The market has begun to cool, with the median home value nationally climbing in March by less than 7% annually (to $226,700) for the first time in more than two years.
Home values are growing especially slowly in some markets that until recently were among the country’s hottest. While values in most major metros continue to climb, but slowly, an exception is pricey San Jose, Calif.: Its home values fell year-over-year in March for the first time in seven years, falling 0.2% from March 2018 (the median home in the San Jose area was worth $1,209,700 in March, down from $1,212,100 a year ago).
While long-term housing demand continues to look strong, we’re seeing our first set of significant local housing slowdowns since the nationwide downturn in 2007. Other formerly white-hot markets that are jamming on the brakes include: San Diego, where home values grew just 1.3% annually in March (down from 8.6% year-over-year growth in march 2018); San Francisco and Los Angeles, both growing at 2% year-over-year, down from 9.5% and 7.6% last year; and Seattle, growing at a 2.6% annual pace, from 11.8% a year ago. Judging by their trajectory, it is possible home value appreciation will continue to soften and go temporarily negative in these markets as well.
It’s not surprising that the total inventory of homes available for sale during the month is simultaneously climbing. March was the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year inventory gains—the first time that’s happened since 2014.
However, these sister trends—home values falling and overall inventory climbing—are not a result of builders or homeowners putting more houses on the market, although it may feel that way to new buyers checking on available listings and seeing more from which to choose.
In fact, for the past four months, new for-sale inventory – the number of homes listed in a given month that were not on the market during the previous month – has fallen on an annual basis. In March, there were 6.1% fewer new listings than in March 2018; in February, 7.7% fewer; in January, 3.6% fewer; and in December, 2.8% fewer.
Although there have been months with annual increases—notably October, when new listings rose 13.4% from a year earlier—the trend is downward, a sign that even sellers are retreating from the housing market.
Without an influx of new listings, the boost in total inventory has been largely a result of changing demand:
Buyers are more willing to wait: February was the first month in four years (since February 2015) that the average number of days listings are on the market has risen. In February, listings nationally were on the market for an average of 96 days, up from 92 days a year earlier.
They’re also less willing to pay sellers’ asking prices: In March, 14.6% of listings had a price cut, up from 12.7% in March 2018.
This kind of slowdown story is typified by markets like Sacramento, Chicago, Riverside, Calif., Tampa, Fla., Dallas-Fort Worth, and Los Angeles—major metro areas where home value appreciation is significantly slower this year than last and overall inventory is up despite a drop in the number of new listings this March versus last March.
Slowdowns driven by an influx of new supply can be welcome news for certain types of housing markets, like rain after a long drought. And there are metros having that kind of breather–San Jose and Seattle, the two metro areas with the most abrupt slowdown in home value appreciation, are experiencing swells in overall inventory bolstered at least in part by increases in new listings. Denver, Boston, Detroit, and San Antonio have similar profiles, but with more gradual softening in price growth.
The Atlanta metro is an odd exception. Like the above, overall inventory and new listings are significantly higher, up 13.8% and 14.8% respectively, yet home value appreciation remains on par with last year, growing in the double digits.
On the other end of the spectrum, Indianapolis, Virginia Beach, and Austin continue to experience both increasing appreciation and declining inventories—a good reminder that the national trend no longer typifies all markets’ experience.
Non-coastal metros take off
While expensive coastal markets experience a home-value slowdown, values in inland markets including Indianapolis, Atlanta and Las Vegas are posting double-digit growth. Annual growth in Indianapolis has been climbing in the double digits for eight months, and rose 12.8% in March to $167,000, the fastest of any major market. Atlanta’s median home value grew 10.7% in March to $220,000, which puts it just shy of the $226,700 national median. And Las Vegas posted 10% median home value growth in March to reach $280,600. While most major metros have by now reclaimed their housing bubble peaks, it will still be a while before Las Vegas reclaims its June 2006 peak of $316,800.
Rents keep climbing
The median rent nationwide rose 2.5% ($36) in March to $1,474 a month. Among major metros, rents climbed fastest year-over-year in Las Vegas, where they rose 7.6% ($98) to $1,396; Phoenix, where they were up 6.7% ($91) to $1,446; and Orlando, Fla., where they grew 6.5% ($93) to $1,531.
