Thursday, January 23, 2020

    January is a productive time of year for listings that have expired. And in most cases, these home sellers are still motivated to sell, have a sense of urgency, and are in need of a new plan.

    What a great combination for the right agent to take a listing and better still – create a client for life, but you have to move fast.

    Your strategic plan of attack 

    During the first days of January, contact every expired in your extended area by sending a postcard from the Expired Series every 5- 7 days. Then follow that up with a phone call. This strategy is so successful because it’s timely. Most of the competition will not have implemented something so quickly.

    Remember to approach sellers of Expired listings with patience and most importantly – a real plan to get their home sold. Good people skills and the ability to bring real solutions to the table will make you the front-runner.

    Now, there’s no doubt you’ll run into all kinds of people. Some will jump at the opportunity to get their home sold, while others will want to wait. And many will take some real salesmanship to prove that you’re the agent for the job.

    How you react to all three will determine your success or failure at not just getting the listing – but getting it sold.

    Get their attention

    Continue to pull the new Expireds in your market, at least twice a week for the coming months and send them a postcard. Use the back to announce that you have a highly effective tool, “The Merchandising Review” that will help determine what went wrong with their home sale and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    When you receive inquiries, explain the Merchandising Review allows you to make a comprehensive analysis of whether their home is salable in today’s market. Then schedule a 20 minute time to meet with them to go over the Review.

    Walk them through each item and negotiate the issues that might keep the property from selling.  Correct these issues, and ask if they would allow you to show them your marketing plan.

    Educate & inspire

    The next step is to get the listing is priced right and make sure the seller knows you’re ready, willing and able to meet their needs, but that they play a role in the successful sale of their home as well.

    The Top Five Common Mistakes Report is a great tool for helping you to educate your seller regarding pricing their property right. Share this and other valuable Free Reports with your seller to inform and inspire them.

    Another great opportunity to display your expertise in action is to invite your expired sellers to a weekly conference call hosted by you on the topic of selling listings fast and for the most money. Or put together a nice presentation on how you will market their home differently, and drop it off at their house.

    The Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen postcard from the Expired Series is available in the postcard section.

    Consider these great ideas for landing the expired listings in your market over the next couple of weeks! Then make these strategies a monthly habit to continue your success.

    Start your campaign now by pulling the current Expireds in your market and sending out the Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen postcard from the Expired Series.
    Then set a reminder on your phone for your next mailing seven days from that date.

    Need help targeting Expired listings? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

    PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!

    1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

    The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

     

     

    2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

    Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

     

     

    3. Get the ALL-NEW Direct Mail Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

    The “Crush It” Insider Guide to direct mail marketing includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

     

     

     

    4. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

    Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here

     

     

     

    5. The Free Online ROI Calculator

    Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! –Click Here

      Many real estate agents routinely write that check to the IRS in April, June, September, and January and do little to nothing more to take the sting out of those payments.

      Are you leaving money on the table? Most likely, says a Canadian study.

      We’ve rounded up some of the best year-end tax planning strategies we could find. As a bonus, we have some tips on tax strategies to implement in 2020.

      Make an IRA contribution 

      Have you maxed out your IRA contribution for 2019? Those you make to a traditional IRA may be deductible in the year you contribute, according to the IRS (Roth IRA contributions aren’t tax-deductible).

      There are several limitations and you can read about these (and find 2019’s limits) at Investopedia.com.

      The best part of this tax-saving strategy is that it doesn’t expire at year-end. You have until April 15, 2020, to make your contribution.

      Pre-pay expenses

      If the devil is truly in the details, then he feels right at home in IRS Schedule C.

      Most of your real estate business-related costs are listed in Part II of the schedule, so use it as a roadmap for your year-end tax planning.

      If you are planning to hold an event in 2020, consider pre-paying for as many of the expenses as possible. The caterer most likely won’t balk at a prepayment, so if you have the money now, let it flow.

      If you regularly spend $2,000 a month for website content, consider pre-paying your writer for the next three months. Pre-pay for Doorhangers, Newsletters, ProspectsPLUS! Gift Cards, and Free Reports, website hosting, your association dues, lockbox fees and the cost of continuing education.

      Again, take a look at Schedule C to figure out what you can pay for now that will help boost your deductions.

      “By making a bulk purchase at year-end, you’ll get a deduction in the current tax year for that business expense,” according to the TurboTax pros.

      Naturally, the IRS has rules around this strategy. “In general, the tax code says that if your prepayment creates an asset, you can’t deduct it until you get the benefit,” according to the pros at wealthfactory.com.

