Sure, Zillow and Trulia are popular portals for consumers to shop for homes, and there are a lot of fantastic luxury properties marketed as hip pockets, but does that spell the end for MLS systems everywhere?

Sure, Zillow and Trulia are popular portals for consumers to shop for homes, and there are a lot of fantastic luxury properties marketed as hip pockets on select sites, but does that spell the end for MLS systems everywhere?

Inman contributor Creed Smith wrote a column published on the real estate news site suggesting that the system real estate agents use to access listing information, the Multiple Listing Service, was on the way out. It ignited a heated debate among Inman staffers and commenters, earning a reply from Inman managing editor Matt Carter. 

If the real estate industry were invented today, there would be no NAR (National Association of Realtors) or MLS (multiple listing service), and perhaps no franchises — there might not even be real estate brokers.

The MLS was built for three reasons:

  1. To place all information on homes for sale and sold homes into a central location for brokers.
  2. To create a percentage of sale price payment agreement between brokers.
  3.  To elevate NAR and the MLS companies to almost godlike status with monopoly power.

The marketplace now demands a system built on their desires, not those of NAR. How would you build a system for selling and buying homes based on market desires with today’s technology and market dynamics? You would offer an open-source international database (website … portal).

You can read Smith’s full-length piece on his Demon of Marketing website, but we wanted to get the perspective of local brokers and Realtors on the cutting edge of real estate here in North Texas as to whether we should be writing a eulogy for the MLS system.

(more…)

Katie Lance offers five "don'ts" for real estate professionals who want to use social media to connect with clients.

Katie Lance offers five “don’ts” for real estate professionals who want to use social media to connect with clients.


Marketing is one of the most challenging parts of having a successful real estate business. Great marketing ensures that, even after the peak season ends, your business will weather less-than-stellar sales. Truly, real estate is a cyclical industry, marked by seasonal highs and lows. Not only do you need to be prepared for the lean months financially, but by employing some strategic marketing tactics, you can stay in the forefront of potential clients’ minds.

But how can real estate agents keep the home fires burning on social media? What are some of the best ways to take advantage of your social networks?

Katie Lance is a fantastic business guru, often speaking at conferences focusing on content strategies. She is totally brilliant. If you’re not following her blog, you’re missing out! Lance just posted this great list of the top five “don’ts” for social media marketing when it applies to real estate professionals, and it’s a must-read! I agree with every single one of these suggestions, especially No. 5.

Jump for the complete list!

(more…)

Ebby's 103rd!

Might as well make it a national holiday, right? Ebby’s 103rd birthday, which was Sunday, is definitely one worth celebrating, says national real estate news source Inman News:

Ebby Halliday, known as “the first lady of real estate,” turned 103 on Sunday. Halliday began her selling career at the age of 8 when she sold Cloverine salve to neighboring farmers and later opened a hat shop, Ebby’s Hats, in Dallas, before founding Ebby Halliday, Realtors in 1945.

Now, the real estate firm is the largest in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by both transaction sides and sales volume, according to Real Trends. Nationally, the firm is the 12th largest by sales volume and 15th largest by transaction sides, representing homes worth a combined $4.8 billion in 2012 in 15,915 transaction sides. *

Halliday asked that, in lieu of gifts, people support an addiction treatment center, Ebby’s Place at the YWCA. *

“It is our duty and privilege as Realtors to get involved, participate in the activities of our cities, and to help build our communities,” she said.

We are so proud of this amazing woman and trail-blazing Realtor! Happy birthday, Ebby, and congratulations on building a legacy in Ebby’s Place that will inspire many generations of women to come!

* Editor’s Note: The Inman News story incorrectly stated 2013 numbers and the purpose of the new Ebby’s Place on Inwood Road. Ebby Halliday Companies sales for 2013 were more than $6.4 billion with more than 19,500 transactions. Ebby’s Place at the YWCA is a new women’s center designed to help lift working women out of poverty.

Ebby's 103rd!

