Articles

An Agent's 2022 Marketing Guide (Free Download)
Planning your 2022 goals and overarching marketing strategy can feel like daunting work, but it's a crucial part of running a successful real estate business. Every year, we encourage the brokers, agents and teams with whom we work to set aside a block of time to focus on defining their "why" for the coming year, and then developing an actionable plan to crush goals, establish good habits, and focus on what's truly important to grow professionally (and personally). The last few years have been a struggle for many, and have forever changed the landscape of how we do business. A strong online presence has become more valuable than ever before, but it's easy to get lost in the latest "gadgets" and lose focus of why we spend time marketing our business in the first place. At its most basic, the purpose of marketing is to reach your target audience and communicate the benefits of your product or service in order to acquire, nurture and grow your customer base. Yet time and time again, we see professionals creating online content that does anything BUT that and then become frustrated with the lack of response, engagement and growth. So, the marketing minds at Elm Street have created a quick, down-n-dirty 2022 Marketing Guide to help real estate professionals focus on what's truly important with their marketing initiatives. [ DOWNLOAD GUIDE NOW ] In this guide, real estate professionals can expect ACTIONABLE items around such topics as: IDX websites Improving SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Emails (with a focus on automation and tracking the important stuff) Blogging and creating good content Video (don't be scared—the camera loves you being yourself!) Pay-per-click advertising In-person marketing (making the most of the moment) Inviting referrals (people love you—leverage that!) And more! [ DOWNLOAD GUIDE NOW ] Use this guide as a baseline check to make sure that you have the foundational elements in place to kickstart your 2022 marketing—and then build upon it! Remember, your audience is spending a lot of time online (more than ever before), and making sure that you are creating meaningful, relevant conversations across your marketing channels is a MUST. Here are a few other quick resources for you if you are looking for help with your online marketing: MORE Free Marketing Guides Check out all of the free guides that are available from Elm Street to dig deep into the topics you need help with the most. Receive Daily Marketing Tips Direct to Your Inbox Start your day with a dose of inspiration. Subscribe for your free tips today! Schedule a 15-minute Online Marketing Review Tap into the success coaches at Elm Street to look at what you are doing well, what needs improvement, and how we can help.
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Building a 'Rinse-Repeat' Real Estate Business
Real estate is all about being in the moment -- being in the right place at the right time.  As you're focused on landing that next big win, your business can easily become fragmented. However, the best real estate businesses are able to establish an organized strategy for generating, engaging, and converting leads. This is achieved by repeating productive actions that push a business forward, ensuring success in both the "right now" moment and the long-term future. Ultimately, this sets an organization up for a continual stream of business. Optimizing your sales funnel through proper lead generation, engagement, and follow up: Builds brand recognition and a loyal customer base Improves the experience your clients have from first impression to closing Opens the door to opportunities for repeat business Invites referrals from past clients If you're interested in accessing these benefits, the first step is to create a seamless operations protocol for communicating with — and converting — your leads. Here are strategies for building consistency and establishing a "rinse and repeat" model for sustainable success. #1. Understand the Lead Funnel (and Work It Appropriately) How well are you working with your lead funnel? If you're only investing attention and outreach into the leads in your database that are conversion-ready, you're missing out on the chance to warm up colder leads. One of the best ways to keep your sales funnel running smoothly is to have a strategy in place to nurture the leads that are further out from buying. Even if a lead is not ready for business, you can become a pillar of support by sharing valuable information and relevant real estate advice. By doing so, you'll be building trust and staying top-of-mind — so that when the lead is ready to buy, they will choose you instead of a competitor. Pro Tip: Stay in touch with your leads by adding them to your email marketing campaign. If you tag your leads based on how far along they are on the conversion timeline, you'll be able to send targeted outreach emails for buyers in their position. Real estate teams who tag all of their cold and lukewarm leads will be able to curate bulk emails to engage buyers until they're hot. 8 Types of Content to Send Cold and Lukewarm Leads: Market reports Home buying guides Mortgage preparation packets Glossary of real estate terms Tips to prepare for a stress-free move Strategies for navigating a buyer or seller market Things to do in your community Small business shoutouts #2. Leverage Automated Marketing To save time, automate your email marketing outreach. Working with automated email campaigns allows agents to work closely with their current clients while still warming up their colder leads. This builds a cycle of momentum that can prevent "dry seasons" in your business — as deals close, other leads convert into business. BoomTown's SmartDrip reimagines traditional email marketing campaigns by: Creating more personable messages Optimizing email open rates Eliminating awkward experiences Grading effectiveness of the campaign Creating a "cheat sheet" for success based on your community of leads SmartDrip is efficient, allowing agents to engage their leads even if they're on vacation!  