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 Hilary Walker, a Realtor with PEMCO Realty in Atlanta/East Metro. A highly trained professional with expertise in technology, marketing, presentation, communication, negotiation and sales tools, Hilary is also involved with the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage CARES foundation, which has donated more than $1 million to a wide array of non-profit educational, health, welfare, environmental and cultural arts organizations in the Atlanta Metro area.
Atlanta Agent (AA): We’ve reported the last couple weeks that Zillow and Trulia, now merged, continue to sign direct-feed deals with MLS systems across the country; how do those syndication sites play a role in your business, if at all?
Hilary Walker (HW): Trulia and Zillow, along with other types of syndication sites, are top-of-mind for buyers and sellers, so it’s important for me to embrace those sites in my business. The problem we have is the accuracy; I often end up conducting research on a listing my clients send me from Zillow, and what I present them is completely different from what they thought, i.e. it might be sold, or the “Zestimate” price range is not at all accurate.
With the syndication sites now receiving direct feeds from many MLS systems, that should be an improvement on their accuracy, and hopefully then, the sites can become a tool that I trust and use in my business.
AA: How does today’s low inventory affect your business? Are you finding that buyer clients have to compromise on the home they ultimately purchase?
HW: Low inventory affects my business because it can take longer for the buyer to find the features they’re looking for, but so far, between myself searching and the client searching, we’ve always been able to find a home that has their desired features.
Now, they often have to compromise, but I don’t think that’s unique to a low-inventory market; I think compromise is consistent across any market, and buyers often have to decipher between their wants and needs.
No matter what kind of market we have, it’s hard to find the the perfect home. However, the house you buy is closer to perfect when you move in and make it your home!
AA: Finally, how do you keep a level head amidst all the demands of real estate?
HW: The inner peace is something that’s very valuable in my life. Of course, I’ve experienced stress from the demands of the job or life situations, but I learned a valuable technique during the years when my husband was in the military. I watched him deploy to war zones every now and then, and it taught me something invaluable – live each day fully as if it is your last. I found peace in prayer and managing each task as it was, rather than adding emotion to it. It’s not easy to do, but I knew it was something I could not burden my husband with, so it helped me learn to keep calm.
That approach transferred very well to real estate, where my motto is, “Real estate is more than property; it’s about the people.” It’s the people I have to take care of first, and being a level-headed consultant while helping someone sell or purchase what is, likely, their largest asset is absolutely paramount.