After Buying Frenzy, Zillow Forced to Hit the Brakes Due to Supply Chain Issues

The supply chain challenges that are straining the housing market are having the same effect on iBuying giant Zillow.

The real estate platform announced on Oct. 18 that its home-flipping business, Zillow Offers, will be taking a break from signing new contracts as the company addresses a backlog of its properties still in its renovation pipeline.

“We’re operating within a labor- and supply-constrained economy inside a competitive real estate market, especially in the construction, renovation and closing spaces,” said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow’s chief operating officer, in a statement.

According to Wacksman, Zillow hasn’t been exempt from the mix of challenges straining the home builders and real estate professionals over the past couple of years.

“We now have an operational backlog for renovations and closings,” he continued. “Pausing new contracts will enable us to focus on sellers already under contract with us and our current home inventory.”

While Zillow plans to halt new acquisitions for at least the rest of 2021, the company noted that it would continue purchasing homes that already have signed contracts but haven’t closed yet.

Zillow Offers lets homeowners sell without having to coordinate repairs or host open houses or showings. After buying the home, Zillow prepares it for sale by doing the same type of projects a typical seller would, then lists it on the open market.

According to reports from Wall Street Journal, the real estate platform acquired more than 3,800 homes in the second quarter, after expanding into the home-flipping business in 2018 through its Zillow Offers unit.

While Zillow addresses its backlog, the company also said it would connect prospective sellers from Zillow Offers with a local Premier Agent partner.

As Zillow sorts things out with its backlog of properties, Wall Street Journal reports indicate that the pause may prove to be a boon for the company’s iBuying rivals.

A recent statement from Opendoor following Zillow’s announcement insists that the company is still “open for business and continues to scale and grow.”

“We know how important certainty and convenience are to homeowners seeking to move, and we’ve worked hard over the past seven years to ensure we can continue to deliver our experience at scale,” said an Opendoor spokesperson.

A Redfin spokesperson echoed similar sentiments, adding that RedfinNow, its iBuying business, continues to make offers in all of 29 of its markets as the company moves forward with expansion plans.

“We are confident in our ability to meet demand from our customers who want a convenient and flexible home-selling option, despite challenges with the construction labor market and supply chain,” said a Redfin spokesperson. “We’re building our iBuying business in the same methodical way we’ve grown our brokerage over the past 15 years, focusing on sustainable expansion, financial discipline and great customer service.

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 jgrice@rismedia.com.

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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 franchise@yourhomehub.com or visit yourhomehub.com.

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

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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 jgrice@rismedia.com.

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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, realtor.com® 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 mckissock.com/real-estate.

The post Free Webinar Breaks Down How to Enter the Luxury Home Market appeared first on RISMedia.

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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
www.nahb.org/rmi.

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Nutley NJ Real Estate

An Interview With Matthew De Fede “The King of Nutley”

Top Nutley Real Estate Broker Matthew De Fede is Interviewed By Vanessa Lott

Welcome To Nutley New Jersey, Matthew De Fede Broker/Owner

Welcome To Nutley New Jersey A NYC Commuter Friendly Town & A Great Place To Raise A Family.

My New Billboard Up in Beleville/Nutley

Nutley Real Estate

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