What If All The Real Estate Headlines Are Wrong?

Real Estate Agent with Mark Hoeft Real Estate Broker

What If All The Real Estate Headlines Are Wrong?


OK, time for a 30-second real estate market quiz. Quick...which is the more exciting scenario?

- A man slowly walks down a flight of stairs, sometimes pausing or retracing his steps until he reaches a floor. After trudging along for while, he notices another staircase and begins ascending, occasionally pausing or taking a step back before methodically proceeding upward.

- Ignoring the safety railing, a man hurtles down a terrifically high flight of stairs. He hurries recklessly downward, dodging obstacles in his path as he goes. He suddenly cries out as he loses his footing, sails through the air, tumbles down several flights and crashes through a banister. The badly injured man is bandaged from head to toe and attached to a variety of complex medical devices that monitor his vital signs. Experts debate his condition but agree that the situation is dire and prospects for recovery are uncertain.

...and that's why more headlines say "Home values off the cliff in Phoenix, Miami and Las Vegas" than "Things aren't bad in Seattle, Portland and Charlotte." Most readers just find sensational headlines more interesting. And while they may help sell newspapers, they also scare buyers and sellers to the sidelines, though the news may be very positive for home buyers in particular.

Add public relations acumen to the long list of skills today's real estate professionals need to be successful. Real estate is a long-term investment, but it's easy to lose sight of that fact when current conditions and recovery prospects seem grim. As REAL Trends Editor Steve Murray* says:

"Rather than say 'it is a good time to buy,' sales professionals need to present facts, figures and charts that show it clearly. The time where housing consumers took our word for this has likely come to a close."

The picture isn't all doom and gloom. Real estate pros can make a convincing case that, for many homebuyers, now is a great time to buy. But you're going to need some proof. Get listing data, neighborhood information and compile your own reports on market conditions. Be able to explain market conditions with visual summaries. Provide leave-behind reports and materials homebuyers can reference later.

So what's needed in today's market? In the form of a classified ad, it might look something like this:

Wanted: Real estate professional with public relations skills, local expertise and nerves of steel. Strong understanding of industry trends affecting buyers, sellers and homeowners. Must be able to recognize risks and opportunities inherent in shifting markets, provide candid assessments and expert guidance. Ability to troubleshoot and deliver creative solutions for skeptical consumers. Positive mindset and understanding of buyer and seller psychology required.

Who's on board?

Author note: If you see Steve Murray on the agenda at an industry event, check him out. You can learn more about real estate market conditions in one session than reading real estate headlines for six months.

By Charles Warnock - Marketing Director at eNeighborhoods and Homes.com.

Comments (6)

Betty Knowles
Southwest Missouri Realty - www.teamknowles.com - Springfield, MO
TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate

You make some interesting points. Real Estate really is local no matter what the headlines say.

Jun 29, 2008 12:52 AM
Steve Homer
The HBH Group (Keller Williams affiliate) - Round Rock, TX

Facts are the proper way to make any point, Mark.  And many of our clients will only hear the message if it is proved by fact!

Jun 29, 2008 12:54 AM
Michael "Mike" Miller
My service will move you! Help me, help you!

Mark,  thanks for the post.  The media does seem to make it more necessary for us to prove our cases.  Mike

Jun 29, 2008 01:11 AM
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

That is a great want ad.  I wonder how many people would actually apply for the job

Jun 29, 2008 01:14 AM
Jim Crawford
Maximum One Executive REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

It is a great time to buy before the rates rise.  I like the article, because it is right on the money.  There are also 2 sides to the story, and home prices may fall further, but the cost to finance may be higher.  This is thebottom, the time when a home can be purchased for not only the best price, but the best financing available.

Jun 29, 2008 01:15 AM
IMNJ - Internet Marketing Specialist
Internet Marketing NJ - Red Bank, NJ

Mark - great post and job description. The one thing that worries me right now is the kind of inflation that this country hasn't seen since the 70s. Just take a look at the recent price increases of food, milk, and oil. The year over year percentage increases are insane. If the financials keep on taking a beating through the summer it is going to be a tough second half for all markets.


Best wishes!


Jun 29, 2008 01:22 AM