While we realize it may be a while before we see anything close to “normal” again, we can’t emphasize enough how proud we are of the entire Georgia MLS membership for making the dream of homeownership continue to happen.
Americans, in general, are living longer and working longer. Professionals in any industry will be required to continue learning to support these longer career spans. Pew reports, “The most valuable workers now and in the future will be those who can combine technical knowledge with human skills and adapt to the changing needs of the workplace.” Lifelong learning and the continuing need for continuing education is the inevitable reality for any professional adult in the workforce and doubly so for real estate professionals. Just this year, virtual home tours and other digitally assisted activities has increased exponentially. Pew suggests that the most successful professionals are “T-shaped” people: Workers with broad general knowledge and deep specific knowledge in one niche area. A particularly important niche for Georgia MLS members is the condition of the real estate market throughout the state and especially within their geographic focus.
Keeping up with the real estate market benefits members in several ways:
Understanding the fluctuation of inventory lets members advise clients on the urgency of offers or when the best time to buy or sell might be.
Using the data effectively also empowers agent to follow median home prices and predict upcoming market activity or seasonal trends based on the number of new listings, active listings and under contract listings.
Allows agents to set themselves apart from competitors with intimate familiarity of the market in their area.
Georgia MLS encourages our members to embrace their full potential by supplementing their experience and expertise with hard data. Clients want someone who has the education and the knowledge of the real estate marketplace to help them navigate through the home buying/selling process. Here are the resources available to every Georgia MLS member:
Georgia MLS offers support and transparency through our member emails so that our members are always in the loop, whether the information be about product and service updates, upcoming continuing education classes or technology tips. In such a competitive market, Georgia MLS strives to provide members with the best tools and information available to set themselves apart from competitors.
As always, Georgia MLS is available to support real estate professionals across the state. If you have any questions, please call us at 770-493-9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residential real estate activity typically winds down after Labor Day, with the slowest months commonly occurring during the winter. October historically bridges the tail end of the summer frenzy with the beginning of the seasonal lull. However, this October was still a reasonably active sales month.
Across the entire Georgia MLS membership, real estate agents sold 11,661 units. While the total number of units sold in October was down 2.8% month-over-month and down 16.1% compared to the same time last year, total sales volume came in at $3.7 billion – a 38.8% increase over 2019. Median sales price increases (+1.5% m/m, +16.8% y/y) contributed to the higher sales volume despite slightly lower total units sold. Fox 5 Atlanta* reported that Georgia home values continued to rise due to a combination of favorable mortgage rates, low inventory and increased comfort with virtual home tours and online home sales.
New residential listings totaled 13,249, down 1.6% from September and a notable -45.2% from October 2019. Many current homeowners have been and remain cautious about putting their homes on the market mainly due to the pandemic and uncertainty around the election (Forbes, Keeping Current Matters).
Active listings totaled 17,122 (-3.6% m/m, -45.2% y/y) and Under Contract listings totaled 14,861 (-2.1% m/m, +18.2% y/y).
The 29-county Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area echoed the broader statewide trends:
9,041 units sold (-2.5% m/m, +16.8% y/y)
$3+ billion in sales volume (-2.5% m/m, +35.9% y/y)
$283,500 media sales price (+2.3% m/m, +17.1% y/y)
10,448 New listings (-1.1% m/m, -5.8% y/y)
12,619 Active listings (-3.0% m/m, -44.0% y/y)
11,616 Under Contract listings (-1.9% m/m, +14.6% y/y)
Atlanta Agent Magazine noted the increase in homeownership in 2020 “is being driven by a need for more space to accommodate home offices, distance learning and lives increasingly led at home.” While Atlanta MSA home prices are rising, USA Today still rated the metro area in its top 20 most affordable cities. We estimate current single-family, detached homes at 1.62 months of inventory, down 79.53% from October 2019. This year’s exceptionally unique confluence of events has thrown traditional wisdom about the seasonality of real estate during fall and winter somewhat out the window.
