Monday, August 29, 2016

Median Price of Home Listings Sold in Fresno & Clovis is Up (July 16)

The median price of SFR home listings sold in Fresno & Clovis increased by 4% from July 2015 to July 2016.                    



If you have any questions on his information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot at 559-994-0254.

Source;  Clarus MarketMetrics:  Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended. Real property transactions information listed above is limited to Fresno MLS listings and may exclude total number of real property transactions which occurred in the marketplace.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Pre-Foreclosure Inventory of Homes in Fresno & Clovis – 12 Month High (Mar. 16)

The total number of Pre-Foreclosure Home Inventory in Fresno & Clovis increased by 17% from March 2015 to March 2016.  Pre-Foreclosure inventory is an estimate of the number of properties that have had a Notice of Default filed against the property, but have not yet been Scheduled for Sale.


If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties at 559-994-0254.

Source: PropertyRadar. Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Notice of Default Filings for Fresno & Clovis Homes – 12 Month High (Mar. 16)

The total number of Notice of Default Filings in Fresno & Clovis increased by 12% from March 2015 to March 2016. 



If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties at 559-994-0254.

Source:  PropertyRadar.  Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile
Web Site:  marootproperties.com


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Median Price of Home Listings Sold in Fresno & Clovis is Up (Mar. 16)

The median price of SFR home listings sold in Fresno & Clovis increased by 4% from March 2015 to March 2016.             


If you have any questions on his information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot at 559-994-0254.

Source;  Clarus MarketMetrics:  Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended. Real property transactions information listed above is limited to Fresno MLS listings and may exclude total number of real property transactions which occurred in the marketplace.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pre-Foreclosure Inventory of Homes in Fresno & Clovis – 12 Month High (Feb. 16)

The total number of Pre-Foreclosure Home Inventory in Fresno & Clovis increased by 7% from February 2015 to February 2016.  Pre-Foreclosure inventory is an estimate of the number of properties that have had a Notice of Default filed against the property, but have not yet been Scheduled for Sale.


If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties at 559-994-0254.

Source: PropertyRadar. Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile
Web Site:  marootproperties.com


Notice of Default Filings for Fresno & Clovis Homes – 12 Month High (Feb. 16)

The total number of Notice of Default Filings in Fresno & Clovis increased by 30% from February 2015 to February 2016. 



If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties at 559-994-0254.

Source:  PropertyRadar.  Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Median Price of Home Listings Sold in Fresno & Clovis – 3 Month Downturn (Feb. 16)

The median price of SFR home listings sold in Fresno & Clovis decreased by 1% from February 2015 to February 2016.            



If you have any questions on his information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot at 559-994-0254.

Source;  Clarus MarketMetrics:  Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended. Real property transactions information listed above is limited to Fresno MLS listings and may exclude total number of real property transactions which occurred in the marketplace.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bank Owned Home Properties in Fresno & Clovis -12 Month Low (Jan. 16)

The total number of Residential Bank Owned Properties in Fresno and Clovis has seen a decrease of 16% from January 2015 to January 2016. 


If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties at 559-994-0254

Source:  PropertyRadar. Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile
Web Site:  marootproperties.com


Monday, February 22, 2016

Number of Home Listings for Sale in Fresno & Clovis – 5 Month Downturn (Jan. 2016)

The total number of SFR home listings for sale in Fresno & Clovis decreased by 13% from January 2015 to January 2016.      


If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties Inc. at 559-994-0254. 

Source;  Clarus MarketMetrics:  Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended. Real property transactions information listed above is limited to Fresno MLS listings and may exclude total number of real property transactions which occurred in the marketplace.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile
Web Site:  marootproperties.com


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What does Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage and the US Housing Crash have in common???

Quicken Loans Super Bowl Ad Draws Praise, Criticism

mortgage-app-four

Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the third-largest mortgage lender in the country, drew some strong reactions for a commercial promoting its Rocket Mortgage program—a phone app that allows users to qualify for a mortgage loan in as little as eight minutes—that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Quicken bills the Rocket Mortgage program as a “a fast, powerful, and completely online way to get a mortgage” with a slogan that says simply, “Push button. Get mortgage.” Critics of the program, who came out in droves on Twitter under #RocketMortgage after the commercial's airing on Sunday, say this program is a return back to the same loose underwriting standards that led to massive mortgage defaults and eventually caused the housing crash and subsequently the Great Recession.

