The latest news release from Florida Realtors show Lee County Florida home sales down 6.8% in April but still up from 2016 and 2017 levels.  We are seeing increasing inventory and time on the market, and home prices are flat.  Total dollar volume of sales was down 12.3%, so we’re definitely experiencing a shifting market.

Lee County Florida April Home Sales Down 6.8%
Lee County Florida April 2019 Home Sales Down 6.8%

How you look at the market might just depend on your expectations.  If you look at it over the last 4 years, this is the 2nd highest rated market.  You can also look at it as down versus last year, and the fundamentals propelling the market are down as well.

So where do we go from here?  A lot of that will depend on the economy, interest rates, and consumer sentiment.  Right now, consumer confidence is fairly strong.  Interest rates have declined, and the economy is doing well.  The wild cards right now are the trade wars and their effects on the overall economy moving forward.

Trade between Mexico and Canada has a chance at improving significantly depending on if congress passes the latest revision to NAFTA.  Trade with China has the potential to increase drastically or go South in a hurry.  Long term it’s in our best interests to hold tight, but there is pressure on farmers and retail to wrap it up sooner rather than later.  There could be long-term winners and short-term losers in that deal.

We don’t control what happens in the future.  What we know is many want to buy here, and many want to sell.  As in any market, the trick is pricing homes at today’s market and then marketing the home so as many prospects as possible see it.

One of the best websites to search for properties is www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s great because it’s updated in real-time and includes all the listings.  Additionally, there are neighborhood market reports, so buyers and sellers can get an idea of what’s going on at the neighborhood level too.

Memorial Day weekend is a great weekend to enjoy the outdoors.  It’s going to be hot.  Perhaps you’re looking to purchase a home with a big back yard so you can entertain friends and family, play games, and enjoy some BBQ on the grill.  Perhaps you’re looking for a pool home in this hot weather.  Or you’re looking for a waterfront home or condo so you can go out on the boat right from your back yard.  We’ve got it all on our website.

And if you’re looking to sell, we can give you a free online estimate of your home’s value.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevaues.com and it will show you instantly.  Or call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Many buyers need to sell their home first, and that’s where we can help.  We can time it, so we sell your home and find you a property to purchase as well.  All this takes coordination with the lender, title company, and the next home you’re purchasing.  We handle all the details for you so you can enjoy the process.

So, this weekend go out and enjoy the outdoors.  When you’ve had enough sun and heat, check out our websites and search for the next home that will meet your needs better.  We’ve even got boat clubs we can recommend, which might save you some money.  Some buyers elect to go this route and not buy a waterfront home and still enjoy the fabulous boating we have here in SW Florida.  Others want that boat right at their house.  Either way, we can help.

Stay safe, enjoy the weekend, and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd

$273,240

Edison Park Home

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

3681 Gloxinia Dr

$225,000

Sabal Springs Home on Private Lot

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

914 El Dorado Pkwy E

$925,000

Cape Coral Waterfront Open House

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

14528 Aeries Way

$450,000

Eagle Ridge Home on Private Lot

 

SW Florida real estate inventory drops in April.  Back in February we calculated 6,677 listings from MLS and today we have 6,283.  Either more homes are selling to cause this drop, or homes are expiring and have not re-entered the market yet.

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Drops in April

So, let’s dig deeper, find out what is causing this, and look at the opportunities.  We run a 365-day moving average tracking the SW Florida home sales.  Back in February we tracked 13,083 sales compared to 12,986 today.  What this tells us the inventory levels are not coming down from increased sales.  In fact, sales have lightened up a bit.  The other thing it could be is increased pending sales taking inventory off the market, but they haven’t closed yet.

Official pending numbers for March will be released next week, so we’ll study those.  We watch the expired listings hitting the market each day and we noticed a large number at the end of March.  With listing numbers down almost 400 we can assume some sellers gave up when they didn’t get their price.

We can also assume that many of those same sellers would like to sell.  Perhaps they have another property they’d like to move to.  Perhaps they’re tired of the HOA or condo fees where they live now.  Maybe it’s just time.  In any event, there may be a way to get your property sold.

