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How Agents Can Better Serve Single-Women Homebuyers

Married couples might comprise the greatest share of homebuyers, but single women follow close behind, especially retired women over the age of 55, according to the Wall Street Journal. Gone are the days when women had to wait until marriage to buy a home; now, women are feeling more confident in creating their own sanctuary and means of wealth-building through homeownership.

If agents hope to maintain their success in the industry, they must prepare for a growing market of single-women homebuyers—a trend that will only increase as more women earn degrees, attain higher-paying jobs and seek properties to buy. Whether your client is a six-figure earning professional, a single mother or a divorcee looking to start a new chapter in her life, or all of the above, here are some important factors to consider when helping your clients, courtesy of the 2018 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report.

Couples, married or unmarried, normally have more buying power than single homebuyers because they have two sources to pull from that could go toward mortgage payments. According to 2016 NAR data, married couples have the highest income of around $99,200, compared to single buyers; however, dependence on a primary income is not deterring single women from buying homes.

Home-Buying Process for Single Women

  • Single women are independent; thus, all home-buying decisions—including where to live, how much of a mortgage payment they can afford, how to decorate their house, etc.—will be made by them.
  • Single women are interested in buying a home as a means of wealth-building. They’re taking the necessary steps to ensure their financial security in the future, whether or not they have a partner.
  • As a single woman, size may not be as important as location and affordability. Some women are interested in owning a home to get a pet, so a sizable backyard is a must.
  • Stringent lending standards make it more difficult for singles applying for loans with one income.

Home-Buying Process for Single Mothers

  • With a limited income, saving money will be difficult because of child-related expenses. Single mothers are also looking for a property they can afford in the long term.
  • Single mothers will want a safe, supportive community with a low crime rate and reputable education system. Having nearby infrastructure and basic amenities like shopping centers, hospitals and parks will be preferred.
  • Working mothers, like other single women, have limited time on their hands; however, single mothers are crunched even more for time, as being a mother is another job in and of itself.
  • Smart home technology, such as security alarms, intercom systems, carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights, could be especially important and appealing to single mothers.

A home is a woman’s sanctuary, a place to call her own, and an invaluable asset that cements one’s professional progress and economic foundation. It would be beneficial for agents to keep this in mind as they assist the needs of women buyers. Your clients will return the favor by referring your services to like-minded friends interested in taking the leap into independent living and property investment. 

Patno_Desiree_2018_60x60Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in housing, Patno is a champion for women’s economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur.com named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.com. 

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How Agents Can Better Serve Single-Women Homebuyers appeared first on RISMedia.

How to Leverage Public Records for Business Intelligence

When it comes to discovering the power of public records for prospecting, real estate agents are often so impressed that they either want to hide their newfound tools from the competition, or share them far and wide.

That’s according to Nikki Morgan, MLS sales executive at CRS Data. She’s spent years speaking with REALTORS® about how to leverage public records. Morgan and her colleague, Danielle Longdue, recently explained how public records can be used for prospecting and acquiring business intelligence. 

Lead Generation Tools
One of the great advantages of prospecting with public records is that you can target a very specific geographic area. Your public records tool can help you narrow down a prospecting area in several different ways:

  • Drawing a shape on a map to pull up all properties within that area
  • Narrowing down by zip code or subdivision
  • Specifying a distance from a certain property within a radius of up to 10 miles

Once you’ve selected a geographic area, you can execute multiple types of prospecting campaigns, including:

  • New listing campaigns– In addition to your social media and comprehensive digital outreach, consider sending a postcard or flyer to everyone in the immediate area advertising the home.
  • Open house campaign– Send an open house invitation to homeowners living near your listing. With a growing influx of digital advertising, a tangible mailer can often earn a second look!
  • Sold listing campaign– Once you’ve sold your listing, it’s time to brag a bit. Send out a postcard or flyer that shows the selling price you were able to achieve for the home.
  • Seller prospecting campaign– With home prices skyrocketing, you can drum up seller leads by sending out marketing material and designing a digital ad campaign that explains how lucrative it is to sell.

Maximizing Your Public Records Reports
Once the leads should start flowing, it’s time to create a thorough, personalized property report for your client.

With CRS Data, you can add your own logo, headshot and contact information to your report. “Who doesn’t love putting their name and information on a nice report?” says Morgan. “It’s better than a business card, and clients will hold on to it longer.”

Longdue and Morgan also recommend customizing property information within your reports if needed. CRS Data, for example, allows agents to edit the square footage of a home, along with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, to ensure accuracy. 

To learn more about CRS Data, please visit crsdata.com. 

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Leverage Public Records for Business Intelligence appeared first on RISMedia.

Making the Move to Rebrand: Is It Worth It?

“The Rebranding Challenge: Fit for the Future While Preserving Your Roots” at RISMedia’s 2018 Real Estate CEO Exchange (Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Call it a facelift or a “refresh,” we’re in the age of the rebrand, when brokerages are pivoting, aligning with changing consumer needs and redefining their role in transactions. At RISMedia’s 2018 Real Estate CEO Exchange, held in New York City September 5 and 6, brands and brokers discussed how they embarked on their revamp—and the pitfalls in the process.

