real estate agents

The Limit on Your Dreams Does Not Exist, but the Number of Homes For Sale Does.

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As we enter the summer months, the busiest time for purchasing a home, a common problem across the United States is facing the next generation of potential homebuyers. Although many Millennials have delayed marriage and children, they are reaching the age where it is “getting real” and they are wanting to purchase their first home.

We should all have an image of our dream house but then acknowledge the actual home we are able to afford. While many in Generation X may have missed the opportunity to purchase their top choice during their search for their first home, they knew there was always going to be another home to purchase. Historically, the housing market has had a 6-month availability of housing inventory that was actively available for sale on the market at any given time. Today, with less than 60 days of housing inventory available and multi-bid situations becoming the norm, if first-time homebuyers miss an opportunity to purchase a home they like and are able to afford, they may be waiting a very long time before they can be in a position to submit the winning offer on a home they want.

What does 10 years of record lows in new home construction look like? What does it mean for the future of first-time homebuyers?  Take a look at the chart below from the Commerce Department.

As a nation we are building too few single family homes. The nation has not seen an extended timeframe with a low level of new home sales activity per adult population like this since prior to 1965. A generation of 4 million people are continuing to turn 31 every year across the nation and we are only building around 800K new homes annually. The cycle we are in of historic low levels of new construction is not bent, it’s broken. Correcting this long-term challenge will require alignment of local and national government agencies and private equity to target a solution that requires all of them to be involved in solving this problem.

How is this going to affect your real estate business and your income? Goal orientated individuals realize that it’s not only the market that determines their future, but how they approach the market. For instance, 30% of homes in Southern California markets sold in Q1 without being entered into the MLS system. The amount of pocket listings held out of the MLS by brokerages and agents are growing and will be coming to your market.

My plan is to help you develop the mindset you need and the activities to perform in order to succeed as a top-performing real estate agent in this market. Homebuyers and sellers need local market expertise, and to be a successful real estate agent you must own that position in the mind of your consumers.

Join me at Amplified Selling in Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia June 20 and 22 and learn how to tune up your activity to amplify your results.

To your success,

Peter Giese

President

United Real Estate

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

United Real Estate Lands on Inc. 5000 List Third Year in a Row!

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To be included once again on the Inc. 5000 list is an incredible accomplishment for United Real Estate. What began as a single real estate office in July of 2011 in Dallas, Texas, has become a testament to how seeing things differently in business can allow you to reap big rewards. The real estate market looked vastly different in 2011 and 2012 when we were preparing the company to grow nationwide. And let’s not forget that in 2012, 43 percent of all home sales were either a short sale or a foreclosure. From having a difficult time selling a home to now having a difficult time finding a home for sale, we have seen dramatic shifts in the real estate market in a short period of time. As a company, United Real Estate continues to move forward full force with commitment to invest and innovate, making certain that we remain a modern, relevant brokerage that is the preferred choice for productive real estate agents and their customers.

While the market continues to change, what has remained constant is the vision we had when we first launched United Real Estate. The vision to build a market-leading full-service 100 percent commission real estate company is thriving and becoming a reality through our ever growing franchise network. No longer do agents have to choose between paying high fees for the support they need to grow their business or working for 100 percent commission with very limited support. At United, our agents are provided the focused support they need with very low fees, all while receiving 100 percent of their commission. Behind our growth is a commitment from all of our employees, brokers, managers and franchise owners aligning with three success principals.

Our first success principal passion.  Our company as a whole is really passionate about our business and works to keep that passion at the forefront of our decisions every day. We are passionate about helping agents achieve personal financial freedom in their real estate careers. United Real Estate operates on the belief that agents are entrepreneurs and if we develop our agents and assist them in creating the business and lifestyle they desire, they will transform United Real Estate into the market leader.

The second success principle is an understanding of what drives our economics. Transaction volume from our agents drives our economics. The company makes money when our agents make money. This aligns everyone in the organization with the same end goal to make certain our agents have the support they need to sell more real estate. We see the success of this principal in our established offices where over 90 percent of their agents are productive.

