It’s always a great idea to take advantage of the downtime the winter season offers Realtors and focus on how to enhance your business. So as 2017 draws to a close and you turn your attention to all of the potential that 2018 has to offer, it is important to look back at the past year to see how the real estate industry has changed and where it looks to be moving. Doing so can help prepare you for anything that will be thrown your way in the upcoming year. Take a look at what’s happened in the 2017 real estate market and how you can use it to get a leg up on the competition in 2018!
A Seller’s Market
2017 presented a strong seller’s market, which made it challenging for buyers in many markets to find a good deal on real estate. If this trend continues into the new year, sellers can take advantage of generally strong rates of appreciation to turn a nice profit in many locations. While buyers may not be able to negotiate quite as successfully in a seller’s market, they should still be able to choose from the many listings available, as the availability of listings is expected to be strong going forward. Buyers can also take advantage of the relatively low interest rates on home loans that occurred in 2017, as this looks to continue into 2018 as well. There continues to be talk of a housing bubble but many are not expecting this apparent bubble to impact the housing market over the course of the next year.
The Millennial Boom
Many millennials have held off on buying a home in their young adult years. While they are buying homes much later in life than previous generations of home buyers, this sector of the buying market has begun to increase and should continue over the course of the coming year. Millennials may take advantage of the still-low interest rates for home loans. If you haven’t begun so already, make sure to adjust your marketing efforts to appeal to this target audience within the next year. Offering advice to guide them through the purchasing process, as well as providing a closing costs calculator or a mortgage loan comparison tool, can be great ways to position yourself in the market to these first-time homebuyers.
Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology has become more affordable and mainstream within the past year. This type of technology is making the home life experience more convenient and enjoyable, and it also gives homeowners the ability to control many of their home’s systems remotely. Possibly advise sellers to upgrade some of their home’s technology to help when listing their home for sale and make sure to mention any of these smart home features as unique selling points in your listings.
Live Streaming Video for Social Media Marketing
Many aspects of real estate marketing remain the same from the previous year, but one unique element has begun to stand out from the rest. Facebook and many other social media platforms now allow you to use your professional profile to stream live videos to your followers. There are many ways that you can use streaming video for your social media marketing efforts. For example, broadcasting yourself talking about market conditions or conducting a short home tour of one of your new listings are both great ways to utilize this innovative technology. Live video also allows prospective clients to interact with you in real-time, so you can expect to see quick results from using this functionality. These live videos can then be exported and uploaded to YouTube, which will extend the life of your video and provide content that can be shared with your audience whenever you’d like.
Enhanced Community Spaces in Neighborhoods
Many newer communities have included enhanced common areas – and even some older communities are updating their amenities to meet the needs and wants of today’s home buyers. Community space amenities are going further than the traditional play area for the kids, swimming pools and bike trails. Enhanced amenities have begun to include media rooms and theaters, elaborate fitness centers, group fitness classes and more! Expect some of your buying clients to ask for communities that include at least a few of these enhanced amenities. When listing homes in these upgraded communities, you should use these enhanced amenities as unique selling points.
Energy efficiency has been a great selling point in homes for years, so you can expect to see a demand for these features within the next year as well. Buyers make it a point to look for homes that have spray-in foam insulation, upgraded windows and doors, a newer HVAC system that is more energy efficient and water-saving faucets and fixtures. Some buyers may even want a home with solar panels or a rain collection system, so these are great features to include in your listing as well.
The real estate industry is not static. In fact, it is constantly in flux. It’s up to you as a savvy real estate agent to keep up with local trends and changes and incorporate these new technologies and innovative marketing practices in order to remain current for your clients. Keep these trends and changes in mind for the upcoming year to determine how you can adjust your efforts so that you can strategically benefit from these industry changes. The 2018 real estate market will be full of opportunities – it’s up to you to capitalize on them!