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Cory Dudley

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Real Estate Marketing Through Social Media

by Sani Golriz

In the continually growing world of social media, more and more companies (specifically real estate agencies) need to create a very real social presence if they want to reach out to and obtain new clients.  Social media has many uses for realtors, including: keeping in touch with clients, decreasing response times and increasing accessibility, and reaching younger demographics.  As time progresses, more young and tech-savvy people will enter into the world of home-buying.  Any successful real estate agent will be ready for them.

(Image courtesy of Flickr)

Having an active online social media presence does a couple of great things very easily: it creates a super convenient way for potential home-owners to contact you with questions or concerns.  It also provides you, the agent, with an easy way to respond quickly to that feedback, whether it be a simple yes or no type of answer or a link to a relevant and informative article for the client to read.  By having this additional avenue of communication, it makes you more accessible and able to give your clients more of the personalized attention that they deserve.  

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Here are some great tips to keep in mind when building your social media presence:

- Be Positive: Always put your best, and most positive, face forward.  Share articles with good news, or inspiring photographs, or helpful tips.  Thank people for taking the time out of their busy days when they say something positive about you or your business or when they ask a question.

- Be Helpful: Avoid constantly posting real estate listings or you will lose your audience.    Share your own personal thoughts and insights or links to informative articles (as long as they are positive).  Make sure everything you share on your social channels help a potential client in some way.  They don’t just want listings.  They want to see how you can solve their pain.  If you’ve gone through a learning experience with a previous client, share that with your new, potential clients.  Save them from making the same mistakes.

- Be Social: Social media isn’t just a great tool for reaching new clients; it’s also good for reaching new professionals.  Escrow officers, lenders, mortgage brokers, other realtors—any and all can be new networking opportunities for you to develop, which will help your clients as well.

- Be Informed: Pay attention to popular hashtags and use them where appropriate.  Share local news and updates with your audience.  Talk about upcoming community events.  All of this is not only helpful to your readers, but shows that you know about your community and take an active role in it as well.

Social media is the future for marketing all businesses, not just real estate.  If you would like more information on getting started or ideas on how to further grow, contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

 About the Author: Sani Golriz is the Founder and Creative Director of Sunnyside Social Media, a very personal boutique marketing firm that consults, develops, and executes online and social media marketing strategies for locally and nationally-based businesses.

Through her work in online and social media marketing, Sani leverages each of her clients’ individual brands to put them in the best possible position for maximum online exposure.  Her ultimate goal for each client is brand growth, and she enjoys her clients’ success as if it were her own.

For more information about Sani or Sunnyside Social Media, visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

© www.trismarter.com

More than 3,000 people will head to the Boulder reservoir early next Sunday morning to participate in the largest Ironman race ever held anywhere in the world.

Some might say it's fitting the biggest race in the history of the Ironman brand would take place in Boulder, which has become a training hotbed over the years for elite athletes from all over the world. It's really no surprise the race sold out here in less than a week more than a year ago. This community seems to be filled with people who love to challenge themselves after all.

And make no mistake, a full Ironman at a mile high altitude in the blazing August sun figures to be the mother of all challenges.

Competitors will attempt to conquer a 2.4-mile swim at Boulder Reservoir, a 112-mile bike ride that will take them near Fort Collins and back and a full marathon course through the streets of Boulder and the countryside of Boulder County. They will have 17 hours to do it.

So who are these people and are they nuts?

Some always have been driven, type-A personalities. Others used to be couch potatoes. They range in age from teenagers to well into retirement and they have different motivations for wanting to push their bodies to their physical limits.

This much is certain. There are moments for every person who undertakes an Ironman in which doubt creeps into their mind and they begin to question themselves. Sometimes they're questioning whether they can get through their next training run. Sometimes they're questioning whether they can reach the next telephone pole a tenth of a mile up the road. Sometimes they are questioning their next step or pedal rotation or swimming stroke.

A key ingredient to finishing these torture tests is being able to find a way to fight through those moments when they are on the brink of quitting, said Dr. Julie Emmerman, a Boulder-based clinical sports psychotherapist who has been practicing since 2000 and is also a competitive cyclist.

For some, there might be dozens of those internal battles on race day.

The beginner

Susan McNamee is a 62-year-old mother of four and grandmother to three. Having given birth four times, completing an Ironman isn't quite the toughest thing she has accomplished in her life, but she says it's not far from that experience.

