What is mind boggling is that we as an industry have struggled for years trying to figure how to move distressed inventory. Mind boggling because we have consistently hid the data behind cumbersome registration pages and access fees, and charged huge buyer premiums at auctions. To think that these are all strategies designed to move inventory is somewhat hard to believe. Open access rather, should be the path.
To top it all, many consumer portals and sites have made it tough for buyers to connect with listing agents or sellers, by giving preferred placement to their own internal agents next to the listing, if that’s their business model. Others featured and continue to feature alternative agents based on a paid advertising model, in the process keeping the true representing agent who knows the seller and the property best, and can answer questions more swiftly and accurately, at bay and harder to reach.
Such and other practices have either delayed or outright derailed potential transactions, and to this day continue to hinder wider, more efficient buyer participation so the assimilation of inventory may proceed at a more healthy pace.
We’re excited to announce that we have unlocked access to all listings on ListedBy, specifically because giving real estate buyers and sellers immediate and open access to listings and to each others’ contact information is core to ListedBy’s vision for the site and the industry as a whole. We see this as becoming the norm for all real estate property portals and real estate auction companies.
As always, we appreciate our users’ feedback and suggestions. Giving everyone instant access to all listings on ListedBy.com once again is the results of your valued input. Now anyone can research MLS listings across the country, residential and commercial. The same goes for all distressed properties including REO auctions, government real estate auctions, residential real estate auctions, commercial real estate auctions and all other public real estate auctions and Buy Now/Best Offer listings that are active on ListedBy.com.
The main message we delivered through our presentation (SJREI021313) at the SJREI (San Jose Real Estate Investors) two days ago was that transparency, or its lack thereof, is a critical catalyst that is preventing the industry from being what it can be, and the real estate professional, agent or investor, from being as efficient and productive as they should be. The underlying force being that a new paradigm shift in real estate is in underway, fueled by consumer insight, powered by technology and new business models.
We stressed and showed how these models will threaten the existence of organizations, large and small, that refuse to notice the oncoming change and tune in to new consumer expectations in how the real estate business is handled, especially online.
This would include real estate auction companies and real estate auction sites, sites that enable REO auctions and real estate government auctions, and organizations dealing in any shape or form with public real estate auctions or foreclosures and distressed property data and listings.
Notwithstanding, regular consumer portals were discussed in the same context, be it publicly traded companies or startup. That the threat is real.
The good news was that the undercurrent also brings with it potentially huge opportunities for those same organizations who tune in to the change and adapt, as many have magnificently done over the years.
Within the context of a session meant to explain to experienced real estate investors what ListedBy.com is, we took the path of focusing on industry concerns that when addressed by platforms and open environments such as ListedBy.com, should result in far greater efficiencies (operational and cost) and productivity for the investor and anyone engaged in the buying and selling of real assets. This, on the premise that all technology we elect to deploy in business is meant to enhance one or the other, in some shape or form.
The paradigm shift would consist of three key pillars with transparency at its core. From these new levels of transparency, the benefits far greater efficiencies and productivity will be drawn. Lack of transparency, today a detriment to economic growth and sales productivity will be replaced with an environment where full transparency is an expectation. Vis:
We have a long way before everyone buying and selling real estate realize how deep the benefits of transparency would run within an organization, and how much of a boost in operational and sales productivity such transparency and access to information can drive.
If participant feedback at the session was any indication, the thinking behind ListedBy.com is definitely something more and more real estate professionals will be gravitating to.
WOW Inman News was the best that we have seen yet with some great moments and great feedback for ListedBy from users and some of the top industry pros!
Also never a bad thing to get to play a bit in NYC!
- As my esteemed colleague noted, the industry is taking more and more of the home buying process online and seems to be a real drive towards completing transactions online and eliminating the paperwork nonsense that we have dealt with for so long. This obviously was a big part of why we founded the ListedBy.com site. To allow users to not only research homes online but actually buy homes online, and we are excited to be a part of that for the industry as a whole. Ideally we would like to incorporate a paperless system into our site that would perhaps make it even easier for our users to not only submit offers on homes online but actually complete the transaction. Who knows, we might have made a partnership for that at this event.=)
- NYC is enjoyable and one heck of a place to go, but those stories that you hear about the airport at JFK are all true!
- It was a pleasure for me to get to chat with a couple of industry rockstars in particular that had some sentimental value for me. Won’t state their names as don’t have authorization to, but one CEO in particular still owns the site where I bought my first Detroit, MI property online that to some extent started the whole idea for creating the ListedBy site. It was great to chat with someone of his caliber for an hour and hear he actually really liked the concept of our site! Also, great to see a few good friends and partners like Bill from Revestor, the boys from NuOffer, my main man Hector from Trycera (All great companies to check out) and many more.
