Blog : home buyers

NextHome expands in New Jersey with NextHome Evolution

NextHome expands in New Jersey with NextHome Evolution

Rosemarie Heldmann

Pleasanton, CA — March 20, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Evolution. This new brokerage represents the sixth office location opened in the state of New Jersey by the NextHome franchise.

The Chester-based brokerage will be owned and operated by REALTOR® and Broker of record, Rosemarie Heldmann. NextHome Evolution will provide real estate services such as first-time buyer, investor, multi-family, land, luxury and traditional single-family sales for all of Morris County, including the towns of Chester, Long Valley, Mendham, Peapack-Gladstone, and Bedminster.

The Chester Township is located west of Morristown and home to just under 9,000 residents. The town is 40 miles west of New York City and features many Victorian-style homes and palatial estates.

While Rosemarie started her real estate sales career in 2014, she has been involved with buying and selling real estate for many years.

After a 20+ year career as an owner of a retail jewelry shop, Rosemarie went full time into selling real estate five years ago. As an avid commercial real estate investor, she used that experience to help others buy and sell real estate.

“For many years before I became a REALTOR®, I was actively buying, rehabbing and holding properties for long-term investment,” said Rosemarie. “I originally intended on getting my license and focus on purchasing my own properties.”

“But after having other investors and interested home buyers ask me if I could help them, it made sense for me to help others buy and sell properties as well,” she added.

In 2017, Rosemarie attained her broker’s license and opened her brokerage, Fieldstone Real Estate.

Although very successful, Rosemarie decided that 2018 was the year to diversify her business to add more residential sales. She found NextHome through a simple Google search of “real estate franchises.”

“I saw a NextHome sign in front of a listing when I was driving home one evening,” recalled Rosemarie. “I had to stop the car and take a look at the sign. It was so eye-catching and fresh, I was blown away by the branding.”

“Once I did more research about the company, I was hooked and knew NextHome was what I was looking for.”

When not selling real estate, Rosemarie plays tennis competitively. She has been playing tennis on the highest level for more than 45 years – often traveling to play matches throughout the state of New Jersey.

She is the mother of four daughters – Erika (30), Paige (27), Olivia (22), and Sophia (19).

Please join us in welcoming Rosemarie and the rest of the team at NextHome Evolution on the opening of their brand new office in Chester, NJ!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Whalen & Co. opens office location in Washington

NextHome Whalen & Co. opens office location in Washington

Chris Whalen

NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Whalen & Co. This new brokerage represents the eighth office location opened in Washington by the NextHome franchise.

The Kennewick-based brokerage will be owned and operated by REALTOR® and Broker of record, Chris Whalen. NextHome Whalen & Co. will provide real estate services such as first-time buyer, investor, multi-family, land, luxury and traditional single-family sales to the areas of the “Tri-Cities” (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco), Benton City, Burbank, West Richland, and the remainder of Benton and Franklin Counties.

Kennewick is located three hours southeast of Seattle and home to nearly 75,000 residents. The city sits on the southwest bank of the Columbia River.

Chris was introduced to real estate in one of the most unique ways possible – as a limo driver who happened to drive a real estate agent to the airport.

“I remember picking up a gentleman while I was driving limousines at the time,” recalled Chris. “He requested to my company that I be the one to pick him back up upon his return. When I dropped him at his house and saw where he lived, I asked ‘What do you do?’ He said he was in real estate, and the rest was history.”

Chris has been interested in construction and architecture since he was a kid, so the tie into real estate seemed like a natural choice for a career.

He started in 2004 with Coldwell Banker in Phoenix, Arizona. After working several years at the brokerage, he made the moved to Keller Williams Realty and worked on one of the top teams in Arizona.

Chris and his wife, Kristina, moved a few years later and he ended up selling newly constructed homes with a company called New Home Star in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – the town where he was born and raised. At that time, New Home Star was the biggest home builder in eastern Iowa.

