Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their thoughts on some of housing’s most pressing issues. This week, we talked with Adam Kappel, a real estate agent with Redfin, a national real estate brokerage. Adam has seven years experience in the industry and enjoys learning about Atlanta’s history, exploring local neighborhoods and adding value to his clients’ home searches. Adam, who has worked for Redfin since 2012, is proud of Redfin’s technology-powered, customer-first philosophy, which he believes is reinventing the real estate industry.
Atlanta Agent (AA): What’s your general attitude on where housing is heading in 2015?
Adam Kappel (AK): The housing market in Atlanta has seen fairly dramatic price increases so far in 2015. We’re finally making strides to full recovery from the bust in 2007 and 2008, though in 2014 and even some in 2015 we may have seen a bit of an overcorrection. I can’t predict the future, but I expect we may start to see the local market level out by the end of this year and on into 2016.
That said, if interest rates stay low, it will encourage homebuyers to get out there. The question, of course, is whether there will be enough desirable homes for sale to accommodate these buyers.
AA: When it comes to your buyer clients, what are the most common reasons behind their wanting to buy a home?
AK: Most clients that I work with tend to be first-time homebuyers who are experiencing the rapid increase of rental costs in the Atlanta area. They’re realizing it would be better to put the money toward an investment in a home rather than give it to a landlord each month.
AA: What are some networking strategies you’ve developed over the years?
AK: With other agents, I’ve found the best way to build connections is through open houses and broker opens. Meeting the movers and shakers around the neighborhoods where you work is important, because those relationships will go a long way in establishing your presence in the area, and for helping your clients in stressful multiple offer situations.
AA: How do you manage difficult or demanding clients?
AK: Your job is to give solid advice and be a resource, but you can’t make a client listen and follow your suggestions. You have to be patient and let your clients come to their own conclusions. Ultimately, you are there to help them, not change their minds.
Rather than tell my clients what they should do, I have a list of questions that help lead them toward their own realizations – for example, that they can’t get everything on their “must-have” list at their current price point.
When it comes to difficult clients in multiple offer situations, write the offer the clients want. I always give my input and set expectations that their offer may not be strong enough. If it comes to it, I’ve found that after a couple of failed offers, clients become much more flexible and trusting in your expertise.
AA: Finally, what things do you keep in mind when negotiating with other agents?
AK: When negotiating with other agents, I always look to find the agent’s and the seller’s needs. What little things can we give on with our offer, to help us in other areas? Perhaps we give the seller the closing date of their choosing and get a slightly lower price on the home in return. Networking, building relationships and having those discussions before submitting an offer will go a long way in winning deals.