Every week, we ask an Atlanta real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Atlanta real estate.
This week, we talked with Kevin Grieco, a Realtor with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s in Atlanta. A member of the Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club, Kevin was also ranked in the top 20 percent of the Southeast region at his former brokerage, prior to joining Sotheby’s. He has served on the Agent Leadership Council, and he now makes his unique mark on Atlanta’s marketplace through condo blog, www.atlantaskyriseblog.com.
Atlanta Agent (AA): What is your take on residential construction, in your marketplaces? Are you seeing increased activity, or are things still moving sideways?
Kevin Grieco (KG): On the single-family residential side, I work mostly the Intown/Buckhead area, and I’m seeing a definite lack of inventory in terms of new construction; it’s there, but it’s very sparing. Typically, when my clients and I are looking at new properties, if it’s a new construction project they are either being snapped up while in construction or, if they are completed without being purchased, they enter multiple-offer situations. So, the market for new construction is really tight right now – it’s now what it used to be, when you have several developers and properties to deal with.
There are only a couple new condo buildings that have been announced – one is called One Museum Place, and it’s more of a mid-rise than a high-rise; the other is Seventh Midtown, and that will be on Peachtree and Seventh Street and will be nine stories high. All the true high-rises buildings now being constructed are rentals projects, and though I think we’ll see some of those convert to condos, everything for the moment are rental buildings. The condo buildings that are being constructed are done so in a more boutique fashion with minimal units, because either the financing is not there or the developers are treading lightly to test the market.
AA: Metro-wide, Atlanta’s rental market remains quite strong; is that true in your markets, and if so, why do you think rents are so competitive in Atlanta?
KG: Buyers are there for condos, but because there is so much availability in the rental market right now, that’s where they’re gravitating. They’re thinking, “There are not many condos available, so I’ll just rent for another year.” If there were more options in the condo market, I think more people would be buying.
I do know of a rental building that may convert soon, but that’s just speculation – but the rental market remains very strong, and the competition is very fierce, and that’s across the board; it doesn’t matter if you’re spending $1,500 or $10,000, the inventory is not there.
AA: Finally, where do you fall on syndication sites? Are they a positive for your business?
KG: Personally, I don’t spend too much time on those sites. For instance, I don’t pay extra on realtor.com for more photos and better placement. My brokerage has a great marketing program, and as is typical with other brokerages, our listings feed into all the syndication sites; I let my listings feed into those sites and enhance what I’m already doing, but it’s not something that I focus on.
It’s important for agents to have a website, and to have a blog if you have something interesting to say. I’m also focusing more on videos, and on my YouTube channel – atlantaSkyrise – I post beautiful videos for all of my listings, and I also do virtual tours. So I focus on professional photos and video, and then pushing those out on social media, rather than the conventional syndication sites.
You have to differentiate yourself in today’s marketplace. You have to make yourself stand out, because every agent in Atlanta has Zillow and uses Homes.com and other sites, so the question becomes, what are you going to do that’s different than what anyone else is doing, and what are you going to do that’s ahead of the curve?