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Aug. 29, 2019

How to get a listing a week: Evaluate and adapt.

The prevailing belief within the real estate industry is to think that each business is a one-size-fits-all business. Every prospect gets the same script. Every buyer gets signed up for home searches, sees properties and then closes. Every seller takes photos, throws the home on MLS and then hopes it sells. It’s the way it has always been done. It’s what the consumer expects, which is why so many agents are viewed as commodities. Everyone does the same thing, provides the same value and consequently is worth the same commission at the closing table.

 

Most agents are only perpetuating this assumption. It’s just the same thing over and over again. They peddle the same basic systems, steps and even narratives to everyone. But you’re not most agents. Providing world-class value involves a customized approach for each and every client. You have to evaluate and adapt accordingly. 

 

Expert consultants take the time to evaluate the needs of their client. You should spend a substantial portion of your initial consultation understanding the motivation, timeline, and goals of your clients. Once you have a firm understanding, you’re able to prescribe the best course of action. Evaluate their needs and adapt your services.

 

Agents who want to tell their clients how they will lead them before hearing the needs of their clients are no different than a doctor writing a prescription before asking for the patient’s symptoms. It’s foolish and is by no means the best way to care for the client. Too many agents struggle with this because they want the shortest possible route to a commission check.

 

This doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of overlap when you compare one client’s process to another. Sometimes what is best for this client is also best for that one. However, the overlap should only exist because it really is what is best for multiple clients rather than because it’s the only way you know how to do it.

 

Now let’s step back and take a broader look at the need to adapt and evaluate your business. The need for this is no more evident than when it comes to seasonal adjustments. You will prospect and lead clients differently in fall and winter than you will in spring and summer. You won’t work any less hard. You won’t provide lesser service. You may not even do less business. It will just look different.

 

Plenty of homes are still sold in the fall, but the route we take to the closing table may look different. We need to evaluate how the difference in the season and consequently the market is going to force us to adapt. 

 

We will deal with prospects differently from one season to the next. In the fall, we need to speak into the fallacy that all real estate transactions happen between March 1 and September 1. It’s just not true. This is another lie that the industry peddles.

 

Prospects need expert advice to understand that they can still achieve their goals in the fall. In fact, they can take advantage of the myth that the market slows down. If they’re trying to sell, all of the sudden a huge chunk of the competition is going to be convinced that they shouldn’t go on the market. This creates natural scarcity for sellers.

 

But wait! Won’t all the buyers disappear? Nope. Even if the number of buyers in the market drops, creating less demand, they will drop in proportion with the sellers, so supply will drop too. It’s not as if everyone still wants to sell and no one wants to buy. The numbers of buyers and sellers in the market will fluctuate together when you’re looking at seasonal changes.

 

Generally speaking, a big chunk of the buyers leaving the market in the fall were probably just tire kickers, to begin with, if they just gave up when September rolled around. If a buyer is seriously looking in the fall, they seriously need a home. A seller may get fewer offers, but each one of those buyers is going to be all-in on getting home. I don’t need to explain how fewer buyers in the market are beneficial to the buyers. There is far less competition for them to deal with.

 

Good agents will grasp that they can still help clients buy and sell in the fall. Great agents will know how they can adapt their strategies to take advantage of the fall. They will use this information to their advantage. They’ll steal houses for their buyers from homeowners who think they’re forced to settle just because the leaves changed color. They’ll create absurd amounts of scarcity and urgency for their sellers, forcing buyers to bring their best and highest where other sellers are just sitting on their hands panicking.

 

What do you need to do to make this the best fall and winter of your career? What opportunities do you see to do more deals and provide better service while other agents are going into hibernation?

Aug. 20, 2019

What Will 300K Get You in Richardson, TX?

The 2nd city in our series about What 300K will get you in Dallas Fort Worth Real Estate is about Richardson, TX. Todd breaks down 2 different homes in East Richardson and West Richardson and what you can typically find in the $300,000 price range. 

Aug. 19, 2019

Where Can You Find a Buyer's Market in DFW?

Todd examines the luxury real estate market in Dallas Fort Worth and finds that its actually in a buyers market which far different than the general trend in DFW Real Estate.

Posted in Market Reports
Aug. 12, 2019

Is it Better to Buy & Sell a Home When School is Out? [Transcriptions]

The question this week is sort of an age-old question and a really good one: Is it better to buy and sell a home when school is out? Right now in North Texas the typical timeline to find, get under contract and fully close and fund on a home is about 90 days. It can definitely be done faster, but it wouldn't be smart to plan for a lot less.

