The Top Five Real Estate Markets in the US

Texas is hot. Not just in terms of what the thermometer says, but also in terms of real estate. Three of the top five real estate markets in the U.S. right now are all in the Lone Star State. But if wide open plains or the Gulf Coast don’t appeal to you, don’t worry, there are other cities for you to consider. Let’s dive in to learn more about the five best bets for real estate.

1. Denver. Now that the economy is perking up, home prices and housing demand are both on the rise in the beautiful Mile High City. Unlike pre-recession levels, however, oil companies do not dominate the employment market as much as they did, so the Denver economy is not as volatile as it once was. Plus, the housing areas around the country that fell the hardest when the recession hit were the first to start to recover. Once those areas balanced back out, it was time for other markets to grow. Denver has seen home sales increase 4.6% over last year, and home prices increase 9.2% in the same time frame, making it one of the single hottest real estate markets around.

2. San Antonio. The first Texas entry is for an area with a robust economy and reasonable home prices. Home prices here have still risen 4.3% over 2014 levels, and sales overall are up 5.5%. San Antonio has also outpaced the nation in terms of job growth, posting a mere 4% unemployment rate earlier this year thanks to adding additional types of businesses besides oil so instability in the economy has been reduced.

3. San Jose. It has been well noted recently that the entire Bay Area has been extremely popular in terms of housing. Bidding wars have broken out over homes, and houses are selling within days of hitting the market, even fixer-uppers. San Jose, just to the south of San Francisco, has a median home price of over $680,000. High tech is king once again, and that brings people to the area. Workers are looking for places to live, leading experts to predict that home sales will increase 7% this year over 2014.

4. Dallas. Next on the Texas three-step is the home of the Cowboys. In the last few years the price of oil has fluctuated, but Dallas has made it a point to stay strong despite the deck it was dealt. They have added jobs at a rate that outpaces the national recovery, and home sales are back to pre-recession levels. Prices in Dallas are up 7.3% over last year, and the predictions are that these economic indicators will remain true for a while to come.

5. Houston. Houston rounds out the Texas trifecta despite being the one city on the list that hasn’t diversified employment much outside the oil industry. Buoyed by the fact that Texas is attracting more people than any other state, sales of houses are expected to be 5% higher this year than in 2014.

There are several honorable mentions, like Des Moines and Minneapolis, the latter of which is a big draw for younger homebuyers, but these five cities are going to be trendsetters this year and will help the overall housing market look brighter for some time to come.

What Is the Best Real Estate Website Design?

Aiming for the best real estate website design is what every realtor should aim for. Building a real estate website is not enough, it should be well-designed in a manner that will bring you profit as what you are aiming for in the first place. The best real estate website design will give you an edge over your competitors because you’ve designed a website that will help your visitors find what they need easily. People that go through your website should have a great user experience, this way they will not leave your website unless they found what they need and they are done with their purpose.

Best Real Estate Website Design Elements and Integrated Features

Clear Navigation Bar – Design your website in a way that the navigation bar is easily captured by your audience. This helps them find what they are looking for. They can easily learn about your business by going to your “about us page”. People can quickly decide which property to buy once they easily found all the information they needed. Of course, your navigation bar should be placed at the top of your website. Exception the rule is your landing page. Your landing page shouldn’t have a navigation bar to make your audience focus on the information you want them to see.

Virtual Tours – It will be great if you have integrated your website with a high-definition virtual tour. The images and videos that show the whole property and its neighborhood thrilled the buyers. It is nice to show your visitors around without bringing them to the actual place. It will save you time and money. You can get more page views with this feature and leave visitors satisfied. You can ask a professional help to do this for you.

Lead Capture Form – No one can deny the importance of lead capture form in every real estate website. Unlike other niche, real estate website visitors want to subscribe to a newsletter because they want to be notified from time to time on a new listing until they have found what they are searching for, so come on and design a lead capture form that will lead your visitors to sign up. It should be attractive enough to catch your leads attention. The wordings should be carefully chosen. You shouldn’t just simply tell them to sign up here, click here or go here. You should at least explain what they are getting if they do so. It will also be handy to have a telephone number inclusion optional in your form. Always test your form so that you are not missing any leads.

In short, the best real estate website design has the elements and the features integrated therein that makes the life of the prospective buyers easier in choosing a home. A well designed website also helps you and saves you a lot of time and money convincing your leads to get the property because the property will speak for itself with the help of your easy to navigate real estate website.

Why Using Social Media Marketing for Real Estate?

Your potential clients are using social media. Why aren’t you there networking with them? Now that you have an online presence through your website, you might think your web marketing plan is complete and you don’t need SMM – but think again. Agents who are neglecting SMM miss out on lucrative listings, and they lose the chance to connect with potential buyers who are seeking their dream home.

What is social media marketing for real estate?