BoomTown's eAlerts introduce added value to your buyer leads by sharing instant updates anytime pertinent changes are made to listing data based on their customized search criteria. Your leads will receive emails on your behalf, alerting them to the most current listing updates relevant to their home search. This gives your clients a competitive advantage over other buyers in the market! #3. Train Your Team to Seamlessly Repeat the Process One of the biggest challenges to developing a true "rinse and repeat" real estate business can be adopting the new processes and technologies required to keep the flow going. Adopting new technologies and committing time to their use is the only way to activate the full potential of the tools you're investing in. As you're building the model that will result in noteworthy wins, make sure that you're training your team members and spending time working with the assistance teams from your new tools. The more your team masters the technology, the more seamlessly it can be integrated into your real estate workflow to generate the best results. Pro Tip: When it comes to engaging with leads and reaching out to your database contacts, consistency is the key to success. Agents and teams need to commit the time and effort required to warm up new leads until they're ready to convert, as well as stay in contact with past clients to gain repeat business and referrals. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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10 Ways to Pump up Your Prospecting Pipeline
New year, new you! And a new chance to increase lead generation to build up your business. After referrals and repeats, prospecting is the most effective way of generating leads and turning those leads into prospects. It's not necessarily easy: it takes patience, persistence and proficiency. These ten tips from RPR (Realtors Property Resource) will help you get started, stay on track and prospect like a pro in 2022. 1. Get your hands on RPR's prospecting eBook There are many ways to go about prospecting. You can create geographic farms, implement drip email campaigns, leverage your social media sphere, knock on doors, use targeted direct mail, and the list goes on. To get some ideas on where to start and for step-by-step instructions on how to do it, make sure to download How to Farm and Prospect for New Clients. This exclusive REALTOR® download is yours for the taking and will show you how to identify and market yourself to potential new clients. 2. Make prospecting a priority and a daily task Prospecting is not a "set it and forget it" method. Yes, you can automate email sends and replies, implement auto dialing systems, and even use AI through a digital CRM. And each one of those examples can be a successful tactic. But to really prime the prospect pipeline, you need to be consistent and constant in your attention and your action. Make it a priority by putting a specific task or general goal into your daily, weekly and monthly calendar. (Those little e-notifications can be annoying, but they can also be the perfect nudge!) Carve out time, each day or week, for prospecting activities such as networking, community outreach, blog posts, social posts and shares, phone calls, emails, using RPR maps to search for homeowners that are ripe to sell, touch base with friends, family and previous clients, and any other strategy you see fit. The main point is to stick to it and make it a new habit. 3. Embrace your inner data nerd It's no secret that real estate numbers are big. It's most likely the biggest financial transaction your client will experience in their life. With this many zeroes and commas involved, it's no wonder why consumers relish property data. RPR (Realtors Property Resource) offers REALTORS® vast amounts of property data in one central hub. You have exclusive access to property reports, maps and tools that make RPR an indispensable asset. By exploring and learning more about RPR, you'll find that you can easily package up data and offer it to potential clients. In fact, they want it! Charts, graphs, stats and info from expert sources is something home buyers and sellers crave. And if you put it out there in an easy to digest format, you will get reactions and responses. 4. Communicate market activity and home values The most basic way to get your name and face in front of potential new clients is to share local market statistics, and in some cases, specific home sales data. For example, if you have a neighborhood or community Facebook page, make sure you regularly post home sales activity for that area. Doing this once or twice a month gives homeowners an idea of what their home is worth, and how "hot" the local market is. While not everyone is in the position to buy or sell, when they do think about it, chances are they'll remember where they get their information from and the name associated with it. And if you think you have a really hot prospect, don't hesitate to send them an RPR property report on THEIR home. Run a modified Seller's Report by choosing what pages and info you want to include, and then customize it with your info and a personal message. Print it, then mail it or drop it off and use it as a conversation starter. Homeowners have been known to keep these around for years! 5. Take advantage of RPR Mailing Labels Mailing labels or mailing lists can play a crucial role in prospecting outreach in competitive markets. REALTORS® can create them or export owner information from RPR search results. And you can create up to 2,000 each month for free! These ready-to-print mailing labels are perfect for farming, prospecting or direct mail marketing within custom geographies: Conduct an area search, then use filters to narrow it down or use a previously saved area, such as a farm area Sort your results using the "List View" or from the "Map View," and click "Mailing Labels" once you have the right number of addresses A pop up window appears; then choose your label type or a CSV file Hit "print" and remember that you have 2,000 EACH MONTH to use Watch this one-minute video to see all of the above in action or follow these step-by-step instructions. 