Utilizing the Stats Tab in Matrix

Do you love the monthly statistics Independence Title sends out but are constantly wishing you could have more narrow, specific statistics to use in your personal marketing?  Maybe you want to show a Seller the average list price compared to the average sales price specifically in his subdivision?  Or maybe you want to go even further and narrow down that statistic to his subdivision AND homes with a pool?!

A popular question the Independence Title Education Team gets is about generating customized statistics.  The most common thought is that agents don’t have access and they must get it from us.  Did you know you can run a very specific, targeted statistic right in your very own Matrix account?

Below, we’ve put together a quick video walking you through how to pull targeted stats in Matrix.  We’ve also listed out step by step instructions as well.  This is a great tool to utilize for listing appointments, newsletters, farming, etc.  Go ahead, get creative!  Want some help brainstorming?  Call your local business development rep, we love that kind of stuff!

Here are the step by step instructions on how to pull customized stats in Matrix:

  • Click the STATS tab at the top of your Matrix homepage
  • Select the CUSTOMIZE tab on the left
  • Select the time frame you want to view
  • Select the first statistic you would like
  • Optional:  Click on Advanced Options at the bottom
  • Select the optional secondary statistic you would like
  • Select how you want the statistics grouped (See screen shot below for example.)
  • In the middle of the page enter the criteria you are searching.  (You can add additional fields at the bottom to find anything (similar to a search on Matrix — OR you can do a map search and draw a polygon.  You would click on the bolded MAP SEARCH at the top of the search page. )
  • Hit GENERATE on the left once you’ve put in all your criteria
  • You can view by chart or data (tabs at the top right of the chart)
  • VOILA!

Are You Utilizing Zillow’s Video Walk-through Feature?

zillow-1Earlier this year, Zillow released a new feature allowing Realtors to post a “video walk-through” of their listings.  These video walkthroughs are soundless videos that are shot directly from the user’s smart phone via Zillow’s app.  They are capped at two minutes and no less than 10 seconds, so they are designed to be quick and best of all, this feature is offered to ALL agents at no cost.

So why are you telling us about this, you may ask?!  Well, after posting a video, these listings will be promoted at the TOP of search results (for free!)  According to Zillow:  “Listings with video are prominently displayed and receive preferred placement in search results. Buyers with saved searches are notified when a new video is added.”  If you don’t believe it, head over to Zillow and do a search on your favorite zip code.  The top results will have “video walk-through” on them.  Remember this is a new feature, so your zip code may not have any agents doing it yet.

With all of this being said, if you are thinking what we were thinking….  yikes is right!  Holding a shaky phone and walking through a home without the proper lighting, etc. can be a really bad thing!  (That’s why you pay to have a professional take the photos, right?!)  Our suggestion on a quick fix?  As mentioned above, the video has a MINIMUM of 10 seconds.  Order yourself a simple smartphone tripod from Amazon like this one, find out when the sun is in the right spot (whether you are going to showcase an inside shot or just simply a quick pan of the front) and get out there and shoot a 10 second video.  Don’t overthink the two minute video they tell you to do and try to film a bunch of different shots.  Again, that’s why you paid for the professional photos!  Get the 10 second video shot, post the video from the app and your listing will get boosted to the top of the search results!  Don’t fret – your beautiful, professional photos will still be there and the consumer will still be able to click through them to see more of the home.

So we ask you:  Why are you not doing this with your listings?!  Click here to get started.

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Shoot the video directly from the app on your smartphone!

*UPDATE 11/3/2016 – Zillow just announced you can now add videos that aren’t shot within the app for a fee.  According to the latest Inman article, for $149, you can upload an outside video, i.e. a professionally done video.  Does that fee sound a little steep?!  Don’t throw in the flag, you can still follow our tips above for FREE!!

 

Have You Updated IndependenceTitleAgent?

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Have you ever tried to explain a Seller’s Net Sheet to someone and their native language is Vietnamese? Or have you ever had trouble comparing multiple offers IndependenceTitleAgent can help! IndependenceTitleAgent is a closing cost app that will help you calculate closing costs, run Seller Net Sheets and Buyer Quick Estimates, and so much more!