The narrator in the ad poses the question, “What if we did for mortgages what the Internet did for buying music and plane tickets and shoes?” A tweet from Quicken states that the Rocket Mortgage program is “making the mortgage screening program look a little less intimidating.”
The airing of the ad during the Super Bowl triggered a barrage of criticism on Twitter, much of which came from journalists. Housing experts, economists, and analysts were notably absent from the Twitter firestorm on the Rocket Mortgage program, which begs the question: Is any of the criticism warranted, or are all the Rocket Mortgage critics in a panic over nothing?
One notable tweet came from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which tweeted, “When it comes to mortgages, take your time, ask questions, and know before you owe.” Quicken responded to that tweet with one of its own, saying that "We agree. No better way than for full transparency into mortgage options & info needed to make the right decision."
Quicken did not immediately respond to a request from DS News for comment on the reaction to the Super Bowl ad. When the Rocket Mortgage program was launched in November 2015, Quicken CEO Bill Emerson stated, “Quicken Loans has been the clear leader in mortgage technology for almost two decades. We changed the mortgage industry when we created the first 50-state online retail lending platform that has since helped millions of Americans achieve their home financing goals, while experiencing the best client service in the nation, Today, we took another monumental leap forward with the launch of Rocket Mortgage, which brings simplicity and clarity to the home loan process like never before, while delivering solutions at unimaginable speed.”
Quicken states on its website that “More than 500 Detroit-based developers, designers, QA technicians and business analysts from QL Labs—Quicken Loans’ technology innovation team—have worked for over three years to completely redesign the highly complex mortgage process.”
The Rocket Mortgage program did not just draw criticism, however. Several journalists from prominent publications came to Quicken's defense on Monday.
Wall Street Journal writer Nick Timiraos said on that publication’s blog on Monday that Quicken is not advocating loose lending standards, but rather “Quicken is betting that its competitive advantage against other lenders comes from making what has become an invasive mortgage-screening process a little less intimidating, and it’s rolling out a phone app to do it.” Quicken’s research suggests many qualified would-be homeowners “don’t want to get engaged because they’re afraid of the process,” according to Emerson in Timiraos’ blog post. “If we could give them an opportunity to interact with technology, understand the operation, maybe we could get some of these folks who qualify off the sidelines.”
Rena Foroohar, assistant managing editor and columnist with Time, does not believe the criticism of the Rocket Mortgage program is warranted. On Monday, she published a piece titled "No, the Rocket Mortgage Ad is Not the Sign of Another Financial Apocalypse."
"There is no consumer housing credit bubble brewing right now–quite the opposite," Foroohar wrote. "The housing recovery right now is being driven not by first-time homebuyers or people who want to trade up but by the wealthiest and investors."

Brought to you by Christine Cerda

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bank Owned Home Properties in Fresno & Clovis -12 Month Low (Dec. 15)

The total number of Residential Bank Owned Properties in Fresno and Clovis has seen a decrease of 13% from December 2014 to December 2015.    




If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties at 559-994-0254

Source:  PropertyRadar. Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Miami and Manhattan target for Money Laundering - US DOT on the hunt!

Title Companies in Miami and Manhattan to Report Cash Purchases
 
Pursuant to a Geographic Targeting Order from the United States Department of the Treasury, title companies in Miami - Dade County and Manhattan will be temporarily required to identify the natural persons behind companies that are used to make all cash purchases for high-end residential properties.  This reporting requirement will begin March 1, 2016 and end on August 27, 2016 and will apply to purchases of more than $1,000,000 in Miami and $3,000,000 in Manhattan.  The Treasury is concerned that some buyers of high-end properties may be using LLCs or other structures to hide their assets and engage in money laundering.  The Treasury has characterized this move as a valuable data-seeking move that will assist them to "combat money laundering in the real estate sector."
    
 
While there are long standing rules about reporting cash transactions exceeding $10,000, this move is a slight twist in asking title companies to gather information about the beneficial owners of the purchasing entity. The Treasury is seeking the information from title companies because title insurance is issued in the vast majority of real estate transactions and they have expressed their appreciation for the cooperation of the American Land Title Association in this effort.
Miami and Manhattan are the initial focus of the Treasury effort because of their attraction for all cash foreign buyers.  Although not indicated or implied in Treasury's announcement, some have wondered if Los Angeles might not be far behind.

