December 3 2015

2016 Housing Market Forecast

2016 Housing Market Forecast

If 2015 was the year for the housing market to recover, then 2016 will be about creating affordable homes. The upcoming year will see some challenges in making homes affordable for first-time homebuyers. With the lack of reasonable home prices near major metropolitan areas, first-time home buyers are being pushed out to the suburbs.

As home prices are starting to see a steady increase in the hot coastal markets, young professionals and first-time buyers searching for a new home will have to leave the city and look for “mini-cities,” suburb communities offering an urban feel and that provide plenty of amenities within walking distance.

Key Predictions on the 2016 Housing Market:

1. New growing suburb markets will pop up as home buyers move outside cities to find affordable homes.
2. The average age of first-time home buyers will increase in 2016. In 2015, the average first time home buyer was 33 years old.
3. Home prices will increase by around 3.5%.
4. As home prices increase faster than incomes, more low-income Americans will be unable to afford homeownership.
5. 2016 will see the highest cost of rent.

On the bright side, over 5.4 million existing single-family homes are predicted to be sold in 2016. That is up by a million homes estimated sold in 2015. While home sales will continue to grow in 2016, the lack of first-time buyers and rising mortgage rates will make for some challenges for home builders.

The median price of new homes should grow at an annual rate of 5%, which is down by 1% of the average price this year. The rising home prices will become one more obstacle for first-time buyers, as well as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising to 4.5%.

The good news is, as young adults who can’t afford home ownership flood the renting market, rising rents will force those who can afford a home, to stop delaying in homeownership.

Although 2016 will not see a housing boom, it will see a slow and steady real estate market.

March 24 2015

Are You Ready for the Millennial Homebuyer?

It has been predicted that the millennial generation (those born from 1980’s – early 2000’s) are going to dominate home purchases in 2015, even over baby boomers. This generation is starting to shape how real estate marketing is going to look moving forward.
Millennials are dependent on technology. They are the first generation to have computers in classrooms, own a cell phone before a driver’s license, and some were even placed in front of iPads before they entered first grade. So it is no surprise that when it comes to looking for a new home, the first thing they will do is reach for the Internet.

Home Builders:

Millennials are smart and will do their research before hopping in a car to find new communities. Advertising on new home directories is a great way to be found and build a brand that homebuyers can trust.
Using social media will also drive traffic and leads to your website. Use this platform to advertise any real estate seminar or fundraiser you are hosting. If you have any blogs about your new community’s events or phase release, social media is an inexpensive way to target your audience in the ZIP codes that are beneficial for you to promote that blog.


Millennials will not only be searching for a new home online, they will find their realtor online as well. This makes it more important than ever for realtors to have a website, and not just the one their brokers give them. They will need an up-to-date website that is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate.

First impressions are everything and your website is the first contact a realtor and potential homebuyer will have. Millennials have become accustomed to fresh content and clean designs. Nothing says you are out of touch with today’s market then having a site with photos taken 10 years ago and your last blog post done around the same time. What realtor do you think a 30-something home buyer will flock to when having a choice between these two websites?

Real Estate Site Example One

Real Estate Site Example Two


Once a millennial partners with a realtor, please do not bombard them with emails. Millennials are smart and will most likely send you listings they are interested in seeing. They count on up-to-date new home directories and MLS listing sites to do research on homes that meet their needs. Once they find a property they are interested in they contact their Realtor on homes they would like to see.

Millennials have no problem being upfront with you during their home buying process; however there are some things they may keep to themselves. To be the best Realtor your millennial client, listen to the unsaid things they may be afraid of telling you. This, along with your great looking website, will impress them and make you the rock star real estate agent they need!

March 7 2011

New Homes Professional Network Reaches Over 2200 Members On Linked In!

New Homes Professional Network Logo

In 2008, New Homes had noted there were no new home building specific groups among Linked In and seeing a need for a new home building industry specific network that was about giving control to the users, gave rise to today's New Home Professional Network Group. A network comprised of senior executives, marketing & PR professionals, as well as sales professionals in the home building industry, New Homes Professional Network has reached over 2200 member in 2011!  This group promotes open discussion among its members to address the ever changing market conditions and the related news, events and technology that shape our industry.

"I find that the topics of discussion in the New Homes Professional Group are cutting edge and very thought provoking. I feel that the group has a very good mix of professionals that participate in the discussions on a regular basis and I learn a lot from the other members of this group by reading what they have to say about the different topics of discussion. The information and the other points of view that I receive by being a member of this group have given me a better understanding of the issues and challenges that builders, sales people and sub contractors face today. The New Homes Professional Group is AWESOME!"
-Del Barbray
 Experienced New Home Sales Pro
 Sacramento, California Area

This social network of industry professionals combines some of the more effective platforms such as blogging and forums as a way to engage each other on any industry topic, from anywhere in the world. 