      Strategies to implement in 2020

      It’s a bit late in the year for some of the best tax-saving strategies, so consider implementing them in 2020.

      Work from home

      If you’ve been working out of your broker’s office, you’re missing out on one of the best tax savings tactics for small business owners, the home office deduction.

      Now, if you’ve considered your broker’s employee and not an independent contractor (or self-employed, whichever you choose to call yourself), the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) took away your ability to use this deduction.

      Since most agents are self-employed, however, it pays to move from your broker’s office to a home office. And, by the way, you can still work part-time from your broker’s office. As long as your office at home is where most of the work takes place, you can take the home office deduction.

      Hire Your Kids

      It’s not a well-known tax-saving strategy, and it requires diligent record-keeping, but hiring your kids to help out in your real estate business will have you writing significantly lower checks to the IRS each quarter.

      “The deduction reduces your federal income tax bill, your self-employment tax bill (if applicable), and your state income tax bill (if applicable),” according to Bill Bischoff at marketwatch.com.

      Plus, there are benefits for your child as well. “… you can hire your under the-age-of-18 child (as a legitimate employee) and his or her wages will be exempt from Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and federal unemployment (FUTA) tax,”

      Your child also won’t pay taxes on the first $12,000 of income (unless he or she has other income).

      Yes, there are rules, such as “that the child’s wages must be reasonable for the work performed,” according to Bischoff. In other words, $50.00 an hour to your 8-year old to clean mud off your signs or for your 12-year old to dust the office won’t cut it.

      Learn more about hiring your kids at the aforementioned Market Watch link, IRS.gov, and cripca.com.

      Attend a conference or convention

      Conferences and conventions offer so much to the real estate agent. From inspiration to tips on how to generate leads to how to run your business more efficiently, they’re worth the price of admission. And, that price, by the way, is tax-deductible, as is part of the cost of travel and meals.

      Get started now to save money on your 2020 taxes.

      Order at least 100 Free Market Report Door Hangers from the Door Hangers Series before year-end and keep them in your car to hang on the doors of prospective clients.

      Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

      PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!

      1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

      The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

       

       

       

      2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

      Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

       

       

       

      3. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

      The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

       

       

       

      4. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

      Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here

       

       

       

      5. The Free Online ROI Calculator

      Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! –Click Here

        It may seem like buyers are buyers, from one year to the next. Buyers’ agents understand, however, that no two clients are alike, and that “buyers,” as a group, hold certain commonalities.

        We’ve already officially entered the decade of the first-time buyers, as millennials aged into the housing market. Classifying “buyers” became immensely easier. We know a whole lot about the largest group of them in the market.

        Of course, whether buying or selling real estate, who reaches out to you for help depends on the types of consumers you’ve been stuffing into your pipeline this year and last.

        And, how consistently you’ve kept in touch with these real estate leads.

        In a perfect world, your CRM is impeccably organized, your leads segmented, your follow-up spot on and you perform multiple touches throughout the year.

        The Ready to Own postcard from the First Time Buyer Series is available in the postcard section.

        Since the world isn’t perfect (nor are most agents’ CRMs), 2020 may be feast or famine time (as usual, right?).

        Here’s what the “experts” are saying

        Don’t you love reading the year-end prognostications about next year’s real estate market? While in late 2018 the experts were far more committed to their guesstimates of the 2019 market, this year, they are all hedging their bets.

        Nobody is really sure what the real estate market will be like in 2020. Except for Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Shiller.

        In September, he stated “that the U.S. housing market could start to see a fall,” according to Harsh Chauhan at CCN.com. Chauhan bases his predictions largely on the fact that existing home sales fell 2.2 percent in September.

        Hey, isn’t that the time the market slows every year?
        The Six Move-Up Mistakes Homebuyers Make Report is available in the Free REport section.

        The truth is, Americans, by and large, are optimistic about the economy. NAR’s latest quarterly survey finds that 63 percent of buyers “feel optimistic” and 52 percent are happy with the way the economy is humming along.

        So, will 2020 be a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market?

        I really wish that the media would survey the country’s real estate agents when putting together their year-end roundup of expert opinions.

        What are the chances that an economist or other “expert” sitting behind a desk, set in front of a wall of framed college degrees, has actually worked with real estate clients? Day in, day out, over the past year?

        It’s agents who are closest to the market’s pulse, who feel the changes as they happen. It often takes a month or more for the media to catch on.

