This Week In Real Estate: Homeownership Nears Historic Low, TRID Changes And More

This week wrapped up with new insights into homeownership and some industry buzz about possible changes in store for TRID.  Stay up to date with the latest in real estate with our weekly news roundup:

  • Home sales may be rising, but homeownership in the United States is near its lowest point in history, falling to just 63.6 percent in the first quarter of this year. Diana Olick of CNBC examines how homeownership trends amongst Millennials and older Americans play a role in the decreasing rate here.
  • Eight industry trade groups received a letter form the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that acknowledged concerns over compliance with the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure forms. The Bureau is now drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Know Before You Owe rule. Learn more about the possible changes coming to TRID here.
  • In the midst of the Zillow/Move Inc. lawsuit, Zillow welcomed Dan Spaulding to the company in the new position of Vice President of People and Culture. Previously the Vice President, U.S. Stores and Retail Operations HR at Starbucks, you can read more about Spaulding and what he brings to Zillow here.
  • In a recent study, Gallup found that Americans who rent are nearly twice as likely to worry about not being able to pay their housing costs than actual homeowners. The study also revealed that the gap in owner-renter worry grew for the middle- and upper-income. Access Gallup’s full report here.

11 Tips For Sellers That Can’t Afford A Stager

Home staging is crucial to the home-selling process and increasing a property’s appeal to potential buyers. But what are your options if your sellers can’t afford a home stager? Watch our video below for 11 tips on how you can stage your client’s home on a budget.

For in-depth instruction on everything you need to know when handling seller clients, sign up for our selection of seller-focused courses.

11 Tips For Sellers That Can't Afford A Stager

4 Ways To Harness The Selling Power Of Direct Mail

In an age where we can order groceries through Amazon and watch Wolf Blitzer via hologram, it seems a little old hat for real estate agents to include direct mail in their marketing campaigns. But it’s not.

While the idea of paper ads may feel outdated, the reality is that direct mail is still very effective. In fact, it remains a favored method for many agents.

According to the CMO Council, a peer network of chief marketing officers, nearly 80 percent of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45 percent who act on email. The Direct Marketing Association reported that more than half of consumers consider print marketing the most trustworthy. And in a direct rebut to the “it’s too old fashioned” argument, AlphaGraphics claimed that 92 percent of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.

For agents the question then becomes: how do I use direct mail effectively? Here are four ground rules:

1. Use it to reinforce your brand – One of the primary benefits of direct mail is that it provides potential clients with something tangible. It’s the perfect opportunity to literally put your brand directly into their hands.

2. Create urgency with calls to action – Direct mail isn’t interactive like online ads, so it needs a visible call to action that gives the recipient an easy next step to take. A QR code is one option for taking that step from page to screen – but that is a bit outdated. More effective would be a phone number, email or a short, easy-to-remember URL the recipient can refer to when he or she is ready to start the buying or selling process.

3. Define and speak to your target audience – When composing a direct mailing list, carefully consider who you are sending to and what message you want to convey. Direct mail allows you to hyper-target your message. If you’re speaking to Millennials, the message could address entry-level homes or common financing questions. If you’re targeting older homeowners, perhaps the angle is the resale process or downsizing.

4. Integrate direct mail with other channels – A benefit of digital advertising is that it’s easy to manage campaigns across multiple platforms and mediums. The same approach should be taken with direct mail. Agents can fold their direct mail messages into other marketing campaigns and materials (like brochures and e-blasts) to maximize its effectiveness, or cast a wider net by sending multiple mailers delivering separate but related messages to different audiences.

4 Ways To Harness The Selling Power Of Direct Mail

Land The Listing: 5 Steps To A Killer Listing Presentation

With so much at stake for your client, how can you prove you’re up to the challenge of selling their home? Your best bet is blowing them away with your listing presentation. In our video below, you’ll learn the five basic steps to a killer presentation that will land you the listing you’ve worked hard to get.



Be prepared every time you meet with potential clients with our selection of listing presentation courses.

Rookie Agents Need A Client Base – Here Are 4 Ways To Build It

Top real estate agents get to the top and stay there because they have a book of business sustained by robust referral networks. But that business wasn’t handed to them, and rookie agents should never assume it will be for them, either.

If rookie agents want to eventually reach those upper echelons, they need to start laying the foundations of their client base on day one.

Here’s how:

  1. Prospect – Even though leads may sometimes fall into your lap, you have to put in the work to turn them into paying clients. Effective prospecting is a skill that sets the future top producers from the part timers. You’ll need to make phone calls and send emails, network anywhere and everywhere, and adopt a persona that’s “all agent, all the time.” An article from RealtyTimes, featured in the National Association of Realtors’ “Field Guide to Farming and Prospecting,” suggests you should choose a selling strategy that works for you. Some find following sales scripts and being pushy can make them feel “icky.” If that’s you, don’t do it. Find a strategy you can be excited about; prospective clients will pick up on your passion and enthusiasm.
  2. Know your stuff – Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t have experience? Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t know their business? Being a rookie agent doesn’t give you license to parade the fact that you’re new at this. It’s not like being a server, where you tell someone “I’m new” so they’ll forgive a forgotten refill. Homebuyers and sellers want to entrust this process to a professional, and being a professional means knowing your stuff and proving it – whether that’s your local inventory, or trends in price and sales, etc. Cultivate that sense of authority early on to impress your clients and instill in them the confidence that you can handle their business.
  3. Network…at yard sales – When you network in public places, there is never a guarantee that the person you’re meeting is looking to buy or sell a house. Networking at a community event like a yard sale is a different story. When a person tosses their belongings on to a driveway for pennies on the dollar and says, “please buy this,” the subtext is limited: either they’re cleaning or they’re moving. Never dismiss an opportunity to interact with homeowners on their home turf: after all, even if they’re simply shedding a few unwanted belongings at a garage sale, they may remember you and call you when the time comes to buy or sell.
  4. Become a team’s buyer agent – Joining a solid team as a buyer’s agent will not be a glamorous position and you won’t be making the big bucks, but it is an effective way to quickly gain experience and start building a referral network. Clients will be hand-delivered in many cases, and for an agent with limited experience and knowledge, it’s an ideal scenario to learn the business.



Build a Lucrative Real Estate Referral Network

4 Ways Rookie Agents Can Build A Better Real Estate Client Base