Rents rose 2% or less in nine of the 35 largest metro areas. Baltimore grew the slowest, climbing 1% from March 2018 ($18) to $1,753. It was followed by San Jose, Calif., and the New York metro area, where rents rose just 1.5 percent from a year ago (to $3,553 in San Jose and $2,419 in New York).
Community Videos can be a really big part of your marketing strategy as a real estate agent. They not only show that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your community but they also can show what a buyer would get when moving to that part of town. As a realtor, you’re not just selling a home – you are selling an area or neighborhood! Below we’ve made a list of steps to help you confidently film and share a great community video!
What to expect
Time commitment: 3 days total per video
(one day planning, one day filming, one day posting and promoting)
Average budget: between $500 – $2k
More followers and viewers on social media
More community connections
You establish yourself as a local expert
You help promote something you love
1. Decide What You’re Passionate About
The very first step in this process is to decide what part of your community to highlight. You need to pick something you’re excited about and passionate about, whether that be restaurants, parks, non-profit organizations, etc. Judy Weiniger, a community video master, says, “Chose the businesses that excite you.” Don’t force yourself to get excited about a subject you don’t gravitate towards.
We know it can be hard to choose the topic of your first community video, especially if you love a lot of things in your area. We put together a list based on passions and interests to help you get started.
Do you love food & drinks? You could feature….
Local Chefs or Bartenders
Do you love shopping and supporting local businesses? You could feature…
Small Shops & Boutiques
Any New Shop/Business
Do you love being active? You could feature…
School Sporting Events
Do you love music & art? You could feature…
Do you value family? You could feature…
Family-Friendly Activities in the Area
Do you love animals? You could feature…
Local dog parks
Local Animal Shelters
If you really want to go ALL IN on community videos, you can challenge yourself to feature your 30 favorite places in town over 30 days like Craig Veroni. Craig is one of our Real Estate Video Influencer winners who found a creative way to highlight the best parts of his community on social media. He was trained by Jesse Peters, and Michael Thorne of RE Video Studio.
Also keep in mind that you don’t just have to feature places or events, you can specifically feature people as well! Every community has inspiring individuals that your viewers will love learning more about. Craig Veroni has done another series called My Favourite Humans in Vancouver where he showcased different people.
2. Create a List of Specific Businesses to Reach out to
Once you’ve decided on what type of community videos you want to start with, it’s time to pick specific businesses/places/people to feature! When creating your list, we recommend focusing on a specific part of town. Marguerite Martin, a Real Estate Video Influencer winner in the Community Video Category, specializes in downtown Tacoma, instead of trying to cover her whole city. We also recommend keeping an eye on the news channels, papers and bloggers to see what people are talking about!
Pick the top three things you’d like to feature. Figure out who you need to contact for each topic and gather emails. If you can’t decide between a few places or businesses, ask some other people in the community what they’d prefer to see a video feature on. And like we said before, keep an eye on blogs and the news. Though it’s important to be passionate about what you feature, it’s also important that it will spark your viewer’s interest.
3. Reach Out with Video
Now it’s time to see if you’re able to film your community videos at the places you’ve chosen. Depending on what you choose, you’ll need to reach out to the person who owns or runs the establishment. If you have picked something like a park, you could try to find & contact a person through the City Government. If you’ve picked a business, then you’ll need to reach out to the owner and get permission to do a feature.
We think the very best way to reach out is through a video! It’s a great way to introduce yourself and explain what you are wanting to do. BombBomb makes this very easy to do. You could even go to the place you want to feature and record your introduction video there! (If you’d like to try BombBomb free for 2 weeks – click here!)
Not sure what to say in your email or video? We put together a script that we used to reach out to local businesses here in Colorado Springs!
Hi (Owner/Employee Name),
My name is (first name), I’m the (job title) at (company name).
As a real estate agent, I need to establish myself as an expert on our community and a great way to do that is by filming what we call a community video. For this video, I would really love to highlight your establishment, (business name).
My goal is to show off some awesome places in the community. I absolutely love your business, which is why I’m reaching out to you. If possible, I’d like to come by for a couple hours during a slower time and film a quick video with you. My goal is to capture the story of your business – so I’d love to interview you for part of the filming as well.
Let me know if that is something you’d be interested in! We want nothing in return. Our goal is to simply highlight our community on social media.
