A lot has changed in real estate; those that fail to keep up with the most recent trends risk more than the title of "antiquated"...they risk missing out on the best deals.
1. Buying in Bulk.
Banks have a lot of non-performing properties to unload so it should come as no surprise that trying to sell foreclosures one at a time is not only time consuming but also expensive. One of the hottest trends emerging in 2010 is for well funded investors or investment groups to purchase steeply discounted properties by buying in bulk....often for as little as 30 to 50 cents on the dollar. It's a win-win situation for all parties; investors obtain maximum discounts and heightened ROI while banks save time and money by rapidly disposing of properties all at once.
2. Social Media Marketing.
With nearly 90 percent of all buyers starting their real estate search online, social media marketing is growing at a fast and furious pace. Photographs and virtual tours are not just expected, but failure to include extensive visual elements is akin to a death sentence for most agents. Tweets, blogs and information marketing is more than a way to get the word out about a property...it's increasingly viewed as a prerequisite for obtaining the trust of future clients. Recent surveys found that over 80 percent of people read a blog, signed-up for email newsletters and read other online forms of communication provided by the agent before deciding to do business with them. Make your mark count by learning how to effectively use social media marketing, email newsletters, blogs and other forms of mass communication to market your services and homes.
3. Banking & Broker Blues.
Although rates have remained low, banks have been sending signals that tougher lending standards are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financing. Brokers remain at risk for the loans they write resulting in increased vigilance and intense scrutiny. New Fannie/Freddie guidelines that go into effect this summer will further constrain already stretched consumers by increasing down payment requirements needed to obtain conventional financing after a pre-foreclosure event. Even top rated investors with perfect credit are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with number of loan limits and other constraints.
4. Going Green.
From lead laws to EPA regulations, real estate is slowly but surely going green. Although tax incentives and other initiatives have failed to make the desired impact, escalating utility bills combined with tax credits and legislative restrictions are beginning to show in the market. Expect to shell out big bucks for energy efficient appliances including new air conditioning/heating, pay more for repairs thanks to lead law certification and reap larger returns for properties that already conform to environmentally friendly guidelines.
See you at the top!