"For me it's interesting to get a national perspective on certain topics. New and fresh ideas from all over the country. Plus I know that everyone who responds in the New Homes Professional Network is in the trenches everyday, trying a variety of strategies that may or may not work. It's great to get the feedback. You can always learn something new."
-Michael Berke
 Berke Homes & Properties
 Greater Chicago Area

We are excited for the opportunity this group of professionals has to combine and share its collective wisdom and experience. The Network was created in hopes that members will seek the experiences and expertise of others in order to sharpen their professional skills and be more effective for their companies. 

“It's crucial for me to stay relevant as a trainer and sales coach in the industry. The New Home Professional Network Group is a great way for me to stay up on what my industry wants to improve on.
-Jason Forrest
 J Forrest Group
 Dallas/Fort Worth Area
"We exist in a put-your-head-down-and-plow-through-the-work kind of environment. It's so easy to become disconnected and detached from what others are thinking and saying. The network helps me to keep my pulse on what industry leaders are thinking, and to contribute to the dialogue. Sometimes the answers we need are a blog post away. The New Home Professional Network Group makes those answers easy to find.
-Jeff Shore
 Shore Consulting
 Sacramento, California Area
"The Group has been very helpful. Probably because of the relevancy of the discussion topics. I find the majority of the posts helpful to my business. I also get very relevant responses back to the discussions I post as well.
-Brandon Cleveland
 Associate Broker / Sales Associate
 Meritage Homes
 Phoenix, AZ
"I've really enjoyed reading and engaging in topics brought up by the group, especially during these more trying times. Specifically from other parts of the country where they are having to reach deeper than we are in Texas to drive traffic, convert sales, and make money. We are all having to learn to do more with less and deliver better, more cutting edge products and services while enduring tighter credit and longer sales cycles. We've literally embarked on a social media campaign and have turned to more creative marketing than ever before due to the influence of our group.
-Jay Hankla 
 General Manager
 Shaddock Homes
 Dallas/Fort Worth Area
"As I look over the conversations and dialogues I think it is hugely important as an industry and as professionals to stay connected, network and share ideas. I also think it is extremely important as an industry that we strive to be professionals and the best at what we do. As sales professionals, are we constantly trying to improve our skills, are we reading, going to training, meeting with a mentor or being a mentor to a younger less experienced sales professional. I sometimes think we use these types of sites for job and consulting opportunities, which I think is good, but I would like to see us focus on how to raise our expertise and conversion rates to make a bigger impact for our builders, clients, bankers, investors and the country as a whole.
-Bobby Mink
 Operations Manager
 Alex G. Tetterton Homes
 Greater Atlanta Area

March 16 2010

D.R. Horton Is Taking Over Fort Worth Texas

D.R. Horton is taking over Fort Worth, Texas with affordable new housing. In the real estate world the 3 most important aspects of the business are Location, Location, Location! And D.R. Horton has found that location to be Fort Worth. D.R. Horton is offering 22 communities with new homes priced in the low $100’s to the high $200’s within and around Fort Worth, Texas
Map Marking Fort Worth New HomesWith the uncertain economic we face today, you need to take in account the financial strength of the homebuilder you are planning to purchase a new home from. D.R. Horton is a homebuilder that is going to be there for you not only during the construction of your new home, but after you have closed escrow as well. This philosophy was started when D.R. Horton built their first Fort Worth new homes over three decades ago. That philosophy has never wavered as the company grew from a Dallas/Fort Worth homebuilder, to a regional homebuilder and eventually to the largest homebuilder in the United States.

D.R. Horton knows there is more to a new home than a great location. While your new home location is important, quality and value are also a must have for any new homebuyer. D.R. Horton has been building quality new homes for 30 years and each new home is planned and built with a focus on quality and value, while including sensible floor plans, energy efficiency, home warranties - and so much more.
Since there founding in 1978, D.R. Horton has delivered more than 395,000 new homes to homebuyers. In fact for each of the past 7 years, D.R. Horton has delivered more new homes to their customers than any other homebuilder in the United States! 

January 27 2010

It's Cool To Have A Tool

The 2010 International Builder Show was a big hit this year and was an amazing opportunity for home builders to learn some new tricks of the trade. Times are changing and the home builder needs to change with it. With Social Media a must have in the industry, many seminars where dedicated to teaching the home builder and their sales team how to create leads and how to turn those leads into sales using Social Media. One big topic this year, every home sales team needs to have a flip camera, digital camera and smart phone.

The flip cameras could be seen in use as you walked through the halls at 2010 IBS, myself being guilty of using one. How you may ask would this help you sell a new home? Well, this handy-dandy tool is a small portable camera great for showing a walkthrough of a model home. With its convenient Thumb Drive (F Drive) built in so you can easily film a walkthrough of your amazing home then download it to YouTube. YouTube is the second most searched online source after Google, with 2.4 billion searches per month.

