5 Common Regrets of Home Buyers

5 Common Regrets of Home Buyers

Consumers are faced with countless decisions every single day of their lives. While many are fairly simple decisions (what will I have for breakfast?) others can be quite monumental and life-changing. As a Real Estate Agent, you are undoubtedly well aware that buying a house is one of the biggest decisions many people will make in their lifetime.

Part of your job as a REALTOR is to make people feel comfortable in the home-buying process and to get them into a home that will leave them with no regrets. Unfortunately, regrets will still happen from time to time, as a result of “buyer’s remorse”.

How do you plan for potential regrets in order to ensure your clients end up satisfied? That’s the million dollar question.

While you can’t plan for every single possible scenario, the following are the top 5 home buyer regrets.

1) Premature buying

There are a few different definitions for this term, but the most common examples include buying before the buyer has saved as much as they realistically need, or before they’ve paid their debt down to a more manageable level.

2) Buying too small of a house

It is fairly common for home buyers to end up in a home that is a bit too big for what they really need, and oftentimes they will end up with an unused room or a bit of extra space. While having extra space that you don’t use can be a minor annoyance, not having enough space can be a downright catastrophe.

3) Buying a home they can’t truly afford

Regardless of the current condition of the housing market, buyers who overextend themselves financially on a home are highly likely to end in disaster.

4) Incompletely resolving co-buyer conflicts

Many people will team up together in their home purchase including couples, parents & children, brother & sister, etc. Of course each member of the “team” will likely have their own ideas of the perfect home. Sometimes these conflicts will go unresolved, resulting in one of the two buyers resenting the house they now live in.

5) Taking on repairs beyond their skill, patience and resource level

Many buyers will see some imperfections in their new home and will understand them when they buy the house. They will often have a plan for remodeling or fixing up some things here and there. These jobs can often be much larger than anticipated, resulting in the buyer becoming overwhelmed with the resources, time, or money needed to complete the job.

Planning for these potential regrets when helping your clients find a new home will go a long way in not only making them as comfortable as possible in their new purchase, but you are also more likely to get a good testimonial from a happy client instead of one filled with regrets.

Click here to help buyers locate their dream home, and capture more real estate leads!

MetroList Sacramento MLS Now Integrated with Buying Buddy

MetroList Sacramento MLS Now Integrated with Buying Buddy

More than 23,000 real estate agents in California’s Central Valley can now add powerful MLS IDX and CRM features to any website

Denver, Colorado: Buying Buddy, announces MetroList Sacramento MLS as the latest integration to its real estate IDX CRM platform.

The Buying Buddy IDX plugin integrates lead capture, lead management and marketing functions with property listings and data from MetroList Sacramento MLS, all in a real estate agent’s or broker’s website.

Buying Buddy is compatible with any website platform, including WordPress, Squarespace, Duda, Weebly, PHP, Joomla and others, and provides a full MLS search and property display capabilities using listings from MetroList Sacramento MLS.

Buying Buddy is designed to make real estate agents’ businesses more predictable. With Buying Buddy, agents can use every property in the MLS for their own content marketing initiatives, including showcasing their own sold and active listing portfolios as part of their sales approach with clients and prospects.

“We are extremely excited to have integrated the MetroList Sacramento MLS,” said Paul Eastwood, Founder of Buying Buddy. “We are always striving to forge new relationships with MLSs and our integration with MetroList Sacramento MLS now gives a large number of California real estate agents an affordable and effective integrated IDX and CRM solution.”

Eastwood continued, “MetroList adds to our national MLS coverage, allowing agents in nearly every state to harness the power of our system to effortlessly stay connected and build relationships with their clients and prospects.”

The Buying Buddy IDX CRM integration with the MetroList Sacramento MLS provides marketing solutions for real estate agents and teams in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced Counties in California’s greater Central Valley.

Buying Buddy adds new MLSs to the system monthly.

