VR Young Professionals Network Event Kickoff

Vermont Realtors® will host a kickoff event for its new Young Professionals Network (YPN) on Tuesday, April 26 at the Vermont Realtors® office in Montpelier!

We are excited to introduce the VR YPN to help our young Realtors® connect with each other and to tap into the valuable resources of peer networking! Our kickoff event is designed to introduce the mission of YPN, connect our young Realtors® and to brainstorm ideas for building a strong YPN program aimed at helping our members succeed!

The Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors® YPN will join us to share their ideas and to talk about the value of YPN to their local board members. We’ll be joining the NVBR YPN group in July for a fun social event! VR has also planned future YPN events for the summer and fall!

The VR YPN Kickoff event will start at 12 Noon with lunch and will adjourn at 2:30pm. We hope you’ll join us for this exciting event!

Note: The VR YPN is open to all ages!

This event is free, but RSVP is required. Please contact Isaac Chavez at isaac@vermontrealtors.com to let us know that you will be attending.

Survey: 75% Believe that Now is a Good Time to Buy

2016-03-home-survey-infographic-fullThe National Association of Realtors® has released its quarterly Home Survey. Here are the highlights:

  • Seventy-five percent of people believe now is a good time to buy a home. Forty-four percent believe that strongly.
  • Not surprisingly, with rapid home price acceleration, those who are currently renting or living with someone else, those who are under 34 years of age, and those who live in urban areas are less confident now is a good time to buy, however even among those groups the majority do feel now is a good time to buy a home.
  • Four in five people who currently own a home, those over 65 years of age, those with incomes over $50,000 and those in the Midwest believe now is a good time to buy a home.
  • More than one-third of buyers of all ages would prefer to live in a close-in suburb. For those who are 55 to 64, rural settings are also attractive.
  • Younger respondents and those who are renters and live with someone else are more likely than others to consider buying in an urban area.

Click here to view infographic
Read the news release about this report

NAR Ad Campaign Urges Consumer to ‘Get Realtor®’

consumer-advertising-campaign-digital-web-banner-fun-and-games-2016-02-01-300x165Buying a home isn’t as easy as clicking a few buttons and magically getting the home of your dreams, as the current real estate advertising landscape leads many to believe. The reality is that real estate transactions can be stressful and there are often challenges and obstacles along the way.

To communicate Realtor® value in helping consumers succeed in all things real estate, the National Association of Realtors® has launched a new advertising campaign, “Get Realtor®.” The campaign targets hyper-connected and emerging generations of home buyers, sellers, owners and investors.

Technology has advanced modern life in many ways and allows people to do more online than ever before. With just a few keystrokes or taps on a screen, consumers can shop for a mortgage, learn about the buying or selling process and browse through photos of homes for sale. But access to information doesn’t automatically translate to success when buying or selling a home. In other words, when it comes to the biggest purchase many people will likely ever make, consumers need to “Get Realtor®.”

“When it comes to real estate and the Internet, today’s consumers don’t always know what they don’t know,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “The Get Realtor® campaign demonstrates how Realtors® – members of the National Association of Realtors® – can help buyers, sellers and investors succeed. We want today’s consumers to understand that having a Realtor® at their side is their competitive advantage in the real estate transaction.”

NAR’s consumer advertising campaign began 17 years ago, and launches in 2016 with a whole new look and feel to help modernize consumer perceptions of Realtors®, particularly among Millennials, who are currently the largest homebuying segment.

“Contemporizing an established brand will take time. To reach new generations, we’ve created advertising that is dramatically different and bold enough to break through the clutter and get noticed, and help drive consideration of Realtors®,” said Salomone. “Also, our own research found that consumers have anxiety about reaching out from behind their tech screens for professional assistance, including from a Realtor®. With this campaign, consumers will be exposed to a redefined brand in more contemporary channels that demonstrates why consumers need to Get Realtor®.”

The Get Realtor® campaign currently includes social, digital, print, and radio creative; NAR’s media mix is shifting significantly from previous campaigns to the social and digital side for greater engagement with tech-savvy consumers who are increasingly going mobile, getting their content on demand, and sharing information across their social networks.

