agent, event marketing, reach, digital, world, global, real estate,

Event Marketing: A New Tool for the Trade

Let’s see if this sounds familiar: lately, when you get a listing for a modestly-sized, fairly priced home you can barely add it to your MLS before you start receiving interest and a few offers– even above list price. But when it comes to your commercial listings, vacation homes, or even some residential properties, for whatever reason, some properties just sit. And sit. And sit. Your sellers start to get restless, your listing expiration is coming up, and you’ve already considered a price reduction. What are you to do? Sure, almost everything will sell if you wait long enough, but that’s not the strategy that will make your sellers happy, after all, they’re ready to sell, not wait for some time in the eventual future. This is where event marketing can help.

What is event marketing?
Event marketing is an online auction marketing strategy that helps properties rise above the noise and clutter of traditionally marketed listings and grab the attention of potential buyers. Once an interested buyer becomes aware of the property, a genuine sense of urgency develops due to the auction format–there is a specific time and date assigned to obtain this “deal” and buyers have to act. This sense of urgency typically creates a very competitive bidding environment either at the online event or at any time prior to the event. In many cases, properties can sell prior to the event if the potential buyer’s offered “pre-auction” bid entices the seller to remove the property prior to the scheduled online event.
 

Advantages of Event Marketing for Real Estate

 

Increased Exposure on a Global Level
It used to be that homebuyers usually lived near the area they were buying. With the advent of telecommuting and increased globalization, buyers can come from anywhere in the world these days. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyers closed on $135 billion worth of residential US real estate between April 2016 and March 2017. This is why online marketing is so important. Sure, a potential buyer could find your listing from your local MLS’s website, but why leave it to that? Using an event marketing platform exposes your property to a global audience, at no cost to you, the agent, and can be used to generate more interest (and more offers) on your listing from all over the world.

Alternative to Price Reduction
One of the hardest subjects to tackle with your sellers has got to be the price reduction talk. Your sellers are emotionally and financially invested in their home so it can be hard to convince them that it is not worth the price they’d like to ask for it–especially if they’re looking to sell quickly. While having hard facts can help with this discussion, for example talking them through what similar homes in their area have recently sold for, it doesn’t always go well. Using an event marketing platform allows homes to have a lower suggested opening bid than current list price to attract more buyers, but allows the sellers to remain in control of the actual sale price. For example, a home can be listed at $390,000 with an opening bid of $290,000. If the seller receives a high bid of $350,000 they have the choice to accept the bid and move forward with the sale (after all, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush), or reject the bid and start the process again. The advantage of taking a property to auction in this method is twofold. On one hand a lower opening bid attracts more attention, more attention creates competition, and competition ultimately raises the price, and on the other hand, this method can help determine the true value of a property. If a seller is receiving offers that are tens of thousands of dollars less than asking price, they may see the property is overpriced for the current market conditions.


Tool for Listing Extension

Arguably one of the most difficult parts of being a real estate agent is having your clients see the value of the service you provide. With sites like Zillow that assist with by owner sales and a hot housing market, many clients may wonder what you are doing that they couldn’t themselves (hint: a lot, but that’s a subject for another day). One of the advantages of event marketing is that it is another tool in your arsenal to extend your listing. You can go to your clients with this new and innovative process to help gain exposure and increase activity for their home and you come out looking like the rockstar you are.

Interested in getting started with event marketing? From commercial buildings to vacant land, luxury homes to Caribbean islands, RealtyHive has the experience and tools you need to move your listings through its event marketing platform. Click here to learn more or get started today!

Source
Olick, D. (2017, July 18). Foreigners snap up record number of US homes. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/18/foreigners-snap-up-record-number-of-us-homes.html

outdoor pools pool paradise jamaica cayman islands tropical st barths barts martin maarten

Poolside Paradise: Dreaming of a White (Sand) Christmas

While winter technically begins today, December 21, with the winter solstice, most of us in the northern hemisphere have been feeling pretty frigid for the last few weeks. We’ve seen the days get shorter, the temperatures get colder, and we’re already ready to trade eggnog for Piña Coladas. While escaping to the beautiful beaches of Montego Bay, Jamaica or Tulum, Mexico sounds like the ideal getaway this time of year, an impromptu trip to paradise just isn’t in the cards for most of us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream…

So kick back, relax, and imagine yourself poolside as you check out these gorgeous residential oases. Bonus: If you’re in the market for your own slice of paradise, all these properties are currently for sale!

