The State of Downtown Raleigh

Downtown RaleighWant to get nearly 300 business people, executives, and politicians in one place on a Wednesday morning?  Do an official “State of the Union” type forum and invite a Senior Director from a tech savvy company,an Executive VP, for a large hospitality group, and a newly appointed Economic Development Manager.

Well, that is exactly what happened yesterday at Downtown Raleigh 2012: An Economic Forum held by Downtown Raleigh Alliance. Read more of this post

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Using Social Media in Homebuilding

It is commonly known that in real estate, especially homebuilding, the use of social media is the generally not the rule. Those using it well are even more rare. I personally several real estate agents using Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Some are better than others. The better ones that I know integrate their social media to topics beyond the homes that have on the market, the newest new home neighborhood phase release, and themselves.

Social Media World

But what about Pintrest? I recently came across a blog about the upcoming new home developments in Austin, Texas (home to my favorite musician of all time, Stevie Ray Vaughn). While looking around their blog, I was the “Follow me on Pintrest” link. The curiosity got the better of me. What I found was one way builders real estate agents can expand their presence on social media. Here they have posted pictures of homes and communities.

The whole idea of social media is not just to just self promote. The main purpose is to be able to engage with your audience. Granted, a portion of social media’s purpose is self promotion. But if that is all you, there is a limited engagement factor. Don’t believe me? Take a look at #3 on this infographic about Twitter engagement.

How have you used social media to expand your business?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Residential Construction In The News

All week long, there has been a number of stories on the evening news and in various newspapers about residential construction and real estate in the Triangle region. I feel like last weeks article from Inman News was a catalyst for all of this. But since the beginning of the month, there have been several other newsworthy events about real estate in the nation and the Triangle. Here is a list of them.House Under Construction

  • Associated Press article stating that the CEOs of some of the biggest homebuilders feel the housing market has stabilized.
  • Discussion and stories at this week’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando about most local markets improving in 2012.
  • NBC-17 story about buyers flocking to buy homes in areas with retail nearby.
  • Triangle Business Journal article about Mountain Real Estate Capital of Charlotte buying ownership of Brightleaf in Durham.

Although not directly housing related, you need to include in the mix these stories.Employment Board

  • Raleigh added 8,700 new jobs last year (TBJ article)
  • National jobless claims drop
  • January’s national unemployment rate of 8.3%(left up to interpretation, see this article).

So what does all this mean? Well, by crystal ball was recently cracked and the store I bought my last one is out of business (Shouldn’t they have seen that coming?). The real answer is “who knows” There seems to be a lot of optimism for 2012; not that there isn’t at the beginning of every other year. But the people I talk to have a good gut feel about the next 11 months. Obviously, we will not know until then, but the positive attitude certainly cannot hurt.

So…What do you think this all means?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Good News On Raleigh Housing Market

Downtown RaleighOops, we did it again! But in a good way!

Again, Raleigh-Cary has topped a national list. This time it is from Inman News, a leading source of independent real estate news, information, advice, research, opinion and commentary for industry professionals and consumers alike. Inman looked at the Top 10 Real Estate Markets to Watch In 2012 (You can look at the full article and list here). The markets were evaluated on a number of key metrics, including above-average price appreciation, a flourishing job market, a high rate of sales in proportion to population, a high level of home affordability, low foreclosure activity, a below-average share of distressed sales, a low vacancy rate, and other characteristics indicating a healthy housing market.

In last years survey 8 of the 10 were in the Midwest and Raleigh was not even on the list. This year, the South and the Midwest dominate the listing. The listing in order is

  1. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.
  2. Wichita, Kan.
  3. Rochester, N.Y.
  4. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa*
  5. Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.
  6. Peoria, Ill.
  7. Amarillo, Texas
  8. Binghamton, N.Y.
  9. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa
  10. Bloomington-Normal, Ill.*

The Des Moines and Bloomington-Normal metros are on the list for the second year in a row. There were some changes in the methodology from last year by requiring a minimum metro population.

The Raleigh area is used to being at the top, or near the top of many national lists. This will continue to attract good employers and jobs to the area. We want to be here for these purposes.

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Triangle homes sales increased 17% for the 3rd quarter

Real Estate ResearchAccording to Triangle MLS data, Triangle-area homes sales for the 3rd quarter of 2011 increased 17% from the same quarter in 2010,  to 4,471. 

Considering the rate of sales for the first six months of he year and for the declining sales in the last three years. 

The average price of the homes that sold during the quarter was $235,700, which is down 2%. 

Pending sales for the quarter were up 27 percent, and showings increased 7 percent.

How are you seeing the market improve?

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