Top 10 Must-Do’s at the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo!

The 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo is headed to the Louisiana Bayou! A city known for its food, festivals and music, New Orleans is hosting one of the biggest events of the year for real estate professionals. To help you make the most of your time there, we’ve created a list of the top 10 things to do during your visit to the REALTORS® Conference & Expo. Continue reading

Homes.com Heads to the REALTOR® Party Convention in D.C.!

Realtor Party Convention

Every May, thousands of REALTORS® head to our capital city to one of the most important events in the real estate industry – REALTOR® Party Convention, previously known as Mid-Year NAR – hosted by the National Association of REALTORS® from May 13-15th. What differentiates the REALTOR® Party Convention from other events is the ability for real estate pros to be in the epicenter of the industry’s public policy, special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities and of course, the trade show expo floor!

As more and more local housing markets start achieving a full recovery in 2014, now is the time for real estate professionals to head to Washington D.C. to take part in this political event and get acquainted with the latest policies affecting the real estate industry today. While there, why not visit the trade show expo and say hello to Homes.com! We are very excited to head back to D.C. and be among REALTORS® from all across the country. Visit Homes.com at booth #402 and ask us how we can help your social media strategy with Homes.com Social, a comprehensive social media suite designed to help you engage with more prospects, protect your online reputation, control the conversation and drive leads!

Not attending the REALTOR® Party Convention this year? No worries, Homes.com has you covered! Stay up to speed on all the action taking place at this year’s event by following our LIVE updates on Twitter via @HomesPro using the new hashtag, #RPCTE. It’s time to party like it’s 1999, or better yet, like it’s 2014! See you there!

Keeping Up with Consumer Trends: Helpfull

Helpfull Consumer TrendConvenience may be the single most important quality that customers look for in a business in 2014. Today’s on-the-go consumer demands that they be able to find information exactly when they need it, and if a business is unable meet this demand, they’ll likely lose their competitive edge. With that being said, real estate professionals must ensure that they provide a one stop shop for clients and prospects that helps them through every step of the home buying process.

Over the past several weeks, Homes.com has discussed consumer trends that may affect the way you market your business to clients and prospects. This time around, we will be looking into another one of these consumer trends known as “Helpfull.” According to a study performed by Trendwatching.com, people have become accustomed to services online that preempt and fulfill their needs before they ask for it. What’s more is that they are starting to carry this need for real time information into the physical world. This means that you should continually improve what your business has to offer, so that when a client or prospect starts searching for information, you will have already provided the resources to help. Not only will this help you grow your reputation as the local expert, but it will also help create and strengthen your relationships.

Patience is a virtue that “Helpfull” consumers lack, so you must provide a service that keeps up with their fast-paced demands. Your website should provide tools and resources that cover even the most minuscule details of the home buying process. On the off chance that your website doesn’t have what they’re looking for, you can expect a phone call shortly after and you must make yourself available when this happens. Be sure to provide prompt responses to “Helpfull” consumers, because the likelihood of them waiting around to hear back from you is slim-to-none; instead they will find someone else that can meet their expectations.

Humanizing your brand is another important thing to consider when working with “Helpfulls,” as they are sick and tired of dealing with voicemails and automated systems! Think about it: how frustrating is it when you are trying to find information and you can’t talk to a real person? “Press one for this.” Or “press two for that.” While these operational strategies can be cost-efficient, it can completely change a person’s opinion of a business. Not only does it waste their time, but quite frankly, it’s downright annoying. Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will make in their lifetime, so make sure that YOU are there to help them along every step of the way. This one-on-one interaction is crucial for building relationships and connecting with local buyers and sellers, as it demonstrates your dedication and that you value their business.

“Helpfulls” are all about the here and now, so you must position yourself as a resource they can rely on to strealine the home buying process. Try adding widgets to your website that address frequently asked questions, helpful resources like the Mortgage Checklist and House Hunting Checklist from Homes.com, or even try something as simple as providing them with a phone number for contacting you past normal working hours. In short, make the home buying process as easy and stress-free as possible while adding a little personal touch, because it will go a long way when working with “Helpfulls”!

Mortgage Rates Reach Highest Level in 7 Weeks

At the beginning of February, mortgage rates had been lower than expected four weeks in a row. However, as of last week, mortgage rates are now at their highest levels in seven weeks. These higher rates may make clients or prospects question whether it’s a good time to buy a home. With that said, these rates are still lower than where we were at the start of 2014.

Here are more details about these rising mortgage rates, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey: Continue reading

Take the ‘Smart Home Technology Survey’ for a Chance to Win $250!

Today’s homebuyer has moved technology integration to the top of their “must-have list” when searching for a home. In fact, a Better Homes and Gardens real estate survey found that 84 percent of respondents between the ages 18 to 35 consider technology to be an absolute home essential. What’s even more compelling is that sixty-four percent would not live in a home that was not up-to-date with the latest tech capabilities.

Tech-savvy millennials now account for 78 percent of the housing market (NAR), and their reliance on technology is only going to grow as it becomes cheaper, easier to use, and more integrated into their everyday lives.  For real estate professionals, understanding the importance of technology in your clients and prospects’ home buying decisions plays an important role in your ability to find their next dream home. Continue reading