Providing information and advice is one of the most important aspects of a real estate agent’s relationship with home buyers and sellers. GeorgiaMLS.com, the Georgia MLS’s consumer product, has a wide variety of tools for buyers, sellers and renters. By familiarizing your clients with the most useful aspects of the public-facing website, you can also gain greater understanding of your local housing market. Keep reading for the top five things both real estate agents and consumers need to know about GeorgiaMLS.com.
Searching to Rent or Buy
Properties available for purchase or for rent are available to search on the website. Users can search single family homes, condos and townhouses, acreage and farm, land lots, multi-family homes and commercial properties all from the home page. A few simple clicks then give users the ability to search properties for sale or for rent with more refined parameters such as geographic data, school name, bedrooms, baths, square footage and many more!
With the low inventory of single family detached properties in Georgia, stay in the know when searching in GeorgiaMLS.com. Use the more specific search criteria to reveal listings that interest you. When you find a listing you like, GeorgiaMLS.com gives you the option to keep track of your preferred listings with the “Save Your Favorites” tool.
Users can share listings various ways. Right below the “Save To Favorites” option (pictured above), house hunters can also email listings directly to friends and family. You will be prompted to enter your name and email as well as the recipient’s name and email. This will let the receiver know where and who the listing is coming from. At the bottom of the listing, there is a permalink which will allow you to copy and paste this link anywhere. Listings also have buttons to share directly to your favorite social media platform.
GeorgiaMLS.com offer unparalleled insight into the history of each listing. you can view the public remarks from listing agents, property details, interior/exterior features, school information, financial information and Broker/Agent information. That tells you:
A general description of the listing. It summarizes the most attractive features of a property and has the goal of making users want to schedule a showing. (Public Remarks)
The location of the listing (Property Details)
Bedrooms, baths and other in-home amenities (Interior Features)
Construction type, roof, and other outdoor amenities (Exterior Features)
Local school names (School Information)
Tax ID, estimated property tax value and estimated HOA fees (Financial Information)
Who to contact for more information or to schedule a showing (Broker/Agent Information)
For real estate professionals, having your free personal website complete as well as making sure your GAMLS member profile is up-to-date will help make sure there’s less drop-off between listing views and and converted leads.
When you visit a listing, there are two different places for you to contact the listing agent. The first is on the top righthand corner, where you can click “Contact Agent.”
The second place where you can contact an agent, is at the bottom of the listing. This will allow you to send a message to the listing agent as well as send inquiries, such as “Make an appointment to see this property” or “Get help selling my current property.” Once you submit an inquiry, the message will go directly to the listing agent for them to assist.
View Tax Records
Other than the Tax ID being provided to you on the full listing report, you can click on the blue tab at the bottom of the listing report. Here you will be able to find more specific property characteristics, such as census track/block group, legal description, a short tax assessment, and previous sales from the county.
As always, Georgia MLS is available to support real estate professionals across the state. If you have any questions, please call us at 770-493-9000 or email email@example.com.
The housing market is one of the few sectors to experience a true V-shaped recovery following the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the main barrier to rising demand remains the lack of inventory.
In Georgia, the number of active listings in September totaled 17,766, a decrease of 6.6% from the previous month. Year over year active listings are down 43.9% and reached the lowest levels since 2012.
As record-low mortgage rates continue to entice buyers into a market with ever-shrinking supply, the newfound demand is driving up house prices.
In Georgia, the Median Sales price for September is $267,770, an increase of 13.5% year on year, or $31,770.
Sales volume totaled $3.8 billion in September, a decrease of 4.0% from August 2020 and an increase of 44.8% year over year.
John Ryan, Georgia MLS Chief Marketing Officer said:
‘Given the uncertainty of the economy and the pandemic, sellers appear to be reluctant to list their home or are refinancing their mortgage. On the other side we have buyers, especially first-time buyers, taking advantage of record low mortgage rates to fulfil their dream of house ownership. All this resulting in record low levels of inventory.
‘Across Georgia we currently have 2 months’ supply of housing. Data has shown that six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation. Lower levels tend to push prices up and this is exactly what we have seen across Georgia in recent months.
‘Looking ahead to 2021, many real estate analysts are predicting that the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a rise in mortgage defaults and foreclosures. If this is the case inventory will increase, in turn resulting in a slowing of price increases and possible decline in pricing depending on the number of houses that come onto the market.’
