array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98204" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26429" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98204" ["subject"]=> string(38) "Make $50,000 From Your Next Open House" ["authors"]=> string(41) "By Mark Mathis, VP of Sales for Homes.com" ["data"]=> string(5410) "Sherri Johnson has 20 years' experience as a top agent and is an executive at one of the top three national independent brokerages. She has recruited, trained and coached thousands of agents, and lead over 700 real estate agents to over $1.6 billion in annual sales.
 
For 10 years, Johnson was in the top 25 of about 1,700 agents in the agency she worked for. In a recent webinar, she shared the tips, systems and insights she developed and now uses in her coaching business:
 
The Power of One Listing
Stop seeing open houses as annoyances and start seeing them as opportunities. Open house attendees aren't "nosy neighbors." See them as potential future leads. At some point, they're going to want to sell. This is your chance to make a connection. Begin With the End in Mind
Johnson referenced Stephen Covey's quote, "Begin with the end in mind," to emphasize the importance of setting yourself up for future success. "When you do that, you approach the open house with enthusiasm, and tell yourself, 'You're going to get business doing this,'" Johnson said.
 
Customers Are Everywhere
Make one of your open house goals to connect with people; be enthusiastic and engage with them. Introduce yourself to every open house attendee. If they don't reply with their own introduction, it's okay to ask, "And you are?" Once you know who they are, get to know them! Questions like where they heard about the open house are a good way to break the ice without seeming intrusive.
 
Maximize Your Open House Strategy for Success
Open houses are gold mines for business. Every Sunday, people go out looking to buy or sell a home. If you miss those opportunities, they will go to someone else, so strategize: Add Value
Show your lead how you can save them time and money: Closing Strategies
One of the most stressful parts of the sales process is closing. Johnson tells agents to "Ask for the appointment" right away. If you don't, your open house visitors may get picked up by someone else at the next open house. "You'll get the appointment 90 percent of the time if you ask right then," she said. You can even schedule time after the open house to look at houses. Johnson provides scripts for agents who want to know more about moving the process forward and how to close the appointment. Don't wait—cement the relationship by going to their home. Being in their home and talking to them face-to-face gets you one step closer to a sale.
 
To hear more of Johnson's tips and scripts, and to get a free download of closing scripts, go to the free webinar.

To see Johnson live in your area, visit www.secretslive.events/
 
For more information, please visit connect.homes.com" ["preview"]=> string(464) "Sherri Johnson has 20 years' experience as a top agent and is an executive at one of the top three national independent brokerages. She has recruited, trained and coached thousands of agents, and lead over 700 real estate agents to over $1.6 billion in annual sales. For 10 years, Johnson was in" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98299" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26429" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98299" ["subject"]=> string(32) "Apartment Rents Rise in February" ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> string(887) "Apartment rents, on average, rose by $1 in February to $1,364, according to data compiled from 121 markets recently released in a report by Yardi® Matrix. The increase is a 2.7 percent rise year-over-year.
 
The growth "is not surprising, nor is it something to be disappointed with, since it is very close to the long-term average," the report states.
 
The leading areas for growth in February were Orlando, Fla., Sacramento, Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., California's Inland Empire, and Phoenix, Ariz.
 
View the full report. 

For more information, please visit www.yardi.com" ["preview"]=> string(289) "
Apartment rents, on average, rose by $1 in February to $1,364, according to data compiled from 121 markets recently released in a report by Yardi® Matrix." ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98276" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26429" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98276" ["subject"]=> string(56) "Regional Spotlight: All-Time High Prices, Sales in Texas" ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> string(2603) "Despite Hurricane Harvey’s impact, home prices and sales in Texas reached all-time highs for the third year in a row, according to the 2017 Texas Real Estate Year in Review report, recently released by the Texas Association of Realtors®.
 
“Despite the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas housing market had a very strong fourth quarter, helping solidify 2017 as another record-breaking year in Texas real estate,” says Kaki Lybbert, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors®. “The strong growth in the housing market can be attributed to the sizable influx of residents and job growth across the state in 2017. With more than half a million people moving to the Lone Star State each year, we anticipate the Texas housing market will remain a hotbed for activity.”
 
