What’s ahead for the real estate market in 2019? While there’s plenty of speculation about new construction slowdowns, a low inventory of existing homes and rising housing prices and mortgage interest rates, nobody knows for sure yet exactly what the new year will bring. Even without a crystal ball to see into the future, there are some things real estate professionals can do to prepare for what’s in store for the coming year. Here are some tips:
1. Do Your Own Research
Read a wide variety of different forecasts and opinions from financial and real estate experts from different parts of the country. In addition to trade publications and online sources, listen to podcasts, radio programs, and watch financial news programs. Then, draw your own conclusions based on what you’ve seen and heard so that you can answer questions and give informed opinions when clients turn to you for expert advice about what’s ahead. Be sure to make copies of any articles that you find particularly interesting to share with clients and colleagues, or save the links to pass along.
2. Attend Industry Functions
This is an ideal time to network and to hear speakers address predictions and projections for 2019. Local and national industry and association meetings, conventions, and seminars can provide valuable market information as well as provide opportunities for question-and-answer sessions and the exchange of ideas. Make time to attend as many events as your calendar and schedule can accommodate.
3. Talk to Your Mortgage and Banking Contacts
Now is a good time to meet with your partners in the mortgage and banking sectors to find out what they see happening in the coming year. They may also be able to provide information about any changes to the mortgage application or approval process that could affect your clients and closing timeframes.
4. Survey Clients
Sending a brief, informal survey to your clients by mail or by email is a good way to gauge their real estate market outlook as well as whether they have plans to buy or sell a home in 2019. A survey also provides you with a touch point for helping to maintain client relationships. In addition, it gives clients the opportunity to ask you questions about the market in your area.
5. Update Technology
Whatever is in store for real estate market trends, one thing that is for certain in 2019 is that technology will continue to play an important role. Update your cell phone, computer, tablet, or any other outdated technology so that you can have the tools you need to succeed next year.
6. Revise Your Provider Network
Sometimes it takes a village to sell a home, and the relationships you have with provider partners can be crucial in closing transactions. Review your provider network and touch base with any partners you haven’t worked with in a while. In addition to a mortgage broker or lender, it’s a good idea to have established relationships with a home inspector, a home warranty provider, an appraiser, a pest control professional, a home stager, and movers. Clients may also ask you for other referrals, including roofers, pool inspectors, home stagers, movers, painters, and other services.
7. Add Value to Your Service
To be prepared for whatever the 2019 real estate market brings, look for ways to add value to the service you provide to your real estate clients. For example, adding an American Home Shield® Home Warranty to each transaction is a great way to reassure buyers and sellers, build client loyalty, and help deals close smoothly. Make sure your clients know that while markets may fluctuate, the caliber of service you deliver never will. To learn more about an American Home Shield Home Warranty and how it can help protect your client’s budgets, contact your local Account Executive.
For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.