Might as well make it a national holiday, right? Ebby’s 103rd birthday, which was Sunday, is definitely one worth celebrating, says national real estate news source Inman News:

Ebby Halliday, known as “the first lady of real estate,” turned 103 on Sunday. Halliday began her selling career at the age of 8 when she sold Cloverine salve to neighboring farmers and later opened a hat shop, Ebby’s Hats, in Dallas, before founding Ebby Halliday, Realtors in 1945.

Now, the real estate firm is the largest in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by both transaction sides and sales volume, according to Real Trends. Nationally, the firm is the 12th largest by sales volume and 15th largest by transaction sides, representing homes worth a combined $4.8 billion in 2012 in 15,915 transaction sides. *

Halliday asked that, in lieu of gifts, people support an addiction treatment center, Ebby’s Place at the YWCA. *

“It is our duty and privilege as Realtors to get involved, participate in the activities of our cities, and to help build our communities,” she said.

We are so proud of this amazing woman and trail-blazing Realtor! Happy birthday, Ebby, and congratulations on building a legacy in Ebby’s Place that will inspire many generations of women to come!

* Editor’s Note: The Inman News story incorrectly stated 2013 numbers and the purpose of the new Ebby’s Place on Inwood Road. Ebby Halliday Companies sales for 2013 were more than $6.4 billion with more than 19,500 transactions. Ebby’s Place at the YWCA is a new women’s center designed to help lift working women out of poverty.

DroneBrad Inman is the founder and publisher of Inman News, an internet entrepreneur, former real estate editor and brilliant investor/guy. Whatever Brad touches turns to gold, including HomeGain, TurnHere, Vook, and his investment in Curbed.com, which recently sold to Vox Media. So when Brad talks, the real estate world listens. (Poss sub. req.)

Brad-Inman_avatar-82x96And I hop to attention with a Red Bull:

Brad prediction 1: “a drone accident masterminded by a maverick real estate agent will make national news.”

Let me tell you about drones: they are not all for military use. Think of them as those little flying devices that delivered sponsor’s help to Katniss in Hunger Games. 20131029-drones-x306-1383070563A drone revolution is coming, as Jeff Bezo indicated on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. Drones have the potential to become an estimated $89 billion industry by 2025, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Of course, it’s illegal to pay someone to fly a drone right now, and I would not suggest buzzing one around Strait Lane, but with improved technology, drones could be the new wave of aerial real estate photographs taking 360 degree views of properties from the sky. They would be incredibly realistic photos, too. I would imagine this would be a Godsend for ranch sales. Maybe a drone could even buzz through a house and snap-snap?

Quadcopter - TacoCopterTexas already has a finger in the drone business pot:

Organizers of the Texas bid expect economic development in the Corpus Christi area, according to a statement. They plan to operate 11 test ranges in the state, led by researchers at campuses in Corpus Christi and College Station.

Texas has a long and distinguished history in the aerospace industry, and this test site is an important opportunity to create jobs and grow the industry in our state, Texas governor Rick Perry said in a statement.
Drone testing may produce $260 million in economic impact in Texas over the next decade, including 1,200 jobs, according to a March study by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an Arlington, Virginia-based trade group promoting the industry.

Pogir2Anyhow, I predict Pogir of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s will be the first Dallas real estate agent to photograph and market a listing via drone.

Brad 2: “The private secondary mortgage market will be back in full force this coming year (though later in 2014), giving a fresh but sustainable lift to the housing market.”

Yeah, I concur, and I think jumbos will be back, and not cost borrowers an arm and a leg. We will be hearing more on this from Guardian Mortgage and Inwood Bank, so stay tuned.

Brad 3: “Interest rates will be higher, but housing demand will be fierce, squeezing the inventory and driving up home prices.” Totally agree. We are going to see some real estate inflation — I’m writing about a Ritz condo that was listed for less than $3 million last year, but sold for three this year. I think that the increase in interest rates will hurt young, first time home buyers, especially kids with education loans to repay. If you are thinking of buying for the first time this year, I would suggest getting in sooner rather than later. Higher net worth buyers may not feel the pinch as much, as long as they can deduct that interest. We are still spoiled by absurdly low rates. But do I want to see 18% again? HELL NO!