You, personally, probably use social media every day. You just don’t know it. And, that’s why it hasn’t been working to your marketing advantage. You read and commented other people’s blogs. You use Facebook to keep up with your family and old friends. You tweet on Twitter to say witty things. You’ve watched many videos on YouTube. And, you’re a true fan of blogs. So, time to use SMM for real estate!

Social media marketing for real estate Choices

Here is a short list of just a few available choices of the popular SMM.

  1. Blog for Your Brand – share relevant content with your target market
  2. Facebook Business Page – make “friends” that are interested in your brand, product or services
  3. Twitter Business Account – Share your expertise by tweeting to your online “followers”
  4. LinkedIn – networking for businesses, including B2B
  5. YouTube – market your commercials online for free

Social media marketing for real estate Blog Content

A blog, which is short for “web log”, is an online journal for your SMM campaign. It’s your company’s opportunity to introduce your brand by marketing your niche. Your business blog lets your target housing market get to know you, who you are and what you do through SMM

Get more clients with social media marketing for real estate

Are you looking for ways to gain more clients? Of course, you are! All experts, brokers and agents have a passion for making money. Informative content is what gives you that extra edge in the market. When you provide free, relevant, useful information to your target market, you become an expert in their eyes.

When sellers are ready to put their homes on the market, they will turn to a real estate expert – the agent or the broker who is professional and able to market their homes. Even banks selling REOs use SMM for content to help them connect to qualified agents to provide them with commercial services. Content helps to connect yourself with your readers and turn your followers into actual clients.

Use Your Social media marketing for real estate Now!

Social media is where networks of consumers share details of their lives, including the businesses and agents and brokers that they recommend. SMM for marketing is a great strategy to have online users to share your listings, price reduced posting, announcing great buying opportunities, provide informative blog posts to gain authority within your network. It is today’s digital way of gaining word of mouth advertising to potentially millions of online consumers. Don’t be a secret agent! Every agent needs social media marketing for real estate to help market their agent’s brand online.

Model Merchandising Tips That Transcend

What is it about a model home that entices potential buyers? Some might think it’s the way the pillows lay or the fabulous furniture that adorns the spaces, but effective model merchandising goes deeper than aesthetics. It’s about the understanding of the prospective homeowner’s desires and demands as well as the execution of portraying them, not only in the furniture, art and accessories, but in the detailed planning of the floor layout. As a merchandiser, we’ve developed five design features that should be addressed when merchandising a model home to assist with successful sales.

Scale and Space Planning:
Knowing how the potential buyer might typically use or envision each room and space is important to understand before diving into design. A home’s flex space might be best used as a study or reading room for the active adult buyer, while a growing family might use the space as a craft or play room. Once objectively figuring out each room’s function, furniture placement and the size of each piece is vital. Positioning the furniture perfectly and scaling the pieces appropriately promotes good flow and enhances the size of the space.

Thoughtful Design Details:
Every home needs personality, but more importantly, a personality that accurately portrays the prospective buyer. This begins with researching and gaining extensive knowledge about the potential buyer and their wants and needs, as well as the location. From there, subtle design details that depict the buyers’ hobbies and the home’s location create positive memory points. This could be pictures of a nearby landmark, thoughtful coffee table books about the surrounding areas, or even a themed child’s room pertaining to activities offered in the community.

Creative Use of Color:
Color is an effective and inexpensive way to transform the look and energy of a room, so be sure to consider how you want visitors to feel when touring the home. Lighter shades create an open, airy and calming feel, giving the illusion of a larger space. Bolder colors can create a vivid effect and vibe when used in a smaller setting. In a larger space, dark or bright paint colors draw the eye to focus on a particular feature or architectural element. Accent colors or designs on walls, ceilings, doors or shelving are all unique areas to add a daring and dramatic effect.

Lighting, Lighting and Lighting:
Seize the opportunity to let interiors shine! Simple solutions such as keeping windows clear of bulky furniture, not allowing drapery to move too far into window space and keeping blinds open will add loads of natural light and make a room look brighter and bigger. Decorative lighting, such as floor lamps or table lamps, can pack a punch by creating character or highlighting a unique piece of art or accessory. And, as far as overhead lighting – don’t skimp!

Timeless Trends:
Design that is “too trendy” can cause potential homeowners to shy away as they develop a natural fear that the home isn’t meant for them or their family. Along with recognizing this, buyers do demand updates and would like newer features within the interiors. Finding the balance between “new” and “too new” can be a challenge, but if the design succeeds at incorporating timeless trends or eclectic touches, it evokes a sense of safety, while still feeling edgy.

As an interior designer and model merchandiser, it’s vital to work hand-in-hand with the builder to fully understanding the demands and desires of the target demographic. With this and these five features in mind, the design will resonate with prospective buyers, which in turn leads to successful sales!