The Get Realtor® campaign is the first created in partnership with advertising agency Arnold Worldwide, which was named NAR’s agency of record in 2015 for its strategy, creativity and extensive history of helping clients reinvent their brands, including Volkswagen, Ocean Spray and Progressive.

For additional information about the strategy and research behind the new campaign, and to view current campaign materials, click below.

Digital Ads
Print Ads
Social Media
Usage Guidelines
Media Partnerships
Campaign Strategy

A Great Gift for Your Clients

VRETVermont Real Estate Publishing (VRET), which prints the Vermont Property Owners Report (VPOR), is offering Realtors® in Vermont the opportunity to give subscriptions at a reduced subscription rate offering your clients a gift that will help them remember you all year.

A recent article published by Inman News listed a subscription as one of the top closing gift ideas among other, costlier, options. And what better gift than a publication that will help your clients better understand Vermont’s taxes, laws, regulations, and the news that is important to property owners.

For only $40 ($37 for PDF), you can present your clients with a subscription to VPOR as a closing gift, for the holidays, or any occasion. That’s a savings of about 25 percent off the normal subscription price.
Gift cards are being distributed to Realtor® offices throughout the state through VR staff and can be picked up at the VR office in Montpelier. Until cards are delivered, if you’d like to take advantage of this offer and give a gift subscription, you can download the card here, or call VRET at (802) 552-1157.

VR Now Offering Online Mandatory Course

Mandatory Course OnlineVermont Realtors® has partnered with Calypso Continuing Education to offer The Mandatory Course online! This course has been approved by the Vermont Real Estate Commission for 4 CE. The online Mandatory Course is a cost effective and convenient way to meet your regulatory responsibilities and maintain your familiarity with the ‘rules of the road’ when selling real estate in Vermont.   The course is asynchronous. Learn at your own pace, log in and out at your leisure.  The online system stores your information and allows you to pick up right where you left off to begin work again.

—The general theme of this course is to review local, state, and federal changes to laws, regulations, and rules that impact licensees’ practice of residential and commercial real estate.

—Sections one and two are inclusive of the recent changes. The goal of section three is bringing in the Vermont Real Estate Commission’s disciplinary cases to make licensees aware of the nature of complaints with a focus on adoption of best practices to void common pitfalls.

Cost: $59

Get started here.

Mandatory Course Requirements for License Renewal

c1c981f0-197a-4eb5-b63d-a0e497636205Real Estate License Renewal

Now is the time to make sure you meet the continuing education requirements needed to renew your real estate license for the 2014-2016 renewal cycle. Here is some important information you need to know:

Broker License Renewal
Brokers are required to complete 24 credit hours. Four credit hours must include the current Mandatory Course. DEADLINE: March 31, 2016.

Salesperson License Renewal
Real estate salespersons are required to complete 16 credit hours for license renewal. Four credit hours must include the current Mandatory Course. DEADLINE: May 31, 2016.

Upcoming Mandatory Courses

January 27 – Williston
February 3 – Montpelier

Vermont Housing Market Annual Report

VR Market Report CoverIn 2015, residential real estate experienced its best year since the Great Recession ended in 2009. Although inventory could still use a jolt, demand was healthy throughout the year and there was enough supply to keep the engine strong.

Vermont Realtors® has released its 2015 Annual Market Report. Download the report here.

3 Ways to Use Google Surveys

Find out what motivates home sellers or entices home buyers by surveying customers in your market.

Want to know what your customers are thinking? Ask them.

Google’s new survey tool offers brokers the opportunity to ask timely questions, gauge client satisfaction, track brand perception, measure marketing campaigns, and more.

Here’s how it works: Google has a network of online publishers, such as news or entertainment websites, that enable survey questions to be embedded into articles. Readers are asked to answer the questions in exchange for access to the content. Hone your survey audience by specifying geographic locations (based on IP address) or other demographics or by using a survey-screening question. The cost to you is 10 cents per completed survey. In return, Google compiles the data in the form of graphs with clickable demographic segments. You can also export the data for use in your own business-tracking programs.

