Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Tuesday, 25 June 2024 10:03

The evolution of technology has given us the ability to do the impossible, in both our personal and professional lives. We are doing things today that were impossible two years ago, such as generating content with artificial intelligence.

But while we live in an increasingly technological world, we also live in a human world, as I reference frequently. No matter how digitally advanced processes become, business growth relies on building relationships with our customers, business partners, and employees.

In a recent Opportunity Hour: Conversations with the Masters, I spoke with Terry Brock, a tech expert and longtime friend of mine, about using technological advancements like AI to build relationships with important stakeholders.

As I go through some of these technology tools and how Terry and I see them benefiting personal and professional relationships, I encourage you to keep your opportunity antennae up. Anticipatory business leaders are always looking to the future of technology, evaluating where it is today and anticipating where it is headed tomorrow. Remember: If it canbe done, it will be done, and if you don’t do it, someone else will!

Harnessing Technology for Human Connection

Traditionally, many people view technology as a relationship destroyer. You have likely heard individuals saying, “Everyone is always on their phone,” or “No one knows how to have a real conversation anymore.” This is often because users are not thinking about how to use technology to increase collaboration and communication for a more connected world.

In the way of human communication and relationship building, the key is to use technology strategically and think critically about it. Specifically, text, email, and video call software are designed for communication purposes, but by using these tools in the right way, you are able to build favorable relationships. Let’s explore six more critically:

Loom — Loom is a software that allows for sharing quick video content. Video is a great way to connect with others on a human level, though some individuals cannot always attend live video meetings. Making quick videos is more personal than email, as it allows you to capture the many important yet subtle elements of communication that emails and texts do not. This includes tone, facial expressions, and hand movements. On a professional level, this software is great for those in a sales, marketing, or support capacity.

Descript — With Descript, you record a video, and the application essentially edits it for quality. As you edit the transcription, Descript will alter the recording to reflect the edits in your own voice. This is ideal for cleaning up a quickly recorded video to achieve a more professional tone, enhancing effective communication in every way. Changing a phrase or eliminating filler words is made simple here.

Text-to-Text Generative AI — Generative AI has come a long way in the past few years with the introduction of ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and several others. This type of AI application will only continue to grow and become more sophisticated — an undeniable Hard Trend. This is a more text-based way to streamline effective communication and aid in research. However, we must leverage it to become more knowledgeable as human beings, checking generative AI’s work to make sure the content created is authentic.

MotionIt AI — Similar to text-to-text generative AI, you give MotionIt a prompt, and it will generate content. However, instead of merely text content, MotionIt will create a sophisticated PowerPoint presentation with text, images, and graphics. Simplifying the creation of a slideshow will allow you to focus on making your presentation more engaging and dynamic.

Canva and Tome — Canva and Tome are text-to-image tools, where you tell the application what you want in a design, and it generates an image based off of the information you provided. The great thing about these tools is that the image is completely new and unique from anything else out there. You own all the intellectual property, and it is more of a design partnership between you and the AI application. You describe your idea in as much detail as possible to easily produce effective graphic communication.

ElevenLabs — ElevenLabs is a text-to-voice AI generator. The software will say text you have written in different voices with different inflections, essentially creating an authentic voiceover. It’s ideal for tailoring your content to different demographics or locations to help personalize connections with individuals or customers in those areas. In this case, AI is helping us be culturally effective in our communication efforts when it is hard to do so.

Find the Opportunity and Embrace It

The thing to remember about any form of generative AI or other digital advancement in communication is that you still need to think of it as your first draft. It will get you 85% to your final result very quickly, but the magic is not in that first 85%. This is where the human side of digital technology comes into play!

A machine may be able to accomplish a task, and that machine may do it in ways you never before thought possible. However, what a machine does not have is intent. Digital technology is a tool — it does not care that you have a presentation to make or a relationship to develop with someone else. You use technology, as technology is not sentient and does not think for itself.

The human element is what effectively builds lasting, meaningful relationships both professionally and personally. And further, with regard to generative AI and communication, not everything AI generates will be completely accurate. You need to put in the effort to check sources.

As you explore the transformative potential of AI in building meaningful relationships, don’t miss out on deeper insights and strategic guidance. Download Daniel Burrus’ comprehensive AI Strategy Report at to stay ahead of the curve and harness the full power of AI for your personal and professional growth. Empower yourself with the knowledge to navigate the future of technology and relationships effectively.


Posted On Tuesday, 25 June 2024 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 24 June 2024 10:53
Posted On Monday, 24 June 2024 08:19 Written by

Housing costs could come down in the coming months, as mortgage rates are coming down a bit and there are signs price growth could slow

Pending home sales fell 3.8%, the biggest year-over-year decline in nearly four months, during the four weeks ending June 16. That’s according to a new report from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Buyers are shying away from earlier steps in the house-hunting process, too: Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index, a measure of requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin agents, declined 17% year over year to its lowest level since February.

