Thursday, March 10, 2016

Greenville County topped all Counties in South Carolina with House Flips

Article courtesy of the Charleston Regional Business Journal:

Last year, 3,108 single-family homes were flipped in South Carolina, encompassing 5% of all home sales during 2015, according to a report from real estate data company RealtyTrac.

Home flipping — defined as property that is purchased and then resold within a 12-month period — increased by 4% across the Palmetto State since 2014, RealtyTrac said.

The median purchase price of S.C. homes was $85,000, while the flipped price was $130,000, meaning flippers earned an average gross profit of $45,000, the report said.

Across the United States, nearly 180,000 homes were flipped last year, accounting for 5.5% of all sales, according to RealtyTrac.

“As confidence in the housing recovery spreads, more real estate investors and would-be real estate investors are hopping on the home-flipping bandwagon,” Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac, said in the report. “Not only is the share of home flips on the rise again, but we also see the flipping trend trickling down to smaller investors who are completing fewer flips per year. The total number of investors who completed at least one flip in 2015 was at the highest level since 2008, and the number of flips per investor was at the lowest level since 2008.”

The average gross profit for home flipping was $55,000 nationwide, the largest amount since 2005, the report said.

“More inexperienced home flippers with a smaller financial cushion could be a sign of an over-speculative market, but the data indicates that flippers in 2015 continued to operate within relatively conservative margins,” Blomquist said in the report. “Homes flipped in 2015 were on average purchased at a 26% discount below estimated market value and resold by the flipper at a 5% premium above estimated market value.”

Home flipping data for select S.C. counties

flips 2015
% of
total sales
% change
Home flipping
gross profit 2015
Source: RealtyTrac

Applying for the Sales and Marketing Council is Easy

Applying for the Sales and Marketing Council is now easier than ever with our new online application! Click here to access the application where you can easily type in your information and then print and send it to the Home Builders Association or save it and email it to

Why should you join the SMC? Read our last blog post to see why the sales skills of those in the housing industry affects the housing market as a whole. Also be sure to visit the SMC web page for testimonials, benefits of membership, and more.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Importance of Sales and Marketing

The article below details the importance of constantly improving your sales and marketing skills and consistently evaluating the housing market of your area. If these are skills you are looking to improve on, consider joining the Sales and Marketing Council of the Upstate, a council under your Home Builders Association. If you'd like current information on the Greenville housing market, look no further--every year your Home Builders Association of Greenville partners with GGAR and UMLA to host the Housing Market Forecast, where a national economist explains the figures of the current market in Greenville and shares their forecast for the upcoming year. That data is then compiled by your Home Builders Association and the shared with our members. You can find that document here.

Many economists and industry pundits agree that for the foreseeable future, the housing market will continue to improve. But, there’s no doubt that home builders will still have to navigate fierce competition and deal with cautious buyers.

David Levitan, MIRM, CSP, CMP, and CEO of Levitan & Associates, said that although most housing markets are now performing well (compared to recent years), he has been asked to evaluate several communities across the country that are still not performing up to par.

What he found — almost across the board — was home builders and developers who have been doing business in their markets for years without having conducted any market research or developed a marketing strategy.

“The reason for the lack of sales was crystal clear, and not surprisingly, consistent throughout most of these communities,” he said.

Among the greatest offenses:
  • Stale home designs that had not been changed for the past five years or more;
  • Product lines that failed to provide a full spread of designs, styles and pricing;
  • Less-than-ideal, non-competitive locations;
  • Communities built within a short distance of four or more competing builders/developers with almost identical product offerings and more attractive incentives;
  • Sales and marketing staff who had no training and minimal management support or supervision over the years;
  • Outdated advertising, promotional strategies and budgets (e.g., referencing a 10-year-old budget, creating only minor changes to the company website, making feeble attempts at social media).

Because today’s market conditions and buyers are completely different, he said, leaning on the same old strategies has hindered their ability to grow, prosper and be profitable. To get back on track, Levitan recommends the following five steps:

Step 1: Do your research. For every new community you plan to build, analyze the market and determine the local economy and market conditions, examine site conditions, and investigate current and future competition. Doing this type of analysis helps define the playing field, and from there a realistic sales and marketing strategy for success can be developed, Levitan said.