Housing demand will be totally fierce, because inventory continues to be a real problem: Dec. 2012 there was a 4 month supply of housing in DFW. Dec. of 2013 there is only a 3 month supply, a reduction of 29.1% from last year. New listings, down 9.3% (from last Dec.) to only 5,318. Average price per square foot? $104 versus $93 a year ago. New construction ppsf? $117 versus $103 last Dec.

Brad 4: “An investment opportunity to buy equity in individual top-producing real estate agents will unfold, like what is being done with stock offerings for individual athletes. Buyer beware.”

Wouldn’t this be fun? Here’s who I’d buy stock in: some top agents at Allie Beth Allman, Briggs-Freeman, and Dave Perry Miller. But I would not ignore the young uns like Dallas City Center (blazin’, just blazin’)  Clay Stapp, Rogers Healy, Nathan Grace (hot damn, on fire, Stevie Chaddick is over at Highland Park Village in a boutique NG office yes she is!, yes and Joyce Kelly!), Vivo Reality (Vivo = great video) killing it in Plano, but edging south, and an impressive lone young broker ripping it named Rustin James RealtyRustin SmithKeller Williams Elite at Preston Center — keep an eye on these folks, wowzers, lots of changes over there.  I will unabashedly name the very agents who advertise on this site because they were invited to do so, hand-picked for the very reason that they are dynamite, hard-work-a-holics, and yes, I would place my home in their trust and money on them in a heartbeat: Becky Frey, Dave Perry Miller, Ben Jones, Laurie Mah, Kari Schlegel Kloewer (and her new angel, Tobin), Kyle Crews and the Allie Beth Urban Team of Missy Woehr, Daylon Pereira, Sanders Avrea, Allison Badgley, and Anita (Ani) Nosnik; David Griffin, Hunter Dehn,  Jacqui Bloomquist (this girl gets 50 peeps to an open house on a tundra weekend!), Tom & Gina Branch who kill it in Plano, Colin Lardner, David Maez at Vivo, the queen of “Impossible Sales” Sunny Chaparala — that girl could take a crack house, stage it, make it look like House Beautiful.

We would also put our money on the new Ebby Southlake office — oh is it going to be snazzy. Carolyn Rosson and company, you rule everything in the world west of I-35!

I like this buying stock in agents!

Brad 5: “Stung by some contentious investments in the tech sector back in the day, Realogy will come out of its shell and make at least one big technology move.”

Whatever, just as long as it doesn’t involve Bitcoins.

Brad 6: “Institutional investors who bought blocks of foreclosed single-family homes will begin unloading later in the year as prices rise, giving the market some much-needed inventory and participants a handsome return.” Nice, we will need the inventory, especially in Dallas/Fort Worth, but I think this will affect areas like Garland and Irving. By the way, I think now is a terrific time to buy investment props in Irving, even though Tony and Candice are moving out. (I’ll bet he keeps the Cottonwood Valley house for friends.)

Brad 7: “Redfin will have a successful IPO. CEO Glenn Kelman will be wealthy and his investors will be very happy.” I am very impressed with Redfin, and still need to profile the local Redfin office. Maybe I will go plant my license with Redfin to get in on this IPO?

Brad 8: “The amount of venture capital and private equity pouring into the real estate sector will reach record levels, driving innovation and experimentation in new business models, software and hardware.” This will be manna in Dallas, Texas, where we worship real estate and talk about home prices at every single cocktail party. I offer up CompStack as proof of this, and the fact they came to Dallas, whose commercial RE market is pretty hot to trot.

