Date Archives: June 8th, 2021

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June
8

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June
8

How many hours have you spent over the last year alone sifting through comps to price a client's home?

Now think: how many days have you spent engaged in this same tedious but very necessary process?

Local expertise is one of the most valuable things about your brand. But you know getting the most accurate and up-to-date information about your real estate market is no easy feat. It means sorting through information sources and putting it all together in a way that makes the answer obvious.

And if it doesn't get done quickly enough, you're back at square one!

Pricing a property is one of the most important services you provide. It makes the difference between smooth sailing to closing day and rough waters. The right price helps your customers compete even when market trends favor buyers over sellers. And, of course, it lets them get more value from their sale.

There is a solution that works for you and your customers: Automated Valuation Models.

Delta Media Group Puts World-Class AVM Within Reach for Your Real Estate Practice

You've probably already heard about AVM. Large agencies and brokerages are using it every single day.

With AVM, real estate professionals benefit from artificial intelligence that's always learning more, not only about your local market but about all the interconnected factors that influence the price of your housing stock. Crunching millions of data points, AI can find patterns invisible to human analysts.

What does this mean to you?

  • Less effort spent gathering data so you can price properties – get vetted insights immediately

  • Greater seller confidence because they can see that you're using a true best-in-class solution

  • On average, faster time to closing and better final sale price for all of your motivated sellers

  • More time in your workday to focus on the tasks that help you grow and scale your practice

Not too long ago, getting a license for an all-in-one AI-driven AVM center of excellence would cost thousands of dollars each and every year. Now, Delta Media Group is making it available to all DeltaNET subscribers. You have the opportunity to leverage dependable and stable artificial intelligence like never before.

With big names entering the real estate field, small and mid-sized practices are now empowered to excel.

DeltaNET AVM Puts You on a Level Playing Field with Your Large, Entrenched Competitors

At Delta Media Group, we believe every real estate professional deserves the opportunity to make a difference in the community. These days that means being equipped with the technology that's transforming the industry.

We've long made AVM available to our clients. Many have been using it as a supplemental resource. Now, after gathering feedback from thousands of agents and brokers around the country, we've raised it to the next level.

Here's a taste of what you get from our stable and dependable AVM solution:

  • AVM Reporting You Can Use at a Glance
    Good AVM should be effortless. Our AVM platform not only turns raw data into insights but communicates them clearly and effectively. You and your clients will easily see exactly how to take action on what you discover.

  • In-Depth Market Condition Reports
    Our hyper-specific market condition reports put you in touch with the pulse of your local community. Current activity is all in one place, including active listings, average days on market, closed sales, and months of supply.

  • The Most Powerful AI-Driven AVM Valuation
    The machine learning behind DeltaNET AVM is many years in the making. Every hour of the day or night, it's learning more to serve you better. It receives data continuously and always shows accurate, timely information.

  • Up to Five Valuations to Use as You See Fit
    Our platform synthesizes input from as much as five trusted sources – RPR, Collateral Analytics, Eppraisal, Zillow, and Delta's own in-house AI-driven calculation. It takes only seconds to determine the optimal value of any home.

  • "Door Knock" Opportunities & Multiple Calls-to-Action
    Our system generates leads even when prospects fail to fill out all information. With calls-to-action throughout the experience, plus reports on how many users are looking for similar homes, there's a true sense of urgency.

Stop Using Pricey Third-Party Service and Bring AVM Home to Your Business

When many agencies and brokerages are looking for new ways to save money, DeltaNET AVM is a golden opportunity. You can simplify, streamline, and cut third-party expenses without compromising quality.

With real estate experts navigating record-low inventories, we know accurate valuation is crucial. To help you flourish in 2021 and beyond, we've re-engineered AVM from the ground up to integrate fully throughout the DeltaNET system. You're never more than a few clicks from AVM excellence.

It's easy to get started now. Contact us for the money-saving in-house AVM solution you've been waiting for.

June
8

It's all about relationships for Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS.

Growing from a basement office in the 1950s to a one-stop real estate company, Hunziker & Associates hasn't simply taken change in stride. Over the last seven decades, the company has embraced change and, more importantly, embraced the people it works with. Whether it's an individual selling their home, a recently-married couple looking to purchase their first house together, or a family ready to build their forever home, Hunziker & Associates has faithfully worked with the Central Iowa community and the people that live in it.

After all, you can't build a relationship without people, and as far as Hunziker & Associates is concerned, no relationship is worth having without a basis of mutual trust.

"One of the big characteristics that we've always had, and we will continue to have, is that our word is our bond," says President Dean E. Hunziker. "If we tell you something, you don't need to write it down. And if an agent sells you something, we stand behind whatever they sold. We're respected for that."