Buyers are backing off largely because housing costs are high. The median U.S. home-sale price is up 4.8% to an all-time high of $396,000, and the median monthly mortgage payment is $2,781, about $60 below its record high. The weekly average mortgage rate declined slightly to 6.95% this week, but it’s still more than double pandemic-era lows.

The irony of near-record-high housing costs: They’re causing buyers to back off, and enough of them have backed off to give buyers who remain more negotiating power for certain homes. The other piece of good news for buyers is that housing costs could come down soon. There are signs that price growth could lose some momentum: The share of sellers dropping their list price is at its highest level since November 2022, and asking-price growth has already slowed. Mortgage rates have fallen a bit since last week’s cooler-than-expected inflation report, and they may continue declining.

New listings are still near historic lows. Another reason for the decline in pending sales is a lack of new, desirable listings for buyers to choose from. New listings are up 7.7% year over year, but they’re sitting well below typical levels for this time of year; the only time on record June listings have been lower was in 2023.

Many home listings are becoming stale, sitting on the market for 30 days or longer without going under contract; Redfin agents report that most buyers are willing to pay sky-high housing costs only for move-in ready homes in popular neighborhoods.

“A few years ago, I never would have told a seller they need to freshen up their paint, fix their furnace and make sure their roof is up to date before putting their home on the market–but now, I tell them to make the house as pretty as they possibly can,” said Des Bourgeois, a Redfin Premier agent in Detroit. “Buyers are still out there and they’re willing to pay today’s high prices, but only if the house is in really good shape. They don’t want to spend extra money on paint or new appliances.”

Homes that need work and/or aren’t in the most desirable locations can be a good opportunity for today’s buyers: They’re selling under asking price in some places–if they do sell. “Things have reversed since the pandemic,” said Jonathan Ader, a Redfin Premier agent in the Palm Springs, CA area. “Now, most homes—the exception is relatively affordable homes that are move-in ready—are selling under asking price.”

For Redfin economists’ takes on the housing market, please visit Redfin’s “From Our Economists” page.

Leading indicators

Indicators of homebuying demand and activity


Value (if applicable)

Recent change

Year-over-year change


Daily average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

7.02% (June 18)

Down from 7.16% a week earlier; down from a 5-month high of 7.52% 6 weeks earlier

Up from 6.94%

Mortgage News Daily

Weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

6.95% (week ending June 13)

Down slightly from 7.03% 2 weeks earlier; down from a 5-month high of 7.22% about a month earlier

Up from 6.69%

Freddie Mac

Mortgage-purchase applications (seasonally adjusted)


Increased 2% from a week earlier (as of week ending June 14)

Down 12%

Report about Mortgage Bankers Association data

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index (seasonally adjusted)


Down 5% from a month earlier to its lowest level since February (as of week ending June 16)

Down 17%

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index, a measure of requests for tours and other homebuying services from Redfin agents

Touring activity


Up 19% from the start of the year (as of June 17)

At this time last year, it was also up 19% from the start of 2023

ShowingTime, a home touring technology company

Google searches for “home for sale”


Unchanged from a month earlier (as of June 17)

Down 21%

Google Trends

Key housing-market data

U.S. highlights: Four weeks ending June 16, 2024

Redfin’s national metrics include data from 400+ U.S. metro areas, and is based on homes listed and/or sold during the period. Weekly housing-market data goes back through 2015. Subject to revision.


Four weeks ending June 16, 2024

Year-over-year change


Median sale price



All-time high; biggest increase since March

Median asking price




Median monthly mortgage payment

$2,781 at a 6.95% mortgage rate


$58 below all-time high set during the 4 weeks ending April 28

Pending sales



Biggest decline in nearly 4 months

New listings




Active listings




Months of supply


+0.6 pts.

4 to 5 months of supply is considered balanced, with a lower number indicating seller’s market conditions

Share of homes off market in two weeks


Down from 47%


Median days on market


+3 days


Share of homes sold above list price


Down from 36%


Share of homes with a price drop


+2.1 pts.

Highest level since Nov. 2022

Average sale-to-list price ratio


-0.2 pts.


Metro-level highlights: Four weeks ending June 16, 2024

Redfin’s metro-level data includes the 50 most populous U.S. metros. Select metros may be excluded from time to time to ensure data accuracy.