Sometimes sellers just hire the wrong Realtor.  They assume all Realtors market the same, therefore they will all fetch the same price for their home.  Reality tells us this isn’t true.  Some Realtors practice the 3 P’s of marketing.  1.  Put a sign in the yard. 2.  Place it on MLS. 3. Pray that another Realtor sells it.

Placing a home on 100 different Internet sites is not marketing.  Anybody can do that.  It’s easy, and I’ll show you how.  The real marketing is finding buyers for your home.  This entails calling a database of buyers looking in your neighborhood.  That’s right!  We have a database of buyers looking for homes in your neighborhood.  If you doubt me, I’ll show you the database.  I’ll show you the buyers.

Secondly, we want to create new buyers not already in the database.  We target buyers online who are looking for a home or condo just like yours.  You can’t wait for the market to come to you.  You must go and get the market.  This is why so many homes expire and never sell.  The Realtor didn’t go and get the buyer.

Sellers do not want to reduce their price until they’re satisfied that all the marketing is being done.  They only want to reduce the price when they’re convinced it is the price, not the marketing.  When you hire marketing gurus when you list the home, you’ll know.  Hiring the wrong Realtor can cost you valuable time on the market with no sale.

Lots of people call us the 2nd or 3rd time around.  Why not call us 1st?  If you’re thinking of selling, or tried to sell and failed, give us a call.  It might not be the price.  You might have simply selected the wrong Realtor.

Open House App 

We have an app that will show you all the open houses in your area, no matter where you live.  It even works up North.  Simply go to www.SWfloridaopenhouse.com and download the app. Sellers like it so they can explore the competition.  Buyers love it so they can see today which homes will be open house next weekend.

Ellis Team Open House App
Ellis Team Open House App

Free Home Value

You can also check out your home’s value online for Free.  Go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com This site does a pretty good job of estimating your home’s value.  It’s scary how accurate it is many times.  Of course, if you’re thinking of selling, always call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be glad to visit your home and verify its value.  We’ll show you how we go out and find the buyer.  We don’t wait for the buyer to find you!

Happy Easter, and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses


We track 12 major measures plus some other measures to evaluate health and direction of the local real estate market.  10 SW Florida real estate measures were negative in February, which is better than the 11 in January.

We look at things like closed sales, prices, time on market, inventory levels, pending inventory, time to sell, total money in motion, and others.  It gives us a pretty good indicator of where the market is and where the market is headed.  This is a blueprint for sellers on how to market their property today.

10 SW Florida Real Estate Measures Were Negative in February

We’re able to sit at the kitchen table and show sellers exactly where we are.  Sellers armed with this information can make decisions that will insure a sale and put more money in their pocket at closing.  Sellers who ignore key statistics generally sell for less while their home sits on the market longer.  Some never sell at all, and that’s a shame because people who list their home generally want to sell, and for top dollar.

We’ve still got a pretty good market for those that know their numbers.  We have a good selection of buyers.  Season has been good.  We’ve sold lots of homes.  Unfortunately, season can mask the underlying weaknesses this year compared to last year.  When all the visitors go home in a few weeks, you may find lots of sellers who didn’t sell this season wondering what happened.

What happened was the market shifted and because it was season, sellers didn’t notice.  Marketing becomes even more critical in a shifting market, along with proper pricing.  Getting ahead of the game is paramount.  If you were playing a basketball game with 5:00 left in the game, would you rather be up 10 points or down 10 points?

The game is not over, but our seasonal visitors will be leaving.  If you didn’t market your home to the max, and if it wasn’t priced properly, you might feel like you’re down 10 points.  Not ideal.  You’re behind, but not out.  Homes sell year-round.

If you’re thinking of placing your home on the market, you need an agent that knows exactly where we are in the market, and exactly what to do to get your home sold.  If you’re looking for top dollar, you need aggressive marketing.  Sure, you can price your way into a sale just by being the absolute best value around.  If you want fair market value, that may take aggressive marketing along with a pricing strategy.

