For Real Estate Professionals

A Very Special Message from Trulia’s CEO

Erin Renzas
December 18, 2014

Trulia wishes you a very happy holiday season and a successful 2015! Watch this special message from Pete Flint, Trulia CEO.

5 Most-Loved Listing Photos and Best Practices for Capturing Them

Jovan Hackley
December 17, 2014

“L…is for the way you look at…. Listings?

OK, so that might be a stretch, but click here to hear Nat sing while you sway with me and read through our tips for taking the listing photos that buyers love.

As we all know, if you really want buyers to fall in love with your listings in 2015, you need to make a mega-splash with your online listing photos.

Check out this quick slideshow and our tips below for creating a little more love for your listings this weekend: continue reading

The 5 Worst Winter Staging Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

Jovan Hackley
December 15, 2014

‘Tis the season…to stage with smarts. When a winter listing comes in it usually means the clients are driven by serious urgency. Unfortunately that urgency doesn’t always translate into the best staging decisions. Here are five all-too-common winter staging decisions that can crush a late-year sale and a few suggestions for cutting them off at the pass:

1. Over-Holidaying

Yes, we’ve reached one of the jolliest seasons of them all and that comes with the urge to get in the spirit. For sellers there is a dangerous line between spirited and off-putting holiday decor. Remember that you can never know the preferences of prospective buyers. So, gently guide sellers to decorate in a way that won’t deter anyone and make sure the tinsel doesn’t outshine the home.

2. De-Heating

Remember a showing is about both look and feel. If your sellers are the habit of having the heat off when they’re not home, make sure you call or text to remind them to heat it up before home tours. Prospects won’t hang around an unheated home long and this little distraction could cause them to miss a listing’s best features. continue reading

Top 8 Most Effective Rental Incentives

shutterstock_47408941As any business owner knows, acquiring and keeping customers sometimes means you have to offer incentives.

The same principle applies to rentals. The hard truth is that there are rental properties on every block, and though your unit may be special, it’s not that special.

To find and keep great renters, a manager will often have to provide incentives, especially if it’s a slow winter rentals season.

Types of Incentives

Whether you are trying to convince an applicant to sign a lease or encourage a great resident to renew, incentives act as the carrot at the end of the proverbial stick. With that said, I believe that no one should get a prize for doing the bare minimum or fulfilling what is required of them in the lease. continue reading

7 Cringe-Worthy Moments Only Agents Understand

Jovan Hackley
December 11, 2014

Real estate! It’s a business where you have to make it look like nothing ever goes wrong. Staging, headshots, and many other snapshots paint the picture of a perfect profession.

The reality: This business if wrought with more awkward moments than anyone could imagine. Here are a few of the more G-rated awkward moments to let you know you’re not alone and if you can cope, there’s definitely a successful future in this industry for you.

1. When Buyer Clients Make Big Last-Minute Purchases

The awkward moment and agent nightmare that’s happened too many times is the last-minute big purchase. Sometimes, no matter how much explaining you do, clients forget that their approval can be altered or revoked until they actually close. To help clients avoid amateur mistakes like these, check out our buyer education guides.

2. When You Spend Your New Year’s Eve in Class

The hum of the business sometimes makes it difficult to keep up with the to-do’s to keep your license active. While others may be toasting to the start of another year, only agents find themselves trying to cram in Continuing Education (CE) on New Year’s Eve. continue reading

The 10 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2015

Jed Kolko, Chief Economist
December 10, 2014

Every December, Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko takes a look at the data and picks the top markets to watch in the new year. The list is always an attention-grabber and full of insights that agents can learn from to build a targeted, booming business, and this year is no exception. Check out our top markets to watch! Plus, download all of Trulia’s housing market predictions in our 2015 Real Estate Market Forecast!

Come 2015, the rebound effect that has driven real estate market trends over the past few years will continue to fade. So what replaces the rebound effect in the next stage of the housing recovery? Well, the market increasingly depends on fundamentals such as job growth, rising incomes, and more household formation. Because of this handoff, our 10 markets to watch have strong fundamentals for housing activity. These include solid job growth, which fuels housing demand, and a low vacancy rate, which spurs construction. We gave a few extra points to markets with a higher share of millennials. These young adults are getting back to work and that will drive household formation and rental demand. We didn’t include markets where prices looked at least 5% overvalued in our latest Bubble Watch report.

Here are our markets to watch, in alphabetical order…

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Real Estate Market Forecast: What’s Next for 2015

December 10, 2014

As a real estate agent, your reputation depends on your knowledge of the market and the expertise you can offer your clients. That’s why, as you start to plan for how you’re going to grow your business in 2015, it’s important to have your finger on the pulse of the current market and know what to expect in the coming year.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be equipped to wow potential clients and your peers, all while closing more sales.

So, what does 2015 have in store for the housing market? Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko outlined the must-know predictions for 2015 and shared the top 10 markets to watch!

Get the free market forecast and get the inside scoop on what to expect next year!

Seller Catching: 5 Things Sellers Want to Know About Their Home Before They Sell

Jovan Hackley
December 9, 2014

Seller leads are historically hard to snag. Buyers are easy—they submit a form and send up a red flag that they’re in the market. Sellers are a lot harder to hunt.

Today, to catch sellers you have to know their key questions and be able to use them to translate your traffic, social media, and lead inbox messages into real insights to snuff them out.

Here are five key things every seller wants to know about their home before they sell and how you can turn their questions into commissions.

1. How Much Can I Get?

No one sells their home just to sell. Most sellers are looking to get money out so they can conquer some other life milestone, whether it be upgrading or cashing out to retire.

CMAs, sharing sales data, and posting flyers to offer your valuation services are great traditional ways to position yourself and provide this valuable answer. In addition, check out Trulia Seller Ads that lets you get the lead when they come to Trulia to find out what their home is worth. continue reading

8 Shockingly Bad Staging Decisions (And What to Do About Them)

Tara-Nicholle Nelson
December 8, 2014

Real estate is an intensely personal experience for many buyers and sellers. After all, a home, at its core, is a personal expression of a homeowner’s entire life wrapped inside four small (okay, sometimes not so small) walls.

And while, ultimately, buyers should be more focused on the bones of the home—the things that will stay after the current owner has vacated—staging can often be the difference between a buyer bonanza and a dearth of hot offers. Don’t let your sellers suffer at the hands of poor staging.

It may be challenging, but a little tough love now, will make for a love fest post-sale—after the big offers come flying in. Here are 8 of the biggest staging sins sellers make and how agents can help their sellers avoid these pitfalls before it costs them a sweet deal.

1. Collection Overload

It is very difficult for almost any collection to look orderly and neutral, two high-level aims of home staging. Unless the homeowner has attractive, high-end built-in cases to house the collections and the target buyers share a similar affinity for the objects, even the coolest collection can come off as a pile of space-consuming clutter.

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How to Fill a Rental Vacancy During Winter

Paula Pant
December 7, 2014

FillRentalVacancyThe snow is falling, the wind is blowing … and you have a vacancy.

As a landlord or property manager, you know the timing isn’t ideal. Most tenants don’t want to move into a new place in blustery winter weather, and the holiday season only makes things worse — few people want to add moving to their already long list of to-dos (and expenses).

But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. You just need to find creative ways to entice renters in these blustery months. Here are 6 ways to employ creative marketing strategies to get your property occupied, even if the weather outside is frightful. continue reading