- We REALLY got some positive comments from a lot of the industry’s top agents about the website and saw that they really love the ability that ListedBy allows for them to have direct offers from the buyers, which allows them the opportunity to double their commissions by representing both parties. Also, agents and users all loved the new and improved page for service providers where you can search services for free like you would on a servicemagic.com and other similar websites, but with us of course it is all for real estate management and purchases.
- We once again had a helicopter to give away to one lucky user. Roger always tries to get it out of the box and fly it around, which sometimes results in the police being called. Luckily I was there to save him from himself! Another personal note highlight for me is that we got to have a great dinner with a killer view of the city with my big guy Roger. It was nice to have a moment like that with a great business partner and friend to look at where we have come and where we hope to go with the site as we continue to grow. As we all know, running startups and really any business has ups and downs, and takes a certain level of dedication. So moments like that, events like NAR Orlando and this one are really a big part of what makes it so enjoyable and rewarding, and why I am so thankful to all of you for using the site and allowing us to keeping putting out those 15 hour days to try and get better all the time.
To clarify, the gentleman noted in the photo there is Hector from Trycera, not Roger.
All in all it was exceptional and we look forward to being a part of many more events like this one in the future and hopefully seeing some of you there also. Who knows, you might win a helicopter, or even better, private dinner with me and Roger!
Interest Rates, Real Estate Auction Companies, Inventory, Inflation, Pricing Predictions
What we think you will see and how we recommend you act on it!
As my real estate mentor always did tell me, “My opinion and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee.” But for all those who care to listen, here is the way that I see the real estate market as a whole going in 2013, and some strategies that in my humble opinion could benefit our users.
To start, I will give some background to my opinions and what I have done so far to capitalize on the market. At the end of the year in 2011 and the beginning of this year 2012 I told all of my friends, clients and all those who would listen that I strongly believed that the bottom of the market had come and gone and that we would look back at 2012 and ask how much did we capitalize on it. If you look at the stats and all of the trends, that has proven to be true. The market nationally has started a slow rebound, and as predicted, the areas hit hardest by the crash such as Las Vegas, NV, and here in California have rebounded the strongest. With hopes that this would happen, I started investing very heavily in Las Vegas in July 2011 and since that point the market as a whole there is up 37%! My thought process has remained the same for the market as a whole in 2013 as there are still exceptional buys out there on a national level and in some of these key regions like CA and Las Vegas, and while they may not be the 15% cap rate rental properties that we saw every day for a while, the ROIs are still dramatically better than what you would get in the bank and once again I strongly believe you will see continued upswing in the market in 2013 and beyond. There are two possibilities for the market that I see that both result in pricing rising:
Possibility #1: The economy crashes hard once again and the fiscal cliff destroys the markets:
This, believe it or not, could result in house prices going dramatically higher, as if this happened it is likely that we would see some form of rapid-inflation which although a slow process would ultimately hit the housing market. This means house prices would go up not so much because the house is worth more, but rather because the dollar is worth less. This means that condo you bought for $90K could and will likely someday be worth $1 million just like how a house you bought for $2,600 in 1944 would be worth dramatically more today. Inflation always happens and it always at some point hits the real estate market. It is simply a question of how long that will take. If the economy crashed and we had another dip in the market briefly, it would create another exceptional buying opportunity before inflation kicks in and you can see that exceptional long term growth.
If this happened, the way to capitalize on it is by having as much leverage as possible. So instead of buying one rental property cash for $200,000, you would want to buy 10 rental properties with 10% down and maximize your leverage so you can pay off the loans with cheap dollars. It can be a bit in-depth so if you have questions about this email me through my user profile on ListedBy.com and we can go in to some extra stats and detail.
Possibility #2: The economy and the markets get a bit better
This obviously results in having the economy and the market in a better condition, which helps buyers to have the resources needed to purchase, which should continue a slow upswing in home prices and purchases as a whole as we grow. Also, note that many Americans with foreclosures that happened in 2008 will now have more than 5 yrs since that foreclosure, which for many is enough time to rebound their finances to be able to buy another home, which will also help the market.
As you can see, the stats and the details seem to point towards a strong market recovery regardless of the economy as a whole which is obviously great extra security for all of us who invest in real estate. I think that it is likely that you will see a combination of the two where the economy stays well and we see some rapid inflation also, which is why in 2013, I will be trying to buy as many units as I can the same way that I did in 2012 hopefully with the same result!
What do you tell potential clients that others haven’t yet pitched? What do you have to show to stand out from your local competition?
The single property website story has been played. So has listing syndication, property videos, commitment to doing open houses and other typical advertising and marketing strategies. In a distressed market, pre-forelcosure and short sale experience also tend to make a huge difference. But on any day, highlighting online auction as one of your strengths and unique strategies to marketing client property is a significant differentiator.