When you sit down with an agent, go over the 12 market indicators.  Look at the trend.  Focusing on just one month can mislead you sometimes.  If you did sell, where will you go?  How soon would you like to be there?  How does that compare with the average marketing time of the market, and your price range?

We have all these statistics so we can help you make the best decision for you.  We have the aggressive marketing you’re looking for, whether you realize it or not.  All Realtors do not market the same, just as they don’t price the same.  Making a mistake on either can cost you thousands.  It could even cost you a sale.

To get a rough estimate on what your home could sell for, go to www.SWFLHomevalues.com  It’s free, and fast.  It will give you a good idea, but it’s not perfect.  That’s where we come in.  No, we’re not perfect either, but we can give you a better idea than a computer can.  We can also share with you the 12 real estate measures and show you an aggressive marketing plan nobody else can match.

You can always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  We’d love to answer your questions and get you to your next home.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Pelican Preserve

10410 Prato Dr

Pelican Preserve Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

14077 Danpark Loop

Daniel’s Park Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

13 High Point Cir #302

High Point Place Open House Sunday 1-4 PM Naples

We’ve been studying the 2018 National Home buyer and seller profile as it reveals some interesting information.  We have knowledge about what buyers and sellers look for in an agent, how often they use an agent, and what they’re expectations are.

Today we’ll focus on two aspects of the report: The methods seller’s use to sell a home and information sources buyers use to purchase a home.

Methods Used to Sell Home

2018 National Home Buyer and Seller Profile Method Used to Sell Home

In 2018 home sellers used an agent 91% of the time. 1% sold their home to a home buying company, and 7% were successful selling their home on their own.  Whether they netted more at the closing table is another story.  Many sellers attempt to sell their home on their own but give up typically after 3 weeks.  They quickly learn that selling a home isn’t easy, and they essentially become a Realtor when they chose to try it on their own.

Only 4% of the lookers can purchase a home.  The rest are unqualified, out of their price range, or must sell something first.  They have a problem that the Realtor needs to solve.  The problem is, they won’t tell the seller what the issue is, and even if they did, the seller can’t solve it because they don’t have the knowledge or resources to deal with the buyer’s issue.  They can barely deal with their own issue and quickly feel in over their head.  The seller says it’s not my problem, it’s the buyers.  The problem is, it becomes the seller’s problem if the seller can’t solve the buyer’s issues because there is no sale without doing so.  There are only so many cash ready to go buyers, and they want a deal if dealing directly through the seller.  So, the seller has few buyers, and the few that are ready and able want a deal.  Both the buyer and seller can’t save the same commission, and therefore sellers give up and hire an agent.

Information Sources Buyers Use

2018 National Home Buyer and Seller Profile Information Sources Buyers Use

When looking at information sources buyers use, we see that 93% use an online website and 86% use a real estate agent.  You can see that these two sources haven’t changed much in the last few years. Yard signs have fallen significantly since 2004.  About the only two things to rise in recent years are open houses and online video sites.

88% of both buyers and sellers hire the 1st or 2nd agent they speak with.  The number one thing buyers want from their agent is help finding the right home. This tells us they love searching on their own, but they want an agent to help decide and confirm which home is best.

In other words, both buyer and seller like to do some of the research on their own, and both realize it’s a large investment and ultimately consult with a Realtor when it’s time to buy or sell.  The average buyer searches 10 weeks before making a purchase.

Buyers and Sellers Love to Do Their Research

We have a complete list of features buyers love in online property websites. Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com is a real winner with buyers and sellers alike.  Research also shows more online features buyers and sellers would like to have about the neighborhood and about their home.  Therefore, we’re releasing an upcoming app that will show community info with news about the neighborhood, local parks, schools, businesses, home values, events, etc.  It will be a personalized feed for each person, not a generic page about a neighborhood.  We’ve tested over a million consumers and they absolutely love the new app. We can setup as a web page right now until the app is released, so you have flexibility to use on mobile or desktop.