Now the digital camera is to make eye candy for your website. When you place great high definition pictures on your website that look like something from a Home and Garden Magazine, the pictures just screams to the customer, “Buy Me! I am your Dream Home.”

Below is a quick clip of Jessica Earle the Marketing Director of and  Mike Lyon from and how you're “Cool to have a Tool.”


January 18 2010

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Volunteers Needed

 Simmons Homes, Tulsa’s leading new home builder, is teaming up with ABC’s "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to help a family in Simmons Homes own backyard.   "Our employee’s hearts and lives have been touched through our participation with ˜Extreme Makeover and the families we’ve been fortunate enough to help," said Greg Simmons, founder of Owasso-based Simmons Homes. "To be a part of the same spirit of generosity in our own community brings our amazing Extreme Team experience full circle."


Simmons Homes Volunteers

Simmons Homes is seeking skilled/licensed craftsmen to volunteer for “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” to work shifts on site in Talsa. The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” volunteers will make a well deserved family dreams come true. “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” volunteers should have experience in the home building industry with skills including electricians, painters, framers, plumbers and drywallers. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" volunteers will to find all transportation, lodging and food. In addition, Simmons Homes encourages other Tulsa community organizations to get involved by allowing employees to participate and/or donate tools and supplies. Visit to volunteer for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in Tulsa. 

 The Tulsa "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" family’s name has not yet been released, to insure the family will enjoy the surprise, and the final project details will be announced the week of Jan. 15. The Simmons Homes team will work on the Extreme Makeover home for nearly one week.  "You can be confident that the Tulsans receiving this home are truly deserving of our help," said Simmons. "We’re looking forward to building a team of local volunteers to really make a difference in this family’s lives."    


December 10 2009

The Awkward Pause

Just the other day I was working on my social media outlets, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and I came across  Jeff Shore’s “The Awkward Pause - New Home Sales Training” on YouTube. In the video Jeff talked about a home seller showing a potential homebuyer a model home and everything is going great. The client is asking questions, the seller is answering them and then…. nothing. It’s that uncomfortable moment when the client has no more questions and there is nothing but an awkward pause.

Jeff continues in the video with a simple solution to this very common, and let’s face it, sometimes embarrassing situation. The solution is this, have pre-made questions ready in the back of your mind for when this moment arrives. Now the pre-made questions in the video where intended for home sales, but I found myself envisioning situations that I would be in where the same questions could help me eliminate any awkward pause during conversations with clients. Then a light bulb moment, anyone in sales can use these questions to eliminate any awkward pause during a sale.

One of the “Test Questions” were, “Based on what we went over, do you have any questions?” Now you can see how this would be the perfect question to ask a customer during a walkthrough of a model after walking throughout some rooms. However this is such a great question to ask during any sell. Everything from selling cars, “Based on all the cars you have looked at, do you have any questions?” to a selling coffee beans at Starbucks, “Based on all the different types of beans and roast we went over, do you have any questions?” Another “Test Question” you can pull out during an awkward silence is, “I know we went over a lot of territory, is anything not clear at this point?” This is great question for anyone from marketing to selling a service, like a programmer. The opportunities are endless. So take a look at Jeff Shore's video and envision the situation in which you can use these questions to help you out of an awkward pause.





November 3 2009

Condos For A Cure - Equals Columbus New Homes Found

As posted on October 19th in the Condos for a Cure Contribution by Epcon Communities post, Epcon Communities last month as sponsored the the Susan G. Komen Foundation by generously donating $1000 to fight against breast cancer. To help raise awareness of this cause wrote several PR stories on the communities that participated in the Condos for a Cure.

With the help of New Homes Directory search authority and with our knowledge of SEO, we were able to place 5 “Condos for a Cure”  stories on the the top search results of Google with our postings on the 3erd through 7th positions as of October 19th. 

Even though the fundraiser is over, our post are still there. Today the Condos for the Cure participating Epcon Communities of Woods at Sugar Run and The Villas at Canterbury Woods are found in the number one and two search results. Having such a great PR story found for these communities guarantees that Epcon Communities will have nothing but positive content out there for the consumer to find.

Never underestimate the power of a good story. Today more then ever the importance of being found on line can make or brake you. Say if you have a potential home buyer searching for a new home for sale and they have narrowed down to two communities. While researching online they search each community by name. Now  Community A is found with a blog story on how wonderful that community is and the amenities it provides, while Community B is not found at all. Chances are after being inspired by the post of Community A, once they go to check out Community A in person they will already had decided that Community A as something more to offer and they are ready to buy.

Are your communities being found?



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