Archive for March, 2011

Consumers Want Consultants, not Cheerleaders – Position Yourself as a Market Expert

Today’s real estate market is different than just a few short years ago. Before the downturn, seller’s knew they could sell and buyers didn’t worry about risk in real estate because everyone believed prices would always go up. If Buyer A didn’t want the house, you need not wait long before Buyer B submitted an offer. When the market began the turn as demand shrank and prices began falling, many agents made, what I think was a big mistake – they acted like cheerleaders. Instead of offering professional advice to a growing number of upside down homeowners in a confusing market, it seemed as though agents across the country were using their marketing materials to look out for a paycheck more than trying to help consumers

You may remember ‘Baghdad Bob’ from the Iraq War days holding press conferences where he would tell everyone how the Iraqi Army was destroying the infidel Americans and pushing them back to the sea. You could also almost hear the American tanks rolling by in the background as he was on TV. He wasn’t telling the truth. Everyone new he wasn’t telling the truth. Jay Leno had a great video of Baghdad Bob if you don’t remember.

Even in today’s real estate market, it’s still common to see agents say “It’s a great time to buy!” That has to be the worst possible thing we can say in this market. It’s so transparent – and it appears to be looking out for the agent and not the consumer to market with this message. Don’t be a real estate Baghdad Bob. The market may not be great for many potential buyers. If a consumer asks about the market or you are trying to convince someone that this is a great time do buy, you have missed the mark. Consumers want and need information more now than ever. They seek out agents who can distill information in a way they can understand and they want the truth. They also can sniff out Baghdad Bob the real estate agent a mile away. The truth is, it may not be a great time to buy. Maybe it is, may it isn’t. Don’t you think you should find out a little more before spouting off like that? Be real.

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Posted by: Ryan Ward on March 11th, 2011 under Best Practices


Thoughts From Around the Web Regarding the Case Shiller Report

As most of us know by know we are in for another bad year, even the optimists are pessimistic. It pretty clear that the latest index report shows a double dip. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index fell in December from November in all 20 cities, except Washington, D.C . Nationally, home prices fell 4.1% during the last three months of 2010, compared top last year, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, down 1.9% compared with the past three months.

The big question is whether we are bouncing along a bottom or whether we have more to go. The following are some thoughts from around the web that highlight some of the current sentiments, both optimistic and pessimistic. I’ve also included one silver lining I have to share.

Robert Shiller
New York Times
Yale Economist and half of the Case Shiller Team

He is the author of “Irrational Exuberance and helped develop the S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index. Mr. Shiller said in a conference call that he saw a substantial risk of the market falling another 15, 20 or even 25 percent.

National Association Of Homebuilders

This is the worst year for new-home sales in 50 years. February remained unchanged for the fourth straight month at 16. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment. The index hasn’t seen 50 or better since April 2006.

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Posted by: Howard Sobel on March 10th, 2011 under Market Trends

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Is It Time To Hire A Real Estate Social Media Manager?

I was reading a recent HomeGain article about the relationship between social networking and SEO, and it made me think about the anxiety many real estate brokers must feel as they work hard to position their company and agents for success in this rapidly evolving online world.

Even though agents have been told that they should be blogging, understanding all of the tools, tricks and systems required for implementing an effective Social Media strategy is an overwhelming challenge that most busy real estate agents simply don’t have enough time for.

However, for a real estate company, building a strong web presence must be a priority if they want to help their agents gain a competitive advantage in the local marketplace.

While there are several DIY trail-blazers that are willing to openly share the process of how they failed their way to success on the web, brokerage owners don’t necessarily have the luxury of being able to test a few Internet Marketing strategies until they get it right.

Agents, support staff, listing clients, landlords…. are all counting on their real estate firm to execute an online agenda that provides measurable results.

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Posted by: Mark Madsen on March 9th, 2011 under Best Practices, HomeGain


Say Hello to Our Newest Guest Blogger

Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading celebrity real estate reporters, bloggers and consultants. She writes for AOL Real Estate and runs her own blog,

Based in Dallas, Candy was a longtime contributing editor to Dallas’ D Magazine and sister pubs. In 2007, she founded the wildly successful Dallas real estate blog, DallasDirt, where she broke the news on where former president George W. Bush bought his post-presidential home.

We’re excited to have Candy on board and we’re looking forward to her first post!


Posted by: HG Blog Admin on March 8th, 2011 under Guest Bloggers


Short Sale Listing Agents Need Consistent Training

The designations most agents get serve one purpose, marketing. They are trying to separate themselves from the pack to get listings.

Some of the poorest quality short sale education is offered by real estate boards and governmental agencies who were caught completely off-guard by the explosion of homes needing to be short sold.

These real estate boards and agencies move slow, as most large organizations do. So, how can they stay ahead of the Short Sale curve, when they can’t even keep the addendums updated?

I find myself creating necessary forms and disclosures long before my local board comes out with one. If you do the same, be sure to run them by your broker and an attorney if necessary to ensure you stay within professional purview.

The fact that our own professional organizations seem to be slow to keep up, what would make anyone believe the short sale training offered by them would actually give agents a competitive advantage against the financial institutions?

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Posted by: Tony Sena on March 4th, 2011 under HomeGain, Short Sales and Foreclosures

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HomeGain Inducts 15 New Members Into Commissions Based Awards Clubs

Today HomeGain announced that it is inducting 15 AgentEvaluator®  club members into its commissions based award clubs.

HomeGain is inducting:

  • 5 new HomeGain Platinum Club members (totaling 382 agent members who have earned $125k or more in gross real estate commissions from HomeGain leads)
  • 3 new HomeGain Gold Club members (totaling 307 agent members who have earned $75k or more)
  • 7 new HomeGain Silver Club members (totaling 273 agent members who have earned $50k or more)

“We are excited to add an additional 15 HomeGain members to our commissions based award clubs,” stated Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain. “HomeGain is proud to help home buyers and sellers consistently find quality real estate agents to assist them with their real estate needs.”

HomeGain has 26 agent members in its Diamond Club (who have earned more than $500k in gross commissions) and two members in its Million Dollar Club (who have earned more than $1,000,000 in gross commissions).

HomeGain AgentEvaluator Award Club members have earned over $100 million dollars worth of real estate commissions since 1999 when HomeGain was founded. Award Club membership has grown to 983 HomeGain members.


Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on March 1st, 2011 under AgentEvaluator, HomeGain

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