What homebuyers are really stressing about

Plus, rough news about housing affordability

Know thyself

One of the big buzzwords in the business world over the past decade has been branding. Everyone has become conscious of how they present their individual brand to their world, across their LinkedIn, Facebook, and all other sorts of profiles.

Of course, this is nothing new to us real estate agents.

We are the product we are selling. This is why knowing our personal brand is so crucial for us. We want to make sure we are presenting ourselves to clients, both current and potential, in the way that we want to be seen.

If you scroll down to today’s Foundation Plans, we offer a few solid steps you can take to make this happen.

Keep in mind–your brand is something that can change as you change. So, if you haven’t done it in a while, we suggest taking some time today to make sure you feel good about your brand, and if there are any changes you want to make.

- James and David

More bad news about housing affordability

Source: Zillow

Housing affordability is about as bad as it’s been during the past 15 years. That’s the conclusion Zillow reached in its latest analysis of the current housing market. Here’s why:

  • If rates hit 8%, the income needed to afford a typical home would rise from about $107,000 at today’s mortgage rates to nearly $114,000

  • Mortgage rates surpassed a 22-year high this month and look like they may climb above 8% for the first time since August 2000

  • Homeowners with mortgage rates below 5% are nearly twice as likely to want to hang onto their current home. The further mortgages depart from the 5% mark, the deeper the inventory crisis gets.

Our take

Mortgage rates, even more than home prices, are what’s causing housing unaffordability right now. Unfortunately, all the signs indicate that they are only going higher. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the heads of NAR, NAHB, and the MBA have all written to the Fed to stop raising rates! We’re not sure what good that will do. The best thing you can do as an agent is to help buyers know the financial options they have at their disposal, from seller financing to rate buydowns to homebuilder incentives to down-payment assistance programs. We’re gonna have to get creative until rates stabilize and buyers get used to the new normal.

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Homebuying is more stressful than… what???

Source: Redfin

59% of recent homebuyers say purchasing a house is more stressful than dating. That’s according to a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics on homebuyers in the current market. Here are some of the other key findings:

  • Divorce and finding a new job were the only two life events that a majority of respondents said are more stressful than buying a home

  • Millennials and Gen X were more likely to say homebuying is more stressful than dating

  • However, Boomers and Gen Zers were most likely to say dating is more stressful than homebuying

Our take

First of all…. boy, are we glad we’re not dating anymore! Second, if there’s any proof for why homebuyers need agents, this is surely it. Our clients need our expertise and perspective to help them through this daunting process. Many people who enter the market don’t know about the first thing about financing and deal-making, so it’s our job to make the whole process as stress-free as possible. We can help them find the home of their dreams. However, the spouse of their dreams? That might be a bit harder.

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Latest developments in Anywhere-RE/MAX settlements

Last week, Anywhere and RE/MAX revealed the terms of their respective proposed settlements in two of the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl cases. Here are some of the key terms of those settlements:

  • NAR membership is no longer required

  • Agents must clearly disclose that commissions are fully negotiable and not set by law

  • No more minimum commission requirements

The National Association of Realtors has vowed not to settle and has said that the proposed settlements do not change how its case will be presented in court.

Our take

While this is another blow to NAR, it comes as a relief to us. The terms, as we understand them so far, are entirely sensible, and the changes requested by the plaintiffs are totally doable. They won’t alter how most agents do business. The requested changes are geared more toward consumer transparency than wholesale changes to the real estate market.

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The news that just missed the cut

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

As we mentioned up top, branding yourself is a key component in real estate. It’s how you define yourself professionally and distinguish yourself from others. We’d like to offer you some tips on how we came to define our brand.

Understand who you are as an agent - Ask yourself some deep questions: What are your goals? What are your values? What is your mission? How do all of these set you apart from other agents? Get specific! Write down your answers, and focus on creating a unique message. That will help you form the heart of your brand.

Craft a compelling elevator pitch about yourself - After you’ve examined yourself, develop a concise and persuasive elevator pitch that explains who you are, what you do, and the benefits you offer to your clients. This will not only help introduce yourself but will leave an impression on the people you meet. You may not win them over every time, but they won’t forget you.

Determine how to communicate your brand - We know social media can open up a whole can of worms, but the great part about IG and LinkedIn and all these platforms is that YOU get to determine everything about how you want to present yourself to the world. What tone do you want to set? What audience do you want to speak to? What information about yourself do you want to share with prospective clients? Again, getting specific and nailing down the answers to these questions will go a long way to helping you stand out.

We encourage you to listen to our conversation with Mauricio Umansky, CEO of The Agency. He shares a lot of lessons he’s learned about branding over the years. Check it out and tell us what you think. – Apple | Spotify | YouTube

The 1% Blueprint

An on-demand course created by James & David

Discover our strategies and techniques to attract a stream of high-quality leads, propelling your real estate business to new heights of success.

For Blueprint subscribers, the course is 30% for a limited time. If you’d like to take our course to learn how to become the top 1% of your market click here!

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Mortgage News Daily

That’s a wrap on this edition of The Blueprint!

If you’re new to the Blueprint community, we want to hear what you think! What’s your take on today’s stories and tips? Send us a note with your comments, questions, or suggestions.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you back here on Friday!

- James and David