One last thing to remember is to make it clear that you aren’t asking for money. Ask for nothing in return. Community videos will be an investment on your part but trust us, it is an investment that’s worth it. Community videos establish you as a local expert. They will grow your following and viewership. They will help people connect you with. They will even help you establish relationships with local business owners who may eventually need to buy or sell their home! Ultimately, your community videos should bring you new clients and prospects as you grow your connections and community presence.
4. Plan a Time to Film Your Videos
The business owner might want to meet with you to plan your video. In that case, make sure to set aside time to meet and plan. You may also be able to work things out over email. We estimate most community videos take around 2 hours of filming on location. Try to schedule all your community videos for one day so you can knock them all out at once.
It’s important to pick the best time for the business owner. They likely won’t want you coming during their busiest time of day. Try to go when you won’t be disruptive with your filming and when the business owner/employees will have the most time to talk with you! If you’re filming a lot outside, try to pick a day where the weather will be nice and pick a time where the sun won’t be too harsh.
5. Hire a Videographer
**Note: This is not mandatory! Many of our video influencers shoot their community videos on their cell phones. But if you’re new to filming, a videographer is a good place to start. We jump to our tips on how to do it yourself in the video below.
We suggest using Judy Weiniger’s method of finding videographers. She says, “How I found mine is through searching videographers who do weddings.” Ask around or post something on Facebook asking for good, local wedding videographers. Most weddings are on weekends so these videographers will often be excited to get side jobs like this during the week.
If you and a coworker or partner are wanting to tackle this project without hiring anyone, it’s doable! Here are some tips from Visual Storyteller, Matt Mead and Content Marketing Specialist, Alexa Franck. They walk through all the gear you need – both the basic setup and the pro setup.
6. Create a Video Outline
Now it’s time to plan out your video so you’re ready for filming! This plan should include a list of video shots you want, questions you’d like to ask the business owner, details you want the community to know, etc. Write down the script of how you want to intro and outro the video. You don’t have to stick strictly to this script, but it’ll keep you on track while filming! While planning your video, plan out the story that it will tell. Every business and person has a story to tell!
Depending on who you hire, you might sit down with your videographer to plan this out. You can also send this plan over to the business owner for them to approve before the filming. It’s always good to have a second pair of eyes (like the business owner or videographer) to look over your plan so you don’t miss any key points. You don’t want to get done filming and then realize a day later that you missed an important shot or piece of information.
It’s also important to plan for how long you want your videos to be. The ideal length of a YouTube Video is 5-10 minutes so you should shoot for getting enough footage to create this length of video.
Here’s an outline example that we used for our community videos:
Carnelian Coffee Community Video Filming Outline
Video Shot: Alexa in front of the coffee shop
Opening Script: “I’m here at Carnelian Coffee Co in Old Colorado City – only a few minutes away from the BombBomb Office! We’re going to go chat with the owner, and hear all about this cozy little spot!”
B-Roll: Alexa walking down the street into the coffee shop
Video Shot: Kate (coffee shop owner) sitting for interview
Tell us about the beginning of your coffee shop and what inspired you to start it!
Walk me through what a typical day at the coffee shop looks like for you!
What are some of the best things you serve/best selling drinks?
What do you want people to experience when they come here?
What makes your place unique?
B-Roll: Kate making a cup of coffee, pulling espresso, steaming milk, etc.
Extra B-Roll Shots:
-Shots of the shop interior and decor.
-A pan shot of the inside and outside.
-Shot of two people talking and drinking coffee.
While we were in the shop, we learned that Kate will only sell merchandise from Colorado Businesses. Because of that, we also got some footage of all of the trinkets she sold at Carnelian. It’s important to remain observant as the owner tells their story, and get shots of the amazing details they share!
Once your video is planned, you have the option of coming up with a clever name for your community video series! Here’s a few great names used by our Community Real Estate Video Influencers! See what other community video creators are doing and get some inspiration:
Filming day has come. If you’ve followed each step and taken our advice, you’ll have scheduled to film a couple of places/business for the day. You will want to have a videographer who’s ready to go and knows what shots are needed. You’ll want to have your outline ready. And fortunately, you’ll also have already built a relationship with the business owner or manager through video or meetings so you’ll feel comfortable filming with them!
Things should go smoothly if you’ve planned accordingly. Our main piece of advice at this point is to have fun and enjoy the process! To build interest in your upcoming community videos, you should go LIVE on Facebook or Instagram before wrapping up your day of filming. You can include the business owner and quickly introduce them or give people a sneak peak of the places you’ll be featuring. Consider it a promo video for your community videos! We recommend going live for at least 5 minutes. If you’re worried about taking a video that long, try to prepare an outline for that video as well.
