Realtors Shift Strategies in Cooler Market
Photo courtesy flickr user "[Mr. T in DC]" under a Creative Commons 2.0 attribution license.
Dona DeZube, Monster Finance Careers Expert
Cooling real estate markets have Realtors in many areas preparing for life after bidding wars and overnight increases in home prices.
Time to pack up those open house signs? Hardly, say agents like Susan Huerta of Long & Foster Real Estate in Clarksville, Maryland. Her business strategy includes a focus on first-time and other buyers rather than sellers. She also is increasing her marketing efforts.
June Fletcher, author of House Poor: Pumped Up Prices, Rising Rates, and Mortgages on Steroids: How to Survive the Coming Housing Crisis, says Realtors can prosper in changing markets by offering extra services to customers sophisticated enough to sell their own homes but too busy to do so. These services could include arranging the move or researching schools.
Check out these five expert tips on finding new business in cooling real estate markets.
Be Straight with Sellers
In areas where markets are depreciating and homeowners are losing equity, Realtors can offer programs a la carte — charging separately for services like holding an open house or listing a property with the multiple listing service. Offering discounted, flat-fee listing services is another option. “There will be people who are going to need to save every penny,” Fletcher says.
Seller education should be at the top of your to-do list, says Pam O’Connor, president and CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Some homeowners may not realize prices are declining.
That means agents must “demonstrate the market by showing year-over-year and even month-over-month numbers from the multiple listing service,” O’Connor says. “They can show current listings of comparable homes online so they can see if overpriced homes are sitting, how similar homes are priced and how they compare in terms of updating, amenities, etc.”