Plus, 3 ways to speed up the buying process

Learning to love social media

If you’re like us, you have a love-hate relationship with social media. Is it a great way to market yourself? Yes. Is it a great way to reach younger clients? Yes. Is it incredibly addictive and sometimes extremely annoying? Yes, that too.

Social media marketing, like most forms of marketing, can be a great tool if you use it properly. You’ve really got to know what you’re doing, and how to effectively run all your platforms, or it can really exhaust a lot of your time and energy.

But we’ve got a stat in our first story that shows it is absolutely worth it. 

More and more buyers are using social media to help make their decisions, and we can only expect that number to continue to grow. If you want to generate leads, build brand awareness, and get your name out there, then it is truly one of the best methods possible. 

And with that, let’s go ahead and get to that first story!

– James and David

How social media is changing real estate

43% of consumers have been somewhat or highly influenced by social media in purchasing a particular type of home. That’s according to Coldwell Banker’s recent consumer survey of homebuying preferences. Here’s what else they discovered:

  • 39% of people said they plan to move to a new city after selling their home, up from 19% in 2022. 

  • 24% of would-be/potential sellers intend to move to another state

  • 3% of would-be/potential sellers plan to move to another country

  • Younger homebuyers (18-24) are more likely to be influenced by TikTok, while older homebuyers (over 55) are more influenced by Facebook.

  • The percentage of employees living more than 50 miles away from work rose from 1% to 5% between 2019 and 2023 as working from home became more popular

Our take

This report is so revealing in so many ways. For example, considerations of price now far outweigh location as a decision-factor for many people. Pricing a listing correctly has always been important, but it’s even more important now since buyers are so price-sensitive. And just look at that social media stat. 43% of consumers are now basing their home-buying decisions on what they see on social media. If you’re not using social media to your full advantage, now is the time to get going.

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Inflation came in hotter than expected

The latest reports from the BLS indicate that both the consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) rose last month. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

  • CPI inflation rose to 3.2% year-on-year, growing 0.4% month-over-month 

  • Core CPI inflation grew 0.4% month-on-month, but declined slightly to 3.8% year-over-year, the lowest level since May 2021.

  • PPI inflation – the measurement of pipeline costs for raw, intermediate, and finished goods – jumped 0.6% on the month, double the Dow Jones estimate. 

  • On a year-over-year basis, the PPI index increased 1.6%, the biggest move since September 2023.

Our take

We won’t sugarcoat it for you. While it’s not a reason to panic, both of these reports are worse than we expected. While inflation has been easing, the latest CPI and PPI numbers suggest that progress is stalling, or possibly even reversing. It is too soon to tell, but it definitely means that the Fed will not be cutting rates anytime soon, and that mortgage rates will probably rise in the near term and remain elevated for longer. Again, not the news we wanted to hear.

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180x more exposure | 8x more leads

Homes Pro is the new app from which is helping agents make billions in commissions. More traffic means more leads, and has seen a massive 645% jump in traffic over the past year — giving you access to a platform that hosts 22 times more traffic than before. Download the Homes Pro app now and get your listings in front of tons of active buyers and sellers. 

Homes Pro provides you with everything you need to wow your clients. It makes communication easy. Move beyond the chaos of email, text messages, and PDF attachments with these features:

  • Save a search on client’s behalf

  • Real-time client home view insights

  • Exchange messages and more

Save searches, make recommendations, review feedback, and collaborate with clients directly with Homes Pro!

Top markets to buy single-family rentals

On average, landlords can earn returns of 7.55% a year on purchases of single-family rental homes. That’s the conclusion ATTOM reached in its Q1 2024 Single-Family Rental Market report. ATTOM ranked the best U.S. markets for buying single-family properties across 341 U.S. counties with a population of at least 100,000. 

After analyzing median rents and median home sale price data, this is their top 5 metros that yielded the highest returns on investment:

  1. Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL – 14.6%

  2. St. Louis City, MO – 14.6%

  3. Brownsville-Harlingen, TX – 13.2%

  4. Rochester, NY – 12.8%

  5. Augusta-Richmond, GA – 12.7%

Our take

Every agent should read this report. It’s rich with good insights and data. If you have clients who are real estate investors, share this report with them. It identifies on a county level what kind of returns they can get for their investment. The number of built-to-rent homes — single-family homes constructed expressly for the purpose of renting — make up about 6% of all new homes being built in the United States, and that number is expected to double in the next 10 years. As ATTOM’s report indicates, even just based on averages, the yields on these homes are extremely good.

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The news that just missed the cut

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Since listings have spiked, for the first time in a while, home buyers have a lot more options. To help them close deals quicker and smoother, we’d like to give you some tips on what you can do as a buyer’s agent to set your clients up for success.

Meet with multiple lenders – If your clients opt to buy a pre-existing home rather than a new home from a builder, then make sure they see at least 3 mortgage lenders. Encourage your clients to start their search at least 60 days before they start to seriously look for homes. From each lender, make sure your clients get a good-faith estimate. That way they can make an apples-to-apples comparison between offers. A good-faith estimate breaks down the terms of the mortgage, including the interest rate and fees.

Make sure your clients are pre-approved not just pre-qualified – We’ll break down the difference. Pre-qualification is just a basic overview of a borrower’s ability to get a loan. You provide a mortgage lender with information—income, assets, debts, and credit—but you don’t need to produce any paperwork to back it up. In return, you’ll get a rough estimate of what size loan your client can afford. However, it’s not a guarantee that they’ll get approved for the loan. Pre-approval, by contrast, is an in-depth process that involves a lender running a credit check and verifying income and assets. Then an underwriter does a preliminary review of your client’s financial portfolio. If all goes well, the underwriter issues a letter of pre-approval, a written commitment for financing up to a certain loan amount. Sellers typically will accept offers only from pre-approved buyers. 

Don’t change jobs or apply for new lines of credit before a purchase – If your clients do these things right before purchasing a home, that will hurt their chances with mortgage lenders. Applying for multiple lines of credit can make a mortgage lender think that your clients are desperate for money. The lender might change the mortgage terms or even deny the mortgage altogether, even if your client has a closing date on the books. Changing jobs while under contract on a property can create a big issue in the eyes of an underwriter. Mortgage lenders like to see at least two years of consistent income history when pre-approving a loan.

As we said, the best thing your clients can do is apply for new credit and/or change jobs AFTER they’ve closed on their house. 

Follow these tips and your closings should go a whole lot smoother and easier. To learn more about what you can do to help your buyers seal the deal, start here and here.

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Just in Case

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

Source: Mortgage News Daily

That’s it for this edition of the Blueprint!

Each day of your life is invaluable. It can’t be re-lived, so choose to live your life the way you want.

Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you back here next Tuesday! 

– James and David