For nearly 70 years, Hunziker & Associates has cultivated that reputation, becoming a go-to partner for just about any real-estate venture. It's even written on their wall in large letters that line the entryway to the company's office in Ames, Iowa, touting their core beliefs and their focus on developing and maintaining positive relationships.

"We understand that this is a relationship business as much as anything," says Sales Manager and Broker Paul Livingston, "and that the foundation of that has to be trust."

Building a One-Stop-Shop of Real Estate Success

When you're in business for more than half a century, it stands to reason that your company's history will be extensive. Hunziker and Associates' story is all that and more, and it began with E.A. Hunziker's decision to build two houses in 1946 and '47. Fast forward to 1952, and, after building Don a duplex to rent, Don Furman partnered with Hunziker to start H&F Builders. From there, the business took off. 

In the first year alone, Furman and Hunziker developed nine lots and built six homes. In 1954, the real estate brokerage, Hunziker & Furman, REALTORS, was added. After taking on a franchise for "National Homes," they set up the first furnished model home in Ames in 1956, priced at $9,750.

While the company continued to grow, more sales associates were added, as was an insurance division, and in 1958, H&F Builders began building apartments. Three years later, a utility installation and excavating business joined the fray, and from 1962-64 an average of 75 homes were built, and 70 lots were developed. Soon, the company was the largest developer, builder, and Realtor in Ames, with a growing reputation that established them as the consummate one-stop-shop.

"If you're going to move, you want to go work with a company that handles residential real estate," Hunziker says, "has resale homes, a large selection of new construction homes, has residential lots in case you want to build a home from scratch, and has apartments in case you need something short-term to rent. It's all right here. One stop. Numerous options."

In 1976, Dean Hunziker purchased the real estate company, continuing to work under the name Hunziker & Furman Realty. Nearly 20 years later, Erb Hunziker and Furman went their separate ways, and the company's name was changed to Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS, with four entities under the new umbrella:

Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS — 44 full-time Realtors focusing on real estate sales. Sales in 2020 were $202 million.
Hunziker Construction Services — Offering complete construction of homes, apartments, and small commercial buildings with annual sales in excess of $25 million.
Hunziker Property Management — Managing more than 1,100 units in the Ames area.
Hunziker Land Development — Developing commercial and residential lots in Ames and Central Iowa.

With so many different aspects to the company, finding consistent success comes down to Hunziker & Associates' relationships. When bringing people into the company, the mindset is simple: Look for those who align with Hunziker's philosophy and mission statement, which is "committed to developing and maintaining positive relationships with individuals and families to meet their real estate needs."

"It's embedded into our culture and the core values of this organization, as to the expectation of what we want from an agent," Livingston says. "That they're ethical, honest, that they have the client's best interest at heart."

The company also boasts an extremely low turnover rate by looking for those individuals who match Hunziker & Associates' values. At its core, this is a family business, and it's that personal touch that affects every aspect of the company day in and day out.

"It's well-known what our expectations of our agents are, and we follow that through in our meetings," says Director of Business Development Becky Barclay. "Then, with the building company, if you're buying an HCS house in Ames, you know the quality you're getting. There's no question about that. We've always maintained high standards of the people we have working for us and the product we put out."

Hunziker & Associates prides itself on the care taken with every interaction, with every partnership, with every client who walks through the office doors. Treating everyone with respect is second nature, simply because that's how any family would act, and Hunziker & Associates considers itself, really, one big family.

"One of the biggest things that we've always stressed is professionalism," says REALTOR Molly Neal-Wong. "Our goal has always been to have the most professional agents, be the best at pricing and customer service, but professionalism is always right at the top."

Recently, Hunziker & Associates restructured its training outline for all incoming agents, streamlining the process and ensuring everyone understands the company's collective mindset from their first day on the job.

"It depends on the person, but we all take part in the hiring process, so we feel like that person will fit what we're looking for as a company," says Lisa Nady, who oversees recruitment and training. "Then, with training and hopefully enough experience, they'll start their careers and get going."

Contending With COVID-19

Staying in business for almost 70 years requires a certain ability to contend with obstacles. And while the COVID-19 pandemic was something unlike anything Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS faced in the past, that initial training for agents, as well as the company's collective experience and standing in the community, ensured it continued to find success last year.

In fact, Livingston says, Hunziker & Associates really only saw its sales shut down for three weeks early in the pandemic before getting back on track for "an outstanding year."

Masks and gloves became the new normal in 2020, as did new office and open-house procedures, plus a more digitally focused mindset, with Zoom meetings and what Hunziker called "an altogether different learning curve."

Still, Hunziker & Associates, as always, kept its focus on relationships, particularly in-house.

