The New Generation of Homebuyers

Guest blogger: Brooke Balco, Communications Specialist

Brooke Balco

Brooke Balco

According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, millennial homebuyers are on the rise, currently accounting for 28% of today’s buyers!  That is only 3% behind Gen X, the age group that accounts for the largest group of buyers.    And the good news according to the study is that this new generation is giving a boost to the housing market with a optimism that hasn’t been seen in years.

Buyers under the age of 32 were more confident than any other age group that their recent home purchase was a good financial investment.  This makes you wonder what influences their decisions when it comes to purchasing their first home and what do they consider a good investment compared to older generations? Here were some of the most interesting (and some surprising) findings:

  • Surprisingly, millennials typically bought homes built around 1986, nearly a decade older than the homes typically bought by the Silent Generation (age 67-87).
  • Younger buyers had a tendency to stay closer to their previous residence, often staying within 10 miles.  Older buyers generally moved more than 20 miles from their previous home.
  • Younger buyers cited the reason for buying a home was the desire to own a home of their own whereas older buyers wanted to be closer to family and friends.
  • Millennials tended to make more compromises with their home purchase than any other generation. They most often conceded on the price and size of the home, lot size, distance from job and style of home; whereas nearly half of Older Boomer and Silent Generation buyers made no compromises on their recent home purchase.

What remained the same across all generations was that buyers gained many benefits from working with a real estate professional. There were some differences however in how they chose an agent.  Younger generations chose agent’s that displayed honesty and trustworthiness, while older generations were more concerned with experience level and knowledge of neighborhoods.

Screech, Screech, Screech…The Sound of Listings Being Scraped

Scraping Listings Guest blogger: Derek Light, Manager, E-Marketing 

Derek Light

Derek Light

Ever been surfing Craigslist or Hotpads and see a familiar listing with an unfamiliar name?  Scraping or stealing listing information, is a problem that seems to ebb and flow with the market.  Scraping seemed to fly under the radar over the past few years but has come back as the real estate market heated up over the last few months.  I want to take a look at few components of scraping, why people do it, if it’s legal and what you can do about it.

Why would anyone want the data?

I wouldn’t be writing about this if the data didn’t have any value.  The reason an agent or brokerage would scrap active listings would be to promote/market, make themselves seem more legitimate and/or get on the buy side of the transaction. Secondly I see listings that are off market and being advertised as for rent.  These listings are typically undervalued for the market; the scam is to get someone to put up a deposit.  Finally people selling homes are valuable to businesses that offer ancillary services.  This kind of scraping isn’t visible and I’ve never heard anyone voice concern over this (please correct me if I’m wrong on this one).

Is it legal to scrap listing data?

Parts of listings are factual and not proprietary, so by rule scraping of all data isn’t necessarily prohibited.  However courts have ruled in a case that pitted Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota (Northstar MLS) vs. American Home Realty Network ( that photos and agent descriptions are proprietary.  While this seems obvious, this was the first case that properly dealt with issue and it was only last November.

The issues I deal with on a day to day basis are scraping of individual listings.  Not only is this a copyright violation but it also violates IDX rules as often the listing is not attributed back to the broker.   This type of scraping is often worse for the agent’s that are victims as they have to spend valuable time trying to get the listing down or explaining to a past client why someone is knocking on their door to rent.

Fighting Scrapers

While the widespread theft of listing data seems to be less of a problem now, it still exists and nothing is going to stop all of it.

MLS’s and brokers have been proactive creating defenses to prevent scraping and have better agreements in place with partners that have created such a large network of channels that the value has been diminished.

There are no silver bullets to keep you listings from being scraped.  Listing agents should be vigilant and set up alerts for all listings.  Should anything pop up you should go to the offending site and flag the listing immediately to minimize any damage.

I would love to learn from you guys!

Have any of your listings ever been scraped?

Do you have any recommendations on how to fight it?

Great News from Harbor Country

Communication from the President Fran Broude

Fran Broude, President, COO, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

As you may have seen here, we recently had a $5.2 million sale in the Harbor Country market in Lakeside, Michigan. The 5.3 acre Longacres estate, with 195 feet of private beach, is the highest home sale in the area since 2005 and the third largest sale in over fourteen years!  What makes this even better is that both sides were represented by our very own New Buffalo office Previews Property Specialists, Donna Iwamoto and Karen Strohl.

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As a result of this sale, our luxury market share (properties over $750,000 in Harbor Country) is at nearly 66 percent through the start of this year, which far exceeds the 12 percent market share from 2012 and is nearly ten times more than our nearest competitor. Year to date, Coldwell Banker Previews has participated in 16 of the 28 luxury property sales in Harbor Country!  Even more amazingly, Donna and Karen have participated in 11 of those 16 sales.