        Agents across the country have told us they agree with Freddie Mac’s forecast of “a projected upward tick in housing supply” next year. While it may not be upward enough to balance the market, it will bring relief to many buyers.

        Speaking of which, look for demand to remain high for homes in the lower price ranges. In Chicago, for instance, this includes anything priced lower than $325,000

        Who are these buyers and what do they want?

        “If you’re selling a house next year, expect to see a lot of young couples walking through your doors during open houses,” claims an unnamed writer at AZBigMedia.com.

        Oops. Millennials, by and large, don’t like open houses. Members of Generation X, on the other hand, love them. According to NAR studies, 63 percent of Gen X homebuyers claim to have visited open houses before buying.

        Which is great news for open-house holders

        Unlike Millennials, Gen Z clients are more likely to have a home to sell before buying, giving their lucky agents a twofer.

        They’re buying more expensive homes as well. They require less hand-holding. Hopefully, you’ve been pursuing this cohort because they and baby boomers will be the clients who bring you the best commission checks.

        Yes, Millennial first-time buyers are expected to still loom large in the 2020 real estate market, so if the cohort is among your target clientele, relax.

        If, on the other hand, you’re pursuing the more-bang-for-the-buck type of Gen X transaction, get to know the master-planned communities in your market. Specifically, those that offer homes with:

        • Three to four bedrooms in a minimum of 2,300 square feet
        • Single-story homes for the older members of the cohort (many hope to age in place)
        • Plenty of nearby amenities, such as parks and good schools
        • Quick commutes to the nearest city

        Baby boomer homebuyers, on the other hand, are typically looking to downsize, so they’re competing with Millennials for those low-priced smaller homes.

        Many in the cohort have decided to rent while others are aging out of the housing market entirely.

        Boomers’ hot buttons?

        • Efficient floorplans with lots of storage options
        • A laundry room is a must
        • Energy-efficient appliances and windows
        • Homes that offer smart-home technology
        • Home office
        • Lots of natural light
        • Single-story homes with no stairway access
        • Homes in walkable neighborhoods near shops and eateries

        The cohort’s cold buttons are just as important, so don’t show them:

        • Homes in golf course communities (unless they voice a preference for them)
        • Homes with an elevator or wine cellar
        • Anything with more than one story
        The Perfect Timing postcard from the First Time Buyer Series is available in the postcard section.

        Fortunate is the agent who steadfastly targeted the older demographics this year and last. Next year may just be your most prosperous yet.

        Send the Perfect Timing postcard from the First Time Buyer Series to a targeted list of renters.
        Need help targeting the perfect list of renters? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

        PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!

        1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

        The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

         

         

        2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

        Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

         

         

         

        3. Get the ALL-NEW “Insider Secret “Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

        The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

         

         

         

        4. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

        Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here

         

         

         

        5. The Free Online ROI Calculator

        Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! –Click Here

          Realtor.com is out with its 2019 hottest ZIP code list. And, no, a California ZIP code is nowhere to be seen among the top 10. In fact, nothing along the west coast made it into this elite bunch of hot real estate markets.

          The list seems to make the case for how downright unaffordable many markets are today. It appears that folks are fleeing Seattle, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego for the saner-priced regions, mainly in our country’s midsection.

          Homes for sale in the ZIP codes we’re about to highlight spend, on average, 17 days on the market and get 3 times more views than homes in other markets.

          Lucky you if you serve one of these ZIP codes.

          1. Grand Rapids, Michigan (49505)

          Knocking Colorado Springs out of the top spot (it now sits at number 10), Grand Rapids, Michigan is the belle of the nation’s real estate ball. So much so that it’s driving the state’s steady population growth.

          The 49505 ZIP code covers an area north of downtown Grand Rapids. It “includes a portion of the Grand River, Kent Country Club and four large parks,” according to an unnamed writer at MLive.com.

          The “Did You Know” postcard from the Expired Series is available in the postcard section of ProspectsPLUS.com

          So, who is moving here and why?

          Millennials, according to the Realtor.com study, make up nearly half of purchase mortgages in 49505 and they comprise 73 percent of the people who recently moved into the area.

          This population boom is most likely the result of all the good press the city has received over the past year or so, such as Insurify.com naming Grand Rapids the Best City for Singles in Michigan.

          Then, there’s the CNN kudos to the city as one of the 15 Best Beer Cities Around the World.

          We think one of the biggest draws, at least for millennials, is the jobs market. “Business Facilities named Grand Rapids the top mid-sized city in the U.S. for economic growth,” according to MLive.com.