Lastly, the third principle is an understanding of where we excel in our business and industry. At United Real Estate, we excel at recruiting productive real estate agents. Our rising recruitment of quality agents is the combination of our passion to help agents succeed with the economics of our business model. We warmly welcome the 100+ agents that join our offices each month.

The combined commitments of many people have allowed us to help our agents not only make more money, but create a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. I fondly remember speaking with an agent who joined United during our first year and stating to me, “Thanks Peter, you and United have made it worthwhile for me to sell more real estate.” This statement encompasses the United vision and our culture. It tells the story behind our mission and core belief that our agents are entrepreneurs. Simply put when our agents succeed, United succeeds.

To find out more about our rapidly expanding network and our protected franchise territory model, visit GrowWithUnited.com

Thanks,

Peter

The iPhone® Turned Ten in June and Changed How Real Estate Agents Operate

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Whether you are an AndroidTM fan or an individual like myself who could not bear to part with the iPhone, the disruptive impact that smartphones have had on many industries has been proven time and time again. Steve Jobs described the first iPhone as a “truly magical product.” Looking back, as well as into the future, it’s hard to imagine another device that will ever be more readily used each day by the majority of the population than our smartphones. In 2016, Apple® stated that the average iPhone user unlocked their phone 80 times a day and checked their phone over 150 times a day!

The mobile phone started as a way to increase communication and now the idea of owning just a “mobile phone” is considered ancient. It’s not only mobile phones that were replaced by the invention of the smartphone. Think of cameras, personal computers, GPS devices and even Apple’s own product, the iPod® – all have been replaced by smartphones. It’s not hardware makers alone that have been affected; new industries emerged and disrupted other traditional businesses with the invention of smartphone applications. You now have a computer, video camera, gaming device and movie studio in the palm of your hand. With those capabilities available on our phone, it is easy to get distracted. What are we doing when we constantly check our phones?

Yes, we still spend a lot of time talking and texting on our smartphones, but for many our phones have replaced our computers for website searches, email and have become the main vehicle for interacting on social media and with our community, in general.

A great deal of time and money has been spent by real estate brokers and agents to make their websites mobile friendly and responsive to help facilitate the interaction with buyers and sellers. This shift to mobile responsive websites was caused by the majority of real estate searches being performed on mobile devices. The amount of online research that potential home buyers and sellers conduct continues to increase each year as connectivity and the smartphone ease of use improves. Mobile search and key terms are definitely critical for an agent’s online success. But with the easy access to information and time on our hands, another search category has developed.

Home buyers and sellers are no longer looking at real estate properties, neighborhood demographics and valuation trends alone, they are researching prospective agents extensively too. Two out of three people interested in buying a home are researching prospective agents comprehensively online prior to working with them (see graph below).

It’s no longer enough for a REALTOR© to be proficient at their trade, they now need to pass the Google® test and be seen as the most competent choice online. The first step in this new process is being certain you, as a REALTOR©, dominate a consumer’s search. How do you accomplish this? First, you should own your own website domain with a personal URL and have a website with relevant content. You also need to have a professional profile on dominant national consumer real estate websites, a presence on social media (i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook) and participate on consumer review sites.

The next question to ask yourself is, have you shifted your mindset to that of a media company? The reality is that when you are being extensively searched online, you are your own brand! With the mindset of a media company, you move past checking the box and being found on the Internet or social media and move towards properly promoting and managing your brand. This means you have to develop content, distribute content and be readily seen as a market expert – you have to be someone people want to do business with. The impact of the smartphone will continue to be felt by all brands. Take this opportunity to promote your real estate brand beyond what your competition is willing to do. The rules for winning at this brand game have been already determined. You need to fully commit to the new personal promotion strategy to win.

As you finish this article, take a moment to search yourself using your smartphone and see what results appear on the first page. You would be prepared for an in-person meeting with a client – you need to be prepared for the client meetings that are happening online without you. Be certain to be Google and smartphone prepared because your customer base expects it.

Check out the United Intranet for the latest training on building your brand presence.

