Single-family housing starts gained for the sixth consecutive month in October on an annualized pace not seen since April 2007, a Census Bureau report released Wednesday revealed.

Housing starts overall rose 4.9% in October compared to September’s pace and to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.53 million starts – the highest since this February. That growth was mostly driven by single-family housing starts, which increased 6.4% month-over-month – up 1.18 million annualized units. Multifamily starts were virtually unchanged from September’s revised number.

“We expect the paths of single-family and multifamily starts to continue to diverge in the coming months,” said Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “Low interest rates, a tight supply of existing homes for sale, and a trend towards purchasing homes in suburban areas has contributed to strong demand for new single-family homes. In contrast, we believe a suburban shift and other COVID-19-related dynamics are putting downward pressure on multifamily demand in many urban areas.”

Duncan noted the pace of new home sales over the past six months has accelerated more quickly than the construction pace, suggesting homebuilders will have to play catch up relative to sales going forward.

Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 1.12 million, up 0.6% above the revised September figure of 1.11 million. However, actual housing completions faltered slightly in October – down 3.4% from September’s 914,000 to a rate of 883,000.

According to Odeta Kushi, chief economist at First American, the construction industry faces several supply-side headwinds like increasing material costs (specifically rising lumber costs), a chronic lack of construction workers, a dearth of buildable lots, and restrictive regulatory requirements in many markets.

“The current housing market is characterized by robust demand, but not enough homes for sale,” Kushi said. “There are signs that this situation may improve in the months to come. In October, single-family housing starts increased to a post-Great Recession high, increasing 29% from October 2019 as builders overcame these headwinds and broke ground on more homes. Single-family housing permits, a leading indicator of future starts, also increased by nearly 21% relative to one year ago.”

The rise in single-family permits in conjunction with the rise in construction employment in October signals an upward trajectory for housing starts looking ahead, Kushi noted.

Beyond employment, the National Association of Home Builder’s housing market index revealed builder confidence is at an all time high. However, Zillow economist Matthew Speakman said it’s going to take more than just confidence to meet demand.

“Home builders have their foot on the gas, but given sky-high levels of builder optimism it feels like they’re still leaving a good bit in the tank. But this surge in optimism continues to translate to only modest growth in home building activity,” Speakman said. “Housing starts through October are up 6.7% compared to the same period in 2019, and were revised up for September, a small indication that builders are finding ways to expedite projects and get to work when and where they can.

“Even so, volatile materials costs and a shortage of available land continue to hold builders back from truly hitting their stride. And flat permitting activity shows that the future project pipeline isn’t exactly overflowing. As a result, it appears that builders are being more selective with the jobs they take on, with most opting to embark on single-family projects,” Speakman said.

Though selectivity may be a factor, Duncan also sees a slower pace of growth coming.

“Both single-family housing permits and the number of homes authorized-but-not-yet-started were essentially flat over the month, which we believe suggests that the rapid phase of recovery may soon be ending and that further gains will likely be more modest going forward,” Duncan said.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s November forecast included expectations that a strong pace of single-family home starts will continue well in to 2021.

According to Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, that boost in starts should be enough to support the frenzied demand, while still seeing strong home price growth. Kan said a combination of the two trends will lead to a record year of purchase originations in 2021.

The post Increase in housing starts has construction playing catch-up appeared first on HousingWire.



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This year has been full of surprises, but the biggest might be how exceptional the housing market is performing, National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said on Tuesday.

In a panel at the NAR 2020 Realtors Conference and Expo, Yun discussed what a Biden presidency could mean for the housing market, the future of mortgage rates and how to remedy low housing inventory.

Throughout his presidential campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden advocated for housing, including introducing a $15,000 homebuyer tax credit.

“[The tax credit] would be immediately available at closing, so rather than filing your tax return on April 15 to get this tax credit, it would be available immediately at the closing, which in essence means that it is a downpayment assistance,” Yun said. “I’m sure there will be some income phase-out so that millionaires do not get this, but for many moderate-income families, this could be quite substantial down payment assistance.”

