By Alex Milshteyn
I’ve attended the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo since 2005. A lot has changed since my first annual conference, which also took place in San Francisco, but a lot has also stayed the same. Here is a list of some of my memorable changes:
- In 2005, I didn’t have in-flight internet. I am not sure how I survived 4.5 hour flight without checking e-mail.
- In 2005, I came to San Francisco with no technology. No iPhone, no iPad, no MacBook, no battery pack, no 3 chargers.
- In 2005, I carried a fancy silver flip phone on my belt.
- In 2005, I walked by at least four “Internet Cafés” from my hotel to the convention center. I used these cafés to check my e-mail only once a day.
- In 2005, the only “tech” sessions offered were training on how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint. I remember taking a class on how to create a listing presentation in PowerPoint. I was one of 20 REALTORS® that attended this class.
- In 2005, social media was non-existent at the conference.
- In 2005, Zillow and Trulia didn’t exist.
- In 2005, I bought my first package through realtor.com®, I agreed to pay them $300 per year to “showcase” my listings.
- In 2005, the conference registration cost $300. It was $400 for this year.
- In 2005, Dr. Phil was the keynote speaker.
- In 2005, the expo had “tech” companies that mostly included only website creators like z57 and iHouse.
A lot has changed in eight years. But also, a lot has stayed the same. The sessions on selling real estate are mostly the same; old school methods still work. Technology has made it easier for us to communicate but it hasn’t replaced us. I’m looking forward to the next REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Francisco in 2019 so that I can report the changes that have happened since 2013.
Alex Milshteyn, GRI, ABR, is a REALTOR® in Ann Arbor, Mich., who runs a real estate team of five professionals called Alex Milshteyn Real Estate Associates. Connect with him at www.alexmi.com.
By Heather Soldonia
In the spirit of October and Halloween, I think it’s a perfect time to discuss the many superstitions, beliefs, and practices held by home buyers (and sellers). As I’ve implied before, the San Francisco Bay Area is a cauldron pot of ancestries, religions, family, and marital statuses. But with that diversity there is a cobweb of belief systems and practices.
Examples of Taboo Features:
- Home (or front door) faces North– doesn’t encourage harmony, natural flow, warmth, protection, etc. as it would if it were facing other directions.
- Staircase (or backdoor) visible from front door – means any good fortune in the home will quickly flow out.
- Death in home – the person’s spirit may still remain in the home.
- Numbers in address or purchase price are unlucky – 4 and 13 are unlucky, or any number ending with a downward stroke (1,4,7,9).
Determine the Root: Continue reading »
By Heather Soldonia
Despite the condition of the nation’s real estate market, California still holds some of the strongest property values in the country.
Forbes Magazine recently released its annual article of America’s 500 Most Expensive Zip Codes. And it’s actually easier to identify which San Francisco Bay area towns aren’t listed. The median home price in Sunnyvale (#498) was $499,000 and the median home price for Atherton (#2) was $3,850,000.
Simply put, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the toughest housing markets for first-time home buyers to break into. Entering this market requires strategy. It’s not for the faint-of-heart and it’s not for the uninformed.
The following are things I believe will help your clients succeed in this, and any market:
- Manage your clients’ expectations.
- Get them pre-approved before you show them a $700,000 home when they are only approved to finance a $500,000 home.
- Remind them that their first home DOES NOT NEED TO BE THEIR DREAM HOME!! It is just a step to get them in the game.
- Direct them to ethical mortgage brokers.
- The Life of the Loan is the most important aspect to consider. If they have no intention to grow old in this starter home, it’s not imperative to obtain a conservative loan.
- Creative Financing is what will get them into a $500,000 home here. It’s important that you direct them to someone who will educate them about the financing process and potential problems so that they can make informed decisions.
- Suggest Home Buyer Programs.
- Local Programs: http://www.hud.gov/local/ca/homeownership/prgmscity.cfm
- State Programs: http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/programs/index.htm
- Federal Programs: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/index.html
Heather Soldonia is a Broker/REALTOR® in the San Francisco Bay area with Windermere Welcome Home. She can be found at www.heathersoldonia.mywindermere.com.