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 Tana Brewster, an associate broker the founder of Your Savvy Atlantan Team with PalmerHouse Properties & Associates. Licensed since 2007, Tana is also a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors. Her team helps sellers and buyers throughout the Greater Atlanta Area, specifically Alpharetta, Cumming and other North Metro Communities. She is ABR, CDPE, EPRO and IMSD certified.
Atlanta Agent (AA): We’ve been reporting on home sizes, and how new construction keeps trending towards larger properties; is that consistent with what you’ve observed in your markets?
Tana Brewster (TB): It depends on the area and market. I cover more the north suburbs of Atlanta, and because we have more land, many of our homes are between 2,500 and 3,000 square feet. Lately, though, I’m finding that builders are constructing smarter, rather than larger.
Much of home construction today is also driven towards price point, and most of the construction is my area is geared less towards first-time homebuyers and more in the $300,000 to $500,000 range. And there is definitely a demand for new construction in that price range – my clients, for one, would rather be in a newer home – and we’re seeing it spring up everywhere in Forsyth County, which is one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. So we’re seeing builders who are selling their lots pretty quickly.
AA: What interesting characteristics have you observed in the Millennial clients you’ve worked with?
TB: They’re definitely technology driven, and you have to set expectations with them; though they’re often googling and learning certain information, you have to be the one to decipher it for them, because not everything you find on the Trulias and Zillows of the world is correct. You have to be their information source. That said, Millennials are very smart and they know what they want, which is walkability and a more urban lifestyle.
Also, Millennials text a lot, and that’s something you have to get used to. I tell my Millennial clients that if it’s a simple question, they can contact me via text messaging; I may be in a meeting and unable to talk on the phone, but I can easily respond with a quick text. As with any client, you have to know what their expectation is with communication, and then you have to set your own expectation, because sometimes, phone calls are necessary.
AA: Finally, what tips would you offer an agent who is looking to incorporate technology into their business?
TB: I would recommend that they do some research on which platform or technology they would actually use, because there’s so much out there proclaiming to be the “latest” and “greatest.” Honestly, I do not use many apps. I use Evernote and Dropbox, but those are just to keep me organized.
The biggest thing, really, is being able to access your home searches on either an iPad or your smartphone, so agents should make sure that they’re able to go out into the field and switch gears, because that’s huge, not having to go back to the office. Real estate is all about reacting to your environment and shifting gears quickly – your client may decide they want to look at properties in a different area, for example – so I would choose one app that will get you better organized, and then get really good with that app before looking into anything else.
Knowledge is powerful. Being out in the field and getting to know an area is so important, and as a new agent, you’re overwhelmed with what to do. If you have the knowledge, though, and if you’re out in the field, you’ll want access to a technology that allows you to do everything wherever you are.