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The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently released a report detailing what’s ahead for the housing industry. According to this report, an estimated 12.5 million new households are expected to be created over the next decade, which is practically double the amount that was formed during the previous 10 years (about 7 million households).
Expect to see these four buyer groups taking a more active role in the housing market in the coming years:
Shifting social attitudes are contributing to dramatic changes for women. Women continue to be a growing segment in the workforce, earning over half (58%) of all college degrees nationwide, and holding almost half (47%) of all jobs. Not only has income for women rose 34% over the past 40 years, about 38% of women are now the breadwinners in their families. The ULI estimates that the number of women in the workforce will jump to 79 million by 2025.
What makes this cohort of women different from their predecessors is that women are now delaying marriage and child-birth to focus on developing their careers first (just 22% of women in their late-20s were married with at least one child compared to 68% forty years ago).
Don’t overlook single women either: the National Association of Realtors’ annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey found single women made up 17% of the homebuying market in 2015, compared to just 9% of single men.
Women have incredible influence over the homebuying decisions, up to 92% in most cases. Because of this larger role in buying decisions, new home builders can effectively target this buyer group by offering home designs and features that are customizable to their family and guests’ needs, including ample storage space, flexible spaces, open areas for entertaining and designated areas for relaxing.
In 2010, 13% of Americans were immigrants, the highest percentage since 1910 and are expected to make up over half the U.S. population by 2023 (if current trends continue). Many of today’s immigrants are more affluent than previous generations; they’re highly educated with substantial buying power thanks to high-paying jobs.
Many immigrant groups live in multigenerational households, which is especially popular within Asian and Hispanic populations. This housing preference will drive the demand for homes that can accommodate these households with “two master bathrooms, separate entrances, garage conversions or even separate outdoor spaces.”
In addition to creating multigenerational housing, new home builders can tap into this growing market understanding cultural preferences within the different group of buyers. For instance, many Chinese-American buyers follow the principles of feng shui and are willing to pay more for homes with favorable feng shui.
The Baby boomer generation continues to march towards retirement age; by 2025, 66 million people are expected to be 65 year or older. Even within this large group, there are distinct cohorts of retirees with different housing needs. Those born during the 1930s (the Savers) are looking for ways to stretch their retirement funds, those born during the 1940s (the Achievers), where 19% of 65- to 69- years are still working full-time and those born during the 1950s (the Innovators) continue to maintain their active lifestyles and are investing in real estate.
Builders can take advantage of this group by creating walkable, mixed-use developments or communities that are near retail sites and services.
- Young Adults
Millennials will drive household creation in the coming decade, after creating households at a much slower rate than previous generations. Thanks to a turbulent beginning of their adult life after coming of age during the Great Recession and struggling under record high student debt, millennials are creating households at a much slower rate than previous generations. However, this group is now finding their footing and starting to explore the housing market and are expected to create 14 million households by 2025.
While older millennials will turn to the suburbs for more affordable housing and better schools, younger millennials are interested in ‘surbans,’ communities that combine urban conveniences (near public transportation and job centers) with suburban features (quality schools, larger home sizes). Surban developments often transform former shopping centers into mixed-use developments with smaller homes with little to no yards that offer retail and recreation opportunities that are walkable.
New home builders can begin to position themselves to attract and engage these emerging buyer groups by using a solid mix of digital tools to move home buyers through the sales process.
- Digital Lead Generation: In our increasingly digital world, the Internet is usually the first stop for many homebuyers during their home buying process. In fact, 69.7% of all home buyers cited independent listing websites (i.e. Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc.) as the most influential during the research phase, closely followed by organic search results at 67.2%. Many home buyers are introduced to new home builders and their homes through these online portals so it’s important for builders to establish a digital presence on these digital channels.
Listing syndication and SEO are important (and effective) tools in your digital marketing toolbox and New Home Feed helps builders to gain wider exposure on the web.
