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If 3 out of 5 homeowners say they’ll never move, how can you convert them?

(EDITORIAL) An increasing number of people love homeownership so much they say they’ll never move, tightening inventory levels – how can you convert them?

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We’ve talked a lot lately about the biggest challenges to home sales today – rising prices, a lack of availability, and affordability. One of the easiest ways for our nation to alleviate the pressure is for more homeowners to decide now is a good time to sell.

But a new Bankrate.com survey unveiled that 62 percent of homeowners say they don’t intend on moving. Ever.

And another 17 percent say they don’t intend on moving for at least another five years.

The survey also indicates that homeowners are almost twice as likely to remodel than move homes. Fully 35 percent said they’d rather remodel in the next five years than move, while only 19 percent said they’ll move during that time frame.

Yes, investors could let go of some of their inventory, and builders could increase theirs, but this indicates an post-recession societal change as our economy strengthens and Americans sit on their largest investment as it appreciates.

So what can the real estate industry do to convert some homeowners into selling, rather than sitting?

It’s tricky, because one in five homeowners own their homes outright. But of the four out of five that don’t, Realtors are already farming for business through timeless marketing efforts such as direct mailers, ads, flyers, and of course, through social media marketing.

To little avail.

Why? Because the market primarily consists of “hire me” flyers with an agent’s face on it. That will never convert someone that says they’ll never move.

But data will.

We spoke to an agent in Dallas who is converting better than nearly anyone in her market, and she does so by emailing stats specifically to current homeowners that focus on the reasons to sell. She includes national statistics about how much cash Americans are sitting on via their homes, and offers hyperlocal sales data.

But how is that different from what everyone else is doing?

Three things that differ – (1) she translates that data instead of sending charts and hoping they’ll come to their own conclusion, and (2) she sends info on the specific property that person lives in, noting the value they’ve gained since moving in, and offers comparable properties for sale that they could consider if hoping to downsize or upgrade, and (3) she tells stories of clients that have put their gains into different investment vehicles and will retire comfortably.

Data is powerful, and successful practitioners know how to use it (especially given how readily available it is via tools at their disposal like Realtors Property Resource), but so few make it personal and translate it for consumers, putting it into layman’s term.

Convert by taking that extra step in translating and presenting data meaningfully to consumers – offering a chart isn’t enough today, especially if someone has already dug in their heels and plans on never moving. And if you find yourself saying little more than “now is a good time to buy/sell,” fire yourself.

The Real Daily is honest, up to the minute real estate industry news crafted for industry practitioners - we cut through the pay-to-play news fluff to bring you what's happening behind closed doors, what's meaningful to your practice, and what to expect in the future. Consider us your competitive advantage.

Real Estate Marketing

How to get a 9 star rating on Zillow when you’re limited to 5 stars

(MARKETING) When you’re limited to just a few stars on Zillow or similar sites, how do you prove to the public that you’re worth many more stars?

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five stars on zillow

Let’s say that you ask all of your customers to rate you on Zillow. Let’s say that you think it’s the best site since sliced bread (or you hate it, whatever, that matters not in this scenario).

But let’s also say that you’re either an overachiever or a smartass and you believe that your five star rating is simply too low and that you have actually earned more stars throughout your stellar career.

What do you do? How do you break out of the “Five Star Zone” without paying people to rate and rank you and without bribing Zillow?

You get creative.

Enter Frank Llosa, Esq., Broker of Frankly Real Estate, who is both hated and revered for his endless pushing of the envelope. Years ago, he figured out a way around the five star rating system on Zillow without any cash exchanging hands.

How? Behold:

Llosa did this stunt long ago, but Zillow never shut him down (and if they had, he’s used to his shenanigans being stifled).

Will Zillow shut you down if you try this? Probably.

While hilarious, it does prove that the web doesn’t limit the creative, rather, it unveils the endless opportunities to capture consumers’ attention – wouldn’t you take a second look at a 9-star agent on Zillow? I sure would!