Knowing that he needed a position with more stability and health benefits, Chris approached the New Home Star team and asked if there were any positions that corporate could offer that made more sense for his family. They told Chris a sales manager position opened up in Kennewick, Washington if he was interested.

Randomly enough, Kristina grew up in that area, so the Whalens moved to Kennewick. Chris was not only responsible for the sales of new homes in Kennewick, but he also trained several other sales team members who worked in surrounding areas such as Spokane.

While finding his career interesting, Chris missed the ability to sell homes on his own terms versus selling just a few types of model homes. In June 2016, he left New Home Star and started his own company Whalen & Co. Real Estate and grew a successful brokerage.

He found NextHome in 2018 and found the franchise to be exactly what he had been looking for in order to grow his brokerage with the right technology and tools for his agents.

“After doing my research on NextHome, I realized that the company could advance all the technology that I wanted for my brokerage,” said Chris. “In speaking with some of the savvier agents in our area that I trust, these agents agreed and I was all in with NextHome.”

“The people are great, the support is great… NextHome is everything we were looking for,” added Chris.

Chris says the success of the company will be because of NextHome Whalen & Co.’s committed agents and their dedication towards first-class service for their clients.

Chris currently serves on the Education Committee of his local Real Estate Board and is also a Certified Real Estate Instructor with the State of Washington.

Chris and Kristina have been married since 2004 and have two children – Tommy (14) and Samantha (4). The family loves to travel and spend time on the water on their boat and enjoy the Colombia River.

Please join us in welcoming Chris and the rest of the team at NextHome Whalen & Co. on the opening of their brand new office in Kennewick, WA!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome At The Beach opens second location in Florida

NextHome At The Beach opens second location in Florida

Paige Brewer, Robyn Stahl, Sandra Fernandez (left to right)

Pleasanton, CA — March 13, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome At The Beach – Miami Branch. The new brokerage is the 49th NextHome franchise location in the state of Florida.

The NextHome At The Beach – Miami Branch will be owned by business partners Robyn Stahl and Paige Brewer. They will be joined on the leadership team by the Managing Broker and longtime Miami real estate icon, Sandra Fernandez. The company has agents who will help clients in both Spanish and English.

“We’ve known Sandra through the Women’s Council of REALTORS® over the past four years,” said Paige. “We have always loved her commitment to leadership, dedication towards education and her efforts in helping others. To have such a productive agent also be a part of our expansion has been a perfect match.”

“Paige and I have worked alongside Sandra for several years and fully trust that she will run the brokerage with such care,” added Robyn. “Her love and passion for real estate is unmatched.”

Sandra holds several important National Association of REALTORS® designations including Council of Residential Specialist (CRS), Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI), Performance Management Network (PMN), Short Sale and Foreclosure Resources Certificate (SFR), Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), At Home with Diversity (AHWD), Broker Price Opinion Resource Certificate (BROR), and Military Relocation Professional (MRP).

She currently serves as the Chair for the Florida REALTORS® Leadership Academy.

The 62-associate brokerage will support the entire Miami-Dade County and Florida Keys, which has more than 5 million residents in the Miami Metropolitan Area.

The company will provide sales services for residential, luxury, commercial, second homes, multi-family, investment properties, and first-time home buyer opportunities.

Robyn has been in real estate since 1986 in various roles as a real estate professional. She served as a mortgage processor and title processor for nearly 25 years before getting her real estate license in 2013.

Paige started her real estate career in Louisiana in 2009 and moved to Daytona Beach upon her husband’s retirement from the military. His retirement proved to be the perfect opportunity to move to a Florida beach community.

The business partners met while volunteering as members of their local Women’s Council of REALTORS®. While both women worked in the Daytona Beach area, they connected while members of two separate real estate companies.

In 2016, Brewer served as the President of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® -Daytona Beach Area Network and in 2017, she served as the District Vice President for District 8 and 9 for the state of Florida.

Over the past two years, their NextHome At The Beach location in Daytona has been incredibly successful. As an award-winning office of 20+ agents, expansion was inevitable.