A lingering trend in the housing market has been the increase of homeowners relocating to the suburbs and vacation towns. Now that work-from-home policies have been implemented for many, employees don’t need to live in the cities anymore. In fact, Yun said that working from home has made office occupancies decrease by nearly 41%.

While working from home has been widespread as a result of the pandemic, Yun said that he believes this trend will continue even once a vaccine has been discovered.

“…If one does not have to commute every single day, then people may say ‘well I don’t mind living further out from the downtown areas,’” Yun said.

Homeowners are relocating to bigger, more expensive homes. Not only that, but more homes are becoming multi-generational, too.

“The rise in prices partly reflects that people are buying larger size homes, so prices are rising,” Yun said. “But if you look at the constant quality price index, like Case Shiller or FHFA…it is also beginning to show slight acceleration. And I anticipate as more data becomes available, it will show even greater acceleration based on the trend of the multiple offers.”

Housing inventory has remained lower than ever this year. Yun said one thing that could encourage builders to create more inventory would be a tariff that could bring down the price of lumber.

Going forward, Yun said that the homeownership rate could be challenged because “we simply don’t have enough supply.”

“Not enough homes for sale means multiple offers, prices rising too fast, and it may limit some of the renters from becoming owners,” Yun said. “So this is concerning, we need to ensure that one exchange is available so we can move those land sales into home builders because we need to boost the housing supply. Same situation for newly constructed home inventory…very abnormal condition, just not enough supply.”

Mortgage rates have also been lower than ever this year. Yun predicts that in 2021, mortgage rates will stay roughly the same.

“It was two days ago when Freddie Mac’s CEO said he is resigning, and I think that’s based on the decision that Joe Biden will be the incoming president, because he may have perceived that Fannie and Freddie perhaps could be privatized under President Trump,” Yun said.

“But now under Joe Biden, he will be widening of the government guarantee, which means that mortgage rates should remain very low without the privatization because we want to ensure that Fannie and Freddie do not make a mistake of chasing after subprime lending as what happened 10 years ago, but just serve the role of homeownership to assure that government guarantee provides the lowest interest rates for credible homebuyers.”

Over the summer, housing markets remained busy due to pent up demand from spring-time homebuyers waiting out the pandemic. Yun said that winter should remain busy as well, and even into spring 2021.

“Pending contracts are up strongly, implying that this winter may be one of the best winters for home sales activity,” Yun said. “I mean, it’s not going to be spring or summer, so one has to compare this winter with other past winters. And by winter to winter comparison, this year could be one of the best based on the breakout of the pending contracts at a much higher level.”

The post NAR chief economist on 2021: Expect a brisk winter home-buying season appeared first on HousingWire.



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The Mortgage Bankers Association on Tuesday released revised estimates for the third and fourth quarter of 2020 as well as predicting record purchase volume for 2021. Although The MBA expects decreased numbers of refinancings will lower overall origination next year to around $2.56 trillion, that would still be the second-highest number in the last fifteen years.

The rebounding economy is also likely to mean higher mortgage rates, with the MBA forecasting 2.9% by the end of 2020, rising to 3.3% by Q4 2021.

MBA is forecasting a rise in purchase originations to $1.59 trillion – more than the previous all-time high of $1.51 trillion in 2005 — but sees refinances decreasing to $971 billion.

“The housing market has seen a meaningful rebound since the onset of the pandemic,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA chief economist. “Record-low mortgage rates have led to a surge in borrower demand for refinances and home purchases.”

For November 2020, the MBA reports an expected $3.9 trillion in mortgage originations – the highest since 2003 and a 50% increase from 2019. 


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That includes an expected 91.5% jump in refinance originations to $1.97 trillion – also the highest since 2003 – and a forecasted 16% rise in purchase originations to $1.42 trillion, the highest since 2005. 

In October, MBA estimated an upward revision in total mortgage originations of only $3.175. Now, third- and fourth-quarter volumes have been revised from $860 billion to $962B, and $824 billion to $937 billion, respectively.  

The median price of new homes in 3Q20 was reported at $330,600. That is expected to rise to $339,000 in 4Q20. However, existing-home price averages are expected to drop again in 4Q20, from $297,200 to $294,900. This continues the downward trend from 2Q20, when existing home price averages were at $309,200.

