NAR’s 2017 midyear forecast: Will home ownership rebound?

Robust job gains and growing household confidence to propel existing-home sales, but homeownership will be hampered by inventory, affordability

  • National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun presented his midyear forecast at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo.
  • Yun says the future success of the housing market heavily depends upon housing starts, which need to be at 1.5 million to fulfill buyer demand.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun presented his midyear forecast at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo.

Yun predicted that a multi-year stretch of robust job gains paired with growing household confidence will bring existing-home sales to a decade high, but low inventory, the lack of affordable housing and modest economic growth are keeping homeownership rates at historic lows.

Continue reading NAR’s 2017 midyear forecast: Will home ownership rebound?

Downtown Charleston’s tourist district continues to expand with changes on Cannon Street

Charleston’s tourist district continues to expand into areas that were unlikely visitor destinations just a few years ago

Now it’s Cannon Street, the corridor between West Ashley and a rapidly changing section of King Street where hotels, restaurants and bars are springing up like mushrooms.

A four-star boutique inn opened in February at 86 Cannon, and a bed and breakfast will open this summer down the street. Both follow major renovations of old houses.

Continue reading Downtown Charleston’s tourist district continues to expand with changes on Cannon Street

Real estate industry’s Upstream project pivots, shifts strategy

The initiative’s original plan proved too ambitious

The much-hyped Upstream project has “pivoted,” according to its CEO Alex Lange who shared details of the shift at a private lunch today at the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) legislative meetings in Washington, D.C.

Initially to the chagrin of some of its own board members and the leadership of its sugar daddy (NAR), the big broker group has dramatically shrunk its scope in which just two years ago it promised to be a “single source of truth” for broker information.

Continue reading Real estate industry’s Upstream project pivots, shifts strategy

Houwzer, ‘0% listing commission’ real estate brokerage, raises $2M

In exchange for $495 listing fee, Houwzer asks for ‘social currency’ and opportunity to work with sellers as buyer’s broker

Come-ons from hybrid brokerages often seem too good to be true, but Houwzer’s may take the cake.

Continue reading Houwzer, ‘0% listing commission’ real estate brokerage, raises $2M

5 technologies for today’s smart real estate agent

Emerging tech trends that will change the future of your business

  • New technologies are going to change the way we do business in the future.
  • Using virtual reality is a great new way to get consumers excited about seeing homes.
  • Computer visioning has potential for understanding the consumer search experience at a higher level.

In 2016, real estate technology companies raised a record breaking $3 billion across 209 deals; to put this in perspective, that is 10 times the funding we saw only four years ago, and the numbers keep growing.

Our main goal is to look at the technology landscape today and focus on key emerging trends we believe agents should know about in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Keller Williams co-founder Gary Keller has consolidated all of the vital information on today’s technology and identified the following key trends for 2017:

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How are Realtors using mobile technology?

Realtors are conducting business faster and more efficiently than ever before

  • Most Realtors use mobile technology to send new house alerts, neighborhood reports, and financial information.
  • Realtors, buyers and sellers are all using mobile technology to navigate the real estate industry.

The immense growth in the use of mobile technology, specifically consumer-facing real estate technology, means change for Realtors when it comes to communication, research and reporting for mobile-first clients.

A recent data report by analytics firm Flurry revealed that the average U.S. smartphone user spends five hours per day on a mobile device, a 20 percent increase compared with 4Q 2015. Of that time, 92 percent (about 4.6 hours) is spent inside an app.

Continue reading How are Realtors using mobile technology?

Mount Pleasant real estate agent behind a South Carolina ‘nightmare house’ listing doesn’t know what’s going on either

Randal Longo woke up Wednesday morning to dozens of phone calls and emails from strangers across the country: From his office in Mount Pleasant, he quickly realized, he’d unwittingly set loose a viral sensation.

The object of the Internet’s fascination was a home the real estate agent had never seen himself. It was a run-down bungalow with an address in a quiet neighborhood a few minutes from downtown Columbia — and a mystery that captured the fascination of millions of strangers.

Continue reading Mount Pleasant real estate agent behind a South Carolina ‘nightmare house’ listing doesn’t know what’s going on either