With the leadership trio of Robyn, Paige and Sandra, NextHome At The Beach is positioned to see even more success in 2019.

Please join us in congratulating Robyn, Paige, Sandra, and the rest of their team at NextHome At The Beach for the grand opening of their second NextHome office!

NextHome Hahn Kiefer Residential is the newest NextHome office

NextHome Hahn Kiefer Residential is the newest NextHome office

Joe Kiefer (left) and Becky Kasha (right)

Pleasanton, CA — February 22, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Hahn Kiefer Residential in Evansville, Indiana.

The brokerage will be owned by longtime Evansville resident and business entrepreneur, Joe Kiefer. As the owner of the successful commercial real estate company Hahn Kiefer Commercial Real Estate Brokers, Joe is excited to announce the launch of the residential division of his real estate company.

Joe has brought on Becky Kasha to run the day-to-day operations for the company. She will serve as the Managing Broker and will be responsible for real estate sales, recruiting new agents to the company, and overseeing all legal compliance details.

The company will provide residential real estate services for the residents of Vanderburgh County.

Evansville is located in the farthest southwest corner of the state of Indiana – located near the borders of Illinois and Kentucky. The city has approximately 180,000 residents, with many moving to the county due to the new home construction that has been increasing the past several years.

Joe and his commercial brokerage will be celebrating its fifth year in 2019. As the company has grown market share and expanded the client base, the need for residential real estate services became more and more apparent. Joe knew that adding the residential division would be critical for the growth of the company, so he found a business partner to step in and work that side of the business.

Joe and Becky have known each other for more than 25 years. As a former city councilman and county commissioner, Joe met Becky through various political events and activities. As an important member of campaign fundraising and support team, Becky was able to work alongside Joe for many years. In addition to a friendship, the two gained mutual respect for each other – personally and professionally.

Becky is well positioned to lead a brokerage and help others achieve their real estate goals. With 25 years as a lawyer, experience as a PGA TOUR Director, and an important member of more than a dozen non-profit organizations, Becky is uniquely qualified to lead and motivate others by creating a positive work environment where agents will feel supported, yet able to independently do their business.

“Having personally met both Becky and Joe, I am excited about their addition to the NextHome franchise,” said NextHome’s Vice President Imran Poladi. “With their deeply connected roots to the community, their commitment to excellent client service, and their dedication to the real estate professional, I couldn’t be more proud to have them be a part of our NextHome family.”

Please join us in congratulating Joe, Becky and the rest of the team at NextHome Hahn Kiefer Residential on their new office opening in Evansville, Indiana!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome RGV Realty opens two office locations in Texas

NextHome RGV Realty opens two office locations in Texas

Ronnie Ontiveros

Pleasanton, CA — February 14, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our two newest additions to the franchise, NextHome RGV Realty in Port Isabel and McAllen, Texas. The two brokerage locations represent office locations #21 and #22 opened in the state of Texas for the NextHome franchise. The offices are approximately 20 minutes from each other.

The brokerage will be led and owned by top-producing REALTOR® owner Ronnie Ontiveros. She will handle all day-to-day operations for the company in both locations. She will be assisted on the leadership team by her mother, Nora Flores, who will handle back office details. Scarlett Pardo will serve as the Team Leader for the office.

The team at NextHome RGV Realty will handle all types of residential property sales such as first-time home buyers, investors, military and veteran services, land, relocation, foreclosures, short sales, and all forms of residential sales of 1-4 units. With nearly 20 associates between both offices, the company is poised to make a mark in South Texas.

The McAllen-based NextHome RGV Realty location will work in the cities of McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, Alamo and the entirety of Hidalgo County.

The Port Isabel office will handle clients in the cities of Port Isabel, Harlingen, South Padre Island, Brownsville and the remainder of Cameron County.

McAllen is the largest city in Hidalgo County with a population with nearly 150,000 residents.