It may sound like a fairly random sample, but Google can place your surveys on sites visited by people who have also visited your real estate website via cookie list retargeting. Also, you can embed a survey directly on your own real estate website.

Google’s Opinion Rewards mobile app is another option, which is available through the Google Play Store. Survey takers provide some basic demographics, and then they take surveys in exchange for Play Store credits.

Here are three examples of the types of survey that might help you with your business goals:

1. Market trends: Learn what buyers in your market want in a home or what motivates sellers to move. For example, ask potential sellers how soon they plan to move or why they want to sell. Do they need more space or less? Where is their desired location? Do they want a newer home with energy efficiencies?

2. Timely questions: Trying to figure out where to spend your online advertising dollars this quarter? Ask buyers where they shop for homes online, and then segment the data by age, gender, location, and other groupings to get a better picture of your target market.

3. Hear from your customers: Rather than surveying potential clients with embedded surveys on other sites or through Google’s Opinion Rewards, you can create a survey to gather feedback from your current customers. Embed a client satisfaction survey directly on your website and e-mail the survey link to clients after closing. Collect feedback on how your agents’ customer service skills fared. Find out why the customer chose to work with your agent or how they learned about your brokerage in the first place. Find out their level of satisfaction with the transaction. Ensure that your agents were responsive to clients’ needs. Default questions are available for free, and customized questions are 1 cent per survey completed by customers.

If you have another type of survey in mind, Google also offers fully customized survey options you can use to collect data from your clients, sphere, or market.

Housing Recovery’s Missing Link

The declining number of first-time home buyers in the market is the major missing piece in the housing recovery, says Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®.

Despite an uptick in home sales over the past year, the share of first-time home buyers in the housing market dropped for the third consecutive year, and remains at its lowest point in nearly three decades, according to the NAR 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report.

The increase in home sales over the past year has instead been driven by more repeat buyers with dual incomes, NAR’s report showed.

The share of first-time buyers fell to 32 percent in this year’s survey; last year first-time home buyers represented 33 percent of the market share. The share of first-time home buyers this year is at its lowest point since 1987, when first-time home buyers represented 30 percent of the market.

Historically, first-time home buyers typically represent nearly 40 percent of primary purchases.

“There are several reasons why there should be more first-time buyers reaching the market, including persistently low mortgage rates, healthy job prospects for those college-educated, and the fact that renting is becoming more unaffordable in many areas,” Yun says. “Unfortunately, there are just as many high hurdles slowing first-time buyers down. Increasing rents and home prices are impeding their ability to save for a down payment, there’s scarce inventory for new and existing-homes in their price range, and it’s still too difficult for some to get a mortgage.”

Twenty-five percent of would-be first-time home buyers said that saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in home ownership, and 58 percent reported student loans in particular were delaying their ability to save.

“With a median amount of student loan debt for all buyers at $25,000, it’s likely some younger households with even higher levels of debt can’t save for an adequate down payment or have decided to delay buying until their debt is at more comfortable levels,” Yun says.

Repeat buyers were mostly using the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence as their top source for a down payment on their next home purchase – 53 percent this year compared to 47 percent last year.

“With first-time buyers stuck on the sidelines, the majority of sales activity in most parts of the country is coming from pent-up sellers taking advantage of rising home values in their neighborhoods and using their equity to trade up or move down,” says Yun.

Married couples represented an increasing share of buyers: 67 percent of buyers were married couples (up from 65 percent last year). Married, repeat buyers have the highest income among all buyers too at $108,600.

Meanwhile, single females have been a growing share of buyers the past few years but are showing signs of retreating. The share of single, female buyers fell from 16 percent to 15 percent in the latest survey.

“Similar to some of the obstacles facing first-time buyers, tight credit conditions and having less purchasing power than households with dual incomes likely led to the share of single-female buyers declining to its lowest since 2001 (also 15 percent),” Yun says.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®