It might take you two, three, four or five weeks to find something. Then it's definitely going take you four-to-six weeks to get it closed and funded unless you may be an all-cash buyer. So I would plan on that being attended 12-week process in all. So you give yourself the time and the freedom to find a home you love, not be pressured into buying something, overpaying for something or settling for something that you didn't want.

So that being said, let's go back to the original question, is summertime when school's out the best time to buy and sell? My short answer is no, but I'll say this, it's still a great time to buy and sell. It's not necessarily any better because of real estate reasons. It might be better for you for personal reasons. It certainly sounds like a good idea to move when the kids are out of school.

Now here's the deal: If you're moving far enough that the school that your children would go to is changing, then this certainly makes more sense, or maybe during the winter break or the summer break. I typically prefer the winter break, but the summer break is fine too when the kids are out and you can transition them from one school to another, one campus to another, during that type of break.

Other than that, if you're moving within the neighborhood or within the district area where you're going to stay at the same school, I've counseled many clients over the last 20 or so years through the idea that moving while your children are in school is actually really helpful. The kids can be at school all day while you're managing the details of what can be a stressful situation even if it's not super stressful. It's a detailed, time consuming and energy-consuming process.

So the reason I say no is not because it's definitely universally the best. It's important to think about whether you’re doing this because you personally thought through what is best for your family and finances, or are you doing this because it's something people have sort of always said you should do? People have always said that's the best time.

My philosophy around this is if people have always said it, I want to question it. I found some of my biggest gains, improvements, growth, and success have been when I did something different than everybody else in our business. We don't want to be like every other real estate agent. We want to be world-class. We want to be more like a world-class surgeon than the normal agents.

So just think about that for you and your situation. Summer's a great time to move. There's nothing wrong with that. We go back to school in North Texas in mid-August, which means you really need to be closed and funded on a house by mid-July so that you have that the 30-day period of living out of boxes and figuring out what goes to what closet and drawer before. Kind of the craziness of back to school and heading into the fall season starts again.

Now a lot of people would prefer to get into that new house early summer so they can enjoy the new home, the additional space, the backyard, the lower expenses or whatever it may be all summer long. And in order to do that right now, mid-March is the best time to get started.

So you give yourself the wiggle room, you have that full 90 days, mid-March to mid-June. 90 days gets you to mid-June so that you can give yourself plenty of time to shop, not be pressured into buying something, get it negotiated, leave time for any repairs or any potential delays, and then still get into that home and be able to enjoy the whole summer.

So is it the best time to buy and sell? Depends on your family situation. There is no real estate market reason to think that the summer is better. Summer can be actually an expensive time to buy for buyers. If you don't have a great strategy in summer, it can be a highly competitive time to sell for sellers.

If you don't have a great strategy if you're looking to put together a great strategy, click one of those links below and let us know how we can help you. We'd love to earn your trust and your business.

Posted in Transcriptions
Aug. 12, 2019

Garland, TX - Relocating/Moving to Dallas/Fort Worth #14 [Transcriptions]

Today we're talking about Garland, Texas. Garland is a really cool city that there's a lot of information that kind of surprises people. Despite Garland being the second-largest city in Dallas County, a lot of people think of it as a smaller town. There are about 240,000 residents in Garland. It's actually the 12th the largest city in Texas as of the last census.

Off to the northeast of Dallas, Garland has been thought of in the past as an industrial type of city. There's some manufacturing in Garland, but there's a lot more. Actually, it's one of the best employment markets in the country.

Residential property wise, there's a wide array of property. It's one of the areas where that entry-level first-time home buyer property can still be had under $200,000. There's not much of that left in Garland, but there's a little bit of that left and parts of Garland. There are also some high-end parts of Garland, especially around the Firewheel area, which features Firewall Town Center, a great huge retail development, as well as the Firewheel neighborhood near Firewheel Golf Park. This public access golf area features multiple highly-regarded courses.

Garland Independent School District, has really come onto the scene lately as a technology-focused school district. There's been some change in the district staffing, and there's a lot of positive momentum moving forward. Garland is an interesting school district because it allows you to apply to send your student to any campus in the whole district. So if you have a high school student, you can choose which high school your student goes to. Typically you will be accepted to go to the school of your choice. Students can be bussed to the school that's nearest to their home, but as long as parents are willing to take care of transportation, they can go to other campuses. There are a number of magnet campuses and some advanced study options throughout the different campuses.

Location-wise in the far northeast, Garland is a great entry point to the extended eastern part of the DFW Metroplex where it is still easy to get back into Dallas. Highway 78 is a straight shot in, and then 190 George Bush Tollway allows you to get back and around the metro flux to just about wherever you want to go.

Garland's has an older feel near the downtown area that's being revitalized. There are some older feed stores and some history there, but as well as some new development and quite a few different areas. It offers some great food and entertainment options in Garland and some new things popping up.