A REALTOR® since 2004, Ronnie started her career in Dallas as a manager for the #1 Keller Williams agent in the United States at that time, Patrick Iommi. Working in that environment allowed Ronnie to learn the ins and outs of running a high-volume, highly productive real estate sales location.

After two years, Ronnie decided to make the move back to her hometown of McAllen and started working with a real estate team at Select Properties as a buyers agent. Shortly after, she switched to becoming a listing agent and had a very successful three year run as a member of the team.

In 2009, Ronnie and a business partner, made the move to Keller Williams in McAllen. Slowly building her business, her first year at the company, she sold nearly $4 million in volume – a huge achievement in a market where $179,000 is the average sales price of a home.

For nearly a decade at Keller Williams, Ronnie was one of the top producing agents in the entire city of McAllen. In 2018, Ronnie sold more than $14 million in real estate.

With ten years of high-volume sales, Ronnie was ready to go into 2019 as a business owner rather than just a REALTOR®.

“Prior to joining NextHome, I knew I wanted to either own my own brokerage or buy into an existing company and be part of the ownership team,” said Ronnie. “When I realized that an ownership opportunity wasn’t possible at the brokerage I was working at, I knew this was the time for me to go out on my own.”

After researching several different companies, Ronnie eventually decided to franchise with NextHome due to the strong organizational structure of the franchise.

“Having someone of Ronnie’s caliber join our company is an honor for us at NextHome,” said NextHome’s Vice President Imran Poladi. “As a long time real estate icon, she brings a stellar reputation and a brokerage full of talented and committed real estate agents who are really making an impact in their community. I speak for our entire corporate team when I say that we are beyond excited to have NextHome RGV Realty team join our NextHome family.”

Please join us in congratulating Ronnie and the rest of the team at NextHome RGV Realty on their office openings in Port Isabel and McAllen, Texas!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome opens newest office in Ashland, Ohio

NextHome opens newest office in Ashland, Ohio

Bill Stepp

Pleasanton, CA — February 5, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Next Stepp. The brokerage represents the fifth office location opened in the state of Ohio for the NextHome franchise.

The brokerage will be led by broker/owner Bill Stepp and he will handle all day-to-day operations for the company.

The team at NextHome Next Stepp will handle all types of residential property sales such as first-time home buyers, investors, land and farms, relocation, foreclosures, short sales, and all forms of residential sales of 1-4 units. Additionally, the brokerage will serve the community with an auction platform for all real estate properties.

Located an hour south of Cleveland and one hour north of Columbus, the Ashland-based NextHome Next Stepp will service various areas throughout Central Ohio including the cities of Ashland, Mansfield, Wooster, Millersburg, and the remainder of the Richland, Wayne and Holmes Counties.

A professional auctioneer since 1990, Bill brings a unique advantage to the local community. In 1997, he became a full-time auctioneer and has adapted his auction model to serve as a way of selling homes for over 30 years.

In 1997, Bill started in real estate with Dilgard and Associates – a real estate and auction company. Shortly after, Bill purchased it from the owner of the company, who started it in 1953, when he expressed a desire to retire. The company has been known for their real estate auctions and has been consistently auctioning more than 30 homes a year.

As the owner and broker of Dilgard and Associates, Bill grew the company to 14 agents with an annual sales volume of over $13 million – no small feat when the average sales price of a home is around $125,000. In 2018, the company closed over 100 real estate transactions.

While very successful, Bill did look at various real estate franchise models, but always decided to not franchise due to a lack of value. However, in mid-2017, he found NextHome through a real estate magazine. After researching for over a year, Bill made the decision to franchise with NextHome.

“As NextHome Next Stepp, I’m excited about bringing this fresh, new look and feel to our agents and our community,” said Bill. “Adding what NextHome offers, along with our auction platform, we really will be a cut above in what our agents can offer buyers and sellers.”

Bill has been recognized for his service to the real estate industry and auction community for many years.

Bill served as the 2011 President of the Ohio Auctioneers Association and in 2018, he was inducted into the Ohio Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. In 2019, the company has been nominated by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce as a semi-finalist for the Sales and Marketing Award.