Texas home sales jumped 4 percent in 2017, with 336,502 homes sold statewide. Home prices also experienced steady increases in 2017, with the median sales price increasing 6.7 percent from the year prior to $223,990.
 
“Across the state, we are projecting sales activity to be even more robust in 2018,” says Jim Gaines, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “One of the big drivers will be from first-time homebuyers finding opportunity in the market, with more builders focusing on the entry-level price point and lenders relaxing the requirements for first-time homebuyers. Additionally, the likelihood of more volatile interest rates in 2018 will influence homebuyers to buy now rather than later.”
 
Housing inventory across the state dipped 0.1 months to 3.1 months of inventory in December 2017. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, a market balanced between supply and demand has between 6.0 and 6.5 months of inventory.
 
Texas homes continued to spend approximately the same length of time on the market in 2017, an average of 57 days, and active listings increased 5.5 percent from 2016 to 2017.
 
“The Texas housing market remains in such high demand that we continue to see low levels of housing inventory and strong increases in home prices,” Lybbert says. “While that continues to be good news for property owners, Texas REALTORS® will also continue to advocate for affordable options for all Texans.”
 
Source: Texas Association of REALTORS®
" ["preview"]=> string(291) "
Despite Hurricane Harvey’s impact, home prices and sales in Texas reached all-time highs for the third year in a row, according to the 2017 Texas Real Estate" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98415" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26429" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98415" ["subject"]=> string(42) "Buyers Confronting 'Perfect Storm': Trulia" ["authors"]=> string(18) "By Suzanne De Vita" ["data"]=> string(3037) "First-time homebuyers are in for it this spring, with an all but depleted inventory at their price point, according to the Q1 2018 Inventory and Price Watch from Trulia. Their challenges, however, are more than scarcity. 
 
"First-time homebuyers face a perfect storm this spring," says Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. "Affordable, move-in ready starter homes have become harder to find amid rising home prices and mortgage rates. While new-home construction hit a 10-year high in 2017, these units have not translated into starter-home inventory just yet."
 
Entry-level home prices have risen 9.6 percent since the first quarter of 2017, according to Trulia, and inventory in the segment shrunk 14.2 percent just in the first quarter of 2018. The average buyer would need 41.2 percent of their income to purchase a starter today.
 
"Builders are focusing on the more upper-middle or premium home segments—mostly because of returns on investments," Young says. "Though builder sentiment is quite high, they have some headwinds around a shortage of labor. The focus now is trying to maximize their return, and, unfortunately, it's not at the bottom of the market." 
 
In general, inventory has risen 3.3 percent, but is being driven mostly by the premium segment, which added 13.3 percent supply year-over-year. Breaking down the data:
 

 
In addition to affordability constraints, the condition of entry-level homes is fading. Compared to entry-level homes in 2012, the average entry-level home is nine years older, and more are becoming classified as fixers—an 11.2 percent share today, versus a 10.3 percent share in 2012. Moreover, entry-level homes have 2 percent less square feet (down to 1,187 square feet from 1,211 square feet). Why?
 

 
"What's actually out there is getting tighter, and what may have been on the cusp of the starter/trade-up is now trade-up—everything is starting to spread," says Young. "What's filtering down in the starter home market now is the smallest, oldest, lower-quality homes."
 
For more information, please visit www.trulia.com

 
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia's online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.
" ["preview"]=> string(314) "
First-time homebuyers are in for it this spring, with an all but depleted inventory at their price point, according to the Q1 2018 Inventory and Price Watch from" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98389" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26429" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98389" ["subject"]=> string(35) "Fannie: Economy to Roar on Stimulus" ["authors"]=> string(18) "By Suzanne De Vita" ["data"]=> string(2684) "The economy is expected to grow at a full-bodied pace for the year, and boosted further by the stimulus, according to Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group's recently released Economic and Housing Outlook for March 2018. Analysts at Fannie forecast GDP growth at 2.8 percent, barring consumers reining in their spending, the impact of the aluminum/steel tariffs and other influencers. 
 