Brad 9: “Zillow and Trulia will make a horde of acquisitions. Zillow will make one masterstroke purchase or business model move that will be controversial.” I know everyone likes to start their real estate search on Zillow and Trulia, and that’s OK, but they are waaaay off on pricing in Texas because we are a non-disclosure state. Also, some MLS’s are choosing NOT to share data with the third party boys. Look to the Houston Association of Realtors for a poster child in how innovative an MLS can really be.

Yes, MetroTex, I still love you. MWAH. But not so sure on how this prediction will go down in Texas.

Brad 10: “HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will resign (not under a cloud), and FHA Commissioner Carol Galante will replace him.” Interesting. What are we going to do about Dodd-Frank? Shall we take a vote over which is worse, Dodd-Frank or the ACA also known as Obamacare?

Brad: BONUS prediction:  “We have not heard the last of making agent performance data transparent.”

Face it, agents out there. This is coming and there may even be a drone outside your window RIGHT NOW! I think we need a way to rate or at least PERSONALIZE agents on line that is way more legit than a pricey “I’m the best” (says who?) chest-beating ad. Tiring of vanity ads for agents: let’s talk about the house, that’s what we are buying. And let’s talk about how the agent can best meld with the seller. Do you want to go to a doctor who buys a lot of glossy ads but ignores you in the office? No way. We have to find a way to convey the agents’ personality and zest to the consumer. We are certainly trying to do this on CandysDirt.

Brad: “Happy New Year! May the market be with you.”

Candy: And also with you!

 

 

DroneBrad Inman is the founder and publisher of Inman News, an internet entrepreneur, former real estate editor and brilliant investor/guy. Whatever Brad touches turns to gold, including HomeGain, TurnHere, Vook, and his investment in Curbed.com, which recently sold to Vox Media. So when Brad talks, the real estate world listens. (Poss sub. req.)

Brad-Inman_avatar-82x96And I hop to attention with a Red Bull:

Brad prediction 1: “a drone accident masterminded by a maverick real estate agent will make national news.”

Let me tell you about drones: they are not all for military use. Think of them as those little flying devices that delivered sponsor’s help to Katniss in Hunger Games. 20131029-drones-x306-1383070563A drone revolution is coming, as Jeff Bezo indicated on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. Drones have the potential to become an estimated $89 billion industry by 2025, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Of course, it’s illegal to pay someone to fly a drone right now, and I would not suggest buzzing one around Strait Lane, but with improved technology, drones could be the new wave of aerial real estate photographs taking 360 degree views of properties from the sky. They would be incredibly realistic photos, too. I would imagine this would be a Godsend for ranch sales. Maybe a drone could even buzz through a house and snap-snap?

Quadcopter - TacoCopterTexas already has a finger in the drone business pot:

Organizers of the Texas bid expect economic development in the Corpus Christi area, according to a statement. They plan to operate 11 test ranges in the state, led by researchers at campuses in Corpus Christi and College Station.

Texas has a long and distinguished history in the aerospace industry, and this test site is an important opportunity to create jobs and grow the industry in our state, Texas governor Rick Perry said in a statement.
Drone testing may produce $260 million in economic impact in Texas over the next decade, including 1,200 jobs, according to a March study by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an Arlington, Virginia-based trade group promoting the industry.

Pogir2Anyhow, I predict Pogir of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s will be the first Dallas real estate agent to photograph and market a listing via drone.

Brad 2: “The private secondary mortgage market will be back in full force this coming year (though later in 2014), giving a fresh but sustainable lift to the housing market.”

Yeah, I concur, and I think jumbos will be back, and not cost borrowers an arm and a leg. We will be hearing more on this from Guardian Mortgage and Inwood Bank, so stay tuned.

Brad 3: “Interest rates will be higher, but housing demand will be fierce, squeezing the inventory and driving up home prices.” Totally agree. We are going to see some real estate inflation — I’m writing about a Ritz condo that was listed for less than $3 million last year, but sold for three this year. I think that the increase in interest rates will hurt young, first time home buyers, especially kids with education loans to repay. If you are thinking of buying for the first time this year, I would suggest getting in sooner rather than later. Higher net worth buyers may not feel the pinch as much, as long as they can deduct that interest. We are still spoiled by absurdly low rates. But do I want to see 18% again? HELL NO!