Bill and his wife of 34 years, Connie, have two sons – Zane, who is the Office Manager at NextHome Next Stepp, and Zach, a nurse based in Tampa, Florida.

Please join us in congratulating Bill and the rest of the team at NextHome Next Stepp on their new NextHome office in Ashland, OH!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome CREA Real Estate is the newest NextHome franchised office

NextHome CREA Real Estate is the newest NextHome franchised office

Sal Torres

Pleasanton, CA — February, 1 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome CREA Real Estate. The brokerage represents the 64th office location opened in the state of California for the NextHome franchise.

The brokerage will be led by broker/owner Sal Torres and he will handle all day-to-day operations for the company.

Located in Ontario, the team at NextHome CREA Real Estate will handle all types of residential property sales such as first-time home buyers, investors, farms, ranches and land, veteran’s assistance buyers, relocation, foreclosures, short sales, and all forms of residential sales of 1-4 units. The brokerage will serve the needs of both English and Spanish speaking clients.

NextHome CREA Real Estate will service various areas throughout Southern California including the cities of Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Chino, Chino Hills, Upland, Claremont, and the remainder of the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire Region.

Licensed since 2000, Sal started his real estate career at a local independent boutique brokerage as an agent, but quickly moved into management.

In the four years that he was there, he grew the company to 20 agents while still personally selling more than 30 transactions annually.

In 2004, Sal opened his own brokerage, Realty Professional. He described the experience of running his own company as a valuable learning lesson in upping his skills in negotiation, problem-solving, and working with various personalities. Additionally, Sal also purchased 13 homes for his personal portfolio for rental properties.

In 2012, Sal converted his brokerage into CREA Realty Inc. The purpose of the rebrand of the brokerage was to create a company that was a community resource that residents could count on for solid real estate advice. The company grew to 42 agents and was becoming well known for helping residents throughout the Inland Empire Region.

“Our local communities during 2007 to 2012 were filled with homes that were either in foreclosure or in short sale status,” said Sal. “I wanted to make sure homeowners had a resource to help them either keep their home or at the very least work out a short sale that would help them get out of a tough financial situation.”

Whether it was assisting with loan modifications, avoiding foreclosure, or helping list and sell their home via short sale, Sal and his team provided a valuable resource to homeowners who were looking for help.

In 2018, Sal found the NextHome franchise via REALTOR® Magazine and started researching the company.

“I felt that partnering with NextHome was the best option to help our agents grow and further their career,” said Sal. “Our company will help agents build a sustainable business, help them with personal and professional accountability, and create a brokerage with a fun, supportive culture.”

When not selling real estate, it’s all about family for Sal.

He and his wife of 20 years, Desiree, have three children – daughters Odyssey (age 19), Heidi (13) and son Noah (7). The Torres’ will be welcoming a grandchild in March of this year.

Desiree is also a REALTOR® and will be working along Sal in growing NextHome CREA Real Estate.

Please join us in congratulating Sal and the rest of the team at NextHome CREA Real Estate on their new NextHome office in Ontario, CA!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHomie of the Month for January 2019: Joe Montoya

NextHomie of the Month for January 2019: Joe Montoya

Sometimes all it takes is a “regular Joe” to have a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of people. Such is the case with Joe Montoya of the Sacramento area’s NextHome Select and our January 2019 NextHomie of the Month.

When people are in need, Joe gets rolling. “Never go to help empty handed,” Joe said in a recent interview.

“Joe’s inspiring,” said Tiffany Lewis, broker/owner of NextHome Select along with her husband, Jason. “He’d give you the shirt off his back. I was at a party at Joe’s home recently and past clients of his told me they could have lived anywhere, but they picked a house near Joe so they could be closer to him.”

Joe’s story is about one man deciding to step up.