Home buyers love it because we use artificial intelligence to identify features a buyer likes but may not have specifically asked for.  For instance, a buyer may say they want a specific area, specific square footage, and specific price, and yet the system picks up that they also love light colored kitchens.  They never said that, and didn’t even know it themselves, but that’s what they like.  Our new system can pick-up on that and make suggestions.  If you’d like an invite for the new system, send me an email to brett@topagent.com

If you’re looking to buy or sell, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

7152 Reymoor Dr  Riverfront Home

Riverfront Home Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

6980 Saint Edmunds Loop Brookshire

Brookshire Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

17561 Cherry Ridge Ln  Timberwalk

Timberwalk Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

 

The past few weeks we’ve talked about rising inventory and a shifting real estate market.  Are you ready for some good news? The SW Florida real estate market is in full swing this season.  We still have rising inventory levels.  New listings are outpacing new pending sales this past week, but we see signs of encouragement.  Welcome to the Southwest Florida real estate opera.

Season is like an opera with several acts and a crescendo near the end.  Season builds.  The first act is the arrival of the listings.  Then comes the showings in the second act, followed by new pending sales in act 3, and lastly the closings in act 4.  We’re in act 2 right now, and we’re seeing great activity.

Showings are Up

Southwest Florida Real Estate Opera

We pull up showing reports for the MLS to compare how our listings are doing against all activity in certain price ranges.  If one of our listings is receiving less activity than the average, we know the market may be rejecting the price and it’s time for an adjustment.  The average showings per listing in February is 2 in the $195,000-$445,000 price range.  We can adjust the report by zip code and price.  So if we have a $300,000 home in the 33919 zip code, we can run a showing report for that zip code and the $275,000-$325,000 range and see how we’re doing.

When inventory is increasing it’s important to size up your competition, so you don’t get left further behind.  In addition to proper pricing, aggressive marketing becomes more important than ever as well.

The good news is act 2 is a good one.  Showings are up 100% versus the end of the year and about 50% since the beginning of the year.  Lookers are here and they’re interested.

Ellis Team Website Visitors by State

Ellis Team Website Statistics Visitors by State February 2019

Analyzing our website statistics confirms this as well.  We’re getting a lot of visitors from New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.  It’s no small coincidence that high tax states have visitors moving to Florida, and our website reaches them well.  The cold weather up North doesn’t hurt either.

So, what does it take to get lookers off the fence and convert them to purchasing?  This is where seasoned pros come in.  Obviously, a looker must have some interest.  Chances are they’ve been thinking about this awhile, perhaps years.  A good agent paints the picture for them.  People don’t change until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.  That’s a mouthful, but it’s true.

People get tired of high taxes, cold winters, and dark grey skies.  They’re depressing, and Florida is always fun!  It’s warm, bright, sunny, and cheery.  It’s hard to not have a good time while playing golf, enjoying the beaches, and a cocktail at sunset in your shorts.

Drunk Monkey

Then that drunk monkey sets in.  The drunk monkey is that alter-ego that sits on your shoulder and tells you why you can’t do something.  We can’t leave the family behind.  All our friends are up North.  What about the grand kids?  The list goes on, and year after year they take no action, yet resent that they’re not living the good life like some of their friends.

Those that take action find a way.  Perhaps they purchase and live here seasonally.  Many times, the family follows them down. And if they have a spare bedroom, they might see their friends down in Florida more than they do up North.  This is so true that quite often people downsize after several years so they lose those spare bedrooms.

Whatever the case, a seasoned agent can help a looker through the pros and cons of purchasing.  We’ve seen and heard a lot, and buyers take comfort in finding out how others before them made their dream a reality.

If you’re thinking of living the Florida dream, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. 239-489-4042  If you’d like to search for your slice of paradise, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  And if you’re considering selling, call us and ask for Sande or Brett Ellis Ext 4.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Saturday 12-3 PM

17673 Acacia Dr

3809 26th St SW

Sunday 12-3 PM

13076 Sail Away St

13 High Point Cir N #302

908 SE 21st PL

Last week we reported early signs point to a Southwest Florida real estate market shift.  The article went on to state that we’re noticing changes in the market, but nothing alarming.  It’s not alarming because real estate markets are constantly in a state of change. Southwest Florida real estate inventory rises in January.

