Posts Tagged ‘Realty’

4 Surefire Ways To Tap Into The Millennial Homebuyer Market

4 Surefire Ways To Tap Into The Millennial Homebuyer Market

Finding success in real estate means trying new things — and targeting new clients

  • Cultivate your online presence and look neighborhood-deep for your marketing and content.
  • Be willing to respond promptly and to assist first-time buyers with lots of questions.


Much has been said about the millennial generation, from the controversial Time magazine cover to wide-ranging research conducted by Pew Research Center and Goldman Sachs.

You may know that millennials are internet natives, but did you know that they now outnumber those in the baby boomer generation?

In other words, overlooking this younger demographic means you’re missing out on a hefty portion of potential clients. So the question is this: How can you, as a real estate businessperson, connect with millennials and gear your business toward the future?

1. Cultivate your online life

Research shows that a whopping 82 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook — not to mention the sizable portions of millennials who utilize Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, too.

More than any other generation, millennials use the internet and social media to connect with businesses. By curating your social media presence, you create the perfect portal for a millennial to click into, engaging directly and cost-effectively with a potential client.

Don’t forget: Websites like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and others are also popular platforms where millennials source potential homes and agents.

2. It’s all about the neighborhood

Most millennials are in search of more than their dream house; they want to be part of a vibrant community where local businesses, great food, entertainment venues and public transportation are just outside their door.

When pursuing millennial leads or serving millennial clients, emphasize local hotspots and come prepared with specifics on a neighborhood’s most compelling attributes — supreme walkability or a top-reviewed coffee shop around the corner.

3. Be ready and willing to work with first-time buyers

Millennials are a generation hungry for information, and they’ll value you not only as an agent, but as a resource as well.

Because most millennials are new to the market, be prepared to educate them throughout the house-hunting process. Employing clarity and patience with your millennials leads or clients could pay-off in a sale, positive online reviews, and even referrals, as millennials are passionate brand devotees.

4. Be speedy in your response

Ye; s, millennials are patently known as a generation that values instant gratification.

While such a claim is likely not so black-and-white, it doesn’t hurt to follow up with millennial leads and clients in a timely manner (a tenet true for all client interactions).

Millennials work quickly and can source information and agents with a few strikes of the keyboard, so to stay in the game, and be sure to respond thoughtfully, personally and without undue delay.

Finding success in real estate means trying new things and pushing your business to evolve. Practicing the points above may give you the edge you need to tap into the coveted millennial demographic, setting you and your business up for sustained success in the long term.

By Brandon Doyle
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Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ Reveals 5 Top Home-Staging Mistakes

Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ Reveals 5 Top Home-Staging Mistakes


Few home renovation reality show hosts are as enjoyable to watch as Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” And for good reason: One, let’s face it, they’re a cute couple. Two, as the show’s before-and-after pics make clear, Chip (a contractor) and Jo (a designer) are a potent combo when it comes to transforming humble hovels into gorgeous homes.

And now fans craving more about this pair can get their fill with their first book, “The Magnolia Story,” out Oct. 18. This biography reveals how they first met (at an auto repair shop), the highs and lows of raising their “babies” (four kids and their home remodeling business, Magnolia Homes in Waco, TX), and plenty of lessons learned along the way about renovations, real estate, and relationships.

One of the keys to a successful home sale, says Jo, is home staging, where you arrange your furniture and décor (or some rented stuff) in a way that entices buyers to make an offer. Yet home staging is a highly misunderstood practice, one where home sellers can easily make missteps that can undermine these efforts.


Here, Jo reveals the top five home-staging mistakes she’s seen, so you’ll know to avoid them when selling your home.

Mistake No. 1: Purging all your family photos

“You’ll hear staging experts say to take down your family photos, kids’ artwork, and anything personal, so that a potential buyer can picture their family in your home, rather than seeing yours everywhere,” says Jo. “Personally, I love knowing that a house is well-loved, and seeing those personal touches displayed reminds me that my family would be happy there, too.”