A Brand Reimagined
Century 21’s overhaul started with “a hard look in the mirror,” said Nick Bailey, CEO/president of Century 21 Real Estate. “It all started with a new mission statement—which came out long before the visuals—which is ‘to defy mediocrity and deliver extraordinary experiences.’ Unfortunately, because of the barriers of entry we have in this industry, mediocrity exists. We had to admit that and decide that we stand against it.”

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Nick Bailey, CEO/President, Century 21 Real Estate (Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Bookended by both goals, the brand was reintroduced this spring, abandoning the gold house in its logo for a mellower, more sophisticated tone, along with a fresh seal and signage.

According to Bailey, the concept and design were driven by the “it’ names today—companies with deeply entrenched followings and recognition.

“Flat design right now is where it’s at,” he explained. “We are following different companies, from Amazon to Uber to eBay, to make sure that not only we are positioning ourselves well with consumers in real estate, but [also] fitting into the well-known brands consumers currently interface with, because that will make it easier to connect with us.”

The change was embraced by many, and met with opposition by others—an outcome Bailey expected, given the organization’s sheer size.

“We had a feeling one or two might not like it,” he quipped. “We’ve been very upfront in knowing that some of you are going to love it, some of you are going to say, ‘not sure, I need to warm up to it,’ and others have said ‘you’ve wrecked my life.'”

A Legacy Renewed
For Halstead, a fixture in the New York City region, the brand’s growth necessitated a shake-up. Though founded in 1984, the company has expanded at a quickened pace in the past 12 years, growing from six offices in 2006 to 38 in three states today. The brand’s green palette was retired this spring, along with its “H” motif, and the company nixed “Property” from its name—all to better connect with consumers.

“We needed to convey to the consumer just how multidimensional we were as a firm, versus the strong, flat, iconic, staid logo we just put to pasture,” said Diane Ramirez, CEO/chairman of Halstead. “What we created is something that still has the history, it’s strong and it’s who we are, but also feels like it’s going in the direction of our future.”

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Diane Ramirez, CEO/Chairman, Halstead (Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

The result? An iconographic logo (with the option to rotate), and colors different to each marketplace: Manhattan, the Boroughs and the suburbs.

“Each region truly loves and owns their color,” Ramirez said. “It’s created a lot of excitement.”

The change was not without missteps, noted Ramirez—and ego can be an issue, especially for those heavily invested. Ramirez herself co-founded the firm with Clark Halstead, and was involved in the marketing of the organization from the outset.

“You’re the one that created what was in that mirror, so it’s hard to look at what you thought were great, bold moves and [say] ‘Maybe these aren’t so great and bold anymore,” she shared.

A Community Icon Reintroduced
In Berkeley, Calif., a brokerage with 40 years in the marketplace recognized it was time for an update, as well—no easy feat, given the area’s counterculture leanings. Red Oak Realty’s symbol, a tree, was well-known, but needed a refresh.

“If we are working with consumers who are investing in the prepping of their house on average $30,000-$50,000 before they get it on the market…you have to walk the same walk,” said Vanessa Bergmark, CEO/owner of Red Oak Realty. “Even if that isn’t the reality of how it looks, making sure you fit within that paradigm is really important.”

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Vanessa Bergmark, CEO/Owner, Red Oak Realty (Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

With an agency on tap, Red Oak created a new palette with several shades, which would be applicable to a freshening-up in the future. There were challenges during the process, including assessing the company’s goals and timing.

“Sometimes it felt like working with a psychologist, where you had to talk about what you wanted, the next generation, where you saw the company going…all of that had to be taken into account,” Bergmark said.

While buy-in is critical, announcing the change prematurely can set you back, she noted.

“If you want to get it right, don’t get a lot of input from the people you’re rolling it out to. So many people have so many different opinions…you’ll start doubting yourself.”

The End Game
In an astonishing turnaround, Century 21 completed its rebrand in five months, with execution now in the works; Halstead and Red Oak took a little longer, though still on the fast track, at roughly two years. Although an arduous—and for some, ongoing—undertaking, Bailey, Bergmark and Ramirez were in agreement: the results speak for themselves.

“What it’s done is created attention,” said Bailey. ” We’re telling brokers to use it—as we all do when something’s new and fresh—to your advantage.”

“What agents hate more than change is you not investing in them,” said Bergmark. “No matter if its 100 agents or 10,000 agents, they want to know you are committed to the company…It was an emotional investment between me and the agents that I’m leading.”

“The culture of our firm is our No. 1 most important aspect,” said Ramirez. “The fact that through the rebrand, they got the culture and are resonating with it…I know the ROI is there.”

For continuing coverage of this year’s CEO Exchange sessions, stay tuned to RISMedia.com:

DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Making the Move to Rebrand: Is It Worth It? appeared first on RISMedia.

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