7 Day Market Watch 2-1-19 Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises in January

One definition of a balanced market is 5.5 months’ supply of inventory.  We’ve seen others that state 6-7 months is the standard.  If we go with the Florida Realtors standard of 5.5 months, then officially we just transitioned over to a buyer’s market, but just barely.  Last month in December we had a 5.43-month supply.  In January it stands at 5.98 months.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises in January Months Supply of Inventory

Lee County available listings shot up to 6,542 in January, up from 6,004 in December.  That’s a 9% rise in just one month.  That’s typical in January as more people put their homes on the market in January than December.  The difference this year is that more people than usual also put their home on the market in November and December.

Home sales are picking back up again.  This past week the Ellis Team put 4 of our homes under contract in one day.  In fact, 314 homes went under contract this past week in the MLS.  We tell people sales usually pick up after the middle of January, and they have.

If 5.5 months supply of homes is the cut-off between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market, we’d say we’re fairly balanced at 5.98 months.  However, the market is moving and if you’re selling a home you need to know the trend.  This trend could change back again by end of season as homes start flying off the shelves and new listings taper off.

In any event, hiring a real estate professional who understands the market, and brings significant experience in all kinds of markets is critical.  You don’t want to hire an agent to sell your home who has never experienced a shifting market.  This is the quickest way to becoming an expired listing, and the process isn’t quick.  Why wait to sell your home when you could have just sold it correctly the first time?

We don’t have a bubble market like we did back in 2006.  If we did though, you sure wouldn’t want to hire the wrong agent and get caught chasing the market down.  There’s an old adage that says, “If you don’t have the time to do it right the first time, when in the world are you going to find the time to do it right the next time?”

There’s another adage that says, “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, just wait until you hire an amateur!”   Most people want to hire the least expensive agent they think they can get away with.  The thinking goes, if I pay less, I’ll probably net more in my pocket at closing.  That stands to reason, except for the fact that it isn’t true.  Sometimes you get what you pay for, and in some cases, you get much more than you pay for.

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty has a history of selling homes faster and for More Money! The agent you select really makes a difference.  We hope you find our market updates informative. We believe knowing the market is helpful to make the best financial decisions for you and your family.  Knowing that your agent cares about you, knows what’s important to you, and knows how to get you there is key as well.

If you’d like to chat about selling your home, always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 Get your home’s value for Free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com If you’re looking to buy, you can call us too, or feel free to search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Houses Saturday 12-3 PM

15212 Palm Isle Dr    Parker Lakes

17673 Acacia Dr         Sabal Springs Golf and Racquet Club

Open Houses Sunday 12-3 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd                     Edison park Historic District

9291 Central Park Dr #104    South Fort Myers Condo

 

Ellis Team Featured Property of the Week

We don’t want to alarm you as 2018 turned in some impressive stats in the SW Florida real estate market.  Closings were up for the year, as were prices and dollar volume.  You would think with increased closings and prices, Realtors would be reporting the market is fantastic.  4th quarter numbers suggest there may be some chinks in the armor. Early signs point to a Southwest Florida market shift.

Early Signs Point to Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Shift Home Sales

Closed home sales fell 15% in December over last year.  We can attribute some of that to increased closings last year in December due to Hurricane Irma.  However, we’re seeing new pending sales down 10.9% in December, which will lead to lower closings in January and February of this year.

The median sale price rose 3.1% for the year and ended at a year-end average of $251,000.  The average sales price rose 5.6% to $351,200 year-end average.  So, if prices are rising, why are we sounding the alarm?

Early Signs Point to Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Shift Inventory Levels

Inventory rose 8.8% for the year.  However, inventory shot up 19.8% over last December and the month’s supply of inventory was up 11.8% in December.  While sales for the year may be up, we’re seeing declining sales in the 4th quarter, rising inventory, and a decrease in new pending sales.

