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Homebuying Timeline Shortened as Housing Market Gains Momentum

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on September 3rd, 2013

As the housing market continues to improve, developers and builders are experiencing a favorable trend amongst prospective homebuyers. After several years of building a pipeline of leads and grinding out sales through a lengthy sales process, the timeline for sale has shortened considerably. The market rebound is trumping the seasonality of many markets, with buyers now purchasing within weeks of their initial sales office visit rather than months or years. As specialists in the marketing of residential real estate, Cotton & Company is witnessing the shift across multiple markets indicating a positive trend. Many buyers have been sitting on the sidelines for the past several years waiting for the right opportunity and a more positive economic outlook. This reluctance to… Read more »

Establish Marketing Priorities and Analyze Every Step of the Way

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Media & Networking & Public Relations & Social Media & Uncategorized & Web on August 21st, 2013

All across the country, real estate continues to see positive news for the industry. The good news on sales success is being driven by investment buyers seeking appreciation or rental income.  As the cycle continues and the economy continues to strengthen, end-user buyers will continue to increase. As builders and developers are putting their strategic marketing plan in place, questions often arise on how much they should budget and what the top priorities should be. As a leader in real estate marketing for more than four decades, Cotton & Company is assisting its clients by establishing priorities throughout their strategic plan. Focusing on direct consumer sales most often results in a higher ROI by lessening the commission expense.  Today, most… Read more »

The World Has Changed Since the Last Real Estate Cycle

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on April 29th, 2013

It’s been a long road back for the real estate development industry. When the down slope for residential real estate began in 2006, the world was a very different place. It’s hard to believe that Facebook only existed on college campuses, and the first generation of the iPhone wasn’t introduced until 2007. But it was the iPad introduction in 2010 that really changed the world for real estate developers, bringing the wealthy discretionary buyer into the digital realm. Today, as many developers begin to reenter the market, they are recognizing new marketing challenges as a result of changing technology. Top 10 Changes: 1. Website infrastructure and design must prioritize tablet interaction. This means a more focused navigation plan that emphasizes… Read more »

Early Cotton Report Data Indicates Liquidity Returning to the Market

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Media & Real Estate on March 13th, 2013

Cotton & Company’s 5th annual consumer survey is underway. The annual online report surveys prospective homebuyers throughout the US to gain insight into the current buyer’s psychology. With more than 700 respondents providing insight on the factors that affect their purchase decision, the data has become an industry standard for forecasting residential real estate trends.  As the data continues to be analyzed for the final report, early indications show liquidity has returned to the market. When asked about their reason for not purchasing to date, the consumer response “Can’t sell my existing home” dropped significantly from the 2011 market data. As additional support to this position, consumer interest in “Waiting for Better Pricing” has dropped to 8%, from the highpoint… Read more »

How to Drive Outside Broker Sales in 2013

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on February 12th, 2013

In regional marketplaces across the country, real estate brokers are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Although the downturn has been prolonged, brokers stand ready to drive success as the market rebounds. With the national media promoting the rebound of the housing market, brokers are anxious to earn those illusive commissions. And that’s the name of the game – making money. As the developer or owner of a new residential community, brokers can provide a quick burst of momentum for your program. Here are some things you do to capture their attention and their clients: 1. Communicate and educate. A strong broker partner is a resource for his clients. He/she knows what is happening in the market… Read more »

What’s the Future for Planned Communities?

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on February 5th, 2013

Seems like a simple question, but the answer may not be so clear. A discussion panel of ULI industry experts provided personal insight on the future: Lewis Goodkin – Second home communities are finding their residents are no longer supporting the club structure. Baby boomers want “insulation” not “isolation,” and they are becoming more about necessity than ever before. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk – There are three primary obstacles to long-term development: 1) Getting people comfortable with change. 2) Affordability as tax credits may not continue and costs are rising. 3) Transit is a necessity and new roads are not being planned. The roads must come first. Charles Cobb – Many places still have a need for new housing communities with lifestyle elements as part of the… Read more »

6 Reasons Video Should be a High Priority When Selling Real Estate

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Advertising & Media & Networking & Public Relations & Real Estate & Social Media & Uncategorized on January 21st, 2013

Video content is new terminology in the digital marketing age. In years past, creating a video meant a one-time production to acquire and edit a short film to tell the story of your community vision. In today’s content-rich environment, new marketing channels provide outlets where video becomes a constantly evolving tool. Creating compelling video content should rise to the top of your priority list for a variety of reasons: 1. As consumers, we live in a visual world and technology has opened the door to online learning, on-demand movies, and independent entertainment delivered through alternative channels. We look to YouTube for “how to” videos, recipes and research. Why would buying real estate be any different? 2. Making a new home purchase… Read more »

Mexico’s Comeback Captures the World’s Attention

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on December 18th, 2012

The rebounding Mexican economy is providing plenty of headlines for today’s final reporters. It’s hard to believe that not long ago, Mexico was in the news daily for the swine flu outbreak and endless drug violence. Today, words like “record-breaking” and “booming” are now being used to describe a thriving economy. It seems while the US was focusing on the 2012 election, Mexico quietly overcame many of its challenges. Although there remains much to be resolved, the country is now the world’s leading exporter of flat screen TVs and has also become a major force in the automobile industry. Surprisingly, one in 10 cars sold last year in the U.S. was made in Mexico. According to the Wall Street Journal, “next… Read more »

Coach Schnellenberger Leading the Charge to Stop Texting and Driving

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Advertising & Media & Networking & Public Relations & Social Media & Uncategorized & Web on December 11th, 2012

As the Offensive Coordinator for the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Coach Howard Schnellenberger became famous for winning football games and the ‘72 Dolphins remain the only undefeated team in NFL history. The coach went on to become a legendary college head coach for the Universities of Oklahoma,Louisville and Miami, where he won a National Championship. After retiring from football as the head coach of Florida Atlantic in 2011, the coach continues to work with young students as he faces an even more ominous opponent. Featured on Miami’s WSVN, Coach Schnellenberger is bringing attention to the growing epidemic of texting and driving. Notably, 49% of drivers with cell phones under the age of 35 send or read text messages while driving, even though a texting… Read more »

Data Capture Essential to Build Sales Pipeline

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Advertising & Media & Networking & Public Relations & Real Estate & Social Media & Uncategorized & Web on December 4th, 2012

As we all know, two-way communication is required to have a meaningful conversation. During the new home buying process, beginning the conversation sooner rather than later should be a primary focus of your website marketing initiatives. Of course, increased website visits are a positive indication of your marketing outreach, but it’s only the first step in the sales funnel that requires bringing the prospect through many steps prior to reaching a closed sale. Website interaction represents a golden opportunity to open a dialog with the prospective homebuyer. Consumers are busy people, and they are often researching their options late in the evening, long after your sales center is closed. They aren’t looking for direct person-to-person contact, but they are doing their homework to… Read more »