Saturday, June 17, 2006

Strategies for a Changing Market, Part I

As the marketplace adjusts, agents are struggling with a new reality. In many cities the marketplace is changing from a “hot” seller’s market to a more normal market. In some areas of the country, it has shifter further into a buyer’s market.

We’ve experienced the strong seller’s market in so many parts of the country for at least the last 3-4 years, so for many agents that’s all they know. They haven’t been in the business long enough to experience the natural cycles of the marketplace.

Real Estate has always been a cyclical business. Changes in the market are due to economic factors like: job growth, inflation, supply and demand, the cost of land due to zoning regulations or environmental factors, the trade deficit and the budget deficit which affect the interest rates.

The interest rates have been climbing for the last 1 1/ 2 years. We are no longer at the record lows which made housing so affordable. However, the interest rates are still very attractive. These changes have taken place and many agents are bemoaning or actually resisting the changes.

As Agent CEOs, we need to look clearly at the market, embrace the changes, and adjust our strategies to take advantage of those changes. If we don’t we will be like some sellers who are now ready to sell and want the prices their neighbors got 8 months ago.

Over the next few days, I'll offer four strategies that Agent CEOs can apply directly in their businesses to keep their business humming along, and growing, even in a changing market.