For more information on the Buying Buddy features and to see a demonstration for MetroList Sacramento MLS, visit: https://buyingbuddy.com/mls/idx/metrolist-mls

Buying Buddy Announces New Widgets

Buying Buddy Announces New Widgets

Real estate agents automate lead generation, communications using enhanced integrated IDX + CRM

Buying Buddy announces the release of a newly enhanced version of it’s real estate IDX + CRM website plugin.

The Buying Buddy IDX + CRM plugin is a web-based tool that helps make a real estate business more predictable by simplifying one of the hardest jobs any broker or agent has to do: Staying connected and building relationships with their leads.

With the Buying Buddy plugin, agents can add an IDX feed onto their website, capture leads and automatically add them to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This helps busy real estate professionals automate much of the process of finding and nurturing home buyers and sellers on their real estate journey.

Real estate agents are streamlining their businesses and seeing more predictable sales with Buying Buddy’s newly enhanced IDX + CRM plugin.

Paul Eastwood, Buying Buddy Founder

“The plugin is easy to use and does not require the skills of a webmaster to get up and running. It integrates the power of an IDX seamlessly into a website on any platform, including WordPress, Squarespace, Joomla, Weebly, Duda, HTML, PHP, and others.” he continued.

The Buying Buddy plugin features widgets that can be added to any web page with a simple copy-paste. These widgets can easily be customized to match the look and feel of the website without any coding required.

Buying Buddy’s CRM automatically nurtures leads, saving agents time so they can focus on closing deals, instead of chasing down leads.

“We have saved so much time because of the new features,” said Sara Jameson, a broker in the Houston area. “This is a game-changer for our office. We used to spend hours trying to track down our leads in email threads, over social media, or even from notes we had written down. Now all of our leads are in one place. And we are using Buying Buddy’s tools to automatically convert them into clients.”

To learn more and see a demo of Buying Buddy’s enhanced plugin, visit: BuyingBuddy.com

Or, call: 800.205.0317
Buying Buddy Is Now Available for ABOR: Austin Board of REALTORS®

Buying Buddy Is Now Available for ABOR: Austin Board of REALTORS®

Buying Buddy IDX CRM real estate lead capture and customer relationship management (CRM) platform is now available for Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABOR) real estate agents and teams.

Buying Buddy IDX CRM is designed to make real estate agents’ businesses more predictable. With Buying Buddy, agents can get rid of sales gaps by attracting and capturing new real estate leads, building relationships with leads using specialized property alerts, and managing customer relationships from any source.

The Buying Buddy IDX CRM suite is compatible with any ABOR real estate agent’s business website. The software can be used on any website as a plugin for WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, Joomla, Drupal, PHP, or as a fully built IDX-ready real estate website. Each option provides full MLS search and property display capabilities for the Austin Board of REALTORS® and the ACTRIS MLS system.

“We are extremely excited to have integrated with ABOR,” said Paul Eastwood, Founder of the Buying Buddy IDX CRM suite. “We are always striving to forge new relationships with MLSs across the country and our integration with ABOR will provide a whole new added benefit for real estate agents, teams, and offices.”

The company conducts frequent webinar presentations of the Buying Buddy IDX CRM suite. To attend the short webinar, visit https://buyingbuddy.com/request-live-demo.php.

Or, call: 800.205.0317

ReColorado and IRES Merger Solidifies

The discussions between IRES and REcolorado and now moved forward to a firm commitment to merge according to a news release from IRES today.

There is now a binding merger agreement between the two MLS. The merger agreement has been signed by Lauren Hansen, CEO of IRES, and Kirby Slunaker, president and CEO of REcolorado, and has received approval from both the REcolorado Board of Directors and the IRES Board of Managers.

The shareholders are expected to review and vote on the merger agreement in the coming weeks.

REcolorado’s shareholders are Denver Metro Association of REALTORS, South Metro Denver REALTOR Association, and Aurora Association of REALTORS®. Shareholders of IRES are Boulder Area REALTOR® Association, Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®, Greeley Area REALTOR® Association, Longmont Association of REALTORS®, and Loveland Berthoud Association of REALTORS®.

It is expected that with shareholder approval, the process of integrating the two MLS organizations, including the products and services, as well as all listing data, would begin shortly thereafter.

