be interested in a robot agent. We imagine Elon Musk himself would be eager to try out a robot instead of a human agent for his next transaction. The problem is, most of us are not Elon Musk. We have a comfort zone and although we step out of it more often than before, we stick to it when it comes to the biggest financial transaction we do in our entire lifetime. Robots may charge two percent commission instead of the typical five or six, but guess what? Consumers don’t care. Or, they don’t care enough to risk it. If they cared enough about that five or six percent, they’d be listing their homes by themselves or using Instant Offers (which, I’ve never heard of an actual situation where someone did).
Here’s why people choose people:
Extremely. Real estate agents serve as a sounding board and a therapist just as much as they do a trusted advisor. People want someone who will answer phone calls at midnight when the home seller is crying and stressed because something unforeseen went wrong last minute during the transaction. They want someone to send a bottle of champagne to congratulate them on their great home sale with a heartfelt note because they got through it together as a team. Robots don’t promise to hold their hand from the very beginning, all the way until they’ve moved and settled into their new home.
Buyers and sellers want to sit across from someone in a coffee shop and talk face-to-face. They want something tangible. They want to shake someone’s hand and know that person actually cares about them and their family and that they have feelings and blood running in their veins like they do theirs. Because that is how emotional a home transaction is.
First time buyers all the way through home buying veterans use agents. Why? Because there is always a new situation, a new question, a new issue that pops up that they haven’t seen or dealt with before. Maybe it’s an issue with the mortgage company or maybe there was an issue with escrow. Maybe you just want some advice on what color to paint your living room before the house is listed. Whatever it is, the agent is prepared to handle it.
Let’s back up. AI probably has a place in real estate when it comes to scheduling, answering simple questions, etc. But it will never, ever replace the human connection that is found between a trusted advisor and their beloved clients.
By Tiana Baur
eXp Realty is an agent-owned cloud brokerage. It is quoted as one of the “most innovative real estate companies in the world” by Inman News. At eXp, there are no desk fees, no royalty fees, and agents get to keep somewhere around 80-100% of their commissions. What’s more is they offer every single agent the opportunity to buy into the business and become a shareholder. A “we’re in it together” mentality, surely leaning towards trying to make traditional brokerages look bad. Never heard of them? They’re kind of a big deal. They’re listing agents for properties like these, so you can bet their agents know what they’re doing.
And they’re probably plucking some of your agents (or trying to).
eXp Realty is growing – and fast. Currently in 46 states across the country, they are further proof that clouds are winning. The company increased the number of agents and brokers on the eXp Realty platform by 171 percent to 6,511 agents in 2017, compared to their 2,401 agents in 2016. A 171 percent increase year over year is impressive and it’s alarming. How are traditional brokerages meant to combat this?
Time to get a cloud.
A cloud, or an “open platform” is what it takes to get on the same level as eXp and other cloud brokerages alike. An open platform uses the cloud to connect all of your brokerage systems. This means saying goodbye to tool fatigue and no freedom to change. With an open platform, you get to choose whichever tools you want and they work together – seamlessly, with one sign-in. What’s more is you can change the tools whenever you please, no pain involved. Think of it like a power strip where you can plug-and-play the tools and services you want, and unplug tools and services you aren’t happy with anymore. It’s simple, it’s the future, it’s what you need for your brokerage technology so you don’t end up with a bunch of tangled cords.
“Stop talking to me about clouds.”
You’re tired of hearing the term “cloud” and “brokerage platform,” we get it. While you’re annoyed with the technology industry and having to change and “disrupt” your brokerage, the rest of the world is wondering why the real estate industry is so incredibly far behind. Technology adoption in the industry has historically been depressingly slow, and there is no “tortoise and the hare” analogy that works here because the slow-to-adopt brokerages certainly have not won the race. In fact, many of them have shriveled up and died or are currently clinging on for dear life, losing their agents to cloud brokerages like Compass, eXp, and Keller Williams with the Keller Cloud.
“My brokerage is fine. It’s been fine the last 30 years and it will be fine the next 30.” Answer: We’ll look you up someday in the archaeology archives.