- Home Builder Website Must-Have Digital Tools: New technologies have emerged and effectively changed the way these buyers now shop for homes. It’s important for home builders to provide various online tools that engage buyers and provide high-quality information about the homes because the likelihood of a buyer registering to receive additional information increases the longer they are on a builder’s website; and these tools are the best way to keep them online!
The some of the most popular online tools that home buyers expect to see on a builder’s website are:
- Photo galleries: high quality photography of the exterior and interior of your homes will invite buyers to learn more.
- Interactive floorplans: interactive floorplans (plans that allow buyers to select different options and plan configurations) allow home buyers to see how their customization choices will affect the look of the homes they’re interested in. Including the ability to print and save the custom plan configurations is a great way to encourage buyers to register.
- 3D Interactive tours: 3D virtual tours allow buyers to ‘walk-through’ a home before visiting a sales center. These features provide a 360-degree view of a home.
- Videos: videos are a good way to quickly present information in a visual format without needing to ready a lot of copy. Create videos describing new programs or features and host them on a builder’s website or YouTube.
- Digital Sales Tools to Convert Appointments to Sales: Digital tools also work ‘offline.’ Once a buyer has registered on a website and decides to visit a sales center for a tour, builders can use digital tools in the sales centers to continue to provide high-quality information to buyers that will help buyers move closer to a purchase decision. The sales office is another great place to use digital tools to showcase your homes and features. Interactive sales kiosks, whether on a large-format touchscreen monitor or tablet, provide information buyers are looking for: available floorplans and options, community features, and real-time lot map availability.
Builders can start preparing now to make sure they’re ready to provide the information these buyer groups will be looking for as they move through their purchase journey. If you need help updating your online presence and digital strategy, contact Graphic Language to learn more about our award-winning website design and digital services.
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New Home Feed is the fastest and easiest way to get new home exposure on the web through syndicated listings.
Hundreds of homebuilders and real estate professionals feature nearly 40,000 new home communities, plans and spec homes through New Home Feed and those numbers are growing every day. Don’t get left behind!
Interested in learning how New Home Feed can help improve your online exposure? Sign up by June 15th and receive our Facebook app FREE for 90 days! That means you get all the benefits of New Home Feed (more exposure, improved SEO, increased website traffic, more leads) PLUS all the benefits of turning your Facebook page into your very own listing directory.
Don’t delay! Take advantage of this incredible offer today and make sure your new home listings are seen everywhere on the web! Contact us for a demo today.
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A common question we hear at New Home Feed is “How do I get better results from my listings?” and we always say the same thing: invest in high-quality, professional photos of your homes.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is it worth when it comes to marketing and selling new homes? About $1,000. Homes with professionally-taken photos gain an average of $934 or more in selling price versus those with average “point-and-click” style photos.
Here are 5 very important reasons why you should invest in better photography:
- More Views: According to the National Association of Realtors, listings with professional photos get 61% more online views than those with lesser quality photos
- More Leads: Better photos, and more of them, means more people clicking on your listing vs. the other guys. Zillow reports that listings with photos get 2x more leads than those without and those with 30+ photos get 3x more leads
- More $$$: According to a study by our friends at Redfin, Inc. homes with high quality photos sell for at least $934 more than comparable homes with low quality photos. Higher end homes in the $800k and above range sell for over $18,000 more!
- More Time on Site/Listings: 95% of users view the initial photo of a listing first before they decide to view the home description or any other information.
- Higher Brand Quality: 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s visual appeal. Why would they think you build a beautiful, high quality home if your photos don’t reflect their true nature?
Ready to maximize your listings’ potential with new photography? Use New Home Feed to quickly and easily manage your online listings in one place. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial today!
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There isn’t a home builder in America who couldn’t use a little, or a lot, more love from the search engines. A strong presence on Google unquestionably bolsters home sales. And New Home Feed helps you get that presence on Google and other search engines. How? By building links.
