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Expert Update - 05.26.22

Google Maps Soars with New Immersive Street View

Google Maps' new immersive street view offers home shoppers a visual neighborhood tour. The quasi-virtual experience is being compared to a drone hovering over an area.

This helpful homebuyer guide combines Google's satellite and street view images to give you a more real-life look at the surroundings. You can drop down to street level and explore nearby restaurants, shopping, parks, etc. Immersive View is currently limited to a handful of markets. They include the major U.S. cityscapes of Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. But Google says other areas are coming soon.1


Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Demand Surges

Higher interest rates are squeezing homebuyers, turning some to more affordable loan options like adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). The share of ARMs has surged from 3% of loan applications in January to 11% now – the most significant share since 2008.

Your clients can take advantage of these loans in five, seven, or ten-year terms. These loans have an x/y framework like 5/1, 7/1, or 10/1. The first number is how long the loan is fixed in years. The second number means the lender can adjust the rate once each year after. ARMs are popular among buyers who aren't looking for their forever home. That's because they can qualify for a more expensive home, enjoy a fixed-rate term, and sell before the rate adjusts.2


Three Driveway Ideas to Boost Curb Appeal

Real estate agents never underestimate the value of curb appeal. It can help sell a home faster and for more money. But there are ways to maximize appeal for prospective buyers. Here are three driveway ideas to make the best first impression:

Pavers. Cement driveways offer limited color options. But driveway pavers come in various colors that can be selected to complement the garage or trim on a home.

Edging. Driveway edging with brick or stone can spruce up the exterior of any home. It has the bonus of protecting against chips and cracks.

Lighting. Attractive solar or LED lighting along the driveway can make a home stand out at night. But remember to follow homeowner association and local code guidelines.3


Pros and Cons of Working with a Real Estate Team

The right real estate team can launch your career and help you scale up your business. But how do you know if a team is right for you? It's important to weigh all your options upfront. You don't want to let anyone down, including yourself. Here are some team pros and cons:

Pro – Lead generation.

Real estate teams often share leads. If you're getting started in the industry and generating leads is a challenge, a team can help you build your business.

Con – Group Identity.

Growing a name for yourself may be more difficult on a team.

Pro – Career development.

Joining a team will give you access to agents who are already successful. That direct exposure to experience can help you improve your knowledge and skills faster.

Con – Managing big personalities.

Real estate teams can contain a lot of big personalities. You'll need to work together with all your teammates – regardless of personality traits – to succeed.4


Digital Real Estate Deals Go Mainstream

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming the new normal in real estate. Crypto is transferred digitally from peer-to-peer using cryptography or secure coding. The next business day, transactions can be settled with no banks or wires. The industry is filled with intermediaries who manage your listings, transactions, and contracts. Digital currency can help you streamline the process and make the transfer of property almost automatic. Today, about 32% of luxury purchases, including real estate use crypto. Now is the time for you to study how it can benefit your business.5





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