I had one of my best agents come to me a couple years ago and she said, "Jim, I got a listing that's priced right. And we're getting showings. But we're not selling the property."
And I said okay, let's go take a look at it. So I made an appointment with her and we went up and looked at the property. And immediately when I pulled up, I knew what the problem was. The property had a steep driveway. And I told her I bet a lot of people were commenting on the driveway. And she said, "Yes, true. We're getting a lot of negative comments on the driveway. And I think that's really the biggest reason why people aren't, you know, looking at the house. Or looking at the house, but then rejecting it."
So we went in and explained to the sellers that they can have the best price property in the world. And actually, have the best house in the world, but that driveway could be the stumbling block for getting it sold.
So I'm gonna give you a...
What is the meaning of measuring market intensity and why does it matter?
Market intensity is an interesting way to look at the market. I was given this idea by my friend, Lennox Scott. So when we look at market intensity, the way we measure it is by how fast listings are going pending the first 30 days they hit the market. So if we go back in time and look a year ago in a lot of markets across the country, when you look at how many listings were going pending in the first 30 days, it was like 80%, 85%, 90% of listings were going pending at that point.
Fast forward to today: What's that market intensity reading? I'll tell you what mine is. For the last two weeks, in my local market that number is 60%. 60% of listings are going pending in the first 30 days.
It's still a high number. It's a lot, but it's not 80%. It's not 85%.
So that market intensity comes down a few notches, and that's the conversation we need to be...
New study out from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that ARM demand has reached a 14-year high.
And now what's an ARM?
An ARM is an adjustable rate mortgage.
A lot of you that have entered the business over the last 10 years may have never used an ARM.
They became almost invisible for many, many years. Why? Because we've had the lowest interest rates in history. No one would bother doing an ARM. But over the last quarter, just to here in 2022 ARMs have gone up to a 14-year high.
So an ARM is an adjustable rate mortgage. Generally, it's set interest rate for the first 3, 5, 7 years. And then it resets based on the current rates of that time. There's a cap on it. Every loan's a little bit different, but here's some examples of what that looks like:
Right now, as I'm talking to you today...
The current interest rates are about 5.5% while the ARM rate is about 4.5%. So people are getting about a 1% discount for going into an ARM...
Hey guys, can you think of an investment that is safe, stable, and secure in today's environment?
We know the stock market's crashing.
We know the crypto market crashed.
And we know other market assets are crashing right now.
So is there an investment out there that people can really trust?
The answer is yes.
And Americans already know this:
The most recent study shows that for the last eight years straight Americans trust real estate more than any other asset class.
Here's the question mark I have for you:
Are you out there beating this drum? Are you the evangelist about real estate to your own clients and talking to them about the fact fact that they need to diversify their portfolios, you know, rebalance their assets, and get some of that money over into residential real estate?
One of the safest, most stable, secure investments they could possibly make.
Now, how do we know that?
Well, all markets are based on supply and...
One conversation that can come up as you're out there taking listings is, of course, centered on commissions.
And here's a great script to help your sellers look at the commission, not just cost, but as a marketing incentive to encourage showings and to encourage more offers.
So the script kind of goes like this:
"Hey, Mr. And Mrs. Seller, one thing I wanna talk to you about is the commissions that we charge. Now, I charge a listing marketing fee of X [fill in the blank, whatever you're charging]. And all we have to decide now is what we're gonna pay the buyer's agent. Now there's a little secret sauce here that a lot of people don't understand. Which is, that marketing fee that we're paying to the buyer's agent to bring that buyer in can actually incentivize them to show your home.
"Let me show you an example:
"I did a commission survey in your market area where your home is. I went out about a mile two miles, and I looked at every listing that...
Hey guys, we are still in a low supply market. It's the lowest supply real estate market we've ever seen.
Despite the marketing changes and interest rates rising and the market dynamics kind of influx, still low supply and high demand.
So based on that, how can we go out there and still crush it in the market? How can we thrive despite the market conditions starting to shift under our feet?
One strategy is use the "Pocket Listing Strategy."
It's one of my favorite strategies and it's totally underused. Very few people do it.
Here's the concept:
One in seven homeowners today has raised their hand and said they're interested in selling the next three years. That's 15% of the population.
Drive through any neighborhood, and one of every seven homes you drive by is thinking about selling in the next three years.
There's a massive pent up seller demand, but how do you turn the key to unlock it?
Well, a large group of those people may not be...
We're coming into spring. And what do you see during spring? You see a lot of garage sales and estate sales as you're driving around through neighborhoods.
When you see that this should be a red flag opportunity for you. Because what you could do is circle back, just write down the address and write a little note. Or if you have the REDX, a system like that, you could find their phone number or their email address, and you could just send a message over. That's something like this:
"Hey, as a local REALTOR, I noticed you had a recent garage sale or estate sale. I hope it was super successful. Quick question: Are you considering a housing change? Many people who conduct a sale are preparing to relocate or sell the home, which is the reason for my question. Also my office as several buyers interested in the neighborhood. So if you'd consider an offer in your home, I'd love to have a chance to chat at your earliest convenience."
How are you incubating leads once you've captured them? One of the best strategies you can have is having an email marketing campaign.
What a lot of the top producers in the country do is they use Constant Contact or Mailchimp.com and these are systems that are super easy, point and click, that you can build an email newsletter and send out. Some people use BombBomb if they wanna do a video version of it.
But all of these are email related. Now, why wouldn't they just do social media where it seems like all the action is well?
Remember when you do a social media post, that's only gonna be in front of maybe 2 to 4% of your audience.
You're not gonna have a hundred percent of your audience receiving the message. But with the email marketing, literally a hundred percent of your audience receives your message.
So that's a huge advantage, right? And that's something that we can use.
Now not of 'em are gonna open it, but certainly they're gonna...
What are the five digital tools that buyers want most from us as real estate professionals?
I'm gonna give 'em to you right now:
1. A 3D virtual tour of the homes they're looking at online
There's an interesting study recently by NAR that shows that the average buyer today looks at eight homes over eight weeks before they make a buying decision. But of the eight homes, they look at three of them virtually. And in their minds, they consider that to be that they've seen the house. So three virtual showings kind of crazy, right? I'm gonna talk about virtual showings a little bit more in just a second.
But in order to do that virtual showing, if I'm the listing agent, what do I need to have? I need to do that Matterport tour. I need to do that similar or tour in some form or fashion so people can really feel like they came through the house.
2. A digital floor plan
If you're selling new construction especially. Give them that floor...
My wife and I had something exciting happen: We downsized! We moved out of our big house into a much smaller house because three outta four of our kids are out of the house and we want to travel some more.
We're like a lot of people in our generation. We're in that mindset of scaling down. But what's interesting is over the years, in our big house, we received a lot of marketing messages from REALTORS and the marketing messages always focused mostly on the agent getting a listing. For instance, the marketing messages would be a postcard, a door hanger, etc. and it would say something like this:
"Are you considering selling? Call me."
"Would you like to know what your home is worth? Call me."
"I have a buyer who may be interested in your home. Call me."
Now, what are all those marketing messages center on? The agent getting your listing. And I get it. I've been guilty of the same thing.
But what if we changed tactics and we focused on...
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