Richie Cunningham, left, leads Callum Millward and James Seear as they finish the cycling portion of the Boulder Ironman 70.3 in June. Cunningham is aiming
Richie Cunningham, left, leads Callum Millward and James Seear as they finish the cycling portion of the Boulder Ironman 70.3 in June. Cunningham is aiming to win the full Ironman in Boulder on Aug. 3. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

McNamee was never much into sports or competition growing up. She took up running in her 40s and completed three marathons before she stopped running for 13 years. A few years ago she started up again and completed four more marathons before she started looking for a fresh challenge.

"I've always been driven and I love a challenge," she said. "I'm competitive with myself. I like to prove that I can do things."

She forced herself to start taking swimming lessons in 2012, though she admits she often skipped them because she was uncomfortable feeling judged. She decided to enter her first triathlon last year still needing serious work on her swimming. She figured the racing would force her to learn and she admits she had to stop and hold on to several kayaks to make it through.

McNamee, who makes her living in publishing, quickly pushed herself to new levels. Her fourth triathlon ever was her first and only Ironman last summer in Wisconsin. She finished the swim portion 15 seconds before the cutoff, she finished the bike with 5 minutes to spare and crossed the finish line in 16, hours, 58 minutes, 45 seconds. That is 1 minute, 15 seconds before the deadline.

"There are people who come and run alongside of you," she said. "And there are people on the course who are encouraging other athletes and spectators. That's what got me through and that's what will get me through in Boulder. It's the other people who are spectating and cheering and encouraging. That's what it's about for those of us who aren't hardcore athletes who can't do it in a short amount of time."

Kristina Jensen in the Louisville Kentucky Ironman in 2012Photo by Matthew Rice / MattRicePhotography.com
Kristina Jensen in the Louisville Kentucky Ironman in 2012 Photo by Matthew Rice / MattRicePhotography.com

Her kids range in age from 25 to 43 and along with McNamee's mother, who is in her 80s, want her to stop. They're worried she is pushing herself too hard.

"It has become a lifestyle and I really, really enjoy it," McNamee said. "So many people have said that I've inspired them and motivated them because you don't have to be the fastest, you don't have to be the youngest. My motto is you're never too old to start."

The not-so-ordinary Joe

Kristina Jensen says she used to be 30 pounds overweight back in the late 1990s when she shared a Chicago apartment with a friend. In 1997 that friend began running and training for a marathon that she ultimately completed.

Jensen admits she initially thought her friend had lost her mind when she first started pushing herself through those runs, but after seeing her friend reach her goal, it inspired her to do the same.

Nearly two decades later, Jensen has completed 63 marathons and seven Ironman races in her free time beyond her 40-hour-a-week job at Morgan Stanley. Her times are three hours from the pro level, but she said racing at the pro level never has been her goal.

"I just do it for the fun, the complete 100 percent fun of it," she said. "I smile the whole time. I encourage other people to smile. I don't like complainers. I can't stand when somebody gets done with a race and starts ripping themselves apart and their time apart. I don't wear watches anymore."

She completed her first marathon in 1998, began cycling in 2006 and started competing in triathlons in 2008 even though she didn't know how to swim at the time. Jensen now blogs about her racing at Ditchthetiara.blogspot.com and is a contributing writer for several websites.

Jensen's goal for the Boulder Ironman is to...

Read the full story on the Daily Camera.

 

Looking at Homes Online Versus In Person [Infographic]

by Cory Dudley

If you are in the market for a new home, it is so easy to hop online and start searching the web. There are a multitude of resources and websites that include all the information you need, including photos, details, walkability score, and a lot of well written descriptions. So what happens when you finally get to see the houses you found online, in person? Here are items to be cognizant of when looking at houses online so you don't encounter any surprises when you see it in person! 

via Great Colorado Homes

Looking to buy a home while in a competitive housing market can be a stressful undertaking, especially in housing markets like the Boulder area, where inventory is scarce.  When inventory is low, sellers typically receive multiple offers for their homes and buyers can feel increasingly frustrated if their offers are rejected.

But getting your offer rejected doesn’t have to mean “The End.”  An option that has been gaining popularity is the back-up offer.  If your offer was close to the one that was accepted by the seller, then yours could potentially become a back-up offer in the event that the first buyer’s offer falls through.