In Bankrate, Jeff Ostrowski, Senior Mortgage Reporter said:
‘As dramatic as the projections seem, it’s worth noting that foreclosures had fallen to record lows in late 2019. Home prices had risen steadily in the past decade, driven by a strong economy and not enough new construction to satisfy demand.
During the Great Recession, foreclosure filings spiked. In the first half of 2010, 1.65 million American homes went into foreclosure, according to ATTOM. In the first half of 2020, barely 165,000 loans were hit with foreclosure actions. Even if defaults rise dramatically, they’ll remain well below the levels seen during the mortgage meltdown.
Georgia Housing market Trends in Line with National Report
The low inventory trends in Georgia are typical of what we are seeing on the national scale.
Realtor.com reported in the week ending Sept. 19, there were 39% fewer homes on the market compared to last year, and any upcoming uptick is unlikely given the typical seasonal slowdown on the horizon.
The lack of supply has been the catalyst for heated market conditions as median listing prices last week grew at a record 11.1% year-over-year—more than double January’s pace—marking the 19th consecutive week of increasing price tags, the report said.
In today’s digital world, a website is an essential asset for businesses across the globe and real estate is no different. As part of your Georgia MLS membership, every member receives a personal website, helping to increase exposure of both your brand and your listings.
If you have not set up your personal website yet, do not worry. It is as easy as ABC. Create and maintain your website from our simple to use web portal, no website or coding experience is required.
Why do I need a personal website? Growing your brand and standing out from the crowd is critical when operating in a highly competitive market. Searchable on the internet via Google and all other search engines, you will gain exposure to prospective clients with no added costs for hosting.
Your personal website is also a great way to increase listing exposure. All listings entered through Paragon, Ditto or the GAMLS portal are automatically published to your website within 15 minutes.
Similarly, listings are automatically populated on our consumer facing website GeorgiaMLS.com, where 659,065 house hunters visited April through October. Prospective buyers can easily access your personal website directly from GeorgiaMLS.com when viewing your listings or your agent profile.
Customization: Stand out from the Crowd Personalizing your website will help tell your brand story and your welcome message is a key part of that personalization. Prominently positioned on the homepage, use this opportunity to tell prospective clients the most important information about you. Think of it as your online sales pitch and remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so take your time and craft a thoughtful message. It may pay dividends down the line.
Website aesthetics are important, and our portal allows you to choose from a large number of mobile-friendly website themes, select your brand colors, add a profile photo, company logo and more.
Sift through our bank of images and select the best hero image that portrays your brand. Choose from a large selection of images from external and interior house shots to beautiful photographs of the city, lake, mountains and more.
Next up, connect your digital channels to ensure prospective clients can build a full picture of your business and your digital presence. We recommend adding your personal website address to your social media channels and vice versa.
Customizing your website address, or URL, is important for both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and to ensure it aligns with your brand. Within the portal you have the option to customize your URL by simply amending the prefix. For example, Barbara Russell’s personalized URL will roll off her tongue when she shares it with the world by simply amending the prefix – BarbaraRussell.georgiamls.com.
All the personalization options outlined above are updated in real time. Within each section, you will also see instructions to guide you through each section. For example, recommended images sizes are provided. It really is that easy.
Features List In addition to showcasing your listings, both active and recent sales, in a carousel, the website features a Contact Form. Prospective clients complete a simple form with details of their inquiry, which is automatically sent to the email we have on file for you. Another valuable lead generation channel to add to your toolbox.
Additional features include access to real estate market activity reports, a mortgage calculator, school information and county public records.
Data Insights with Traffic Reports and Google Analytics Monitoring website traffic is a great way to understand online business activity and can help you make smart decisions. Our personalized website includes built in traffic reports to allow you to track page views, including:
Listing views across all member sites in the last 30 days.
Most popular listings viewed at your site in the last 30 days.
Email leads in the last 60 days.
We also provide the ability to add Google Analytics, all you need to do is set up an account and ID separately.