"We spent money, as early as February and March, working on our software systems so that folks could adapt," says General Manager Chuck Winkleblack. "So they could access their data and have the information that they needed from home. And then working our way through the Zoom process, and quite honestly, I think we're seeing better participation now in Zoom than we were in some of our other agent meetings."

Hunziker & Associates' one-stop-shop model also allowed clients to make one point of contact for all of their potential real estate dealings throughout the pandemic. And the "Buy Before You Sell" program, which helps clients make a purchase before they sell their home, made it that much easier for customers to feel safe during what can be an exceptionally stressful time in even the most normal of worlds.

Says Neal-Wong: "I've been to people's homes where, even recently, they've said, 'You're the first person that's been in our home in over a year.' So, getting a family to feel comfortable having you into their home and talking about, 'Okay, how do we do this safely?' That's something we've all learned."

Part of the Neighborhood

Hunziker & Associates' reputation is built on providing the sort of service clients can't get anywhere else, but the cornerstone of that success comes from being part of the community itself. As much as the people who move into the houses Hunziker & Associates builds or the families who purchase their homes from Hunziker agents, the people who make up the company also make up the neighborhood they live and work in.

Hunziker, Livingston, and Neal-Wong were all raised in Ames. They know the city's ins and outs — from the quietest streets to the parks with the best potential for summer picnics. They serve on community boards, greet their neighbors by name, and suggest the best restaurants to brand-new residents. "The larger point is, our agents are part of the communities in which they live, work, and play," explains Barclay.

Living and working in the same community also makes Hunziker & Associates ideally suited to give back to it. And give back, they do. The Margaret Hunziker Garden House at Reiman Gardens, DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College) Hunziker Campus, Hunziker Sports Complex, Auditorium in the Ralph Olsen Building, Ames High School Football Field, and many more projects were gifted through Hunziker & Associates. The company also sponsors an ISU scholarship and funded the College of Business, Masters of Real Estate Development degree in fall 2019. Hunziker & Associates supports the United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Ames public library.

"You'll notice most everything we're doing is youth-oriented," Hunziker says. "We touch a lot of people's lives through giving back. And that's a very, very important thing to this organization. If you're earning a living here, you should be giving back here."

Livingston also notes that of the 44-plus agents Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS currently has, nearly all of them are "engaging the community" in some way.

"Whether it's a church or rotary or at the country club or a bowling league or wherever it might be, we have to stay connected," he says. "Many of the agents are very charitable, very giving of their time and money and talents. And again, I think that's embedded in the culture of the organization."

Taking the Next Step in Technology

Throughout its history, Hunziker & Associates has worked with plenty of other companies and, nine years ago, it added another to the list: Delta Media Group®. In that near-decade of partnership, Delta has helped Hunziker automate and elevate, providing SEO and website tools, as well as a CRM that makes everything the company does just a little bit easier.

"[Delta continues] to improve, keep up with changes," Barclay says. "And when we make suggestions or other companies make suggestions, [Delta listens] and tweaks and keeps making improvements.

"There are so many different options out there, and every agent has their favorite that they like to use, but a lot have started to use Delta Media and the CRM, and it's been a good thing for us," Barclay continues, "and when we changed and updated the look, [Delta] worked with us on that. So through the years, it's been a positive experience. [Delta] listened and worked with us."

Marketing Director Chelsea Adams, who joined Hunziker & Associates in December 2020, echoes the sentiment, saying that she noticed "right away how intuitive the backend of the website is to use."

"I have some familiarity with other website platforms, but I had never used DeltaNET®," Adams explains. "And when I came in, it was very easy to begin using. And what I loved was agents using the templates, them being optimized for us. Agents can have their own branding and have their own style, but still be part of the Hunziker family, still be recognized as a part of the Hunziker family and be able to have their own identity as well, which is nice."

What's Next for Hunziker & Associates

When it comes to the future, Hunziker & Associates plans to look forward by first looking back.

"We set goals in the previous year for the coming year, and last year we had a set goal of 660 transactions as a company," Livingston explains. "And I think we had 719. So, that even exceeded our stretch goal of 700. We then set a goal for this coming year, and I think we will be right on track to hit our target again. Our goal is 770, and we should be on pace for that."

At the end of March of 2020, Hunziker & Associates had 205 transactions under its collective belt. By that time this year, 255 transactions had been completed.

"That's a 30% increase," Hunziker says, "now who knows what the rest of the year is going to be like, but it's certainly encouraging, starting off there."

Even with those early-year numbers, Hunziker & Associates isn't taking anything for granted. Success is borne, as it always has been, from relationships, from providing a service people not only want but will come back to. Nothing is ever truly set in stone, and after seven decades, Hunziker & Associates is excited to see what comes next. 

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