Home Is Where The City Is.

Downtown Chicago Magnificent Mile

There was a time when white-picket fences and a large tree in the yard was the American dream. Statistics now show that the younger generation of professionals see their dream being a downtown oasis.

It seems as if that generation seeks out areas that have numerous options for socializing and nightlife. Some suburbs have seen such a massive decline in the 24-35 year old range that they have completely revamped their priorities.

Affordable condos and apartments are beginning to be number one priority to make areas more affordable and seem like a greater option; placing these new constructions near subway and trains lines greater adds to the appeal.
To assist in the entertainment area – some suburbs have shifted their focus to creating new bars and music venues. Having an attractive night-scene that attracts talented bands and DJs can easily transform a relatively unknown area into the must-be destination spot.

Attracting new, ‘hip’ restaurants also plays in a big factor. Being able to go to a good restaurant near your home is a huge factor. Satisfaction and convenience go a long way. If people have a local venue that continuously delivers above the bar, they will be more content with their living choices as well as it making the are a much more tantalizing choice among home-shoppers [real estate leads].

The general American dream is relatively the same as it has always been: happiness, success, and wealth; but the overall blueprint has been redesigned.
Real estate agents now may have to choose what they focus on promoting. Taking on the potentially easy sales of city-life, or taking on the challenge of selling young professionals a flat in an upcoming suburb that has the potential to satisfies like downtown, but with huge money- saving potential.
Which area would you rather promote?

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Real Estate Reviews – Reasons Agents Should Seek Them

Real Estate Reviews

Shopping for anything basically begins online these days. An agent that has a healthy portfolio of real estate reviews is like a business having a two-page spread vs. an eighth of a page. Reaching out to clients for reviews is one of the best ways to get yourself online and it also gives you insight into what your clients truly think of your services.

In the world of SEO [search engine optimization], reviews make your name more relevant to the eyes of search engines. When search engines take notice, you tend to rank up considerably higher. Just by having a few reviews you will begin ranking above all of your competitors if they are lacking in the review department.

Beyond search engines, having positive reviews online can greatly sway the decision of potential clients in choosing who their agent will be. People turn to peers all the time for advice and insight on which direction to take, especially when it comes down to an area that they are not experienced in. Reading about other people’s personal experience effects people greatly. One of the only forms of information that people pull information from is a company’s/agent’s website. It may be filled with great information and promises, but a website is essentially one giant ad. People reach out to reviews to see if the ‘ads’ have delivered everything that has been promised.

Depending on your service, or even just the personality of some people, negative reviews may pop up online. No one likes to see their name and service slandered, but negative reviews do not always have to be a bad thing; it is all about handling them properly. If a negative review appears online, people will have insight into the not so pristine side of a business. Sometimes it is very evident that some people cannot be satisfied, while other times it is genuine concern. One of the most honorable and caring things you see on review sites is when a negative review is replied to by the person it is directed towards. By replying in a timely and caring manner, it represents you as a person that does not like to see people dissatisfied and that you truly want the best for each and every client. It also gives you a chance for a rebuttal, but it must be done gently.

Online review sites provide for a massive network of ‘recommended by a friend’ opportunities. Not pursuing or regulating these reviews can setback a business greatly. The reach out on the internet is growing more and more each day, it is time that you reach into this form of marketing.

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Real Estate Complaints – Common Complaints About Agents

angry person on phone complaints

The position of real estate agent is much more challenging that many anticipate. Besides keeping clients happy, they must be well versed in everything from the housing laws in their area to the ever-changing financial process that goes into obtaining a mortgage. 
These are some of the most common real estate complaints that come about.

1.) They do not deliver what they promise.


People have that ideal vision in mind when it comes to purchasing a home; sometimes that vision can be a little extreme depending on their budget. Agents reassure people that they can assist them because they truly want to help and be that super agent; some things are out of their hands though. The majority of the time that the agent cannot deliver is due to market circumstances, not because they do not care.

2.) They do not care.

Many complaints are about how an agent just gives up and no longer cares about their client’s situation. Like stated about, some circumstances are out of their control and sometimes the search may have to be put on the back-burner until things return to the client’s favor. It is not that they are giving up, but as much as some hate to believe, they do have other clients.

3.) They do not listen.

