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 Bob Clarkson, an agent with Century 21 Connect Realty in his native Roswell. Bob is a new agent, though he has worked in real estate for six years, including a stint as a field specialist for Southern REO. A volunteer coach for a 14U travel baseball team, Bob is working on his broker’s license.
Atlanta Agent (AA): You were a nominee for the “Rookie of the Year” category in our first ever Agents’ Choice Awards. What have been your keys to success?
Bob Clarkson (BC): Being a new agent, nobody is going to call me, so I have go out and find new business and talk to as many people as possible. I spend quite a bit of time on the phone calling anybody who is interested in selling their home or buying a new home, along with friends and family who can refer me business. It’s a classic “show up early and leave late” situation.
AA: What is your take on Atlanta’s housing market?
BC: I certainly came in at a good time. We’re in a very hot market right now. The average sales price has risen tremendously, while the average days on market has shrunk. Sellers are at an advantage right now – there is hardly an abundance of inventory, so there are more buyers than there are sellers. Thus, prices are increasing, and we’re seeing multiple-offer scenarios.
Furthermore, we’re not necessarily pricing the property to where the sold comparables are; rather, we’re pricing to the competition, so if there are three active listing in the subdivision, we have to take that into consideration and price appropriately to those listings. The market is changing on a weekly basis, and the average sales prices are increasing.
Finally, buyers and sellers are much more knowledgeable about the market today than they have been in the past, so that means I have to be prepared to discuss anything that may come up. You have to know your stats and study them every day, and that also includes talking to as many people as possible.
AA: As a new, successful agent, what advice do you have for new agents?
BC: The biggest thing is to show up. I know of many agents who do not want to put in the hours to grow their business, but you really do have to show up, talk to people and ask for business. If you’re not doing those things, your sales are not going to be great.
The thing is, when you’re getting into real estate, you have this notion that once you get your license, people are going to start calling you to buy a house. It does not work that way. When you get into the business, you need to have an idea of where your work is going to come from. They’re not going to come knock on the door. You have to go out and find them, and let them know about your business.