Mistake No. 2: Including too much furniture

“Trying to put too much furniture in one space makes it look smaller than it really is,” Jo explains. “Try to stick with three large pieces at most per room to keep the house feeling big and open.”

Mistake No. 3: Not cleaning up

“It’s true that leaving your house a mess can keep a potential buyer from seeing how beautiful your space really is, so a quick cleaning blitz before a showing can do a lot of good,” says Jo. “When the house is clean, buyers can see you love your house—and know they will, too.”

Mistake No. 4: Stuffing clutter into closets

On the other hand, “if you’re scrambling to clean up when a real estate agent schedules a last-minute showing, don’t stuff your closets full of laundry, toys, odds, and ends,” says Jo. “Potential buyers will definitely want to know how much storage space your home has, so no closet will be safe for concealing messes. If you’re in a pinch, a last-ditch effort to hide a mess is under a bed.”

Mistake No. 5: Ignoring your home’s exterior

“Simple touches like making sure the lawn is freshly cut, power-washing the driveway, or putting a few freshly potted plants on the front porch can make a big impact,” says Jo. “It’s all about reminding them that your house is cared for, so they won’t worry that you’re also ignoring what they can’t see.”

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The 10 U.S. Cities With the Fastest-Growing Suburbs

The 10 U.S. Cities With the Fastest-Growing Suburbs


Ever since the modern American suburb sprouted like kudzu in the post-WWII era, we’ve found ourselves in a love-hate relationship of epic proportions.

Love: Owning your own slice of the dream—a home with a front and back yard, far from urban crime, crowds, squalor, and substandard schools. Hate: Leaving behind the thrill and culture of the city and settling into a tragically unhip, homogenized milieu, skewered in all its soul-crushing glory by everyone from Updike to “Stepford Wives” to “Mad Men.”

But here’s the thing: We can’t quit them.

Even the most die-hard urbanites often wake up to realize they crave more space and better public schools at a lower price—while hopefully remaining within commuting distance of the jobs, restaurants, and indie music joints of the Big City.  In some of the nation’s top metro areas, the suburbs are growing faster than the city proper.

And now with an aging millennial generation, and growing interest from minorities, suburban communities are getting a fresh influx of transplants seeking affordable, family-friendly living. From 2010 to 2017, households in the suburbs grew 7.9% nationally, compared with 6.6% growth in urban areas, according to a analysis of Nielsen population data.

“Most high-growth urban areas just don’t have enough land, so prices are higher and homeownership is typically lower,” says Jonathan Smoke, our chief economist. “It’s tempting to live in a walkable urban neighborhood … but the costs make it hard to afford, especially  for large or growing families.”

To pinpoint which suburbs are growing the fastest, our data team looked at where the number of households, home listings, list prices, and demand for homes are growing the fastest for every ZIP code in the 50 largest metro areas—our research portal has a more in-depth analysis of each metro. What did the data reveal?

It turns out America’s most sought-after suburban neighborhoods are often the exurbs of its fastest-expanding metros—places where those white picket-fenced homes often offer a way more affordable option.


1. Denver, CO

Median urban home price: $544,000
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Northeast Denver (ZIP code: 80239)
Median price in Northeast Denver: $270,000
Suburban savings (moving from the city to the suburbs): 50%

The suburb known as Northeast Denver burst onto our radar with the opening of the surprisingly cool Stanley Marketplace—a chic, food-centric neighborhood center with restaurants, beer halls, and a yoga studio. It’s helping turn the former industrial neighborhood into the next hot spot.

The proof is in the prices. The median home price in the neighborhood jumped 27% last year—making Northeast Denver the fastest-growing suburban neighborhood in our analysis. (That sure makes sense, given that the city of Denver is also growing at a breakneck pace.)

“The Marketplace is one of the things really joining the top 1 percenters and the bottom 10 percenters here,” says Jessica Jiang, a real estate agent with Re/Max Momentum.

Lifelong Northeast Denver resident Jascon Willis, 37, an  oil industry consultant, is witnessing the changes with some apprehension.