Brought to you by Christine Cerda COREsolutionsgrp.com

National Home Trends Soar in December

December Sales Surge 24.7% from a TRID-Depressed November; Median Prices Flat in December, Up 7.1% Y-o-Y
Read full report online.
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Real Property Report – California, December 2015

December Sales Surge 24.7 Percent from a TRID-Depressed November

Median Prices Flat in December, Up 7.1 Percent Y-o-Y
2016 Real Estate Market May Benefit from Stock Market Volatility and Fears

 

“Cash sales as a percentage of total sales remain historically high,” said Schnapp. “Despite high prices, real estate investing remains an attractive alternative in an interest rate constrained environment where other asset classes are losing favor.”

“The new FED disclosure rules (TRID) that went into effect in early October are still impacting sales,” said Madeline Schnapp, Director of Economic Research for PropertyRadar. “The new paperwork requirements slowed the mortgage application process in November pushing sales into December. The artificial TRID disruption to November and December sales data will simply be an economic footnote by end of January.”

VIEW THE ENTIRE REPORT PLUS ELEVEN VISUAL CHARTS COVERING:

Home Sales, Year-over-Year Home Sales, Median Sales Price vs. Sales Volume, California Home Owner Equity, Cash Sales, Flipping, Market Purchases by LLCs and LPs, Market Sales by LLCs and LPs, Trustee Sale Purchases by LLCs and LPs, Foreclosure Notices and Sales, Foreclosure Inventory.
Copyright © 2016 PropertyRadar, All rights reserved.
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Brought to you by Christine Cerda, COREsolutionsGrp.com


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Number of New Listing of Homes for Sale in Fresno & Clovis – 12 Month Low (Dec. 15)

The total number of new SFR home listings for sale in Fresno & Clovis has seen a decrease of 15% from December 2014 to December 2015.         



If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Properties at 559-994-0254.

Source;  Clarus MarketMetrics:  Maroot Properties. herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended. Real property transactions information listed above is limited to Fresno MLS listings and may exclude total number of real property transactions which occurred in the marketplace.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Number of Home Listings for Sale in Fresno & Clovis – 5 Month Downturn (Dec. 2015)

The total number of SFR home listings for sale in Fresno & Clovis decreased by 15% from December 2014 to December 2015.      



If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties Inc. at 559-994-0254. 

Source;  Clarus MarketMetrics:  Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended. Real property transactions information listed above is limited to Fresno MLS listings and may exclude total number of real property transactions which occurred in the marketplace.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Where are the Non Performaing Loans going? Fortress, Goldman Sachs today you say...

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Continue Aggressive Campaign to Sell Non-Performing Loans

money-life-preserverIt is not yet midway through the week, and the GSEs have already had a busy week with their aggressive campaign to excise deeply delinquent, non-performing loans (NPLs) from their respective single-family residential mortgage investment portfolios.

Fannie Mae announced the winners in its third NPL sale on Tuesday, and on Monday Freddie Mac announced its eighth NPL transaction of 2015. Both transactions total approximately $1.2 billion in unpaid principal balance (UPB).

The Fannie Mae transaction totaled approximately 7,000 loans with about $1.24 billion in UPB, divided amongst three pools. Fannie Mae began marketing the loans to potential bidders on October 9 in collaboration with Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and the Williams Capital Group L.P. The breakdown of the three pools is as follows:
  • Pool #1 consists of 1,963 loans with an aggregate UPB of $418.8 million; the average loan size is $213,366, and the loans are delinquent an average of 52 months. The weighted average note rate is 5.21 percent and the weighted average Broker Price Opinion (BPO) LTV is 108 percent. The winning bidder on this pool was Fortress (New Residential Investment Corp.).
  • Pool #2 consists of 3,823 loans with an aggregate UPB of $588.3 million with an average loan size $153,902. The weighted average note rate is 5.32 percent and the weighted average BPO LTV is 70 percent. The loans are delinquent an average of 34 months. The winning bidder on this pool was Goldman Sachs (MTGLQ Investors, L.P.).
  • Pool #3 consists of 1,224 loans with an aggregate UPB of $235.3 million and an average loan size of $192,256. The loans have a weighted average note rate of 4.90 percent and a weighted average BPO LTV of 135 percent. The loans are an average of 34 months delinquent. The winning bidder for this pool was Fortress (New Residential Investment Corp.).
The three pools together included an average loan size of $177,251, a weighted average note rate of 5.20 percent, and a weighted average BPO LTV of 95 percent. The average delinquency of the loans in the three pools was 41 months. The transaction is expected to close on December 17.

