First-Ever Proptech Franchise Opportunity Creates Ancillary Revenue Stream Through Predictive Behavior Platform

There are thousands of real estate data platforms available to practitioners that assist agents and brokers in simplifying workflows, improving transparency, and attracting and retaining new business. Until now, however, there has not been a consumer-facing platform that accomplishes all of the above, and more, while also providing a franchise opportunity that allows business owners to reap the financial rewards of the consumers and agents leveraging the platform.

“If someone would have said ‘I’m going to give you the exclusive rights to Dotloop or ShowingTime or Skyslope, and every agent in this area that uses any of those platforms is going to pay you a percentage every single month, that’s basically what we’re offering to the industry,” says MooveGuru CEO and Founder Scott Oakley of the company’s newly launched platform, YourHomeHub—the first proptech franchise available in real estate, according to the company.

“Never has a broker or mortgage entity ever been able to be involved on an ownership level and we decided to change that,” says Oakley.

“Scott Oakley and his MooveGuru team’s proptech franchise is an innovative offering that has identified and created a system providing real estate organizations opportunities to generate new long-term revenue streams from ancillary services, helping to augment their existing business model,” says RISMedia Founder, President and CEO John Featherston. “This is another example of innovation coming from within our own industry’s ranks!”

With YourHomeHub, the first portal that allows homeowners to manage both the financial details and physical elements of their home, consumers can monitor extensive information about their home and local market conditions, store important documents, generate accurate estimates for home repairs and find a local contractor for over 1,000 different home service categories.

What’s more, this powerful homeowner resource can be provided by a real estate professional or loan officer, as a gift to their customers at no cost to them. As part of the package, real estate professionals also receive exclusive marketing opportunities to their spheres of influence, preventing competitors from engaging with their most-coveted contacts from the dashboard.

“Our brokerage firm has been using MooveGuru since it launched,” says Greg Martin, president and managing broker of Atlanta-based ERA Sunrise Realty, who is currently leveraging the YourHomeHub franchise model.

“The value it has provided to our agent’s client relationships has been substantial, just one more reason that our firm has achieved the highest level of customer satisfaction three years in a row among any ERA real estate brokerage,” he says. “We see the additional product features and value-added services of YourHomeHub as expanding the client experience even further.”

A Consumer-Facing Product

The new platform provides consumers with several data points and resources they can leverage in their home-buying and selling process, including:

  • Home Values: Home values with up-to-date market comparisons alongside homeowners’ mortgage
  • Repairs: No obligation renovation calculators for the most common home updates and repairs
  • Savings: Savings on common home-related expenses from local and national service providers
  • Moving: White glove service helps with utility connections plus savings on movers and truck rentals

Generating Leads Automatically Via a Predictive-Behavior Platform

While consumers see the value in the platform’s transparent data, which helps inform their home-buying and selling decisions, the other side of the value proposition lands on real estate agents who now have access to a lead generation platform that leverages predictive modeling to identify buying and selling “triggers” that merit immediate follow-up so the agent can convert more business.

The average agent has 397 sphere-of-influence contacts in their system, according to the 68 back-end systems MooveGuru pulls from, including Keller Williams’ Command, Realogy’s Dash and MoxiWorks. But agents are losing significant business by not  identifying which of these contacts actually plans to buy or sell real estate in the short-term.

“We are able to upload all of those sphere-of-influence contacts and give them access to YourHomeHub,” says Oakley, adding that YourHomeHub then informs agents when their contacts click on one of 28 different buying and selling triggers within the hub. These can be anything from clicking on a blog about real estate to searching for the day’s average mortgage interest rates.

“You’re really only going to click on ‘What are today’s mortgage rates?’ if one, you’re interested in refinancing your home or two, buying or selling. So that’s a selling sign,” says Oakley. “The challenge agents have is that they have 397 contacts but the average agent only does seven transactions. But statistically, 37 of are going to buy or sell a home this year.”

Once the platform identifies these opportunities, YourHomeHub immediately contacts the agent to let them know someone in their sphere of influence has clicked on a buying or selling trigger. From there, the agent can take action.