Analysts are encouraged by indicators that are on a positive trend, such as consumer confidence and jobs; however, dire housing inventory levels are making the market track unevenly. 
 
"Home sales got off to a rough start in 2018, bottle-necked by the persistent challenges of the inventory shortage," says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Of course, there's a flipside to the demand-supply imbalance, and strong home price appreciation continues to come as welcome news to existing homeowners."
 
According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in the first two months of 2018, existing- and pending home sales struggled. Compounding the issue, potentially, are hiked interest rates; the ESR Group is all but certain the Federal Reserve will move on rates at its quarterly meeting on Wednesday. 
 
"We're nearly a quarter of the way through 2018, and, as anticipated, the interplay between fiscal and monetary policy continues to frame the economic landscape," Duncan says. "While we expect the economy to shift temporarily into a lower gear in the first quarter, the pace of growth should accelerate through the remainder of this year and into the next.
 
"Beyond the obvious downside risks, the economy appears poised to build on a foundation of strong consumer spending and a historically healthy labor market following the recent passage of the discretionary spending bill, on top of tax reform," says Duncan.
 
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia's online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com." ["preview"]=> string(296) "
The economy is expected to grow at a full-bodied pace for the year, and boosted further by the stimulus, according to Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98412" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26429" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98412" ["subject"]=> string(48) "4 Cost-Effective Ways to Raise Your Home's Value" ["authors"]=> string(15) "By Dixie Somers" ["data"]=> string(3497) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: If you're looking to raise the value of your home, especially for resale purposes, you've undoubtedly heard all sorts of ideas that will get the job done, many of which may be too expensive or too difficult for you to handle at the moment. Many require a large chunk of change, and while they may very well give you a return on your investment, you may not have this kind of money lying around.
 
Here are four budget-friendly ways to raise your home's value and increase its future resale value at the same time:
 
Change Out Doors and Windows
Not only can your doors and windows be easily seen from the outside of your home, thus impacting curb appeal, but they also significantly impact your home's interior. Consider energy-efficient windows that keep heating and cooling costs down and also fit the design of your home. For outside doors, try steel or fiberglass doors that keep energy costs low and improve home security. 
 
Add Space
If possible, find a way to increase space in your home. This could be as easy as adding a patio or deck for outdoor entertaining or finishing off a basement. If you have the space and the funds, consider adding an additional room, which can be a huge boon for homebuyers who need an extra bedroom or bonus room.
 
Modernize Plumbing
Little leaks and plumbing issues can cost you a great deal on your home value, especially if you're actively trying to sell your home. Hire a professional plumber to address your pipes and drains and to change out plumbing fixtures for a modernized appearance. If your water heater is getting old, consider purchasing a new one at the same time.
 
Use Paint Wisely
Paint can do a great deal to modernize a home and improve its value for a very low initial cost. Paint walls a neutral color and spiff up kitchen and bathroom cabinets with a new color. Many older cabinets can be salvaged with a quick sanding, a coat of primer and a new color.
 
Not every renovation or remodel has to cost a great deal of money to be a wise investment. Instead, as you can see above, there are many small, easy changes that will still yield great results. If you truly want to raise your home's value, consider changing part of the aesthetic of your home or modernizing your windows, doors or plumbing.
 
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer from Arizona covering Jim Dhamer for the home improvement industry. She is a regular contributor to RISMedia's Housecall blog." ["preview"]=> string(475) "If you're looking to raise the value of your home, especially for resale purposes, you've undoubtedly heard all sorts of ideas that will get the job done, many of which may be too expensive or too difficult for you to handle at the moment. Many require a large chunk of change, and while they may very" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "12392" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26429" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_10" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(6) "Footer" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "12392" ["subject"]=> NULL ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> NULL ["preview"]=> string(327) "

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" ["link"]=> string(0) "" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } Today's Real Estate News - Friday, March 30, 2018
Today's Top Stories
Make $50,000 From Your Next Open House
Apartment Rents Rise in February
Regional Spotlight: All-Time High Prices, Sales in Texas
Buyers Confronting 'Perfect Storm': Trulia
Fannie: Economy to Roar on Stimulus
4 Cost-Effective Ways to Raise Your Home's Value
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