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Honorable Mentions: While these pools aren’t as over-the-top they still have us dreaming of trading snowsuits for swimwear!

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wellness spa mountain relax rejuvenate refresh home

Wellness at Home: Trends for 2018

From the hygge lifestyle to mindfulness practices, wellness is hot. What started with athleisure clothing, kombucha and boutique yoga classes has come full circle to infiltrate every part of our daily lives. In 2018, we predict this trend will continue to take over our homes. Here are some of the coming trends in real estate wellness.

Home Gyms
Once a luxury, home gyms are becoming more and more popular. Traditional home gyms with large machines are being traded out for converted bonus rooms with a few, smaller pieces of equipment and the prevalence of online instructors means you don’t need to be a pro (or have a lot of space) to get a great workout.

Steam Showers and Saunas
Steam showers help relax muscles, release tension, and improve circulation. These encapsulated areas are meant to trap heat and moisture and a bring the spa experience to your own home.

Indoor/Outdoor Areas
We know fresh air and sunshine are great for us, but 2018 will be the year we start to bring the outside in by blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor areas. Expect to see more retractable doors and windows that allow for more integration of living spaces.

At Home Retreats
Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to change your attitude. Creating a personal retreat, be it a meditation room, outdoor hammock area, or putting green, can be a great way to care for your mental wellbeing. Whatever gets you into a relaxed frame of mind!

decide, keys, homeowner, buy, rent, decision

New Year, New Home? How to Tell if You’re Ready to Buy

So you’ve decided to make the jump. Maybe you want to be able to paint the walls any color you’d like (we hear Ultra Violet is in for next year) or have a backyard for your dog to play in or are just tired of having the expense of rent instead of the investment of homeownership. We hear you, and you’re right, homeownership comes with many advantages. Before you start picking patterns for curtains, you’ve got a few other things to work out. Here’s what you need to ask yourself to decide if you’re ready to buy a home.

  1. What’s your money situation?
  2. More than likely you’re going to need a loan to buy your home, especially if this is your first home purchase. In this case, the first step is to talk with a mortgage lender to find out exactly what you are approved for. They’ll talk with you and find out what your current assets and debts are, ask about your income, check your credit score, and basically assess the situation to help you figure out where you’re at. Once you know the general math, you’ll be able to start looking for a home. One thing to consider, though, is that home prices are not all-inclusive. If you buy a home for $150,000, that’s not the only price you’re liable to pay right away. You’ll be expected to pay homeowners insurance, closing costs (averaging $3,000-$7,500), and sometimes Homeowners Association fees all right away as well. All this needs to be factored into your math when purchasing your home.

  3. What does your future hold?
  4. While no one can predict the future, you should have a fairly accurate guess of what the next few months, and ideally years, hold for you. While nothing is ever certain and there are exceptions to the rule, shortly after closing on a new home is not the time to quit your steady job in favor of becoming a freelance harmonica tuner (no matter what the couples House Hunters make you think). You’re also going to want to make sure your new home is in an area you’d like to stay in. Are you planning to stay put for a while or are you thinking of leaving the country to teach in a foreign land? If you have children or intend to, how are the schools in the area? Will you have enough bedrooms? Does the neighborhood seem safe? Sure, if you find that you don’t want to or can’t live in your house after a few months or years, you do have the option to sell or rent it out, but both of those options come with their own challenges and are not alternatives to be taken lightly.

  5. Are you being realistic?
  6. Sure, you want to find your dream home in a wonderful location priced below your budget, but that rarely happens. More often you’re going to have to make some concessions when it comes to finding the right home. Is having a detached garage a real deal breaker for you or can you overlook that fact for a spacious kitchen? Do you have your heart set on a charming old Victorian home, but cringe at the thought of having to make significant updates right off the bat (and could you afford to do so?) Will you be able to afford the utility costs of heating/cooling/lighting a 7300 square foot home or would you be better suited for a smaller place? Do you really want to move you, your spouse, and 3 Great Danes into a “tiny home”? These are all things that need to be considered. You’re better off by recognizing these trade-offs in the beginning and addressing them than to ignore the reality of your situation.