Expert SEO practitioners agree that getting external links is the single most important objective for attaining high search rankings; there is nothing more important for improving SEO than building a strong network of links that point back to your website. But some links are more valuable than others.
So how do links affect SEO and search rankings? Search engines treat links as votes. Every link to your website is a vote. More votes = better SEO and higher search rankings for your website. There are a couple of specific ways that having your listings on New Home Feed helps from an SEO perspective
- Link Quality – Unfortunately the world of search rankings is not a democratic process and some “votes” count more than others. When it comes down to Quantity vs. Quality, Google is always going to choose Quality. Why? Think of it this way: if you were sick, whose advice would you trust more, those from five doctors or from fifty random people you asked while walking down the street? It’s probably safe to say that you’d trust the doctors. Even though you’re getting fewer opinions, those opinions are from experts meaning the quality of their opinions carries more weight.
It works the same way with search engines. They’ll count all the links pointing at websites, but they give more weight to the links that are considered to be from industry experts.
So what’s a quality link? Well, it’s one of those “you’ll know it when you see it” type of things in most cases. But a link from any large (i.e. highly trafficked) respectable website is going to be higher on the quality scale in Google’s eyes than a link you might get from commenting on a blog or a post on your own Facebook page. Also, links from websites in your “neighborhood”, those that share relevant topics, may also be counted a little bit more.
So what could be a better quality link for a homebuilder than from a website whose sole purpose is to show real estate listings (i.e. they live in the same “neighborhood” as you) and has a huge amount of monthly traffic, like Redfin or HomeFinder.com or the many other listing sites on the New Home Feed network?
- Link Quantity – Even though Quality is more important, Quantity of links still matters to Google as well. If you have a high quantity of quality links to your site, all the better. Even more so if you’re getting a lot of links from many different sites. All things being equal, 100 links from one website will mean far less to Google than 100 links from 100 websites.
It just makes sense to get as many quality links to your website as possible and New Home Feed is the quickest, easiest and most cost effective way to get those links (in the form of new home and community listings) out on the top performing local and national listing sites
SEO is just one of countless benefits New Home Feed gives home builders. Want to learn more about how New Home Feed will benefit you? Let us give you a walk-through of all the New Home Feed benefits, including SEO. For just $99 per month you can get your listing on New Home Feed and start your very own link building strategy. And remember: the first month is always free.
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Your home buyers are online; on their mobile devices and their laptops. In fact, 89% of all home buyers use the Internet at some point during the home search process. Are your listings out there to be found?
Zillow and Trulia had a combined average of nearly 124 million unique visitors to their websites in the fourth quarter of 2015. And that’s down from over 150 million unique visitors the previous quarter. Because of the high volume of traffic, listing websites tend to be ranked at, or near, the top of search results for almost every new construction-related keyword in practically every metro area.
Chances are you’re not driving even a faction of the amount of traffic that the listing networks are generating, no matter how well-designed, easy-to-use, or keyword-rich your home builder or brokerage website is.
So if you can’t beat ‘em, why not join ‘em?
Listing syndication is an important (and effective) tool in your digital marketing toolbox. Don’t just rely on your website, SEO and paid search efforts to deliver traffic. Get the exposure you need by placing your new home communities and new home listings on the websites home buyers are already using; websites like Zillow, Trulia and Redfin. New Home Feed can help you get that exposure.
Here are 10 reasons why you can’t live without New Home Feed any longer:
- A Larger Network
Our network is made up of the top-rated, top-performing national and regional real estate listing websites and we’re constantly adding new listing websites. Customize your listing network so you appear on just those real estate websites that provide the most traffic and leads.
- Vastly Improved SEO
Improve your search rankings by generating quality copy and links from the real estate networks that drive traffic directly back to your website, where you get your highest quality leads.
- Easy Monitoring
Easily monitor and update all of your new-home community, plan and spec-home data in one place. No more needing to update multiple websites!