6. Make 12-24 prospecting touchpoints throughout the year A prospecting campaign can take some time to build; it doesn't happen overnight. Frequency, or how many times a target is exposed to your message, is a long play. Once you've identified a target, whether it's one single address or an entire geographical area, you've got to pepper that contact with your marketing message. One to two times per month is a good pattern. You don't want to overload them, and you also don't want to fall off their radar. That means don't send one postcard once a month and call it a day. Start with a postcard that calls out recent market activity. Then, follow up two weeks later with an email, and ask about whether they saw the postcard or if they have any questions. Then call, drop off a flyer, knock on a door, email a personal video, send another direct mail piece, send a text or Facebook message, etc. It's not called a marketing mix for nothing! Mix up your contacts and touch points, and change up your content to keep things fresh. Another great tip is to "read the room." If they complain that you're sending too much or too often, back off and deliver quarterly. 7. Be a ninja nurturer to past clients This article from Homes.com offers up several ways for agents to stealthily keep tabs on their former customers in an effort to drum up leads and listings. Unlike targeting areas or owners you have no relationship with (yet!), the basic premise is to maintain and foster relationships you do have. For example, a phone call or an email or text to a past client to discuss their real estate goals or to let them know how much their home value has risen is much better than a "Are you ready to sell? The market is hot!" type of pitch. Frame the discussion or "interview" as an FYI to the owner, or call it an annual real estate check-up. A softer approach such as this will help you set up the chat and you'll most likely get some good information out of it. And make sure to keep notes in your digital Rolodex so you can schedule a time to reconnect. You can also follow former clients on social media to see if any life-changing events have occurred: new job, newborn on the way, older kids moving out? Anything that might affect their lives is a potential reason to move and their need for a REALTOR®. One last tip: you can also use Facebook neighborhood pages or Nextdoor sites to offer up help when homeowners ask, "Anybody know a good handyman?" If you see a post like this, reply right away! Chances are you do know a good (fill in the blank) in the area and your suggestion will be appreciated by the owner and seen by others. But don't call or text them right afterwards; just keep a note and add them to your prospecting list. Neighborly, nurturing moves such as this are a great, semi-sly way to get your name top-of-mind with homeowners. 8. Take a free prospecting webinar Wouldn't you know it, RPR offers a live webinar to help you get started. That's right, we're here to help you get going and succeed. There's no better way to learn and get familiar with a process than to have an expert walk you through it. Save your seat for Keep That Pipeline Pumping. This one-hour session will show you how to use RPR's data, tools and features to your advantage. It's easy, it's free and it's highly informative. Sign up today! 9. Take part in or create your own community events When it comes to being involved with your local community or neighborhood, you can't just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. You need to have real passion, know the area and its residents, and be active in making it a better place to live. Here's just a few ideas to get you started and thinking: Start a neighborhood Facebook and/or Nextdoor page Sponsor a youth sports team and show up to a couple of their games with snacks or drinks Get a booth at a school fair or at a farmer's market Send out HOA meeting summaries, if applicable Volunteer for school and sports team fundraisers Send out a monthly or quarterly eNewsletter that focuses on community events and issues Organize an annual community garage sale day, where you handle all the signs, promotion, etc. Keep in touch with local police and fire departments and give safety updates to your neighbors Take a walk! Simply strolling through your neighborhood will help keep you in the loop on local happenings This is just a thought starter, we're sure you can brainstorm a great list of your own, based on your interests and your community's needs. Most of these suggestions will only cost you time, but do plan for earmarking some of your marketing budget towards community involvement costs as they arise. Making these meaningful connections is a keen way to organically grow your network of prospects. It's also a truly great way to meet and form relationships with your neighbors. 10. Take a tour of the tools So you haven't downloaded the free eBook or signed up for the free webinar. Perhaps you're the "dive right in and get started for yourself" type? We can respect that and we've got you covered! Go directly to the RPR site and start prospecting. This guided tour will take you through the steps of how to prospect for buyer and seller residential clients. You can also start prospecting for commercial clients as well. These guided tours, the magenta colored boxes, are sprinkled through the RPR website. Each one is designed to help you learn about powerful RPR features by helping you navigate your way through the process. The wrap Prospecting for new clients is equal parts hustle, discipline and persistence (read this case study for an example). You've got to make a plan, make the time, and make sure you stick to it. Use these ten tips to get started and to start sparking some new client meetings in 2022. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Industry News

NAR Releases Its Inaugural ESG+R Sustainability Report
