As one-stop shops for home buying and selling go, it’s hard to find one better equipped than Owners.com — a tech-enabled real estate brokerage that handles all key aspects of the home buying and selling process.\n\nIn business since 1996, Owners.com offers superior experience and savings through appropriately sized commission structures, smart digital tools and personalized service from local real estate agents. Collectively, these elements can save buyers thousands of dollars when it comes time to close on their home.
After starting out as an online directory of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) property listings, Owners.com expanded its horizons in 2001 by giving FSBO sellers the opportunity to add listings to their local multiple listing service (MLS) for a fixed fee. By 2014, Owners.com had reached an even broader audience thanks to expanded seller choices, local agent support, increased exposure and commission savings. As of 2019, Owners.com had helped sell over 160,000 residential properties since 2009.
The success of Owners.com isn’t surprising, given the benefits that the Atlanta, Georgia-based company offers potential homebuyers. Consider, for example, that traditional real estate brokerages charge up to six percent to sell your home, and this commission is usually split between the listing broker and the buyer’s broker. If your home’s sale price is $200,000, you could be paying commissions up to $12,000, with $6,000 going to the listing broker and $6,000 to the buyer’s broker.
Owners.com is different because it offers numerous listing packages to fit a buyer’s specific needs and save a buyer on commissions. Sellers, meanwhile, should consider Owners.com for the simple fact that properties marketed on the company’s website are exposed to thousands of registered users. Additionally, if you purchase the Owners.com Flat Fee MLS, MLS Premium or 2% Full-Service Agent Listing Package, your home will be listed in your local MLS and the listings will be distributed on national real estate sites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia and Homes.com.
Recognized for its innovative approach to real estate, Owners.com has earned awards from numerous technology, financial and real estate leaders, including Forbes, PC Magazine, Fast Company and HousingWire. Call 866.874.8374 or visit the Owners.com resources page to learn more.
Icon is using 3D printing to revolutionize home building
Icon, a Texas-based technology company, is working to use 3D printing to create homes in the Austin area. Icon says that by the end of 2019, it will be able to print concrete homes within just a few days. The printer used by Icon has the ability to produce bungalow-style homes that are up to 2,000 square feet. An Austin development group, Cielo Property Group, has purchased Icon’s printer and is planning to use it to produce affordable housing. Additionally, Icon is partnering with a nonprofit organization to produce 50 homes in Latin America, projected to be completed by year’s end. Icon’s 3D-printed homes are created by pouring concrete one layer at a time, which creates small folds in the walls.
The printer, called Vulcan II, is operated by a tablet and only requires a few people to run and supervise it. This method reduces labor costs as well as waste that are produced by a traditional home construction site. Icon estimates that by the time components such as land, finishing and inner-workings of the home are factored in, the cost is reduced around 30% compared to traditional home building.\n\nIcon announced in late 2018 that it had raised $9 million in seed funding to reinvent the construction of affordable homes. This will be the company’s first attempt to make a profit from the creation of 3D-printed homes.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is the process of making three dimensional solid products using a 3D printer from a digital file. 3D printed objects are created through an additive process where layers of material are successively laid until the object is completed. In the completed object, each of these layers resembles a very thin slice. 3D printing enables the production of complex shapes while using less material than traditional manufacturing methods. To learn more about this project, click here. To watch the home 3D printing process take place, watch the video below:
Exceptional customer service is a cornerstone of most successful brands. When using social media to promote your brand, it is important to utilize it as a two-way channel of communication. Take the time to reply to comments, good and bad, in an effort to retain existing customers and win new business.\n\nReplying to comments should be an integral piece of your social media strategy. By interacting with “friends” and followers, you can make a connection with your target market as well as provide great customer service through social comments.
When replying to comments, make sure to sound personable and approachable. Use comments as an opportunity to create a rapport and portray your personal brand as friendly and helpful. It likely goes without saying, but when interacting with customers, always use their names. This will make you sound more personable and approachable to current and future clients. Without losing your personal touch, make sure your comment replies are consistent with the voice of your brand.
It is also important to reply quickly, which will help make you appear interested while making your customers feel valued. Some negative comments are almost inevitable on social media platforms, and the best way to combat these is to engage with the customer in hopes of deescalating the situation. Apologize to the customer and let them know you are happy to reach out directly and offer a solution to the problem.
Forty-three percent of respondents to a recent National Mortgage News survey found their 2018 mortgage lender through an online search. In the same survey from 2017, only 21% of respondents found their mortgage lender through an online search. If this trend continues, over half of this year’s prospective homebuyers will find their mortgage lender online. For mortgage planners, an online presence with ample mortgage marketing and correct and up-to-date information is crucial to success. According to National Mortgage News, technology company Yext found that within its online presence, 64% of loan officers listed incorrect addresses while 46% had errors in their businesses’ names. Meanwhile, almost 58% of the loan officers surveyed had no online presence at all. Ensuring that profiles are created on social media platforms and that information is up to date and reviews are solicited can greatly increase loan officers’ visibility in online searches. A website with strong SEO is very important as well.
