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In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the real estate industry. Real estate agents are continuing to adjust their day-to-day practices as a way of accommodating buyers and sellers with social distancing measures in place. At the same time, buyers are adapting to newly implemented safety standards and real estate trends, which is also leading them to alter their wish lists this year.

Multiple individuals in a family are now working from home. 

Because many Americans have transitioned to working remotely, many have decided that they would prefer their home to feature rooms that are structurally separated from one another. This trend only seems to be growing in 2020. With multiple family members now working at home together, it can be challenging to find a quiet space during the day. Below are some additional commonly asked questions:

  • "How can I attend my virtual meeting in this room?"
  • "How can my child focus on their homework in this room?"
  • "How can my family members and I get our work done in a home that features an open-concept?"

Many schools are conducting remote classes until 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools are hosting remote classes through the end of the year. As such, parents are working to accommodate the needs of their children from within their homes. 

Homebuyers may buy with the pandemic in mind.

Homebuyers today are asking the same questions when they are touring homes this year. Because there is much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, people want their homes to be functional for work-from-home purposes. While home buying trends seem to change yearly, the growing disinterest in open-concept type homes may be one to continue for years to come as more companies are offering work-from-home options.

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Are you currently searching for your next home? Have you considered the foreclosures in your desired location? Besides the opportunity to land an excellent deal, there are various other benefits to buying a foreclosure. Your dream home may be a foreclosure that is currently sitting on the market as you are reading this blog. Read on and discover three important factors to consider when buying a foreclosure.

Estimate any future repair costs 

A common mistake that people make when purchasing a foreclosure property is failing to estimate future repair costs. With any home purchase, you want to ensure that you aren't investing in a property that will present significant repair expenses in the long run. Since many foreclosure homes are vacant for extended periods of time, condition issues and a need for minor repairs is not uncommon. With this, it is important to understand that you will need to budget for any major repairs if you plan on making an offer on a foreclosure.

Understand the market.

What is the price range of similar homes in the area? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself during a home search. In most cases, you should be able to roughly determine an average price based on factors like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage of the property

Invest in a thorough inspection of the property.

To ensure that you fully understand the condition of a home, it is equally important to invest in a home inspection. This is especially important for foreclosures because many of them have been vacant and neglected for long durations. Be sure to do your due diligence and hire a reputable home inspector who will identify potential problems with the property. Significant issues, such as damage to the foundation, could influence your decision of whether or not you decide to place an offer on the home. It is also important to realize that the seller of a foreclosure is under no obligation to disclose potential issues with a property. With this in mind, it is critical to learn more about the true condition of a home by utilizing the expertise of a licensed contractor. 

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In what has been an unprecedented state of the industry, real estate agents are adopting digital platforms to conduct business virtually. While there is a learning curve, agents who have not already done so should embrace various digital platforms to improve their day-to-day operations. Consider the following reasons why virtual communications are here to stay in the real estate industry.

Buyers, sellers, and agents are adjusting to the change.

For many years, meeting face-to-face was the predominant way of conducting business in real estate. However, this has not been the case in 2020. Even the most experienced agents today are realizing that newer video communications tools can be successfully paired with traditional real estate practices to communicate with clients. Platforms like Zoom and Skype have been well-received overall from buyers, sellers, and agents. They are easy to use for people regardless of skill level.

Online platforms promote efficiency.

People are always looking for efficient and cost-effective alternatives or solutions. This year, virtual communications platforms have been a solution for real estate agents needing to communicate with clients in a time of social distancing. Even after the pandemic comes to an end, virtual communication will be seen as an effective alternative to in-person meetings.

Virtual communications enable connection from anywhere. 

While nothing can replace the experience of meeting in person, virtual communication platforms enable buyers, sellers, and agents to connect from anywhere at any time. Additionally, online communications allow agents to increase their availability for client support. With this added flexibility incorporated into the process, agents can remain open to additional opportunities.

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The ongoing pandemic has impacted almost every industry in 2020. The real estate sector is one of the best examples of this new reality. Although modern technology was already changing the way buyers research and purchase homes before this year, COVID-19 has further strengthened the need for tech advancements, altering the industry as a whole. Consider the following tips on how real estate professionals can successfully adapt to technological changes moving forward.

Understand industry tools and trends.

One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to pay close attention to what other professionals are doing in the real estate industry. After doing some research, you may realize that the local competition is now using a superior way for obtaining leads, interacting with clients, or automating stages of the home buying process.

Only utilize technology that fulfills your specific needs.

Do you have a niche when it comes to real estate? Are you a listing agent? If so, you want to invest in tools that are made for home listings before anything else. If you are an agent who primarily serves buyers, you may consider new digital tools that help buyers research homes.

Always calculate your return on investment.

If you are struggling to rationalize the cost of a new tech tool, understand that return on investment is a more important number to you. After crunching some numbers, you may find that a few new innovations may increase your overall income. It is easy to get caught up in the expenses associated with tech tools. However, it is necessary to have a long-term outlook when considering new technologies.

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One of the best ways for a person to build wealth is to invest in the future. Some of the most popular types of investment categories include retirement plans, mutual funds, stocks, and commodities. Another proven-effective way to invest your money is through purchasing real estate. Although the ongoing pandemic has made 2020 a financially challenging year for many Americans, historically low interests rates make it an attractive time to invest in real estate. With this in mind, read on and discover a few reasons why real estate remains a smart investment in 2020. 

Real estate provides owner tax reductions.

One frequently overlooked benefit of owning real estate is that it is tax deductible. This is because tax codes permit various deductions on the interest paid on the mortgage, home maintenance, improvements, and property upkeep. These deductions can reduce your overall taxes, saving you money every year.

Real estate investments will likely appreciate. 

Appreciation is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in real estate. When the National Association of Realtors started tracking real estate appreciation levels in 1968, they reported an average rate of about 6% a year. While there are no guarantees that a home will appreciate in value over time, history has shown us that real estate will continue to appreciate in value.

Equity is built over time. 

Most people require a mortgage in order to purchase real estate. Through debt financing from a lender, a lender can purchase a home by putting down a small percentage of the home. This is known as a downpayment. Over time, the reduction in the principle amount builds your equity in the home. 

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While real estate is often recognized as one of the most competitive industries, it is especially competitive in the present moment with many new challenges presented by current events. As such, real estate agents are now vying for more leads through various marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to stay ahead of high activity in the market. If you are in the process of shifting your approach to client needs for 2020, consider the following best practices for succeeding as a real estate agent today. 

Provide value to clients 

Why should a buyer or seller hire you? What do you bring to the table as an agent? The most successful agents are knowledgeable about housing markets, real estate trends, different neighborhoods in the local area, school systems, public transportation, home financing options, etc. Also, buyers and sellers today want to work with agents who have strong networks of people. If you already have contacts that you can refer your clients to regarding things like landscaping, plumbing, electrical, and inspectors, you will make their lives a lot easier.

Understand that every client has a different mindset

The most successful real estate agents are flexible with how they work with their clients. All too often, agents stick to one methodology for communicating with clients. Because everyone thinks and acts differently, an agent needs to be accommodating to serve their clients best. For example, millennial homebuyers are generally more tech-savvy than older individuals and prefer the usage of digital applications for communication purposes.

Build networks through relationship building

As is the case for many professions, real estate agents should continually strive to grow their network. Over time, a strong network will provide you with business through referrals/word of mouth. Also, it is important to create new contacts, but it is also necessary to maintain your existing ones. In other words, don’t forget/neglect to reach out to people you haven’t spoken with in a while.

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