Part of being a knowledgeable and competent real estate agent means being held to a higher standard of expertise and professionalism. Clients expect you to know and understand trends related to your local market, as well as the real estate industry as a whole.
Being a knowledgeable agent is important because it builds credibility and trust. You should take pride in knowing that you are providing accurate and valuable information to your client. On the other hand, you also have a fiduciary responsibility as a licensed real estate professional to counsel your clients in a way that is in their best interest. This can only be accomplished if you understand what’s going on in the market.
If you are new to the industry or are changing markets, consider these quick tips on how to familiarize yourself with local housing trends.
Network with Local Banks and Credit Unions
Financial institutions are a great resource that can provide valuable insights into consumer activity within local housing markets. Popular lenders should be able to tell you which neighborhoods are seeing growth and if purchases or refinances are seeming more prevalent. They may even be able to outline the trajectory of consumer credit trends, as they relate to ease in attaining new credit, credit utilization, and qualifying credit scores. Lenders can also be a great referral source for new business.
Reach Out to Local Appraisers and Title Companies
If you want first-hand knowledge of local real estate trends, befriend a few local appraisers. Appraisers are the ones on the front lines who actively report on property values throughout various localities. They should be able to give you a good sense of local property values, real estate tax trends, and changes in local building codes and zoning requirements. Similarly, title companies can give information on the volume of closings they have seen. They may also have insider knowledge of up and coming residential or commercial development projects that are rolling out.
Attend Chamber of Commerce Meetings
Local businesses are intimately tied to the local community. Leverage local chamber of commerce meetings to your advantage. Get to know local business owners and discover what business developments are in the works. Businesses go where the money is at, meaning they pop up when there is consumer demand or see opportunities for profit. Commercial development also helps local municipalities grow. As municipalities grow, more housing will need to be developed to accommodate increasing populations. Take advantage of this data and incorporate it into your business strategy. Develop a plan to handle changing demographics. It’s always good to map out local schools and public transit available to consumers, as these can be great selling points.
Engage Realtor and Builders Associations
There is no way to get better first-hand knowledge than to join a local real estate association. By becoming a member and attending local meetings, you can certainly get your feet wet at what is trending in your local market. Not only can local associations provide information on local demographics, but they can specifically outline purchase and marketing trends. Local builders’ associations are also great organizations to engage because they are the ones often tasked with building new housing. At the very least, you should be able to ascertain the number of new starts and types of dwellings being built (i.e. luxury single-family homes, low-income or affordable housing, etc.).
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