HomeCity Real Estate Blog

LinkedIn is a valuable tool that many people aren’t utilizing to the fullest extent. I understand it can seem daunting to learn the ins-and-outs of another social network – especially one with a much different focus than the others. On LinkedIn, you are speaking to not only friends, family, and potential clients but also influencers, clients, competition, and potential business partners. 

Putting your best face forward on LinkedIn is just as important as the other social networks, and if used correctly, can help you grow your business! The first step, which should go without saying, is to fill out your profile completely. Each section should have a significant amount of information, and if possible it’s helpful to ask for endorsements or reviews from

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Choosing a home to purchase can be an exciting and scary experience for new homeowners and seasoned homebuyers alike. Most times this will be your home
the next decade, maybe more, and you will want to ensure you make the right decision. The National Association of Realtors states that the typical home buyer searched for ten weeks and viewed ten homes in 2014 — this is two weeks shorter than the previous year’s report. In extremely hot markets like ours, this time is often much shorter. The trick here is to make sure you know what you want before you even begin viewing homes with a real estate agent. Consider what you need in a home, why you are buying, and where you would like to live.

“You want to be educated upfront, because when you are ready to

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We held a Branding and Social Media class last week and had several requests for a social media ‘basics’ class for folks who are completely new to social media. This got us thinking that there are those out there who could probably benefit from a quick-and-dirty, just-the-basics, social media overview.

Social media marketing is all about developing relationships with your followers while adding value to the conversations relevant to your industry. You want to become known as an expert in your field who should be referenced whenever questions arise, or a consumer is looking to purchase your product. Here are a few terms to get you started.

Hashtag: Ah, the infamous hashtag. A source of confusion for many new social media participants. A hashtag

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School is back in session, and there are tons of fun events coming up as the weather cools down (see the bottom of this post for exact details)! In the real estate world, Austin’s summer selling season has been extremely active. Austin continues to see rising home sales while home sales volumes set a record for the month of July.

The Austin Board of Realtors recently released their real estate market statistics, which show July 2015 home sales price increasing. The median price for Austin-area homes increased 8% year-over-year to $269,500. The average price rose 6% to $338,452. Affordability continues to be a concern with less than 30% of homes sold in the Austin area priced below $200,000.

“As more people move to the Austin area, demand is

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For the month of July 2015, housing prices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area continued to gain traction as the second half of the year is well underway. The housing affordability for July was down 3.6% to 151 compared to last year. Again, this affordability index could be related to the increasing home prices for the area as the median home price for the Dallas-Fort Worth are rose 8.8% from last year to $210,000.

During July 2015, new listings increased 14% to 15,101, closed sales increased 4.2% to 10,503, and pending sales increased 5.8% to 9,794. However, the average days a home spent on the market was down last month 15.6% to 30 days and there was an 18.4% decrease in months’ supply of housing inventory to 3.1 months.

The total number of homes on

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The National Association of Realtors logs its membership to date at 1,117,566 people (as of May 31, 2015). That’s a LOT of real estate professionals.
However, only 2% of that number earns more than $250,000 per year, and even getting in the upper five-digit range is rare - the median gross income of Realtor®s is $45,800.

Why such a large gap in pay grade? While there are certainly contributing factors such as geographic market fluctuations and effort put in, we have noticed that there are several habits most successful real estate professional share.

1. Get up early and get into a routine. This is a habit practiced by most successful professionals in general – getting an early start to your day as part of a daily routine is crucial. Get into the

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Many people have called millennials the ‘renters generation’, as more young people are choosing to continue to rent later into their life than in generations past. This could be attributed to the fact that Millennials (and many Generation X and Y-er’s) don’t want to be tied down by the same ‘roots’ previous generations considered an advantage. They want the freedom to travel, move to a new city, or even a new country! They also saw the market crash in the mid-2000’s and are wary of home ownership. However, as time passes, these folks are settling down and deciding that buying a house might be a sound investment. In the summer of 2014, 30% of homebuyers were young people, according to an analysis from realtor.com, and that number is on the rise.

While

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The cornerstone of most successful career paths is networking. While it can seem daunting to show up to an event alone, with the sole purpose of talking to and meeting new people, this is an important first step to building your sphere of influence. It’s completely natural to feel nervous at events like these, but it’s helpful to remember that almost every other person attending is also in your shoes. There are, however, right and wrong ways to go about expanding your network. There are also easier places to start. Here're some tips we like to implement in our social lives. 

-       Reconnect with old friends. One of the first (and easiest) things you can to do begin building your list of contacts is reach out to a friend whom you haven’t spoken with

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Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when designing and decorating buildings. Basically, it means that placing objects (cures) around your home or office strategically, using certain elemental décor and colors, and honoring certain directions balance the energies of a given space to assure prosperity to the people inhabiting it.

While this can seem to be a bit much for some, feng shui can be free, easy and fun! There are plenty of elements of the practice that are practical and can help your home feel less cluttered, more organized, and intentional. Aligning your home with who you

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Natural landscaping, aka xeriscaping or green gardening, is gaining traction among homeowners, especially in the southern states. What this means is that you use native plants to landscape your yard rather than imports. Things that grow native in Texas include live oak, Texas Mountain Laurel, Texas Sage, Retama, Red Yucca, and Texas Lantana, among many other species of plant. Most of these species even have beautiful flowers! We think utilizing your areas native plant life when planning the design of your lawn is not only smart but eco-conscious as well. Your landscape design choices can have a positive impact on the environment, fostering healthy ecosystems and enhancing biodiversity. Benefits for the environment aren’t the only good thing about native

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