Not Time to Worry

All this leads to worry amongst real estate agents that we may be in the middle of a shift.  This isn’t a time to worry though.  Experienced agents know how to handle a shift.  If you’ll remember, our article back in October warned of a possible upcoming shifting market, and we recommended sellers put their home on the market before January to beat the predicted rush of listings.

People listened, and the rush began sooner than January.  We talked about how selecting the correct listing agent is critical when the market shifts in our December 1st article. To read past articles, visit http://blog.topagent.com

When the market shifts, it’s critical you select an agent with experience.  For instance, lower priced homes are still receiving multiple offers.  Other homes take more marketing and experience to sell properly.  Of course, you not only must select an experienced agent, you must listen to them.

Sellers do not like to hear that the market has shifted, and they hold onto what their home used to be worth.  Markets move up and down, and just as a seller expects a buyer to get over it when the market moves up, buyers expect sellers to get over it when it moves down.

Sellers point to the fact prices went up 3.1% in 2018.  Yes, but not in all sub-markets, and not all year.  Prices may have gone up slightly in first 3 quarters of the year and pulled back in last quarter.

What’s Causing a Shift?

Some say it’s rising interest rates.  Interest rates peaked in October around 5%.  They’ve since slid back a bit.  Rising rates rob home buyers of purchasing power.  As this occurs, there are fewer home buyers available in each price range.

Keep this in mind.  Inventory levels stand at a 5.7-month supply of homes.  A balanced market is 5.5-month supply.  So, we’ve barley crossed the threshold, and it varies by price range.

We’re seeing buyer activity picking up right now.  We usually do after January 15th.  Buyers have more choices today, but the best homes are flying off the shelves.  The challenge to sellers is, you must be the best home, so buyers pick you.  An experienced agent can guide you.  Buyers see lots of homes, and it becomes apparent which is the best value for them.  Sellers must learn to think like a buyer.

Thinking of Selling?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, always call the Ellis Team.  Ask for Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Put our decades of experience to work for you, along with the most aggressive marketing in Lee County.  There is a reason our homes sell faster and for more money.  If you’d like to learn more about the shift, call us for a confidential interview.  Experience matters! To get an idea of what your home is worth for Free online, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Houses Saturday 1-3 PM

Parker Lakes

15212 Palm Isle Dr

14551 Daffodil Dr Unit 1808

Central Park South

9291 Central park Dr Unit 104

Open Houses Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral

1004 SE 5th Terrace Cape Coral

2008 Bolado Pkwy

Naples

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302

Today’s home buyer loves to search online to find their dream home.  It makes them feel part of the process and gives them a certain sense of control, which makes sense because they are half of the process.  Without home buyers we wouldn’t have home sales. Home buyers demand 360 degree virtual tours and artificial intelligence.

Home Buyers Demand 360 Degree Virtual Tours and Artificial Intelligence

Home Buyers Demand 360 Degree Virtual Tours and Artificial Intelligence

Most buyers realize they can’t complete the purchase alone, they need help.  The one thing they can do though is search. And when they search, and search, and search the process can sometimes be overwhelming.  We’ve seen buyers bring in a stack of listings or email us daily with homes they feel they might like to look at.  Their frustration mounts when they see a few of these and realize they don’t match their criteria at all.

They’re also afraid they might be missing out on some listings because they can’t quite tell if the property meets their needs based on the photos.  The technology is here today to show them so much more, and buyers love it.

Artificial Intelligence

The Ellis Team is employing two sets of technology we believe will really change how buyers look at property, and how Realtors market their listings.  We’re introducing artificial intelligence that searches each photo in the MLS and keeps an eye on what a customer likes online.  Let’s say a customer is searching for homes 1800-2100 Sq. Ft of living area, with a pool, 2 car garage, and at least 3 bedrooms.  What the system notices is that they seem to be drawn to homes with wood floors, or white kitchen cabinets.  They didn’t ask for it in the search, but it’s clear they spend more time looking at homes with the two features.  We’ll be able to suggest homes that match what they’re looking for, even if they didn’t specifically ask for it.