Housing demand will be totally fierce, because inventory continues to be a real problem: Dec. 2012 there was a 4 month supply of housing in DFW. Dec. of 2013 there is only a 3 month supply, a reduction of 29.1% from last year. New listings, down 9.3% (from last Dec.) to only 5,318. Average price per square foot? $104 versus $93 a year ago. New construction ppsf? $117 versus $103 last Dec.

Brad 4: “An investment opportunity to buy equity in individual top-producing real estate agents will unfold, like what is being done with stock offerings for individual athletes. Buyer beware.”

Wouldn’t this be fun? Here’s who I’d buy stock in: some top agents at Allie Beth Allman, Briggs-Freeman, and Dave Perry Miller. But I would not ignore the young uns like Dallas City Center (blazin’, just blazin’)  Clay Stapp, Rogers Healy, Nathan Grace (hot damn, on fire, Stevie Chaddick is over at Highland Park Village in a boutique NG office yes she is!, yes and Joyce Kelly!), Vivo Reality (Vivo = great video) killing it in Plano, but edging south, and an impressive lone young broker ripping it named Rustin James RealtyRustin SmithKeller Williams Elite at Preston Center — keep an eye on these folks, wowzers, lots of changes over there.  I will unabashedly name the very agents who advertise on this site because they were invited to do so, hand-picked for the very reason that they are dynamite, hard-work-a-holics, and yes, I would place my home in their trust and money on them in a heartbeat: Becky Frey, Dave Perry Miller, Ben Jones, Laurie Mah, Kari Schlegel Kloewer (and her new angel, Tobin), Kyle Crews and the Allie Beth Urban Team of Missy Woehr, Daylon Pereira, Sanders Avrea, Allison Badgley, and Anita (Ani) Nosnik; David Griffin, Hunter Dehn,  Jacqui Bloomquist (this girl gets 50 peeps to an open house on a tundra weekend!), Tom & Gina Branch who kill it in Plano, Colin Lardner, David Maez at Vivo, the queen of “Impossible Sales” Sunny Chaparala — that girl could take a crack house, stage it, make it look like House Beautiful.

We would also put our money on the new Ebby Southlake office — oh is it going to be snazzy. Carolyn Rosson and company, you rule everything in the world west of I-35!

I like this buying stock in agents!

Brad 5: “Stung by some contentious investments in the tech sector back in the day, Realogy will come out of its shell and make at least one big technology move.”

Whatever, just as long as it doesn’t involve Bitcoins.

Brad 6: “Institutional investors who bought blocks of foreclosed single-family homes will begin unloading later in the year as prices rise, giving the market some much-needed inventory and participants a handsome return.” Nice, we will need the inventory, especially in Dallas/Fort Worth, but I think this will affect areas like Garland and Irving. By the way, I think now is a terrific time to buy investment props in Irving, even though Tony and Candice are moving out. (I’ll bet he keeps the Cottonwood Valley house for friends.)

Brad 7: “Redfin will have a successful IPO. CEO Glenn Kelman will be wealthy and his investors will be very happy.” I am very impressed with Redfin, and still need to profile the local Redfin office. Maybe I will go plant my license with Redfin to get in on this IPO?

Brad 8: “The amount of venture capital and private equity pouring into the real estate sector will reach record levels, driving innovation and experimentation in new business models, software and hardware.” This will be manna in Dallas, Texas, where we worship real estate and talk about home prices at every single cocktail party. I offer up CompStack as proof of this, and the fact they came to Dallas, whose commercial RE market is pretty hot to trot.