Try to film another promo video apart from going LIVE. When you go live, it’ll just air on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll want a promo video for other social platforms as well. Film a quick intro in front of each place you’re highlighting. In a promo video, you can inform your viewers when the community video will premiere on your social accounts. You can also give people a sneak peak into the things you’ll be talking about in the community videos.
While your videographer is hard at work getting your videos edited, you can start planning out your social strategy. Here’s the distribution process we recommend for your videos!
Short Community Video Promo
Video Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
Video Length: 1 minute
Where to Post:
Short Community Video Teaser
Video Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels and 1080 x 1920 pixels
Video Length: 15-60 Seconds
Where to Post:
30-60 second square teaser on Instagram and Twitter
15 second vertical teaser on Instagram Story
Full Length Community Video
Video Size: 1080 x 1920 pixels and 1280 x 720 pixels
Video Length: 5-10 minutes
Where to post:
Vertical on IGTV
Horizontal on YouTube
Medium Length Community Video
Video Size: 1280 x 720 pixels
Video Length: 2-3 minutes
Where to post:
Create an ad budget for promoting your video on Facebook. You need to pay to get views. We suggest creating a Facebook audience that includes people in your area. You can make your lists more specific as well! If you featured a yoga studio, target people who are interested in yoga, a specific yoga studio, etc.
Another great way to help your videos do well on social is to have the business themselves use the video however they want! Let them use it on their website. Let them share it on their social pages. For them, it’s like a free promotional video so they will probably love sharing it. You can ask them to tag you in their posts.
9. See What Your Audience Loves and Give Them More
If you did three different videos and one performed better than the rest, try to replicate what you did. If your video on a coffee shop performed the best, maybe try to feature another coffee shop. Don’t try to cover all the things in your community. Find your niche and stick to it. If you’re planning to do a series, stick to the topic of your series until you have between 5-10 videos. Then start planning your your next series. You’re becoming a community expert!
Here is the community video we did here at BombBomb! We went out and visited a local coffee shop to film our community video. We used a lot of the tips we listed here in this post and the results have been great. Thanks to Kate Firoved and Carnelian Coffee for letting us stop by!
There’s no doubt about it, real estate is a demanding career that requires a big-time investment to be successful. Keeping up with client requests, listings, showings, closings, generating leads and the myriad of other tasks you need to accomplish can leave you begging for more hours in each day. How can you manage your work days to be more efficient and productive? Here are some tips:
1. Track your day using a log or time sheet. Even if it’s just for a week or two, write down or electronically record your day’s activities in 15-minute increments from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. Then, look back and see where the biggest chunks of your time are spent and where there may be some minutes each day that you can shift activities to gain some spare time. Notice any patterns that emerge, such as activities that you tend to consistently do during certain times of the day.
2. Think about when you are typically the most productive. For some people, it’s early in the morning. Others may need a few hours to reach their peak energy, and for some the end of the day may be their most efficient time. Whatever yours is, try to schedule the most important or the most taxing activities during those hours.
3. Try to consolidate where you can. Group tasks and activities for maximum productivity. For example, try to return calls, texts, and emails together as much as possible so that you’re not constantly being interrupted throughout the day. Try to handle all appointments and errands in the same part of town to avoid wasted driving time.
4. Tap into your multi-tasking skills. Check listing activity while you wait for appointments. Listen to real estate related podcasts while you drive to stay abreast of industry trends. Return phone calls while you walk or exercise.
5. Take advantage of the technology around you. Set notifications for only the things you need to be alerted about immediately, such as texts and phone calls. Organize the apps on your phone and tablet so that you can access them quickly, and delete those that you don’t use.
6. Take a social media break, and avoid the social media rabbit hole. While social media platforms can help you with leads and building client relationships, they can also be a time drain. Designate a set period each day to post on your social media accounts and to comment on other posts. To keep you on track, consider setting an alarm on your phone to signal when it’s time to move on to other tasks.
7. Team up with professionals who can make your life easier. For example, an American Home Shield® Home Warranty can help transactions go more smoothly as well as help build lasting client relationships. When buyers have AHS® Home Warranty protection and a covered item breaks down, they’ll call AHS and not you about the problem, which can save you time and help you be productive. Your local AHS Account Executive can also help you with marketing tools and other ideas to help you be as efficient as possible.