Peter

Six Characteristics to Being Successful

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What do successful people have in common? If you study people that have navigated the ever-changing world we live in and became successful in business and life, you will see them all share similar characteristics. Develop these six traits and success will follow you.

Vision

Vision is a mental picture of what the future will or could be like. It is the foundation for the changes you will make and actions you will take to support your idea of the future. With the correct vision, you are willing to go to extreme measures to see that vision through. Your vision for your life, your career or your business should inspire you yet be simple to understand. For some people, this is a statement. For others, it is a pictorial collection of what they want out of life and serves as a visual reminder of their goal. In either case, carrying that vision every day moves us toward creating the future we want and then to the future we must have.

Attitude

It isn’t very often that we get anything more than we expect. Your vision has you expecting to obtain great success. Don’t let the wrong attitude set you back. What you project outwards in your personal and professional life is what you will get back. What you think your career will be is likely what it will be. You will not have the motivation needed to succeed in life if you are fighting yourself. Don’t focus on what you haven’t done; focus on what you will do to achieve your dreams. Successful people have a positive attitude and stay positive in all circumstances.

Planning and Goals

Having a plan and establishing goals will point you in the right direction to start achieving your dreams. It is your map that will guide you to your final destination. Planning starts the process of building commitment to achieving your goals. The vision may be there, but without a systematic plan with measurable goals in place, it will remain just that – a vision.

Taking Action

The best-laid plans means nothing without action. Your actions will determine how people see you and how successful you will be, not your words. Leadership is an action not a position. Successful people are leaders of their future and take action each day to move forward. Make up your mind to move forward and turn your vision into a reality.

Continued Learning

Starting a career or business is the beginning of your learning process. Anyone who achieves outstanding results and lives a full life without regret became committed to continued learning and development. That person will read more, practice more and do more throughout their life. In all professions – from doctors to teachers to corporate executive – the top performers will commit to continued education that goes beyond the minimum requirements to keep professional certifications current or to please a boss.

Persistence

Persistence means you have the discipline to stay on track for obtaining your dreams regardless of what obstacles come your way. Persistence is essential to achieve the life you deserve and keeps you on track when others around you don’t provide positive reinforcement. Below is a quote that sums up an important component of persistence.

“The one who once most wisely said, ‘Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.’ Might well have added this to it, ‘Be sure you are wrong before you quit.”

Creating a great life and business takes time – you should plan on it taking lots of time. Getting there will take persistence. There will be setbacks, but does that mean you stop chasing your dreams? If your dreams are your passion, then you won’t give up easily and you will reach that goal.

Success leaves clues. Be sure you are working on fully developing these time-tested characteristics each day!

Best wishes in creating success as you define it.

Peter

Unitedpalooza was an Epic Event!

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If you were at the 2017 United Real Estate Convention in Austin, Texas, you know the event lived up to its name! Unitedpalooza was an epic event that brought together like-minded individuals for entertainment, education, information, fun and life changing messages.

The late Jim Valvano, who rose to fame coaching North Carolina State to an NCAA National Men’s Basketball Championship and later as a broadcaster and proponent for cancer research, famously stated in one of his last speeches: “If you laugh, think and cry, that’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” 

I’m always excited to witness our convention produce those types of emotions in our attendees. It is emotions that move us to take action to improve our businesses, improve our lives and improve our communities.  If you missed the convention, you missed a lot of great days filled with emotions that remind us why we do what we do. Starting with our charity golf tournament, the opening networking session featuring local Austin musicians, two full days of education sessions, and a high energy awards session and dance party, the convention had nonstop positive energy that created something special each day.

I personally wish to thank all of our staff, brokers, agents and sponsors who attended Unitedpalooza. I stated that this convention would be an industry leading event and our best convention yet and the feedback we received from attendees confirmed it was just that! Take some time to look through the photos and tag yourself, friends and office.