“It’s growing,” says Willis, who hopes longtime residents won’t be displaced. “It’s an area in transition.”

Fun fact: Bordering Northeast Denver is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, inhabited by 330 species, including coyotes, black-footed ferrets, and bison.

2. Dallas, TX

Median urban home price: $501,500
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Wylie (ZIP code: 75098)
Median price in Wylie: $369,000
Suburban savings: 26%


For folks who work in central Dallas but want to retreat to suburban security each night, Wylie is turning out to be just the place.

Named one of the safest cities in the U.S. by the website Neighborhood Scout, it’s home to a mix of young families as well as established professionals, with many first-time homeowners. The median home list price in Wylie currently sits at $352,000, around $100,000 above the national median—but hey, safety’s worth it, right?

With buyers eager for homes, new residential construction is booming. In fact, overall economic growth in the area has exerted pressure on the local labor market for more college-educated workers.To that end, the city worked with Collin College to sponsor a large new campus in Wylie, scheduled to open in 2020.

Fun fact: Sorry, the place was NOT named after Wile E. Coyote—the guy who supplied its moniker was railroad engineer Col. William D. Wylie, who helped pave the way for the trains that brought prosperity to Wylie in the 1880s.

3. San Francisco, CA

Median urban home price: $1,144,000
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Dublin (ZIP code: 94568)
Median price in Dublin: $890,000
Suburban savings: 22%

Just over the hill from Oakland, and nestled in a region referred to as the Tri-Valley Area, Dublin represents a rare pocket of (relative) affordability in the exorbitant San Francisco Bay Area.

Not only do the homes have friendlier prices, but the city’s schools are at the top of the class, too. In fact, seven of them are rated 10 out of 10 on

We’re not saying it’s cheap—buyers will still need to pull down a Bay Area salary to buy a home here—but the number of households in this family-friendly ZIP grew 25.6% from 2010 to 2017.


According to Nielsen data, half the housing stock in Dublin has been built since 2000. Much of the city’s growth can be traced to the addition of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station, which opened in the late ‘90s, directly connecting commuters to the metro Bay Area.

To keep pace with rapid growth, the city broke ground last year on a 189-acre community that could build up to 1,995 residential units over the next seven years.

Fun fact: In 2011, the Discovery Channel show “MythBusters” misfired a homemade cannonball and hit a Dublin home during filming. We’re not quite sure what myth it was trying to bust, but Dec. 6 was thereafter named “Victory in the Battle for Dublin.”

4. Austin, TX

Median urban home price: $494,500
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Daffan (ZIP code: 78724)
Median price in Daffan: $348,000
Suburban savings: 30%

The suburban neighborhood of Daffan may not seem to have much in common with its hip, young city neighbor to the west. In fact, if the hood is known at all, it’s probably as the home to the Decker Creek Power Station. But that’s already starting to change.


Daffan is seeing an influx of new residents who are being priced out of the city as home and rent prices continue to rise sharply. New developments of single-family homes are going up, and suburbanites are moving right in.

And why not? What Austinites may not know is that the neighborhood is also home to the family-friendly Austin Rodeo, Fair and Stock Show as well as the Travis County Exposition Center. The latter hosts everything from rodeos to Kenny Rogers concerts.

Fun fact: The nearly 1,300-acre Walter E. Long Lake, which runs through Daffan, is the ideal place to spend an afternoon catching hybrid striped bass and catfish. Kenny Rogers tunes are optional.

5. Tampa, FL

Median urban home price: $350,000
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Palm River–Clair Mel (ZIP code: 33619)
Median price in Palm River–Clair Mel: $134,000
Suburban savings: 62%


Last year, we named Tampa the No. 1 city where Americans are moving, due to its winning combo of cheap housing and a strong job market. But plenty of area residents don’t want to actually live within the sleepy city’s limits. So instead, they’re heading for the ‘burbs.

Palm River–Clair Mel is becoming ever more popular with cash-strapped families looking for a safe and affordable home. It’s not a cultural mecca, however.