Access Your Personal Website Portal Ready to get to work on your new website? For more information on how to set-up and manage your personal website, we recommend watching our step by step video tutorial with Grep Epps, Member Services Manager.
To access your free personal website, simply login to your GAMLS member profile. Select Membership from the main menu then Manage my website. If you have any questions, please call us at 770-493-9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The real estate industry is a rapidly changing landscape, with new technology and protocols being updated constantly. As real estate agents navigate these changes, professional development is incredibly important, even beyond the required continuing education courses.
“Personally, I find the real estate industry to be one of the industries where professionals constantly deal with change, whether that is legislation, technology or business best practices,” says Greg Epps, Member Services Manager at GAMLS. “Every real estate professional is dealing with a market full of prospective buyers who want the newest, fastest, easiest way to buy a house. If the agents aren’t keeping up to date with new technology, they will naturally fall behind.”
The key to not falling behind? Staying engaged. The most successful real estate professionals are those who stay current on industry news, market trends and attend networking events.
Virtual Education: The New Normal
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia MLS delivered up to six three-hour classes a day and once lockdown hit, moved its delivery of continuing education online through Zoom classes and Webinar Wednesdays. Epps notes, “We get a lot of ‘aha moments’. It’s usually in those parts in each product where something clicks with the agent.” The value of those lightbulb moments is the real reason we continue to provide these learning opportunities, not just for the licensing requirements.
If you can’t make it to a scheduled webinar, access free recordings of each lesson through the Georgia MLS YouTube Channel, where digestible how-tos and updated webinar recordings are uploaded in full.
New To Real Estate: Network, Network, Network (When it is safe to do so)
“My biggest piece of advice to new real estate professionals entering the industry is be patient, be committed, be determined. Nobody sells 10 homes their first week, says Epps. “Go to professional industry events; the more meetings you go to, the more agents you see who are doing well and you find out what works. There’s a reason people have mentors. But that will never happen unless you show up. So, show up.”
As an MLS that covers the entire state of Georgia, membership value is increased with access to key market statistics and a personal website platform attached to a state-wide public database. For real estate professionals just entering the industry, this visibility is key. The unique aspect of a statewide MLS is that people across the state, not just in your region, can see your listings and reach out to you directly with the public microsites for each real estate agent.
Although showing up and engaging with the industry is the first step to becoming a successful real estate professional, continuing education only builds on that strong foundation. Read below our top tips for keeping your professional development skills sharp.
Attend continuing education classes: Going above and beyond the required hours for training puts you above the average real estate professional in Georgia. Learn about listing best practices, common compliance errors or navigating program updates. This will set yourself apart from other professionals.
Increase Market Awareness: By staying keyed into industry trends, both local and national, real estate professionals can make smarter decisions and better advise their clients. Especially in a year as tumultuous as 2020, staying up to date on market trends will help you deliver a better service to clients. For a high-level view of today’s market, visit our .
Stay up to date on national industry news: Maintaining awareness of the real estate industry as a whole is important because what’s happening across the country is happening or will be happening in your market. Keep up with publications such as Inman News, Realtor Magazine and Realty Times.
Maintain your public website: Along with maintaining your awareness of the market, make sure your clients maintain their awareness of you. By utilizing GeorgiaMLS.com to customize and maintain your website, you remain visible in the market. Enhance this visibility even further by maintaining a professional, personalized social media page.
Utilize technology: Real estate technology is constantly evolving. Quickly moving from listing books to new websites such as Paragon, Transaction Desk and Cloud CMA can be overwhelming. But with the help of Webinar Wednesdays and step-by-step instructional videos on our YouTube channel, becoming an expert is easier than you may think.
Now that you’re equipped to handle the ever-changing market, you can sign up for upcoming webinars to stay ahead of your peers. Learn more from Greg Epps, Member Services Manager, through our latest YouTube video and other Webinar Wednesday features.
