Are You Playing the Right Role?
Are You Playing the Right Role?
The role of real estate professionals continues to evolve over time. The consumers who use our services continue to redefine what they want most from agents. That’s one of the elements that makes being a practitioner in today’s marketplace so exciting.
When we look at the influence of the Internet, mobile marketing, social media, sales apprehension, buyer fear, lack of equity, foreclosures, short sales, and the increase of cash buyers, we can see all these factors are creating an environment in which consumer demands and expectations are changing rapidly.
Last year, according to NAR’s 2010 Home Buyer and Seller Profile, more people found the home they ended up purchasing through the Internet first (38 percent) rather than a real estate agent (37 percent).
It’s important to note that respondents from each of these groups actually bought their houses through an agent. They just used different search methods to find their home.
The consumer may be changing, but there’s one element of the real estate business that has not gone away or lessened in importance: market expertise. Our service needs to be centered around that core base. If we can continue to establish ourselves as experts, we can hold fast to our value, attract customers and clients, and receive reasonable compensation for our services.
As salespeople and brokers, we have to draw on our knowledge about the local and national real estate market, financial conditions, and economic trends from a broad range of resources. Real estate pros must be well-read and must spend more time studying developments in the industry.
True experts start with their local markets. They clearly understand their area, tracking inventory and reviewing absorption rates to see the overall supply-and-demand picture. They also look beyond their community and region to the national level. Besides the reports regularly generated by NAR Research, there are a number of national home indices that can help you forecast trends and counsel clients, including:
- Clear Capital Home Data Index: This index is published monthly, pulling recent information from recorders’ and assessors’ offices and incorporating proprietary company technology.
- CoreLogic Home Price Index: An index based on price, time between sales, property type, loan type (i.e. conforming vs. nonconforming), and distressed sales. CoreLogic aggregates and sells information on the distressed properties in your area.
- S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: The report is published on the last Tuesday of each month. It’s a composite index of single-family home prices in more than 20 major markets in the United States.
We need to read and understand these and other resources. We also need to read views of the real estate market in major newspapers, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post. By checking out these reports, you can read what is shaping the public’s thoughts on real estate. You can also find articles that are aligned with your views, which often make your points to prospects better than you can.
Are you doing the work required to really claim to be an authority in your field? If not, you should be. Don’t let someone else take your place as an expert in the mind of consumers. In today’s market, that’s a recipe for losing business.