Charity Golf Event

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758602047499977

Opening Night

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758588364168012

Day 1

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758571620836353

Day 2

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758558964170952

Awards Celebration

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1752480961445419

You will not want to miss next year’s convention in Miami as we again raise the energy level of the event and the growth opportunities available to our brokers and agents. Be on the lookout for our 2018 convention theme and dates!

All the best,

Peter

5-4-3-2-1…Go!

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Writing unique weekly blogs is not always an easy task. You need a compelling topic with enough content to be meaningful to your audience. Recapping the United Real Estate convention held in Austin last week is difficult – it was not just a conference, but an event built around the idea that we are all different, but have the same growth needs. We can all find information online and through education courses. What we can’t find online is a human connection. If you miss an event like our convention, you miss out on the stories that move us as people to be more and do more.

The convention was designed to have the energy of a rock concert, with the comradery of family alongside you to ensure that you not only have fun, but are open to learning. Most real estate brands speak about expertise in selling some definition of lifestyle real estate. At United Real Estate, we have agents that excel and specialize in selling all types of properties and represent all segments of buyers. Our guiding values ensure that we have the interest of our clients at the forefront, to make certain we are the trusted advisors they desire and need to have on their side.

However, as a company we want to do more than that. We want to help all agents stop viewing real estate as a job and start thinking of the lifestyle they can create for their family by focusing on being an entrepreneur instead. Real estate agents, on average, are already working over 40 hours a week. Those hours should be viewed as owning and building your own business, not having a job!  As an entrepreneur, your top task is to grow your revenue. In real estate, this means generating and following up with potential new clients.

While there is not a singular way to be successful in real estate, there is only one way to ensure success – that is to start taking action. United Real Estate and our partners can teach you to generate leads and be a market expert in real estate. You have to believe you deserve a new level of success and invest in yourself and your business!

If you missed the convention this year, you not only missed the valuable opportunity of connecting with peers, but also great educational opportunities. To quote Mel Robbins, a leading expert on personal development and one of our convention presenters this year – “There’s only one thing standing between you and the life you have always wanted – and that’s YOU.”

Take the next step to being a successful entrepreneur and buy her new bestselling book, “The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage.” In doing so, you will be armed with the skills to live your life with courage as a true entrepreneur. You can accomplish things most people won’t try and spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

5-4-3-2-1…Go! See you all at our next convention in Miami, Florida!

All the best,

Peter

United Takes New Orleans

  • Get ready for the 2016 Convention

    Get ready for the 2016 Convention

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Its official, we’re heading to New Orleans for our 2016 convention. Even though it might seem like the 2015 convention just wrapped up, we’re already planning for next year.

With our dedicated agents, brokers and industry experts all in attendance, our conventions are always a great success.  The convention is a fantastic opportunity to uncover new ideas, learn tactics for advancing your business and gain amazing insights from industry experts. The agents and brokers in attendance are able to set new goals, build connections with a powerful network of industry experts and build momentum for the coming year.

Haven’t been before? Here’s what you need to know:

Who

United Real Estate agents, staff, vendors and strategic partners are all invited to join us for our 2016 Convention. We use this as a time to recognize past accomplishments as well as gear up for the future.

What

Our annual convention is an opportunity to learn from educational speakers, mingle with United executives and be recognized for past years’ accomplishments.

When

The convention will be held February 19-21, 2015.

Where

To make the event even more enoyable, we’re hosting it at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside located along the Mississippi River and at the edge of the French Quarter.

Interested in learning more? Contact our support team at 855-441-6288 or eventteam@unitedrealestate.com. They’d be happy to help.

Translating CaptURE Success Into Personal Success in Your Real Estate Business

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All too often, it can be difficult to translate ongoing training into success in your business. Let’s face it: we attend a convention, network a little, and return to business as usual the following week.

Luckily, the United Real Estate CaptURE Success Convention breaks this archaic mold.

Known for its renowned speakers, extensive networking and training opportunities, and exceptional value for your personal real estate business, the CaptURE Success Convention offers you a comprehensive resource quickly approaching March 19-21 in Dallas, Texas. And if you want to boost your business in more ways than one, attendance is required.