Before this accusation is made, the situation must be assessed. Some causes of this actually begin between the clients. It can be as simple as a wife demanding that she needs ‘this’ in a home, and the man demands that the home has ‘this’. If a home has one of the features and not the other, a client may feel like the agent is not paying attention to what they requested. Sometimes it is hard to match up each and every quality that clients are looking for in a home. 
This can cause the agent to put the showings on the back-burner until either the clients decide that they do not necessarily need all the requirements, or that perfect house finally comes to market.

Many complaints that are commonly made seem to build upon each other. As soon as one thing becomes unfavorable, it seems like there is a domino effect and everything soon begins to crumble. 
Before placing blame and badmouthing, take into account all of the variables. We understand that purchasing a home is exciting, yet stressful, and your real estate agent is there to help you out any way that they can. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit more time and hard work.

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What Minimal Foreclosures Mean.


The world of real-estate was shaken when the economy hit rock bottom in 2008.
Construction slowed to the pace of watching grass grow and people were swarming over the immensely deflated prices that foreclosures offered.
Many of these types of purchases did not even require a real estate agent to successfully complete.
With the economy rehabilitating and continuing to grow stronger, the real estate industry is beginning to boom as well.
2013 ended with foreclosure numbers at their lowest since 2007. Lists of foreclosures are minimizing and becoming harder to come by. The competition to purchase a foreclosed home is much greater due to limited amounts.
This is a great sign; it means that the economy is recovering as well as the construction and real estate sectors beginning to get up to pace again.
Mortgage number may be slightly lacking previous years, but with real estate value rising there are no longer mass property listings at/near foreclosure pricing.
Without rock bottom pricing, purchasing real estate is much more of a commitment and process. Fortunately, we can assist both buyers, sellers and realtors.
By contacting Real Estate Pipeline, we can get you in touch with specialized realtors in your area that can get your home on the market, or help to snag a home off of the market!
For realtors, we can connect you with leads for real estate; from verified home buyer leads to verified home seller leads.

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Prep Your Home For Arctic Blasts.

Being caught frozen in your home as the temperatures drop is never a welcome feeling that anyone should have to experience. With this blast of cold air sweeping through the United States, we want to give a couple pieces of advice for keeping your home nice and toasty.
A good portion of the US does not regularly experience that cold of weather; therefore, full winterization is an unnecessary expense. Here are a few simple, cost-effective ways to keep your house warm without having to crank up the thermostat and jack up your bill:

1. Cover your windows with plastic.
Unless you have windows that are insulated, your windows are basically an open door as far as heat sees it. Plastic window sheets are effective and cost efficient. The money you save on your heat bill will cover the cost easily.

2. Block drafts in doorways.
Heat escapes easily through cracks under doors. If you have ever noticed that the temperature is much lower by your entry way, chances are this is the culprit.
Fixing this problem can be as simple as rolling up a towel and placing it in front of the crack, or purchasing a rubber strip that attaches to the bottom of your door.

3Turn water off to outside sources.
If you do not need to use your outside water, turning it off is the safest way to go. Pipes can freeze and burst; repairs may not be cheap or easy either.

4. Heat tape pipes.
For the same reason as turning off your water, the potential of a pipe bursting inside of your home is a risk that is not worth taking. Heat tape is relatively affordable and it can save you from a flooded home. Many newer homes are well enough insulated but older homes and mobile homes are at higher risk for frozen pipes.

5. Salt & Shovel
These two necessities are for your safety. One of the most dangerous winter conditions is an iced over ground with a layer of snow on top if it. By shoveling the snow away and spreading salt over the area, it will melt away the ice and you will have a walkway and driveway that is full of traction.

With these simple steps, you will be well on your way to a safer and more cost efficient winter.

When not giving advice, we like to serve people in other ways.
You spend a lot of time and money managing a marketing program that is meant to generate leads. As you gather these leads, you still need to qualify them. Effectively, what you have done is committed resources to grow your business. Purchasing leads from us helps you cut through the expense of failed marketing efforts, both in terms of time and money. What you get from us, are what you hope to get from your personal marketing system – pre-screened, verified home seller, and verified home buyer leads. Now you can spend your time closing deals, not managing your marketing plan. It’s just like what you tell your clients – real estate is what you do full-time. Because of this, you will be able to stay abreast of market conditions, trends, and the legal landscape on a day to day basis. Your service allows them to live their life, to do what they do. You’ll handle the details and help them navigate the waters of their transaction. We do the same. We are your marketing partner.

