Hearing the headlines that interest rates have doubled, sales have slowed, demand has dwindled... leaves little doubt, the Real Estate market is changing. Just one quick glance at my morning Market Watch (for Montgomery & Howard County) confirms that. The number of active listings is often in the triple digits whereas a few months ago I sometimes only saw a single digit. There are more listings with price adjustments and more listings are being withdrawn. And the numbers behind Price Decrease and Price Increase have flipped. The craziest days seem to be behind us (for now).
Besides these numbers there is one more sure-fire way of knowing that the market is indeed changing and slowing down: the sheer number of open house announcements and just listed blasts from other agents/brokerages, and solicitations from loan officers!
Not a day goes by now that I find myself on yet another "market minute" email campaign from a loan officer I've never heard of before nor done any business with.
I am also fielding calls from new-to-me or we-met-at-some-point-in-the-past lenders. Just the other day I had a brief conversation with a loan officer I closed one transaction with about a decade ago. We do not have a track record, but I'm good at recalling scenarios. I remember every single one of my transactions. I may not remember all the names, but I remember the property, the people, the details. In this particular case, I distinctively remember that I was not impressed by the communication from this lender.
He hasn't called me in 10 years, but decided to reach out the other day. It's striking how many are doing so, finding the time to get back to the basics after working this crazy market for 2+ years.
There's nothing wrong with reaching out to peeps/peers we've worked with in the past, of course. Getting our faces and properties in front of a (target) audience is part of a successful marketing plan and a successful business. Reaching out, keeping in touch, follow ups, nurturing relationships with referral partners*... are vital ingredients.
But shooting blindly from the hip and inundating others with unsolicited advice and announcements? That doesn't work for me, nor on me. When too many are doing it (as it's becoming the trend again), it just gets lost anyway. But getting all these calls and having to unsubscribe from mass mailers every day is one sure-fire way for me of knowing that the market is indeed slowing down.
On a side note, change is good and necessary, but it hasn't been a dramatic shift thus far. The numbers above tell only half the story, but more about that later.
* I do frequently refer to loan officers and provide customers and clients with my short referral list. I refer to LOs who have impressed me as well as past clients with their commitment to excellence, timely communication, knowledge, problem solving and ability to successfully navigate to the closing table, but not because they've placed my name on a mass mailer.