Archive for April, 2010

It’s a Brave New World!

April 28, 2010

One of the things I feel very strongly about is the idea that as Realtors®, we have a responsibility to be a resource for people who need information about real estate.  There was a time, when all you needed was a telephone and a roll stamps to be really effective in reaching people. Fortunately, that time has passed.  When you really stop and look at how people are using the internet today, it makes sense that companies are beginning to use social media and social networks to build better relationships with their clients. So I would like to talk a bit about how social media can be used by everyone (Realtors®, Brokers, Buyers, Sellers) to minimize stress in property searches and transactions.

FACEBOOK

We use our Facebook Page as a way to connect with our past, existing and future clients.  Typically, we like to provide people with a choice about which information they want.  For example, when a person goes to The Real Estate Shoppe’s Facebook page they land on a set of videos that allows them to become familiar with our office and our agents.  Our Wall contains all of our listings, complete with links to video tours of each property.  Finally, we post links to information or sources that allow all users to learn more about the real estate industry.  Most importantly, though, this is a place that allows us to connect with and talk to our clients.  Ultimately, this practice allows us to be a better business.

TWITTER

Our Twitter account is used similarly to our Facebook Page in that we post links to relevant real estate information as well as links to our listings and video tours.  Twitter’s primary value in our organization is that it allows our agents to get information out to a large group of people fairly quickly.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn has become one of our more useful tools in that the service allows our organization to reach out to professionals in the business world.  Much like any other business, we rely on our partners in other sectors to assist us in achieving our goal of providing excellent service to our clients.  This tool provides us with the opportunity to instantly connect with these partners and that means that we have better access to information that may be useful to the people we work with.

YOUTUBE

YouTube has been a medium that we’ve been really taking advantage of lately.  I am a firm believer that people need to have an opportunity to hear our business philosophy from our mouths, see the personalities of our agents and physically move through a property.  Video can achieve all of these goals.

BLOG

Obviously, if you’re reading the blog, you already know that we use this as a forum to address individual issues in greater detail.

Ultimately, we use social networks to establish and maintain relationships with those people that we have served or will serve in the future.  I believe that it is our responsibility to really think about what it means to provide excellent customer service and what it takes to achieve that goal.  In my opinion, social networks provide that opportunity to create a lasting connection while also allowing me to be able to provide information to our clients.  It’s a brave new world out there, but you know, I think I really like what I see.

Judy Nusser is the Managing Broker at Coldwell Banker, The Real Estate Shoppe in Garden City, KS.  Be a Fan of the Real Estate Shoppe on Facebook.  Judy can be reached at jnusser@gcnet.com or you can log on to their website, www.gccoldwellbanker.com.

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Home Buyer Incentives

April 13, 2010

In our last post, we talked about the advantages a Realtor® provides to the Buyer.  This time, I’d like to continue discussing the home buying process.  For many who have not been through this already, the process of buying a house is daunting at best.  There are so many things to think about.  You’re probably asking yourself questions like:  What part of town do I want to live in?  What is the best school district for my kids?  Where can I find a place to live where I don’t have to drive everywhere to do what I want?  And, while these are all very important questions you should be asking yourself, I would suggest that one issue should be at the very top of your list when discussing the purchase of your first home and that is, How can I best afford the first home I’ll be able to call my own?

That brings me to the issue at hand.  As a first-time homebuyer, you have a variety of options available to you that are intended to act as incentives when purchasing a home.  One of the best we’ve seen is the 1st Time Homebuyers Tax Credit, which is available to those of you who are interested in purchasing your first home.  The tax credit has recently been extended and expanded to now include homeowners who wish to “move on” after 5 years of living in their current property, as well as first-time home buyers.  But there are several things that you should know about this option.

  • First-time homebuyers, or those who have not owned in the last three years, can receive up to an $8,000 tax credit.
  • Homeowners who have lived in a current home consecutively for 5 of the past 8 years can receive up to a $6,500 tax credit.
  • There may be no future extensions, so all qualified homebuyers are urged to act and have a written, binding contract by April 30, 2010 (close by June 30, 2010)
  • Income limits are now $125,000 for people who are single, and $225,000 for married couples with a $20,000 phase-out of the credit for both.
  • Should you move from the residence prior to 3 years, the incentive must be paid back.

The First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit is absolutely an attractive and popular option for those people looking to purchase a home around the country.  According to the National Association of Realtors New Release, dated 11/5/09, an estimated $22 billion has already been added to the general economy resulting from the bill and approximately 2 million people will utilize the tax credit in 2009.

Unfortunately, this excellent incentive available to those people who probably need it the most is about to end.  As we stated earlier, you will need to have a binding contract on a home by April 30, 2010 (about two weeks) and will need to have your contract closed by June 30, 2010.  But you shouldn’t fret.  Here at Coldwell Banker/The Real Estate Shoppe, as we’ve talked in earlier entries, we have the ability to help you through this process and will do our best to ensure that you are qualified as soon as possible.  If you are in the market for a new home, please take action today as this opportunity will be gone before you know it!

Judy Nusser is the Managing Broker at Coldwell Banker, The Real Estate Shoppe in Garden City, KS.  Be a Fan of the Real Estate Shoppe on Facebook.  Judy can be reached at jnusser@gcnet.com or you can log on to their website, www.gccoldwellbanker.com.