Amazon Signals It Might Be Ready to Jump Into Real Estate Referral Services

Amazon Signals It Might Be Ready to Jump Into Real Estate Referral Services

If you blinked then you might have missed Amazon’s placeholder page for a new real estate referral services offering. It was up and then quickly removed last week. This move has agents and brokers who saw the page wondering what the end game is for the online giant, and while it might not be clear there is lots of speculation.

The page was listed among the other services offered to Amazon users under the “Home & Business Services” tab on their services page. Many view this move as a natural extension of their other service offerings like home inspectors, interior designers, and a multitude of home repair and installation specialists. However, others see it as a direct challenge to existing companies in this space like Zillow, Realtor.com and Redfin, and point to the fall of Zillow’s stock by 4% on July 12th as evidence.

From what we (the My Buying Buddy team) can tell, the real estate referral services offering would work like it does for other professional services. Agents, Realtors and brokers would pay Amazon referral fees.  Additionally, an unnamed source said that an upfront fee would be required to qualify and receive leads through Amazon’s professional services marketplace.

With the entrance of smart home tools, including Amazon’s Echo device, Amazon has not only extended services to its users through third parties but has also quietly entered the space itself. Many are comparing it to Best Buy’s “Geek Squad”.  It is speculated that Amazon’s move into real estate services could be a part of a broader push to create its own service-provider business.

The predictions and rumors swirl as Amazon “disrupts” yet another industry.  So do we all cue up the articles we used to reserve for Zillow? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Technology and online service provider marketplaces aren’t going anywhere, so this is not one more step towards “the end” but rather a continuation of the evolution of our industry.  Whichever way this news goes, and wherever your leads come from, we will be ready.  If you need help managing your leads now with a Real Estate ready IDX CRM, contact us.

Is Your CRM Like A Unused Gym Membership, Not Completely Leveraged?

Is Your CRM Like A Unused Gym Membership, Not Completely Leveraged?

Ok gym buffs, that analogy might not resonate with you. But, many will understand the comparison. We buy things or sign up for things and have the best intentions to use them, but then for, whatever reason, we don’t follow through. Your customer relationship management solution (CRM), like an unused gym membership, will not yield results. So how can you best leverage your IDX CRM to get results?

Embrace Your IDX CRM

First, you and your team have to embrace the purpose of a CRM. It is not just a database. It does exactly what its name says, and because real estate is a business of relationships, it should be viewed as a tool that will help you manage your customer relationships. A real estate specific IDX CRM, like Buying Buddy, goes a step further.  An industry specific CRM is designed for Realtors and brokers and is specifically made to help you build the best and strongest relationship you can (make sure your CRM IDX feed is SSL secure).

Next, do your due diligence to ensure you have the best IDX CRM. The best CRM is the one that will meet your needs now and will scale to meet your needs in the future. Most solutions aren’t perfect right out of the box, so be sure it has some flexibility and can be tweaked with customization. The best CRM is also the one that your team will actually use. If there is too much of a learning curve or there is too much back and forth between systems, then it might not be the one for you. Enthusiastic adoption is everything.

Now for the most important part – building your leads and contacts and cultivating those relationships. By leveraging your IDX CRM to engage clients you will find that you are able to manage your time more efficiently. You will also free yourself up to do more networking, work on your marketing, or get involved in other activities that lead to more contacts and referrals.

Finally, a good CRM should help you track your results, and provide team managers with specific insight into team and individual performance. A recent study by Harvard Business Review found an 18% difference in revenue growth between companies with a formalized sales process and those who don’t a process. For real estate that means, brokers and agents that have a formalized sales process tracked through an IDX CRM will drive their business more effectively and have an increased ability to grow their revenue.

Take your 10,000 Foot View to Ground Level

This is a bird’s eye view of how to leverage an IDX CRM.  You don’t have to get the most expensive CRM like a Boomtown or Commissions Inc. That might be the right fit for some, but don’t get caught-up in the hype of tools and services you don’t need.  Determine what your real life looks like, and contact us to learn how a powerful and robust SSL secure real estate IDX CRM solution can help you increase your revenue.