Owning a home is an investment, but choosing the right one and making sure you’re ready, both financially and otherwise, are the biggest factors in making the decision successful. Long story short, you should buy because you’re ready, not because you think you need to. Whether you’re just browsing or are ready to take the plunge, RealtyHive can help. Check out our upcoming auctions to find homes in your area at the best value!

girls swimming in pool splash fun

Dive In! 5 Benefits of Owning a Pool

Owning a pool comes with a lot of maintenance, but also a lot of perks. Pools are a great way to cool off in the summer, stay in shape, and turn any backyard barbecue into a social event! Here are some of the top benefits of owning your own pool!

Swimming is great exercise

Whether you’re the next Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky– or if you can barely do a doggy paddle, swimming in excellent exercise. It’s a lower impact exercise than running or biking, which is easier on your joints, while still providing an excellent aerobic workout.

You can control how clean it is

While a backyard pool can come with a lot of maintenance, a well-kept personal pool tends to be cleaner than a public pool for two reasons: less traffic and more conscientiousness by swimmers. According to the CDC, 58 percent of public pools tested positive for fecal bacteria in a study released in May 2013.

Control over how it’s cleaned

If you’re worried about chemical reactions or sensitivities, swimming in a public pool can be a risky endeavor. There is an art (well, mostly science) to cleaning pools and those who are worried about too-strong  chemicals are able to test a home pool in ways that are not possible at a public facility. Private pool owners are also able to use different chemicals, ones that may be cost prohibitive in a public pool, if this is a concern.

Spend time with friends and family

The benefits of having strong social connections are well known and pools are well known for attracting friends and families. A 2010 Harvard report stated that social connections not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking.

Resale value

While there can be quite the upfront cost to getting a pool, depending on where you live, pools can vary from a nice, yet novel amenity to a non-negotiable must-have. In either event, pools can help with the resale value of your home and shortening the list-to-close time, all while being an enjoyable feature while you’re living in your home.

Interested in owning a home with a pool? Check out these great options available now!

Agent Advice: Thoughtful Little Touches for Big Impact

When your job involves something as personal as buying a home, emotions run high. Whether a couple is excited to close on their first home or a family had to leave a house they’ve loved for years, there’s bound to be a lot of feelings and maybe a few tears. Here are a couple of thoughtful little gifts you can give to “WOW” your clients, ease the transition, and help them have great memories of this milestone moment–without breaking the bank!

Gift: First Night’s Dinner

Whether you stash a pizza in the freezer or give them a gift card to the best neighborhood restaurant, you’ll be a hero with this thoughtful gesture. Moving is hard work and the last thing most people want to do after moving all day is trying to think of something to make for dinner (and then try to find the kitchen utensils to make it!) Leaving a note in the kitchen directing them to your gift will make you a hero for the day. If the new homeowners have moved from out of town, you’ll really score bonus points with them for introducing them to a new favorite location.

Gift: Cheers to the new home with Local Beer/Wine/Soda

If you know your client’s’ preference on drinks, a 6-pack of beer, soda or a bottle of wine is a great way to help them toast to their new home. With the craft brewing scene sweeping the nation, choosing a locally produced beverage is easier than ever and will introduce your buyers to some of the great offerings of your area.

Gift: Get Involved with Local Event Tickets

If you’ve got a client who just moved from out of town (or state or country), one of the things they’ll want to know is what to do in their new city. From big city festivals to small-town community picnics, gifting tickets to a local event is a great way for them to meet their neighbors and see what it’s really like to be a part of your city.

Gift: Discover and Save with Local Coupon Savings Books

Most areas have some sort of local coupon/savings books like the Entertainment® books- often sold as fundraisers for local schools or churches. These books are great for helping a homeowner discover new restaurants, stores, and services in the area, all while receiving a discount. If you’ve got a lot of local connections (especially those that don’t participate in these programs) this is even something you could create yourself!