Whether you are working to win a large commercial or residential deal, your prospect will be delighted to hear how you can use online auction technology to market their property to buyers worldwide, and set up an environment that can ignite a bidding competition on their house or office building.
The next generation agent is going paperless, and negotiating deals is a critical piece of the puzzle. So is the ability to bid buyers against each other to maximize asset value, without breaking a sweat. Online auction delivers these benefits easily and efficiently, and is a rapidly growing trend that pioneering agents and top producers are and must pay attention to.
A house that’s walking distance to Union Station in DC recently listed for $337,000 and sold for nearly $761,000 after approximately 170 bids in just two weeks, as reported today by the Washington Post. Imagine enabling out of area, out of state and foreign bidders to chime in as well, online. Now how about firing up the bidding process even more, by allowing bidders to see each others’ bids online, and enabling them to increase their bids with a click of the mouse, while you and your client watch in real time?
New online commercial and residential real estate auction technology is extremely easy to use, and is completely free of charge for all parties involved. It allows you to manage and oversee hundreds of bids without lifting a finger, and gives you the chance to market to buyers out of state and across the world, with no added effort.
Now that’s the kind of pitch that stands to snag you more listings, while others stand in wonder.
One of our participants on the ListedBy.com LinkeIn Group today asked us whether NAR projections for real estate auctions reaching 1 out of every 5 properties sold by 2014-15 covers specific geographies or are regionalized. As well, whether the majority of the auctions would be online or onsite.
Here is our response, to help our readers here to have convenient access to it.
We suspect that the majority include online + on location, because that’s the traditional model used by auction organizations thus far. The numbers cover the entire US. New models like ListedBy.com are turning the traditional model upside down by doing three key things:
1- 100% free. No fees for buyers nor sellers. Means more participation and more money to go towards the property instead of paying 2-8% buyer premiums.
2- 100% transparency. Everyone gets to see who is bidding and how much. Gives everyone equal chance and optimizes property market value.
3- All 100% online. Simpler, quicker, cheaper and more efficient for everyone involved.
Here is a link to a recent article we published on ListedBy.com that goes into a bit more detail.
….that one out of every five real estate transactions will be through auction by 2014-15?
….that 58 billion dollars of real estate assets in the U.S. sold at auction in 2011?
Leaders and Laggers – How Industry Pioneers are Using Online Real Estate Auctions to Distance Themselves
When the Internet came about, the pioneers got onto email before everyone else. Eventually, the same group went online with their Web pages. From there, they were first to start their own websites and adopt other technologies way before the laggers got on board. If ever. Listing syndication came about. Thousands sat back, debated things or fought hard to maintain the status quo (many still do to this day). Meanwhile the winners began to distribute their listings widely on the Internet and reaped the benefits of exponential brand exposure and lead generation.
You get the point. Paperless transaction tools, telecommuting, social media and the virtual office brokerage faced the same skepticism from the majority or, shall we say, the followers, while the leaders took the bull by the horns and blazed through. This is how winners win. Believe or not, some agents still do not have their own website and many have to be educated on why they should look at their email more frequently!
On to the next big thing. Online real estate auction.
First let’s get one thing cleared. Auction does not mean having to price a property at a dollar and hoping it sells for half a million. There are a number of online real estate auction strategies that we’ll go over in future articles. But for the purpose of this piece, think of online auction as a process that allows you to market a listing starting at a minimum acceptable price, and marketing it so it is bid up to its optimal market value. If you have been in this profession long enough, you would have either used this pricing strategy or heard of others using it, but in the traditional fashion. Price a property attractively, draw in buyers, then create a bidding war. It works.
Fast forward to the future. New online real estate auction platforms allow you to replicate the excitement and benefits of this strategy but far more easily. It also helps you to reach buyers from around the country and the world. Without costing you a cent. Review, accept, reject and counter offers with a click of the mouse. Things don’t get any easier.
Another great benefit of tapping real estate online auctions is that auction as a selling method inherently narrows the pool to buyers who are finance-ready. To bid on a property in auction, buyers or their buyers’ agents typically must be ready to move forward, if theirs is the winning bid. This alone can significantly accelerate the sales process, and takes care of the financing subject headache in advance.
Try listing a property on ListedBy.com. The membership and traffic on the site continue to reach new proportions each month, as more professionals discover the platform. Unlike other real estate auction sites, ListedBy is completely free of charge and does not charge a buyer’s premium or a buyer’s fee. ‘The old’ auction model is being re-invented, with both buyers and sellers coming together to negotiate and close deals in a completely free, transparent and highly advanced environment.
