Happy Tuesday!

We’re midway through January, and we can truly say this year is already off with a bang! We’ve seen a lot of encouraging news about our industry, and of course, we consider it our duty to share that news with you!

Inventory is increasing, rent is stabilizing, and we saw some solid market predictions that we think you can count on. We definitely like what we are seeing.

But don’t worry – we’ll still keep it real and share the not-so-good news with you, too… but that’s for another newsletter.

– James and David

Housing inventory is growing nationwide

Source: Unsplash

Realtor.com released its Housing Market Trends Report for December which showed that inventory increased in 49 out of the 50 largest metros. Slower inventory turnover is primarily fueling the growth in actively listed homes.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The number of homes with price reductions increased from 7.1% to 13.6% YoY.

  • Time on market increased most in Raleigh (+36 days), Phoenix (+34 days), and Las Vegas (+33 days).

  • The West saw the greatest increase (+18 days), followed by the South (+13 days), Northeast (+5 days), and Midwest (+5 days).

Our Take

Simply put, increasing inventory means there is more opportunity for agents to make deals. If you’re representing a buyer, what a great opportunity to show them that you can get the best price possible! If you’re representing a seller, it’s crucial to set realistic expectations from day one. Now that homes are staying on the market longer, it’s important to make sure sellers understand the realities of today’s market before they list their homes. This will help them understand the decisions you’ll make down the road and (hopefully) prevent any surprises.

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Renters get some much-needed positive news

Source: Unsplash

Rent growth slowed to 4.8% in December, shrinking to its lowest rate since July 2021. This decrease was caused by high inflation rates and overall economic uncertainty. “Rents have room to fall,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “While they’ve cooled significantly from their peak, it still costs the typical renter 20% more to take on a new lease than it did two years ago.”

Here are the key takeaways:

  • December marked the 7th straight month of slowed rental growth.

  • The median asking rent in December ($1,979) fell 1.4% from November and 3.6% from its peak in August ($2,053).

  • Rents declined in 14 major U.S. markets, with Minneapolis (-8.5%), Oklahoma City (-6.4%), and Phoenix (-5%) seeing the greatest decline.

Our Take

The rental market was wild during the pandemic, so it’s good to see the market normalizing. We’re happy to see that rent is becoming (slightly) more affordable. That means buyers can start saving money for homes. Hopefully, we can say goodbye to those days of ridiculously high rent and get more buyers in the market.

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Hottest markets for 2023

Source: Zillow

Zillow released its forecast for 2023’s hottest metros. These are the markets where they expect to see solid growth in home value, fast-moving inventory, and an influx of hungry buyers. They used several indicators like affordability, new construction, and current home price growth.

Here is Zillow’s prediction for 2023’s 10 hottest real estate markets:

  1. Charlotte, NC

  2. Cleveland, OH

  3. Pittsburgh, PA

  4. Dallas, TX

  5. Nashville, TN

  6. Jacksonville, FL

  7. Kansas City, MO

  8. Miami, FL

  9. Atlanta, GA

  10. Philadelphia, PA

Our take

Zillow collects a lot of valuable data, so we put a lot of credence in this list. If you’re working in one of these markets, we suggest coming up with a game plan to meet new buyers. Start networking, door-knocking, and going to open houses. And if you happen to know a seller in these markets, it’s definitely a good time to reach back out, tell them about this list, and get them excited to make a move!

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The news that just missed the cut

Source: Mansion Global

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Getting out there and proactively finding leads is absolutely critical to your success as an agent, especially if you're new. Some real estate referral generation companies offer paid options, but there are also lots of free real estate lead sources out there!

Here are three great realtor lead sources with NO upfront fees:

  • OpCity. This is an amazing lead source owned by Realtor.com. They nurture leads until they are confident that sellers and buyers are ready to make moves. But you've got to be quick with OpCity. When they refer a lead out to a group of agents, the one who responds first gets the opportunity!

  • Redfin Referral Network. The Redfin brokerage generates more leads than its agents can handle in a lot of markets. Redfin then sends these overflow leads to this network, making it an incredible lead source! They look for agents that have around 6 to 10 transactions per year, and their back-end referral fee is 33% to 40%.

  • Rocket Homes. Because they're a Rocket Mortgage affiliate, Rocket Homes has the huge benefit of only working with leads who are already approved for a mortgage. They're looking for agents with at least two years of experience and who closed at least eight deals in the past year.

Want to find more lead sources without upfront costs? Click to watch the video.


You ask, James and David answer!

Q: Do you do coaching? How can I learn more from you?

– Gail, The Blueprint reader, California

A:  We’ve been getting this question a lot, so we thought we would answer for everybody. First off, we’re flattered! Second, it is something we want to start offering this year, so stay tuned!

– 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 it for this edition of The Blueprint!

If this is your first time reading this newsletter we want to say thanks for joining our community. We always like feedback and hearing from our readers, so hit the reply and let us know what you think of the newsletter!

See you on Friday!

– James and David

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