“Most of it is strip malls and residential real estate,” says Kenneth Stillwell, a real estate agent at Spin Real Estate, who specializes in buying homes in foreclosures, fixing them up, and then selling them as rental properties to investors. But “you have a lot of three-bedroom, two-bath homes and four-bedroom, two-bath homes” for a good price, he says.

Fun fact: Palm River–Clair Mel and nearby Progressive Village area were this metro’s first planned low-income housing suburb.

6. Orlando, FL

Median urban home price: $278,500
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Vista East (ZIP code: 32829)
Median price in Vista East: $231,500
Suburban savings: 17%

There are plenty of reasons to love Orlando. But one thing residents aren’t so fond of are the quickly rising home prices.

And that’s why they’re moving out to newer neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, like Vista East, which are still comparatively affordable, and just a half-hour from the soon-to-be-Shamu-free SeaWorld.

“It’s very family-oriented. It has a community pool, a community playground, and it’s very well taken care of,” says Orlando-area Realtor® Jodi Nielsen of Re/Max Select. And it’s growing. “Everywhere you can see construction companies clearing the area and breaking ground.”

Fun fact: Orlando has 100 lakes, many of which are the result of sinkholes.

7. Miami, FL

Median urban home price: $470,500
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Cutler Bay (ZIP code: 33189)
Median price in Cutler Bay: $290,000
Suburban savings: 38%


Floridians who love living on the water—and want to do it relatively affordably—seem to increasingly be discovering Cutler Bay. The small town, right on Biscayne Bay, is between Miami and North Key Largo, just 45 minutes from either destination.

“It’s far enough away to have that small-town feel,” says Realtor Marcos Fullana of Choice One Real Estate in Cutler Bay. “But it’s close to the beaches and downtown [Miami].”

The best part? “It’s affordable,” he says. “You’re going to get more square feet for your money than if you get closer to downtown Miami.”

Fun fact: Incorporated only in 2006, Cutler Bay is the youngest city in Florida.

8. San Jose, CA

Median urban home price: $1,149,500
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Milpitas (ZIP code: 95035)
Median price in Milpitas: $850,000
Suburban savings: 26%


For years, the city of Milpitas has been notorious for a noxious and pernicious odor that residents claim originates in the landfills of San Jose, just to the south. The smell even inspired a couple of Twitter accounts (@MilpitasStinks and @MilpitasOdor). But perhaps the acrid air is a small sacrifice to pay for affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area?

After all, with top-ranked schools and easy access to most of Silicon Valley, Milpitas is an attractive location for tech professionals with families. Perhaps that’s why the number of households in the city grew 15.5% from 2010 to 2017.

As with Dublin, mass transit will likely play a vital role in Milpitas’ growth. A new BART station set to open in 2017 will link the city with the rest of the Bay Area. 

With BART in mind, city officials recently approved a new mixed-use development of condos and retail spaces that they expect will eventually catalyze into something resembling a downtown.

Fun fact: From 1953 to 1983, Milpitas was home to Ford Motors’ primary manufacturing site in Northern California. Today, that site is the Great Mall of the Bay Area, a sprawling indoor mall whose 1.4 million square foot of retail space is anchored by a ginormous Burlington Coat Factory.

9. Nashville, TN

Median urban home price: $422,000
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Williamsburg in Murfreesboro (ZIP code: 37129)
Median price in Northwest Murfreesboro: $295,000
Suburban savings: 30%

We already know Nashville is cool. But now that’s spilling over into Murfreesboro, 33 miles southwest of Nashville. It’s the 13th fastest-growing city in the U.S., according to U.S. Census data.

In northwest Murfreesboro, neighborhoods like Williamsburg and White Haven have seen a huge influx of eager home buyers. Younger buyers can still get a home for under $250,000 if they’re lucky, says Realtor Brian Copeland with Village Real Estate Services.

Another plus is the presence of two major hospitals—St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital and TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center—right in the heart of Williamsburg/White Haven, providing hundreds of jobs.

