A slow and low Winter of homes for sale tends to lead to a blossoming of inventory and a more active market in the warmer months. But this year seemed to be the exception; especially for the DC area.
Local real estate experts say that a healthy market should have around a six-month supply of inventory, but this year there is less then a two-month supply in the DC market. Based off 2012 numbers, DC inventory has dropped 27% and it has affected all price ranges and housing types. The inventory segment to be hit hardest by lackluster supply are the lower-priced starter homes, which are down 42%.
What does this mean for real estate agents in the DC area?
Lower inventory means higher prices which are scaring away first time home buyers like millennials and keeping them in the rental game. Because of this the multi-family market is seeing a huge boost.
Multi-family inventory saw a 3.6% increase last year – greater the national average of 2.4%. And, with over 4,600 units permitted in 2016 – the second highest and only exceeded by the record breaking 2015 – this new inventory has helped keep rents under control with a slim 2.6% year-over-year increase in rents – compared to 4% nationally. These numbers renting a viable option for those priced out of the competitive sales market.
Now that we’ve hit the Winter season once again, only time will tell whether or not the market can swing back around in Spring 2018.
How can agents capitalize on this strong rental market?
The Rental Beast platform provides the perfect addition to any real estate professionals business portfolio. We have the largest database of listings in the DC area including the MLS and other local sites that our Rental Beast ninjas have meticulously searched for, acquired, and added to our platform with the all information you will need to help your clients. Our platform provides several avenues to help agents market themselves and generate rental leads in the DC area.
Rental Beast agents live by the mantra that all rental leads are future home buyers. By building that relationship now handling their rental search, you ensure that when they decide to purchase in the future, you will be the first person they call.
We have all been on a rental hunt before; plowing through dozens of listings with little to no luck, when suddenly we find one that seems to too good to be true. Well in the fast paced, competitive, and murky waters of rental housing…it usually is.
Rental scams are found all too often on rental search sites and, with each passing season, scammers and their devious plots become more advanced and increasingly difficult to detect. Here a few notes to look for when search sites for rentals:
- Funds Up Front: Never send money or provide your credit card information before seeing the property, even if the landlord or agent says its just a holding fee or sends you to sight that seems legitimate. Take your time and make sure to see properties or have someone you trust go see properties for you.
- Holy Grail: If it seems to good to be true, it most likely is. If the rent is well below market value or the lease terms are very flexible, these are probably not due to an overly generous property owner. Run your own search for the property and make sure it does not come up for a different price or as a for sale property. Often scammers take one listing and replicate it as their own.
- Grammar and Gotcha: Emails, text messages, and other communication that includes broken English, excessive punctuation, and other grammar mistakes are often signs of scams. The use of “God bless,” “reverend,” or “doctor” can be signs of a scam as well hoping to build trust.
- Outlook is Out: Email addresses from Outlook are 19 times more likely to be a scam than those from Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail — and those from non-United States accounts for properties in the U.S. are almost always scams.
- Cash is Not King: If all checks out – you see the property, love it, and the price is right – never deal in cash. Always have a paper trail and pay in a way that is traceable and trackable – if you’re being pressured to give a cash deposit, it’s a red flag.
Rental Beast is helping agents, renters, and landlords alike better identify and remove scams and fake rental listings with a team of database ninjas working across the United States. Their sole job is to monitor, measure, and manager all listings the enter and are loaded into the Rental Beast database to confirm contact information, financial requirements, unit information, and showing instructions.
Agents and renters alike can be certain that active properties they find on our site are listed by actual agents and landlords with direct contact information provided. By cleaning up and managing our listings from the start, we are able to help agents and renters find their perfect rental faster and more conveniently – as we say at Rental Beast ‘less hunt; more find.’
Social media is booming! In the real estate business, the use of social media platforms has become a sure-fire way to reach out and connect with your local market. Today, renters and home buyers expect businesses they work with to engage on social media, which is why it is important for real estate agents to make a presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Social media gives real estate agents the opportunity to brand their real estate business by creating a business page that allows them to generate interest and leads without a huge financial investment. All social media platforms can provide important social engagement that can benefit building your business in different ways. Below are a few tips to properly use social media for your real estate business.
1. Post at the Right Times – You need to be posting when your followers are actually online—not when it strikes you or you “have the time.” You also want to make sure you post consistently and frequently. One or two posts a week won’t accomplish much; you need to be posting daily. It is easy to be overwhelmed and lose momentum, but having a plan will help.
2. Vary your Posts – Every social media platform reaches a different audience and is made for different types of content. You want to post the proper media on each platform and use networks that align with your goals. You also want to be sharing content that is relevant to clients in your town or city. Along with property postings, mix in other content, such as neighborhood news, home maintenance, design and repair tips, and advice for renting, buying, or selling. Most experts suggest following the 80/20 rule, so for every two promotions you share, post eight pieces of informational or educational content.
3. Track your Growth- Many social media management sites allow you to track your growth by showing analytics and engagement, which will give more insight on what is working with your audience.
The Rental Beast Platform allows you to capitalize on social media by directly posting new and attractive listings directly to your Facebook and Twitter pages. With the largest database of listings in the DMV area you will have a leg up on your competing agents. Working with our Broker Support Team, you can learn some valuable tricks for how to strategically use social media and connect with a larger audience.
Starting your search online for your next home to rent has become commonplace. But when it comes time to narrow your search, it may seem like homebuyers have the advantage of calling on a real estate agent to help them through the process. But renters shouldn’t sell themselves short. Many real estate agents will gladly represent a renter. It’s just a matter of connecting with the right professional who is familiar with the rentals in your target area.
By enlisting the help of an agent, you get all the benefits available to a homebuyer: professional experience, a personal touch, local knowledge, and an understanding of your budgetary constraints.
Here are four reasons you may benefit from using a real estate agent to help you find your next rental.
- Location: If you’re going to be living in a central neighborhood close to downtown, having a professional on hand would be extremely helpful. Often in a competitive market like DC, a real estate agent is necessary to help you get appointments to tour available spaces.
- Relocating: If you are unfamiliar with the DC Metro area and neighborhoods, it could be a major advantage to call in a pro who spends their days scouring neighborhoods for available homes.
- Time: Some perspective renters simply do not have the time to search websites, connect with landlords, and tour properties. Enlisting the help of an agent can eliminate that time crunch they struggle with.
- Touring: Besides large apartment communities, most rentals are run by mom-and-pop landlords and property owners, where calls and emails have the potential of going unanswered. Even if you’ve got access to the leasing office, businesses may close at 6pm, creating a very limited window to access someone who can assist you. It’s a real estate agent’s job to make that connection for you. With an agent representing you, it might be possible to schedule an after-hours showing or ensure the property manager knows you’re serious about your inquiry.
Rental Beast has been partnering with real estate firms in the DC area to help support and train their real estate agents to be the most prepared and qualified professionals when it comes to helping perspective renters find their next home. With a database of up-to-date and available properties larger then any other website or professional listing service, the Rental Beast platform helps to make sure that any person looking for a rental property will find exactly what they need. Our agents work for some of the leading brokerage firms nationwide and take pride in providing that professional experience and local know-how to help you find your next home. No other platform can take you from first click to signed lease with greater ease.