“The non-performing loans included in this sale are severely delinquent and despite our ongoing efforts to offer loss mitigation on these loans, they remain non-performing,” said Joy Cianci, Fannie Mae’s SVP for Credit Portfolio Management. “We are offering non-performing loan sales to investors and their servicers who can help borrowers avoid foreclosure wherever possible by applying a wider range of loss mitigation options than we have available.”

Fannie Mae completed its first-ever bulk NPL transaction in April. That sale included approximately 3,200 deeply delinquent residential mortgage loans totaling $786 million in UPB. In July, Fannie Mae completed its second NPL sale, which included about 3,000 NPLs totaling $777 million in UPB and a smaller community pool consisting of 75 loans totaling $11 million in UPB.

Meanwhile, Freddie Mac announced an NPL transaction which includes deeply delinquent loans serviced by Wells Fargo totaling $1.2 billion in UPB. It is Freddie Mac’s eighth NPL transaction of 2015. This bundle of NPLs is being marketed in seven pools: five geographically Standard Pool Offerings (SPOs) and two geographically concentrated Extended Timeline Pool Offerings (EXPOs), which target participation by non-profits, minority and women-owned businesses (MWOB), and smaller investors.

Bids are due from qualified bidders on the SPO offerings on December 2 and on the EXPO offerings on December 16, and the transactions are expected to settle sometime in the first quarter of 2016.
Freddie Mac’s previous NPL sales total approximately $4.26 billion in UPB.

For more information on Fannie Mae’s NPL sales, click here.

For more information on Freddie Mac’s NPL sales, click here.

Brought to you by Christine Cerda, CORE Talks, Inc, the real education in real estate! 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bank Owned Home Properties in Fresno & Clovis -12 Month Low (Nov. 15)

The total number of Residential Bank Owned Properties in Fresno and Clovis has seen a decrease of 12% from November 2014 to November 2015. 




If you have any questions on this information or want specific information on the Fresno/Clovis Real Estate housing market, please contact Greg Maroot of Maroot Properties at 559-994-0254

Source:  PropertyRadar. Maroot Properties herein deemed this information is reliable but not guaranteed; representations are approximate, individual verification recommended.

Greg Maroot
Maroot Properties
Owner/Broker DRE #01102553
5067 N. Mariposa St., Ste. 102
Fresno, CA. 93710
(559) 840-0232 Work
(559) 994-0254 Mobile

Web Site:  marootproperties.com 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Digital Reinvention of Real Estate

California Real Estate — August 2015
          
Reinventing Real Estate
Jeannette Brown

Digital disruptions in real estate require strategizing, adaptability.

Technology coupled with consumers’ growing reliance on a shifting landscape of online portals has compelled the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® to convene a special Thought Leadership roundtable on disruptions facing the industry. To offer perspective on this,C. A.R. CEO Joel Singer was joined recently by the following top executives: Zillow’s Curt Beardsley, Vice President of Industry Development; Realtor.com’s Luke Glass, Executive Vice President of Industry Platforms; and Trulia’s Paul Levine, President (formerly Chief Operating Officer).

Importantly, the executives emphasized the profession’s future prospects amidst the acceleration of audience demand for consumer-friendly real estate information on the Internet. It would seem the growth of Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com shows no signs of stopping, particularly in light of recent mergers. Addressing how the viability of REALTORS® will be challenged— remain intact—led the panel to proffer that the role of successful REALTORS® will probably change less as elements of the industry evolve. Furthermore, the panel suggested those REALTORS® who are already successful will continue to do well since they have the habits in place to adapt and maintain a strong level of productivity.

Singer emphasized this point by stating: “We have a strong belief that the individual REALTOR®, that REALTOR® who has local market knowledge combined with tech knowledge, and then has created their own brand with the individual consumer, is going to be a long-term survivor. But that doesn’t mean the industry isn’t going to look radically different in 10 years. But, of course, I’ve been saying this now for 35 years.”

As for how the industry could look different and the various concerns stirring debate about shifts in economics and power, Singer prodded each executive to share his insights on the industry’s fears of disruption and the value proposition of the portals.

The Fear of Disruption

while each portal’s leader made reassuring statements that they have no interest in becoming brokers and disrupting the industry, Singer pointed out that their position with consumers is indeed another form of disruption. The Internet has created a new dynamic, as consumers go to the portals first rather than to a local REALTOR®.

Glass was quick to caution that disruption does not equal extinction, and that the major source of fear is not that brokers, agents, or MLSs will disappear, but that a shift in economics will create a level of uncertainty about who is perceived as creating the most value for the consumer. Any change in economics could affect the number of REALTORS® in the business. A lack of clarity about what the future holds has led many to feel threatened, according to Glass.