Realtors, how many times has your buyer bought a home completely different than what they told you they were looking for?  Exactly!  Our artificial intelligence will be able to search neighborhoods for features like parks, recreation, proximity to shopping, restaurants, etc., in addition to photos.  We have neighborhood insights that causes buyers spend over 4 times looking at homes with these insights versus ones that don’t.

360 Degree Virtual Tours

The Ellis Team is adding 360 degree virtual tours on our listings.  www.SWFL360hometours.com By doing this the buyer gets a greater sense of the home in proximity to the neighborhood, and a sense of how each room looks and feels in the home.  A static photo can be shot in such a way as to make the room look different than it really is, and buyers don’t like that.  They feel like they’ve wasted their time when there aren’t enough photos of a home, or they feel deceived.  A 360 degree virtual tour puts the buyer in control of how they want to view the home, and they are much more likely to schedule a live showing because of that.

We had a home listed with static photos.  It wasn’t selling.  As soon as we loaded a 360 virtual tour, a buyer called us to schedule a showing.  They had a better sense of how they could use the property.  They bought it, and both buyer and seller are happy.  The static photos weren’t bad, they just couldn’t tell the buyer the whole story on how they could use the property.

This is all part of a greater marketing strategy.  Giving the buyer the tools to be more engaged in the buying process makes a Realtor’s listings stand out.  In an age of increasing listing inventory, Realtors need to do more and more to make their listings stand out.

The 360 virtual tours are live now and growing as we list properties. Artificial intelligence searches are set to go live in SW Florida by March.    If you’re thinking of selling and would like to see how all this works for you, give Brett or Sande Ellis a call.  239-489-4042 Ext 4  We’ll be happy to show you how the Ellis Team can make your home stand out, and how the new technology that will absolutely change how Realtors sell certain homes faster and for top dollar.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd

9291 Central park Dr #104

3703 SE 10th Ave Unit 7

 

We get this question a lot?  Is it better to list SW Florida home in December or January?  The perception is there are more buyers here in season, so why not wait until season when more buyers are here, and the home will be fresher to the market.

The advice we’re about to give might fly in the face of reason, however it is steeped in experience and logic.  Yes, more visitors arrive in SW Florida in the seasonal months of January through April.  If you look at the closed sales chart, you’ll notice we typically have far more closings in December than we do in January.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January

Many buyers wish to get their sale in by year end for tax and homestead purposes.  It’s not uncommon for us to have a big sales month in December, probably for these reasons.

If we recognize that December can be a good month for sales, we must also recognize what happens each January and February.  The listings shoot through the roof.  January and February show the largest increase in listing inventory each year.  It will happen again this upcoming season.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January SW Florida Listing Inventory

As a seller, if you’re contemplating selling in the next few months, you are absolutely better off listing now.  Buyers are out there.  Our team has been busy showing properties to multiple buyers, and we have several offers in the works.

We tell sellers there may not be as many showings in December, but they showings that do occur tend to be from serious home buyers.  If the middle of November is any indication, showings this December might increase over previous years.

If sales activity is higher in December than January, and if there is far more listing competition in January, why would you wait to put your home on the market?  Statistically you’re better off putting it on the market now.

The answer is, sellers believe the holidays are a bad time to sell a home.  And the reality is, many agents believe it to, so they take the month of December off.  When they take the month off, it further confirms to them that nobody buys in December because they had no sales.

The same can be said for agents who take the summers off.  They believe there are no sales in the summer, and their belief becomes their reality.  As you can tell from the chart, summertime closings are some of the best months each year.  Why would you take those months off?

But then again, why would you hire a part-time Realtor?  To me, a part-time Realtor isn’t just an agent who has a primary job somewhere else and works real estate on the side.  A part-time Realtor can also be an agent that takes months off.  When you do that, you basically shut your business down.  It’s one thing to take a vacation.  Everybody needs them.  For heaven’s sake, if you’re going to take a vacation, get another agent to cover for you.  How would you like to be a seller and find out your agent took the month off?

