It’s review time for 2010…
Well, the predictions forecasted by me last year were:
- Interest rates would rise in the second quarter as the government was going to exit the purchasing of Mortgage Backed Securities . Wow, was I wrong here, interest rates sunk to the lowest level in history.
- House values will stay stable in most price points below $400,000 and will drop in mid price points – $400,000 – $800,000. Fewer buyers will take advantage of market conditions and consumer confidence will keep them where they are today. Well, I was pretty damn close – prices increased slightly in the lower price ranges but definitely dropped in the mid price ranges and consumer confidence remains in the tank.
- Unemployment will rise through the first half of the year then level off late third quarter – we can’t get any worse than we are nationally. Locally, we are in good shape with unemployment and we should hover around where we are today. The prediction was true on both fronts and unemployment is contributing to low consumer confidence. As the saying goes, when your neighbor loses their job it’s a recession, when you lose your job, it’s a depression – many Americans are still feeling the effects of unemployment nationally.
- Foreclosure inventory will increase nationally – ours will see a slight increase but won’t have a significant impact like it has in recent years. Any foreclosure inventory locally will get absorbed quickly as we have such pent up demand. Again, pretty much true, our foreclosure numbers increased slightly but boy, nationally, they went through the roof!
- Short sale inventory will be bigger than foreclosure inventory nationwide – including our area. It is important to understand how they work, get a designation to take advantage of this opportunity and to understand how to get them through. As predicted, short sale inventory increased both nationally and locally. And, it is true, if you have a designation, you understand the process better and can help more distressed home owners as a result.
- More real estate offices will close, merge and we will see additional acquisitions – boutique real estate offices will become a thing of the past as agents and clients demand more technology and services that smaller firms cannot afford. This most definitely occurred and will continue through 2011 – especially in the large regional independents and the franchises agencies with fewer than 15 agents.
- Social media marketing will be even more in the forefront moving into the future – get on board or get left behind. The consumer embraces this medium – so should you! Many agents have gone way overboard and although they are embracing social media, they are not utilizing it correctly and as a result are turning off consumers.
- Videos will be more prevalent in agent’s marketing of homes and themselves. Get proficient in the use of flips, camcorders, and digital cameras that have recording features. More agents are becoming aware of video and we are seeing more of it in the market but more need to utilize the medium as the consumer is drawn to videos.
- More agents will go green as this will become an even bigger “buzz” word going forward. Get ahead of the curve and get a green designation today! Yes, agents did go green but the residential market is still lagging behind the commercial arena in scope and magnitude of going green.
- More agents will exit the business as the business becomes more specialized. This has happened which is a good thing for both the profession and more importantly, the consumer. Today, more than ever, it is important to work with a Realtor who is full time and has the capacity to convey market conditions, trends and is familiar with the contract and process.
Well, in retrospect, the vision was pretty decent for what was going to happen in 2010. The one item that was unfortunate is that people weren’t able to take advantage of the low rates or were not in a position to take advantage of the low rates due to value issues. However, many were which is great for them. Be on the lookout for my predictions for 2011! Get it? Got it? Good!
Now, go sell something!