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First Half of 2018 Louisville Market Review

The first half of the 2018 Louisville real estate market was marked by home prices continuing to rise faster than a porch thermometer on a sweltering July afternoon. From January 1 through June 30, the average sale price across the Louisville market was up 5.8% to $217,101 (from $205,194 for the same period in 2017). The median price was $177,500 vs. $169,900 a year ago. For the month of June, that average sale price was a staggering $237,458 (five years ago in June 2013 the average sale price was $195,411).

Rising home prices continue to be driven by a shortage of inventory. For the entire Louisville MLS (multiple listing service), the inventory of available properties was 7% lower than for the first half of 2017. The total number of homes sold from January 1 through June 30, 2018 was 8,516 vs. 8,706 or 2.2% less than the same period in 2017. The inventory situation may be improving slightly according to the industry association the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors (GLAR). 

Interest rates have risen modestly and mortgage rates have followed suit with a recent 30-year fixed rate at approximately 4.5% according to Bankrate.com (this compares to about 4% for this time in 2017). Most analysts expect rates to continue to rise gradually through at least the end of 2019.

In its mid-year market analysis, GLAR reported more than 4,000 properties for sale at present compared to 3,000 just a few months ago. As has been the case for the last few years, move-in ready homes under $250,000 continue to set the pace and are selling quickly, often in multiple offer situations.

The high-end market also continues to be robust with 347 sales of properties between $500,000 and $999,999 in 2018 vs. 320 for the same period in 2017. Sales of properties priced at $1 million plus also showed limited growth with 41 sales in 2018 vs. 37 in 2017.

The question on most consumers’ minds seems to be: How long can this bull real estate market...

Jack O 'Lantern Spectacular Returns to Iroquois Park (October 2016)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- In what has become the must-see event of the Halloween season, the Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular is returning for the fourth consecutive year to south Louisville’s Iroquois Park, where 5,000 artistically carved pumpkins will greet visitors from Oct. 13 through Nov. 6. The pumpkins will illuminate a 1/4-mile trail adjacent to the Iroquois Amphitheater, and Metro Parks officials estimate up to 90,000 people will visit. Kentucky Select Properties is again a sponsor of the event. Read more.

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Your Ultimate Moving Checklist (StyleBlueprint, May 2016)

The local real estate market is hot right now, if you haven’t noticed. Seems like a lot of people are moving, especially in May. We asked Missy Ormerod at Kentucky Select Properties to share with us her moving checklist. This one starts two months out, so if you are crunched for time, you might need to adjust accordingly. Either way, consider this your ultimate moving checklist! Take it away, Missy! Read more.

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In An Industry Faced With Constant Change Some Fundamental Real Estate Truths Remain

What Sells A House?

When I got my real estate license nearly 22 years ago the MLS came out once a week in a telephone-sized book, there were a handful of personal computers in our office and the only thing smart about my immobile phone was that it had buttons instead of a rotary dial.

When I tell our new twenty-something real estate agents things like this they look at me with the same incredulous expression one might expect if you tried to explain other historical oddities from the B.Z. Era (Before Zillow), such as printed street maps or having to amortize a loan using a calculator.

The same is true for property-obsessed consumers who now expect to see houses on multiple websites and their smart phones in a matter of minutes from when they get loaded on the MLS.

Thanks to ubiquitous real estate websites and publicly available tax assessments, clients now sidle up to agents at the grocery store to debate price-per-square-foot trends in their neighborhoods.

The Web has most certainly democratized data in the real estate business. 20 years ago brokers maintained almost complete control over listing information. I think the shift in the balance of power has been a good thing. Well informed consumers can be a handful during the sales process (How can they be asking $450,000 for this, the tax record says they only paid $425,000 two years ago!). But I’d argue there has never been more interest in residential real estate than there is today and better educated...

Brand Experience Checklist for Brokers

Broker Brand ChecklistOne thing I can’t emphasize enough with our agents is that almost everything we do in our real estate role has the potential to affect people’s perceptions of our brand, both as a company and as individual agents.

Getting into a brand management mindset requires first understanding all the different ways in which you interact with key stakeholders at different points in a real estate transaction. I think checklists are a great way to make sure you’re aware of and addressing all the potential ways your brand may be experienced.

Some of the examples below are more relevant to listing brokers and others to brokers working on behalf of buyers, but most real estate professionals will have had some type of experience with all or most of these. The four primary stakeholders or audience for these brand experiences are:

  • Real Estate Consumers (Sellers and Buyers)
  • Other Real Estate Professionals (Most Importantly the Cooperating Brokers You Encounter on a Regular Basis in Your Market)
  • Vendors  (The Key Service Providers – Bankers to Plumbers – Who Help Your Clients and In So Doing Enable You to Provide a Positive Brand Experience)
  • The General Public (Folks Who May Not Be Actively Engaged Home Buyers or Sellers But Have Some Awareness of Your Brand. These People are Potential Referral Sources or Future Clients)

Where do these four key audiences most often experience your brand? (And where do you have the opportunity to enhance or diminish it)?

Point of Sale

  • For Sale signs
  • Sign riders
  • ...

The Best Real Estate Companies Embrace Agent and Broker Brands

One thing that constantly amazes me is when I hear or read about the leaders of real estate firms downplaying the importance of the company/broker brand. The primary implication being that only the individual agent brand really matters. That branding is best left to the folks in the marketing department or, heaven forbid, that the “brand” is some ineffable concept that has no relationship to creating real business value like driving unit and volume growth.

Keller-Williams, likely the fastest growing brokerage in the world at this moment, seem to embrace this line of thinking. And indeed, most KW “For Sale” signs - the foundation of real estate brand marketing – totally emphasize the agent or team’s identity leaving the company name and logo as an afterthought. Make no mistake: Keller-Williams has built a powerhouse brand among real estate agents. In fact, I would argue that the only real brand value KW has is to agents. The primary value proposition of the KW brand is: “We’re the real estate company that shares profits with agents.” Thus far, it’s been a brilliant strategy in terms of recruiting agents and making some of the KW tribe very wealthy.

However, I think if you asked most people in the real estate business or, more importantly, real estate consumers what the KW brand stands for they would look at you with a blank stare. I mean, I know the Christie’s brand stands for “luxury”. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has made a big Cabernet and Cream bet that Warren Buffett and the BH brand – characterized by “integrity and financial strength” – can extend to selling a gazillon homes a year (in addition to jewelry, insurance and Blizzards®).


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