For Real Estate Professionals

Top Property Management Trends to Watch in 2015

Tashina Wortham
January 19, 2015

If low gas prices and gluten-free girl scout cookies are any indicator, 2015 is shaping up to be a pretty great year, especially for multifamily housing. Demand for rentals is solid. Opportunities continue to grow. Robust performance indicators keep rolling through the multifamily property investment/management sector as easily as I can plow through a sleeve of thin mints.

Recently Trulia’s Housing Economist and former Director of San Jose University’s Real Estate Development Program, Ralph McLaughlin, presented a wealth of data on the current state of the multifamily market. Here we’ve compiled some of the most important trends going into 2015, as well as top takeaways to help leverage those opportunities at your communities.

TREND: Rising Rents

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The Best WordPress Themes for Real Estate Agents

The best WordPress themes for real estate agent websitesDoes your website look like it was designed in 1996? Is it still optimized for a 56.6K dial-up modem? If so, it’s definitely time for a makeover. And a big part of any makeover is probably going to involve themes.

What’s a theme? Think of it as hiring a professional decorator for your website. A theme is essentially an aesthetically pleasing design template that governs the look and feel of your website. When you use a theme, you are essentially selecting a carefully designed combination of design elements, including:

  • Color combinations
  • Fonts and styles
  • Photo and graphic layouts
  • Paragraphs, kerns and spacing
  • Graphic elements like stripes, borders and backgrounds
  • Formats

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5 Things Buyers Need to Hear Before They Start Their Home Search

Tara-Nicholle Nelson
January 15, 2015

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say. What they don’t say is that prevention is also less painful, less costly and more efficient, especially when it comes to preventing the deal-destroying misconceptions and decision traps that plague hot market home buyers.

Often, the only ‘cures’ for these house hunt ailments involve letting the market educate your buyer client, as it does when they lose one or more “dream homes” before they are able to fully absorb and align their strategies to your advice. This cure not only costs them properties, it can cost them money if home values are increasing in your market. Plus, it certainly costs you hours and hours of your most precious business asset: your time.

So let’s circle back to prevention. There are five critical categories of preventive messages you can—and should—deliver to your buyer clients before you even kick off their house hunts.

1. How to Fill in the Blank

Buyers come to the house hunting process full of questions, wonder, and often even some level of disbelief in their ability to actually become home owners. The process seems overwhelming and full of uncertainty, even in the calmest of markets. And the more the market heats up, the more difficult home buying seems to be. continue reading

8 Best WordPress Plugins for Real Estate Agents

If you’ve got a website (and we hope you do!) then you’ll want it to do as much work for you as it possibly can. We believe that the best way to do that, by far, is to use the website platform designed specifically with real estate agents and brokers in mind: the Trulia One Elite personalized MLS website.

We do know, however, that many thousands of real estate agents are currently using WordPress. While WordPress is not optimized specifically for agents, there are a number of optional features and add-ons, called “plugins,” you can download. Plugins provide enhanced functionality and interactivity to your site.

Here are some of the most essential WordPress plugins real estate agents can use to build their businesses.

Real Estate Website Builder

Real Estate Website Builder - WordPress plugin - by PlacesterI recommend starting here. This free plugin provides a proven and workable framework for building your dream real estate website. You can choose from a variety of preset templates. From there, the software makes it easy to add new listings to your site. Real Estate Website Builder also provides these critical functions:

  • MLS listings continuously update on your site
  • International listing support
  • Unlimited images for each listing
  • Totally customizable sidebar layout

Created by Placester. Click here to learn more or download this plugin. continue reading

Join Trulia in NYC for Inman Connect 2015!

January 14, 2015

Join Trulia at Inman Real Estate Connect NYC 2015Trulia is starting 2015 off right by visiting the Big Apple between January 27-30 for Inman Real Estate Connect NYC. At this important industry event, we’ll touch on many hot topics – from economic predictions for the year ahead to how agents can maximize the potential of wearable technology.