With record purchase volume, this points to a rebounding economy in 2021, MBA reports. They expect a growth rate of 3%, and an improving unemployment rate that reaches 5% by the end of 2021.   

Other 2021 expectations from MBA include a consistent federal funds rate per quarter, estimated at .125; and an increasing 10-year treasury yield per quarter – 1.0 in 1Q21 to 1.4 in 4Q21.

The post MBA predicts record purchase volume in 2021 appeared first on HousingWire.



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With COVID infection rates exploding and hospitalization rates rising as we go into the cold winter months, the risk this poses to our recovering housing market is a question that should be addressed. In a previous article, I identified infection rates during the winter months as one of the economy’s high-risk variables.

Before COVID-19 hit our shores, we were trending at 10% growth, working at cycle highs in demand. The housing heat months for the MBA purchase application data are from the second week of January to May’s first week. Typically, after May, total volumes fall as seasonality kicks in. We had double-digit growth until March 18.

Then COVID-19 hit and we had nine consecutive weeks of year-over-year declines. The fear of the virus, the stay-at-home orders, a collapsing stock market and a rising financial stress index all played a part in the market’s rapid decimation. Four weeks into the decline, the market stabilized, and the rate of decline stopped, then began to recover over the next five weeks.

We eventually turned positive on a year-over-year basis and got a true V-shape recovery, despite all the Housing Bubble Boys’ protestations calling for a crash. You may have heard whispers about a “W-shape market,” meaning a decline after the recovery. But instead, we have had 25 straight weeks of year-over-year growth, averaging over 20%.


I expected the year-over-year purchase application data growth to be moderate, but so far, it has continued on its 20% year-over-year growth trend for 25 weeks. Much of this growth can be ascribed to make-up demand for the nine weeks of declines we saw in the traditional heat months. Total volumes that would typically fall after May are finally showing some of the common seasonality factors with this data line.

In November and December, the year-over-year growth should moderate , and the surge in cases could assist in this moderation.

For the last six weeks, purchase applications have been up by double digits compared to 2019. Remember, this metric is forward-looking by 30-90 days. 

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We always want to keep an eye on the year-over-year growth data. But, with rising cases and more restrictions being put in place, the question remains whether the housing market will be negatively impacted in the short term.  

The answer is, yes, it could be negatively impacted, but two factors will keep it from looking like it did in late March and April. 

First, we’ve all been here before. For the most part, we are no longer prone to panic when infection rates rise. As a country, we are learning to consume goods and services with an active virus infecting and killing Americans every day. We are not hoarding toilet paper or hunkering down in our homes, afraid to open our computers and check out what is on the market. 

And second, COVID tests are more widely available, treatment for infections show great promise, and effective vaccines appear to be just around the corner.  

For these reasons, the virus and society have reached a kind of detente. We still need to be wary and careful, but we no longer have the energy to maintain strict vigilance. Also, the raw shock and fear of having an active virus come into our economy, which was working from the longest economic expansion ever recorded in history, can’t be replicated. 

Higher infection rates and the resumption of shut-down protocols can drive growth into single digits compared to last year, but we should still see growth.

Low mortgage rates and the most prolific housing demographic patch ever in U.S. history (ages 26-32 are the biggest in America) will soften any downturn in the market due to COVID-19. Next year, a vaccine and better treatments — once distributed — will have confidence roaring back. 

The financial markets appear to agree with my assessment that housing and the economy will remain stable, despite the recent COVID-19 surges.

Last Friday, the stock market hit an all-time high, and last week the 10-year yield hit a recent high of 0.98% — a mere 2 basis points away from checking off the last variable of the America is Back (AB) model

On March 9 2020, the bond market was trading at 0.32%. We are a long way from those fear-ridden days. Friday’s close showed confidence in a better future as wonderful news on an effective vaccine hit the wires last week.

Another measure of confidence, the St. Louis Financial Stress Index, has been declining after the initial spike earlier in the year. The index is currently at -0.3909%. Anything below zero indicates confidence in the financial markets. As long as this stays below 1.21%, we should be OK.