          The area’s largest employer is Spectrum Health, with about 25,000 employees.

          This particular ZIP is popular with families and they’re snatching up homes for sale within 10 days of them hitting the market, willing to fork over $178,050 (median list price).

          If you aren’t familiar with the area, take a look at what’s listed for sale. It’s no wonder millennials are flocking to this area of adorable homes.

          1. Omaha, Nebraska (68144)

          Folks looking for a snappy commute to work may be part of the reason this Omaha ZIP code ranks number two in hotness. Seventeen minutes, door-to-door, according to ZipDataMaps.com.

          Here, folks can buy a home at an average list price of $238,950, and the pace of the real estate market isn’t quite as frenzied as the one in Grand Rapids. Here, homes stay on the market for 21 days, on average.

          Just 12 miles from downtown Omaha, it’s far enough away for millennial homebuyers to feel isolated from the hustle and hum of the city, but close enough to take advantage of the conveniences.

          Jobs abound in the area, especially for those in the healthcare arena and they tend to pay better than in other parts of the country.

          The “Four Questions” postcard from the Expired Series is available in the postcard section of ProspectsPLUS.com

          “Millennials in 68144 make significantly more than the national median for millennials at $73,902 and $62,280, respectively,” according to the Realtor.com report.

          1. Boise, Idaho (83704)

          It’s no surprise that Boise has moved up three notches since last year’s Hottest ZIP Codes survey. Folks are moving there in droves, driving up home prices.

          This particular ZIP is west of downtown Boise and boasts a number of amazing ethnic eateries and plenty of parks. While it was once a mecca for retirees, the past few years have seen more young professionals moving in, taking advantage of the nearby family-type amenities.

          Jobs are primarily of the tech variety, so if you work in this market, you’re most likely seeing a lot of Silicon Valley “refugees,” fleeing the high-tax, high-home price atmosphere of the Golden State.

          Most homebuyers in 83704 are 35 to 44 years of age (older millennials and younger Gen Xers). They’re picking up homes for a median list price of $289,950. DOM here is 14 days.

          1. Shawnee, Kansas (66203)

          There’s Shawnee, Kansas and then there’s Old Shawnee, which is tucked away in the 66203 ZIP code. Realtor.com calls it the “quintessential Midwestern suburb,” with a “walkable downtown.”

          It also has a robust real estate market without the over-inflated prices in so many other markets. In fact, buyers are picking up homes with a median list price of $220,050.

          The lure, according to the study, is the area’s proximity to Kansas City and its various amenities. But the jobs picture is nothing to sneeze at. Unemployment in Shawnee is at a 20-year low, several companies are choosing to relocate to the area and the proposed Project Homeland industrial park is projected to add another 1,500 jobs to the market.

           Rochester, New York (14609)

          This ZIP code includes Homestead Heights, the “Most Diverse Neighborhood” and the neighborhood with the second-lowest-cost of living in Rochester.

          While the Wall Street Journal chose Rochester as “the city with the worst job market among top metros,” Realtor.com’s IDX is getting lots of views from folks looking to move.

          What do they see that belies the high unemployment rate and bleak jobs outlook?

          The president of Rochester’s Chamber of Commerce claims that the city’s growing healthcare industry, coupled with the local colleges and universities act as a magnet for tech companies.

          The city is going through a renaissance of sorts, he claims.

          Then, there are the exceptionally low home prices — $125,050 is the median list price. For young professionals seeking to get a start in life, 14608 may just be the place to consider.

          Don’t fret if your market didn’t make Realtor.com’s list. Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker tells an entirely different story.

          Millennials (the largest homebuying pool) bought 68 percent of the homes for sale in Hobbs, New Mexico between July and September of this year. Coming in behind Hobbs is:

          • Batavia, NY – 63%
          • Laurel, MS – 63%
          • Dodge City, KS – 62%
          • Platteville, WI – 62%

          In fact, none of Realtor.com’s hottest real estate markets got a large enough share of millennial homebuyers to rank on Ellie Mae’s list.

          The “Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen” postcard from the Expired Series is available in the postcard section of ProspectsPLUS.com

          Next year is looking rosy for the fortunate agents who work in these ZIP codes.

          Send the Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen postcard from the Expireds Series to home sellers with expired listings.
          Need help targeting the Expireds? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

          PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!

          1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

          The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

           

           

          2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

          Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

           

           

          3. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

          The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

           

           

           

          4. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

          Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here

           

           

           

          5. The Free Online ROI Calculator

          Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! –Click Here