For the last two years, home prices have been dropping. Some price ranges were more affected than others, but they were all going in the same direction. Recently, however, we have seen a slight rise in home prices. There is a block here in Watertown that I like to watch. All the homes are exactly the same. Some of the interiors are nicer than the others, but they all have the same 3 bed 1.5 bath floor plan on the same size and shape lot with a one car garage. When you watch the prices of those homes, you can see what buyers are doing. Last year the average price was around 85K. So far this year, there have been two that have sold for over 100K! This is just an indicator, but it is a very good one. What has been driving this market change? I believe it is simply that the demand is rising to meet, and in some cases exceed, housing supply. With all the great deals from short sales and foreclosures, the amazing rates(some as low as 4.8%), and the government stimulus, buyers have been coming out of the wood work. This increases the number of offers on a house, which in turn drives the price up. Is this trend going to last? I don’t know. Only time will tell. I just have a feeling this summer is going to be one of the best in a long time for the real estate market!
If you are like me, you have several blogs and countless social networking sites. If I were to be on ALL of them I could be online for 7-9 hours a day! On a normal day, I am only on for 30-40 minutes yet I manage to stay on top of everything. It can be done, but it requires concentration and a plan of action. Here is a brief synopsis of my daily routine:
1. Open up tabs in your browser for your social networking sites and one or two industry-related news sites (for Real-estate http://www.inman.com/ ). Now, if you are like me you would have just opened around 30 pages. This is something that must be cut down. You need one page where you can post and feed everything down to all the sites. The site I use is http://ping.fm. You can, with this site, post once and find it on all the sites you have, which is a HUGE timesaver. Now you have Ping and a news site open, I also suggest you have 2-3 of your favorites open. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.
2. Quickly respond to direct messages and contacts in the 2-3 favorites that you have open. Don’t let yourself get side-tracked by following things for fun. Remember, move quickly!
3. Keep moving quickly and comment on 3-4 posts and discussions on each of the 2-3 sites. Make them friendly but give them reason to respond to your comment. This is a very important step- don’t forget it.
4. Do all of your status updates for the day. This is tricky part! You don’t want to send out 5-6 updates all at 8AM because no one will see them. Thankfully, you have http://hootsuite.com on your side. This will post to a few of the sites you want to update through the day. It also will update Ping.fm. With this tool you can schedule updates to be posted throughout the day automatically!
5. Figure out what you want to post. You want your audience to realize you are human. I suggest that more than 50 percent of your posts should be about you and what you are doing. The rest need to be filled with information that people are looking for such as news, how-to, and market updates. Post links to other valuable articles. Give people a reason to follow you! Remember, followers are the reason you started blogging in the first place!
6. Repeat steps 1-5 again around 7 PM. This is when most networks are about to become the most active part of the day.
7. Finally, it is blogging time. Rather than being a daily routine, this should be a 2-3 hour a week time that you set aside to sit down and write out the blog posts for the week. This will give continuity, and simplify your day when it comes time to actually post.
This is just my personal formula for social networking. You should find what works for you and make it a routine. Remember, social networking will only work if it is a daily action. I have faith in you, keep it up!