Report provides comprehensive review of the association's major sustainability activities in 2021 WASHINGTON (January 11, 2022) -- The National Association of Realtors today released its inaugural ESG+R Report, highlighting the association's top sustainability accomplishments in 2021 within four categories: environment, social, governance and resilience. In the coming years, this annual report will offer a snapshot of NAR's current state of sustainability activity – existing programs, resources and services – while tracking the association's progress over time on stated goals within the context of NAR's multiyear Sustainability and Resilience Plan. "Leading by example, NAR is driving the real estate industry toward a more efficient and sustainable future," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. "As part of this responsibility, we are strengthening the association's support of sustainability efforts and increasing engagement on policies and programs that prioritize viability, resiliency and adaptability. We are working to generate meaningful, lasting change that will benefit both current and future generations." Some of NAR's major sustainability achievements in 2021 included the following (by category): Environment Actionable items that brought specific and positive impacts, reduced energy use and environmental footprint and helped raise awareness among stakeholders through reports and educational opportunities. The Chicago Headquarters' Master Vision Project: Initiated in 2018, this project has brought forth the most significant updates to the building in 60 years. Under normal operations, these changes will bring up to 25% in energy savings from the installation of new mechanical systems and a 75% reduction in energy consumption from the new elevator system. Materials, resources, and waste tracking all aim to meet LEED standards. The Incorporation of Sustainability into C2EX: NAR members earning their C2EX Endorsement will now have enhanced opportunities to learn about sustainability concepts and how they relate to real estate. Social Activities, initiatives, and events the association undertook to engage employees and communities promoting the growth of sustainability by unlocking opportunities for health, equity and well-being. NAR's New Core Value for All Employees – Advance Diversity and Inclusion: This new Core Value established for all NAR employees solidifies NAR's commitment to respecting diversity throughout the organization and supports the commitment to an inclusive workplace environment where everyone feels safe to express their authentic self. NAR Partnership with the Food Recovery Network: In 2021, NAR continued its partnership with FRN to donate any unused food portions from major meetings to those most in need. To date, NAR has provided more than 4,170 pounds of unserved meals to local organizations. NAR is asking state and local Realtor® associations to join this effort by pledging to donate unserved meals at events in their local communities. The Home Performance Counts joint initiative with NAR and NAHB: This initiative connects Realtors® and builders and provides first-hand experience and resources on collaboration and working with clients on high-performance homes. Governance Introducing the concepts of sustainability to members, state, and local associations, using an approach that integrates sustainability into all areas of the association. Partnership with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: NAR and NOAA developed a partnership that keeps members informed on how weather events affect housing and markets. 2021 Sustainability Summit: This event was hosted virtually in 2021 and included members, industry affiliates and external partners. Select sessions were streamed to make content more available, accessible, and transparent. Changes to Sustainability Advisory Group: This group now includes all Chairs who sit on the Public Policy Coordinating Committee and NAR's Vice Presidents of Advocacy and Association Affairs. Resilience Short- and long-term actions that help Realtors® and communities respond to and prepare for extreme weather and a changing climate. Flood Factor on Realtor.com®: Realtor.com® now includes flood risk data from Flood Factor on each listing to help assess flood risk on individual properties, allowing property owners to accurately assess their risk and better prepare for future flooding events. NAR's Smart Growth Grants and Placemaking Program: This program supported state and local associations in the creation of parks, trails, and community gardens. The natural surface of these projects enhances stormwater absorption and the gardens can provide a source of food in times of need, improving a community's resiliency. NAR Supports FEMA's Risk-Rating 2.0: On October 1, FEMA began phasing in a new flood insurance pricing system called "Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action." NAR supports this new system, which prices flood insurance for each home individually rather than by flood zone. By adopting modern insurance industry technologies, standards, and practices, FEMA can rate more precisely and accurately by using more flood risk factors and property-specific characteristics – allowing consumers to make better, more informed decisions about the risks and costs of insuring a property. For the complete list of 2021 achievements, view NAR's ESG+R Report here. For more information on NAR's sustainability efforts, visit nar.realtor/sustainability. The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Realtor.com Forecasts the Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers in 2022
Struggling to buy your first home? Try Magna, Utah; Chalco, Neb. or Mauldin, S.C., where young homebuyers have a better shot at success SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 10, 2022 -- With 2022 shaping up to be another challenging year for hopeful homebuyers, Realtor.com ran the numbers to find the best markets for people looking to buy their first home this year. The first annual Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers Report predicts the cities and towns with the best combination of quality of life and affordability that young homebuyers are looking for. What is it that makes these markets great for first-time homebuyers? They have strong job markets, short commute times, plenty of places to eat and drink, a younger population, affordability, and more homes to choose from. The 2022 top 10 markets, in ranked order, are: Magna, Utah, Chalco, Neb., Mauldin, S. C., Beech Grove, Ind., Portsmouth, Va., Cottage Grove, Wis., Grimes, Iowa, Kuna, Idaho, Ferndale, Mich. and Maitland, Fla. "Buying a first-home is always a challenging undertaking, and it's been an especially tough couple years for first-time buyers, many of whom are struggling to find a home that's within their budget or win in a competitive bidding situation," said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "With this in mind, and the fact that remote work has given people more flexibility in where they live, we wanted to identify markets where first timers have a chance to become homeowners and find a great quality of life." Here are some of the reasons these markets are attractive to first-time homebuyers: More homes to choose from – The best markets