There's a new residential development in the south and western parts of Garland where some land has been there for a long time and is now being developed on a large scale.

My last thought on Garland is that, for a long time, Garland has been overlooked by some of the booming development around it. Really Garland has caught up a lot in the last several years. So for a 2019 viewpoint on Garland, there a lot of positives, and the opportunity to get into Garland at the current prices probably are not going to last long. The opportunity in Garland comes from that fact that you can get the same house in other communities for a higher price. It's more affordable in Garland. Again, I don't think that's going to last very long. It’s a highly desirable place to live because it's so close in and the affordability is still there. So get it while you can, cause I don't think that it will last.

Posted in Transcriptions
Aug. 12, 2019

Rowlett, TX - Relocating / Moving to Dallas Fort Worth #16 [Transcriptions]

Rowlett, Texas is partially located in Dallas County and partially in Rockwall County. Don't get it confused with Rockwall, a neighboring town But Rowlett, Texas is a great community known as a down-to-earth family-oriented area with just about everything that you could hope find in the world of residential real estate.

There are some homes on land and larger acreage properties as well as lakefront properties on Lake Ray Hubbard. The town gets its name is Rowlett Creek, which is kind of a fork of the Trinity River that pours into Lake Ray Hubbard. Rowlett used to sit on the edge of the Metroplex and felt a little bit more country than it currently does.

Rowlett feeds into Garland schools, which we address in greater detail in other blogs and videos. The big thing to know about Garlard ISD is that families can choose which campuses that their children attend.

The city as a whole is generally thought of as well-run city. It plays host to a some great city events and has a number of quality parks. This gives it a neat community feel.

The location makes it pretty easy to get around the metroplex as it sits fairly close to 190 and the George Bush Tollway. This can cut into Dallas, or you can go the other way to 75 Central. It is on the far northeast side of the Metroplex, but because of the location to major roadways, it’s a pretty nice spot to be in and still, be able to commute to most parts of the Dallas side of things.

Lake Ray Hubbard is a big draw for the community. The marinas make the lake accessible to boats. It’s also a highly-regarded area for fishing. It draws all sorts of ranges of individuals and families.

Homes are priced from a reasonable entry point just under $200,000. Other properties stretch well into the millions with some of the larger acreage properties and development communities. So you've got kind of a nice range from open land to lakefront and just about everything in between.

There are some neat things happening in downtown areas where urban development is bringing new dining and entertainment options.

In the past, you may have not thought much about Rowlett because it was thought of as a pretty small town on the edge, but now it's getting up to around 70,000 residents. It's a decent-sized community with a lot of really great city services and events to offer the community.

 

Posted in Transcriptions
Aug. 12, 2019

Rowlett announces new deal to restart stalled development with Crystal Lagoon along Lake Ray Hubbard

After resolving some of the development issues with a previous contractor, the city of Rowlett is ready to restart some of the development of their new Lagoon!

Aug. 9, 2019

State of the Market 2019

What is the State of the Real Estate Market in DFW in 2019 so far? Todd breaks down what you can expect for the rest of the year for agents, home buyers, and home sellers. 

Posted in Market Reports
Aug. 7, 2019

Is it too late to buy a house before school starts? Is that a bad thing?

Is it right to worry about missing your chance to get into a home before school starts? Todd is joined by his son Carter to answer these questions.

Posted in Question & Answer
Aug. 6, 2019

Does the Weather Affect the Real Estate Market? [Transcripts]

Did the seasonal changes and the weather patterns in our North Texas market actually impact the real estate market? This question is one that we get a few times a year. And the answer, of course, is yes. I say of course because it's so obvious to me even though I see all sorts of real estate agents making really bad mistakes on behalf of their clients around this topic, just ignoring the weather and how it can impact your house, your home and the offers you receive.

 

During the heart of spring, and the weather warms up enough that some of those grasses and flowers are fully coming into bloom. Things just look better, especially with some of the storms we get. The yard starts to fill in, looking rich and green.

Whether you like to believe it or not, photos with nicer yards look better. Buyers are more optimistic as they walk from the curb to the house. Many of these homes they simply think of more highly. They're more interested in buying them, and they're willing to pay more for them. So yes, the weather does impact the housing market.

When we have a hailstorm or a windstorm or even just the forecast of one of those things, the activity in our market really does taper off. Fewer buyers get out, and fewer sellers put their home on the market. Obviously, weather can change day-to-day, and as we get into seasonal shifts we need to prepare accordingly. Seasonality allows us to leverage, the plants, flowers , and trees to really impact our marketing in a positive way.

Posted in Transcriptions