Are you looking for tips on building out your social media? Take a look at our social media articles tailored specifically to mortgage lenders who want to increase their mortgage marketing efforts. Click to view Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clubhouse.
If you’re interested in increasing your mortgage marketing through websites and SEO, check out this article.
Using retention mortgage marketing to keep you at top of mind for customers and create lifelong relationships is key to a successful business. According to Harvard Business Review, it costs loan officers nearly five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain a current customer. Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25-95%. Keeping these points in mind, it should be easy to see that while building new business is important, nurturing current customer relationships to retain customers is equally if not more paramount.
Buyers who stay with your business over time allow you the opportunity to provide ongoing value to them. This means being able to nurture a brand advocate, and it also translates to more referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing. These longtime customers can also introduce you to new prospective leads and business partners who have the potential to eventually become longtime customers and associates, thus repeating the cycle.
Mortgage Marketing Proven Plan of Action
Intent Home buying Marketing Intelligence creates a system to allow mortgage planners to build business and form relationships, as well as nurture existing relationships simultaneously. Intent provides a way for mortgage planners to stay in constant contact with their customers and business partners before, during and after the loan process. When the time comes for a past customer to purchase a new home or refinance their current home, Intent supplies the mortgage planner with the mortgage marketing tools needed to ensure they are top of mind for the customer. Intent takes pride in our proven plan of action which uses mortgage marketing to not only convert leads, but continue to nurture those leads to create customers for life.
Hubzu is an online residential marketing platform connecting prospective home buyers with properties in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, DC. Much like eBay and other online auction platforms provide bidding capabilities with cars and other items, Hubzu enables buyers to go online to place bids on homes. In addition, real estate agents can register and submit bids on behalf of their clients. The properties listed are primarily foreclosed or bank-owned homes, but they can also include condominiums and single-family dwellings available from short-sale situations and independent sellers (non-bank owned).
Hubzu breaks down the home buying process in four steps:
- Search a property by city, state, zip code or Property ID. Once you find a property you like, sign up to start the bidding and tracking process.
- Before seeing the property in person, you will have an opportunity to review the property page and see everything from property features to rental reports. However, if the property is occupied or being renovated, the seller may not offer walk-through.
- When you are ready to start bidding, click the “Place Bid” button to go right into the real estate auction. Make sure to periodically check your dashboard, which will keep you in the know if anything changes during the auction cycle.
- If your bid is selected by the seller, you will receive a purchase contract and request for more documents. After the documents are returned with your digital signature, a closing date will be set.
Before you start bidding, make sure you are up to speed with the conditions applied to the specific property you are eyeing. It’s always wise to visit and inspect a property prior to bidding, because real estate auctions usually have no inspection contingency period. Also, set aside some cash for the earnest money deposit in addition to setting a budget for any possible home repairs.
Note that a “Bid Deposit” — basically a hold on your credit card — will be required to follow through with your bid. The hold will then remain in place for the duration of the auction cycle. Remember there is no guarantee the sale will occur, and the seller has the legal right to approve or reject bids, including the highest bid. Auto Bid is an interesting feature that may help you gain the upper hand when bidding on a property. Bidders can stipulate a minimum amount that an auction bid must be raised each time the current highest bid is surpassed. You may also set up a ceiling amount that you don’t want to surpass when bidding.
To learn more about Hubzu, click here.
Mortgage referrals are a main driver of business for most loan officers and it is no secret that a satisfied customer is much more likely to recommend a mortgage planner to their family and friends. For this reason, it is important for loan officers to take every measure possible to ensure that customers feel like their home buying experience is excellent. A big key to this? Attending closings, which is one of the most important things a loan officer can do to give their customers and business partners the impression that they are committed to a wonderful lending experience.
While loan officers are not required to be at closings, Mortgage SAT’s National Benchmark by the STRATMOR Group shows that when mortgage planners are not present, borrowers are less satisfied. According to this study, the Net Promoter Score — which is the likelihood that a borrower would recommend a loan officer in the future — drops by 11 points on a 100-point scale if the loan officer is not at the closing. Additionally, if there are unexpected rates and fees and the loan officer is not available to explain the difference, the score drops by 35 points. On the flip side, 94 percent of borrowers said they were fully satisfied with their loan officer and the closing experience when the loan officer was at the closing.
