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 Andrea Cueny, who leads the Cueny Team of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty in North Atlanta, which has been the No. 1 team in North Atlanta the last five years and generated $30-plus million in sales in 2014 alone. To date Andrea and her team have helped more than 500 families find the perfect home or sell their home.
Atlanta Agent (AA): We recently reported on how job growth in Atlanta is driving new construction; how, in your direct experience, has economic growth influenced the local housing market?
Andrea Cueny (AC): Job growth and the relocation business throughout Atlanta has been very strong and our emerging spring market is operating at the same level as last summer – it’s been very busy. New construction, in our market, comprises about 25 percent of overall listings. It can higher or lower depending on exact area and price point, but we see new construction everywhere and buyers are responding very well to it. Updated re-sales and new construction are the homes selling best.
Even with the economic growth in Atlanta, what’s truly motivating clients to move here from all over the world is the affordability factor, our schools and the high quality of life that we offer people.
AA: Taking a deeper look at affordability, what role does it play when you’re dealing with homebuyers?
AC: Every buyer’s definition of “affordability” differs, but I hear from buyers time and again that they’re looking for a home that meets their personal criteria and does so within their budget range. When you look at affordability, our area features mountains, lakes, beaches and an international airport that can get you anywhere in the world – we have so many things here, and they all play into what people define as “affordable.”
That said, I just had two relocation clients who came into town from the Northeast, and though they were excited about how affordable Atlanta is, they were also shocked at how competitive it is, as well.
AA: Finally, what methods do you follow to keep in touch with past clients?
AC: I’m very passionate about this part of my business, and one way I keep in touch with my clients is through client appreciation events. We host them several times a year to see our clients, connect with their families and understand how their needs are changing and growing. For my team and I, this is a long-term relationship. I’ve been in the business for 12 years, and we care about our clients and where they are going in their lives. Some of our clients, for instance, are buying move-up properties; others are ready to down-size; and others still need a multi-generation home for a parent. So the way I’ve chosen to stay in touch with my clients is those appreciation events, because we’re able to have that face-to-face time and meet their families.
One event took place at a restaurant and featured a silent auction for charity, food and music. We did another at Top Golf, an indoor golf venue that mirrors an arcade experience, and I’ve also done more kid-themed events at pumpkin patches and other areas.
Of course, we have a full-time social media person who helps us with blogging, Instagram and Facebook to promote ourselves and stay connected with our clients, so they have our preferred vendor lists, maintenance kits, trend information about paint colors and other matters. You need a strategy on that front, because otherwise, you get lost.