March 2018

April Is Autism Awareness Month – Here’s How You Can Help

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United Real Estate is proud to continue as an official corporate partner of Autism Speaks for the third year in a row. Our fundraising efforts are off to a great start in 2018 as we kicked off our annual convention with a charity golf outing that raised $15,000. This, combined with convention t-shirt sales which raised $5,000, allowed us to make a $20,000 contribution to Autism Speaks while in Miami!

In 2018, our goal is to double our monetary contribution from 2017 and reach the $100,000 threshold.  We have several ways for our agents to contribute and help the community of families that have relatives and friends on the autism spectrum. Through our own “Project Blue” we commit to support the effort of Autism Speaks to help increase the understanding and acceptance of people with autism. All United agents can easily participate in our automatic donation process where an amount as small as $10 can be taken out of each commission check to benefit Autism Speaks. These small donations come from our network of over 3,500 agents (and growing daily!) who will close over 20,000 transactions in 2018. When all of these efforts are combined, the impact is incredibly powerful. A small contribution from a large, united group will have a significant impact on many lives. Another easy way to get engaged is to take part in local Autism Speaks walks that are held in cities across the United States. I am proud of our local broker leaders who organize their staff and agents to participate in these significant walks. They not only meet other local community leaders and support local families with autistic children, they also have fun raising money along the way.

It was two years ago that I openly shared my family’s experience with having a child diagnosed with autism. Our family has seen firsthand the undeniable benefits of early intervention – including occupational therapy – that can change the course of someone’s life. That story is still the most shared blog in our company’s history. Please click here to learn more about what has become a very inspiring story to many.

If you have a family member who has autism, you can help others in understanding and accepting people with autism by sharing your story. Throughout the month of April, Autism Speaks will be collecting stories of individuals around the world who will share their journey of hope. To learn more, please follow their stories here.

In a world of differences, Autism Speaks amazingly unites individuals living in vastly different societies across the planet for one day – offering support towards those who are unique and diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Last year, over 11,000 buildings around the globe participated in Light It Up Blue to show support for the 70 million people affected by autism. The Light It Up Blue campaign begins on April 2nd and kicks off Autism Awareness month. I am grateful and proud of our organization’s continuous support of Autism Speaks.

A big thank you in advance to everyone at United Real Estate who will participate in Project Blue during 2018. Wear your blue on 4/2 and let’s keep moving forward in our careers, businesses, relationships and in our support of others that need our help!

All the best,

Peter

Will The Lack of Inventory Be the Real Estate Agent’s Downfall?

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Sales, like many high income potential careers, has always been competitive. In the residential real estate industry, where the value of homes sold is expected to exceed $2.5 trillion in 2018, market conditions are going to contribute to competitiveness for both real estate agents and homebuyers alike to reach their goals. For the first time, that I am aware of, there are more active Realtors than there are active listings to begin a new year. (See graph below. Data from realtor.com and NAR monthly membership report.)

The number of Realtors is slightly down from the peak of real estate market in 2006, but the inventory levels continue to decrease. We are now entering the 11th straight year of single family home construction being at historically low levels. (See graph – info from Census Bureau)

This decade of low activity in single family home construction is now affecting the 4+ million millennials who will continue to turn 31 (current average age of first time homebuyer) every year for the next 10 years. Prices will continue to rise and increase at a higher annual rate than wages. The good news is that unemployment is down, but wages are not growing at the same pace as housing prices. The projection for an 8% increase in 2018 of single family construction still leaves a big shortage and is lower than the actual building that occurred during the 1980 recession when unemployment was at 7.5% and would grow to 10%.

While financial advisors debate whether a home is a good investment, I’ll end the argument for them – it is. The median net worth of 65 year olds in this country is $194K, if you take out the equity in their home that drops to $43K. More importantly, the house is not a commodity, it’s a home that gives people freedom and is a part of the majority of American’s idea of living the dream. New business entrants need to enter the discussion with local and national government agencies on how to get more single family entry level homes built. That is currently not happening.

Knowing the competitive landscape, what should you do as a real estate professional who wants to grow their income in 2018? A massive amount of money has been invested in companies looking to change the dynamics of the real estate relationships between consumers and agents, and brokerages and agents. The quality and sources for accurate housing data for consumers continues to improve and is becoming easier to access. The consumer with the iPhone is in charge. But who will own the relationship to assist them with the biggest and most complicated investment in their life? It should remain the local, micro market expert. Potential homebuyers and sellers will do a lot of research, however, research doesn’t equate to knowledge and taking action to buy or sell.

What agents need to do immediately is have an aggressive plan to market themselves on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter), as well as through traditional online sources, and take massive action to build their local brand. If they wait, others will take advantage of their lethargy and position themselves as the go-to source for navigating the home purchase, and in the best scenario they charge the agent a 35+% referral fee. The worst case scenario is the new entrants keep them as their real estate customer. Forget the noisy discussions amongst the largest brands about who is going to own the real estate data. The reality is that agents who have owned the real estate consumer relationships have up to three years to make a commitment to establish themselves as the micro market expert and own their database. Who is going to succeed in the low inventory/high tech world? The agents who build, own and invest in building their brand reputation, will remain the trusted source.

This is your road map. The question for agents to ask themselves knowing this to be the true path is: Who Do You Want to Be in Real Estate?

5-4-3-2-1, Go!

All the best in investing in yourself!

Peter

Viva United

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I want to personally thank all of our coast-to-coast attendees, our sponsors, brokers and agents from our host city, the great speakers and the United corporate staff who made the 2018 United Real Estate Convention a high-energy, impactful event! There is no question that United is a company filled with passionate, driven individuals who are willing to take action to improve their business, improve the lives of our families and the communities we serve.

We strive as a company to be different – and that starts with the relationship we have with our agents. We partner with our agents to not only sell real estate, but to help them create a lifestyle that is based on who they want to be. Other companies have focused their training by asking “What do you want to do (in sales)?”  This question revolves entirely around a financial number. A better way to ask this question is to say, “Who do you want to be?” and then build a business and plan around the answer.

Determining who you want to be and developing yourself will put you on the one true path to long-term success. In the 24/7-connected world of iPhones and social media, the entrepreneurs who will prosper are those who are sincere, trusted and liked. Being authentic and true is an important part of that equation. So, start taking action towards who you want to be, be genuine, and the rest will fall into place.

To quote Mel Robbins, our Viva United Keynote Speaker: “If I have a problem that can be solved with action, I don’t have a problem.”

Next year’s convention is in Nashville, Tennessee – and it’s one you won’t want to miss. We will continue to raise the energy level of the event and the growth opportunities for our brokers and agents. Look for pictures and videos to be posted soon to recapture the fun!

All the best,

Peter