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 Drew Jackson, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Intown. A third-generation real estate agent, Drew specializes in the Intown and Midtown Atlanta markets. Before moving to Georgia, Drew was a Realtor and resident of Brooklyn, New York, where he experienced firsthand the benefits of living and working in an environment bustling from extensive revitalization – an advocacy he brings to Atlanta’s ongoing revitalization and re-urbanization movement.
Atlanta Agent (AA): As the 2015 housing market takes shapes, what kinds of things are you watching the closest in the market?
Drew Jackson (DJ): Something I’m definitely paying attention to is first-time homebuyers. I think there’s going to be a big upswing in 2015; rents keep rising, and I think that’s going to finally force people to start looking at buying versus renting. Also, you have lending standards loosening and low mortgage rates, which will drive first-time buyers, and those are the same kinds of incentives that work with move-up buyers – meaning we’ll see homes on the market that are perfect for first-time buyers.
Another thing, especially with Atlanta, is inventory. We’ve had quite a bit of concern with low inventory, though it did start loosening up in 2014. I’ll be paying close attention to it, because higher inventory levels definitely make things easier on buyers, what with bidding wars and the other things that result from low inventory.
AA: Atlanta’s market has made considerable strides in the last couple of years; in your specific markets, what has been the most positive development that you’ve observed?
DJ: There are many developments going up around Atlanta, but the Beltline is still the hottest area right now. The Beltline has had a huge impact on real estate in Atlanta, and has driven private investment to the area. Whenever you’re talking with clients, one of the first questions on their mind is “How close can I be to the Beltline?” And as the Beltline continues to expand, the questions then turn to what neighborhoods will be affected next.
AA: Finally, when marketing your listings, what kinds of things do you make sure to keep in mind?
DJ: Something I keep in mind is involving the seller, and keeping them aware of what my marketing plan is. I like to get things from the seller’s point of view on the house, the community and any wisdom they can share. I have a background in Internet marketing, so I can already drive attention to a listing, but there are little things you can add that only the seller can provide, especially when it comes to the community.
I always find that in letting the client know what my plan is, and having them on board with that, increases their confidence greatly in you as an agent. It you’re not involving your sellers, it’s common for them to say, “You didn’t say this about the property, and that’s something I really love.”