If I told you five years ago that in 2020, we’d see 30-year fixed interest rates at 3.7%, huge buyer demand amid an inventory shortage, and +2.5% to +5% home value appreciation, you probably would have gladly signed up for those market conditions!
Well, that’s the scenario we’re looking at heading into 2020, as industry analysts and economists forecast a slowing - but still positive - real estate market, bolstered by this prolonged low-rate environment and a surge of buyer demand from Millennials.
Of course, the economy is facing an inevitable slowdown as the roller coaster can’t go up forever, and we have some serious debt and housing affordability concerns.
But there’s mostly good news in the housing sector, and Realtors and mortgage lenders still play a vital part in education, leading, and serving consumers to smart home buying and selling decisions.
So, as we’re kicking off 2020, here are 10 talking points for you to share with your clients, followers, and friends.
1. Home price appreciation will be steady instead of spectacular, but still positive.
In 2019, we saw home prices appreciate 3.5% across the U.S. (according to CoreLogic). Despite affordability concerns and years of price gains, CoreLogic expects appreciation to climb to 5.6% by the end of 2020! Others are not so optimistic, but still predict modest (+2.8%) price gains in 2020. In California, the California Association of Realtors anticipates modest but stable +2.5% home appreciation gains.
2. Mortgage rates will stay low…and even drop again!
Among economists and experts, there's an "emerging consensus" that mortgage interest rates will stay low in 2020. Although we never know where rates may go, some respected organizations like Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association predict that rates may even drop a tick next year to 3.7% for a 30-year fixed. Incredible!
3. Millennials are really ready to buy.
In 2019, Millennials accounted for 46% of all new mortgage originations and 45% of all home buyers, which led all generations by leaps and bounds. That trend will continue and grow in 2020.
4. But the Baby Boomers are staying put.
Instead of selling their homes to downsize, move and buy again, or change their lifestyle, Baby Boomers are opting to age and retire in their current homes. In fact, only 17% of home buyers last year were Baby Boomers, and it's estimated that they're "sitting on" 1.6 million homes across the country that normally would be up for sale if past trends continued.
5. Low inventory and an entry-level housing shortage.
In most markets across the U.S., inventory remains low, meaning that buyers are facing fewer choices, more competition, and upward price pressure. That inventory problem will get some aid from new homes, but not much. In fact, building pace still falls shy of historical average production, and many developers have built higher-end homes – not affordable starter homes where inventory is sorely needed.
6. Nesting instead of moving up.
Another part of the inventory problem is that homeowners are staying longer before they sell and move. The average homeowner now stays in their residence for 13 years before putting it back on the market, up from an average of 8 years in 2010.
7. Home prices not likely to fall.
The economy may take a downward turn in 2020, but that doesn’t mean the housing market will take a hit like we saw during the last recession. According to data from ARCH MI, a leading real estate statistics analyst firm, the chance of home price declines throughout 2020 AND 2021 is just 11%. So, home price growth may slow, but it’s very unlikely we see them fall!
8. A shortage of affordable homes for first-time buyers.
Entry-level and affordable homes will see the most effects of short inventory and tight competition, creating a real crunch among first-time buyers and Millennial buyers.
9. But the luxury market will hum along.
The high-end real estate market should remain stable throughout 2020, with greater inventory levels (by percentage, not volume) than other price points. That abundance of inventory should nudge some sellers to cash out, while plenty of buyers look to take advantage. Prices may be flat or even drop a notch on the high end, but the market will remain dynamic and stable.
10. It’s all about the tech!
The process of searching for, buying, and selling a home continue to be more tech-oriented, with smart apps, mobile home searches, smart homes, and social media marketing for listings. That's especially true for Millennials, as 98% of buyers in this age bracket search for homes online, and 80% of them found the home online that they eventually bought last year.
I hope those ten talking points help you kick off 2020 with good news about the real estate and mortgage market!
And if you need any help with your marketing, lead generation, and client outreach in 2020, you know where to find me!
It’s hard to believe 2020 is already here, but New Year’s Eve officially lead us into a brand new decade.
Before the whole world officially gets back to work (and the New Year's hangovers fade), I encourage you to use this time to clarify your business goals for 2020. Take stock of what worked well in 2019, what aspects you need to improve upon, and also, the most inefficient and time-wasting elements that you can cut out (or outsource) in 2020.
I’m going to give you the gift of three pieces of advice as you recount, recalibrate, and reload your business plan for 2020. I hope you’ll keep these in mind, as I promise they will lead to an epically-successful 2020:
1. Follow your passion.
The real estate and mortgage business is too-often all about numbers and dollars, especially in our growingly-impersonal world of technology.
