ReCap

June

The social media risks to be aware of

Maintaining a presence on social media is a key part of doing business in today’s digital world. Although it can both procure leads and keep lines of communication open‚ being active on social media does have its risks. Follow these tips to avoid any potential trouble1:

  • Exercise caution with comments. By nature‚ social media brings out different points of view from those engaged. To protect your brand‚ offer your opinion while avoiding insults or arguments.
  • Stay away from controversial topics like religion or politics‚ as it can cost you a customer or a referral.
  • To keep clients’ information confidential‚ do not post about recent closings.
  • Don’t let social media become the go-to option for interactions. A private conversation‚ whether via phone or in-person (if possible)‚ should be the goal.

As always‚ please contact me if you need assistance.

1Teah Hopper‚ “Real social-legal social media risks for REALTORS®‚” Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®‚ last updated May 12‚ 2020.

June

Demand for homes still there

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was apparent once April housing data began to roll in. The good news is the numbers weren’t as harsh as expected—especially in Greater Boston. Here’s more from RE/MAX’s National Housing Report1:

  • Home sales in April were down 16% year‑over‑year in the Boston metropolitan area‚ more than four percentage points lower than the national drop of 20.2%.
  • The median sale price in the Boston area was up 11.6% from April 2019‚ outpacing the national spike of 9.3%.
  • Inventory was down in all of the report’s 53 markets‚ falling 20.5% from a year earlier. Meanwhile‚ average days on the market dropped seven days to 46‚ accounting for a new low in the report’s 12-year history.

Capstone Mortgage is here to provide guidance and support to your business. Please contact me if you have questions about our ever-changing real estate market.

1Kerrie Kennedy‚ “Buyer demand remains strong despite pandemic‚ says new report‚” Boston Agent Magazine‚ last updated May 18‚ 2020.

June

Here is what to expect

You may have finally mastered the art of working remotely‚ but as states begin lifting stay-at-home orders‚ many offices will be re-opening in the coming months. What can we expect in a world still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic1?

  • New spaces and new measures. Expect reconfigured spaces and rules. For example‚ buffer zones around desks and capacity limits for common areas‚ such as kitchens and lunchrooms.
  • Modified behaviors. Just as vital as the changes coming to the physical workplace will be how employees behave within it. Employees will need to be “re-onboarded” regarding new protocols.
  • Re-exit strategy. Companies will need a clear‚ communicated contingency plan upon re‑entry‚ outlining their strategies should another wave of the virus occur.

I hope your transition to another new way of working is a smooth one. Be healthy and be safe.

1Kasi Johnston‚ “Preparing to head back to the office‚” Mortgage Professional America‚ last updated May 18‚ 2020.

May

Numerous changes are underway

Real estate‚ by nature‚ is an “in-person” business. Open houses‚ private showings‚ and a crowded closing table are all part of the profession. In these times of social distancing‚ how are real estate professionals adapting? Take a look1:

  • Gone (for the moment) are the days of sharing a car with clients on the way to a showing. “I’ll meet you there” is the new norm.
  • Open houses are currently on hold (Redfin stopped the practice on March 16). Tours are being recorded and shared or broadcast live through apps like FaceTime.
  • Remote signings and notarizations—now legal in 23 states—are more commonplace.
  • The FHFA instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to adopt “alternative” appraisal methods to limit in‑person interactions.2 This has led to more “drive‑by” appraisals‚ which are supplemented with data gathered from public and private sources.

I wish you good health as your business adapts to the current climate. I am here if you need assistance.

1Charisse Jones‚ “3D tours‚ remote signings: How coronavirus is changing homebuying this spring‚” USA Today‚ last updated March 24‚ 2020.
2Dima Williams‚ “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac adopt ‘alternative’ home appraisals due to coronavirus‚” Forbes‚ last updated March 23‚ 2020.

May

Memorial Day volunteer and donation opportunities

Honor‚ remembrance‚ reflection. These are the true purposes of Memorial Day. If you are uncertain of how to honor our fallen heroes‚ consider volunteering with and/or donating to one of the following organizations:

  • TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). Created by bereaved military families‚ TAPS provides counseling and support groups to those grieving the death of a military loved one.
  • Knights of Heroes. Through its outdoor adventure programs‚ Knights of Heroes offers adult mentorship‚ character development‚ and lasting friendships to children who have lost a parent in service to our country.
  • American Widow Project. Founded in 2007‚ the American Widow Project delivers peer counseling and educational programs to help widows rebuild their lives.
  • Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

I hope you find this information to be helpful. Here’s to a safe and healthy holiday weekend.