The bond market, the stock market, and stress indicators all held up OK with the second surge of infections we had a few months ago. So far, they have also held up during the current surge with winter coming. We still have higher real disposable income levels and savings rates than the pre-COVID-19 era. Any more disaster relief, which should have already happened, would just add to these positive data lines. Also, to note, we have regained 12 million jobs in the past few months. 

Even if we had not experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases, I would expect housing data to moderate. The parabolic growth in some of the housing metrics isn’t normal. So we could see more moderation in the year-over-year growth for the purchase application data to bring these numbers back to the pre-COVID-19 trend.

Be careful of housing bears trying to bestow their housing crash and W-shaped theories when this occurs. Don’t get too concerned over any slowing down of the economy as long as the 10-year yield is above 0.62%. This has been my main rule of thumb since this crisis started.

We are almost through this. I still believe with my heart, mind, and soul what I wrote on April 7, 2020 – our victory may be delayed, but it is still within our grasp:

“I believe the months of April and May are going to tell an epic story of America’s start in defeating this virus.  If we do this right and document the cause and effect of our efforts, future generations will be able to look to this period in time for how to handle a global pandemic. My faith in America winning has never let me down because I always believe in my people and country. I can tell you now, this virus isn’t changing my view on that.”

The post What the surge in COVID cases means for the housing market this winter appeared first on HousingWire.



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Add another lender to the IPO clown car: venture-backed Better.com.

The digital lender, run by CEO Vishal Garg, selected Bank of America and Morgan Stanley to prepare an initial public offering slated for 2021, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.

The company will seek to beat the $4 billion valuation it was given in its most recent $200 million Series D funding round, according to Bloomberg’s anonymous sources. Better.com could go public as soon as January.

In early October, as rumors swirled that Better.com was raising a big funding round ahead of an IPO, Garg told FinLedger that Better.com went from losing money to achieving “enviable profit margins.” That was largely due to heavier loan volumes, which have been driven primarily by refinancings.

As for the IPO, “we’ll do it when it’s right,” he told FinLedger Managing Editor Mary Ann Azevedo at the time.

Garg said customers wouldn’t be edged out when the IPO happened.

“One of the core tenets of American capitalism is the ability for your customers to buy your stock,” he said. “If I like Coca Cola, I can buy Coca Cola stock. If I use Microsoft products or Apple products, I can buy Apple stock. I think that trend of startups holding out ’til the growth slows and the consumer can’t participate in disruption is actually a bad one, and I think it leads to bad outcomes.”

Better.com, founded in 2014, raised $235 million last year and has been on a hiring spree ever since. It now has over 3,000 employees, many of whom, about 500, are non-commissioned loan officers. Its backers include L Catterton, Activant Capital, Ally Financial, Goldman SachsKleiner PerkinsPing An InsuranceCiti and American Express. Better.com has raised $410 million since its founding.

The firm, headquartered in New York, is looking to gobble up market share through its tech platform and the convenience it provides prospective borrowers. Better.com sells its mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and then partners with sub-servicers to handle loan servicing.

Per data from Recursion Companies, Better.com originated about $4.6 billion in mortgages during the third quarter, making it the 32nd largest lender in the country. Only nine other lenders sent more loans to Fannie Mae during the third quarter, according to Recursion data.

Like a number of its competitors, Better.com could struggle to maintain such enviable profitability due to larger market forces in the mortgage industry. Most observers believe 2021 will shift from a refi environment to purchase.

Beyond that, Better.com is competing with resurgent retail banks and a slew of newly-capitalized independent mortgage banks.

Since Rocket Companies became the first of the IMBs to tap the public markets in August, several others have followed suit. Guild Mortgage debuted in October, though market volatility led Caliber Home Loans and AmeriHome Mortgage to delay their IPOs.

United Wholesale Mortgage is expected to make its debut via a blank check company in the fourth quarter, at a valuation of $16.1 billion.

LoanDepot this week also announced it was pursuing an IPO, though it has yet to announce how many shares would be sold or the pricing target. Bloomberg previously reported that the California-based lender had been targeting an IPO that would value it between $12 billion and $15 billion.

