For Real Estate Professionals

5 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Get People to Your Open House

Melissa Zavala
August 7, 2014


An open house is one of the oldest and easiest ways to meet prospective homebuyers and home sellers. In theory, all you do is throw a few yard signs around the neighborhood, unlock the door, and the buyers and sellers come flocking in like people to a giveaway. But, the truth is that it isn’t quite so easy—is it?

On weekends during the summer, folks have summer on the brain—vacation, trips to the beach, and bike rides. Unfortunately, your next open house may not be on their mind.

Have you ever held an open house and been the only one there? Have you ever sat for three hours until your tablet and phone run out of power and no buyers or sellers walk in the door?

Here are 5 surprisingly simple ways to get people to your open house: continue reading

4 Reasons Former Clients Forget You Exist

Jovan Hackley
August 5, 2014

You work hard to win, educate, and close clients. And, the investment you make doesn’t always add up if you break down a sale’s commission by the hour. The real hope is that every client becomes a repeat client and sends others your way.
Unfortunately, too often, this fairytale flow of deals isn’t an agent’s reality and there are a few pretty good reasons that all carry the same theme: Your clients don’t remember you.

Here are four reasons you’ve slipped from the top spot in your clients minds and a few suggestions for climbing back just in time for their next referral or transaction.

1. You Were No Better Than Google

The best way to keep your self from being remembered is to give forgettable service. If you’re sending forms with no context or getting hit with a barrage of questions after each meeting, you should believe that you’ll be replaced when it’s time for that client to close their next deal (if you make it to the end of this one). continue reading

4 Ways to Help Buyers Win In a Seller’s Market

Geoff Bray
August 5, 2014

Oh my, how the tables have turned. It seems like just yesterday we were deadlocked in a buyer’s market where a seller had to do just about everything a buyer asked to become “the one.” Reminds me of dating in college. I digress, enough about me.

Everything was bad during that buyer’s market. Bad job outlook, bad stock market, bad media coverage and bad attitudes. Well, I guess there was one good thing, though; the housing market if you were a buyer. Fast-forward to summer of 2014 and a buyers are frustrated with that multiple offer situation, even if they find THAT one good enough to be THE one.

Time to get real. When one of your prospective purchasers finds themselves vying for one of the keepers, there’s no need to passively watch as others get the signatures. If you are sure of the value of the property they are going for, try a few of these tactics for improving your chances of winning the day for your clients:

1. Here’s a Thought: Offer What the Sellers Are Asking!

Give your buyers the assurance (with a disclaimer of not having a crystal ball, of course) that real estate values are back on the rise again making their chances of gaining equity a few years down the road a lot more likely. I like to call our offer price in a competitive situation “Aggressively realistic” meaning that it needs to be realistic based on the market values, but aggressive enough to get the house if they actually want it. Be real. Be aggressive. Heck, be really aggressive!
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Real Estate Trends: Can Local Markets Predict Changes in U.S. Home Prices?

Is there a local housing market whose performance indicates how well the national housing market will do? If so, could we use such a market to anticipate the next big real estate boom or bust? The idea of having a “crystal ball” local housing market is certainly an attractive one; the mayhem caused by the 2007-2008 housing bubble could have been avoided (or, at the very least, mitigated) if the real estate industry and the U.S. as a whole knew it was coming.

To find out, Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko looked at home price changes between 1980 and 2014 in the 100 largest U.S. metros and compared them to U.S. home price changes over the same time period. Each metro was given a “crystal-ball score” that shows the correlation between its year-over-year home price changes with the year-over-year home price changes in the national market one year later. continue reading

Top 5 Lies Buyers Tell + How to Stop Them

Jovan Hackley
July 31, 2014

While the phrase “Buyers Are Liars” makes most client-focused professionals cringe, the reality is that in some cases it can be true. The distrust that comes along with beginning a big transaction can cause quite a few nervous knee-jerk reactions. Also at work is general mis-education, which can cause some prospects to lie before they even know it.

Here are 5 of the most common lies buyer leads tell and how you can help them come to terms with the truth:

1. My Price Point Is…

The way today’s housing market is changing, most buyers don’t have a firm grasp on what they can afford in the locale they want. That’s why they need you.

Correcting their misconception and getting to the bottom of this little “green” lie, can unlock a whole new world of shopportunity or help save time by adjusting their search to more reasonable targets. Question this statement whenever you hear it. You might agree after unpacking the details and even if you don’t, your buyer prospect will be thankful and a bit more confident that you understand their needs and can help. continue reading

You’re Looking Good! Introducing the New Trulia Profiles

When it comes to meeting the best buyers and sellers on Trulia your first impression counts. If you sign into your Trulia account today, you may notice something different! In order to help you look even better than you already do, we’ve given our free Trulia Agent Profiles a makeover.

The improved profiles make it easier for Trulia’s 54 million monthly consumers to research and contact agents that have the unique skills and experience that address their specific needs.

So, what’s new? Your profile now features larger photos and infographics, enhanced editing tools, and a prominent lead form. Plus, we’ve also added in 5-star ratings and reviews. These new ratings and reviews are your chance to get a free endorsement from your past clients and offer the social proof needed to generate even more business from your free Trulia Agent Profile. Remember! According to the most recent NAR study, the #1 feature consumers look for in an agent is trust and integrity. Reviews on Trulia profiles are specifically designed to address this opportunity.

The new profile experience is also mobile optimized, enabling the more than 19 million monthly unique mobile visitors to Trulia to see agent profiles while they are on-the-go, for example touring neighborhoods and viewing open homes.

