Compass Bay Area Market Share

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Luxury Homes, Marketing

Prior to 2018, few people in the San Francisco Bay Area had heard of Compass, the combo tech startup / real estate brokerage based in New York City. That all changed quickly when Compass acquired several leading brokerages in the area, including Pacific Union and Alain Pinel Realtors. It’s fair to say that Compass is a juggernaut, with the Compass bay area market share towering over the competition. With those acquisitions, Compass immediately rocketed to the top of the leaderboards. However, since that time, the company has continued to grow, based on the strength of its brand, the savvy of its agents, and the leading-edge software tools and programs it has developed to empower agents and consumers to simply and ease the sale and purchase of residential real estate. This article features six charts which show how Compass has come to dominate the San Francisco Bay Area real estate market. These charts were first published in June 2020. The first chart shows how Compass towers over the competition when it comes to total dollars of sales, with Compass claiming nearly $25 billion in sales over 12 months. The next chart shows how Compass stacks up to the competition in terms of market share of sales dollars. Compass sells about 23% of all homes at all price ranges throughout the Bay Area – more than double the nearest competitor, Coldwell Banker, which has about 9% market share. How do you define luxury? That means different things in different markets, but in the San Francisco Bay Area, Compass … Read More

Why Sell Your Home During COVID

sebfreyMarketing, Sellers, Silicon Valley Real Estate

The grim reality is setting in: COVID-19 isn’t going away any time soon. It’s clear now that this pandemic will be raging in California and the rest of the United States for at least the rest of 2020. But what if you need to sell your home during COVID? It’s the new normal – for now. And some thing may never be the same again. One of those things which may be changed forever is the way we sell homes. While selling a home during COVID does present its challenges, it also presents some unique opportunities – especially in the second half of 2020. Watch this presentation recorded July 2, 2020. All the market statistics cited in the presentation were as of that date. As will be clear from watching the video, it’s not only possible to sell your home during COVID, in some respects it’s a better time to sell your home than any time in recent memory. Watch the presentation and understand what makes this an exceptional time to sell your greater San Francisco Bay Area home.

How to Effectively Leverage Technology When Selling Real Estate

sebfreyMarketing, North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate

The real estate industry has always been a very human one. Successful REALTORS must gain an understanding of people to make their real estate dreams come true. It’s the sort of business that perhaps doesn’t appear to lend itself to technology – the combination of a firm handshake, an understanding ear and honest, bespoke advice is difficult to create out of zeroes and ones. But while the real estate industry isn’t one that is a slave to technology, it can certainly be enhanced by it. Modern tech can make the process of matching property with a buyer and make it even more human than it already is, by providing insights and avenues that improve the quality of the realtor/buyer connection. How can you leverage technology when selling real estate? Let’s take a look at four of the most effective ways. 1. Be everywhere on social media Social media is proving to be an incredibly valuable tool for REALTORS. A visual medium designed to facilitate connections, the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are right in the sweet spot of real estate professionals. The value of social media will entirely depend on how well you use it. There are several mistakes that many realtors make, and some opportunities that tend to be missed. To maximize the effectiveness of social media: Know your niche and talk specifically to that audience. Give them a reason to follow you by offering value – post tips and tricks, share helpful articles, and give them a reason to laugh every once in a … Read More

How to Safely Sell Your Home During a Pandemic

sebfreyBlog, Marketing, Sellers

Sell Your Home Safely During Coronavirus

While a global pandemic of a potentially lethal virus may be a challenging time to sell your home, there are creative ways to do it without compromising safety. From cleaning between showings to using technology to connect with potential buyers, there are plenty of options for home sellers—despite being in the midst of a health crisis. The importance of staging A crucial piece of selling a home is staging, and often, sellers turn to professionals for help. Right now, it’s difficult and could be risky to invite a staging company into your home, but luckily, there’s technology that can help stage your home. Virtual staging has traditionally been a great option for people who have very little furniture in their home. Rather than dragging in new couches, beds, and tables, virtual staging can allow you to drag-and-drop furniture into a room, digitally. The cost is typically much lower than traditional physical staging companies, and allows for endless arrangement possibilities without the challenge of finding new furniture and heavy lifting. It’s a great option to consider during the COVID-19 pandemic – in fact, it may be your only option as some counties in California still do not allow traditional stagers to do their work in your home. Make the most of technology When it’s not feasible to show your home in person, you can also turn to online tools. One great option for a no-contact showing is a video-chat tour, which is a win-win for both parties. This method ensures no contact for the buyer and seller, … Read More

How Can You Get Multiple Offers on Your Home?

sebfreyCommentary, Marketing

Getting an Offer on your Home

Many homes in our area sell for over asking price – sometimes, a lot over asking. However, that doesn’t just happen by magic!  Almost always, this is the happy result of a good old-fashioned bidding war. But how can you get multiple offers when you go to sell your own home, and ignite a hot bidding war? In a nutshell, you need a carefully crafted marketing strategy to create a strong perception of value in the minds of prospective buyers so that they will come running, cash and offers in hand. The number 1 way to create value is to set a price that will attract buyers in droves. You’ll need to couple that price with an incredible online presentation that showcases your home and really makes it stand out against all the competition in the price range. Make it look like a home that buyers will absolutely have to get in the door to see. “ Set an offer deadline to create a sense of urgency among buyers. ”   You should also set an offer deadline to create a sense of urgency. If the buyer doesn’t move fast enough, they’ll miss it. Don’t review any offers before the deadline; you want to make sure that you have multiple offers in hand so that you can work the buyers against each other. Then, discover the one who loves your home more than the others; they will pay dearly for that feeling. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that. In fact, I’ve … Read More