“Real estate agents generally do a poor job maintaining contact with their past clients. They get busy focusing on servicing current buyers and sellers so it’s understandable. YourHomeHub keeps our agents ‘front and center’ so that our clients won’t easily forget who provided them with great real estate service,” says Martin.

“The added bonus is that if the client performs any one of several built-in buying or selling triggers, such as reading the blog on preparing your house to sell, our agent is immediately notified that their client is considering a move,” adds Martin. “Currently, there is no good automated way to know what a past client is planning and this should increase our ability to continue our great relationship with them, which will benefit our agents with additional business from people who already like them.”

While MooveGuru does offer a free version of the product, it only identifies that a consumer has clicked on a trigger but does not clarify who did so and which trigger was selected. YourHomeHub’s paid service offers robust, actionable data.

Increasing Cash Flow by Adopting Technology That Works for You

“The average real estate brokerage makes like $150 per real estate transaction,” Oakley quips. ” can’t afford to not have ancillary revenue.”

The YourHomeHub franchise opportunity provides more than lead generation and consumer engagement. It’s a chance for brokers, lenders, title officers, MLSs and more to leverage technology that’s going to increase their wealth two-fold, through an ancillary revenue stream and the additional earnings garnered via increased closed transactions.

“We flipped the franchise model on its head,” says Oakley. “MooveGuru will be the revenue collector, accounting, customer support, product development, technology, corporate trainer—we will be everything. All the franchise has to do is market and sell this to agents. And then we actually pay the franchisee.”

According to Oakley, the money from agents choosing to leverage the platform is collected via credit card by MooveGuru, which then pays the franchisee every month.

Oakley says the platform is garnering a lot of interest from its broker and lender relationships. “Three of our first franchisees all own multiple businesses in the real estate space and are looking for another ancillary revenue stream. YourHomeHub offers this for brokerages and as a non-dues revenue source for MLSs. The potential is enormous.”

“We’ve already had 14 franchises purchased,” says Oakley of the product’s immediate success. While MooveGuru and HomeKeepr are nationwide, YourHomeHub is available to MooveGuru partners, approved for franchising in 37 states right now.

“We expect the remaining dozen or so within the next three months,” he adds.

“Commissions are being squeezed and are under tremendous competitive and potentially even legislative pressure. Brokers are scrambling to find additional revenue streams including ancillary services,” says Martin. “For us, monetizing the YourHomeHub franchise revenues is one way to bring in more income to complement our title business and mortgage MSA so that we can continue to pay our agents aggressive commission splits, yet maintain the high level of support and tools that we’ve always provided.”

YourHomeHub will officially be launching in mid-November. To learn more about a YourHomeHub franchise and available territories, please email or visit

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to

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DOJ Fires Back at NAR With Court Filing of its Own

The courtroom volley between The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) wages on. This time, the DOJ claims that it should be allowed to investigate NAR because its antitrust settlement wasn’t formalized.

“Contrary to NAR’s suggestions, the Division never committed to refrain from further investigation into NAR and its practices,” claimed the DOJ in an Oct. 13 U.S. District Court filing.

The motion argues that the agreement that the Justice Department withdrew from in July wasn’t finalized, allowing the agency to pursue another investigation into NAR’s policies and practices.

“In 2020, the United States and NAR discussed, and the United States eventually filed, a proposed settlement that would have culminated in entry of a consent judgment by the Court, but no consent judgment was ever entered,” said DOJ Senior Counsel James Luh in the court filing.

The recent motion by the Justice Department also seeks to have the courts deny a petition that NAR filed in September to quash DOJ’s attempt to back out of the settlement that the Antitrust Division approved in November 2020.

The petition noted that the Antitrust Division agreed to close civil antitrust investigations concerning two of NAR’s policies for multiple listing services (MLS), called the Participation Rule and the Clear Cooperation Policy.

The DOJ admitted that it sent a letter to NAR confirming that it closed an investigation of NAR’s Participation Rule and Clear Cooperation. However, the court filing asserts that “the three-sentence closing letter contained no commitment to refrain from future investigations of NAR or its practices or from issuing new CIDs in conjunction with such investigations.”