Is Your IDX Plugin Invalidating Your Website Security (SSL)?

Is Your IDX Plugin Invalidating Your Website Security (SSL)?

Late in 2016 Google announced that it would begin marking sites which collect sensitive information as non-secure unless they were HTTPS secure. For real estate professionals, this change is having a direct impact on their SEO rankings and the ability to capture leads.

Since 2014, when Google first called for SSL everywhere on the web, many agents have taken action to make their websites secure. However, others had a startling wake-up call on February 1st this year, when they found their HTTPS website marked as non-secure. So what happened?

Your Website is Not Secure Unless Your Plugins are Secure

Unless every part of your website is secure, your website is not considered secure by Google and other search engines, and will be marked as such. Real estate websites were particularly affected by this as a lot of content can come from 3rd parties – especially your IDX plugin.

If your IDX plugin is not secure and your provider does not support SSL (Secure Socket Layer, the certificate that provides the security layer) then you should make the change to a secure IDX plugin now. If you are collecting sensitive information, especially passwords, and your website is not SSL secure, your visitors will see an alert that your website is not secure. In the near future, that alert will expand to any pages with contact forms.

For now, viewers are alerted with a small unobtrusive message. However, the plan is to increase the visibility of all HTTP sites with a red triangle to further identify unsecured sites. This is bad for business because not too many people are willing to fill in forms (i.e. “sign up”) on websites that are marked as “not secure”.

Your SSL Certification Status Impacts Your SEO

SSL certification has an impact on your search rankings (SEO). Along with the alerts served up when you’re not HTTPS encrypted, Google announced (beginning in 2014) they would start assigning a ranking signal for HTTPS/SSL within their search algorithms.  At that time, the ranking signal was lightweight, but it has gained importance over the years.

Google is now considering the use of a punitive stick along with the incentivizing carrot to force the issue. What does that mean? By implementing SSL on your website, you stand to be rewarded with higher SEO rankings, but if you don’t change you may see Google down rank your website.

For the real estate businesses, this is a pretty big deal. With the latest trends in real estate marketing moving towards hyperlocal marketing, most Realtors depend on high search ranking visibility in their local markets (you can read more about hyperlocal marketing in real estate here). So the moral of this story is, if your website in not HTTPS secure or even if your website is secure but your IDX isn’t, now is the time to switch to a secure IDX provider like Buying Buddy. 2017 is the year of the SSL certification/HTTPS website for everyone.

Since 2016, the Buying Buddy IDX CRM plugin has fully supported SSL. If you need help with a secure IDX plugin or have questions about what it means to have a secure IDX plugin, contact us.

4 Ways a CRM Can Increase Quality Leads

When it comes to leads, it all comes down to conversions.

While a 5% conversion rate is considered a great conversion rate within the real estate industry, many industry professionals see numbers closer to 1%.

So the question then becomes, how do you reduce lousy leads and increase quality ones? A quality CRM may be the answer.

According to a statistic from Annuitas, those business that nurture prospects through the use of marketing automation experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.

When using a quality CRM, one of the benefits is that you can optimize your leads

Here are 4 ways a CRM can effectively increase your quality leads to assist in conversion rates:

#1: Response Time
A quick turnaround in your response time (under an hour), can help further contact with prospects by 7 times. By automating your leads, you can send an initial response automatically to help increase conversion.

#2: Follow-up
CRMs can automate emails, and keep leads organized with easy-to-use filters based on location, demographics, and more. This will allow you to stay consistent and remain on your prospects radar.

#3: Targeting the Market
A CRM manages leads so that you can update information instantly across the platform. It provides an easy way to see what clients and leads need, making conversions effortless.

#4: Integration
Using a CRM/IDX integration or social media integration can be a very effective way to improve lead generation.

A CRM system can automatically pull all sorts of information on a new lead for you, including full names, contact info, pictures, and more, offering you a solid lead with increased insight. And with IDX integration you can see exactly what type of properties leads are looking for, including price range, geographical area, and property style.

With Buying Buddy, you get one system combining IDX for lead capture with a lead management (CRM) platform. See how it works today!