Speakers in a Variety of Disciplines Offering Diverse Expertise

With speakers from within United Real Estate and outside of the company, this year’s speakers offer a diverse range of expertise in real estate coaching, speaking, social media, online marketing, and personal development.

As such, attending agents can expect to learn the information necessary to optimize their online presence, improve their interpersonal skills, and offer their business a unique boost upon returning home after the convention.

Helping You Adapt to a Changing Real Estate Environment

Like all fields, the real estate industry is constantly evolving with new technologies, tools, and resources you can use to succeed in your business. And, for simple access to everything you need to know, CaptURE Success is where you want to be.

Networking Never Before Possible

With attending agents from all over the country, the United Real Estate Convention is also a simple way to connect and network with agents you otherwise wouldn’t be able to meet.

Of course, networking is vital to success, particularly in today’s competitive environment. And as such, the connectivity offered by the Convention is simply another reason why the event draws increasing numbers of attendees on an annual basis.

Take Advantage of Everything the CaptURE Success Convention Has to Offer

Packed with keynote presentations, education breakout sessions, the expo, sponsor and exhibitor happy hour, awards recognition reception, banquet, and celebration and more, there is plenty to do the entire weekend!

Don’t worry, you still have time to register if you haven’t yet! Simply click here and enter your information for speakers, events, and networking that can take your business to the next level.

10 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

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When it comes to buying and selling homes, part of walking the walk is talking the talk. After all, it will be difficult to search for and land your dream home or sell your current home if you aren’t quite sure what all the terms mean.

Below, we’re going to detail 10 of the most important real estate terms you’ll encounter as you look to buy or sell your home. And by learning them all, you’ll have the tools you’ll need to go through either process with confidence.

  1. Buyer’s Agent vs. Listing Agent

In any home-related deal, there are two agents: the buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer, and the listing agent, who represents the seller. Both will get a percentage of the final sale price of the home as their commission, meaning that you don’t pay your realtor regardless of whether you’re buying or selling.

  1. Fixed Rate vs. Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Many individuals, including you, might need a mortgage to purchase a home. Fixed rate mortgages have a fixed interest rate for the entire loan (which is generally about 30 years) whereas adjustable rate mortgages have variable rates (which are generally 5, 7, or 10 years).

  1. Pre-Approval Letter

If a buyer needs a mortgage, it’s important to seek pre-approval from the bank to determine how much they’ll lend. This will determine which properties buyers can consider and show sellers whether or not a buyer is qualified.

  1. Listings

Homes that are on the market are commonly known as “listings.” Listings will provide vital information about a property such as the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and other details.

  1. Inspections

After making an offer, it’s essential that a buyer gets an inspection on the home they’re interested in. An inspector will evaluate potential issues like plumbing, electric, heating, appliances, the foundation, and more.

  1. Appraisal

Lenders require property appraisals to determine the home’s value. Typically, appraisals are based on the sale prices of homes that have sold in the area as well as the current condition of the property.

  1. Contingencies

Contingencies are included in offers on a home and specify conditions that must be met in order for the deal to get through. Of course, there are other contingencies as well, including:

  • Financing Contingency – Demonstrates a buyer’s loan approval.
  • Inspection Contingency – Demonstrates inspection results.
  • Appraisal Contingency – Demonstrates the appraised value in comparison to what you’re willing to pay.
  1. Offers

Offers are often made by agents or attorneys to show sellers the potential offers being made by buyers on a property. It’s common for sellers to counter an offer as well.

  1. Closing Costs

There are several fees that come with purchasing a home, commonly known as closing costs. Often, closing costs total 2 to 5% of the purchase price of the home (not including a down payment).

  1. Title Insurance

Once a seller has accepted an offer, buyers should receive a home title report that shows whether or not the seller has rights to the title and there are no liens on a home.

Looking for Assistance in Buying or Selling Your Home?

An agent is an indispensable resource when it comes to buying and selling homes.

And, when you’re looking for more than just terms to negotiate on your dream home or obtain an offer on your current home, United Real Estate can help. Contact us today to get started!