There are a variety of reasons why a real estate contract may fall through: an appraisal can be inaccurate, the buyer is missing crucial parts of their paperwork, the buyer may be too demanding of the seller for repairs or repair credits, problems with loan qualification, or changes in the buyer’s financial life.  Perhaps the buyer changes their mind about this house or finds another house that they like better; any of these could mean a canceled real estate contract.

If you have that back-up offer in place when a deal falls through, you automatically become the new buyer.  This means that the house won’t go back on the market and you avoid any other potential offers or bidding wars on the home.  The seller may feel a little more pressure to make your deal go through, considering their first attempt failed, and they might be more willing to offer repairs or repair credits if a problem is encountered during the home inspection phase.

However, there are also some important things to consider when making a back-up offer.  If the first buyer knows of this back-up plan, they may be more motivated to keep the sale on track because they know that they won’t get a second shot at purchasing the home.  Secondly, consider the reasons why the first sale fell through.  If the problem lay with the buyer, then it shouldn’t be too much of a concern.  But if there were problems with the seller or with the home itself, you may not wish to pursue this purchase after all.

The back-up offer is a legally binding contract.  If the primary deal falls through, you are now obligated to step in and purchase the home.  Of course, there can be language written into the offer that declares it void should you have an accepted offer with another seller.  This is very helpful as you can continue your home search instead of putting everything on hold to see if the primary deal will fall through.  Depending on the arrangement, you may not even need to put any earnest money down when making this back-up offer.  In theory, you could even have multiple back-up offers in place while still searching for a home elsewhere.

Each situation will be different depending on the home and seller in question.  I would love to discuss your back-up offer options and help make your home buying process as painless as possible. Please let me know how I can help.

Economic ups and downs continue to shape mortgage rates and prices of homes. Looking back several decades, you can comparatively see that we are currently are experiencing a strong real estate market and low mortgage costs but no one knows when and how much these rates will change. While these average rates remain low, it makes now a great time to make an investment before rates rise again. Here's an infographic to show you how rates have performed historically. Homeownership is now more affordable than ever.

  

Latino Community Essential in Today’s Real Estate Market

by Cory Dudley

The housing crash of 2007 nearly threw the United States into another depression; its reach and effect on American homeowners was that profound.  The Hispanic community was the hardest hit ethnicity in the 2007 crash, with an estimated 1.3 million either having lost their homes to foreclosure, or were at serious risk of losing their homes.

These Hispanic families are now experiencing opportunities to buy a home again, or are finally seeing equity return in their homes so that they can sell and move up.  The Hispanic community also represents a huge segment of the market today.  The number of Hispanic households has grown to 14.7 million in 2013 and today a Hispanic youth turns 18 every minute of every day,” according to the 2013 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report.  This means that about 4 out of every 10 new households are currently Hispanic.  This large of a group demands real and specialized attention. 

In the below infographic, we can project how the Hispanic community will continue to be an influence in the housing market by examining their school enrollment statistics.


However, despite the increasing home values and the still record-low interest rates, there are still barriers that exist that are keeping the Hispanic community from entering the housing market today.  According to a NAHREP report (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals) half of all Hispanic home buyers will be first time home buyers, but the FHA is coming under continued financial strain, which could tighten underwriting guidelines—having a profound impact on Hispanic first-time home ownership.

Another large barrier is a single-family home inventory shortage.  In fact, inventory is at its lowest in decades as more and more families are upside down on their mortgages, prohibiting them from being able to sell without substantial losses.

The number of Hispanic households has grown from 9.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2013, an increase of 5.5 million, representing a growth rate of 60 percent.  It is up to today’s real estate professionals to help the community eliminate these barriers where possible and help these families obtain their dream of homeownership.  

If you have more questions about becoming a first-time homeowner, or how to make the transition from your current home to purchasing a new one, please contact me.  I am an English/Spanish bi-lingual and NAHREP-authorized agent who has extensive experience working with Latinos to solve a multitude of housing needs.  I would love to work with you to solve your needs as well!

Consider Multifamily Investment Properties

by Cory Dudley

Multifamily Housing Properties are an Important Asset in your Real Estate Portfolio.

I personally purchased this 3 unit multifamily property here in Longmont, Colorado only two short years ago. The market was soft, the property was mismanaged, yet the bones and mechanics were in excellent shape.