NAR representatives rebuked the Justice Departments’ response, maintaining the association’s stance that the agreement was “fully binding.”

“If DOJ’s view prevails, it would undermine the strong public policy in favor of upholding settlement agreements and public confidence that the government will keep its word,” says NAR spokesperson Mantill William. “We are living up to our commitments under the settlement—we simply expect the DOJ to do the same.”

NAR has maintained its disapproval of the DOJ’s request to back out of the settlement. In previous statements, the association claimed that it was holding up its end of the bargain by implementing agreed-upon changes to repeal or modify certain anticompetitive rules, such as:

– Prohibiting MLSs that are affiliated with NAR from disclosing to prospective buyers the commission that the buyer broker will earn
– Allowing brokers to misrepresent to buyers that a buyer broker’s services are free
– Enabling buyer brokers to filter MLS listings based on the level of commissions offered

Similar changes were featured in a recent series of motions that a NAR committee passed in September to improve transparency and disclosure of compensation offered to buyer agents on association-operated MLSs.

The feud between NAR and DOJ isn’t the first time the two parties have butted heads about the association’s practices. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the organization in 2005, alleging that NAR rules limited competition from real estate brokers who use the internet to serve their customers.

Both parties reached an agreement in 2008 in a settlement that required NAR to remove anti-competitive policies while also forcing MLSs to repeal rules based on said policies.

Williams maintains that NAR remains committed to advancing and defending independent, local real estate organizations that provide greater economic opportunity and equity for small businesses and consumers of all backgrounds and financial means.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to RISMedia for updates.

Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email him your real estate news to

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Mortgage Rates Reach Peak High Since April

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.05%, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) from Freddie Mac. This marks a peak in rates not seen since April.

Mortgage details:

30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.05% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Oct. 14, 2021, up from last week when it averaged 2.99%. Last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.81%.

15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.30% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.23%. Last year, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.35%.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.55% with an average 0.2 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.52%. Last year, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.90%.

How the industry is responding:

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest point since April. As inflationary pressure builds due to the ongoing pandemic and tightening monetary policy, we expect rates to continue a modest upswing.”

“Historically speaking, rates are still low, but many potential homebuyers are staying on the sidelines due to high home price growth. Rising mortgage rates combined with growing home prices make affordability more challenging for potential homebuyers.” — Sam Khater, Freddie Mac Chief Economist

“A question that pops up for millions of homeowners is whether it is a good time to sell their home. Homeowners typically sell their home after 16 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, there are about 20.2 million homeowners that purchased their home in the last 10 to 19 years. Thus, many of these homeowners may wonder if they should sell their home now or wait.

“Here are a couple of big reasons why it’s a good time to sell. First of all, there is no doubt that it’s a seller’s market. Although the market typically slows down in fall, there is still stiff competition among buyers, with multiple offers for each home due to low inventory. As a result, sellers continue to have strong negotiating power as most of them can sell their home for higher than the asking price.

“Comparing sales volume with current inventory, we are also seeing that home-buying activity is very strong. Specifically, more than half of the inventory was sold in August since the sales to inventory ratio was 0.51. Nevertheless, the sales to inventory ratio was only 0.07 back in 2009. Remember that a higher ratio implies a seller’s market, while a lower ratio implies a buyer’s market.” — Nadia Evangelou, National Association of REALTORS ® Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting

“The Freddie Mac fixed rate for a 30-year loan rose this week, despite the downward trajectory of the 10-year Treasury yield. The rate rose 6 basis points to 3.05%, as investors reacted to higher-than-expected inflation and more than 10 million unfilled job openings. Investors are conflicted about the economic momentum, with clear signs of growth on one hand, and the unknown of an expected monetary tightening on the other. With inflation at a 30-year high and holding, mortgage rates are expected to continue rising.