James Kleimann is the Mortgage Editor of HousingWire. Write to him at jkleimann@housingwire.com

The post Better.com, valued at $4B, prepares for IPO in 2021 appeared first on HousingWire.



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Vacation areas and luxury housing markets aren’t the only ones benefitting from a wave of pandemic buyers: southeastern locales are also filling up. Metro areas with the biggest increases in net inflow in the third quarter included Little Rock, Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; and Knoxville, Tennessee, according to Redfin.

Homes are “singing out the door about as fast as they come on the market,” in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to Melissa Bond, a Realtor at United Real Estate – Central Arkansas.

According to the Little Rock Realtors Association in Arkansas, listing count is down 40.5% in October year over year, and there is currently only 2.1 months’ worth of inventory, down 53.5% year over year. In October, pending sale count was up 96.9% from last year.

Because inventory is so low, Bond said she’s been encouraging her clients to sell sooner rather than later.

“My business never really slowed down [in light of COVID-19] because part of it is people have got to move,” Bond said. “I mean, sometimes it doesn’t really matter what’s going on in the world.”

The higher end of the Little Rock market is also considerably stronger, which Bond said includes homes priced at $500,000 and above.

“I think interest rates and the opportunity for people to move up is stronger than it’s been a while,” Bond said.

Deanna Vreeland-Abell, an agent with Century 21 Dick Vreeland & Associates in Louisville, Kentucky, said that her buyers are taking advantage of low-interest rates and are buying more expensive homes.

The reason? Homebuyers are seeking more space now that families are spending more time at home together working and schooling.

“I think people are definitely upsizing for that reason, so that they can spread out when everybody’s at home working and doing school remotely,” Vreeland-Abell said.

In addition to home sales, Vreeland-Abell said that her rental market is hot, too.

“We put a house ready to rent on the market… it’s usually gone within, say, a week to two weeks,” Vreeland-Abell said. “We had a lot of new apartment complexes going up in our area which, typically you would think, would drive down the demand for the single-family but we’ve had no decrease in demand at all.”

Century 21 Legacy agent Joanne Mielenz had a home she was going to show in Knoxville, Tennessee, that was worth $1.1 million, then when she pulled up to the house it was already sold.

“It’s quite a crazy market,” Mielenz said. “We have the lowest inventory of almost all time. We have more pendings than we do inventory, and from the day a home goes on the market to the day it closes is 40 days.”

Mielenz sells land in a lakefront division, and she said this market is the hottest it has been in 11 years. She doesn’t see business slowing down even with the holidays approaching.

“I went to go look at a house today, a preview…couldn’t get in, it’s already pending,” Mielenz said. “So, it’s quite a hot market, if you got a good house it’s going to go.”

Over in Nashville, Tennessee, Troy Charlton with Century 21 Charlton Realty Company, said that single-family housing inventory this year is half as much as it was last year.

“Our market is pretty, pretty hectic,” Charlton said. “[Inventory is] our biggest struggle as far as buyers go, but as far as sellers go, it’s just not a lot of competition out there.”

Although a trend with homebuyers during the pandemic is to seek homes with bigger yards and extra rooms since kids are schooling from home in most places, Charlton said that backyards aren’t as big of a deal anymore in his market. Instead, homebuyers want homes that require less upkeep and more convenience.

According to Redfin, Nashville is ranked as No. 7 on its Top 10 Metros by Net Inflow of Users, saying that 37.8% of its users searched for residences in Nashville, with the highest number of searchers in New York City. Charlton added that there are lots of buyers coming from Florida and Texas, too.

“It is a great time to sell, [but] buying right now is hard, it’s so hard especially for first-time buyers,” Charlton said. “You want to write them the best offer but then, you can’t overextend them, but then it’s what it takes to get it.”

In Kentucky in the month of September, the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors said that with 45% less inventory, the average home sale price was up 7.3%.

In Lexington, Kentucky, Brent Simpson of Century 21 Simpson and Associates said the volume of sales he has seen is “incredible,” and that his market is “very, very competitive.”

According to Simpson, the volume of sales increased from 2019 to 2020 by $86.8 million.