boast almost twice the number of homes for sale than the national average, in 2021 these markets had 72.9 active listings per 1,000 households compared to the national rate of 44.9. Buyers looking for lots of options should check out Kuna, Idaho, which has the most choice on the list with 160 active listings per 1,000 households. Lots of young people – The 10 best markets for first-time homebuyers all have a younger population than the country overall. Specifically, these areas have an average of 15.2% of residents who are between the ages of 25-34 years old compared to 13.5% of the country overall. The youngest city on the list is Maitland, Fla. where you'll find that 17.5% of the population are young adults. Plenty to eat and drink – Lifestyle is important to a lot of first-time homebuyers and the best markets also include plenty of options for a night out on the town nearby. Our top places for first time homebuyers are located in metros that have an average of 5.3 food and drink establishments per 1,000 households in the broader metro area, higher than other affordable places on our list, which average 5.0. Foodies can head to Magna in the Salt Lake City metro area, which has the most spots to dine out or grab a drink at 5.8 per 1,000 households. More affordable homes – Sticking to a budget can be tricky for many first-time homebuyers, but the best markets have options for the cost-conscious. By comparing the typical home list price to the average income for young adults, Realtor.com® determined that the home-price-to-income ratio in the best markets (3.9) was much lower than the national rate (5.0). Home shoppers who are looking for affordability can head to Chalco, Neb. or Ferndale, Mich., which offer the most affordability on the list. Lots of good jobs – A healthy job market is important when finding a place to settle down, and the best markets are in metro areas that have lots of jobs to offer. These metro areas have a forecasted unemployment rate of just 2.7%, well below the national average of 3.6%. If job selection is at the top of the wish-list, buyers can check out Chalco, Neb. in the Omaha metro area and Cottage Grove, Wis. in the Madison metro area which both have a forecasted unemployment rate of just 2.2%. Strong local housing markets – All of the cities on the list are located within metro areas that are forecasted to have strong home sales and price growth. Sales in these surrounding metro areas are projected to grow at 10.2% in 2022, much faster than the national average of 6.6%. Prices are expected to rise by 5.4%, which is significantly higher than the national average rate of 2.9%. Magna, Utah, which is in the Salt Lake City metro, has the highest expected sales growth rate of 15.2% and the highest expected price growth of 8.5%. Shorter commutes – No one wants to spend hours a day in the car or on a train, and the best markets offer jobs that are close to home. In fact, the average commute time in these markets is 26 minutes – that's 4 minutes faster than the national average. If you're looking for a short commute, try Grimes, Iowa, where locals typically get to work in just 23 minutes. First-time homebuyers can visit Realtor.com® to learn more about the buying process, find out how much they can afford, and even get connected to a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. And to stay competitive in this fast-moving market, shoppers can set a price alert so they know as soon as a home that fits their wish list hits the market and use Realtor.com®'s collaborate and share features to quickly get feedback from friends and family. Realtor.com® 2022 10 Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers: 1. Magna, Utah Coming in at No. 1, Magna, Utah is located near Salt Lake City, which was named Realtor.com®'s No. 1 Top Market for 2022. Magna's easy access to the lakes and mountains are a huge draw for outdoor enthusiasts and its close proximity to the city offers lots of jobs without a long commute. New home construction is booming in Magna, providing more options for home shoppers. The area has a fast-growing tech industry and is also an attractive destination for nature lovers who have the ability to work remotely. As such, it has seen a large influx of out-of-state transplants since the pandemic began. 2. Chalco, Neb. In the No. 2 spot, Chalco, Neb., is located just outside of Omaha. The Omaha area is home to 4 Fortune 500 companies including Berkshire-Hathaway, offering lots of job opportunities. Locals enjoy leisure time at the Chalco Hills Recreation Area, a popular destination for hiking, biking and kayaking. There are also 9 universities and colleges in the area, including University of Nebraska Omaha and Creighton University. 3. Mauldin, S. C. At No. 3 on the list is Mauldin, South Carolina, where first-time buyers will find small town southern charm and natural attractions combined with a short commute to Greenville's downtown area, airport and strong jobs market. Residents have plenty to do in Mauldin itself, from its Sports and Cultural Centers to a booming restaurant scene, including local favorites Wholly Smoke BBQ and Dillard's Ice Cream. For young families, Mauldin also has top-rated schools like Monarch Elementary. 4. Beech Grove, Ind. Landing at the No. 4 spot is Beech Grove, Ind. Known for a strong sense of community, Beech Grove is a city in its own right – literally – as the market is an "excluded city" with a separate government and police department from the nearby Indianapolis metro area. Home shoppers looking for a sense of nightlife will find plenty of restaurants in the Main Street downtown area, 24/7 bowling at Beech Grove Bowl and local craft breweries like Scarlet Grove. For families, Beech Grove has good public schools like Acton Elementary, as well as top-rated private schools, including Cathedral High. 5. Portsmouth, Va. Taking the No. 5 place on the list is Portsmouth, Va. Located just across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, Va., this little town offers affordable home prices at $215,000 – well below the national average of $332,000 – and is within driving distance of a variety of outdoor activities such as water sports, boating, skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. Home to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and The U.S. Coastguard Portsmouth, it has a large military population and offers many job opportunities in defense and related industries. Norfolk Southern and NASA Langley Research Center are two big employers in the area. 6. Cottage Grove, Wis. The sixth best market for first-time homebuyers is Cottage Grove, Wis. Just 15 miles outside Madison, this hidden gem offers residents close proximity to city jobs with a slower pace of life. The town itself offers a variety of charming shops and restaurants and is within a few minutes of the two prominent golf courses in the area – The Oaks Golf Course and Door Creek Golf Course. When looking for nightlife, residents turn to Madison for its restaurant and bar scene and daytime activities such as boating on Lake Mendota and Lake Monona and visiting the popular Olbrich Botanical Gardens. 