“For real estate markets, financing costs remain favorable, offering first-time buyers a strong incentive to keep looking. Halfway through October, the number of homes for sale has improved compared to the overheated first half of this year, leading to slower price growth. It seems that buyers and sellers are finally taking a step back from the pandemic-induced stampede of the past year to regain their footing and reassess their next steps. Today’s buyers should evaluate the impact that spending an extra $125 a month on a median home mortgage will have on their monthly budgets and longer-term finances.” — George Ratiu,® Manager of Economic Research

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Free Webinar Breaks Down How to Enter the Luxury Home Market

It’s no secret that the real estate market has been soaring over the past few years, particularly when it comes to luxury or high-end homes. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the percentage of new homes sold above $750K increased 40% in just one year. Suffice it to say, it is a great time to be a luxury real estate agent or broker.

Want to know how you can get in on the action?

McKissock Learning, along with sister school The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, is holding a free webinar that explores that very question.

Our panel of experts, who are renowned for their achievements in the high-end real estate market, will outline the ins and outs of how to break into the highly-coveted luxury home market.

Space is extremely limited, so reserve your spot today!

Join this free webinar on Oct. 26, 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EST.

Meet the Panel

John Wenner
Wenner’s 25-year real estate career has presented him with opportunities to experience numerous markets, gaining priceless wisdom and education instrumental in serving a variety of buyers and sellers. Seeing markets soar and crash encouraged and inspired his passion for this business, thus, developing his skill set as a professional REALTOR® for selling, managing, teaching and mentoring. Wenner is one of only two holders of the DREI (Distinguished Real Estate Instructor) in Arizona, a member of the “Program on Negotiation” at Harvard Law School, and has negotiated a project which landed his signature on the planet Mars on July 4, 1997.

Tami Simms
Simms is a real estate marketing expert and accomplished trainer. Her background in advertising and as a concierge at a luxury resort provides her with real insights on reaching and serving the luxury consumer. Committed to community involvement, Simms has more than twenty years of non-profit board experience and ensures that volunteerism and good corporate citizenship are integral parts of her personal and professional life. She serves on numerous civic, municipal and non-profit boards and committees in her local community and statewide.

Dusty Baker
With consistent sales in Montecito, Hope Ranch, Upper East, Riviera, Mesa and more, Dusty Baker Group is backed by an impeccable track record of success in the area’s most desirable neighborhoods, and in 2020 the team successfully closed more than $110,000,000 in real estate sales. Baker has been featured regularly as a speaker at various industry-related events, and the group and their listings are frequently highlighted in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, CA Home & Design, Haute Living and The Close.

Bob Lucido
Lucido began his real estate career in 1977 at the age of 18 and was one of the youngest people in Maryland to receive his real estate license. Lucido has represented and worked with some of the area’s most successful Builders and Developers, developing winning sales and marketing strategies. In April of 1991, Lucido created Builder’s 1st Choice and in seven short years grew the company to include 300 full-time employees and annual new home sales in excess of $275 million dollars, including a banner year of 3,000 sales in 2006, where sales reached almost $1 billion dollars. Lucido has been involved in the sale of over 30,000 homes and 4,000 lots; more than any other known agent in this region.

McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at

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Remodeling Demand Is Strong Despite Material and Labor Shortages

Remodeler’s confidence increased in the third quarter, with the NAHB/Royal Building Products Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posting a reading of 87, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The NAHB/Royal Building Products RMI survey asks remodelers to rate five components of the remodeling market as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Measuring each question on a scale from 0 to 100, a reading above 50 indicates that a higher share view conditions as good rather than poor.

“Demand for remodeling remains strong, and remodelers are doing quite well as long as they can adequately deal with material and labor shortages,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Steve Cunningham, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Williamsburg, Virginia. “So far, a substantial share of their customers have been willing and able to tolerate the extra cost and delays of requested remodeling projects.”

The Current Conditions Index averages three components: the current market for large remodeling projects, moderately-sized projects and small projects. The Future Indicators Index averages the current rate at which leads and inquiries are coming in and the current backlog of remodeling projects. The overall RMI averages the Current Conditions Index and the Future Indicator Index. Any number over 50 indicates that more remodelers view remodeling market conditions as good rather than poor.

