Home Buyers-Why Move to Arlington Virginia

For over 10 years I lived in a fantastic place in America…Phoenix, AZ.  It was summer all the time, a lot of outdoor activities, and if you are an avid golfer…HEAVEN!  About 3.5 months ago I moved to the Washington DC area and am adjusting nicely.  If you read my blogs you know that I am the Director of Sales/Marketing for Stewart Title and Escrow in Northern Virginia.  There is one city that I had heard a lot about before I moved to the DC area that is very popular.  Here is why you should move to Arlington Virginia

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Real Estate Marketing-Why Your Facebook Marketing Doesn’t Work

Facebook.  I have an account…you probably have an account as do your friends/family? There are roughly 1 Billion users worldwide.  That is unbelievable!  Take into account that China has its own Social Media site so Facebook is rarely used there so that means roughly 20% of ALL the people in the world have a Facebook profile.  I got my Facebook account in 2009, so you could say that I wasn’t one of the first people on board, but once I did have an account I soon found it as a great way to not only talk to friends and old classmates that I hadn’t spoken to in a long time, but also a great message board to promote or convey your value in business.  That was then…and this is 2012.  Facebook has made many changes in the last 3 years, some good, some not as good, but what I can tell you is that Facebook Marketing for Real Estate has never been as least effective as it is right now.

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Real Estate Marketing-Why You Should Target Renters

Do you feel it?  You know…the Real Estate market making a BIG SHIFT.  The pendulum has surely swung the other way.  For the last 3-5 years ever since the economic meltdown home values have dropped and many people lost their homes due to a foreclosure or short sale forcing them to rent.  The market has hit the bottom and prices are starting to move upwards as the rule of supply vs demand has take affect.  Thousands of people in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area are renting.  They are renting apartments, houses, condo’s and townhouses.  Many of these people have good jobs and make a decent to great living.  These consumers are young people in their 20’s but also consumers who completed a successful short sale or had a home go into foreclosure.  The 3-5year statute has passed, their credit repaired and they can buy again!  Yes, some of these people are first time home buyers, but they are also people emerging back into the arena of home ownership who have done this whole process before, therefore more familiar with what it takes to get into a home.  That is what makes this demographic a great target when looking to expand your Real Estate Marketing and business.

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Real Estate Agents-Why You Should Stop Counting on Referrals

Referrals…we all love them.  When someone tells another person about your services and why they should use you.  It is the least expensive way to generate business in the Real Estate space.  We all can agree that if we could run our entire business models on this way of generating business there would be no need for any other form of marketing.  Unfortunately, this is the 21st century and consumer behavior has changed.  In my meetings with Real Estate agents in the Washington DC/Virginia area the most frequent answer I get to “How do you normally get your business” is Mostly from Referrals.  Putting all of your eggs in one basket is very risky and downright dangerous when it comes to your Real Estate business…and stop counting on referrals.  Here is why.

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Why You Should Switch Title Companies Right Now

To begin…the Title Company you currently use in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area ( if not already Stewart Title) is probably not a bad Title Company.  I’m sure that they provide decent to good service and have knowledge of their title and settlement services. More than likely they are very good at taking your purchase contracts/refinance orders and close them. The settlement people maybe even bring you gifts, baseball tickets, food, and you might even know their kids names.  On top of that, they will do mobile closings for your clients who can’t make it to your office.  All sounds great…that is why I don’t want you to feel bad when you switch Title Companies to Stewart Title and Escrow.  Here is why…

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Real Estate Marketing-How to Dominate Your Subdivision

We have all received the postcards, newsletters, door hangers, and other gimmicks from Real Estate agents who market to a particular farm area…usually their subdivision.  Realtors are always told by their Broker or Team Leader to not only market to past clients and friends/family but to their subdivision where they live or where they think a lot of people would want to live.  I agree…this is a good idea.  It makes sense to market to a particular area where people might already know you (you subdivision) or to a place that is desirable to live.  What I continually see is that Realtors market to these places in a way that has very little effect or produces no results.  There are several ways in which you can dominate your subdivision. Let me explain…

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How to Write an Effective Real Estate Blog Post

I think that we can all agree that technology has come to the forefront on basically anything that we now do.  This applies especially to the Real Estate space.  Realtors are told that they are to have websites.  They are told that they are to have effective content that answers questions to their potential client’s problems, and educational information about whatever their niche is…luxury homes, first time home buyers, condos, short sales, or a certain subdivision.  This engaging and educational content comes in the way of blogging and videos.  I love to do office presentations in front of large groups of Realtors.  In these presentations I talk about what they need to do to drive more eyeballs to their Real Estate website. When I mention how to write an effective Real Estate blog I get the usual “eye rol”l and objections.  Here they are the most common:

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How to Keep and Convert Online Real Estate Leads

As the Director of Sales/Marketing at Stewart Title and Escrow in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area I meet with Realtors everyday.  We talk about all kinds of things: Contact Management Systems, iPad training, data lists to target market, video, blogging, AND how to convert Online Real Estate Leads.  To me online leads are the holy grail.  These are consumers that have a need, so they type into Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube what they are looking for and they find you.  The consumer then fills out a form, emails, or calls for more information.  I think that we can agree that our society has moved the way of “impersonal” over the last 10yrs where as the consumer doesn’t really want to call you and chat.  They don’t know you or your value and since email, text and filling out a form online is the same as telling you that they want to talk, that’s what they do.  Real Estate agents and Lenders spend money every month on SEO, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com leads…sometimes large sums of money.  What I have found is that their conversion of these leads are poor.  The latest stat I read was that Realtors convert only 2% of the online leads they get into paying customers.  Why is that??  Lets talk about it…

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Refinance or Short Sale? Why its a Good Idea to Consider Both!

You may not know it but we are currently experiencing a time in Real Estate that has never existed before…EVER.  The market was so hot in 2004-2006, then the market crashed in August in 2007 with interest rates in the 6.5% range.  Housing values took a huge dive!  Some markets were hurt more than others.  At the time I was working as a Title Sales Rep for a National Title Insurance Company in Phoenix, AZ.  If you know anything about the Phoenix market…the property values went up 47% in 2005 alone!  Well what goes up must come down and when the market crashed and the subprime market went bye bye so did the home values.  Let me give you a real life example:  In July 2006 I bought my first home…a condo next to the Raven Golf Course in Phoenix for $145,000.  I was happy with my purchase and no issues making the payments.  By January 2010 the value of my property was $35,000!  Yes…$35,000.  So I did what 75% of the housing market did in Phoenix, I listed my home as a short sale and said…”See ya later!”  I know I made the right choice knowing the value might not ever return to what I owed on the property.  So back to my original statement…we are in a weird place in Real Estate…a time that has never existed before that presents SOOO many business opportunities for Real Estate agents AND Mortgage Lenders.  Here is why if you are considering do a refinace or short sale…might be good to do both.  Let me explain…

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Your Title Company Sales Rep-You Decide

Realtor with a contract Most Title Companies have them…you know who they are.  They call and email you for the primary reason of wanting your purchase and refinance business. They are the Title Company sales rep. They tell you about  the good things that their Title Company offers, like mobile closings, good service, and the best escrow/settlement people in the business!  They say all of this while at the same time offering you bagels, donuts, coffee, pens, pads, coffee mugs, and other gimmicks that absolutely does nothing to help you grow your business…but they expect you to send you theirs.  It’s an interesting dynamic how this all works.  To make it easy for you I have decided to divide the Title Company Sales person into two categories…the “Order Taker” and the “Business Builder.”

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