I believe the agents who work their butts off this December and January will write the script for a year of remarkable business success in 2013. Forget pessimism and opinion about housing and the economy, and consider the following information as you plan for the next year:
Housing Recovery: By all indications the national housing market is making a strong recovery, which has been verified by multiple sources over a period of time. Every market has its own level of recovery, so you need to know the stats for your local area.
Confidence: An increase in Buyer and Seller confidence should drive more sales. Agents need to be prepared to reinforce this confidence with facts. Create a buzz among your sphere that now is the time to buy or sell.
Affordability: Any agent who considers first time home buyers or move up buyers as target customers should understand affordability inside-out. The combination of record low interest rates, increasing rental costs, and suppressed home prices has created one of the highest levels of affordability in history.
Home Prices: As home prices in many markets increase, the homeowner's equity will increase. This means people who a year ago could not afford to sell may now be in a better position. This is a great opportunity to prospect for withdrawn and expired listings. Maybe you even met with an owner over the last two years only to realize they didn't have the equity to list. Offer these clients a 2013 moving consultation.
Inventory (for sellers): Five years after the mortgage meltdown, supply and demand as it relates to the number of available homes for sale and the number of homebuyers in the market has finally balanced. Smart agents will know which local areas have low inventory and prospect for listings in this area. Sellers who felt they couldn’t sell due to high competition should be ready to list this spring.
Investment Property: Combine the near halt in new construction (creating a housing shortage) with the recession (leaving some weary of home ownership) and you have a recipe for a landlords’ market. Rental rates are on the rise, and agents who understand investment property and put the right deals in front of investors will prosper.
New Construction: Despite the slow down in new construction over the last few years, it is now making a huge comeback and agents should seek these listing opportunities. Never assume the builder already has an agent or sales team who they’re happy with.
FSBO: As the housing market improves and third party home search sites offer listing placement for FSBO, we will start to see many more of these listings. Be prepared on two fronts. Your buyers will want to see these and it may be a good opportunity to prospect for these listings.
When you look at these market factors you should see opportunity to grow your business. Will you implement a strategy to capitalize this spring, or will you let the competition pull away?
By Nathan Froelich