- Error-Free Listings
Our Listing Validator ensures that your listings go out clean, fresh and error-free. With this tool you can easily see any errors in the direct data feed and quickly fix them in seconds.
- Additional Technical Support
Our Support Team is available to help diagnose and resolve issues. Short on time? We also offer an affordable option to assist with community population.
- Seamless Facebook Integration
Reach home buyers where they spend most of their time: Facebook! Create your own private listing directory on your Facebook page with our easy-to-install Facebook app. Send traffic back to your website and track performance through our reporting dashboard.
- Insightful Metrics & Reporting Tools
Our powerful reporting tools allow you to see which listing websites perform the best and make smarter spending decisions.
- CRM/CMS Integration
Transfer content directly from your website or CRM system into New Home Feed to save time, effort and further reduce the chance of errors in your listings.
- Automatic Mobile Listings
54% of home buyers use mobile search during the shopping process. New Home Feed automatically generates your mobile listings through an XML feed so you can be in front of all the home shoppers.
- Divisional Management for National/Regional Builders
For larger regional and national builders, you have the option of managing your entire portfolio together or set up each division separately with individual reporting and distinct feeds.
Join the hundreds of home builders already using New Home Feed to manage their direct feeds!
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Technology has changed the way we consume information and services. Netflix and Hulu changed our entertainment viewing habits, AirBnB transformed how we travel, and Uber and Lyft altered the way we grab a taxi cab. Could real estate be the next industry to experience a technology disruption?
Technology has already changed the way homebuyers find property listings and real estate investing is also starting to see a technologic shift due to the rise in popularity of crowd-funding sites like Fundrise and RealtyShares.
Realty Biz News recently opined that, thanks to tech-loving millennials, we should expect additional disruption in the future. They identified three factors driving this trend:
- Home buying is still a cumbersome process
In the past, when home buyers wanted to purchase a home, the first stop would be to find a local real estate agent to find out which properties were available in their desired market or maybe even reach for the local newspaper. Now, thanks to listing portals homebuyers can easily get access to available home listings right from their smartphone before contacting an agent.
While finding a lender still produces headaches, this is an area where technology can create a shift. Zillow has created an app that allows homebuyers to estimate how much of a mortgage buyers may qualify for and estimate their payments, this process could still be streamlined to help remove additional barriers to buying and selling homes.
- Buyers want more value for their money
With home prices continuing to increase while wages lag behind, today’s homebuyer is more focused on getting the most value for their money. Now that home buyers are able to research and pull home listings on their own, real estate agents must be able to offer a unique value proposition to justify their worth and, incidentally, their commissions, to today’s home buyers.
One company, Open Listings, has already started working helping homebuyers to purchase homes without the help of an agent. Instead of paying a broker’s commission, buyers are charged a flat $5,000 fee.
- Demand for information is high
Consumers want to have as much information as possible so they can make the most informed purchasing decision. From simple decisions like where to have dinner to more complex purchases like a home, access to information is imperative. Home buyers now have access to big data and market trends, virtual tours, professional photography of homes on websites like RealtyTrac, listing portals, and even home builder websites. A simple Google search can reveal a myriad of information for homebuyers to begin informing their home purchase decision.
This growing access to information will allow home sellers to provide an even greater amount of information to buyers and will force agents to adjust how they connect with buyers since most of these interactions are increasingly occurring online. The end result of this egalitarian access to information is that “prices, loan terms and expectation come much closer to fair market.”
Technologic disruption in the real estate industry may be unavoidable. As new technology continues to evolve to give home buyers access to more information to make informed purchasing decisions, it’ll be interesting to see how brokers, agents and home builders embrace and use these advances.
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By Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of Juwai.com, the No. 1 Chinese international property portal.
China’s government is rolling out a new policy that could deliver $109 billion of new investment in US real estate.