Ask yourself the following questions: What is the quantifiable demand for the location, design and price? What portion of the demand is already being met? What is happening with the resale market – remember it is an integral component of the demand quotient. Where are the holes in the market?

Step 2: Review your own properties, products, company and brand identity. What are the comparative strengths and weaknesses of your location? How does the marketplace perceive your company? What impact do those perceptions have on your ability to do business? Have you created an identifiable unique selling proposition that is meaningful to the consumer? If not, you are simply another seller of the same product, probably offered at similar or higher prices.

Step 3:
Use your research and review or SWOT analysis, to develop housing products that satisfy the needs of the market and are noticeably better in some way than competition.

Step 4: Create and implement a sales and marketing strategy for every new community BEFORE development starts. Use tools that will get your message to your target market in a cost-effective way.

Step 5: Take Step 4 further and create a new sales and marketing strategy that reflects current market conditions for every existing community you have in your portfolio.

While it may take a little time and effort to properly create a development and marketing strategy that will maximize sales and profitability, Levitan believes that the value of doing so is immeasurable.

HUD Issues Proposed Rule to Revise Risk-Sharing Program

In a move that could affect our multifamily members, Housing and Urban Development issued a proposed rule today to revise its regulations for the Section 542(c) Housing Finance Agencies Risk-Sharing Program.

The program provides credit enhancement for mortgages of multifamily housing projects whose loans are underwritten, processed, serviced and disposed of by housing finance agencies (HFAs). HUD and HFAs share in the risk of the mortgage, which enables HFAs to provide more insurance and credit for multifamily loans.

Under the program, qualified state and local HFAs may originate and underwrite affordable housing loans that include new construction, substantial rehabilitation, refinancing and housing for the elderly. HFAs may elect to share 10%-90% of the loss on a loan with HUD. In the event of a claim, the HFA reimburses HUD pursuant to terms of the risk-sharing agreement.

This proposed rule would amend existing regulations for the program so that they better align with policies for other HUD programs, reflect current industry and HUD practices, and conform to statutory amendments.

Additionally, this proposed rule would provide HUD with greater flexibility in operating the Section 542(c) HFA Risk-Sharing program over time, and would provide more flexibility for certain HFAs accepting a greater share of the risk of loss on mortgages insured under the program.

HUD is providing only a 30-day comment period. Comments are due on or before April 7.

NAHB will review this proposed rule in consultation with the Multifamily Finance Subcommittee. Members who wish to offer feedback for consideration as part of the Home Builders Association’s comments should email Michelle Kitchen at

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Saving Money is Easy

Are you buying a new car, truck, or fleet vehicle? Do you use Lowe's ProServices? Do you rent vehicles from Budget, Hertz, or Avis? 
Your Home Builders Association of Greenville membership can save you money on these national brands and more through the Member Advantage program. 

It's Simple
Get your proof of membership form using your NAHB login information. Print the form and bring it with you to your GM, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, or Ram dealer to get a significant discount on your next vehicle purchase. 

It's Everywhere
There are more than 20 national companies that participate in the Member Advantage program. Click here to see a full list of companies that engage in the program, including phone numbers and program codes.

Spring Clean and Help Others--All in One!

Do you have "stuff" you no longer need? Please consider a donation to Habitat's ReStores to help build affordable homes for Greenville families in need.

We accept almost everything - and the kitchen sink! We take household and office furnishings of all types, including cabinets, furniture, fixtures and appliances. We also accept used (and new!) building materials, including electrical supplies and fixtures, tile, doors, windows, and hardware, electronics and tools in working order, and children's items.

With three locations, there's one near you:
  • Downtown (on Rutherford Road near Poinsett Highway)
  • Taylors/Greer (on Wade Hampton Blvd. near Target)
  • Simpsonville (on Highway 14 near Main Street)

Or schedule a pick up!
Give us a call at 312-5016 and we'll send our truck and courteous drivers to pick up your donation.
Click here to submit a request for donation pickup through the ReStore web page.

How Habitat Helps
Habitat's ReStores support the homebuilding program of Habitat Greenville. Qualifying families complete sweat equity and homeowner education, then pay an affordable mortgage that helps build Habitat homes for more families. Learn more about the Habitat ReStore.