The “art” of finding leads

A few of our junior agents went to an art exhibit last week here in LA. When they came to our morning meeting the next day, each of them said they had found a real qualified lead.

We think this is a great reminder that you never know where you’ll discover your next piece of business. We don’t always go out to sell. We go out to learn, meet people, and have conversations. Sometimes it just comes down to being in the right place at the right time.

We’ve all heard the saying—luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. We believe that’s truly the “art” of finding your next client!

Now on with the Tuesday edition of The Blueprint!

– James and David

Expert panel forecasts normalized market

Source: Unsplash

Zillow released its annual Home Price Expectations survey on Thursday. The economists and housing market experts surveyed expect home prices to bottom out in 2023 and then grow in 2024.

Here are the survey's key takeaways:

  • Home prices are predicted to fall by 1.6% in 2023 and then grow by an average of 3.5% over the next four years.

  • Sales of both new and existing single-family homes are expected to slide in 2023, with new home sales dropping to near-2016 levels.

  • 63% of the experts said that Q1 will have the highest mortgage rates, with the median respondent projecting a 6% rate by the end of 2023.

Our take

The market’s normalizing, and regardless of who’s making the prediction, we’re not letting that deter us. We read these, take in the information, and move forward. To succeed in real estate, you need to be a hyper-local expert. Learn the trends of your zip codes and talk to buyers, sellers, and other agents. Ask what lenders and borrowers are seeing, and get in front of as many clients as possible to build your funnel for the next 12 months.

facebook logo  twitter logo  linkedin logo  mail icon

Foreign buyers are back

Source: Unsplash

Real estate insiders nationwide say they have seen a jump in the number of overseas buyers returning to the U.S. market. Corcoran Sunshine reported a 25% increase in foreign visitors to its NYC portfolio buildings in January 2023 compared with January 2022, led by a strong uptick in visitors from China and the Middle East.

International homebuyers have slowly returned to the housing market, and in the last three months, their interest has grown to near pre-pandemic levels. This influx of foreign buyers is a sharp change for markets that have slowed due to rising mortgage rates and recession fears.

Our take

Fantastic! Be a wealth of information about your market because you never know where a buyer is going to come from. This is a great opportunity to double down on social media and create valuable content about why your zip code is worth investing in! You never know who is going to see the content.

facebook logo  twitter logo  linkedin logo  mail icon

Number of affordable listings falls

Source: Unsplash

The number of affordable listings fell 53% from a year earlier in 2022, according to a Redfin analysis of the top 100 U.S. markets. In 2022, 21% of homes for sale were affordable for the typical household, the lowest share on record. A listing is considered affordable if the estimated mortgage payment is <30% of the local area’s median income.

Here are the markets with the most affordable homes right now:

  1. Akron, OH

  2. St. Louis, MO

  3. Detroit, MI

  4. Cleveland, OH

  5. Dayton, OH

  6. Pittsburgh, PA

  7. Elgin, IL

  8. Rochester, NY

  9. Lake County, IL

  10. Cincinnati, OH

Our take

Affordability is going to be a factor we will see come up often this year. Understand what options your buyers have, and make sure they can afford the mortgage. The hardest thing you can do sometimes is to tell your buyer they aren’t ready. It’s crucial to be honest no matter what. They’ll come back for that reason, and they’ll refer you to someone else. We promise!

facebook logo  twitter logo  linkedin logo  mail icon


The news that just missed the cut


Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Selling a home is one of the biggest transactions many people will make. We want to make the process smooth and get our clients top-dollar for their property. According to a Zillow survey of first-time home sellers, many of them had regrets about the process. It's our job as agents to help prevent this!

Here are three of the top regrets first-time home sellers reported:

  • Not pricing their home right. Most sellers think they should have priced their home higher. Everyone wants to sell their home for the most money, but sellers have to be realistic. Come prepared knowing the comps and outline your sales strategy so your sellers can be confident that they got the best price possible.

  • Poor listing quality. Nearly 40% of sellers thought better photos would have fetched a higher price for their home. Be sure that your listing photos and virtual tour videos are clear and present your client's property in the best possible light.

  • Lack of improvements. A majority of sellers do some home improvement projects before listing their homes. We can help clients maximize their renovation by sharing high ROI repairs or upgrades and reviewing neighborhood comps for insight into what buyers are looking for.

Want to learn more about avoiding legal issues as an agent? Click to read the article.


You ask, James and David answer!

Q: How would you recommend hosting an open house if no one in your office has listings?

– Jack, The Blueprint reader, Montana

A: If nobody has an open house within your brokerage, that’s a concern for you. Open houses are a great way to pick up leads, meet people, and learn your own skill set. If you’re not sitting open houses every weekend, find a way to do this because everyone at an open house is a potential client. If they say they're just looking or that they're the neighbors, those are future sellers. Get their number and stay in contact. If you play the game right, you will get their listing when they sell!

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:

That’s all for this edition of The Blueprint!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you Friday!

– James and David