At the time the value was in the low 200’s and now it would sell in the low 300’s. This is good news, right?

Well the real upside to this transaction is the cash flow that typically comes from well-maintained, well-managed, and well-marketed multifamily units.  I simply invested $5,000.00 of my own funds and financed the remainder. Now it brings me over $700.00 in positive cash flow EVERY month. Realtor magazine recently explained some of the benefits in a nice article you can read here.

If you or someone you know is at a point in life where a steady source of income sounds attractive, I would highly recommend that you consider multifamily units.

Call me today to discuss your options. I have years of experience dealing in multifamily and I can help you too!

Why Now is the Time to Sell

by Cory Dudley

Greetings!

I hope this letter finds you enjoying the wonderful spring weather – I know for us, we love the riot of color with everything in bloom, and being able to get out on the bikes more.

I’m reaching out because we have a new kind of “housing crisis” in Northern Colorado – specifically, not enough inventory for sale to give prospective buyers the options they need to get into a home! If you’ve ever considered selling, or someone you know has mentioned it, please have them – or you – contact me right away so that we can discuss not only current market value, but also the best strategy to get the home sold quickly and for top dollar.

National Market Perspective:

In a recent blog postFreddieMac explained that “housing is stronger today than at any point since the Great Recession began and hit bottom in 2009.” They then gave three reasons which support their position:

  1. Home sales are up 13% since their low point.
  2. Housing starts are up 50% since they bottomed out.
  3. House Prices are up 16% since their trough.

Projections Going Forward

FreddieMac also believes that the market will continue to improve through 2014. They projected:

  1. Home sales to increase about 3% in 2014 as the purchase market continues to evolve
  2. Almost 20% growth for housing starts in 2014, which will begin to help ease tight inventories in many markets
  3. Home value increases to continue their positive momentum in 2014

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist, further explained what the housing market may look like in the agency’s April 2014 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook:

"Tight inventory may pose a significant challenge for home buyers in many markets across the country, which may result in higher home prices and sales being lower than expected. This is good news for those markets that have room to run on the house price appreciation front, but it's also going to increase the affordability pinch in many markets, especially along the country's east and west coasts. Two indicators that are supporting local housing activity are rising consumer confidence and declining unemployment rates."

Local Perspective:

Days on Market (DOM) is a term we all use to evaluate the health of a market. Generally speaking, a healthy market shows about 90 Days on Market. Anything below 90 and it starts to move into that infamous, but undefined “seller’s market.” Currently Longmont/Boulder County is at an all-time low with 52 DOM. To put this into perspective, for the last 7 years locally we have averaged 100 DOM.

If we read into the numbers we find what’s happening nationally is also being experienced locally. This downward pressure on DOM is a direct reflection of our limited housing inventory and the fact that most sellers lack confidence that they will find a suitable replacement home.

Here’s a Snapshot of April 2014’s Market Highlights:

  • YTD Sales Volume DOWN 16.1% vs 2013
  • All-time LOW Days on Market in Longmont - 52!
  • Average Sale Price OVER $300k for 4 of past 5 months!

So what lies ahead locally? For one… this market condition will not remain the same. Home builders are frantically building inventories that should begin to increase inventory levels by late 3rd quarter; interest rates are predicted to remain consistent throughout 2014, yet could increase .5% by year’s end; and finally, based on a recent poll, 70% of sellers planning on selling in 2014 will enter the market by mid-3rd quarter. This all equates to increase competition for sellers and downward or stabilizing pressure on home prices as this perfect storm comes into play.

Bottom Line

The real estate market is improving every day, and it still is your best bet for long-term security. The biggest current challenge is a lack of inventory in many markets, yet with this perfect storm on the horizon, sellers may not have the upper hand as they currently do.

Therefore, if you are thinking about selling, now may be the time to make the move.

Here's why:

 

 

Here is a guide to everything you need to consider when selling your home, including all the reasons the time is now.

Call me today and let’s evaluate your specific situation.

Warmly,

Cory Dudley

The Winning Team Real Estate Group

You’re Real Estate Advisor for Life

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Cory Dudley

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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Cory Dudley
The Winning Team Real Estate Group
522 Kimbark St
Longmont CO 80501
Mobile: (303) 641-8597
Office: (303) 776-4004
Fax: (303) 776-4661