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June
10

COTTAGE GROVE, MN, June 10, 2021RE/MAX Professionals is pleased to  announce the official launch of OfferWriter™, a revolutionary tool available exclusively to RE/MAX Professionals agents in Minnesota and Wisconsin through the brokerage's proprietary agent-only ProSuite 2.0 app. The app gives agents real-time access to manage all business activities including transactions, commissions, listing changes, seller reports and more. Patent pending as of June 15, 2021, OfferWriter allows agents to draft offers and send them to their clients for e-signatures in under three minutes, all from their smartphone.

The idea for OfferWriter originated from the observed need for more efficient offer writing processes, especially in the competitive, low inventory markets where offer deadlines and bidding wars are common; offers need to be submitted very quickly and agents are frequently writing multiple offers per client. While most of a realtor's business is conducted via their mobile devices, much of the day-to-day business, including writing offers, is not mobile-compatible.

Justin Fox, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Professionals and creator of OfferWriter shares, "Nothing like this exists in our industry. It currently takes agents 45 minutes or longer to pull together just one offer and it must be written from a desktop computer. A client's decision to write an offer is a big one. Now, our Professionals can be at the ready to do so, thoroughly and completely, without significant, menial prep-work that takes them away from their time with their clients."

OfferWriter is fully integrated with a live MLS data feed so that the appropriate data and forms are automatically pulled for the agent. With just a few simple steps, agents can easily enter in all information and quickly generate a purchase agreement to be shared and signed by the client. Ultimately, the tool expedites the offer writing process, giving agents more time in their day to further consult with clients.

"Most clients don't realize the back-end work that goes into crafting an offer," says Sonya Fox, COO and Owner of RE/MAX Professionals. "With OfferWriter and the full ProSuite 2.0 package, RE/MAX Professionals agents will be able to continue providing clients first-class service by helping them purchase the home of their dreams, even in the most competitive markets."

Over the past few years, the brokerage has been focused on uncovering ways to save their real estate Professionals time by reducing busy work. Their goal is to provide agents the ability to spend more time coaching and guiding their clients in this challenging market, as well as give them more balance in this always-on industry. ProSuite 2.0 and OfferWriter are a step in this direction towards bringing more balance to agents.

For more information about this innovative solution, visit www.professionals.net/offerwriter and to view all of the details about ProSuite 2.0, visit www.professionals.net/prosuite.

For more information about RE/MAX Professionals and the areas it serves, please visit www.professionals.net.  

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About RE/MAX Professionals:

RE/MAX Professionals is a locally owned and operated franchise of RE/MAX, the world's premier real estate company. In 2005, we opened our headquarters office in Cottage Grove, and since then, expanded to downtown Stillwater, and Saint Paul's Downtown/Lowertown. Our associates specialize in the Greater Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin real estate markets.

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April
24

Showing Activity in the Twin Cities is Up Over Last Year

In the Twin Cities all Realtors schedule and track showings using the same platform, ShowingTime. Through this vendor we can obtain meaningful insight into how the pandemic is affecting showing activity.

In mid-March, as COVID-19 started picking up steam, showing activity started to slow. At that time, the number of daily showings in our market was up 54.4% over the last year in the same week. For about three weeks, showing activity slowed until April 2nd, when daily showings were down 11.7% from the same week in 2019.

Since April 3rd, 2020, activity has trended back upward! As of April 23rd, the number of showings taking place daily is 26.9% higher than the same week in 2019.

Our industry, has embraced social distancing and other CDC recommended practices while on showings. We don't have data specific to how many of these showings were "virtual," where the agent does a live video stream to the buyer from the home, but we do know that trend has gained a lot of traction locally.

Showing activity is generally a great indication of future sales, so we anticipate home sales (and values) will continue to grow.

March
25

For those experiencing financial hardship during this emergency, we've compiled a few resources for you:

Unemployment Insurance:

  • Hourly/Salaried Individuals in Minnesota: The Minnesota Governor issued an executive order that removed the one week waiting period for unemployment claims. Applicants may now also be eligible if they're quarantined and unable to work, unable to go to work due to an outbreak at the workplace, or lost childcare where the employer can't accommodate them with paid time off or leave. More information about Minnesota's response: https://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/news-updates/covid-19.jsp
  • Hourly/Salaried Individuals in Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Governor has asked the state legislature to waive the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits. An executive order removes the requirement to search for work while laid off or working with reduced hours. More information about Wisconsin's response: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/public/ui.htm
  • Self employed / 1099 contractors: Neither Minnesota or Wisconsin currently has a solution for UI benefits for workers in this category. Our trade association is actively lobbying to get benefits for self-employed individuals and 1099 contractors, but nothing has been enacted there yet. There are several loan options available due to the emergency declarations and executive orders
    • Minnesota DEED: On 3/23/2020 the governor directed DEED to create an emergency loan program that is 50% forgivable and has a 0% interest rate. More information: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/press-releases/?id=424384
    • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: This is available directly through SBA – not local banks. Low interest loans are available up to $2MM with a current interest rate of 3.75%. More information here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
Mortgage Payments (Primary Residence, Second Homes, and Investment Properties):
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA have all released new payment deferment options for loans owned by them. They've instructed banks and servicers not to charge penalties or make derogatory credit reports. While you may mail your payment to a bank or mortgage company, it's likely owned by one of these three entities. It's important that individuals seeking this help, contact their bank or servicer to set up the deferral before missing a payment. Here are the sites with details.
Auto Loan Payments:
Many auto lenders are offering to defer payments up to six months without penalties or adverse credit reporting. Call your auto lender or visit their website for more information.

Home/Auto/Renters Insurance:
Almost every large insurance carrier is currently offering payment deferments without penalties right now. Contact your agent or carrier directly if needed.
 
Stay healthy out there!
March
19

COVID-19 Image

Coronavirus (COVID-19) effects on Twin Cities Real Estate Market

As everyone struggles to determine the impact of the dramatic governmental actions taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus, our professionals have been working hard to serve home buyers and home sellers in the safest way possible. We've offered resources to our buyers and sellers alike, to help them navigate this uncharted territory.

While it may be too early to tell the longer-term impacts this will have on the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area real estate market, there are some telling statistics as it relates to the market and its health today.

According to information gathered from NorthstarMLS this morning (3/19/2020), homes are still being listed, shown, and sold at a solid rate. In fact, as of 3/17/2020, the number of showings taking place nationally are still 13% ahead of last year on the same date according to ShowingTime. It does appear that showing activity is trending downward, however.

Another metric we've honed in on is "back on the market" listings, which represents listings that were off market (pending, temporarily not available) and then placed back in Active status.

Here are the raw statistics gathered this morning:

New Listings:

  • In the last 7 days: 2,624
  • In the last 3 days: 1,169
  • In the last 24 hours: 437

Changes to Pending status:

  • In the last 7 days: 1,708
  • In the last 3 days: 964
  • In the last 24 hours: 273

Closed sales:

  • In the last 7 days: 1,174
  • In the last 3 days: 593
  • In the last 24 hours: 145

Back on Market:

  • In the last 7 days: 241
  • In the last 3 days: 136
  • In the last 24 hours: 52

If you'd like help applying this information to your current housing situation, please contact one of our agents today.

Stay safe out there!

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