^Back To Top

  • Selling?

    Is it time to sell? Richard and his team have the tools you need to sell your home fast and for the best price.

  • Vintage Homes

    Richard Gibson is THE leader in historic home sales..

  • Investment Properties

    WSR has been serving the landlord's needs for over 30 years. We are the largest independent property management company in The Inland Empire. From helping to obtain rental properties to property management we serve the investor's needs.

SAN DIEGO (November 15, 2015) – Delivering meaningful information to consumers quickly and in a conversational way will help Realtors® position themselves as credible real estate experts and ultimately lead to more business, according to a digital technology and lead generation forum here at the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

Celeste Starchild, vice president of Move and general manager at ListHub, shared business intelligence about how consumers are increasingly using online and digital technology during the home search process. She also discussed ways Realtors® can utilize search engine optimization and targeted advertising to reach consumers at the time they are most ready to buy or sell a home.

According to Starchild, a majority of consumers today are what she calls “digital natives.” Mostly from either the millennial or Gen X generation, these are potential buyers who’ve been around technology their entire life and don’t remember a time when the Internet wasn’t readily available. She explained that as time goes on and technology evolves, there are increasingly more people who don't know how to do business without going online first. 

“Consumers want immediate responses from their friends and family via email and texting. Realtors® risk missing an opportunity with this important buyer demographic if they aren’t responding in a timely, informative and personable manner,” said Starchild.

Explaining ways Realtors® can be more visible to consumers online, Starchild said it’s important to focus advertising efforts on performing websites like realtor.com®, and utilizing search engine optimization can ensure that a Realtor®’s name and brokerage show up at the top of the list on search engine sites. “Search engine marketing drives high quality and high volume leads,” she said. “If you have the budget, you can pay for the right to have your name and business visible to practically all consumers looking for an agent online in a specific location.”

Predictive advertising efforts on social media – especially Facebook – can also be an extremely successful and cost-effective marketing tactic for Realtors®. Starchild described scenarios such as marriage, job relocation and child birth as home purchase drivers that Realtors® can take advantage of by having an ad with their information appear on the right side of a potential buyers’ Facebook page.

“Reaching the right consumers at the time they’re most ready to buy is powerful and effective,” said Starchild.

Starchild pointed out that practically every interested buyer or seller will search online for information about a Realtor® and likely read reviews before contacting them. What comes up in those search results is what consumers will use to determine whether or not to reach out. “It doesn’t matter where on a search list a Realtor® shows up if they don’t have an updated profile with a professional headshot, listed contact information and a few client recommendations,” she said. “Failing to do so will ultimately lead to missed business.”

Once a potential client has requested more information about a listing, Starchild said data show a Realtor® can increase their contact rate by as much as 900 percent by responding to leads in the first five minutes. Whether it’s personally in a few sentences or in an automated message with a promise to follow-up quickly, that initial communication is crucial.

“Consumers are looking for facts and they want them now. How you respond and interact with them influences their decision on whether or not they’re your client forever, or they’re on to the next one,” said Starchild.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

Read more: Communicating to Consumers Consistently and Persistently Drives Business for Realtors®

San Diego (November 15, 2015) – The Federal Aviation Administration continues its work to integrate unmanned aerial systems, also known as drones, into the National Airspace System, and Realtors® stand ready to take advantage of their many benefits.

That’s according to panelists at the “Using a Drone in Your Business: Knowing Your Risk” session held as part of the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

“This technology is an incredible tool for real estate professionals, but can be dangerous if the wrong person is in control,” said session moderator Kolleen Kelley, Realtor® and 2015 Risk Management Committee vice chair.

Other panelists included Eric Myers, vice president of Victor O. Shinnerer & Company; Lesley M. Walker, National Association of Realtors® associate counsel; and Dean Griffith with FAA’s Office of the Chief Counsel.

The panelists spoke about the extensive benefits of using drones in real estate, but also warned the audience that following the rules is of critical importance to mitigate potential risks and liabilities.

Wide-scale commercial use of drones is currently prohibited, but the FAA has streamlined a waiver process for individuals and businesses interested in using drones for commercial purposes. So-called Section 333 waivers are already in use by dozens of Realtors® and other operators currently using drones for their business.

Panelists widely agreed that the use of drones for commercial purposes will only grow with time, even as issues related to safety, privacy, insurance and the regulatory framework continue to evolve. They advised the audience about the importance of hiring approved operators with strong risk management practices, sufficient insurance coverage and, most importantly, a Section 333 waiver from the FAA.

The speakers also reminded Realtors® to be thoughtful about agreements with outside companies to ensure that ownership of any photographs taken is clear, as intellectual property laws and rules still apply.

Walker pointed to NAR’s policy statement in noting that the association supports the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the National Airspace System, or NAS, and a clear regulatory framework for interested Realtors® to responsibly make drones a part of their business.

This includes making safety a top priority, and earlier this year NAR joined an industry “Know Before you Fly” campaign and partnered with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s “Multistakeholder Process: Unmanned Aircraft Systems” to further highlight the importance of safety, security, and privacy in commercial drone use.

The FAA is currently moving through a rulemaking process to address the integration of drones into the NAS, which Griffith noted FAA hopes to complete by June 2016.

In September, NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker of 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas, testified before a U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the value of drones in real estate.