“I’ve heard one of my fellow Realtors say they put a house on the market, and had 25 offers on the first day,” Simpson said. “It went over asking, of course.”

Like Vreeland-Abell’s market, Simpson said that the rental and condo market is performing just as well as single-family homes.

“There’s no discrimination, they’re all popular,” Simpson said. “It’s just people saying, ‘does that fit my needs?’ So, we have seen a lot of condos, a lot of townhomes, a lot of single families that are just going very quickly, and multifamily in and around Central Kentucky is very strong.

The post Southeastern housing markets have homes “singing out the door” appeared first on HousingWire.



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American homeowners are sitting on a record amount of home equity, but many are not accessing what might be their greatest source of wealth. The situation has given rise to a fairly new concept called homeownership investment, which may transform the way consumers cash in on their home equity. Patch Homes is one such company looking to grow in this burgeoning space.



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PeerStreet is rolling out a new product to boost liquidity for investors. The real estate investment platform is offering investors the chance to invest in shorter term loans ranging from 30 days to 36 months through its new Cash Offer Loans.



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If you’ve inhaled just the faintest wisp of the particulate billowing out of the internet marketing world in the past 15 years, it was almost certainly in the form of a smoke signal that said, “Content is king.” That concise maxim is a very oversimplified way of laying out the truth behind modern internet marketing. The truth is that all of the gimmicks used by internet marketers to “trick” search engines into good rankings only last a short time before the search engines catch on to them. So, the best way to market yourself online is to legitimately market yourself—which means producing content.

But not all content is equal. Some content is better for some purposes than others, some content is better for some industries than others, and some content is better for some audiences than others. So we’re going to look at various kinds of content and talk about how each one relates to property management marketing.

Breaking Down Content

Content in general breaks down several different ways. For the purpose of marketing yourself, the primary way to break content down is by intent. You should always know whether the content you’re creating is intended as:

  • Content that gets attention, generally for the purpose of increasing awareness of your brand, products, or services;
  • Content that motivates action, obviously used to sell, but less obviously used to get sign-ups for repeat marketing efforts (i.e. “clubs,” newsletters, direct mail efforts, or any other “opt-in” marketing); and
  • Content that relates information, most often used to prove your expertise and legitimacy within your industry or to legitimately teach or inform.

Too many businesses just spit out content without knowing what each piece is for, and that makes for a very wasteful content-production effort. We’ll talk a bit about how to know what kind of content you need to be creating in out next post, but for now let’s move on to other ways to think about content. You can also analyze content by its format:

  • “Snackable” content is designed to be consumed in a very short timeframe and have an impact due to being easy to digest and provoke a striking reaction. Because it’s both striking and easy to digest, snackable content is highly sharable—in fact, most content that goes viral is snackable content. If you’re talking written content, you’re usually looking at a single paragraph or tweet. Graphical content is almost always snackable unless you’re making a huge infographic or a visual novel. Snackable videos are generally no longer than a typical commercial on TV.
  • “Midrange” content is designed to balance accessibility with information—it’s not as immediately impacting as snackable content, but it’s easier on the brain than long-form content. It’s what you create when you want to sell something, or when you want to convey the gist of a complex subject without getting into intricate detail. Most blog posts are “midrange” content, as are the aforementioned infographics. Videos demonstrate the balancing act midrange content performs: you can have information-dense minute-and-a-half video, or a seven-minute lighthearted and flowing video and they’re both midrange content, because it’s less about the how long it takes to consume, and more about the total cognitive load the content puts on the consumer.
  • “Long-form” content is designed to really capture the consumer’s focus, convincing them to devote a significant amount of time and energy interacting with the content. Psychologically, the more a consumer feels like they can interact with your content for an extended time, the more likely they are to consider you trustworthy. Long-form content is also obviously the best for teaching complex topics.