In an effort to keep adapting to our members’ needs, Georgia MLS has updated the Photo Policy to allow additional marketing opportunities when compiling your client’s listing photos. In addition to the pre-existing image requirements, below are a few new improvements:
Collages are allowed as the primary image as long as the front of the home is contained in that set of photos
Drone photos are allowed as the primary if it is an up-close photo of the home
Twilight photos are allowed as the primary image if it is not completely dark outside
Virtually staged photos must not be deceptive
All residential active listings must have a primary photo associated with it within 10 business days after the listing has been entered into the system. Listings designated as No Photo Desired must have written authorization from the seller to exclude a primary image, which must be provided to the service upon request. Residential listings that do not account for a photo will be subject to a fine.
Listing content including, but not limited to, photos, images, drawings, graphics and virtual tours related to listed property become the property of Georgia MLS at the time of submission. The act of submitting listing content to Georgia MLS grants our service ownership and authority to disseminate this content in Georgia MLS’ copyrighted databases.
The removal of listing content that diminishes the quality or accuracy of the listing is strictly prohibited and will result in compliance penalties until the listing content is restored.
The focus of the primary photo must be the listed property and should be an image of the full exterior front view taken in daylight.
Images must be of sufficient quality to be reproduced.
Images must not include contact information, recognizable signage, or marketing/promotional messages.
Alterations to images such as decorative frames, watermarks, time stamps, or false color representation are not allowed.
Images should not contain people or animals.
Renderings or plat maps are acceptable for listings under construction. These must be replaced with an acceptable image when the structure is recognizable. Members are encouraged to update the primary photo to reflect stages of construction.
If a primary photo is provided for other non-residential property types, it must follow the same rules governing listed residential property.
Photos taken by drones are required to be front facing not top down to be allowed as a primary photo.
Collages can be the primary photo as long as one of the photos is the external daylight frontal view of the home.
Lake-front properties primary photos are allowed as long as the photo is taken from the viewpoint of the lake to the rear of the home.
Twilight photos can be the primary photo as long as the front of the property can be clearly seen and it is not completely dark outside. The time of day must be either dawn or dusk.
Stock photos, speculation photos, or photos used for illustrative purposes are not able to be the primary photo. For to-be-built homes, a primary image must be a rendering of the plan and must not be the image of another similar property. A stock photo can be a completed home on a lot where there is not an existing property. A rendering is a builder’s representation of a to-be-built home.
Virtually staged photos must follow Compliance guidelines.
GAMLS has final judgment with regards to the acceptability of listing images.
The primary photo may not be removed unless it is being replaced.
Virtually Staged Photos A “virtually staged photo” means an image that has been altered with editing software to create a conceptual rendering of what a room and/or the property might look like if it were physically staged or lived in.
Digitally altering images that change the accuracy of the actual listing’s depiction or representation is not allowed. The use of “virtually staged photos” is permitted so long as the images are not deceptive to potential buyers.
Virtually Staged Image Requirements
Primary photo can be a virtually staged photo as long as the “before” and “after” images are both included into a collage.
All virtually staged images must be designated as such in the public remarks.
Digitally altering images to include overlays of other images or logos are prohibited.
Except for To-Be-Built and Under Construction listings, an image of the existing room or property in its current state must be included immediately before or immediately after the virtually staged image. In other words, “before” and “after” images must be included and disclosed. This includes room makeovers, wall color changes, different flooring, or countertops.
Virtually staged photos may include personal property items not conveyed with the real property. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Applying digital photos edits of furniture, mirrors, artwork, rugs, plants, etc., into a photo of an empty room.
Removing an existing non-fixed home element or furnishing from an image and replacing it with a digital representation of one similar. Examples: furniture, mirrors, artwork, rugs, plants, etc.
Virtually staged photos may include landscaping improvements that could realistically be made to improve the property’s exterior appearance.
Virtually staged photos may not include deceptive elements including, but not limited to the following:
Furniture or personal property that will not fit within a room’s dimensions. Every effort must be made to maintain the true aspect ratio of items digitally added.
Views from the property that do not exist, such as lakes, rivers, fields, skylines, and landmarks.
Fixed features that do not exist, such as a fireplace or property addition.
Virtually staged images cannot remove elements outside the property owner’s control, such as buildings on adjacent properties, power lines, utility poles, water towers, retaining walls and highways.
As always, we’re here to help. If you have questions or need assistance, give us a call at 770-493-9000.