The market in New Buffalo, which is not only luxury properties, has exploded this year with the sale of many other vacation homes for residents from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. I’ve heard many great stories all across our company about the positive real estate environment we have enjoyed through the first half of 2013 and all of them come back to the excellent customer service and expertise our Coldwell Banker agents provide their clients. Thank you for all you do every day in representing our amazing Coldwell Banker brand.

Why I Love Working with New Agents

— Joan Read, Senior Manager North Shore Office, Milwaukee Downtown Office

Coldwell Banker I really enjoy working with the new agents in our New Agent Development sessions. Fresh from the pre-licensing course, their thoughts are clustered with real estate phrases such as “riparian rights” and “quit claim” and all the ins and outs of Wisconsin statutes regarding the buying and selling of property. Then BANG! Now what?

Their enthusiasm is contagious at the start of the sessions. Now it is time to really learn the ins and outs of selling real estate. How do I find business? What are Sellers looking for when they want to put their house on the market? What are the Buyers needs? Do they want Buyer Agency? How do I work with other agents? How do I plan this as a business? Their enthusiasm is still high at the end of the sessions, but with a now added air of responsibility. This is a business that will give them opportunity, variety and stories galore along with well earned compensation for years to come!

8 Reasons to be Optimistic About Housing


– Dick Greenwood, Director, Builder Marketing

“It’s just arithmetic” as Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist likes to say:

Dick Greenwood

  1. At about 3.5%, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is at its lowest point in two generations.
  2. Tight inventory and multi-bidding have led to shorter days on the market. In many markets, including Chicago, a home fairly priced sells within a week with multiple offers.
  3. Illinois home sales increased in the 1st quarter of 2013 over previous year levels and prices have also increased as much as 9% in many Chicago markets.
  4. The dollar volume of mortgage lending, while still depressed compared to historical averages is increasing steadily. Banks are again making mortgages.
  5. According to Tracy Cross Research, new home sales for Chicagoland were up 18.2% in 2012 over 2011.
  6. CoStar Group which provides real estate information, reports that land sales began rising in the last quarter of 2012 for the first time in seven years.
  7. 2013 will be the fourth year in a row that the economy will add some jobs. Although it may take years to get back to full employment, this is movement in a positive direction. Job growth drives housing demand and starts.
  8. Housing values, after spiking at unrealistic levels between 2004 and 2008, are back to normal values. Economists say housing now is fairly valued, not over or under valued.

Low Inventory Campaign Success


Hi all,

I want to share a couple of amazing success stories that have resulted from agents simply sending out the “low inventory” e-cards to their contacts on New Panda. These are the cards (which can be found by clicking here) that can help educate your clients on the current market conditions.  The following testimonials prove that it is worth taking the extra few minutes to reach out to your contacts, some you may not have heard from in a while, to potentially get new business.  I hope that you will use these tools, and I look forward to hearing about your success!

One Card – Six Listing Appointments
“I sent out the New Panda e-card titled “The Right Timing” and received six new listing appointments that week!  Our homeowners just simply aren’t aware of the low inventory in the market, but once they saw the message they immediately thought to jump on the opportunity.”
– Steve Cohen, Northwest office

Reconnecting With Old Customers
In early March we sent our customers the “Supply & Demand” e-card and were pleasantly surprised by the response we received. We heard back from 25 of our customers, some of which we haven’t heard from in over a year. Our customers really responded to the tone of the e-card and took it personal.  From this e-mail, we secured one listing and are about to get a second and potentially a third through a referral.  We appreciate the easy tool already set in place for us!
Kathy & Tom Pehowski – Mequon Office

To check out this marketing campaign, please visit the campaign web site by clicking here. Make sure you are reconnecting with your past clients and helping to create awareness of the new market that we are in. Thanks for all you do.


Everyone gets a ribbon!

Chris_Haran– Chris Haran, Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives

In real estate, everyone is number 1. No kidding…no matter how big or how small the company, I guarantee they are number 1 in something. It might be for most ranch homes sold on the even numbered side of the street between January and February, but they will have the big #1 in their ad. Read More Continues to Grow with a Focus on SEO

light_derek– Derek Light, eMarketing Manager

2012 was a great year for!  With sharp focus on SEO and an increasing interest in real estate from consumers our site continued to grow.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • Over 6.8 million visits, up over 62% from last year
  • Over 42 million page views, up nearly 30% over 2011
  • Visitors from 201 countries
  • Mobile traffic was up 292% and accounted for more than 20% of all visits
  • The iPad and iPhone accounted for 69% of the mobile visits

2013 will bring continued focus on SEO, the mobile experience and we’ll introduce HomeBase intouch to enhance our visitors’ experience.