When it comes to Zillow Group, there seems to be a lot of fear and anger in our industry and it has been this way since the company launched in 2004. I experienced this first hand while working on the portal side of the business, starting with Realtor.com in 2003 and leaving Trulia in 2014. What I learned during these years has provided me insight into what the consumer needs and demands, as well as the fears of real estate professionals across the country.
Fear in business can be dangerous and detrimental. Some of us pull old quotes from Zillow executives and use them today to justify our concerns. Have we never changed course in our business or personal lives? Is it wrong for Zillow to shift direction? If the plan is not working, then perhaps the plan should change but not the goal.
One thing is certain: Zillow has never been shy about their goal of giving power to the people when it comes to making the best decision on the single greatest investment of their life. It’s not as complicated as we have made it over the last several decades. Instead of seeing them as a threat, why not look at Zillow Group as a way to learn and adopt what is working?
Yes, you could ignore them or pull your data as a way to fight against them. The reality is Zillow Group has captured over two-thirds of the total market share of online real estate shoppers and has more than double the audience of Realtor.com, the official site of the National Association of REALTORS®. We used to pay at least five times more for this kind of reach in print advertising without any guarantees readers would even flip to the real estate section. And don’t even get me started on TV or Super Bowl commercials.
NextHome’s leadership team understands that change is inevitable, but transformation is optional. And we choose transformation.
We are focused on transforming the franchise model into something fun and desirable; our franchise owners and their offices into a profitable and enticing place to work; and our agents into the most valuable part of the transaction, so there are no objections at closing time when the commission is paid.
We are also focused on transforming our relationship with industry partners, such as Zillow Group, so our agents and franchise owners are one of the first to be called upon when our partners want to try something new.
Especially if it means we can hold Zillow accountable for providing a service that will need to be successful if they want to get paid. And why shouldn’t they? After all, they are consuming all the financial risk to position themselves as the most visited real estate site in the world. How is it any different than hiring Cartus or paying another broker for a referral, except in this case the referring company is Zillow?
Is this a risky move? Of course! But it becomes a shared risk and without risk, there would be no progress. And without progress, we will not transform into the best version of ourselves.
Pleasanton, CA — February 13, 2018— NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Sampson Realty. The brokerage represents the sixth location opened in the state of Michigan for the NextHome franchise.
Based in Livonia, the company will be owned and operated by real estate broker Miles Sampson. NextHome Sampson Realty will provide real estate services such as single family residential sales, first-time home buyers, multi-family properties, investment sales and commercial to the areas of Livonia, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Ypsilanti, Monroe, and the remainder of Wayne County.
With a population of nearly 100,000, the city of Livonia is located 15 miles Northwest of Downtown Detroit.
Sampson has been in the real estate industry since 2007. Starting as an assistant to a high-producing REALTOR®, he handled all details of the transaction from contract to close. With a specialization in streamlining the escrow process, Sampson was a valuable member of the real estate team.
In 2009, Sampson took a role as an Assistant Market Center Coordinator for a local Keller Williams Realty. With responsibilities such as accounting and management of the entire brokerage’s transactions, Sampson quickly learned how to handle dozens of transactions at any given time. While fulfilling, Sampson wanted to take his talents to the sales side.
In 2011, Sampson made the move to full-time REALTOR® and over the next six years, he steadily built a very successful real estate business.
In late 2017, Sampson felt that after nearly a decade in the real estate industry, it was time for him to open his own brokerage. Understanding the value of leverage, he looked to partner with a franchise that aligned with his values and brokerage needs.
“I found NextHome through a simple Google search,” said Sampson. “I loved the consistent branding. Considering I see so many companies not have branding standards, it was really appealing to find a franchise that held the line with this.”
When not selling real estate, Sampson volunteers for Bethany Christian Services, where he works with foster/adopting parents. As an instructor for the foster care skills class, Sampson helps families adapt to provide a home for these children.
Sampson loves spending time with his wife of seven years (and college sweetheart), Sarah. They have a two-year-old son, Elliott. The couple enjoy playing a unique card game with their friends called “Euchre” (pronounced Uke-Er).
Please join us in congratulating Miles and the rest of the team at NextHome Sampson Realty on the opening of their brand new NextHome office in Livonia, MI!
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.