Brad 9: “Zillow and Trulia will make a horde of acquisitions. Zillow will make one masterstroke purchase or business model move that will be controversial.” I know everyone likes to start their real estate search on Zillow and Trulia, and that’s OK, but they are waaaay off on pricing in Texas because we are a non-disclosure state. Also, some MLS’s are choosing NOT to share data with the third party boys. Look to the Houston Association of Realtors for a poster child in how innovative an MLS can really be.

Yes, MetroTex, I still love you. MWAH. But not so sure on how this prediction will go down in Texas.

Brad 10: “HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will resign (not under a cloud), and FHA Commissioner Carol Galante will replace him.” Interesting. What are we going to do about Dodd-Frank? Shall we take a vote over which is worse, Dodd-Frank or the ACA also known as Obamacare?

Brad: BONUS prediction:  “We have not heard the last of making agent performance data transparent.”

Face it, agents out there. This is coming and there may even be a drone outside your window RIGHT NOW! I think we need a way to rate or at least PERSONALIZE agents on line that is way more legit than a pricey “I’m the best” (says who?) chest-beating ad. Tiring of vanity ads for agents: let’s talk about the house, that’s what we are buying. And let’s talk about how the agent can best meld with the seller. Do you want to go to a doctor who buys a lot of glossy ads but ignores you in the office? No way. We have to find a way to convey the agents’ personality and zest to the consumer. We are certainly trying to do this on CandysDirt.

Brad: “Happy New Year! May the market be with you.”

Candy: And also with you!

 

 

Karen tag

Agent Reboot was a blast as usual. The Inman social media gurus gave us so much information my head was spinning. Good thing I took notes for ya’ll! Inman, of course, is the industry’s leading source of national real estate news.

Agent Reboot is their traveling information “show.” Basically they educate industry professionals about the latest tools and resources that will help them to create a better marketing platform and increase brand awareness.

There were so many takeaways, but first and foremost, you had better be found on the Internet. Do not be a “Secret Agent.” I love that! Get your profile up on Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. It’s free and it’s where people will find you.

Geeky

Katie Lance (left) emphasized building a presence on the Internet.

Realtors were also encouraged to be local experts. Everyone is on the Internet. We can all press “search” on Google, so you have to know the hidden things, the secret bike trails, the best wine shop, who gives the best massage or mani-pedi, and share that information to attract a loyal following. You cannot serve every area of town and do it well, so find your niche and be the very best, most knowledgeable in that market. Own your target market!

Yes you need to blog but don’t make a federal case out of it. It’s just like talking to a friend, so blog about that dish that is not on the menu at Matt’s or the special deal the YMCA offers each January or the best Christmas tree farm. It’s as simple as that. Make sure your blog is linked to your website. If the words blog and link give you the heebie-jeebies, call a teenager and have them get you linked, optimized and teach you to COPECreate Once, Publish Everywhere!

Bouchard Stovall

 

Dallas City Center Realtors Juliette Bouchard and Andra Stovall

Another uber important message was that agents need to provide “unparalleled service.” That means pick up the phone. Do not rely on texting. Be extremely responsive and exceed expectations. The reliable adage “under promise and over deliver” has never been more important.

 

katie new

For both consumers and Realtors, Dallas’ market can be challenging if you aren’t using every resource available to maximize exposure. Homes that are marketed well and priced right are flying off the market, but if you or your agent is not taking advantage of networking opportunities, you’re missing out!

But how can tomorrow’s Inman News Agent Reboot help you make 2013 your highest grossing year ever? Find out more about it from Katie Lance of Katie Lance Consulting and Inman Social Media Director Laura Monroe, as well as Inman ambassador and designer Karen Eubank.

Want to score a free ticket? We have five to give away thanks to Karen Eubank of Eubank Staging! The first five people email your full name and daytime phone number to jo@candysdirt.com will win!

CandysDirt.com: Hi ladies, what’s going on this year at Agent Reboot in Dallas? What a difference a year makes. The world is a lot different this year here in Texas real estate, isn’t it?

Katie Lance: Yes for sure! The market is starting to heat up all over the country and Dallas is no exception!

