Make goals your goal!

Welcome to the first newsletter of Q2! We use the beginning of each quarter as a reset, and we strongly encourage you to do the same. Take stock of Q1, and make new goals for this upcoming quarter. This industry can be tough and feel overwhelming sometimes, and we’ve found that setting immediate goals can make everything we want to achieve seem more attainable.

We always set attainable goals, like making 250 calls a week, knocking on 100 doors, or setting 5 listing appointments. But we also like to set goals that might feel out of reach. We do that as a way to continue to push ourselves because we believe we are the only thing standing in the way of our own success.

So, after you read this edition of The Blueprint, take out a pen and paper, and spend 20 minutes writing down your goals. We’d love for some of you to share them with us as well. Just hit reply!

– James and David

Home prices jumped in February

Source: Unsplash

Home prices rose 0.16% in February, when seasonally adjusted, which means removing the typical data trends at this time of year. This is the first home price increase in seven months. It shows that despite last month's banking crisis, buyers weren't scared away from the market.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Home prices are now 2.6% below their peak last June.

  • 39 of the 50 largest U.S. markets saw home prices rise in February.

  • The largest price gains are in Miami and affordable midwest markets.

  • Prices are falling in pricier west coast metros and pandemic boomtowns.

Our take

Like we always say, stop reading the headlines. Prices are going up, and our industry is one of the best to be in. Everyone was certain that Q1 would be as rough as Q4 of last year, but here we are in Q2, and while the market is slightly hectic, agents are still able to make money. So let’s put our heads down, make our goals, and get at it!

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It pays to stage a home

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A new report from NAR shows that staging a home can increase the price of a home and make it sell faster. Here are the key takeaways:

  • 48% of sellers' agents found that staging a home reduces its time on the market.

  • One in five agents said home staging also increased the offer price by 1%-5%.

  • More than 80% of buyers' agents reported that staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.

  • Buyers found the living room to be the most important room to stage (39%), followed by the primary bedroom (36%) and the kitchen (30%).

Our take

This is a no-brainer if you ask us. We ALWAYS stage homes professionally. When potential buyers walk into a property, it’s important for them to see themselves living there. Agents can elevate homes with a few simple staging ideas. We are selling a dream to so many people, and it’s important for that dream to feel real right when you walk in!

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Top 10 metros for buying a home on a budget

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Rocket Homes and Best Places studied 383 major markets and determined the best places to buy a home on a household income of $65,000. The report used metrics like taxes, crime rates, health, climate, and unemployment rates to determine the best affordable markets for buyers.

Here are the top 10 markets for homebuyers on a budget by median home price:

  1. Wausau, WI ($228,770)

  2. Lafayette, IN ($240,078)

  3. Columbia, MO ($274,592)

  4. Grand Forks, ND ($255,143)

  5. Morgantown, WV ($212,961)

  6. Bangor, ME ($244,145)

  7. Pittsburgh, PA ($208,446)

  8. Chambersburg, PA ($252,282)

  9. Syracuse, NY ($204,402)

  10. Lansing, MI ($222,711)

Our take

We’re taking note of this list for our real estate investor clients. We’re also looking at this list as clear evidence that there are still cities where homes are affordable. Some companies are still fully remote, so if you work in an adjacent market, it’s worth exploring a referral network with some agents in these areas.

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The news that just missed the cut

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Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Advice from James and David to win the day

ChatGPT is a game changer, and we talked about this recently on Rise Above the Ranks. It can be easy to get bogged down with tasks that don't make money, and the beauty of ChatGPT is that it can take a ton of this work off your plate. Our friend and real estate expert Jimmy Burgess made a great video explaining how to use ChatGPT to take your career to the next level!

Here are three ways ChatGPT can help agents streamline their work:

  • Social media ideas. Try asking ChatGPT to give you ten ideas for real estate blog post topics or social media posts. This way, you can outsource your content creation for free and save a ton of time coming up with ideas.

  • Writing listings. Even the best agents struggle sometimes with creating fresh takes for listings. Ask ChatGPT to write you a real estate listing, and remember to be specific! Or, if you have an old listing that's a bit stale, try asking it to rewrite your original listing.

  • Marketing needs. If you find yourself getting stuck on how to promote yourself, ask ChatGPT to suggest some creative ways to get your name out there and build your brand. Then, ask it to write the copy for the ideas you like!

Want to learn more ways to use ChatGPT in your real estate career? Click to watch the video.


You ask, James and David answer!

Q: What advice would you give a single agent looking to grow a team?

Chris, The Blueprint reader, Michigan

A: The most important thing is to grow your book of business. The more deal flow you have, the more it would make sense to grow your team. Start to identify other areas of your business that need support. Do you want to hire an assistant? A marketing director? Start talking to people in your market that you respect. See how they got started, how they built their teams, and what mistakes they made. Remember, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

 James & David

We’ll be back next week with another answer to a real reader question. Submit yours here!

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

That’s a wrap on this Tuesday’s Blueprint!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you on Friday.

– James and David