IndependenceTitleAgent has added new features in its most recent update! Below are the features you can start using today:

Languages: IndependenceTitleAgent has added 6 new languages to the app: Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Arabic. The new languages can be applied to all printouts and marketing pieces. To change the language, simply select the language icon at the top of the preview screen.
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Multiple Offer Comparison Enhancements: Comparing multiple offers can be confusing and time consuming. Instead of creating a spreadsheet, have the app do the comparing for you! Before the update, you could compare up to 3 offers but now you can compare up to 12 offers!

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New Printout Styles: Every client that you work with is different. Some may be visual learners while others may just want a list of data. There are many new printout styles to choose from when sending customized reports to your clients. After generating a report, simply swipe left to see the different styles.

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Closing Date Default: Instead of choosing a closing date every time you run a quick estimate or seller’s net sheet, simply choose a default of 30, 60, or 90 days out and it will automatically default to that every time.

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Contact your ITC Business Development Representative for more information about IndependenceTitleAgent!

To Download click below!

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The Ultimate App!!

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How much will my monthly payment be? How much do I need to bring to the closing table? How much will I net at closing? If you are a Realtor you probably hear these questions every day from your buyers and sellers.

What if you could answer your clients’ questions within seconds with one user-friendly app?

IndependenceTitleAgent is THE APP that will make your life easier and impress your clients! Generate Buyer Quick Estimates, Seller Net Sheets, access Rent vs. Buy and Net-to-Sell calculators, and more . . . from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop!

Follow the steps below to download IndependenceTitleAgent and be on your way to real estate greatness!

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Be sure to attend “The Ultimate App” class or contact your Independence Title Business Development Rep for more information.  You can also download the desktop version at www.independenceagent.com.

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How can TRID Regulations affect your commissions?

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It is important to remember that the new closing disclosure forms, created by the CFPB, are federal loan forms and these promulgated forms are used in all 50 states.  This allows for consistency when consumers are buying or selling real estate.  Since each state has their own set of regulations, regarding real estate, they may have their own disclosures that will need to be executed at closing in addition to the federal forms.  In Texas, the Texas Department of Insurance created the Texas Disclosure (Form T-64) to adhere to Texas regulations.

The Texas Disclosure:

  • Explains and breaks out simultaneous title policy premium rates.
  • Itemizes title company fees and recording fees if combined on CD.
  • Specifies all agents receiving a portion of the commission.
  • Allows the consumer/seller to authorize the title company to fund and disburse.

Per the Texas Department of Insurance, anyone that receives funds from a real estate transaction must be disclosed at closing.  The Texas Disclosure does allow all the payees on the Commission Disbursement Authorization (DA) to be listed on the disclosure. This section of the document is on the page that is signed by the consumer and seller at closing, unlike page 2 of the 2010 HUD. If the title company does not have an agent’s DA prior to the consumer or seller executing this document, one check will be cut at funding directly to their broker. This will have no affect the other agent in the transaction as long as their DA is received in a timely manner.

Should you have coffee with your lender?

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CFPB & TRID regulations are now upon us! As of October 3rd any loan applications submitted will fall under TRID (TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosures) regulations. If you have a lender that you refer business to Independence Title Co encourages you to have coffee or lunch with them to find out how your lender will be conducting business with the new rules & regulations.

