September 2006

How important is Local Search to a real estate agent? Local search is the only search a realtor should be concerned with when they ONLY want people to find their websites that are performing local searches. ” chapel hill realtor ” on yahoo, and you are looking for a realtor local to chapel hill. The results lead you to the Chapel Hill board of Realtors site and then a local Chapel Hill Realtor.

Local Search is growing more in importance. According to a study done by comScore 63% or all internet users performed a local search in July (approximately 109 million people) a 43% increase from July 2005. The Breakdown of sources:

Real Estate Marketing Local Search

Local search is this prominent. Can anyone find your real estate web site without you telling them the address? Do you have a real estate blog? The answers to these questions are key factors in your future success in real estate. More and more real estate consumers ignore print and newspaper advertising in favor of the internet.
If you have an optimized blog with a strategy, you’ll be found when users are searching for what you do.

How many agents compete with you on a daily basis in your local area?  All realtors look for ways to generate quality leads.  Therefore, those that use creativity to tell buyers and sellers really what’s going on in the local market will attract more qualified prospects to work with.

Buyers and sellers need information to help them make decisions.  Information that goes beyond links to other resources on realtor’s websites.  Consumers want to know what is going on on the streets.  What is the inside scoop of the local market that you sell in.  With the internet and blogosphere giving control over to the buyers and sellers – realtors have to think outside of the box in order to work with the most qualified buyers and sellers available.

As you ponder how to get in front of more qualified buyers and sellers try providing solid “qualitative information”.  The most effective way to do this is by using a Real Estate Blog and Blog Marketing principles.

Trader Joe's

A real estate agent in Raleigh North Carolina might write :
Trader Joe’s is coming to Cary North Carolina. I have not heard if there is going to be one in Raleigh right away but I can only speculate that if Trader Joe’s is putting up a store in Cary then Raleigh cannot be far behind. Raleigh and Cary Real Estate and all of the Triangle area North Carolina offer many amenities and activities to make moving or relocating to this area something to look forward to, and now Trader Joes is coming…

What is Trader Joe’s? Its discount upscale retail store that offers unique products at competitive pricing. They sell everything from coffee to wine to taco seasoning. Trader Joes is also famous for carrying the the famous “2 buck Chuck” wine.

This is a good example of a quick post that realtor might throw in when pressed for time. Later I will put some examples of some long more informative posts.

One of the areas in the country that seemed immune to fluctuations in home sales is finally being affected by the recent slowdown. The bay area in Northern California saw decreases in sales of 20% in August. The same thing is going on there as is happening throughout the country. Sellers are offering homes at unrealistic prices and trying to cash out at the peak of the market. Buyers, on the other hand are adopting a wait and see strategy. They will no longer jump on any available property unless they are looking at a realistic asking price.

The question this poses for local realtors is how to find those buyers, and how to provide exceptional service in helping buyers find a property at the right price? Buyers are able to pick and choose and do more research. This applies to the home they are looking to buy, but also to the realtor they are looking to work with. It is the realtor who embraces new marketing avenues like realtor blogs, RSS and Podcasting who will get the business.

One of the good things to come out of the recent housing market slow down is that mortgage rates have remained relatively steady, and in fact are starting to drop. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage,  is down to 6.4 percent from 6.43 percent.  The 15 year fixed rate mortgage is 6.06 percent down from last weeks’ rate of 6.11%.

Low mortgage rates helped fuel the recent housing bubble, so it is a good sign that home buyers are still able to borrow at a relatively low rate. This will no doubt help the market recover sooner, rather than later. Despite this good news though, home sales are still flat. Real estate professionals need to market their services more aggressively than they ever have in the past. A lot of realtors are turning to newer forms of promotion such as blog marketing, RSS and social networking.

North Carolina home sales budged .3% up from the August 05 level, totalling 13,582 residential units sold. The average existing home sales price grew 1% from the previous year rising from $217,552 to $219,446 according to statistics compiled by NCAR. Year to date, 96,610 homes have been sold statewide, up 6% from the same period last year. More….

If making a career by earning commissions on a deal that closes interests you – then odds are you enjoy being a real estate agent. The business networking, the relationships that you establish along the way, the excitement of helping someone find exactly what they are looking for in a home. This should really sum up why you do what you do – to help others find homes – to help others bring top value for their homes – and get paid for your time and work once the deal is closed.

The first step for any real estate agent that moves from one deal to the next is simply that. Who needs my help now? This comes from generating qualified leads. Letting others know what you do and what properties you have available for them to purchase. Getting the information to them to help them make a decision is what a Real Estate Blog is designed to do.

Perhaps you already have a website and in your mind “It’s doing fine”. Here is something you should consider. If you aren’t actively providing your prospects with the most up to date information available then chances are you spend most of your face to face time answering questions when your Real Estate Blog could be doing that for you.

Local Market Monitor reports that Las Vegas has an average home price of $297,000. Some analysts say that homes are overpriced by 28%. Another study by National City Bank and Global Insight states homes are 42% higher than they should be based primarily on four indicators,

1. Household Population Density

2. Price-to-income-Ratio

3. Interest Rates

4. Relative Income


With home prices falling and buyers gaining the upper hand in the housing market, the need for a qualified and professional real estate agent has never been greater. As a real estate professional, how do potential clients choose the best agent for the job? To follow are a few pointers outlined in an article on Realty Times.
* Interview local, licensed, full time realtors. Make sure you deal with people who have the Realtor trademark.

* Avoid Top Producers for the same reason you would avoid part timers. They will generally have a team of assistants and not provide the personalized service that sellers need.

* Interview each agent like they are job applicants. Ask for references to past clients, whether they are happy or not. Also have the agent produce a list of past accomplishments.

* Get someone local who knows the neighborhood. And also interview agents with a broader focus. You don’t want to have an agent who’s listings are competing against yours.
* Work with agents who are prepared to produce a CMA. That will ensure that you will have a competitive price. You don’t want your property priced unreasonably high, or priced low just to receive multiple offers.

* Deal with a realtor who fits your personality. It is an advantage to be able to communicate well with a real estate agent you like.

The final point is the one I find the most interesting.

* Compare how realtors are going to market your home. Look for the realtor on search engines and online advertisements. An indication of a good realtor is not only in the way that they market your property, but also in the way they market themselves. A realtor who does not have an online presence is less qualified to market your home than one who uses all marketing mediums at their disposal.

In a tight market it is the innovators and early adopters who will capture the lions share of the business. A realtor needs to cover all the basics oultined above, and then go one step farther. Blog marketing is an essential part of taking that extra step and the realtors who brand themselves online are the ones who will stay busy.

Mortgage foreclosures in Florida are up. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures jumped to it’s highest level in August with 16,533 properties entering foreclosure which was 50% more than July. Broward County ranked third in the nation in homes entering foreclosure, one for every 174 households. RealtyTrac also reported that 115,292 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure up 53% from the same time last year. Article…..

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