Smart strategy for first-time homebuyers?

Plus, top 10 emerging U.S. cities

Ben Teller
April 29, 2022

How we approach networking

James here. A lot of people ask me how we started meeting potential clients back when we were first getting into the luxury market. Did we hand out business cards everywhere we went? Did we go to all those networking events and meet new people?

I have to tell you, I have never been that person who walks around with a stack of business cards in his pocket! For me, I think it has to be organic. Being yourself is all that matters. Have confidence, know that you have what it takes, remain authentic and greatness will come. Don't rely on gimmicks.

If I go to a networking event, I know I’m not going to meet anyone there because there’s 50 other people in the room doing the exact same thing. It’s too hard to stand out and make meaningful connections. I’ve just never enjoyed them or found them to be successful.

Get up and do your best every day. That’s how I’ve found my best clients and made meaningful connections. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, which means you’ve got to get up, get dressed, and get out there!

- James 

Closing costs are on the rise

Source: Unsplash

Home prices and interest rates aren’t the only climbing costs for today’s buyers. According to data from CoreLogic, closing costs hit an average of $7,000 for a typical single-family home. That’s a YoY jump of 13.4%.

Why the steep increase? Lenders started raising their fees last year to help cover growing loan expenses and to compensate for decreasing loan volume. Tight inventory and higher prices meant the average lender processed fewer loans at a higher cost than in prior years, and buyers started paying for it. 

Our take

Tell your buyers to shop around before they settle with one lender. Some mortgage brokers are charging more for loans which raises borrowing costs. Your buyers can actually apply through several different lenders, let those lenders know they’re shopping around, and potentially get a better deal. 

House-hacking: the next millennial trend

Source: Unsplash

Due to the low housing supply and surging home prices, an increasing number of millennial buyers are using “house-hacking” to be able to afford their first home. House-hackers are essentially live-in landlords. They rent out portions of their homes to vacationers who book via Airbnb and other platforms. According to Airbnb, new hosts made an average of $9,600 last year. With home prices on the rise, this additional income is helping millennials buy homes they otherwise couldn’t afford

Our Take

Overall, this is a really smart strategy to help buyers get into their first homes. It means they’ll have more streams of income and will build equity in their property. This strategy is best-served for homeowners who live in a walkable area, have a private entrance for guests, and other amenities that make it a strong short-term rental listing. 

Q1’s top emerging cities

Source: Unsplash

It’s that time again… time for Realtor.com’s emerging cities report. This report scores the 300 biggest metros on factors like home prices, inventory, local wages, average commute, property taxes, and a host of other data points. In Q1, the top-ranking metros had better wages and commute times, plus faster home sales than the overall market. 

Top 10 emerging metro areas of Q1: 

  1. Rapid City, SD
  2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
  3. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
  4. Santa Rosa, CA
  5. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL
  6. Boulder, CO
  7. Coeur D’Alene, ID
  8. Fort Collins, CO
  9. Billings, MT
  10. Raleigh, NC

Our take

Several of these cities are big vacation destinations. With travel restrictions lifted and more people looking to snag that second home before rates skyrocket, it’s no wonder these areas made the list. If you’re near one of these emerging markets, keep networking to build up your referral partners! When people are looking to move into these metros, you’ll want to be positioned as one of the top local agents in the area.

Schematics 

The news that just missed the cut

Source: Dirt

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

What makes an open house really strong? Here are our top tips:

  • Promote it to the neighborhood. Put out lots of signs all around the neighborhood and surrounding streets. You want everyone in a five-mile radius to know about it.
  • Use your socials. Hype your open house on all your social media platforms. Tease the best features of the home and encourage your followers to stop by.
  • Send mailers. A few days before the open, send mailers out to the nearby neighborhoods. You’ll get more visitors through the doors and show the local owners that you’re active in their area. 
  • Advertise refreshments. Do more than just serve up some refreshments, let people know they can come get them for free! If you’re baking your grandma’s famous cookies or serving cocktails, put that in your marketing materials. People love free food.
  • Hold opens at different times. Offer a daytime open house and one at twilight. 

Q&A

You ask, James and David answer!

Q: Curious to get your take on using "Coming Soon" for an upcoming listing. Can you describe the strategy in doing this?

Steven, The Blueprint reader (California)

A: We think this is an absolutely great strategy. You can easily build it into your listing presentation. It’s a great opportunity to put your listing out there and test the waters before it hits the market. You can try out the price point, get some feedback on the property, and make strategic adjustments, all before that property officially hits the MLS. Plus, if your client would rather sell their property off-market, it’s another way to get potential buyers through the door.

James & David

Just in Case

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

Source: Rocket Mortgage

As the month comes to a close, take a moment for some self-reflection this weekend. Are you where you want to be in your business? What’s going well and what needs to change in May? What can you stop and celebrate? Intentional reflection like this gives you the opportunity to recalibrate, quickly and often! 

Have a great weekend!

- James and David

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