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Real Estate Marketing

Tweetcat for Twitter organizes your timeline, makes it easier market

Never miss an important tweet again with Tweetcat, an app designed to organize your timeline.

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Virtually every form of social media utilizes a newsfeed or timeline format. This is set in place to allow users to view information from those the follow in a, normally chronological, fashion.

Depending on how many people you follow, it may sometimes be impossible to constantly stay on top of everything that’s posted in your social world. This is particularly difficult with Twitter.

How can you stay up-to-date on Twitter?

Because Twitter operates in a 140-character sphere, updates are seemingly constant. Tweets, photos, and videos go up in a moment’s notice, making it hard to keep up if you only check in every few hours.

But the thing is, do we want to see all of that content? While we consciously choose everyone that we follow, does that necessarily mean we want to be with them every step of the virtual way?

Based on the amount of accounts I have muted, I’m going to venture to guess: no. Sometimes people, or brands, have a habit of tweeting too frequently, which may be a turn-off but not necessarily grounds for an un-follow.

Twitter meets organization

While you may appreciate everyone that you follow, it is unlikely that every single tweet is something that you care about seeing. The constant updates may be easier to digest if there were something to keep Twitter organized.

Tweetcat is attempting to be that form of organization. Operating as an app, Tweetcat’s purpose is to organize your timeline by allowing you to create custom topics.

Categorize your tweets

You are able to create topic categories (i.e. business, music, sports, etc.) that will become color-coded. Tweetcat then sorts out your interests and places the appropriate tweets in the appropriate categories.

This not only helps to weed out the information you do not care to see, but it allows better access to the content you actually care about. Who knows what you may be missing in the disarray that is your current timeline?

Once categories are created and the tweets are sorted, they become accessible at the bottom of the Tweetcat app, which integrates your Twitter account. Available for both Androids and iPhones, the Tweetcat app strives to keep Twitter users organized and seeing the content that they are interested in.

#Tweetcat

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Real Estate Marketing

Real estate drone videography is falling far short of this glorious example

Drone videography is stunning, but the real estate industry could be utilizing the technology to a much greater extent; here’s one breathtaking example to aspire to!

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drone videography

A stunning new short film, “Austin by Air: An Aerial Documentary” gives viewers the opportunity to see Austin from a bird’s eye view and, hopefully, will inspire the real estate industry to consider incorporating aerial videography into their marketing.

Photographer and post-production technician Gerard Juarez has been working on a drone related startup, and decided, as a side project, to make a film featuring breathtaking aerial shots of Austin’s skyline, of kayakers on the river, and of the early morning traffic-less streets around the University of Texas. He attended a drone piloting training program to big up his skills before hitting the skies to create the impressive documentary. His goal was to “showcase” the city of Austin, and he hopes that the film “will have a little promotional value for the city.”

Tip: watch this video in full screen with the sound on.

How the industry could catch up

We’ve been talking about drones for some time now.

Here at The Real Daily, we’ve long been tracking the technological and legal progress of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration currently prohibits the use of drones for the purposes of selling real estate. However, this could change as soon as this year. In 2012 the FAA Modernization and Reform Act asked the FAA to come up with clear regulations regarding the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles; these regulations are due at the end of September. We recommend staying abreast of these developments, as drones could one day become an important tool for the real estate industry.

Real estate brokers with enough capital to work with could hire quality videographers to make films similar to Juarez’s documentary, which would show potential clients a whole new perspective on their cities and neighborhoods. Aerial photography is a great way to show off what makes a city or town unique, and to give people a wide-angle view of standout architectural and natural features. Such videos could be shared via hyper-local content blogs and websites to draw in new home owners.

I found “Austin by Air” to be a beautiful and inspiring way to view a city; similar videos on real estate websites could make a big impression on potential clients.

#DroneVideography

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