While this may create a headache for the traditional real estate auction industry, for industry pioneers, and those who have come to expect hefty fees to buy or sell at auction, it’s a breath of a fresh air.
Listing interviews and presentations sometimes turn into a show of force with beautiful looking folders, comparables sheets, a glossy bio and a big pitch. All this is ultimately useful but Richard Hartian on the WinningAgent goes beyond to discuss the role of the agent as a consultant and how asking the right questions is key to positioning and differentiating yourself in the prospect’s mind.
How you plan on marketing the listing is a key component of the overall discussion, but at the right time. Once there, ensure you cover an aggressive online listing distribution / syndication program to reach more potential buyers. Discuss giving the seller access to online traffic reports but also, key today, that you have the ability to market the listing as an auction or a “Submit Offer‘ listing that allows potential buyers across the country and internationally to view and present tender offers right there online, for quicker negotiations and close. Successful ListedBy.com members know the impact the site has had on their listing presentations and sales revenue.
With one out of every five properies sold by 2014-15 projected by NAR to be through auction, and with 58 billion dollars recorded in auction sales for 2011 alone, the online real estate auction market is an emerging trend that can clearly differentiate you when meeting with new prospects. May sound complex, but it’s actually extremely easy once you look into it.
Reverting back to Hartian’s proposed questions and tips for the listing interview, these are critical. They demonstrate that you are technical about your approach, that you truly care and that you actually take notice of what the client is thinking and saying:
“It happens all the time: you’re contacted by a potential seller. Maybe the seller was referred to you, you met at an open house, or she’s just gotten fed up with the FSBO route. Whatever the reason, you’re having a conversation about the possibility of listing the home. You finish the home tour. What’s your next move? Like Clark Kent slipping into the phone booth, you need an instant transformation. No, we’re not suggesting a cape and blue tights, but you need to morph instantly from a Realtor to a consultant. Go into your interview mode, and win the real estate listing interview by asking these eight important questions:
1. May I ask you a few questions? This puts you in control of the conversation, but it also flatters your potential client. Everyone loves to tell their story, and you’re leaving that door wide open. Bring your questions with you in written form, and write down notes as you talk. This lets the clients know they are being heard.
2. What’s the approximate value of your home? No surprise—most people think their home is worth a lot more than it is. At this point, don’t get into a back-and-forth about asking price, and certainly don’t disagree with the client’s perception of value. Simply write down the number they give you. Before you get to the point of setting a sales price, you need to establish a level of trust with the client.
3. How much do you currently owe on the home? This, of course, is a critical question in the interview process. You need to know how much flexibility you have to work with. If the seller is underwater, for example, it’s a totally different scenario from someone who has five years left on a 30-year mortgage. Which leads you directly into the next question:
4. Why are you planning to sell your home now? This information goes directly to the client’s attitude and state of mind. Are they being transferred due to a job change? Are they downsizing for age or financial reasons? Is there a neighborhood problem they are trying to get away from? Their answer gives you important information about the degree of urgency the client is feeling, which could range anywhere from “I’ve got to be out of here in 30 days,” to “I just want to put it on the market to see what happens.”
5. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being perfect, how would you rate the condition of your home? You’ve probably picked up some of the answers to this question during your walk-through, but you need to know the client’s perception and how willing they are to make repairs or cosmetic upgrades.
6. How does your home stack up in comparison to others in the neighborhood? Of course you can find this out simply by driving the neighborhood, but this question encourages the client to talk about neighborhood pros and cons, as well as providing information about other homes that may be on the market or about to be.
Right now you’re probably thinking you could get most of this information from public records, and that’s true. And you should look up that information before going to the real estate listing interview. However, the actual answers the client gives you are less important than the fact that you are creating a consulting relationship and setting yourself up as a subject matter expert that the client can trust.
7. What are you looking for when you choose a Realtor? Now the clients will likely tell you a whole lot about what kind of marketing plan and effort they will expect from you, what kind of communication they hope for (email once a week vs. daily phone calls!) and even good or bad experiences they have had with other Realtors.
8. What problems would you anticipate in the selling process? This final question gives you a great opportunity to continue in your consulting role as you are able to make recommendations for problem solving on the spot. It may also allow you to identify any areas of conflict between the sellers themselves (if they are a couple). He loves the old homestead and she wants out of the neighborhood ASAP, for example.
Now you’re probably wondering—when do you get a chance to talk about yourself, establish your credentials? The answer: you bring a one-page bio sheet with your listing and sales record, background, certifications, and other relevant information. Whether you sign a listing agreement immediately or set up a time to get back together, you’ll leave that behind as a lasting impression — you are not just the Realtor. You are a consultant who listens.”
Read this article on the WinninAgent Blog