Gift: Commemorate the Occasion with Knickknacks

This gift works well for a particular type of client. While some people use moving as an opportunity to declutter and restyle their homes, others can’t bear to part with their possessions. If you have a client in the latter group, getting them a new treasure is a great way to mark the milestone of new homeownership. Some ideas for this could be Christmas ornaments, magnets, or other ideas you may have picked up in your conversations with them.

The best gift you can give your buyers is a great deal on a new home. If you haven’t found the right choice for your client, check out RealtyHive’s auction properties here to see upcoming properties.

outdoor kitchen with overhang and ceiling fans in tropical setting

Breakfast with a View

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahamas, come on pretty mama–it’s time for breakfast! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but breakfast with a view is the ultimate way to start your day off right. If you can’t enjoy an authentic Caribbean spread in Jamaica, Montserrat, or The Bahamas, the next best thing might be a tropical breakfast spread!

Agua Frescas
tropical agua fresca beach breakfast drink
Agua Fresca, literally Refreshing Water in Spanish, are simply unfiltered fresh juices. These tasty beverages can be easily made with any type of fruit, although seedless varieties work well. Popular in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean, Agua Fresca makes a great way to start your breakfast time.

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1 cup peeled fruit (seedless work best– pineapple, mango, papaya, and watermelon are favorites!)
  • 1 cup water (more or less, adjust to desired consistency)
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp sugar, honey, or agave — to taste

Place all ingredient and blend until smooth. If using fruit with seeds (or you really don’t like pulp), strain before serving. Serve cold, without ice.

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

breakfast smoothie bowl with berries and dragonfruit

When you live in a tropical climate, smoothies are year-round fare. While the traditional American breakfast calls for eggs, meat, and potatoes, a tropical breakfast needs to be light and refreshing. After all, you don’t want to be too full when the temps start rising! A smoothie bowl makes a great, light breakfast to start your day off right!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp- 1tbsp sugar, agave, or honey (to taste)
  • Fresh berries/fruit/granola/nuts (to top)

Blend the strawberries, coconut milk, and sweetener until smooth. Top with desired ingredients and enjoy!

Bonus: Feeling especially tropical? Try adding Pitaya (Dragonfruit) to your smoothie bowl. This fruit is indigenous to the Americas and has a soft texture and sweet strawberry-kiwi taste!

real estate, houses, fall

Deal Hunting: Where to find undervalued real estate in the US

It is well documented that real estate prices are up. From Augusta, Georgia to Augusta, Maine, Anchorage to Orlando and everywhere in between, potential home buyers are feeling the pinch. While home values are relative to location– the average rent for a studio in San Francisco, California equals approximately 5 months of rent for a much larger apartment in Cleveland, Ohio– most sources agree that prices overall won’t be trending downward anytime soon. That said, when considering that what you get is what you pay for, there are actually some areas in the US that have what can be considered as an undervalued market. If you’re looking to score a deal on real estate, here are some of the markets you need to check out. All include the metro area unless otherwise noted.

Alabama: Decatur, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Auburn-Opelika, Mobile

Arkansas: Pine Bluff

Arizona: Yuma

California: Chico, Merced, Fresno, Hanford-Corcoran, Bakersfield, Visalia-Portersville, Madera, El Centro, Yuba City

Connecticut: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, New Haven-Milford, Norwich-New London, Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford

Georgia: Macon-BiBB County, Warner Robins, Albany, Hinesville, Valdosta

Idaho: Pocatello

Illinois: Carbondale-Marion, Springfield, Decatur, Bloomington, Peoria, Danville, Kankakee, Elgin (Metropolitan Division),Rockford

Indiana: Bloomington, Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Kokomo, Lafayette-West Lafayette, Gary (Metropolitan Division), Michigan City-La Porte

Iowa: Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids

Kansas: Wichita, Lawrence

Kentucky: Bowling Green, Elizabethtown-Fort Knox

Maine: Bangor

Maryland: Springfield

Michigan: Kalamazoo-Portage, Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Lansing-East Lansing, Jackson, Midland, Saginaw, Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills (Metropolitan Division), Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Monroe, Niles-Benton Harbor, Battle Creek, Flint, Bay City

