As real estate agents enter an increasingly tight market, learning what it takes to be the local market expert will set you above the fray. Inventory is up, there are more real estate agents than ever, and qualified buyers are more able to pick and choose. Be the local market expert, and the buyers that are still looking and able to purchase will pick you over the rest.
Carving out your niche as the local market expert is not as easy as it may seem. The real estate landscape is affected by both local and national market dynamics, including politics, environment, economics, and social trends.
KNOW THE DATA
The first place to being the local market expert is to know your local market data. These include: Amount of active listings, number of pendings, average days on the market, number of sold properties in the last 60 days, average list versus sold price, average price per square foot, and months of inventory. Get to know these stats in your territory and educate your clients. They will thank you.
KNOW THE NATIONAL REAL ESTATE STATS
Know the national numbers (NAR is a good place to go for these). This will give a good comparative backdrop to your local numbers that is helpful for an overall understanding of the real estate market as a whole.
UNDERSTAND YOUR LOCAL AND NATIONAL ECONOMIES
Understand your local economy: What businesses are coming and going and how is this affecting the industry in your local market? This will affect your clients’ motivations for buying and selling. At the same token, you need to understand the national economy because that inevitably has an effect on the local economy and can be a good way to plan for what’s ahead.
KNOW YOUR LOCAL MARKET TRENDS
Who are your buyers, and who are your sellers? Why are they motivated to buy or sell in your area? What can you do to anticipate their needs and deliver service that is useful?
OFFER PEACE OF MIND
It seems obvious, but a home warranty during the listing period and/or after the closing can offer tremendous peace of mind. This is yet another way you can position yourself as the local market expert. For a nominal cost, you can help your sellers and your buyers have one less thing to worry about during the sale or purchase of a home.
SHARE YOUR MARKET DATA
Once you’ve done the research and know the stats, it’s imperative that you find ways to communicate your market expertise with your clients and potential clients. Not only is it a great way to market yourself, it will draw clients to you when they see you as the local market expert. Share your information via social media, newsletters, emails, texts, and on the phone. It’s also a good idea to have a handy social media graphic with these numbers and share them with your contacts. In this way you stay front-and-center and become the go-to agent when your clients and contacts are ready to buy or sell.
Real estate agents who have taken the time to research and understand market dynamics and have an expert grasp are few and far between. Those who develop this expertise and do a good job of communicating market information effectively are the ones buyers and sellers migrate to when looking for knowledgeable representation. Be that agent – be the local market expert.