To explain the view of why many real estate professionals feel threatened by the big portals, Levine postulated that strong reactions evident throughout the industry are driven by the Internet’s empowerment of consumers. This has forced many professionals to deliver the hard work of being true service providers, and Levine pointed to an example of disruption that he experienced first-hand in the financial services industry when he worked for E-Trade Financial Corporation. Just as old ways of relying on a financial advisor have significantly diminished, with these portals, listings are no longer a core part of the toolkit for a REALTOR®—something that foments resentment with respect to a changing value proposition.

Beardsley drew on a musical chairs analogy to describe fears of disruption that the portals have provoked across the industry, in which these sites have changed who has a seat at the table for transactions. Many professionals are struggling to see how they fit into this new world. In the past, he noted, if you knew your neighbor was a REALTOR®, then he or she would likely be the consumer’s agent. However, with options online, the consumer can easily connect with someone who may have better credentials. “We’re shifting the chairs of who gets at the table, and I think that [real estate professionals] are afraid that when the whistle blows or the music stops, they’re not going to have a chair,” Beardsley stated.

Beardsley dismissed the notion that the portals are actually incentivized to disrupt the classic way that real estate works in North America. “We like what works. Our business models actually work quite well in the [current] environment,” he said. Rather, he explained, there are other entities that are far more disruptive to the industry whereas the portals are “not really trying to undermine the fundamentals of the way that real estate gets transacted” because “we’re just taking away the advertising dollars that are going into inefficient methods.”

Levine added that paying for the services of one of the portals should not disrupt the economics of a REALTOR®, and, when examining the average dollars spent per agent, the amount has not “changed meaningfully.”

Adding further context to the economic realities of available real estate, Singer noted that there are real causes for concern. Specifically, despite all the technology, the number of sides per agent “is actually substantially less today than it was at the turn of the millennium.” While the value of those sides has gone up, there are still fewer overall, on top of the fact that median incomes for REALTORS® are stagnant to down.

These trends should be equally worrisome to the portals. It means less discretionary advertising spending. “In theory, technology should be making them more efficient, more effective, and able to handle more simultaneous transactions,” Glass responded. As a potential cause, Beardsley pointed to there being a greater number of agents. “If you’re spreading fewer transactions over a bigger base, or you’re spreading the transactions over a bigger base of people, that means they’re making less and less. It should indicate that you’re potentially going to get less and less professional service,” he asserted.

To address the aforementioned challenges, Singer also asked the panelists to review how their platforms can increase productivity and bring practical value to real estate practitioners.

The Value Proposition to REALTORS®

As the leading online marketplace for home buyers, sellers, renters, and real estate professionals, these portals have changed not only how REALTORS® strategize and conduct their business, but also how they redefine their value proposition. Conversely, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com must also cultivate their value proposition to the REALTOR® community, and Singer acknowledged that he would be remiss not to force the panelists to consider not only how they view themselves but also how the industry views their business operations and value proposition.

Singer added that his question was driven by persistent concerns he has heard within the industry about the motivations of the online portals and how well REALTORS® are serviced by their presence. Singer directed the panelists to assess why many real estate professionals are skeptical of the return-on-investment (ROI) potential of the online portals, despite the fact that numbers indicate the Internet provides much more meaningful lead generation in comparison to antiquated and costly newspaper advertisements.

The panelists proceeded to address whether these views have merit or if they need to do a better job of showcasing the discrepancy between criticism of the portals and outcomes in which REALTORS® have greatly expanded their businesses. Glass noted that a significant challenge is getting brokers and agents in the industry to understand that Realtor.com is merely an advertising outlet. As such, he argued it provides an umbrella-level playing field for the entire industry in which it represents the brand. He posited that all three platforms are strongly focused on positive ROI for customers—REALTORS®—and that in particular, “[Realtor.com] tries to create the equation that data accuracy plus a good customer experience equals the highest quality leads.”

To encourage greater understanding of the portals’ goals, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the platforms, according to Levine, but he added that it is frustrating that misconceptions persist despite numbers that are highly favorable to the industry. For example, in 2006, Levine said $5 billion was spent just on newspaper classified advertising in the real estate category, and he compared that amount to the sum of the three companies’ revenue, which is less than a billion dollars. Levine stated, “We feel proud of having brought efficiency, empowering consumers, and taking costs out of the system.”