Mississippi: Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Jackson

Missouri: Columbia, Joplin

New Hampshire: Rockingham County-Strafford County

New Jersey: Vineland-Bridgeton, Camden (Metropolitan Division)

New Mexico: Santa Fe, Las Cruces

New York: Rochester, Syracuse

North Carolina: Fayetteville,  Greensboro-High Point, Burlington, Goldsboro, Jacksonville, Greenville, Rocky Mount

Ohio: Toledo, Mansfield, Cleveland-Elyria, Canton-Massillon, Springfield, Dayton, Lima, Akron, Canton-Massillon

Oklahoma: Lawton

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Erie, Johnstown, Altoona

South Carolina: Columbia, Florence, Sumter

Tennessee: Jackson

Washington: Yakima

West Virginia: Parkersburg-Vienna

Wisconsin: Janesville-Beloit, Wausau, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan

Wyoming: Casper

State Borderline Areas

Alabama-Georgia: Columbus

Connecticut-Maryland: Worcester

Georgia-South Carolina: Augusta-Richmond County

Illinois-Wisconsin: Lake County-Kenosha County

Indiana-Michigan: South Bend-Mishawaka

Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota: Sioux City

Kentucky-Indiana: Evansville

Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana: Cincinnati

Ohio-Pennsylvania: Youngstown-Warren-Boardman

Ohio-West Virginia: Weirton-Stuebenville

Mississippi-Tennessee-Arkansas: Memphis

Missouri-Illinois: St. Louis, Cape Girardeau

Pennsylvania-New Jersey: Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton

Source: CoreLogic Home Price Insights. (n.d.). Retrieved December 05, 2017, from http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/researchtrends/corelogic-home-price-insights.aspx?WT.mc_id=crlg_171205_oJ2fR#

Listing Your Home in a Winter Wonderland

Conventional wisdom states that winter is the worst time to buy or sell a home, but we haven’t had a conventional real estate market in some time. While it used to be people were less interested in buying and selling during the hustle and bustle of the holiday seasons, the rules have been rewritten.

The Internet Has Changed Everything

Instead of having home shoppers traipsing through your home with snow-covered shoes during an open house, the internet lets buyers explore a new home without ever leaving the comfort of their own. Part of the old argument against listing in winter was the fact that shorter days meant fewer daylight hours–it’s hard to get a good look at the exterior of a home when it’s dark out–but again the internet has made this concern obsolete. If you do list your home in winter, it is a good idea to make sure the exterior of your home is well light and looks inviting for any prospective buyers who drive by or come to a showing.

Inventory is Down

Perhaps the best reason for listing your home for sale now, rather than waiting for spring, is that while the temperatures outside are cooling, the housing market is red hot. There are a variety of factors to explain, at least in part, why there is a shortage of homes for sale, with a strong economy being chief among them. This, paired with the low unemployment rate, the Millennial generation coming of age and the Baby Boomers looking to downsize, means more people are able to afford to own a home and they tend to be looking for similar qualities in a home. The McMansions that were so popular just before the housing crisis in the late aughts have faded from favor and instead smaller, more affordable homes are in high demand. Regardless of the type of home you have, listing in winter means you’ll face less competition on the market and your home will stand out.

Flaunt It If You’ve Got It

Winter is a great time to show off some of the special features of your home. Whether it’s a fireplace, built-in sound system, or formal dining room with the holidays around the corner and entertaining on the mind, these “extras” will really make your home stand out. It is also a great time to showcases any energy efficiency upgrades you have as well.  Depending on where you live, winter tends to bring out some of the challenges in a home–think frosty windows and icy gutters–so being able to show your home at a challenging time will help buyers see the value.

Nosey Nellies Need Not Apply

Winter tends to bring out serious buyers. While there are great advantages to buying and selling a home in the winter, the fact of the matter is that most people are not looking for a new home during the holidays. This also means that the ones who are looking are serious about making a deal happen. You can expect that a person who is looking to buy a home in winter, especially during the holidays, is motivated and ready to make a deal.

Winter can be an excellent time to sell your home, although it isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering putting your home up for sale this holiday season do you research, find an agent you trust, and enjoy the process. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!