Joe and his wife, Julie, had taken some time off and were vacationing in the Paradise, CA area when her brother showed up in his truck and said the authorities wouldn’t let him go back to his house. They didn’t know it at the moment, but Julie’s brother’s house had been destroyed and his dog killed in the wildfires that recently raged through the Paradise area. By that time, thousands of people had been displaced and many were living in a makeshift campground in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

That was all Joe needed to hear. He headed home where Joe and Julie cut up meat and vegetables and made pounds and pounds of hot posole stew. He loaded it into his burner stove on his truck and took off for Paradise.

“It was getting colder and colder up there,” Joe said. “We just had to do something.”

When he arrived, Joe was amazed at the scene –  the parking lot was already packed with people, tents, and vehicles.

“But just as we arrived, one car just happened to pull out and we pulled right into that spot,” Joe said. And when the word got out, there was almost immediately a long line behind Joe’s truck.

“One guy told me the people there hadn’t had a hot meal in over a week,” Joe said. Most of the donated food items were non-perishable items such as jerky, canned goods, or snacks. With the declining temperatures, they needed a hot and heavy meal.

That afternoon, Joe and Julie served over 300 people – until all the posole was gone.

“I can still see all those faces in need and how cold they looked and …,” Joe said, his voice cracking and going silent for a moment as he recalled that day.

But according to Tiffany, this selfless act is just who Joe Montoya is – and why the Culture Committee easily selected Joe as our NextHomie of the Month.

“Joe’s language of love is food,” Tiffany said. “I haven’t known him for a long time, but what I do know is he is our kind of people – personable, fun-loving, passionate for what he does, and completely dedicated to his clients.”    

Joe has been licensed since 1993. For a few years he worked for Realty World Northern California & Nevada where he met two “geeky, tech guys” by the names of James Dwiggins (NextHome’s CEO) and Tei Baishiki (NextHome’s Chief Operating Officer).

“They were just the guys who fixed my computer when I had a problem,” Joe said with a laugh.

Fast forward, Joe was treading water in his real estate career. He had married Julie and they moved from Tracy, CA to Roseville, CA.

“I was in this room and sitting at this conference table and I remember just thumbing through this white book and I was stunned,” Joe said, remembering the first time he flipped through a NextHome presentation book. “As I flipped through that book, I saw the two guys who used to fix my computer. I knew I needed to be branded and what James and Tei were offering was clean and looked like the perfect way to go to me.”

And today, Joe is home at NextHome Select.

“I feel at home,” Joe said. “This place is tailor-made for me. I list a home and I get an email with all my marketing materials done for me. I am a servant of others and so is this company. They operate from a servant mentality and they always have my needs in mind.”

Just like Joe had in mind the needs of hundreds of people in Paradise, CA who hadn’t met him or enjoyed a hot meal in over a week – until Joe Montoya and his truck pulled in.

$33.3 Trillion Housing Market Up 49% Since 2012 – A Third of the Gain From California

$33.3 Trillion Housing Market Up 49% Since 2012 – A Third of the Gain From California

  • The total value of the U.S. housing market rose $1.9 trillion in 2018 to $33.3 trillion.
  • A third of the market’s $10.9 trillion gain since its housing-bust low in 2012 has come from California.
  • The New York metro area’s $3 trillion in value makes it the most valuable market in the country, representing 9.1 percent of the country’s total value.

The value of the U.S. housing market continues to climb, gaining 6.2 percent in 2018 to reach a total value of $33.3 trillion. That’s up $10.9 billion from the bottom of the market in 2012 – and a third of the gain has come in California. The Golden State’s value has climbed $3.7 trillion since February 2012, the nation’s housing-crash low. No other state has gained more than $1 trillion in that same span.

The total value of all homes in the New York metro is the highest among metros analyzed, at $3 trillion – on its own accounting for 9.1 percent of the country’s total housing value. Four of the country’s 10 most valuable markets are in California: Los Angeles, which rose 5.2 percent to $2.9 trillion; San Francisco, up 9.3 percent to $1.6 trillion; San Jose, which gained 10.4 percent to $799.6 billion and San Diego, up 3.4 percent to $673.5 billion.