7. Grimes, Iowa Landing in the No. 7 spot, Grimes, Iowa is located just west of Des Moines. The area's low cost of living and strong job market make it an attractive spot for young people. Many residents are pleased to learn that they can buy a home for not too much more than the cost of renting. Popular activities include cheering on the Iowa State University football and basketball teams. Grimes is just a short trip to Des Moines where locals can enjoy the arts and many cultural activities. Those looking to start a family will appreciate the highly rated schools such as Webster Elementary School. 8. Kuna, Idaho No. 8 on the list is Kuna, Idaho, located just outside of Boise. Locals love the area's great access to outdoor activities, beautiful surroundings and friendly people. While the Boise housing market has been booming, young homebuyers are likely to have better luck in Kuna than some of the surrounding towns. The area experienced an influx of transplants from areas like Calif. and Wash. who are drawn to the lower cost of living, great quality of life and good schools including Falcon Ridge Public Charter. 9. Ferndale, Mich. In 9th place is Ferndale, Mich. This city is attractive to first-time buyers because of its diversity, vibrant downtown area and great restaurants. It is well-known to locals for its thriving LGBTQ+ community. Ferndale's proximity to Detroit and low price point make it attractive to first-time buyers looking to break into the housing market. Ferndale has recently experienced an influx of buyers from nearby states like Illinois and Ohio who appreciate the low cost of living. 10. Maitland, Fla. Rounding out the top 10 is Maitland, Fla. Located near Orlando, Maitland is home to a number of popular lakes and offers a wide range of homes, many of which are on large lots. The town's good schools, such as Dommerich Elementary, are a draw for first-time homebuyers who often have young children. During the pandemic the area saw a lot of transplants from places such as Calif., N.Y. and Boston, many of whom are taking advantage of remote work – the area is also home to a number of workers from Disney and Amazon. Realtor.com® Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers Ranked *Methodology Realtor.com® ranked 1,112 cities and places with a population of more than 5,000 based on the following criteria, capping the list at one city per metro to allow for a greater diversity of options across the country: The share of 25-34 year-olds in the local population. The availability of homes for sale, measured by active listings per 1,000 existing households. A measure of affordability, estimated by the ratio of listing prices to gross incomes of 25-34 year-olds in each city. A measure of job opportunities, estimated by the unemployment rate of each city's surrounding metro area. The average commute time to work. A measure of the amenities in an area, estimated by the count of food and drink establishments per 1,000 households in the city's surrounding metro area. Forecasted metro home sales and home price growth in 2022. The inventory of homes for sale and local median listing prices are from Realtor.com® December 2020 to November 2022 listing data. The cities and towns are defined as postal codes mapped to Census Designated places and reflect approximate but not true city or town boundaries. The population, household count, household income, and average commute time data were sourced from 2021 and 2022 Claritas estimates based on Census Bureau data. The stated forecasted unemployment rates are Moody's Analytics projections of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics. Counts of food and beverage establishments are from 2018 County Business Patterns data. About Realtor.com® Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 25 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps offers a marketplace where people can learn about their options, trust in the transparency of information provided to them, and get services and resources that are personalized to their needs. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.
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New HomeJab Real Estate Photo Study Finds Sellers are Unprepared
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Companies

Homesnap
      Founded in 2008 and based in Washington DC, Homesnap is a trusted real estate search platform for people to explore homes and search MLS real estate listings -- online or from a mobile phone. Using the Homesnap app (available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices) you can snap a photo of any home, nationwide, to find out all about it. For listed homes, you may be able to see interior photos too! When you’re ready to buy or sell real estate, you can contact a real estate agent within Homesnap to schedule a showing or list your home in the MLS. Homesnap is powered by a specialized homes database that combines hundreds of disparate sources of data. Our data feeds include: over 40 MLS real estate databases, property tax records, census data, geographic boundaries, property polygons, school information, mortgage rates and
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VirtualTourCafe