July was a record-breaking month for Georgia MLS members who sold an incredible 12,696 units, totaling over $4 billion – the largest recorded sales volume for a single month in Georgia MLS history.
Other highlights for July include significant yearly increases in New Listings (+3.1%) and Under Contracts (+20.4%) compared to July 2019.
John Ryan, Georgia MLS Director of Marketing said: “For the first time since the pandemic hit in March, we have seen back to back monthly increases in residential sales.”
“It is fascinating to see our members sell over $4 billion in residential sales for July, an increase of 10.9% from June and 19.1% year over year.
“With most businesses now opened back up and low interest rates, it certainly feels like consumer confidence is rising and we are seeing the effects of pent-up demand within the Georgia real estate market.”
Low Inventory Drives Increase in Sales Prices
Housing supply continues to decrease month over month with Active Listing inventory falling by 8.8% in July. Georgia MLS residential inventory totaled 20,423 units, down 34.9% from July 2019.
Meanwhile, the Median Sales price for July continues to rise and increased 3.1% or $8,000, to $263,000 from the previous month. The Median Sales price year over year has increased 8.6% from the July 2019 price of $242,115.
Here to help
The Georgia MLS team is here to support you. We thank you for your membership, and if you have any questions please call us at 770-493-9000 or email email@example.com.
Maximum Listing Exposure with Georgia MLS Services
Now more than ever, it is critical to ensure your real estate listings are promoted online via the channel’s buyers are actively using to search for their dream home. In a market where inventory is low, and pent-up demand is forcing buyers to move fast, utilizing every tool available is crucial to the success of your business.
We are excited to share data analytics from our consumer facing website, GeorgiaMLS.com, and highlight services available to you as a member of Georgia MLS to enable you to help consumers across Georgia realize their goal of homeownership.
GeorgiaMLS.com in numbers: 4.6 million listings viewed In the first three months of the year, 787,978 individuals searched for properties on GeorgiaMLS.com. When the coronavirus struck in April, online house hunting continued with 891,394 house hunters visiting our website April through June.
Through the same period January – March, 4.5 million listings were viewed, while 4.6 million listings were viewed April – June. This is a huge indicator that, despite the pandemic, an active real estate marketplace continues to thrive across Georgia.
Georgia MLS Members Active as Ever As with all our services, we try to encourage and enable adoption by providing training via live webinars and on-demand videos via our YouTube channel.
Since January 2020, we are delighted to report a continued steady increase in the number of our members accessing the Georgia MLS website to ensure their listings are visible to the public.
In June 2020, 28,247 members logged in to utilize the services, a 67% adoption rate of all members. We encourage all agents to maximize the value of their membership and encourage you to get it touch if we can help.
How house hunters are using GeorgiaMLS.com If you are unfamiliar with our consumer-facing website, we would like to summarize the most popular features. Primarily, buyers create a profile, save properties to their favorites, and email any property to a friend, family member or agent in one click. However, the value for prospective buyers goes beyond searching for properties.
Buyers also use the website to find a real estate agent. People do business with people, and a complete personal website, free to any GAMLS member, will help improve your visibility and likelihood of contact. We highly recommend all agents ensure their profile is up to date with current contact details and, most importantly, upload a profile image. For tips on how to update your profile, please watch this short video.
Customize your public Georgia MLS Website Today As a member of Georgia MLS, we provide a public website for agents to create a custom branded web presence to gain maximum exposure for your listings. Once agents upload listings to GAMLS.com, these listings are automatically populated on both or consumer facing website (GeorgiaMLS.com) and your custom branded website.
Upon setting up your public website, agents can customize the website design from a selection of themes, drive the public to your website by customizing the URL and view the website analytics to gain a better understanding of how your listings are performing.
To set up your public website, please view the following video where our Member Services Manager, Greg Epps, will take you through the process step-by-step.
Click here to view an example of a custom branded website. (Credit: Rowenna Bauza, NACA.)
We are here to help In summary, if you have not done so already, we encourage you to: Update your profile on GAMLS.com with profile image and contact details. Customize your FREE GeorgiaMLS website.