AMAZON IS COMING TO REAL ESTATE!
The news that Amazon is teaming up with Realogy is MASSIVE. The article is about how the partnership will be used to generate quality leads (good for Realogy) and further Amazon’s “house cred” with new buyers. In addition to this project, Amazon has been pushing to get Alexa built into new homes and developments. Both articles highlight how evolving technology continues to transform every aspect of business and life. Remember when getting Bluetooth in your car was a luxury? The same trend is happening with homes and the home buying process. As brokers, it’s our job to adjust and use all this new tech both to sell homes and to run our businesses.
SO PEOPLE NOW THINK OWNING A HOME MIGHT NOT BE A GOOD WAY TO BUILD WEALTH. REALLY?
While many people still believe that real estate is a good investment, this article presents pretty convincing evidence to the contrary. My take? I think lot of people assume they can buy any property, hold it for a few years, and then sell it on for a nice profit. As brokers, we know that isn’t how it works. There are so many other factors that go into it. BUT that doesn’t mean real estate is a bad investment. It just means that, like individual stocks, some properties will give you more return than others and timing is everything.
It also means that you have to know what your buyer wants to get out of the house. If an investor wants a return on the property, know which properties will give that to them and how they can make it happen. If new parents want to prioritize a school district or a cul-de-sac over everything else, know that lifestyle over ROI is perfectly fine and explain it in a way that makes your clients comfortable with their choice. It is our responsibility to keep our buyers as informed as possible so that they can make the decision that best fits their goals. Know your buyers. Know your market.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR MARKET IS TRENDING DOWN?
The above graphic shows a downward trend in Manhattan home prices that began in 2014 (which happens to be the year I bought my place in Hudson Square, funny enough). Although many of you don’t sell in Manhattan, the point I wanted to make applies to all of you. The way you adapt to a downward trend in a specific market is by diversifying. My team has adapted by expanding into places like Brooklyn, Long Island City, and New Jersey. It’s a little like gambling. You can ride the hot hand for a while but when you start losing it might be time move on to something else to cover yourself.
THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A NEW TAX TO DRIVE URGENCY
Here’s another NYC-based article with a broad takeaway. A new progressive tax on homes over $1 million was set to take effect in July. What happened? I closed more deals in June than I ever did in any month in my entire career. I think we hit $3 million in GCI.
What does this mean for you? It means that you have be aware of every single thing that can impact buyer urgency and then make your buyers aware of those things to help get them over the line. Be annoying if you have to. Bring it up with them on emails and over the phone. The mansion tax meant that I could create the sense of a good deal and good value just by informing my clients that if they didn’t close soon they’d be on the hook for more money. There’s nothing buyers love more than getting a good deal.
PETS ARE OKAY. BABIES ARE BETTER.
This article on staging was a quick, fun read and made some good points. I agree with most of them, but not so much with others. Before photos are fine but they don’t always work. The first impression is usually the best impression, so you don’t want the first impression to be anything other than your best. Think of staging like makeup. You wouldn’t show up to dinner all done up and then pull out a photo of what you looked like when you were getting ready, would you? As for having pets in photos, I’m of the opinion that it’s best to leave them out. It’s something I’ve tried in the past but I’ve lost buyers because of it. Some people are not dog people, or cat people, or any-kind-of-animal people. Some people have allergies and worry that there’s now fur on all of the furniture and all over the floors. Putting a baby in the photos for a two bedroom home, though? Consider the place sold.
You probably know this already, but everyone should stage if they can. It helps buyers get a feel for the different spaces and gets them thinking about how they would live there.