VirtualTourCafe embarked on a journey to completely redesign and redevelop the online software to meet the needs of today’s real estate industry as well as the new “Web 3.0” graphical and responsive designed websites. Eight thousand hours of developing later, VirtualTourCafe 3.0 was launched on June 1 st , 2016. The new and improved service offers many new features and benefits for the real estate agent, but more importantly positions VirtualTourCafe for the future! The VirtualTourCafe difference: An integrated easy-to-use modern solution for every real estate agent! Today we are still a small but growing company based in Pleasanton, CA with a small staff and lots of help from our friends, family and business partners. We work with independent contractors, photographers and virtual partners around the world. We are proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time with loyal customers who have been with us from the beginning! We have been able to maintain our values and moral compass pointed in the right direction, while always treating our customers, employees and associates as if they are family, and living life full of love and gratitude, one day at a
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eMerge
Who is eMerge designed for?The eMerge email marketing platform is designed for any business, brandor individual looking to create, manage & track email marketing initiatives.eMerge real estate campaigns provide brokers, agents & teams a helping hand each month withconsumer engagement, agent recruitment & retention, and lead nurturing &
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3sixtyfive.agency
Looking to connect with your audience in a meaningful & memorable way? Check out 3sixtyfive.agency, the creative & digital marketing agency that helps real estate brands thrive. Strategy. Branding. Marketing. Production. Schedule a consultation
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Webinars

WATCH: Market Like a Social Pro in 2022
When it comes to real estate marketing, it's not about what you know or who you know, but who knows you. That's what we discovered in a recent webinar about upping your online marketing game in 2022. Presented in a fun, fast-paced class format by two social media educators, webinar attendees learned all about: The top platforms that agents are under-using How to use those platforms to bring in leads What to post How to cross-promote across all your platforms And so much more! Watch the webinar recording below to learn how to take your online marketing strategy to the next level in 2022: Webinar Guests ‍Stephanie Alfonso, Business Development Consultant, Elm Street Technology ‍Dylan Handy, Business Development Consultant, Elm Street Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Stephanie Alfonso introduces the topic and fellow panelist Dylan Handy. 3:21 - Stephanie on what Elm Street Technology is and what the company offers. 3:58 - Dylan talks about a new class that Elm Street is offering, "Getting Social with Dylan." 6:05 - The two sides of lead generation traffic: free and paid. 7:15 - What are your weaknesses in social media? Your business strengths? 9:18 - The top seven platforms that real estate agents don't fully utilize in their online marketing strategy. 10:20 - How to use blogging to boost your SEO and generate leads. 12:39 - What should you blog about? 16:31 - Blogging guidelines for success. 19:39 - The ins and outs of marketing on Facebook, including what to post. 29:00 - What is an optimized Facebook post? 31:05 - Facebook ads vs. Facebook boosted posts. 35:00 - Promoting your business on Instagram. 37:49 - Promoting your business on LinkedIn. 39:36 - Leveraging Twitter for online marketing. 42:25 - How to leverage YouTube in your marketing strategy. 44:48 - The importance of real estate websites to SEO and lead generation. 47:26 - Why online marketing starts with blogs and integration. 48:40 - What to say about your marketing strategy at your next listing appointment. 49:36 - The two major paid lead generation sources. 52:20 - All about PPC ads, or paid search ads. 53:48 - Zillow/Realtor.com ads versus PPC and social media ads. 55:07 - The importance of systems and processes to handle incoming leads. 55:35 - The secret to successful social media and online lead generation. 57:56 - How Elevate can help real estate agents with their online marketing. 1:04:42 - An exclusive discount on Elevate for RE Technology subscribers. 1:15:55 - Who to contact to learn more about Elevate or to sign up. Next Steps Visit tryelevate.com to learn more Email Dylan or Stephanie for more information Read articles about Online Marketing and Social Media, or explore more Online Marketing solutions in our Product Directory Watch more webinars
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WATCH: Turning Your Database into a DataBANK
In 2014, Greg Dallaire decided that it was "time that we invest in a Ferrari instead of driving a Chevy." The broker/owner of Dallaire Realty wasn't talking about automobiles, however, but on upgrading his team's technology to take their business to the next level. That's when his team started transforming their database into a "databank." In a recent webinar, Greg shared the techniques he uses to maximize the value of his database. He touched on everything from leveraging analytics to gauge a lead's interest levels, his past client outreach strategy, and how regular, in-person events make a difference to his brokerage. He also shared how investing in a high level CRM—BoomTown, in his case—made all the difference to his team's success, and he showed us exactly how he uses it. Watch the webinar recording below to learn how a top real estate practitioner is using technology across his team of 12 people to absolutely kill it in their local market. Webinar Guests Greg Dallaire, Broker/Owner, Dallaire Realty Moderator: Victor Lund, CEO, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Victor Lund introduces the topic and panelist. 1:00 - Greg Dallaire on growing his brokerage and the technology he uses. 7:25 - Why a successful real estate team is about more than "body count." Greg discusses the longevity of his team members and how he supports their growth. 11:55 - Proof of success: Greg shares his team's sales numbers over the past eight years. 17:57 - Nurturing your database, including past clients, is crucial for a healthy sales pipeline. 19:36 - The details of how Greg leverages past clients and reaches out to them using his CRM, BoomTown. 30:42 - How Dallaire Realty leverages events in his business. 40:13 - How Greg leverages Seller eAlerts, which are like a mini CMA, to get clients to return to his website regularly—rather than going to Zillow, realtor.com, etc. 47:47 - Using predictive analytics with closed clients. 49:38 - Greg recommends a book, Ninja Selling, as a boon to his business. 50:30 - Q&A segment. Next Steps To learn more about BoomTown, watch this product tour Read articles about CRM, or explore more CRM solutions in our Product Directory Watch more webinars Register for our next webinar, Market Like a Social Pro in 2022
