Paying our respects

Not sure how many of you here are British, but yesterday Queen Elizabeth II passed away. She reigned for an unbelievable 70 years, the longest of any monarch in British history.

Though we’ve lived in LA for years now, we’ll always be proud of our homeland. And we’re grateful for Queen Elizabeth’s leadership that helped shape the UK and beyond for over half a century.

– James and David

Welcome to the buyer’s market

Source: Unsplash

Rising mortgage rates aren’t all bad news for buyers. According to a recent market outlook report from Redfin, the latest interest rate increases are actually providing today’s buyers with a host of new opportunities. Here are some key stats from August:

  • Home prices were down 6% from June’s record-setting peak. Even the white-hot markets of San Francisco, Oakland, and Honolulu saw YoY price declines last month.

  • Investor activity dropped from 20.1% of sales in Q1 to 19.4% in Q2, which means less competition for buyers and other investors

  • The average time on market increased to 26 days, up from a record-low 17 days in June. With homes sitting on the market longer, today’s buyers have greater negotiating power.

  • While supply declined slightly from July to August, overall inventory is still up 4.2% YoY

Our take

We’re fully in a buyer’s market right now, with the exception of absolutely prime real estate (perfect location, perfect lot, and a dream house). In a few hotspots, we’re still seeing a lot of competition, but overall, buyers have more leverage than they’ve had in two years. For us agents, that means better prices, more negotiating room, and in the end, happier buyers!

facebook logo  twitter logo  linkedin logo  mail icon

Why inventory may be about to rise

Source: Unsplash

According to an analysis by RubyHome, the Google search “sell my house” jumped 147% in July to the highest search volume in recorded history. The search “sell my house for cash” also hit an all-time high. Chalk this up to recession reports, stock market volatility, and rising property costs, which are all causing a record number of homeowners to consider selling.

Check out the top 10 states with the most home-sale searches in July:

  1. Mississippi

  2. Connecticut

  3. Virginia

  4. Wyoming

  5. Florida

  6. Iowa

  7. New Mexico

  8. North Carolina

  9. New York

  10. Kentucky

Our take

We’ve got 3 words for this story, and you can probably guess them: L.F.G. 🚀🚀🚀

Many sellers used to be worried they couldn’t find another place they’d want to live, but now they’re becoming more comfortable with the idea. It’s a good time to target potential sellers with your marketing. Consider running Google search ads, making SEO-based changes on your website, creating a tips-and-tricks series on TikTok, and jumping on this trend before it passes!

facebook logo  twitter logo  linkedin logo  mail icon

Timely assistance for first-time buyers

Source: Unsplash

Bank of America has a new plan to help close the affordability gap for first-time homebuyers. The bank will drop the down payment, credit score, and closing cost requirements for eligible buyers. This trial program, called the Community Affordable Loan Solution, is already running in a handful of major cities, including Dallas, Los Angeles, and Miami, with more soon to come.

To qualify, first-time buyers must meet certain income and location requirements, and have a proven track record of timely payments on household bills. The program offers these applicants down-payment-free mortgages and closing cost assistance on homes in a handful of neighborhoods, including predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods within these pilot cities.

Our take

This is great for the local markets where this program is running. It helps stimulate more sales in affordable areas, while ensuring those properties go to first-time homeowners, not just investors. We are interested to see how many buyers take advantage of the program, especially while overall demand in a few of these cities is on the decline. Bottom line: any program that generates more transactions and helps people finally reach their homeownership goal is a good thing!

facebook logo  twitter logo  linkedin logo  mail icon


The news that just missed the cut

Source: Wall Street Journal

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

When you’re brand new in real estate, one of your first big sources of business is likely your current sphere of influence— the people in your network who already know and trust you. But there’s a fine line between sharing your new career and driving your friends and family crazy! Here’s how to maximize the potential of your sphere, without being that agent:

  • Share your excitement without asking for business. Make a list of every person you know, including your friends, family, former co-workers, and the people you pass day-to-day. Come up with a simple soundbite you can use to share your life update. Something like, “Hey! I’m excited to share that I just got my real estate license! I’m working in so-and-so area, and can’t wait to start helping people find amazing homes!”

  • Start growing your circle. Once you’ve shared your big news, wait a few weeks before you start following up again. In the meantime, make a point to meet new people, whether at your kid’s school, your favorite restaurant, the gym, or wherever you already go.

  • Prioritize your follow-ups. As your circle starts to grow, look for a simple CRM you can use to keep track of your leads, make notes, and schedule follow-up reminders. When it’s time to follow up, reach out with a handwritten note, send a text, give them a call, or invite them to coffee.

Want more tips to grow your sphere of influence and keep your leads connected? Check out this article.


You ask, James and David answer!

Q: What is something that you see in some newer agents that is not only obnoxious to you both as experienced agents, but a red flag that would make you not want to work with them in the future? I’m newer to the business, and am obviously seeking to avoid as many pitfalls as possible.

Elliot, The Blueprint reader, New York

A: Cockiness, arrogance, and ego. The second we come across another agent who acts like they know it all, whether they’re new or seasoned, we know they’re not someone we want to align ourselves or our brand with. To succeed in this business, you’ve got to stay humble and stay hungry.

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

Last week we talked about how this season, September to late November, is your last big chance to crush your 2022 goals, close some major deals, and grow your business. This weekend, take some time to plan the next 10 weeks. Who do you need to call? Where do you need to go? What do you need to do to end this quarter strong and start the next one even stronger? Make a detailed plan, put dates to it, and get to work!

Have a power-packed weekend and we’ll see you on Tuesday!

  • James and David

Was this forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Want to advertise in The Blueprint? Go here.

Want to submit a question to us? Submit here.