The Current Conditions Index averaged 90, a four-point increase compared to last year. All components also posted increases compared to the third quarter of last year: large remodeling projects ($50,000 or more) increased six points to 86, moderately-sized remodeling projects (at least $20,000 but less than $50,000) increased five points to 91 and small remodeling projects (under $20,000) increased up one point to 91.

The Future Indicator Index averaged 84, up seven points YoY. Both components increased as well: the current rate at which leads and inquiries are coming in rose five points to 83 and the backlog of remodeling jobs increased eight points to 85.

“We are seeing strong demand and continued optimism in the residential remodeling market, despite the fact that supply constraints are severe and widespread,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz in a statement. “For example, well over 90% of remodelers in the third quarter RMI survey reported a shortage of carpenters. And 57% of remodelers reported having slightly raised prices for projects over the last six months, with another 28% indicating a significant increase in price, due in part to higher material costs and ongoing strong demand. Half of these remodelers reported some pricing out of demand due to higher prices for remodeling projects.”

For the full RMI tables, please visit

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Confidence in Housing Makes Near-Record Return

Confidence in housing made a near-record return in November in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), derived from Fannie’s National Housing Survey® (NHS). The HPSI overall posted 87.8 in November, 2.6 percentage points higher than the month prior. The Index hit all-time highs in February of this year, and again in June and September.

“In November, the HPSI rebounded to near its all-time high, returning the Index to its gradual upward trend and suggesting fairly stable consumer home-buying attitudes,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae. “These results are consistent with our expectation that the housing market will continue its modest expansion going forward.”

The share of homebuyers surveyed for the Index who believe now is a good time to buy rose seven percentage points to 29 percent, while the share of sellers who believe now is a good time to sell rose four percentage points to 34 percent. The share of those surveyed who believe home prices will go up rose six percentage points to 46 percent.

Confidence could be impacted, however, by tax reform. Both the House and Senate bills, currently in conference, contain homeownership provisions.

“Next month’s survey should offer the public a first look at the influence that potential tax reform may have on consumers’ views toward housing and the broader economy,” Duncan says.

Source: Fannie Mae

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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NAR Power Broker Roundtable: A Look at the Year Ahead

This month’s National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable introduces Christina Pappas, district sales manager for The Keyes Company and incoming moderator of the Roundtable for 2018.

Moderator: Robert Bailey, Broker/Owner, Bailey Properties Inc., Santa Cruz, Calif.; 2017 Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR

Panelist: Christina Pappas, District Sales Manager, Keyes Company, Miami, Fla.; 2018 Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR

Robert Bailey: Welcome, Christina! It seems impossible that a year has passed since I stepped into this liaison post, but it has, and it’s been a busy year at that. It’s been challenging but productive, and I have to say, I’ve enjoyed every discussion we’ve had, so it’s a real pleasure to put the reins in your very capable hands.

Christina Pappas: Thanks, Robert. I’ve been following your monthly discussions with interest, and I appreciate the fact that there’s always something of value for brokers and agents to take away. I look forward to scheduling timely topics to explore and adding new and diverse perspectives.

RB: For readers who may not know you, Christina, I should point out that you literally grew up in the real estate world, the daughter of Mike Pappas, whose Keyes Company has been a force in Florida real estate for—believe it or not—more than 90 years!

CP: Yes, well, that’s true, and in fact, we’ve been a family business for most of that time. My grandfather bought the company from the original owner more than 50 years ago, so my dad literally grew up in it, as well. You might say we are poster kids for the family-owned real estate business.

RB: All of which means you are well aware of the issues brokers are facing. In the last year alone, for example, we’ve come through a national election, a changing of the guard at NAR, and a series of natural disasters that has touched many thousands of lives and is impacting our industry in many ways.

CP: Those natural disasters have been top-of-mind for me and, in fact, will be the topic for my first Power Broker Roundtable discussion next month. I think it’s crucial for brokers everywhere to be prepared for the worst, and we need to share precautionary practices that work when you need them—especially from those who have experienced firsthand the havoc that Mother Nature can wreak.

