Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.
This week, we talked with Tom Huckabee, a Realtor with Keller Williams Conroe who works in Lake Conroe, Magnolia and Huntsville.
Huckabee uses just about every syndication site available, though he does not find the sites generate many new clients. “There’s a half dozen [sites] that report to my email,” he says. “I’ve only had two or three emails directly through that from clients. I do not find them to be that effective.” Instead, Huckabee says his hard leads, which come from referrals and other existing contacts, generate far more business.
“Every single house that I (list) I record with a flip camera,” Huckabee says, adding that he records every single room and feature of the house, narrating as he records and explaining the dimensions of the room, it’s proximity to other spots in the residence, some of its more impressive features, etc. In addition to loading those videos on YouTube, Huckabee also puts all his listings on Craigslist and Facebook, though he has not yet utilized Pinterest.
“I presently see that the lenders have gotten a little more realistic,” Huckabee says. “Five to six years ago, you’d sign a contract and the home would close in 20 to 30 days; now its 45 to 60 days.” Nowadays, Huckabee adds, it’s more common for banks to return to clients asking for further documentation. One area that’s booming, he says, is rentals, with 50 percent of his office’s closings involving rental properties; and given the huge influx of citizens to the Houston metroplex (according to Yahoo! Real Estate, it was the third more popular moving destination from January to March in 2012), he expects that demand to continue.