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As we said! These new profiles make you look good! Ready to take a look? Click here or watch this video to learn more about your new Trulia profile!

We’ve been working on these new profiles for awhile now, so we hope you love them as much as we do, but also know that we’ll be continuing to enhance and improve them over the next few weeks. We’ll share new updates as they come and we look forward to hearing what you think!

Related articles:
 
Training Handout: How to Add Past Sales to Your Trulia Profile
 
How to Learn Who’s Viewing Your Profile on Trulia
 
Add Your Brand to Your Trulia Profile
 

5 Things Summer Sellers Need to Hear Before Listing

July 28, 2014

In the hot summer months, when home inventory is low and demand is soaring, your sellers may think that their home will move in mere minutes—and at a price that defies even the loftiest expectations. Let’s face it. These dreams of big prices and warp speed sales can spell disaster—and major disappointment—for you and your clients.

Don’t worry! You’re not doomed to this fate. With a few smart, premeditated steps—and the help of a savvy agent—it’s easy to head-off seller miseducation and common misconceptions. Here are five simple must-know facts and tips that your sellers need to know before their home hits the market this summer.

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TODAY MARKS A NEW AND EXCITING CHAPTER FOR TRULIA AS WE AGREE TO BE ACQUIRED BY ZILLOW

Pete Flint, CEO
July 28, 2014

Today, we have some exciting news to share, as Trulia is embarking on a new and exciting chapter. We’ve signed an agreement to be acquired by Zillow, which will enable us to accelerate our efforts to revolutionize the home search process for consumers, help professionals build their businesses and create additional value in adjacent markets. I’m excited about the benefits this combination will bring to the consumers, agents, brokers, franchises and data providers we work with every day.

Over the last 10 years, we have successfully built Trulia from the ground up by staying focused on our vision – to fundamentally improve the way that home buyers, sellers, renters and home seekers find a place to live and the way that agents and brokers connect with them to power their businesses. It’s clearly been working and today’s news further validates and invigorates our mission. It is also a reminder that our journey has really just begun.

Zillow will acquire Trulia in a stock-for-stock transaction in which Trulia stockholders will receive shares in the combined company equivalent to 0.444 shares of Zillow for each share of Trulia, and will own approximately 33% of the combined company at closing, on a fully diluted basis. At closing, I will remain as CEO of Trulia reporting to Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff, and will join the Board of Directors of the combined company. In addition, a second member of the Trulia board of directors will join the board of the combined company.

Trulia and Zillow will maintain our individual consumer brands and operate as separate companies. The combined company will offer buyers, sellers, homeowners and renters access to vital information about homes and real estate and provide advertising and software solutions that help real estate professionals grow their businesses.

Together, we will create an even stronger organization by bringing together the shared talent, technology and deep industry relationships of Zillow and Trulia. We can align our time, energy and resources into building the best online real estate experience by accelerating innovation on mobile and desktop platforms and providing more valuable tools and services to consumers and professionals. We can also work together and in partnership with the real estate industry to ensure more free data is made available to consumers, which can empower people to make better decisions. With broader and seamless distribution, home sellers, agents, participating brokerages, franchises and MLSs will be able to reach an even larger audience of consumers. Finally, together we can offer shared services and marketing platforms for advertisers to enhance productivity and deliver great return on our customers’ investment with us.

I know this announcement may come as a surprise for some of you. Over the years, in this first chapter, as we have participated in the growth of the industry with Zillow, mutual respect grew. We believe that combining with Zillow will allow us to do much more together than apart.

It has never been a more exciting time to be in the real estate industry. Here’s to the next exciting chapter!
Additional Information about the Proposed Transaction and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed transaction, Zillow and Trulia expect to file a joint proxy statement/prospectus with the SEC, and Zebra Holdco, Inc. expects to file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4. INVESTORS AND SECURITYHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT AND JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) REGARDING THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and securityholders will be able to obtain free copies of the registration statement and joint proxy statement/prospectus (if and when they become available) and other documents filed by Zillow and Trulia at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed by Zillow with the SEC will be available free of charge on Zillow’s website at www.zillow.com or by contacting Zillow Investor Relations at (206) 470-7137. Copies of the documents filed by Trulia with the SEC will be available free of charge on Trulia’s website at www.trulia.com or by contacting Trulia Investor Relations at (415) 400-7238.
Certain Information Regarding Participants

The respective directors and executive officers of Zillow and Trulia and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. You can find information about Zillow’s executive officers and directors in Zillow’s definitive proxy statement filed with the SEC on April 17, 2014. You can find information about Trulia’s executive officers and directors in Trulia’s definitive proxy statement filed with the SEC on April 22, 2014. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC (if and when they become available). These documents can be obtained free of charge from Zillow or Trulia using the sources indicated above.

10 Hottest Markets for Millennial Buyers + Sellers—Is Yours One?

Paula Pant
July 24, 2014

When it comes to building a booming real estate business, you’ve got to know where the next hot group of buyers and sellers may be focusing their home seeking-attentions. Popular beliefs tell us that millennials—those between the age of 18 and 34—just aren’t buying homes. Right?

Not so fast. The official homeownership rate published by the Census gives a misleading picture of homeownership trends. In fact, homeownership among young adults is not too far off from where demographics say it should be.

And, as it turns out, young adult homeownership is actually on the rise. Is your market poised to become the next hotbed of young homeowners?

Recent Census Bureau findings show that millennials are flocking to big-city suburbs and lower-density cities. Check out these 10 cities, which made the list of the top 10 metros for millennial population growth—they may just be the next hottest real estate for millennial home buyers and sellers! continue reading