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Homebuying Timeline Shortened as Housing Market Gains Momentum

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on September 3rd, 2013

As the housing market continues to improve, developers and builders are experiencing a favorable trend amongst prospective homebuyers. After several years of building a pipeline of leads and grinding out sales through a lengthy sales process, the timeline for sale has shortened considerably. The market rebound is trumping the seasonality of many markets, with buyers now purchasing within weeks of their initial sales office visit rather than months or years. As specialists in the marketing of residential real estate, Cotton & Company is witnessing the shift across multiple markets indicating a positive trend. Many buyers have been sitting on the sidelines for the past several years waiting for the right opportunity and a more positive economic outlook. This reluctance to…

The World Has Changed Since the Last Real Estate Cycle

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on April 29th, 2013

It’s been a long road back for the real estate development industry. When the down slope for residential real estate began in 2006, the world was a very different place. It’s hard to believe that Facebook only existed on college campuses, and the first generation of the iPhone wasn’t introduced until 2007. But it was the iPad introduction in 2010 that really changed the world for real estate developers, bringing the wealthy discretionary buyer into the digital realm. Today, as many developers begin to reenter the market, they are recognizing new marketing challenges as a result of changing technology. Top 10 Changes: 1. Website infrastructure and design must prioritize tablet interaction. This means a more focused navigation plan that emphasizes…

Early Cotton Report Data Indicates Liquidity Returning to the Market

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Media & Real Estate on March 13th, 2013

Cotton & Company’s 5th annual consumer survey is underway. The annual online report surveys prospective homebuyers throughout the US to gain insight into the current buyer’s psychology. With more than 700 respondents providing insight on the factors that affect their purchase decision, the data has become an industry standard for forecasting residential real estate trends.  As the data continues to be analyzed for the final report, early indications show liquidity has returned to the market. When asked about their reason for not purchasing to date, the consumer response “Can’t sell my existing home” dropped significantly from the 2011 market data. As additional support to this position, consumer interest in “Waiting for Better Pricing” has dropped to 8%, from the highpoint…

Mexico’s Comeback Captures the World’s Attention

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on December 18th, 2012

The rebounding Mexican economy is providing plenty of headlines for today’s final reporters. It’s hard to believe that not long ago, Mexico was in the news daily for the swine flu outbreak and endless drug violence. Today, words like “record-breaking” and “booming” are now being used to describe a thriving economy. It seems while the US was focusing on the 2012 election, Mexico quietly overcame many of its challenges. Although there remains much to be resolved, the country is now the world’s leading exporter of flat screen TVs and has also become a major force in the automobile industry. Surprisingly, one in 10 cars sold last year in the U.S. was made in Mexico. According to the Wall Street Journal, “next…

Superstorm Sandy Poised to Impact Sunbelt Housing Markets

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on November 20th, 2012

As a hurricane approaches landfall, millions tune into television, Internet and radio, awaiting word from the meteorologist who stands ready to document the moment of impact. Unfortunately, that moment comes and goes, leaving unimaginable devastation behind. In the immediate aftermath, the world is fixated on the dramatic stories of rescue and recovery. The Red Cross and private charities step in to meet the basic needs of storm victims unable to provide for themselves. Now, three weeks later, many people in the northeast are realizing the impact of a storm like Sandy, may in fact last a lifetime. Life will continue to change over the coming months. After waiting for insurance adjusters to inspect the damage, monetary relief will begin to flow. Although many will rebuild, creating thousands…

Which “Baby Boomer” Will Be Purchasing Real Estate Next?

By Stephann Cotton Posted in - Real Estate on November 6th, 2012

It seems every planning seminar and conference for the last two decades has been about the impact of the baby boomer on discretionary real estate spending. Now, following a historical down cycle and its tremendous impact on personal savings and investment, many new questions emerge for real estate developers. Although the market segment as a whole makes for promising demographic studies based on shear volume, it takes a closer look to unveil the psychographic profile that will most likely represent the next wave of real estate purchasers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a baby boomer is a person who was born during the post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964.  Over 75 million strong, the market segment includes two generations…

Real Estate Buyers Tell It Like It Is

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on October 23rd, 2012

A spirit of optimism is on the horizon for builders and residential developers as new home inventory continues to be absorbed and pricing begins to climb in many major US markets. As existing homeowners have the ability to sell their home, builders and developers will feel the effect of liquidity in the marketplace. Yet as buyers across the country return to new home sales centers, real estate professionals are wondering how have their priorities shifted? How has their perception of value been impacted by the lengthy downturn?Has the election cycle delayed their decision? As builders and developers strive to enhance 4thquarter sales results, it is crucial for them to recognize the shift in the market and thoroughly understand the changing buyer psychology….

Fresh Content- The Key to Building Your Internet Footprint

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Media & Web on October 9th, 2012

With 95% of new homebuyers beginning their home search online, builders and developers infrastructure planning should not only include density, drainage and utility planning, but equally as important, Internet infrastructure. All too often web development is an afterthought that becomes a focus once the sales and marketing team is brought on board. “While everyone recognizes the importance of attracting homeowners online, building a strong Internet footprint isn’t their primary focus at the earliest stages of development,” says Laurie Andrews, COO of Cotton & Company. “Overlooking the importance of getting started early has a direct impact on the cost of lead generation at the time of the community’s sales launch later on.” Understanding the challenge begins with understanding search engines, especially…

Home Buyer Referrals Go Social

By Laurie Andrews Posted in - Real Estate on October 2nd, 2012

Real estate developers and builders have long recognized the quality of potential leads driven from personal referrals. This assumption is now supported by research from Socialnomics.net that indicates only 14% of consumers believe advertising messages, but 90% trust peer recommendations.While many recognize this new dynamic, few sales organizations know how to utilize today’s technology to expand their reach. Yes, friends and family continue to make the seasonal trip to South Florida and other warm destinations. Often they become envious of the lifestyle they experience while on vacation:holiday celebrations in shorts, poolside barbecues on Super Bowl Sunday or simply slipping into a pair of flip flops instead of snow boots. Who wouldn’t love blue skies and 70-degree temperatures in February? Tapping into visiting…

A Wave of Buyers Forecasted Within 18 Months

By Stephann Cotton Posted in - Real Estate on June 15th, 2011

After attending Urban Land Institute’s recent Recreational Development Panel Discussion in Phoenix, it’s clear that forecasting the future real estate markets is a hot topic in the industry. The panel was consistent in their findings: the economy has made significant improvements, but there is still a long way to go. Panel speakers reached consensus that we have definitely reached the bottom in many markets; however, there are some areas of the country that will continue to have moderate depreciation before full stabilization occurs. Unfortunately the country is still contending with challenges due to housing foreclosures and the lack of growth in the job market.  However, moving towards 2012 and 2013, the panel is more optimistic, anticipating a surge in activity…