Last month, our CEO, James Dwiggins, traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the Council of MLS Annual Conference. The event was a great place to meet MLS executives and learn about the issues that define the real estate industry. On day one of the event, James took to the stage with Rebecca Jensen, CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data, and Gregg Larson, CEO of Clareity. They had a candid discussion about the industry and how to strengthen the relationships between brokers, agents, and the MLS, so we can better serve an increasingly complex marketplace.
Check out the video below and see what these leaders in the real estate industry are discussing when it comes to the future of the MLS. Tune in to hear the concerns of our CEO regarding consolidation of MLSs, the challenges around a lack of data standardization, and much more.
Pleasanton, CA— August 9, 2017—Real estate franchisor NextHome proudly announces the opening of their 200th office location – Palm Harbor, Florida.
The company’s growth has been unlike anything seen in the real estate industry. NextHome began franchising in January of 2015 and since launching, the company has expanded nationally into 41 states.
“To be able to grow our company from zero to 200 offices in less than 30 months has been an incredible ride,” said NextHome’s Chief Executive Officer, James Dwiggins. “It has been a humbling journey and still having the family feel while building a national network of NextHome agents and brokers has been inspiring.”
“We are looking forward to what the next 30 months has in store for our company,” added Dwiggins.
Key to the expansion has been the work of the sales team, led by NextHome’s Vice President of Sales, Charis Moreno.
“I’m excited about our company’s expansion and how quickly we have grown,” said Moreno. “But what truly impresses me is the quality of the NextHome agents and brokers that have become a part of our company. The best companies are driven by the quality of the people in it.”
Based in Pleasanton, California, NextHome’s headquarters features nearly 20 staff members dedicated to serving more than 1,600 NextHome members nationally. The team, led by NextHome’s Chief Operating Officer, Tei Baishiki, handles more than 8,500 member services inquiries per month.
With NextHome’s highly automated Intranet system, the Member Services team can focus on highly personalized, first-class interactivity with members who are in need of real estate assistance.
New additions to NextHome’s technology platform has substantially increased broker interest in franchising with the company. NextHome’s Chief Strategy Officer, Keith Robinson, focuses on identifying and implementing new products to the NextHome suite of tools. These tools include the integration and connectivity of real estate technology products such as: SmartZip, Ylopo, BombBomb, RealScout, Homespotter, and Spacio.
Once these programs have been added to the franchise’s platform, members are shown the benefits of NextHome services through various live in-person trainings, as well as online webinars. These courses, taught by NextHome’s Franchise Development Director, Mackenzie Baishiki, allow a flexible, yet interactive experience that caters to today’s REALTOR®.
With NextHome’s goal of having offices in all 50 states by mid-2018, the company looks to grow not only in total offices, but also in agent count.
“Our company has seen a pretty significant increase in agent count over the past year,” said NextHome’s Vice President of Business Development, Imran Poladi. “As our brokers get more comfortable and confident in what their NextHome brokerage has to offer, their ability to add talented agents has been exceptional.”
“I remember being in a room just three years ago with a dedicated corporate team who wanted to change the industry. And here we are, just 30 months into our journey and I’m so proud to see our company growing with productive, career-oriented REALTORS®,” added Poladi.
Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno atCharis@NextHome.com.
Each office is an independently owned and operated business.
Pleasanton, CA— April 28, 2017 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Heroes Choice Realty. The new brokerage is the 26th NextHome franchise location in the state of Florida.
Based out of Crestview, NextHome Heroes Choice Realty will service the local communities of Crestview, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach and Destin.
Owned and operated by real estate broker, Tina Maples, the brokerage will provide sales services for residential, military relocation, first time home buyers, luxury, investment properties & commercial.
Licensed since 2004, Maples started her real estate career after serving in the Air Force at Eglin AFB and over a decade in advertising sales & marketing.
Spending much of her career with the big box brokers, Maples steadily built a phenomenal sales career from past customers and referrals. Her dedication included lots of hard work going above and beyond for her customers. This wasn’t an issue for Maples, as she finds client service to be the most rewarding part of her job.
You finally found the home of your dreams. Trouble is, you’re probably not the only one vying for that property. Low inventory + appealing mortgage rates = a sizzling hot market. If you want your offer to rise to the top, you’re going to have to bring your A-game. Here’s how:
1. Get Pre-Approved
Now. (Seriously!) A mortgage pre-approval means you know how much home you can afford and allows you to make an immediate offer when you find “the one.”