Metros with biggest year-over-year increases

Metros with biggest year-over-year decreases


Median sale price

Newark, NJ (16.4%)

Anaheim, CA (16%)

Nassau County, NY (14.7%)

New Brunswick, NJ (14.1%)

Milwaukee (10.7%)

Austin, TX (-3.7%)

San Antonio (-1.5%)

Fort Worth, TX (-1.4%)

Portland, OR (-1.1%)

Declined in 4 metros

Pending sales

San Jose, CA (13%)

Columbus, OH (5.7%)

Pittsburgh (5.4%)

Anaheim, CA (4.5%)

Los Angeles (4.3%)

Houston (-14.5%)

West Palm Beach, FL (-12.9%)

Miami (-12.3%)

New Brunswick, NJ (-10.8%)

Atlanta (-10.7%)

Increased in 14 metros

New listings

San Jose, CA (44.1%)

Phoenix (23.6%)

San Diego (21.4%)

Miami (20.5%)

Seattle (17.1%)

Chicago (-9.2%)

Minneapolis (-6.7%)

Atlanta (-5.6%)

Newark, NJ (-4.1%)

Portland, OR (-3.9%)

Declined in 8 metros

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:

Posted On Sunday, 23 June 2024 06:50 Written by

There has been a great deal of discussion about homes prices and affordability. There are all kinds of ways to measure things like affordability or if a home represents true value or not. The reality is, since value is a subjective term, and that each of us bears the cost of shelter, we can use a variety of tools to measure and compare values.

I was speaking to one of my clients this week who shared some information he read in an article about inflation and prices. It was actually very interesting to look through a very specific and measurable lens to compare a very measurable set of values. I took the conversation a little further and wanted to just share what I discovered. The conversation was about the price of gold per ounce and the cost of an average house over time. To add a little more context to this, I inserted new car prices as an item to help add to the picture. While certainly not a scientific study or a deep dive into all the causation, I thought this might be interesting to share.

The USA came off the gold standard in 1971 when gold was about $36 per ounce. So, I took that number and made it a starting point. Then I took a point in time 25 years later in 1996, and then came to today.

1971 – Gold was $36 per ounce, an average house was $30,000, and the average car was $3,700. So, it took 833 ounces of gold in 1971 to buy an average house and 103 ounces to buy the average car. Oh yes, 30-year mortgage rates were about 7.5% and minimum wage was $1.60 an hour.

1996 – Gold was about $390 an ounce, the house was $140,000 so it took 359 ounces to purchase; the car was $18,000, so 46 ounces to secure, and mortgage rate was about 7.8% and minimum wage was $4.75 an hour.

Today – Gold is about $2,300 per ounce, the house is $400,000 so 174 oz to buy, the car is $47,500 and 21 oz to buy; rates on mortgages are 7% and the minimum wage ranges from $7.25 to $17.00 per hour.

Like I said, not scientific, but certainly an interesting discussion, Thanks G for the nudge to explore this topic. If you have any questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 24 June 2024 00:00 Written by
Posted On Saturday, 22 June 2024 10:19
Posted On Friday, 21 June 2024 14:48
Posted On Friday, 21 June 2024 14:36 Written by

Sales should be fun and exciting. When your persistence in sales isn’t getting you the desired results in sales, several factors could be at play. Here are 5 reasons why you might be spinning your wheels:

1. YOU ARE TARGETING THE WRONG PEOPLE: If you target the wrong audience, they are not your people! Your sales efforts are a waste of time. It’s time to identify your ideal customer profile. Define the age, income level, family size, and occupation of your ICP. What are their buying habits and preferred property types? Pay attention to the details. They’re all important.

2. YOU ARE NOT QUALIFYING LEADS: Not all leads are effective. Spending time on the wrong contacts is a huge waste. Instead, determine which prospects are serious. Are they looking to buy or sell? What is their timing? Next, find out why they desire to move, such as family growth or downsizing, etc. Qualify them financially, too! Discuss their budget or price range. Identify all decision-makers in the real estate process.

3. YOU DON’T FOLLOW UP: Sales prospecting often involves multiple touchpoints. You don’t want potential deals to slip through the cracks. Take the necessary time to call prospects a couple of times. Following up with real estate leads is paramount for maintaining engagement and moving them through the sales funnel. Do so quickly, within 24 hours of an inquiry. Use multiple channels – text, phone, email, etc.

4. YOU DON’T COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY: Solid communication is key in sales. If you fail to pay close attention to what prospects tell you, you won’t be able to handle objections. Signs of poor communication include taking too long to respond to customer inquiries. Even an unprofessional tone can be off-putting. Learn to be an active listener and take good notes.

5. YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN SALES TRAINING: Continuous sales training is powerful and effective for keeping your sales skills sharp. Roleplay sessions may seem silly, but boy, can they put you on the spot. Challenge your current ways of doing things. Keep learning and investing in yourself.

Its time to improve your overall sales performance. Pay attention to your selling approach. Continue to learn about the competition to maintain your edge. Keep the learning process going. Most of all, enjoy the ride.


Posted On Friday, 21 June 2024 12:46 Written by
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