Fun fact: Murfreesboro celebrates Uncle Dave Macon Day every July, when people honor the first superstar of the Grand Ole Opry with competitions for old-time music and dancing.

10. Raleigh, NC

Median urban home price: $418,000
Hottest suburban neighborhood: Apex (ZIP code: 27502)
Median price in Apex: $429,000
Suburban savings: Sorry, you have to pay a 3% premium. Apex is just that awesome.


In case you somehow missed it, Raleigh has become a magnet for millennials on the East Coast, benefiting from a booming job market.

That’s because the metro is home to Research Triangle Park, an area that’s home to more than 200 technology companies, including IBM and Cisco, and top-notch schools like Duke University.

And the hottest neighborhood is Apex. It’s so sought-after that it was rated the best place to live by Money Magazine in 2015.

Along with some of the state’s best schools, the community also boasts some serious small-town charm. Maybe there’s really something to that “peak of good living” town slogan after all.

Fun fact: Apex was a tobacco farming town in the early 1900s, when farmers discovered that its land produced excellent tobacco crops.

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Why You Need a Buyer’s Agent When Purchasing New Construction!

Five good reasons to have a pro on your side throughout the process.


Buying new construction seems simple, right? Just pick out the floor plan you want, choose the perfect lot, and watch it go up. No sellers to deal with, no unexpected repairs that come up during inspection, no drawn-out negotiations. Right?

Not so fast. In any real estate transaction, it’s important to have a professional on your side, even if the process seems straightforward.

“Having your own agent provides a sense of security,” says Seattle-area homeowner Kristy Weaver, who has bought two new construction homes from two different builders. “It gives you some peace of mind, knowing that someone is looking out for your best interest.”

Peace of mind is just one benefit of having an experienced agent along for the ride. Read on for five more reasons you’ll want a local real estate agent by your side when buying a new construction home.

To help you find a reputable builder

“Your agent can rely on their own experience and that of their colleagues to help you find a builder you can trust,” says Portland, OR-based real estate agent Kim Ainge Payne of the Realty Trust Group. “What’s the quality of the workmanship? What kind of warranty do they offer? What’s their track record of resolving issues? Getting a clear understanding in the beginning can alleviate serious headaches down the road.”

To go to bat for you

The timeline for purchasing new construction is typically quite a bit longer than buying an existing home. From the first time you visit the sales center, to choosing your layout, construction, inspections, and finally closing, there are ample opportunities for things to go sideways — think construction delays, permit issues, and financing concerns. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you navigate all of these sticky situations.

To help you review your contract

Even if you’ve purchased a home before, the contract for new construction is a whole different animal, and an experienced agent can help you make sure you understand everything, from floor plans to earnest money requirements, deadlines for requesting changes, and timelines for completion.

“It’s crucial to have a third party who represents your interests in the transaction,” says Dmitry Yusim, a Seattle-area agent who has represented new construction buyers. “A good agent can add the proper addendums to protect you if something falls through.”

To assist with negotiations

Buyers’ agents know the areas where you’ll find the most wiggle room when it comes to negotiations.

“Builders are trying to keep their sales price up so that the next buyers through the door see the higher closing price,” explains agent Britt Wibmer of Windermere Real Estate in Seattle. “They’d much rather throw in closing costs or additional upgrade credits.”

To point you toward smart upgrade choices

Builders will offer you endless options for finishes and upgrades, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A seasoned real estate agent can recommend the upgrades that will get you the most bang for your buck in resale value, suggest finishes that might be cheaper to do on your own, and help you avoid over-improving, which can jeopardize your appraisal before closing.

Even though a friendly sales representative will greet you with a smile the moment you walk through the door of the sales center, don’t forget that they work for the builder. Bring your own agent with you starting with your first visit — in fact, many builders require your agent to register with them from the very beginning in order for them to be involved in the process and receive their commission.

With a professional you trust by your side, you’ll rest easy knowing someone is there to protect your money, your time, and your new home.

Wondering if new construction is right for you? Search new construction listings, and get more home-buying tips and resources to help you decide.

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