That’s why having a team makes a lot of sense.  If any team member takes a vacation, the rest of the team picks up the slack.  The Ellis Team works 365 days per year, and yet not every agent on the team has to.  We want each of our team members to take some time off and come back refreshed.  It’s all part of offering 1st class service.

If you’re considering selling in the next 5 months, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis and discuss your options.  We’re not saying putting your house on the market today is the best for everybody.  We’re just saying be careful about listening to false assumptions.  If you’d like to talk, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or find out your home’s value online for free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302, Naples FL  34103

Agents around the office often ask us how the Ellis Team sells so much real estate each month.  The answer is, it’s marketing.  It’s not about the dollars you spend each month, although we do spend more on advertising than just about anybody out there.  It’s about spending smart, understanding how and where to find your customers, and converting. The Ellis Team smashes industry standard online advertising conversion rates.

The industry standard for online display ads back in 2016 was .35%.  Many say it’s below that now.  The Ellis Team converts 26 times that rate with an average in October at 9.13%.  Some of our ads convert at 20%.  The industry standard for a search ad is 1.91%.  Again, the Ellis Team smashes industry standard online advertising conversion rates in every category.

Ellis Team Smashes Industry Standard Online Advertising Conversion Rates

So how do we do this?  We’re not going to divulge that but suffice it to say we know a thing or two about online advertising, and it works.  In fact, the Ellis Team was the first team in the country to put the MLS on our website.  That first year we sold over 100 homes, and Realtors everywhere wondered what was going on.

NAR (National Association of Realtors) called us to Chicago to talk about this.  They said the info was in the MLS books and couldn’t be made public to everyone on our website.  After meeting with the president of NAR and NAR general counsel, they realized what we were doing was legal and met the bylaws of NAR.  And this is how VOW (Virtual Office Websites) was born.  SW Florida, you received it first.  It later transitioned to IDX (Internet Data Exchange) and now Realtors across the country, along with Realtor.com, Zillow, and others are displaying agent’s listing data.  I was always against Realtors letting 3rd party companies display our data.  I felt it should be reserved for agents displaying each other’s data, but somebody up at NAR decided otherwise.

Since those early days, we’ve been perfecting the art of online registrations and conversions.  First, you must give people what they want.  Your website must be fast, easy to use, and provide the most accurate and up to date data out there.  Our website is real-time, so it’s fast, has all the listings including sold data, and it’s easy to use.  Consumers like that they can see a photo gallery of all pictures instead of clicking one by one.

Buyers and sellers like that they can get neighborhood data in real-time and emailed to them weekly or monthly.  This informs them of new listings, pending sales, and closed sales in a community.  This is helpful when you’re keeping an eye on one or more communities.

Secondly, it helps to target the correct people.  This is where the magic happens.  It does no good to target the universe, because the universe will not all buy property, and certainly not in SW Florida.  We target people who have an interest in SW Florida, even if they live out of the country.  We find them from anywhere, and everywhere.

In the last month, www.LeeCountyOnline.com received 291 users from overseas.  Our agents are working with several of them, and some are in a nice price point.  Let’s not forget that we received 4,240 users last month from inside the US.  And of those users, 82.5% are new users, so we’re advertising to and attracting thousands of new users each month.

Ellis Team Overseas Online Visitors

It’s no wonder why Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty agents are so busy and selling so much.  We know how to find the buyers, no matter where they are.

If you’re looking to buy, you should talk with our experienced agents.  If you’re looking to sell, speak with Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande handle the listings.  We know how to get Top Dollar for our sellers.  Let us sit down with you and show you how we market.  Nobody else does what we do, and the results speak for themselves.  Find out what your home is worth at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

November SW Florida Real Estate Update

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

12760 Seaside Key CT, North Fort Myers Moody River Estates

Weekend Garage Sale

Saturday 8 AM-1 PM

2153 Treehaven Cir North