RB: As brokers and as an industry, we have plans and goals for next year. But we need the flexibility to adapt, if we need to, to unknown or unforeseen issues—and I know you’ll do a fine job of making these exchanges relevant. I will look forward to it, and I know you’ll do a fine job of rounding up a dynamite panel. What else are you thinking of in terms of topics?

CP: Well, we’ve all talked about millennials from the standpoint of buyers, but as I can attest from my own experience, millennial agents are the up-and-coming generation. I’d like to talk about how they are redefining our industry, and what we can take from that now.

RB: Interesting—and timely. Clearly, you’ve done some thinking.

CP: I have. I also think there’s great value in revisiting wire fraud, which is becoming more of an issue as we speak, and the best ways to guard against it, and succession planning, which is a hot topic as a generation of boomers, including my own father, begin to look ahead toward retirement.

RB: And I assume you’ll want to tackle how tax reform, in whatever final form it takes, will impact the state of the market.

CP: Absolutely, and any other issues that new legislation may toss into the arena. The point of this Power Broker Roundtable, I believe, is to be open, ready, and flexible—to recognize what’s on the minds of our broker colleagues and share our best strategies for dealing with them…which brings up another point.

RB: What’s that?

CP: As I take over this chair, I want to emphasize exactly what my new NAR role means. I will be acting, as you have for the past year, as a liaison between brokers and NAR. I hope to bring to the forefront some noteworthy NAR news and messages, but I also want to hear from brokers out there about topics they’d like our panels to explore—and, for that matter, from brokers who may never have served on one of these Roundtable panels, but would like to participate now. I’m reachable any time,, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

RB: Well said, Christina. You’ll be a credit to the post, and I anticipate some noteworthy columns.

CP: That’s my goal—to keep them on-point and relevant—and thanks to you, Robert, for all you’ve done to keep our broker community current over the past year.

RB: My pleasure. Best going forward, Christina. I look forward to next month’s discussion!

For more information, please visit

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Women’s Homeownership: A Sanctuary

For real estate agents to be better prepared to serve women homebuyers, they must recognize women’s power as a buying pool and understand the meaning of homeownership to women—the fastest-growing and most exciting market in the housing ecosystem.

Delaying marriage, higher educational attainment and presence in higher-paying jobs have made women a budding home-buying market:

  • According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), single women comprised 17 percent of homebuyers in the past year, while single men made up 7 percent.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2016, 49.8 percent of single women were homeowners compared to 46.8 percent of single men, and single women have outpaced single men in homeownership since 1986.

Women’s success in homeownership is an inspiring feat—as they’ve had to balance the gender wage gap and higher mortgage rates—and, despite these developments that have assisted women homebuyers, their personal willingness and sacrifice to become homeowners is where the credit is due.

A Sanctuary
To women, homeownership doesn’t simply mean growing wealth or diversifying portfolios. A woman’s home is her sanctuary, a place of personal freedom, security and comfort in an impacting world. Single women pursue homeownership for various reasons, but they all relate to the desire for freedom—in where they want to live, and how they want to live.

In response to NAWRB’s question regarding how important women consider homeownership and their personal home-buying obstacles on the subreddit AskWomen (/r/AskWomen), one respondent stated, “I enjoy it [homeownership] and am privileged enough to be able to budget for both mundane upkeep and larger maintenance issues. It gives me the freedom to use the property as I see fit, gives me the space that I always wanted, but never had while renting, and, all told, actually costs less per month than renting did.”

This relationship with your house is an irreplaceable characteristic of owning where you live. The confidence and security of knowing you have the power to use and modify your property as you please is an indescribable feeling. From being closer to family and having a property for their pets to providing a stable home to raise children, women are searching for these freedoms.

One of the most long-term aspects of women’s homeownership is the benefit it carries for future generations. Homeownership is an invaluable contributor to generational growth, and women homeowners are effectively paving the way for future generations of women and girls to succeed.

As a real estate professional, understand that single women aren’t waiting for marriage to obtain these benefits; they will make necessary sacrifices to attain them, whether it means taking a second job or adjusting their budgets to afford a down payment. Women are living their single lives fully, and they’re empowered.

Understanding the motivations of women homebuyers and what owning a home truly means to them will help real estate professionals serve this fast-growing buying pool.