Over the last 10 months we have spoken with numerous loan officers, processors, attorneys, and compliance departments and each lender may interpret TRID regulations differently from one another. Here is a list of questions to get the conversation started with your favorite lender.
Q: Who prepares your Closing Disclosure?
ITC Perspective:
• Most lenders are taking on this responsibility
• They are responsible for the accuracy of the Closing Disclosure
• They are also responsible for adhering to the strict timeline for delivery
Q: How will you deliver the Closing Disclosure to the consumer?
ITC Perspective:
Delivery method can impact closing date
• USPS mail may require up to 7 days
• Overnight delivery may require up to 4 days
• Hand delivery or electronic delivery may require 3 days
Q: Do you require a signature on the Closing Disclosure to start the 3-day review period?
ITC Perspective:
• It is not in the regulations that the consumer must sign the Closing Disclosure
• Lenders may or may not want a signed copy returned
Q: Can I get a copy of the Closing Disclosure from the lender?
ITC Perspective:
• The regulations state that the Closing Disclosure to the consumer
• The Texas Association of Realtors created an Authorization Form for consumers to give authorization for their Realtor to receive a copy of the Closing Disclosure
• Some lenders may not accept this form but they might have a similar form to allow the Realtor to receive copies of the disclosures
Q: What is your contract to close turn around time?
ITC Perspective:
• Most lending professionals agree that a 45 day turn around time is realistic
• By early 2016 we might see a 30 day contract to close timeline
Q: Tell me about your pre-qualification/pre-approval process?
ITC Perspective:
• Prior to the CFPB there was a regulation in regards to pre-qualification/pre-approval process in existence but it was mostly overlooked
• The rule stated that a lender cannot require upfront documentation prior to a bone-a-fide loan application
• With CFPB audits right around the corner some lenders may be changing their pre-approval process
• Consumers may voluntarily provide upfront documentation for pre-approval
• See our Consumer’s Guide Brochure

For more information on CFPB check out our related blog post

Our Online Calculators ready for the New Regulations

No more late night negotiations!

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The TREC One to Four Family Contract and other TREC contract forms have been revised and are available on the TREC website. While many of the changes are insignificant, such as changing the word facsimile to fax, there are some important changes worth noting

Negotiating during the option period of the One to Four Family Contract can be a stressful time for both REALTORS and principals. Adding to this stress is the fact that the last day of the option period expires at midnight. This resulted in some late-night negotiations with amendments being executed and emailed past what most would consider regular working hours. Many REALTORS will be excited to see that in paragraph 23 of the contract the option period will now expire at 5:00 pm on the last day.

Another significant change to the One to Four Family Contract is the revision of the financing terms found on page 1. In the previous edition of the contract, paragraph 4 outlined what type of financing the borrower would obtain for the purchase with more specific information found in the Third Party Financing Addendum. Now, there will be a simple checkbox on page 1 to indicate what type of Financing Addendum will be attached.

In order for the numbering of the paragraphs to remain the same the Broker/Lawyer Committee of TREC decided to replace paragraph 4 with licensee disclosure. This gives REALTORS the opportunity to disclose any relationship they may have with the principals involved in the transaction.

For those REALTORS that have transactions where the property adjoins a fluctuating body of water, they will be glad to see the addition of paragraph 6(E)10 on page 4. For the past several months TREC has advised REALTORS to write this language in special provisions of the One to Four Family Contract and now it is a part of the promulgated form.

These are just a few of the changes that were approved by the state on November 2nd. REALTORS may start using the new forms immediately and they should be available in ZipForms soon. The mandatory use date for all of the new forms is January 1st, 2016.

To see all of the changes to the forms you may read the materials from the TREC meeting held on November 2nd. The form changes start on page 79 of this document. For your convenience here are links to red-lined versions of the One to Four Family Contract and the Third Party Financing Addendum.

Have you Utilized YouTube?

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1.8 Million Words

That’s the value of one minute of video, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.

Have you incorporated video in your marketing efforts yet? If you haven’t, what stands in your way?

Of course, YouTube is likely the first website that comes to mind when we hear “viral videos.” Many people likely think of music videos, funny animal videos or the discovery of Justin Bieber; YouTube is much more than that, though.

Do you know YouTube has become the second largest search engine in the world behind Google? Do you also know just how big a boost your search engine optimization gets from having videos on YouTube? If you’re ready to learn more or are already convinced and ready to market your brand on YouTube, contact a Business Development Representative to book our new class, Utilizing YouTube, and discover the exciting features of a YouTube Channel and how to boost your business!

Evergreen: Cultivating Enduring Customer Loyalty

Today I attended a South by Southwest session on creating Evergreen Clients by Noah Fleming of Fleming Consulting & Co. Noah’s book Evergreen: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving covers, what he calls, the three c’s as the keys to building lifelong relationships with clients; character, community and content. Twitter user @Salmonilla tweeted her notes from the session and they sum up his talk perfectly.

