“New normal” is a phrase we’ve become familiar with in this post-bubble real estate industry. It describes the current landscape of home prices that are lower than their peak but still healthy and steadily rising, stricter lending standards, and continued low (albeit slightly rising) interest rates.
But if you think about it, the term “new normal” really just connotes a recent change. I should know, I just had a baby five months ago – believe me, I’m living in a new normal.
So I’d like to point out another new normal: the situation of the Millennial generation.
I’m sure you’ve read reports saying that many young adults are putting off buying a house because they’re strapped with college loan debt (which, the New York Times aptly points out, is due to rising tuition costs outpacing income levels, among other reasons). More Millennials are returning to their parents’ homes after college to save money. They’re delaying both marriage and starting a family. Many of them are still trying to decide if they ever want to get married and/or have children.
But what else do we know about Gen Y?
Yes, they have higher student loan debt than previous generations, but they’re also more highly educated. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 66.2 percent of 2012 high school graduates are enrolled in colleges or universities (71.3 percent of young women and 61.3 percent of young men), as compared to 61.7 percent of grads who went to college in 1992 and 49.2 percent 40 years ago. More are seeking higher post-graduate degrees as well. And overall, Gen Y has less debt from material items than older generations, shying away from credit cards and fancy cars.
There’s also one more thing we know about Millennials: They love houses — or at least the idea of a owning a home of their own. Continue reading »
By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
Sam Foster is a well-prepared real estate professional. But what he likes even more than being well prepared is looking well prepared to his clients.
An executive vice president with Jones Lang LaSalle in Los Angeles, with more than 30 years in the real estate business, Foster’s secret weapon is his 11-page statement of requirement questionnaire.
Yes, 11 pages might sound intimidating, but for Foster it never fails at identifying his clients’ location needs.
Industrial real estate is Foster’s specialty, thus, his questionnaire covers such issues as number of docks and clearance space required, etc. But he also asks questions such as: What kind of hotels do you need nearby? How oven do you make trips to the post office? Do you want a large, impressive lobby that will wow your clients? How are you going to grow?
“They have to think through these issues,” Foster said during his presentation at the Commercial Leadership Forum during the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. today. “You have to have that conversation.” Continue reading »
By Katherine Tarbox, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
This morning I read an article on CNN.com about handwritten letters in the digital age. While producing the Masters Series videos, I’ve spent days watching how top-producing real estate pros run their business. Each has their own secret sauce, but every one of the practitioners we’ve profiled has stressed the importance of touching people.
Sue Smith, SRES, associate broker of RE/MAX Premier in Dulles, Va., keeps stacks of thank-you notes in her office and home. She makes a point to sit down at the end of the day to quickly write thank-you’s to the people who attended her open houses or who called her for a lead. Smith felt that people remembered her more because she took the time to write the note and mail it. Continue reading »