Why investors are in sell mode

Plus, how to find your niche

Finding your X-Factor

We know we work in a very competitive business, and if you’re like us, you’re always looking to get an edge on the competition. So what does it take to convince clients to work with you?

Is it being the smartest person in the room? We can tell you that’s not the case. We’ll freely admit that there are people who are smarter than we are!

Is it how hard you work? That obviously plays a huge factor, but sometimes clients can’t see the work until they’ve hired you.

However, there is one thing they can see from the get-go: your passion and enthusiasm. That can win ANYONE over. When you love what you do, people will want to work with you.

But we know that advice certainly always isn’t one-size-fits-all. All you agents out there: take a moment to think about what helped you win listing appointments in the past. Was there something you brought to those meetings that put you over the top? Identify that, and double down!

- James and David

Applications surge as mortgage rates fall

Source: Unsplash

Last week, mortgage applications increased for the fifth straight week (up 8% overall) as rates on 30-year mortgages dipped. Buyers appear unfazed by mortgage rates over 6%, signaling that higher rates are not a major deterrent.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Homebuying activity is still down compared to other spring seasons due to lower housing inventory.

  • A substantial number of home sales were paid in cash, with Bright MLS reporting that 20% of recent buyers were cash buyers.

  • Higher mortgage rates may stick around, but Fed rate increases should ease.

Our take

As we have said for the past few months, buyers will get creative to purchase homes if they find a home they love. As agents, we just have to work a little harder than before to get that deal done. Ask yourself how you can go the extra distance to keep in touch with a potential client. Are you going to send them a video message if they don’t respond after 4 touch points? Are you going to throw a fun networking event with your office and invite as many people as you can? Get creative because there are deals to be done!

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Bright MLS survey shows jump in investor property listings

Source: Unsplash

Investment and rental properties are taking up a greater share of home listings this spring. Those properties make up the second-highest number of property listings right now (16%), behind only owners who are selling due to a major life event (19%).

Here are the survey's key takeaways:

  • Patterns suggest that people who purchased second homes during the pandemic in coastal markets are looking to offload as we head into the summer.

  • Approximately one in six home sales in March was a rental or investment property.

  • More investment properties are being listed because investors are not impacted by “mortgage rate lock” in the same way that primary residence owners are.

  • Delaware had the greatest share of sales of investment or rental properties, accounting for 21.4% of March sales. Maryland came in second at 19.1%.

Our take

We have an inventory shortage right now, so this is a good sign for the market. It’s also crucial for the state of the housing market that people don’t go underwater or foreclose on homes, so this looks like a responsible action by homeowners. As agents, that means more opportunity for us to get new clients. If you work in a coastal market, or one with a lot of Airbnbs, start to identify those zip codes and go door-knock!

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The hottest and coolest markets right now

Source: Unsplash

Realtor.com released a list of the top U.S. markets where home sales have accelerated and cooled the fastest, based on days on the market.

Here are the 5 metros where houses are selling fast:

  1. Erie, PA

  2. Traverse City, MI

  3. Youngstown, OH

  4. Peoria, IL

  5. Charleston, WV

And here are the 5 metros where homes are staying on the market longer:

  1. Huntsville, AL

  2. Chico, CA

  3. Raleigh, NC

  4. Hilo, HI

  5. Lebanon, NH

Our take

This is another reminder to us that real estate is hyperlocal. Every market’s conditions are unique, and it’s our responsibility as agents to understand that. If the homes are selling fast or slow in your market, try to figure out why. We’re really spending time talking with our colleagues to better understand what is happening in the market, so we can share that information with our clients.

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The news that just missed the cut

Source: therealdeal.com

  • Check out this $52M waterfront Boca Raton estate

  • Why Redfin just laid off 4% of its workforce

  • Use these trending TikTok sounds in your videos this week

  • For Succession fans only (spoilers!)

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

We've all heard the saying "you can't be everything to everyone," and that's true for real estate agents, too! To grow your career, it's important to narrow your focus and work on becoming the best agent in a particular area or niche. Narrowing your focus can be hard, especially as a new agent, so our friends at Broke Agent made a list of three great real estate niche ideas:

  • Geographic area. If you want to be the go-to agent for a certain city or neighborhood, this might be the perfect niche for you. But this niche is the most common one for agents, so be sure that you include something extra to set you apart from other local agents like your years of experience or extra expertise.

  • Customer type. Agents can niche down by narrowing the type of clients they serve. It can be effective to specialize in luxury real estate or in helping seniors looking to downsize, especially if you have a connection to a certain group of buyers.

  • Property type. Specializing in a particular type of property, like waterfront homes or condos, is another good niche for agents. This niche is very susceptible to market changes, so pair this one with another like geographic area or years of experience.

Want to learn more about finding your niche as an agent? Click to read the article.


You ask, James and David answer!

Q: I'm in a bad financial position where I'm going to have to go from being a full-time agent to a part-time agent. But I love door-knocking! How do you recommend I keep going strong despite being part-time?

- Mitchell, The Blueprint reader, Ohio

A: First of all, don’t get discouraged! This is a tough industry, and it’s a hard time to be an agent. It’s great that you love door-knocking because we do, too! Set a goal for yourself for each month. Find a way to reach that goal, whether it’s knocking for 2 hours a day, or 8 hours a day on the weekends. Hold yourself accountable to reaching this goal, and remind yourself that these things take time!

- James & David

We’ll be back next week with another answer to a real reader question. Submit yours here!

Just in Case

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

Source: Rocket Mortgage

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

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

- James and David