The State of the Commission 2018

In the United States, real estate agents make about $75 billion per year in commission payments, according to mortgagecalculator.biz. The median gross income of realtors® was $42,500 in 2016, according to a 2017 study by the National Association of Realtors®. That’s an increase from $39,200 in 2015. Drilling down to specific statistics are hard to come by; these are national commission percentage averages recorded by Real Trends, an industry consulting firm: 1992 = 6.04% 2005 = 5.02% 2011 = 5.30% 2013 = 5.38% 2014 = 5.18% 2015 = 5.26% 2017 = 5.12% In late 2017, Real Trends president Steve Murray, wrote: “The average commission rate ...

Foreclosure by the Numbers 2018

First, the good news: in Q1 2018, foreclosures were down 19 percent from a year ago, and 32 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 per quarter from Q1 2006 to Q3 2007, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a national property database. Its Foreclosure Market Report shows a total of 189,870 properties with a foreclosure filing during Q1 2018. That has actually increased by four percent from the previous quarter. Here’s where it gets complicated: the report shows a total of 74,341 properties with foreclosure filings in March 2018. That’s an increase of 21 percent from an all-time low in the ...

Americans Most Preferred Way to Invest Money: Real Estate

Despite all the political and social upheaval of the last few years, some things in our culture remain consistent. One of the more unwavering rules of thumb: real estate is one of the best ways to invest money and become financially secure. According to a recent survey by bankrate.com, real estate remains the most preferred way to invest the money that won’t be needed for at least a decade. In fact, this is the third year in a row that real estate topped the list. The second preference: no-risk cash investments, followed by stocks. By the numbers: 28 percent ...

New Townhouse Construction Continues to Rise

Forget the split level and the McMansion — townhouse construction starts continue to post gains in 2018, according to an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the most recent Census data. Over the last four quarters (ending with the first quarter of 2018), townhouse starts totaled 105,000. That’s seven percent higher than the prior four quarters. Another name for townhomes: single-family attached housing. This housing style comprised 21,000 starts during the first quarter of 2018, which was actually a slight decline from the starts of a year before: 22,000. The current market share of new townhouses: 12.3 percent ...

Home Buying Traffic Continues to Stampede

“Strong” is the word for recent buyer traffic, according to the January 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey. This report measured buyer traffic conditions from November 2017 to January 2018. Compared to conditions exactly one year ago, Realtors® responded that conditions ran from “stable” (unchanged) to “very strong.” The states with the strongest buyer traffic: Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Even the states hit by hurricanes — Texas and Florida — reported “strong” buying activity compared to a year ago. Two states reported weaker traffic than a year ago: Alaska and West Virginia. This may be related to the decrease in oil prices ...

Use Virtual Reality to Your Clients’ Advantage

Many real estate agents may feel intimidated or threatened by the advent of virtual reality (VR), but this awesome new technology can be used as a very effective (and dazzling) tool to help and sell to clients. VR may look like a game, but it’s a very serious marketing strategy. VR is a technology that allows clients to see a property through headphones and specialized goggles. Some VR can also be seen through phone apps, laptops and other devices. VR allows the ability to show a client a property — even in other cities and states — without having to physically be ...

Millennials are Skipping Starter Homes

For the last decade or so, the conventional wisdom on Millennials has been that they prefer to rent and, because of the Great Recession, they are living longer in their parents’ homes. However, those standbys are becoming old news as Millennials begin buying homes and start careers and families. In fact, Millennials are now a large part of the homebuying demographic. The catch, however, is that once again they are bucking tradition; they’re passing on the traditional starter (entry-level) home and going instead for larger, more expensive houses. The reason for this trend: older Millennials who are in their mid-30s have simultaneously saved ...

Sure Signs That Your Neighborhood is About to Gentrify

The good-vs.-evil debate about gentrification continues to rage, but the juggernaut shows no signs of letting up. It’s the name given to the process in which old, deteriorating neighborhoods are revitalized by younger and higher-income residents. Although gentrification can surely improve the quality of a neighborhood, it can also cause a crisis for those long-time residents who can suddenly no longer afford to live there (often called community displacement). This process often contributes to an imbalance of racial/ethnic makeup; the general perception of people leading the gentrifying include white professionals and Millennial “hipsters.” Landlords and real estate investors take advantage of this ...

Use Video to Build Your Brand and Market Your Properties

Video is consistently proving to be a useful tool for website engagement; in other “words,” for clients to spend more of their valuable time on your site. We’ve all heard the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” According to V. Michael Santoro and John S. Rizzo, co-founders of InVidz, LLC and developers of Vaetas, an online video marketing syndication network, adding a video means you could keep customers engaged for a full two minutes. That may not sound like a very long time, but two minutes is gold when it comes to appealing to potential clients’ deteriorating ...

Study: The Housing Affordability Gap for Minorities

In the course of your work, you may be noticing a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. Housing affordability is becoming a growing and increasingly obvious problem. According to a recent study by Redfin, home prices across the country’s largest cities have increased by 26 percent since the Great Recession rock-bottomed in 2012. Since that time, the median household income rose 1.6 percent, but housing affordability for the middle class is diminishing. Redfin uses this example: In 2012, a family earning the area median income could afford 44 percent of the homes for sale. By 2016, the share of ...