Laura Munroe: We certainly are seeing lots of changes with the low inventory, multiple offers, and this means agents are back to working full time!

Karen Eubank: Wow is it ever different this year. Hot, hot, hot. I’m taking time out for Agent Reboot because I think it’s one of the most important industry events you can attend. I left last year with information that helped me grow my business. I was blown away by the speakers and all I learned.

Laura munroe

CD: We have so little inventory and homes are selling almost before being listed. How does that impact an agent’s social media strategy?

Katie: I think it’s more important than ever for agents to be able to leverage their social networks by really taking the time to build relationships with their clients and potential buyers/sellers. Social media has never been a place to push listings, but it’s a great place to showcase that the market is hot by celebrating happy clients!

Laura: With agents competing for listings, it’s more important than ever to have your brand accessible on social media, as building those relationships over time takes a commitment to be top of mind. Not only that, but an agent’s presence needs to be optimized for mobile devices so that sellers and buyers can find you quickly and efficiently.

Karen: I try to stay social media savvy and my agents know that. I find more and more are asking me about the latest tool and what I’m doing because they are selling homes through social media and they want to know what is up and coming, one of the many reasons to attend Agent Reboot! I see agents constantly posting photos of their properties this year, they were not doing that last year. You have to meet your buyer where they are. Buyers are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram so anyone in the real estate industry needs to be on all of the social media platforms to reach the broadest audience. Social media is the hip pocket strategy!

CD: Karen, does the hot market mean sellers don’t have to stage anymore?

Karen: Not at all. If anything I see MORE staging going on. I’m booking a week to 10 days out and so are all of my fellow stagers in the Real Estate Staging Association. Stagers have never been busier. There was a two week lull when the market got hot then sellers and agents realized … hmmm we can get MORE money if we just take a little bit of time to go ahead and stage. The result is lines down the street on the first day of showing. Staging prepares your home for those crucial professional photographs. Staging and photography go hand in hand. You need both to properly market a home. Remember buyers are looking on iPhones and iPads for homes, they are looking on the run and those photos have to capture them instantly. Then the potential buyer has to get to that house instantly, because they are moving so fast!

CD: Katie, this huge turn-about must have you tweaking your tweets. What are you telling agents now?

Karen Eubank

Katie: I am telling agents that real estate is still a people business and one of the best ways to cultivate and build relationships over the long haul is through social media. Social is just one more communication tool to keep in touch! Social is also a place to put relevant content about the local market and community activities!

CD: Laura, tell us three things agents will take away and take home from this year’s Agent Reboot. (PS: May I suggest you add a cowboy boot to your logo in Texas?)

Laura: This year’s Agent Reboot is about doing things better, not adding to what agents already do in day. From cultivating our social relationships, attracting and managing leads, branding your online and offline marketing to make it all work seamlessly, and knowing what it means to optimize your presence for mobile consumers.

CD: Why do you think our Texas market is s strong and how long will it stay strong?

Laura: Texas has had a amazing job growth as a whole for many reasons, and has been on the forefront of the housing recovery. It wasn’t as hard hit during the recession and the economic factors have continued to attract growth!

CD: So agents are busy, sales are hot, checks are going into their bank accounts, does this mean agents can abandon their Facebook pages and chill on the tweets?

Laura: Being busy doesn’t mean abandoning anything! It means getting you have to be smart about where you are spending your time. Creating and having a social media strategy that fits into your overall marketing strategy is even more important…knowing what works and what doesn’t to fine tune and rock your results!

Katie: No, they can’t abandon their Facebook pages unless they want to appear out of business. It’s important in busy and slower times to be consistent in marketing and staying in touch with clients — and Facebook is no exception.

Karen: Social media is here to stay. It’s the most effective means of communication and the best visibility. Thatis what selling is all about, communication and visibility. It’s a smart part of every marketing package whether you are a Realtor, a stager, a home inspector or a real estate photographer. You have to be easily visible and so does your “product.”