 Customer Loyalty Noah Fleming SXSW

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Building lifelong relationships with customers builds loyalty

According to Noah, client retention is often overlooked as many sales funnels end with the sale. They are, after all, called sales funnels and not life-long-client funnels. He believes you can create Evergreen clients by focusing on the three c’s, which he breaks down into practical methods in his book.

EvergreenCover2Read a few pages of Evergreen.

Noah’s was my favorite session today, and I’ll probably be buying his book this week. The concepts he discussed are applicable to any industry, and since most people have to live somewhere we know the evergreen concept is certainly applicable in real estate. You can follow Noah on Twitter, like his Facebook page or check out his website.

by: Erin Reichman, Education Specialist

Back to School with Independence | Austin

We pride ourselves on providing information relevant to today’s real estate agent. If you’ve never joined us for a class, you can count on walking away with new ideas to immediately implement in your business. Our goal is to not only be a resource for your title needs but also your education and technology needs, which is why we were busy writing these brand new classes for you this summer, with more on the way:

Tools for Target Marketing | October 2nd at 9:30am |  Click here to register
Have you ever wondered how to identify profitable neighborhoods to market or how to calculate the turnover rate in an area? What if we told you the tools are at your fingertips! Join us for our first Tools for Target Marketing class to learn the answer to these questions as well as how to easily print Realist mailing labels and utilize REI Source to find specific targets.
MCE COURSE NO: Pending

Google Apps 101 |September 23rd at 1:30pm |  Click here to register.

There is so much more to Google than just Gmail and a search engine. Find out how to take advantage of the many free apps included with a Google account by join us for a one hour introductory course. Learn how to master Gmail, Google Calendars, Google Drive and so many more!
MCE COURSE NO: Pending

Research with Realist | October 2nd at 2pm | Click here to register.
Realist from CoreLogic is a public-record database that seamlessly integrates into Matrix providing in-depth and ownership data. Learn to search for individual homes, entire subdivisions, target specific property or ownership types and create mailing labels.
MCE Course No: Pending

Authentic Agent | September 17th at 10am | Click here to register.
Authentic agents know the value they bring and contribute it to every human interaction. Intentional relationships combined with the value you bring as a Real Estate Agent lay the groundwork for consistent referrals. Join us to learn about building social capital and cementing relationships to grow your business.
MCE Course No: Pending

View our entire menu of classes here. To register or find out class times, contact your Business Development Representative or sign up here.

If you have questions or inquiries about any of our classes, reach out to a member of our education team.

 

Back to School with Independence Title | San Antonio

We pride ourselves on providing information relevant to today’s real estate agent. If you’ve never joined us for a class, you can count on walking away with new ideas to immediately implement in your business. Our goal is to not only be a resource for your title needs but also your education and technology needs. Be sure to attend our already popular classes as well as our newest class, Google Apps 101.

 

Rock ’N roll with RPR
  
Learn how to use Realtors Property Resource in your everyday business with all-inclusive data, compelling property analytics and captivating reports for your clients.
1 hour MCE Course # 01-00-125-26527

Branding 101
  
You make branding decisions every day, even when you’re not aware.  In the midst of showing homes, writing offers and listing presentations, it’s difficult to stop and analyze yourself.  What sets you apart from any other agent, and how do you let prospective clients know?  Answering that question is vital to branding yourself in today’s real estate market.  Learn the 5 D’s of basic branding and begin making the small decisions that add up big-time!

1 hour MCE Course # 01-00-036-26796

Negotiate with NuOffer
  
Negotiating transactions on a mobile device can be cumbersome.  NuOffer, a new mobile app, simplifies making a real estate offer from your iPad into 6 easy steps.  NuOffer’s seamless integration of MLS data auto-populates property information right into the contract!  We promise, making an offer has never been easier.  Spend an hour with us and walk away equipped to negotiate on the go.

1 hour MCE Course # 01-00-095-26255

Google Apps 101
  
There is so much more to Google than just Gmail and a search engine. Find out how to take advantage of the many free apps included with a Google account by joining us for a one hour introductory course. Learn how to master Gmail, Google Calendars, Google Drive and so many more!

MCE COURSE NO: Pending

View our entire menu of classes here. To register or find out class times, contact your Business Development Representative or sign up here.

 

If you have questions or inquiries about any of our classes, reach out to a member of our education team.