The new policy is the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor program, or QDII2 for short. (The “2” distinguishes it from an earlier program with a similar name.)
You probably know that China has limits on the amount of capital that individuals could move overseas. Once those limits come down, Chinese investment will increase.
QDII2 is the first step in letting that capital loose on the world. It is starting out as just a pilot program in six cities. Just about all of the 50 million residents of those cities will be able to invest half of their assets wherever in the world they want to.
That’s about 30 percent more people than live in California.
But QDII2 won’t really have its full impact until it is rolled out from the initial six cities to all of China.
When predicting the impact of this could have, we assume that the US obtains the same share of this investment as it has in the past.
Using that assumption, the impact of a China-wide QDII2 program will be an estimated $109 billion in new funds dedicated to US real estate. (This is not to mention investment in other American asset classes.)
The US is the best-placed country to attract this money, because of its size, potential for new construction, liberal foreign ownership and visa regulations, attractive lifestyle and excellent schools and universities.
How can you work with these Chinese buyers? I suggest three simple steps.
- Fine tune your marketing message for international buyers. Translate some materials into Chinese, and explain to why you are a trustworthy and valuable advisor. Focus on differentiators like expertise, longevity and your transaction track record.
- Next, explain why international investors will like your area. They may not be as aware of differences among neighborhoods, or even among cities. Talk about local schools, universities, transit, airports with direct flights to China, luxury shopping, and sports and recreational facilities. Also, explain likely returns and gains.
- With your listings, take the the extra time to rewrite your descriptions. Make them half tourist brochure and half property description. You have to attract the buyer to the area as well as to the home.
With these three pieces of advice, you could win a share of that $109 billion for yourself.
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Fresh Listings. Fresh Website.
New Home Feed’s got a new look and feel! The new, cutting-edge, responsive website allows builders and brokers to easily manage and update their new home listings everywhere they go.
We’re happy to unveil our new look and invite you to click through and start listing your homes today! Visit www.newhomefeed.com.
New Home Feed is the fastest, easiest, and most affordable syndication, listing management, and reporting technology that allows new-home sellers to take control of their listings online. Our listing partner network includes the top hand-picked listing directories that drive the highest quality traffic and leads back to your website (not a third-party listing directory). So come join the hundreds of builders nationwide using New Home Feed!
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At New Home Feed we continue to innovate, creating new ways to get your homes the widest reach and most exposure possible!
In doing so, we are happy to announce that we’ve launched the long-awaited Facebook App-and it’s really cool! Click here to check it out! Now, for only $79 per month, your Facebook visitors can see your communities, plans, and spec homes for sale right on your Facebook page. And, much like the rest of the listing network fed by New Home Feed, all listings clicked on Facebook sends traffic back to your website where you get the highest quality leads. Even more, all leads and traffic are tracked through New Home Feed’s intuitive dashboard reporting tools. But that’s not all, here are other benefits:
- Takes just minutes to launch
- Updates your listings when you update New Home Feed
- Tracks traffic and leads from your Facebook account in New Home Feed’s easy dashboard
- Provides intuitive maps and listings searches
- Comprehensive Community, Plans, and Spec Home Details
- Generates multiple links to drive traffic back to your website
- Provides lead conversion forms on every page
Sign up for a New Home Feed account and get your new-home listings on Facebook today!
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We’ve finally got some positive news after a bit of a rough start this year. On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released February’s new-home sales report and the news was great: new home sales jumped nearly 25% over last year’s estimate – which was the highest level in seven years!
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000 is 7.8% above January’s revised rate of 500,000. New home sales experienced the biggest jump in the Northeast region, up 153%, despite being hammered by snowstorms toward the end of the month and in the South, which improved 10.1%. Sales in the West (down 6%) and Midwest (down 12.9%) experienced a slight softening in sales.
New home prices also increased in February, up 2.6% to a median price of $275,500 and the average sales price at $341,000.