However, there is still room for passion. In fact, that’s exactly where you’ll find the most success, feel the most fulfilled, and find meaning in your work and your life.
Always think in terms of adding more value because that’s what drives you, but have a little fun and don’t be afraid to get personal - I promise you that your clients will love you for it!
2. Think long-term and big picture.
I get it. Your mortgage is due. The car just broke down. And the your kids need braces. The financial pressure to close the next deal is HUGE for anyone in sales or self-employed, but especially for Realtors and lenders. But instead of being reactionary and chasing every deal like a dog chasing its tail, try to think big-picture.
You have 365 days in 2020. Make them count by prioritizing the most fruitful activities to the best of your ability with sustained energy.
Take the time to put systems in place, get organized, build your brand, train staff, and schedule everything. Think in terms of the average of all of these efforts and measures paying off throughout those 365 days, not just the next closing check.
3. Work on yourself.
This may be the most important piece of advice I can ever give you, but it’s certainly nothing new or original.
My favorite quote is that go legendary motivational guru (before they were a dime a dozen) Jim Rohn, who said,
"Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become."
In fact, you should work on yourself MORE than you work on your business, although that could also mean working on education, communications skills, new ways to add value, giving back in the community, reinforcing relationships, and more.
Break down those old barriers, emotional constraints, bad narratives, and limiting mindsets that keep sabotaging your business.
Read books, exercise, practice your faith or spirituality, help others, and always strive to be a better person today than you were yesterday.
Once you commit to that, your success will come, I promise you - and not just incrementally but with massive shifts that will be around long after 2020 comes to pass, too.
Happy New Year and I’m rooting for you in 2020!
Do you love GIFs? Do you share them on social media? Or, get a good chuckle when someone posts a hilarious GIF?
Of course, people who are into them are really into them (we all know that guy or gal who posts so many GIFs, it seems like the only way they communicate!)
Either way, GIFs are a fantastic and highly-effective way to promote your business.
For those of you who are scratching your head wondering what a GIF is, the best way to think of them are animated images, sort of like watching one of those old school flip books we used to make as kids.
Except now, they’ve become the go-to format for sharing short, funny, and topical animated bits across social media.
Marketing your business with your own GIFs
If you’re a Realtor, mortgage lender, or any small business owner, I’m encouraging you to make your own custom GIFs. (And I’ll help you do just that.)
You’ll find that producing your own GIFs is fun, easy, inexpensive, and a great way to instantly gain your audience’s attention online (the ultimate goal of any marketing).
Remember that if you’re competing against all other Realtors, loan officers, or small businesses in your niche online, everything that differentiates you and catches the eye is invaluable!
Think about it like this: a lot of your competitors are producing and posting images, some of the are making videos, a few of them are writing blogs and articles, but a scarce few are producing custom GIFS.
What you need to know about GIFs
GIF, an acronym which means "Graphics Interchange Format," is a file format for visual content for the web, similar to JPEG or PNG.
It was first used by CompuServe in the 1987, and there have been only marginal improvements over the decades. In fact, GIFs are relatively low quality compared to other image formats, since they only use 256 colors, making them appear somewhat grainy and washed out. They also don’t have any sound. (Did you just realize that for the first time now?!)
But they have one huge advantage: GIFS support animation, unlike JPEGS and PNGs.
They also are a very small file size compared to videos and they’re easy to share or post via the web, social media, PowerPoint, email, or even text.
Using GIFs for marketing your business
Not only will a personal GIF separate you from the competition, there are so many ideas for content you can produce, like:
So, basically you can make a GIF about anything.
But I also encourage you not to over-use them, as a little GIF goes a long way!
GIFs with your branding
Of course, these GIFS can also contain your image, logo, brand, website or email, or any other contact info you’d like.
Hell, even the California Association of Realtors got on board with GIFs recently, creating 24 unique and fun real estate lifestyle GIFs for Android or IOS that any Realtor or lender can relate to!
“GIFs allow REALTORS® to express themselves with their clients in a way that a regular emoji can’t,” said Jared Martin, CAR President. “Like the excitement of closing day.”
Where you can share your new GIFs
Not only can you use your new custom GIFs on your social media platforms, on your website, in email newsletters or text messaging campaigns, but I particularly love them as email signatures that offer some movement, color, and instantly become conversation pieces.
You can even upload your GIF to Giphy.com or another free GIF site and allow others to use them. Hey, that’s free promotion for you!
But how do you even pronounce “GIF”?!