“Commercial drones represent an opportunity to create jobs and businesses, as well as to support the business of real estate,” said Polychron. “NAR is pleased to see this important issue get the attention it deserves and will continue working with the FAA to advance clear regulations that are affordable for users, safe for their communities, and mindful of the safety and privacy of individuals.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

Read more: Drone Landscape Still Evolving as Realtor®, Other Commercial Use Grows

SAN DIEGO (November 14, 2015) – The wave of new millennial homebuyers is just beginning, and Realtors® should prepare themselves now by adapting to buyers' housing preferences, use of technology and demand for environmentally friendly features. That's according to speakers at a buyer preferences forum organized by the REALTOR® University Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies here at the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

NAR's Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research, and Chad Curry, managing director at the Center for REALTOR® Technology, were joined by Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®, to discuss buyer preferences, technologies and sustainable features that are becoming increasingly important to buyers - especially millennials.

Highlighting some of the key findings from NAR's just-released 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, Lautz identified some of the myths about homebuying activity in recent years. These include millennials not having any interest in buying a home, households leaving the suburbs in droves, and baby boomers selling their homes and downsizing to Florida.

"Despite millennials' overall share being depressed mostly for economic reasons, the allure of homeownership remains strong among a group that's represented the largest generation of buyers for three straight years," said Lautz. "Our data show that contrary to some of the stereotypes out there, over 80 percent of buyers in every generation are purchasing single-family homes and most of them are in the suburbs."

"The exception is recent buyers from the Silent Generation, who purchased condos at double the amount of millennials," she added.

Smoke agreed with Lautz and said the housing market is at the leading edge of millennials buying homes. "Historically, the 25-34 year range always represents the largest buying cohort and today, that range is the older half of current millennials," he said. "According to realtor.com® traffic, we're seeing increasing interest from this group. They're upbeat about homeownership, but are hampered by credit qualification and saving for a down payment."

According to Smoke, millennials are far less likely to buy newly constructed homes. While part of the reason is because much of the new supply coming onto the market is at higher price points, he said millennial buyers appear to have a decided preference for existing homes. Of the qualities that are most important to them, neighborhood safety and quality of construction top the list.

On the topic of searching for a home, Lautz added that although almost half of all buyers begin their home search by looking at listings online, real estate solidly remains a business based on relationships. She said this is no surprise considering that even with the popularity and accessibility of searching for homes online, finding the right home was ranked the highest among all generations as the most difficult step in home buying.

"Face-to-face interaction and guidance through each step of the home buying or selling process is highly sought," said Lautz. "This is why agent-assisted sales are currently at an all-time high."

With most new home construction right now being targeted towards wealthier buyers, Curry discussed ways homeowners can modernize their existing homes with smart, energy-efficient technology to attract younger buyers.

"Smart home gadgets and environmentally friendly features are becoming increasingly important to buyers and should be used as selling points by Realtors® on a listing," said Curry. "Furthermore, if a recently purchased home lacks these features, they make an excellent closing gift."

Curry said Realtors® and homeowners should think of a house as made up of cells, with smart gadgets playing the role of nuclei with all of the important information about how your home is performing. When a house goes on the market, having information on humidity levels and carbon dioxide ensures that the home is in top shape for potential buyers.

The panel all agreed that while the demand for green features and tech gadgets varies by region, household type and age, their popularity will only continue to rise. Having knowledge of these features and using them to market a listing will help Realtors® keep their competitive advantage and connect buyers with sellers.

"At the end of the day, the order of housing preferences comes down to where a buyer is in their life," added Lautz. "Commuting costs are much more important to younger buyers and decreases as they get older and raise kids. When that time arrives, a bigger home with a yard in a nice school district is likely more important."

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

Read more: Staying Attuned to Buyer Preferences Will Help Realtors® Maintain Competitive Advantage

SAN DIEGO (November 14, 2015) –  Realtors® shared strategies for assessing and conveying the value green features bring to homes during the Real Property Valuation Forum today at the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

During the forum, panelists focused on the importance of appraisers and listing and buyers agents not only educating themselves on the issues surrounding environmentally friendly and high-performance home features, but on how to market and emphasize those features to bring the greatest amount of interest and value to the home. Panelists discussed NAR’s Green MLS Implementation Guide, a comprehensive guide for helping multiple listing services promote the special features of a green home as well as NAR’s Green MLS Tool Kit; MLSs across the country have adopted the tools’ suggestions and guidelines. 

 “Out of the 100 largest cities in the U.S., 79 have MLSs with green features included,” said panelist Laura Reedy Stukel, a Realtor® with L.W. Reedy Real Estate in Elmhurst, Illinois. “So the question now isn’t ‘what are the MLSs doing to include green features?’ it’s ‘what are brokers doing to make sure that information is included?’” 

More and more home builders and homeowners are embracing environmentally friendly features, and with that in mind NAR's Green Designation is being updated to include classes that will focus on the features and situations Realtors® are likely to run into on a day-to-day basis.  

“As Realtors, we’re used to selling granite countertops and closet space, but when you start including geothermal heat sources, you are talking about a different kind of valuation,” said panelist Craig Foley, a Realtor® with RE/MAX Leading Edge in Somerville, Massachusetts. “Brokers need to make sure that they have specialists on their teams, and Realtors® with the Green Designation are those specialists.”

According to the panelists, the demand for green is growing and today’s consumers want homes and communities that are environmentally sustainable and resource efficient. The reasons behind this demand range from cost saving to Earth-saving.

“One of the main drivers of growing interest towards green features is their ability to lower home operating costs. However, there is also a growing understanding that we all need to take responsibility for our environmental impact,” said Foley. “And buyers are willing to pay with their wallet to have those features in their home.”

For more information on the Green MLS Implementation Guide and NAR’s Green REsource Council, visit http://www.greenthemls.org/green-mls-implementation-guide.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


Read more: Green Home Features Increase Value and Marketability, Say Realtors®

Copyright © 2014. Team Gibson - BRE# 01856821  Rights Reserved.