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Let the Showings Begin: An Exclusive Pre-Launch Look at Homesnap Showings
It's almost here! Homesnap is on the verge of releasing its showing management platform, Homesnap Showings, and RE Technology got an exclusive look at the new product. Homesnap Showings is a free component of Homesnap Pro and will be available to Homesnap Pro users at no additional charge. Currently, the product is available in two test markets, and Homesnap expects over 50 MLS integrations by the end of the year. In a recent webinar, we got a first look at Homesnap Showings. Watch the recording below to see a demo of Showings on desktop, mobile, and via MLS integration. Webinar Guests Lou Mintzer, SVP Product Development, Homesnap Lynn Mathysse, Director Product Management, Homesnap Alli Varnes, Product Manager, Homesnap Moderator: Victor Lund, CEO, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Victor Lund introduces the topic and panelists. 2:15 - Lou Mintzer introduces Homesnap and its partner, the Broker Public Portal. 6:21 - Homesnap Showings is a free component of Homesnap Pro. 9:07 - Lou begins a live demo of Homesnap Showings. 12:12 - How to configure a showing. 16:15 - What Smart Notifications are and how they work. 21:00 - Lynn Mathysse continues the demo by showing how to set up a showing on mobile. 23:49 - What in-app messaging looks like for different user roles within the app. 25:16 - Creating multi-stop showing itineraries. 34:00 - What a Showing Activity Report looks like from the listing agent's side. 39:21 - Alli Varnes demonstrates two MLS integrations. 45:42 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps To learn more about Homesnap, visit Homesnap.com MLS executives can reach out to [email protected] to learn more Read articles about Showing solutions, or explore more Showing solutions in our Product Directory Watch more webinars
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WATCH: Looking for Listings? Learn the Secrets of Legendary Lead Generation in 90 Minutes
It's a seller's market and real estate agents across the country are looking for ways to find more seller leads. To help you get a jump-start on your lead gen strategy, we recently hosted a webinar with two top real estate trainers on how to generate more seller leads and position yourself in today's competitive market. Watch the webinar recording below to learn more about: Organic leads - Social media and SEO Paid leads - Interruption and search-based marketing How to win the listing - What to bring to the listing presentation And more! Webinar Guests ‍Stephanie Alfonso, Business Development Consultant at Elevate ‍Dylan Handy, Business Development Consultant at Elevate Video Timeline 0:00 - Stephanie Alfonso introduces the topic and fellow panelist Dylan Handy. 7:38 - Why lead generation starts with an online presence. 8:26 - Dylan shares seller statistics. 9:58 - The importance of real estate websites in lead generation. 14:18 - Building SEO with blogs integrated into your website. 22:28 - The benefits of social media in lead generation. 43:00 - How to leverage YouTube for your business. 47:28 - Using paid traffic for lead generation. 48:23 - Difference between Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads. 50:43 - What a PPC (pay-per-click) ad campaign looks like. 51:31 - Seller lead keywords to use in your ad campaigns. 51:57 - How to leverage a lead capture landing page. 54:06 - Interruption-based marketing. 58:22 - How to nurture leads with email campaigns. 1:00:27 - Using direct mail to target seller leads at home. 1:03:58 - How to turn leads into clients with your listing presentation. 1:05:55 - What to say on your next listing appointment. 1:07:25 - Recap. 1:10:00 - Learn more about what the Elevate platform has to offer real estate agents. Next Steps Visit tryelevate.com to learn more. Email Dylan or Stephanie for more information. Read articles about Online Marketing and Social Media, or explore more Online Marketing solutions in our Product Directory Watch more webinars
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Rethinking the Inventory Shortage: How these teams are doing better than ever
Got inventory? The truth is, few areas do--and that's made for an extremely challenging summer real estate market. But challenges can be overcome, and to find out how, we turned to two top-producing team leaders. In a recent webinar, they shared their market challenges, how they leverage data to convince homeowners to list, tips for motivating their teams, and more. Discover their secrets to success by watching the webinar recording below: Webinar Guests Trey Willard, Team Leader, The W Group Becky Garcia, Team Leader, The Garcia Group Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and panelists. 1:04 - Trey Willard shares what market conditions and inventory are like in the Baton Rouge area. 3:08 - Becky Garcia shares what market conditions and inventory are like in the Phoenix area. 4:31 - Will normal seasonal market patterns return any time soon? 7:05 - Which data, tools and reports help convince homeowners that it's time to list? 20:36 - How long does it take to warm up a lead? 25:05 - Why CRMs are a core tool for success in real estate. 30:52 - Becky and Trey share the other ways they use technology to combat low inventory. 36:25 - The panelists share how much time they spend working their CRM, and their team set-ups. 43:33 - How to focus on the long-term growth of your real estate business despite market changes. 53:06 - Tips for managing team member performance. 57:20 - Becky and Trey share their advice on how to take your business to the next level. Next Steps To learn more, watch this BoomTown product tour Read articles about CRM, or explore more CRM solutions in our Product Directory Watch more webinars Register for our next webinar, Looking for Listings? Learn the SECRETS of Legendary Lead Generation in 90 minutes
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