OK, now to answer the centuries-old question: how do you pronounce “GIF?”
Some people say it with a hard ‘G’ like in “Gift,” while others say “Jiff.”
Going right to the source and original creator of GIFs, Steve Wilhite, we find out that the correct way to say it is actually “Jiff” – like Jiffy peanut butter. Then again, so many people say “Gif” with a hard G that both are acceptable.
Are you interested in having some of your own custom GIFs made? Jut hit me up!
A good percentage of Realtors, mortgage lenders, and small business owners are using Facebook ads these days, with varying results.
But there’s another ad platform that has some huge inherent advantages to Facebook, is far superior for driving engagement, and costs a whole lot less: YouTube preroll ads.
I’ve been ringing the YouTube bell for a while now (and warning you about the declining effectiveness of Facebook ads), and YouTube’s ad options are another good reason to pay attention.
Before I jump into the nuts and bolts about YouTube preroll ads, a quick summary would you should consider marketing your business there.
Basically, think of YouTube like modern-day television, where viewers can click or type to find the channel and program they want.
And YOU can advertise on those channels or even specific videos – with negligible risk, low cost, and a huge upside to connect with your ideal audience.
Why should you consider a YouTube preroll ad?
I’ll get right to the good stuff:
With YouTube preroll ads, you only pay for a view if the user passes the 30-second mark (or watches the entire video) or clicks on your ad!
So, if the viewer sees your video ad but clicks out after 29 seconds (instead of 30) or any time earlier than the end of the video, it isn’t considered a View per YouTube’s metrics…and you aren’t charged.
Let me say that again: You aren’t charged if the user doesn’t watch the whole thing or actively clicks. You aren’t charged a penny even if they watched 96.6% of the video (29 out of 30 seconds).
Standard preroll ads are videos that run for 30 seconds,
Another form of preroll ads are TrueView ads, which can be longer than 30 seconds BUT the viewer has the option to skip them after just 5 seconds.
But let’s assume we’re talking about standard preroll ads.
How YouTube defines (and charges you for) an ad View
When you set up the ad, you agree to pay per View.
However, how YouTube defines a View leads us to the awesomeness of pre-roll ads.
In fact, it’s only considered a View when the YouTube user clicks on your ad or watches to completion (the 30-second mark).
Since YouTube is a Google platform, the tracking and analytics tools you have at your fingertips are superb. You can see how many people saw your ad, both partial and complete views.
But we don’t want to run ads just to have things almost work of course, even if we aren’t charged for the exposure.
The data on YouTube preroll ads
The good news is the average video completion rate for YouTube preroll ads is 65%, or viewers reach the 30-second (completion) mark of the video almost two out of every three times.
In fact, only 16% click away from 30-second pre-roll ads according to industry data.
And the average Cost per Completion (when someone clicks or watches the whole video to the end) is only $0.10 to $0.30
Yup, only a dime to three dimes!
Of course, YouTube preroll ads aren’t perfect;
These YouTube ads are also best as the top of a lead funnel that offers something for free, sends them to a landing page on your website, solicits subscribers, etc. – not standing alone.
Targeting YouTube ads
YouTube’s preroll advertising also has huge advantages when it comes to targeting your ideal audience.
You can target people based on their search history (such as if they’ve watch first -time home buyer videos, mortgage education videos, videos from high-end brands or in certain geographic locations, etc.)
Or target people who have viewed your YouTube videos before, a form of remarketing who may bring the cost per click down to $0.10 in some cases.
And you can also tighten down the targeting based on:
Facebook ads vs. YouTube preroll ads
Facebook ads are cool. They’re alright. Don’t stop doing them…
But you definitely want to jump into YouTube with both feet, both as a place to host and share your videos (and you ARE making plenty of videos, right?!) and for YouTube’s preroll ads.
Compared to the shotgun approach of Facebook ad targeting (referred to as “spray or pray” in the marketing community), you’ll spend WAY less and probably get WAY more out of preroll ads.
That’s especially true since Facebook has amended their rules for ads in Housing (including real estate and mortgage), Employment, and Credit, Facebook ads are more expensive, less effective, and harder to accurately target than ever before.
People who are on YouTube are ACTIVELY looking for information, advice, or help with some topic revolving around home buying, getting a home loan, fixing their credit, or about a certain neighborhood or city.
People who are watching YouTube videos tend to be ready NOW.
You can target them efficiently.
And you can reach them with your video preroll ad for less money and less risk (since you’ll only pay for a View if they watch the whole ad or click).
Let me know if you need any help!