Virtual Staging in Real Estate

sebfreyCommentary, Marketing

Staging your Home Yields Amazing Results

As the world becomes ever-more digitized, the way that we market and sell real estate is continuing to evolve, at a rapid pace. Virtual staging in real estate is one of the newest and hottest marketing trends. I recently had a couple of my listings virtually staged, and I wanted to share the photographs with you so you can get an idea of what virtual staging can – and cannot (yet) – do. Looking for some examples of virtual staging? Jump to the bottom of the page to check out our Virtual Staging Gallery where you can see how we’ve employed this on some of our listings. First though, what is staging? To quote myself: The goal of home staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive place. A lot goes into physically staging a property, and it’s much more than just artfully arranging furniture and home decor. Whether they realize it or not, most sellers do engage in some degree of staging their home – they pack up at least some of their belongings, do some cleaning, maybe a little painting. Even these “simple” things will increase appeal, and count as staging in my book. Arranging the furniture and decor – either using the services (and furnishings) of a professional stager (or just doing it yourself) is the icing on the cake. Using a professional stager usually costs several thousand dollars – and possibly a lot more, especially if you end up … Read More

New Home Staging

sebfreyCommentary, Marketing

I recently took a tour of some new homes being built in Gilroy, California.  It’s always fun to check out new home staging.  I love to see how home builders decorate and show their homes, because they employ the latest colors, styles, fixtures, and design elements.  They carefully stage the homes so buyers will “ooh and ahh” – and then proceed to pay top dollar, with a minimum of fuss and negotiation.  Music to my ears! I always advise my clients that new sells.  It’s what every buyer wants – but around here, many new home neighborhoods are not located very close to the urban amenities (shopping, parks, schools, entertainment, beach, etc.) that many buyers also crave. And that remains the primary advantage for home sellers.  Everyone knows that real estate is all about location, location, location.  If you’ve got an older home in a great location, you’ve got something a tract home builder won’t be able to replicate…but you can replicate what they offer, which is a great design ethic. You may not be able to afford to update and renovate the kitchen and bathrooms – but honestly, you usually don’t need to.  In any event, those kind of expensive upgrades rarely end up netting you more money for your home.  Yes, they’ll boost the sale price and help shorten your time on market, but the increase to the sale price usually won’t match the cost of the renovation (unless you are a very experienced, professional-grade do-it-yourself type so you save the labor fees). In … Read More

What’s the Matterport in Santa Cruz

sebfreyLocal, Marketing, Santa Cruz Real Estate

Matterport 3D Camera

It’s obvious to any observer that technology is rapidly changing the way we live, work, learn, and communicate. It seems that hardly a day goes by without some new and interesting technology being foisted upon the American public – whether we like it or not. When it comes to the technology of selling your home, however, it seems the biggest change recently is the advent of Social Media – but that started years ago now. Today, there’s a new technology which is set to radically change the game, again: the Matterport has come to Santa Cruz. So what’s Matterport? Matterport is a company in Mountain View, California: Google’s home town, the Internet’s ground zero. They’ve developed a 3D camera which enables the creation a complete three-dimensional representation of a home. This allows you “walk” through a space to experience it as if you were there. The effect is a bit like Google Street View, which a lot of people are familiar with. Only instead of being locked outside, the Matterport system takes visitors into the home to explore it with a compelling, photorealistic experience. For years now, Real Estate agents have been showcasing homes with high-resolution video and professional photography, including “panoramic” photos which allow viewers to pan from left to right to get a feel for a home. The Matteprort camera leapfrogs these more traditional methods of showcasing a home, scanning a home’s interior from dozens of points, allowing viewers to see a home from literally any angle. It is, truly, the next best thing … Read More

Coming Soon Listings now on MLS

sebfreyCommentary, Marketing

MLS Listings

Most consumers probably are not aware of this, but our local MLS just went through a fairly large upgrade. The implementation left a lot to be desired, with the CEO of MLS Listings issuing a public apology for the blunders. One of the new features of the upgraded system is a new status for listings: “Coming Soon.” The Coming Soon feature was created to help stem the tide of off-market real estate listings, which has been increasingly common in recent years. By listing a home as “Coming Soon,” the listing will only be available to MLS subscribers (that is, Real estate agents, appraisers, etc.). The listing will not be visible to consumers via Zillow, Trulia, and other “syndicated” web sites, and the system will not even allow a Coming Soon listing to be emailed out by a subscriber. When a home is listed as Coming Soon, it may remain with this status for only 30 days. At the end of 30 days, if the listing is not marked as “sold” or moved to “Active” status, the MLS will automatically withdraw the listing. During the “Coming Soon” period, the days-on-market for the listing will not accrue, and if it is moved to Active status, it will come on the market as a brand-new, just-listed home. Why would a real estate agent choose to use this new Coming Soon status, rather than listing a home immediately onto the MLS for all the public to see? I am in a situation like this right now: I just signed a … Read More