Desirée Patno is president and CEO of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB).

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In It to Win It: CENTURY 21 North Shore

A Culture of Teamwork Keeps CENTURY 21 North Shore at the Top of Its Game

“Happy agents are productive agents.” That’s the reasoning of Jim D’Amico, dynamic broker/owner and chief motivator of CENTURY 21 NS Group/North Shore of New England, a Massachusetts-based firm whose more than $1 billion in real estate sales last year is validation of his belief. D’Amico, who has overseen more than 25 years of company growth, understands that his agents are a driving force in the firm’s success. “I’ll stop whatever I’m doing to take a call from one of my agents,” says D’Amico. “I appreciate their value and I want them to know it—to know I’m there for them 24/7 and I value their success as much as they do.” But confident and comfortable agents are only a part of D’Amico’s business philosophy. In this exclusive interview, he shares the vision and strategies that help to motivate continued growth.

Barbara Pronin: Jim, let’s start with a recap of your career path in real estate, and how you came to lead your company.
Jim D’Amico:
I actually started right after college. My dad, a longtime successful property owner in Chelsea, Mass., suggested I get my training as an agent at CENTURY 21. He was a firm believer in the brand before I really knew anything about it. In my first full year, I sold only two homes and I figured I may have chosen the wrong career path. I interviewed in the corporate sector and decided to join a small, successful firm in Chelsea called Florence Lipp Real Estate. Florence was not only a leader in the market; she controlled the market. There, I was trained and mentored by Diane Cambria, who helped me list and sell over 50 homes in my second full year. Then, in 1995, my dad heard the CENTURY 21 agency in Chelsea was up for sale. I rushed over to talk to the seller and made my way through a long and shaky process, but finally, at the ripe old age of 25, I was able to close on the sale with franchisor approval—and the rest, as they say, is history.

BP: How many offices and agents does the firm currently have?
We have 725 of the industry’s best agents in 41 locations throughout New England, and more to come.

BP: How would you describe your firm’s positioning in your marketplace? What sets it apart from the competition?
We are a top company both regionally and nationally, and I’m thankful for that, but what sets us apart from others is our agent-centric value system and our teamwork culture. Teams have been an overused term in our industry recently, but what I consider a team culture is people who help one another and root for one another even when they don’t get a financial benefit. That is teamwork. When it comes to our value proposition, we keep it simple. We don’t charge our associates for every little this and that. Charging for errors and omissions coverage, technology, copies, sign installations and more just gets in the way of an agent’s success. It’s very simple for us. Our agents get a great split and we provide great tools. We allow our agents to build their teams as they see fit. We don’t micro-manage. We are here to support them. We thrive on what I call “uber-communication.” That’s the reason I answer my cellphone every time an agent calls me, and if I get an email with a concern from an agent, I pick up the phone and call them. We have a two-email rule: If you have to send a third email on the same topic, don’t. Pick up the phone. I don’t want to ignite some kind of email chain of thoughts that can somehow get misunderstood. It’s all about directness for me, and getting to the root of the agent’s concern and working through it to everyone’s satisfaction. It’s the same kind of thoughtfulness and problem-solving we bring to our customers. They know we’ll do our level best to make their real estate goals a reality.

BP: How have you grown the company over the years in terms of offices and agents?
We have been very successful both in recruiting top talent and in being a resource for company leaders in the area who are looking for an exit strategy. Since 2016, we have added 24 locations and more than 390 agents to our company.

BP: What attracts agents to your firm, and why do they stay?
Two things, actually. First, our culture is very strong, as I’ve already indicated, but also our value proposition beats the competition hands down. We offer finite training from the best in the business, unbeatable support, including our own call center, and 100-percent reimbursement for training and retreat participation.

The second big focus is technology. We lead the charge on CENTURY 21’s ZAP and Business Builder lead-generation programs, and provide the best in lead flow technology to our agents from the new® stack of FiveStreet, Top Producer, etc. In short, we deliver over 2,000 leads a month to our team, and while many owners are out selling homes, I’m out there assisting our team members in the field or overseeing operations to ensure our people are being properly supported and getting paid promptly. Our business model is no secret, so the best agents want to be with us.

