Atlanta Agent (AA): Housing inventory remain very low in Metro Atlanta – according to the latest ABR stats, inventory is currently at a 3.1-months supply. Why, in your view, is inventory remaining so low?
Tony Stephens (TS): That is a great question. The easy answer would be that demand is outweighing supply. The low inventory is not only an issue here in Metro Atlanta but around the country. One reason could be low interest rates over the last few years. Homeowners may have been able to refinance at a much lower rate than when they purchased their home, and now have no interest in selling at this time.
Another reason for low inventory may be that homeowners looking to move cannot find that new dream home, and are waiting to list their current home until they have found the new one. Lastly, while new construction has increased, there is still not enough to meet the demand. Builders trying to meet that demand need to be concerned with the quality of the finished product.
AA: As Atlanta Communities’ COO, what are some of the other market trends you are keeping an eye on to better assist your agents?
TS: In correlation with the previous question, we are watching days on market and sales price. The average days on market is coming down, and sales prices are rising. That can mean multiple-offer situations, offers that are higher than list price and bidding wars. We strive on providing timely, real-life education opportunities at Atlanta Communities. We hold classes on how our Realtors should handle multiple offers so they can provide valuable information to the sellers.
We also want to ensure that our Realtors are staying compliant with license law and the Realtor Code of Ethics, as we do not want them cutting corners just to get a deal to the closing table. Honesty and integrity are two core values built into our culture.
AA: Finally, let’s talk technology – how should agents balance the bells and whistles of the tech world with the core responsibilities of their business?
TS: It is a fine line to balance! There is a lot of great technology agents have at their disposal today. One of the most important things we tell our Realtors is to not be swayed by a shiny new technology offering. Real Estate is a people business built on relationships.
While there are many ways to utilize technology to help agents be more productive, nothing is better than answering the phone when it rings or quite simply responding to an email in a timely manner.