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4 Ways to Gain New Clients (that you probably haven’t tried)

If you have been feeling a little disheartened or stale when it comes to your tactics lately, here is a refreshing look at some non-common methods.

1.Rentals:
If a potential buyer comes to you with a ‘blueprint layout’ of exactly what they need their next home to be, targeting rental properties is a step that isn’t formally taken.
There may be many reasons that a landlord would be willing to part with one of their properties; once a handful of zeros come into play there is no telling where it’ll go.

2.Investors:
During the economic drop, starting in 2008, many people purchased homes at prices that were incredibly low compared to previous market-value.
Six years later, maybe those homebuyers are ready and willing to flip that investment for a large profit. A lot of the properties purchased were not used as primary homes anyways.

3.Feeler Ads:
Some people are feeling borderline adventurous. They are comfortable in their current home, but they get random, slight urges to move. These people post up ‘feeler’ or ‘testing-waters’ ads. Their asking price is above the market value; if someone wants their home badly enough they have to make it worth their time to move.
Contacting the owner of these ‘feeler’ properties may cause them to get a little more antsy to sell. By having a realtor contact them, they may see their sale as a potential reality, rather than just a crazy notion.

4.Leads:
The previous three methods all involved you actively seeking out potential sellers; this method brings buyers and sellers to you.
Purchasing verified home buyer leads and/or verified home seller leads is one of the easiest ways to bring yourself business. It is as simple as selecting the package that you would like and wait for the leads to land in your inbox.
At Real Estate Pipeline, we verify each and every leads that comes through our servers. We want to only send our agents leads that are valid. Time is money these days and we aim to help our agents grown, not take it away.

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2013 In Review.

With a new start upon us, and changes being made within the market, it is only appropriate to take a look at the year behind us.
1. The sellers were in control. With the housing economy recovering at an unexpected rate and at an unexpected time, housing values rose.
Previous focus, at the beginning of the recession, was building multi-family units. Once people regained composure, they wanted a place to call their own again. With the majority of foreclosed properties already off the market, it meant that they were looking to pay full price.

2. Mortgages played a big role in the buying sector. They did rise slightly in 2013, but overall they were at a low. More people were motivated to find a property and they were willing to fight for it.
With inventory low, bidding wars were not uncommon among buyers; this had to put grins on many sellers’ and agents’ faces.

3. Cash, cash, cash. Would you be surprised to find out that about one-third of all purchases made in 2013 were paid for in cash? Some people had equity to invest, some borrowed from family, and some people just didn’t like the fine-print when it comes to dealing with loans. Whatever people’s deciding factor was, it made for a lot of cash moving around.

4. Technology did not fail to expand the industry, as usual. Mobile apps expedited connections made between buyers, sellers, and realtors.
People are on the go constantly these days, mobile apps give them the freedom to break away from their computer and research on the go!
The amount of home buyer leads and home seller leads that were generated in 2013 was insane! Technology has been the way to connect and advertise.

5. Rent is on the rise and people are not happy. With people’s monthly payments rivaling or even becoming greater than that of a mortgage payment, they are looking to break free from the tenant lifestyle and upgrade to homeowner status.

These five aspects made 2013 an unexpected year for everyone in the real estate business.
Here is to an optimistic and prosperous 2014!

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Its a Seller’s Game.


hfs
Everyone has been in a situation of extreme frustration. A scenario where you know what you want to do, but you do not necessarily know what path will get you there.
Many people have these exact feelings when it comes to selling their home. Selling a house, for any reason, can be a stressful ordeal.
Deadlines may need to be met, house values needs to be determined, and repairs may need to be completed before they are ready to hand the keys over.
Some people do not really know the first steps in even choosing a realtor to help take some stress out of the situation.
We have motivated home seller leads coming through our phone-lines daily.
Real Estate Pipeline is always more than happy to help out; the easier that we make it for them, the quicker they can move in to their new home.
How the process works is home sellers contact us and ask us to put them in touch with an agent in their area that we work with.
We value our agents and give them sole reign of the area that they are located in. That means that any home buyer leads or home seller leads that come through our office, immediately gets forwarded on to our trusted agent.
Before we send the information over, we verify all of the seller’s information to make sure that it is accurate and that they are in fact ready to sell.
After-all, we do not want to waste our realtors’ time.
Seller leads can be a great avenue of business, especially if you can link the seller up with one of your potential buyers that you have been working with.