At Inman Connect, 85+ industry leaders and innovators from around the globe will share insights and best practices that you can use to build your real estate business in 2015. Among these elite speakers, three of Trulia’s own – including Trulia CEO Pete Flint – will take the stage. continue reading

8 Fundamentals of Engaging Online Leads

8 Fundamentals of Engaging Online LeadsOnline leads are getting to be a huge part of the real estate industry – especially in an agent’s early years. As you develop your career, you may evolve to a point where you can earn a good living by focusing on existing clients and referrals, as well as investment contacts. But nobody is going to deliberately turn down a promising online lead!

But even large companies with big staffs can be terrible at responding to leads. According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review, 24 percent of companies don’t respond to online leads within 24 hours – and 23 percent never respond at all!

If online leads are important to you, then it’s equally important to have a strategy for engaging them. They are too important to leave to a haphazard, hit-or-miss process that you may or may not get to while you tackle a thousand other things. These online leads are going to be the nuclear fuel that powers your business pipeline and eventually generates commissions! continue reading

Enter our Trulia One Tip, One Trip Sweepstakes!

Erin Renzas
January 12, 2015

We’ve been talking about the new Trulia One for months now and we can’t wait for the official launch—which is coming very soon!

Trulia One takes your online marketing to the next level, helping you convert more leads and close more deals. This new tool provides agents with a comprehensive marketing solution—helping you more effectively manage your pipeline of clients from your first response to the closing table and beyond. And, it’s totally free.

We know that turning leads into clients isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. It takes time, effort and a skilled agent to ensure that every potential client becomes your next big sale. Trulia One helps you do more business in less time, with less stress.

Now, you may actually have time for that well-deserved vacation.

And that’s why, we’re giving one away! Share your one ultimate marketing tip—that one thing you do that keeps you at the top of your game—and you’ll be entered to win one ultimate trip of your choosing.

Enter the Trulia One One Tip, One Trip sweepstakes today! Get started at the Trulia Pro Facebook page. Entering is simple! Enter here.

13 Time Management Hacks for Real Estate Agents

Yeah, I get it. We can all do a better job at managing how we spend our time. So I’m going to help manage yours by skipping a long intro paragraph and getting right into the list of 13 easy and actionable time management hacks!

1. Put a Dollar Value on Your Time

time management hacks for real estate agentsThis can be tricky, especially in early years, before you know what your commissions are over an extended period. But it’s an essential part of knowing what tasks you should take on yourself, what tasks you can delegate to assistants and staff, and to what tasks and events you should just say “No!” continue reading

4 Ways to Make Meaningful Contact with Buyer and Seller Prospects

Melissa Zavala
January 12, 2015

The real way to ruin in real estate is to lose self-control. We’ve all experienced moments where you want to scream, yell at another party to the transaction, or send a nasty email. But, the thing is that the most successful real estate professionals across the nation know that keeping your mouth shut and having a modicum of self-control is what leads to significant success.

When I hear agents complain, I usually remind them of this graphic analogy: Working in real estate is often like taking a baseball bat to the knees over and over again before noon and still being able to hold your head high and keep a smile on your face.

If you want to avoid all the gloom and doom associated with a dramatic real estate transaction, the best way to do that is to use the four main communication channels just as they were intended. Real estate professionals have four principal ways that they communicate with leads and prospects: phone, text messages, mail, and email. When used right, you can see a definite increase in your closings! continue reading

4 Shocking Facts That Convert Buyers

Jovan Hackley
January 8, 2015

Moving buyer prospects isn’t magic. Whether you’re trying to sway them off the fence or convince them that you’re the right agent to help them close, nothing ever beats the facts.

Use these four data points to shock your buyers into becoming real estate believers and getting serious about closing the deal:

Fact 1: Equity Opportunities Are Floating Away

Even in this post-crisis era, for most, a home purchase is about more than just securing a place to live. It’s an investment. Make sure you use this interest point in your counseling and explain that those who wait to buy waste their returns.

The Data Download:

The fact is nationally and in many locales, asking price climbs are slowing down. Recently the Trulia Price Monitor showed asking prices climbed 7.4% in November year-over-year. This is a serious drop from a 10.3% climb during the previous year. That means moments of indecision could have a high-cost in equity. Use your local median home price to come up with a hard figure of the money your prospects may lose if there’s another drop. continue reading