BP: Can you expand a bit on how your business culture works—and on your leadership philosophy?
For one thing, we have a 100-percent happy rule. In my view, you can’t be successful if you’re not happy, so the rule is, if you aren’t 100-percent happy, you need to pick up the phone and call me so I can see what we can do to change that. For another thing, we lead by example. We don’t ask any of our staff to do what we wouldn’t do ourselves. I was raised with the rule that if you see a scrap of paper on the ground, you pick it up—and that’s the kind of “we’re in this together” culture that we’ve built with our agents and support staff. We’re here for each other every day. Our agents have a say in all we do, from office functionality to décor to systems to policies and guidelines. A lot of company leaders say they listen to staff, but here, we actually do. We don’t manage in a vacuum. We run a transparent and fun operation.

BP: What’s your strategy for effectively marketing the firm and best serving the needs of prospects and clients?
While other companies market the brand or the company, we market our agents. It’s a fact that all the best agents work at CENTURY 21 NS. That’s what we want prospects to know, and our customers back that up. It’s why our referral and repeat business rates are as high as they are, and why we are consistently on a growth curve.

BP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology, online marketing and social media?
We have great managers and great tech people who are focused on putting the needs of our agents on the table and researching the best ways to make them happen. We are presently working on converting to a paperless environment. We use Lone Wolf Technology’s operating system and dotloop, for example, to help us streamline procedures and move us into a paperless world.

BP: We understand you’ve joined forces with Led2Serve as a way of giving back. Can you tell us a little about that?
Led2Serve facilitates local and global service projects with a focus on the environment, education and housing—projects like painting a school, building a ramp for the disabled or manning an environmental clean-up effort. We donate a portion of every transaction to help support efforts like those, and our agents, friends and families are able to get personally involved in projects that directly help to better our communities and the world around us.

BP: So, what’s on deck for Century 21 NS?
In three words: grow, grow and grow. Life is short. We have one shot at this thing, and we are committed to offering the best service to the most people by growing our strength in our current markets, and being the new kid in town in as-yet untapped markets. In short, we will continue to acquire and expand our locations through judicious acquisition, and also to attract and support the industry’s best agents—career professionals who are happy in their work and who are totally focused on understanding and helping to fulfill the real estate needs of their clients.

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The post In It to Win It: CENTURY 21 North Shore appeared first on RISMedia.

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Nutley Home Selling Production Has Just One Star

Nutley home selling is not so different from home selling in any other desirable community: the nearly universal underpinnings haven’t changed through the years. So when a homeowner watches a “Just Sold!” sign go up on a neighborhood home he or she just knows isn’t nearly as good a buy as his or her own property, “why them/why not me?” is the normal response.

The answer can be quite simple. If you want your own Nutley home selling campaign to proceed as smoothly as possible, veteran sellers offer some reliable advice:

  • Remove yourself from the equation. Specifically, remove the family photos off the walls and store them in an out-of-the-way place. That evocative stairwell lined with pictures of the kids and family vacations might be a trip down memory lane for you, but it’s a roadblock for potential buyers. The goal in home selling is to effectively showcase the property — don’t make the star of your production share the stage!
  • Store extra clothes. Sort through the clothes you and your family aren’t going to wear this season and remove them from the closets. Overstuffed, cluttered closets give prospective buyers the impression that there isn’t enough storage space, whereas a sparsely hung closet just feels luxurious. If needed, purchase wardrobe boxes to store in the garage.
  • Use the professional talent that’s already on deck — ask your agent for a truly forthright opinion on how your home stacks up against the other current listings in Nutley. Since you’re on the same team, you’ll get the best of both worlds: real, up-to-the-moment comparisons with competing area homes, and suggestions for how to further improve your property’s profile among them.

Preparing to sell a home can seem daunting at first, but once you begin in earnest, with the help of your real estate professional and a few proven guidelines, the process can be fully in motion quickly and easily. The most important thing to remember is that the better you display your property, the more money it is likely to sell for. It all starts when you give me a call!

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