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New vs. Old

old home vs new home

From the moment that you drew your first square and triangle home when you were a child, you had some vision of what your ideal home would look like.
It is true that anyone can have their dream home under the right circumstances. The decision to choose new over old -or vice-versa- has a lot to do with personal choice.

Purchasing an old home gives you opportunities that new homes do not. For example:
Old homes provide character and rustic designs that new architecture simply cannot offer. Most new homes today are cookie-cutter, unless you have the cash-flow to design something exactly to your specifications.
Old homes usually come at a cheaper cost and there is room to haggle. The money saved can be put towards renovations so you can obtain the perfect mix between rustic and modern; maybe build that dream kitchen that you always wanted.
Choosing an old home also gives you the opportunity to move into an established neighborhood.
On the other hand, with old homes come old problems. Leaking pipes, worn down roofs, outdated appliances to name a few. As previously stated, the price difference between old and new can reflect these issues and provide you with the equity to get your home up to standards.

New homes give you the satisfaction that the property is yours and yours alone. There is no dealing with others’ mishaps and skewed design ideas. During the building process, you may even be able to slightly modify the building plans, depending on cost and the contractor’s stipulations.
The downside of a new home is that they are generally more expensive, the neighborhood is usually newer and its outcome is still in development, yards may be smaller and there is a risk of having to pay home-owner association fees.

Either option has its pros and cons, which will ultimately be outweighed depending on the purchaser. No matter what your ideal home is, there is an option out there; just be sure to really think about what you need your home to provide.
Be sure that the realtor you have chosen clearly knows what you are seeking and dreaming of. He will surely know of the good neighborhoods, the most character homes, the modern examples that would make the ‘Jetsons’ feel at home, or any other criteria that you require.
Communication and a clear image of what you want will make your buying decision much more exciting!

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To Rent Or To Buy…That Is Thee Question.

rent vs own

Staring out across that perfectly manicured, Miracle Grow lawn and painted white picket fence, along with a freshly skimmed pool gleaming in all of its glory is enough to leave any renter drooling. Throw in a Gold Retriever and the “Leave It To Beaver” perfect family and you have what we call the American dream.

As a renter, for far too many years, I know that there is nothing glamorous about not being able to paint the vomit green walls in the bathroom, or replace the 70s inspired rainbow colored carpet in the living room. Most of the time I was lucky enough to live below the neighbor who loved to jump rope into the wee hours of the morning, or thought that blasting death metal at 7am on a Sunday was kosher. So when do you finally scream “enough is enough!” and decide that the next move into adulthood has officially arrived. When is the right time to buy versus rent?

The housing market continues to recover and interest rates have stayed at historic lows. However, purchasing a home must be a decision made of more basis than just a recovering economy. First thing to consider is how long you will live in the home. Do not purchase if you are a commitment phob. Unlike buying a hamster, a house cannot be returned to the store or set free in the back yard. Secondly, unless Donald Trump is your Uncle, you’re going to need professional help. Make sure to find a Realtor who has your best interest at heart and a minivan with racing stripes is an added bonus when going to open houses. Lastly, what does your credit look like? Make sure that you receive a minimum of two credit reports, as your Real Estate Agent will want to secretly slap you in the face if they find out that your score is a 400.

Maybe I’m old school, but a pros and cons list can be extremely helpful in situations like this. Don’t make any impulsive buys, trust your gut and do not let market conditions or housing trends make your decision for you.

 

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At Real Estate Pipeline we pride ourselves on being an industry thought leader for the exciting world of Real Estate! Our goal is to blog about top industry news and trends that we feel are most beneficial to not only the Real Estate Agents who currently utilize and love our Lead Generation and Marketing services, but also for the agents who are yet to become our partners.

We encourage you to leave your feedback and comments on the blogs that you find most interesting, as well as ideas of what you would like to see us blog about in the future. Another great resource for Real Estate tips and news is our Active Rain Blog.

Thank you for stopping by and please come back often to stay on top of all Real Estate news!