Real Estate 2016: An Open Letter from eCommission Founder, Sean Whaling
Talking to customers throughout the country everyday gives me a unique perspective on what agents might expect in 2016. Will we see another consistent housing market or a slow-down tempered by rising interest rates? Will more Millennials take the plunge into home ownership or Baby Boomers downsize into smaller homes, condos or RVs?
Unless I’m mistaken, it certainly seems like the housing market will continue its rebound, albeit gradual, from the housing crisis of eight years ago. While it’s true that interest rates are on the rise, mortgage rates remain at near-historic lows. What we may see is that a great many potential home buyers who were on the fence will decide to act while the market is still affordable. The challenge will come, however, when home buyers try to find the right home as inventory is less abundant — a carry-over from 2015. As a result, the median price of a home in most markets is bound to rise. But when has supply-and-demand in real estate ever been in perfect balance? On the whole, 2016 looks positive for American families, and the sales professionals who serve them!
Social Media and Real Estate Agents
As always, agents will be confronted with changes in their industry. Take marketing for example: social media platforms continue to evolve and become options for investments in advertising. But which ones are most effective for agents? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? And what about Snapchat, Periscope and Instagram? The jury is still out on some, while ones like Facebook continue to demonstrate their increasing importance.
Clients, peers and industry experts share a continuous stream of suggestions on how to do things differently, better. Read any real estate trade publication, and you’ll notice perpetual suggestions for how to improve your real estate business. I’m sure it can feel overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t have to be. The bottom-line is you have to start with a marketing plan, experiment and evaluate the results. The plan is not cast in concrete, so as you invest in marketing activities, you should analyze its effectiveness and decide if modifications are in order. If Pinterest proves profitable for example, well double down! If online ads in a local culture website works wonders, then consider looking into other popular sites or buying more ads on the same site.
The Importance of Investing in Yourself
While it may be tempting for agents to wait to see which social media platform will be around tomorrow, or whether the spring will usher in the hottest housing market on record, you have to be ready, willing and able to invest in yourself. The agents who dominate in 2016 will be the ones who create a memorable brand, continue to improve their knowledge about real estate and organically grow their network. All of this, of course, requires an investment of time and money.
So better to not sit on the fence when it comes to investing in your future success. The time to act in 2016 is now, before the peak selling season. Whether it’s continuing education, a new sales designation, adding to your real estate team, volunteering in local community activities to grow your network — there is no time like the present to start.
In the words of Warren Buffett, “Whatever makes you smarter, makes you richer.”
Let’s all get a little smarter in 2016 by planning, executing, evaluating and improving all the way through December 31.
All the best for your continued success!
Sean Whaling, Founder & CEO