“It shows the homeowner that you’re serious, which is what they are looking for,” says Amy Jurek, a real estate professional with RE/MAX Advantage Plus in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
2. Don’t Lowball
Don’t be “that guy” who wants to make a deal. “In a bidding situation, you will likely only have one chance to get it right, so make your first offer the very best offer that can work within your budget,” Jurek advises.
3. Flaunt Your Stuff
Adding a cover letter—or “love letter”—to your bid can allow the buyers to picture you (and only you!) in their cherished home. Tell the seller what you love about their home, whether it’s the kitchen where you’ll be entertaining or the amazing garden you will carefully tend. “The seller wants the home to go to someone who will love it as much as they do, so help them picture you making your own happy memories there,” says David Feldberg, broker/owner of Coastal Real Estate Group in Newport Beach, Calif.
Feldberg suggest you even take it a (selfie) step further. “Include a photo of yourself and your family—pets, too.”
4. Have Your People Call Their People
Sound old-fashioned? Here’s why it works. Talking with the listing agent will allow your agent to get the real scoop on the property, most notably if there are other offers and if they’re above asking price, says Realtor Victor Quiroz, sales manager for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Covina, California.
The more your agent knows, the better insight he or she can give you into writing a winning bid. “It’s easy to forget our smartphones have the ability to make calls too, but a call provides immediacy that texting or emailing lack,” he says. That’s key so you can get that offer in, stat.
It also helps to work with a local agent who has strong connections to the area where you are buying. An out-of-area agent won’t have the relationships you need in a multiple officer situation.
5. Make It Easy to Choose You
If the seller has multiple offers, they’ll likely dismiss one that’s not complete, says Feldberg. They want a quick, easy sale; so double-check that your offer includes loan approval, proof of funds, that love letter, and any other documentation that will show the seller you are willing and able to buy the home. Finally, offer to work within the seller’s time frame, whether that means being willing to work around a quick closing, or offering flexibility to accommodate a seller’s desired move-out day, suggests Jurek.
For college basketball fans, March is an all-encompassing, schedule-rearranging, emotional roller coaster. “March Madness” doesn’t just take over your free time, but your news feed, work conversations, and of course, that anguished bracket.
If you’re considering buying a home, be prepared for the same kind of excitement. Settle in and get ready for the ride of a lifetime. Here are four lessons potential homebuyers can learn from March Madness.
1. You’re going to be surprised.
Nearly every year, Americans fall in love with some small college basketball team that unexpectedly upsets a traditional winner. Maybe it’s Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State, or some other little-known team who comes from behind and wins the hearts of fans. Similarly, you may assume you know exactly what you’re looking for in a home, but by being open-minded, you may fall in love with something else entirely. A new construction home with all the bells and whistles may be tempting, but the updated bungalow with a large backyard and mature trees may offer the charm and personality you didn’t even know you wanted.
2. The final number is all that matters.
A basketball team doesn’t get extra points for being ranked higher than its opponent, or for being up by 20 points at halftime. All that really matters for advancing in the tournament is what the scoreboard says at the final buzzer. In the same way, your mortgage provider may have advertised a super-low interest rate last year when you started looking for houses, or even last week. But if you haven’t locked it in, that low rate will not be your rate. The only one that really matters is the lowest one you can get when you’re actually ready to buy the home.
3. There’s no substitute for effective coaching.
Any team can have a standout player for a couple of years who leads them to a strong, if not amazing, showing in the tournament. But the teams who build legacies for always performing well, year after year, aren’t riding on one or two great players. They are led by a great coach who knows what his players need and how to communicate it to them, year after year. Like in basketball, you’ll have a better chance of mortgage success if you have an informed, experienced advisor.Mortgage advisors are knowledgeable about a wide variety of mortgage types and can guide you in finding the mortgage that will work best for your particular situation.
4. Always expect the unexpected.
Your March Madness bracket is completely theoretical. Every game results in another winner and another loser, changing the eventual outcome of the tournament. Similarly, the mortgage process can have stops and starts, changing closing dates and requests for additional information. You can handle the process best by being flexible, preparing to respond to requests promptly, and taking changes in stride. Every provider has different timeframes so make sure they can work with what you need.
When the tournament ends, the team that stands tall gets a trophy—and when you stay committed through the mortgage process, you get the house you wanted for the loan that works best for you.