“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”-Yogi Berra
Wouldn’t the real estate business be so much easier if we all had crystal balls? Well, you do have a crystal ball. I have one, too. We all do. Look in the mirror and you’ll see yours – your crystal ball is your head. Use it, and you’ll be much better off in 2013 and beyond.
I’ve been using my noggin some during January, and reading up on the market, and I want to share what I believe are some reasonable predictions about what we might see in 2013, and more importantly, how you might capitalize on them.
1. Interest rates will begin to rise slowly. Let me say right up front, I’m not an economist, but many of them, along with lots of other industry analysts, say there’s little doubt rates will rise. And by the fourth quarter of 2013 we’re liable to see them a full point higher than they are right now. How do you capitalize on this? You have to go at your business with a stronger sense of urgency. Yes, you’ll find some sellers who’ll tell you they want to wait till prices rise more. The thing they’re not taking into account is that the longer they wait, the more they themselves will be paying in interest for their new home. So it works both ways. Buyers – and sellers – need to have a sense of urgency during low interest rates.
2. Home sales will rise between six to eight percent. How did I arrive at that? It’s an average of the bulls and the bears. Bullish analysts predict upwards of 10 percent increases; bears say go as low as two percent. Somewhere in the middle is reasonable. Now, how do you cash in on this information? It’s easier to sit on a stool with three legs instead of one. If you broaden your base with some of the residual REO and short sale business with rising traditional home sales, you’ll be sitting pretty – and not fall on your face. Last year was a tough year on the REO side – because of the election year, everything was up in the air. There was a lot of uncertainty, but now I believe we’ll see more distressed properties entering the market along with a strengthening traditional position.
3. We’ll see more activity among second-time homebuyers. Now that the election is over and the economy is showing some positive signs, I think we’ll see more “move up” buyers looking for bigger, nicer homes. NAR says markets across the country will have upwards of 75 percent of second-time buyers during 2013. That’s an awesome market to target, so don’t miss out.
4. Consumers will continue to use the latest technology in their search for real estate. We’ve known for years people search properties online before they talk to agents, but now they’re using mobile devices (iPads, iPhones, etc.). How does your website appear on an iPhone? If you don’t know, find out. There’s a chance it may not look the same way it does on a computer. That means users will leave your site and find one that does look right. Get it fixed or lose business. It’s just that simple.
Let me hear from you. How is your local market looking? Are you seeing some of the same trends locally that are sweeping the nation? Are you prepared to capitalize on those trends? If not, why not? Do you have a plan that you can follow to make 2013 better than 2012? If not, email me today at [email protected] and let me see if I can help you. And you can send any comments or thoughts to that same address or at www.facebook.com/CorcoranCoaching.
Bubba Mills is the COO and Managing Partner at Corcoran Consulting & Coaching Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.