Beardsley acknowledged that Zillow is a bit of a lightning rod in the industry, yet more than 100,000 agents rely on it to successfully run their businesses. He suggested that some controversy likely stems from the fact that many of the industry’s most successful agents are doing well because they have built their brand through traffic, leads, and exposure from Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. This means the portals have made it possible to achieve success without being closely affiliated with a brand.

Singer stated that there is still a high level of dissatisfaction across the industry from those not getting a strong return on any money invested in the portals’ services, and those brokerages and franchises continue to feel threatened, particularly after Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia. While debate continues about which entities are facing the greatest threat of marginalization, the panel once again emphasized that consumers will still look to local experts with strong service when they buy and sell property. This led to the panel’s final remarks on the longevity of the REALTOR® profession amid changes in technology.

Regarding such change, the recent acquisitions and mergers heighten the contrast (and competition) between new business forces and the more established history of organized real estate. Amid these transitions, REALTORS® will have to ensure the marketplace makes them indispensable to real estate transactions. The executives suggested they can do so by being consumer-centric service providers whose performance is enhanced by technology offerings available now and in the future.

The roundtable also revealed consensus among all panelists that public perception of who brings the most value to the consumer was a significant factor that couldn’t be ignored in the years ahead. Perception’s ability to shape the future dynamics of real estate—for better or worse—means the industry must proactively expect and address change.

Jeannette Brown is a Communications Specialist for the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. She can be reached at jeannetteb@car.org.

Zillow Group, Inc. Emerges After Zillow- Trulia Merger

In case you hadn’t already heard, some of the biggest news in the real estate industry recently received an official stamp of approval from the Federal Trade Commission, thereby sealing the deal on Zillow’s acquisition of its closest rival. As a result, Zillow and Trulia have officially merged into the new mega portal Zillow Group, Inc., leaving many in the industry to wonder what’s next for its dominant online presence and how agents will be impacted. While Zillow and Trulia combined have millions in unique visitors, thereby representing a huge portion of the home buying audience, the new Zillow Group will likely have to focus on its rather small share of online advertising spending, as there is certainly room for growth.So as Zillow Group looks to grow its clout in the real estate lead generation, advertising and software business, real estate professionals can perhaps expect a robust presence from the portal’s sales teams as well as various product packages.

There has been speculation as to how Zillow’s plans to absorb Trulia will affect business for brokers and agents, such as advertising options. The advertising model on Trulia will dissolve and users will find that Zillow Group ads will be sold as they were previously on Zillow, i. e., on an impression-based model that spans both mobile and Web. As for other plans for Zillow Group, Zestimates, the much-maligned automated home valuations, will now be updated immediately when homeowners input edits. Zillow Group is in the process of unifying listing aggregation resources and creating one listing database that Zillow and Trulia will share for greater efficiency.By sharing resources and not competing for the same customers/consumers, Zillow is expected to save $100 million.However, it is questionable these savings will be fully realized.

That being said, the two portals also insist that in many ways they will still act as competitors against one another as a way to drive innovation and maintain their distinct brands. Another competitor for Zillow Group is News Corp. and its Move and realtor.com properties, and it remains to be seen how the two competitors will lure consumers with major marketing efforts in 2015.

News Corp. Enters the Fray with Realtor.com Acquisition

News Corp., the new owner of realtor.com operator Move Inc., came out swinging in a new portal landscape shaped by acquisitions and consolidation.For instance, upon hearing of the official completion of the Zillow-Trulia merger, the newly acquired subsidiary of News Corp. published a press release stating, “Zillow’s year of the merge will be realtor.com®’s year of the surge.” News Corp. proceeded to remove the listing feed supplied by syndication platform ListHub (a subsidiary of realtor.com), which means Zillow Group is under more pressure to secure listings directly from multiple listing services and brokerages.

Speaking of those listings, realtor.com does have a structural advantage in that it receives MLS data directly for the highest level of accuracy.

Rupert Murdoch, the leader of News Corp., has touted realtor.com’s close relationships with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the REALTOR® community, and the accuracy of its listings as motivating factors for News Corp.’s purchase of the Move Inc. entity. The media mogul has made it clear that he plans to revamp realtor.com by enhancing its ease of use for agents, and pursuing major marketing efforts, which will involve promoting realtor.com across News Corp.’s sprawling network of media properties.The media platforms now available to realtor.com as a subsidiary of News Corp. may allow the portal to compete more strongly for web traffic. Move’s senior vice president of industry relations, Russ Cofano, has also hinted at changes coming to the way realtor.com displays listings.

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