The HomeGain Advisors met for their quarterly meeting on Thursday, July 23. The Advisors represent real estate agents across the country and provide insight into HomeGain products and services, market trends and Realtor behavior.
In line with a recent HomeGain poll in which 75 percent of respondents said their markets were speeding up, the majority of the Agent Advisors said that business has increased in the recent months.
The majority of Advisors reported that a good deal of their business can be attributed to the $8000 tax incentive offered by the federal government to first time home buyers.
One Advisor in Florida stated that 60 percent his real estate business was first time home buyers. He indicated that he believed the tax incentive had motivated them to purchase a home. Advisors in Chicago and Maryland echoed this statement, while an Advisor in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas of Arizona estimated a larger amount at 75 percent and an Advisor in Texas reported about 50 percent.
In contrast, another Florida Advisor said the tax incentive program has done little for his business (perhaps due to working with out of country home buyers) as well as an Advisor in Washington state.
With the tax incentive ending November 30, 2009, Agent Advisors agreed that it would be wise to continue the tax incentive after a period of time, perhaps next year, so that the program continues to provide a sense of urgency to buy a home this year.
Advisors also discussed the issue of making the phone number field on lead forms optional. An Advisor in Florida said that it increased his conversions and still received phone numbers from about 50 percent of people filling out his website form [to get more information].
A Colorado Advisor who is a member of AgentView discussed cross referencing links from his blog, the HomeGain Blog and the HomeGain Blog to provide more information to consumers, drive more traffic to his website and keep potential clients within his realm.
The HomeGain Advisors will meet again in October.