In addition to making a good impression on the borrower, a loan officer who attends closings is likely to have his or her extra effort noticed by real estate agents and other parties involved. Not only does a loan officer’s presence at closings show their interest in the well-being of their customer, but the LO can help clear up any last-minute confusion or problems, which will cause the closing to go more smoothly. In return, the loan officer’s business partners will be much more likely to refer their future customers.
If a loan officer is unable to attend a closing, it is beneficial for them to be reachable by phone during the closing so they can respond to any questions that may arise. Another option is for the LO to review the closing disclosure with the buyer before the closing date and time. Whatever the method, the goal is always to make the customer feel as valued as possible.
When using data collected to target and provide mortgage marketing to leads, it is important to understand the type of data with which you are dealing. This will ensure that your mortgage marketing is being communicated correctly. Following are the three major types of data, which involve varying sources and interactions:
First-party data – In its broadest terms, first-party data is data that has been collected by a person or company itself, usually through a direct interaction. This information can include points such as name, address, email and phone number. First-party data is generally considered to be the most accurate and reliable data type, and it is often free due to the collection method.
Second-party data – This is essentially first-party data that has been shared from one entity to another. Usually gathered from consumer interactions by the entity that later does the sharing, this type of data can make understanding audiences much easier.
Third-party data – Acquired by purchase without a direct consumer relationship, third-party data is often gathered using surveillance of web browsing and cookies and may not be verified by the consumer. Third-party data can be effective for targeting, mortgage marketing or expanding reach.
In some situations, a discrepancy will exist between first-party and third-party data. In a case where leads are generated using an opt-in and the consumer knowingly agrees to receive information from a company, that data is sometimes said to be first-party. However, due to the way this information is collected, it is technically still third-party data.
When using data for mortgage marketing, it is important to think about the source. The way you reach out with first-party data is going to differ from how you reach out with third-party data. When you communicate with first-party data, you have had a real interaction with a person and can speak with them as if you’ve actually met. Because third-party data is bought, you have to speak to these people with the understanding that while they may be interested in a home loan, they have not met you and do not know about your business.
All types of data have a place in mortgage marketing. The key to using them correctly is identifying your goal and understanding how the data you are acquiring is going to support your mortgage marketing strategies.
Intent can help you discover opportunities in your database, contact us today.
One of the best ways for mortgage professionals to become a competitive force in the industry is providing their clients with exceptional service. Intent Homebuying Marketing Intelligence is a powerful digital marketing tool with the heart of a CDP that will become your most valuable asset for providing your customers and business partners with exemplary service.
What Exactly Is A CDP?
A CDP is defined as a Customer Data Platform that primarily offers automated marketing and sales force automation. However, the goal of a successful mortgage CDP is to use technology software to manage all your business relationships and interactions with current and potential customers. A CDP system is valuable to your business because it will not only help your business grow; it will help you balance and keep up with an ever-increasing number of referrals, contacts, leads and Realtors.
Why Does Your Business Need A Mortgage CDP?
Most mortgage companies that use CDP software find it very beneficial because it leads to increased awareness and outstanding customer retention. A CDP captures detailed information about your customers and their behaviors, pointing you to the right target market, product development and activities for your particular client. Your business needs a CDP to make your company more efficient and to increase revenue per loan officer. This software will allow your business to succeed in many ways and result in consistently successful closings.
Here at Intent, we care about our clients and make sure they have the best support. Intent is a complete digital marketing platform with the heart of a CDP. We specialize in relationship building, sales management, email marketing, website development and shareable content. Intent carefully generates leads and is designed to make marketing easy.
Social media giant Facebook has announced plans to integrate the messaging functions of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. In an effort to give friends and family members the ability to communicate across networks, the three services will remain separate apps but allow for communication among them for the first time ever.
Facebook’s family of apps has over 2.5 billion monthly users and is a dominant player in mobile traffic. This move toward integration is an effort to sway users from moving to a rival messaging service. Facebook plans to have this new integration, which is currently in the early stages of planning, completed by early 2020. Additionally, the three apps involved will install end-to-end encryption to prohibit the viewing of messages by anyone other than those sending or receiving.
When Facebook originally acquired Instagram and WhatsApp, the plan was for the platforms to remain separate apps. However, the growth of Instagram and WhatsApp prompted Facebook to rethink the model and integrate messaging. The integration would allow Facebook to make money of Whatsapp, which currently generates little revenue. While Instagram does produce ad revenue, none of it comes from its messaging.
Another business opportunity would derive from Facebook Marketplace, a place to sell and advertise items and inventory on Facebook. By linking the app together, buyers and sellers will be able to communicate further via Whatsapp, potentially creating another revenue stream for the social media giant. This could have a bigger impact on markets outside of the U.S., especially in Southeast Asia and Latin America, where Whatsapp is more widespread.
To read more about these integration plans, click here.