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 Dorrie Love, an agent at Harry Norman, Realtors’ Peachtree City office. The No. 1 agent at her office in 2012, Dorrie was also the 2012 President of the Fayette County Board of Realtors, for which she was also Realtor of the Year in 2008. The committee chair of Communications and Public Relations for the Georgia Association of Realtors, Dorrie also has numerous specialties, including her CRS, AIS and ARS.
Atlanta Agent (AA): We’re seeing reports that home prices are not rising as quickly as they have in past months; is that true in your respective markets?
Dorrie Love (DL): My market is primarily Fayette County and Coweta County, and in Fayette in 2014’s first quarter, average home price was up 18 percent year to date. We did see prices taper off, though, in the second and third, and we’re at about 10 percent year-to-date over 2013; so yes, they’ve tapered off, especially in Fayette, but in Coweta, prices have remained steadily 8 percent over last year, and that’s not bad at all.
I do think those price trends will continue into 2015, and I think the biggest reason is low inventory, which is the biggest driver of prices right now – and you’ll hear that from just about any agent in the country. All indicators tell us that rates should stay pretty steady for the next few months, so I think we have a good chance in 2015 to maintain, if not to improve upon, our 2014 pace.
AA: We’ve also seen reports that foreclosures are down by quite a bit throughout Atlanta; are you still seeing any foreclosure activity in your area?
DL: Very very little. We were blessed in our area, and we did not have the glut of foreclosures that some areas of Metro Atlanta did. In 2013, we would have an average of three to six foreclosures a month; now we’re at one to three a month, so we’re 50 percent below where we were last year, which was, again, already quite low.
AA: Finally, what are the main things agents should keep in mind when working with younger Millennial clients?
DL: One of the most crucial things is a very quick response time. Millennials are known for multitasking and going from one place to the next, and if you’re not there when they need you to be there, then they will work with someone else. So, you have to know your client and know their preferred method of communication.
The other thing I’ve noticed about Millennials is, you need to establish trust instantly. You need to establish that you are, in fact, an area expert, and that they chose the right person to work with. Once that is established, they’ll come to you for not just real estate questions, but everything else as well – I’ve had Millennials clients ask me for guidance on what doctors to use. You’ve got to establish that rapport.