The housing stock in some pricey metro areas is so valuable, in fact, that the total value in one market often eclipses that of all housing in an entire state. For example, all homes in the Washington, D.C. metro are worth a combined $892 billion – which is more than the values of all homes in 40 individual states, including Colorado ($833.8 billion), Arizona ($708.1 billion), Ohio ($695 billion) and Oregon ($451.8 billion).

These numbers are so gargantuan that it’s tricky to put them in perspective. For example, even the total cinematic earnings from top 10 highest-grossing movies of all time – including Avatar, Titanic, three Avengers movies, Black Panther and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – total $17.9 billion, a drop in the housing market bucket. And Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth of $160 billion is still only about half Detroit’s $314.9 billion housing value.

Better comparisons come from the gross domestic products of entire nations. The U.S. total housing value of $33.3 trillion is equivalent to the combined GDPs of the United States ($19.4 trillion), China ($12.2 trillion) and Canada ($1.7 trillion).

Even individual metros dwarf entire countries’ economies.

For more helpful tips, visit the Zillow blog.

7 Tips on How to Prepare for the 2019 Real Estate Market

7 Tips on How to Prepare for the 2019 Real Estate Market

What’s ahead for the real estate market in 2019? While there’s plenty of speculation about new construction slowdowns, a low inventory of existing homes and rising housing prices and mortgage interest rates, nobody knows for sure yet exactly what the new year will bring. Even without a crystal ball to see into the future, there are some things real estate professionals can do to prepare for what’s in store for the coming year. Here are some tips:

1. Do Your Own Research

Read a wide variety of different forecasts and opinions from financial and real estate experts from different parts of the country. In addition to trade publications and online sources, listen to podcasts, radio programs, and watch financial news programs. Then, draw your own conclusions based on what you’ve seen and heard so that you can answer questions and give informed opinions when clients turn to you for expert advice about what’s ahead. Be sure to make copies of any articles that you find particularly interesting to share with clients and colleagues, or save the links to pass along.

2. Attend Industry Functions

This is an ideal time to network and to hear speakers address predictions and projections for 2019. Local and national industry and association meetings, conventions, and seminars can provide valuable market information as well as provide opportunities for question-and-answer sessions and the exchange of ideas. Make time to attend as many events as your calendar and schedule can accommodate.

3. Talk to Your Mortgage and Banking Contacts

Now is a good time to meet with your partners in the mortgage and banking sectors to find out what they see happening in the coming year. They may also be able to provide information about any changes to the mortgage application or approval process that could affect your clients and closing timeframes.

4. Survey Clients

Sending a brief, informal survey to your clients by mail or by email is a good way to gauge their real estate market outlook as well as whether they have plans to buy or sell a home in 2019. A survey also provides you with a touch point for helping to maintain client relationships. In addition, it gives clients the opportunity to ask you questions about the market in your area.

5. Update Technology

Whatever is in store for real estate market trends, one thing that is for certain in 2019 is that technology will continue to play an important role. Update your cell phone, computer, tablet, or any other outdated technology so that you can have the tools you need to succeed next year.

6. Revise Your Provider Network

Sometimes it takes a village to sell a home, and the relationships you have with provider partners can be crucial in closing transactions. Review your provider network and touch base with any partners you haven’t worked with in a while. In addition to a mortgage broker or lender, it’s a good idea to have established relationships with a home inspector, a home warranty provider, an appraiser, a pest control professional, a home stager, and movers. Clients may also ask you for other referrals, including roofers, pool inspectors, home stagers, movers, painters, and other services.

7. Add Value to Your Service

To be prepared for whatever the 2019 real estate market brings, look for ways to add value to the service you provide to your real estate clients. For example, adding an American Home Shield® Home Warranty to each transaction is a great way to reassure buyers and sellers, build client loyalty, and help deals close smoothly.  Make sure your clients know that while markets may fluctuate, the caliber of service you deliver never will. To learn more about an American Home Shield Home Warranty and how it can help protect your client’s budgets, contact your local Account Executive.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.