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Related: How to Write SEO-Friendly Content for Your Real Estate Website

The last way to break down content that we’ll talk about here is breaking content down by medium. Content that you create for Facebook, for example, should be very different from content you create for LinkedIn, even though both are considered social media. Every medium has its own unique flavor, and you should keep the attributes of your intended medium in mind when you create your content. But more than just the medium-specific flavor, there are also attributes of the general category of medium:

  • Social media posts include tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Reddit posts, and any other sort of content that is going to show up in a stream or timeline that includes a number of other posts from a bunch of users. Social media, more than any of these other categories, all but requires a specific format: You must post snackable content to social media, because the posts are competing for a very limited “bandwidth” of consumer attention. Content that is too complex will be ignored or at best read but not shared—and sharing is literally the point of social media (more on that in our post devoted to social media in a few weeks).
  • Articles and blog posts include any sort of content that appears as a standalone web page that has its own ranking on the search engines and is largely static. This includes YouTube pages, podcasts, actual blog posts, and Q&A posts like those on Quora or WikiHow. These media can be used for any of the purposes, but they also serve the important extra function of acting as an SEO tool (see our SEO post in a couple weeks for details on that).
  • Page content includes any content you put up on a website that you own and control. Page content almost always serves the purposes of “establish legitimacy,” “sell stuff,” or “help existing customers.” Because of that, it’s almost never snackable. Page content is the stuff your entire sales funnel points toward (and if you haven’t guessed the pattern, you can come back next week for some more detail on what that means).
  • Directed content includes any content that you target a list of specific individual consumers with. The most common forms of directed content are emails, but almost any channel that offers direct messaging, from Skype to Facebook, can be used to deliver direct content. Direct content is unique in that it’s the only kind of content that is likely to be considered “spam” and thus actually turn the receiver against you if used improperly. Because of that, it’s usually a good idea to only create directed content that targets people who have opted into receiving them.

There is a vast array of other forms of content that have occasionally been used by businesses in the past, but are largely not worth the effort. Posts on message boards, “social bookmarks” like the ones you can create on Digg or Delicious, directory entries (on websites that just list other websites), and comments put on other peoples’ content are all things you might hear about people using in various marketing efforts, but none of them have been terribly useful in the past several years at least.

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How to Use These Categories

It should be obvious by now that every piece of content falls into every one of these categories, and each category affects the structure and format of the end product. In an ideal world, each piece of content would go through a “conception phase” that went:

  • What is our goal? (What purpose does this content serve?)
  • What format is best suited to that goal?
  • What medium is best suited to host that format for that goal?

But of course in the real world, a number of concerns can twist that formula on its ear. Let’s take this very post as an example. In this case, we knew that we had to give BiggerPockets a few blog posts because it’s been a little while since we posted here and we needed to rebuild a little momentum. So, we started with the medium of the BiggerPockets Blog in mind.

BiggerPockets’ blog here is known as a place where experts come to share their expertise as a form of marketing—which means generally the content here is on the long end of standard or is out-and-out long-form content. Furthermore, the flavor of BiggerPockets is “networking business casual,” so you’ll almost never see anyone around here putting up content that is silly fun, openly provocative, or straight sales-pitch material.

Related: How to Correctly Format Content on Your Website for Thousands of Online Leads

We use this platform for the purpose of establishing our expertise as property managers, knowing from experience that people who read our posts here are likely to see the content we’ve produced over the years and think, “Hey, these guys obviously know what they’re doing.” Then if they ever decide they need a property manager in the Metro Detroit area, they’ll recognize our name and be more inclined to call us first.

So the medium and the purpose both point strongly at long-form content—which obviously this is, seeing as we’re approaching the 1,500th word of this post and we’re just now getting to the wrap-up.

The Wrap-Up

Content still is king when it comes to internet marketing—you literally can’t perform online marketing without it. But it’s not enough just to put words into the ether; you should have a grasp of the why (purpose), how (medium), and what (format) before you start producing. But while content is vital, you also need to understand how each piece of content connects to the pieces around it—called your sales funnel. Come back next week for an equally in-depth examination of sales funnels, how they work, and how they connect your various forms of content to your sales, branding, and market efforts.

How do you craft content you know will target the correct audience?

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Megatel Capital Investment, Megatel Homes’ capital markets division, promoted Kris Masias to vice president, sales desk and operations. Along with Masias’ promotion, Megatel is promoting Stormi Mills to operations and client relationship manager



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