Editor’s note: Inman News called upon agents and brokers, technologists and industry executives to let us know about their real estate predictions, items on their real estate wish lists and/or their real estate resolutions for 2010. This first segment features some of the responses received.

Predictions:

  • The 2010 market will be different than any real estate professional has ever seen. New approaches and new skills will be required to succeed.
  • Generational differences and how to work with them will be a critical skill for survival and success.
  • Realtor associations will need to change their business model and their services to adapt to the rapidly changing market.

 

Editor’s note: Inman News called upon agents and brokers, technologists and industry executives to let us know about their real estate predictions, items on their real estate wish lists and/or their real estate resolutions for 2010. This first segment features some of the responses received. Click here to read Part 2 and click here to read Part 3.

Predictions:

  • The 2010 market will be different than any real estate professional has ever seen. New approaches and new skills will be required to succeed.
  • Generational differences and how to work with them will be a critical skill for survival and success.
  • Realtor associations will need to change their business model and their services to adapt to the rapidly changing market.

Pam MacConnell
Association executive
West Volusia Association of Realtors
Orange City, Fla. …CONTINUED

Wish List:

  • Economic stabilization;
  • Government subsidies to stabilize industry;
  • Seller’s market;
  • More innovation (i.e., more creative GPS applications);
  • Improved employment;
  • Agents embracing and leveraging new resources like the Realtors Property Resource.

James Harrison
President and chief executive officer
MLSListings Inc.
Sunnyvale, Calif. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

While almost everyone actively involved in the real estate industry was excited to see the continuation of the tax credits through April 30, 2010, for homes that close by June 30, we expect there to be a lot of buyer caution and concern come May 1, when the benefits expire. No one is sure how much volume came from moving renters off the fence and how much came from just moving volume up following this year’s tax credit. It’s still unclear what effect the extension will have on the market. May and June pending sales are going to be critical months to really understand the health of the housing market.

Wish List:

In 2010, I wish that those who want to sell their houses are realistic about their pricing, and that they’re then able to sell their homes for those prices. For buyers who are ready and willing, I wish they are able to get reasonable credit that enables them to make their dream of homeownership a reality. Happy sellers and enabled, happy buyers make for a happier, more successful industry.

Patrick Lashinsky
Chief executive officer
ZipRealty
Emeryville, Calif. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

The buzzword for agents in 2010 will continue to be responsiveness. Buyers and sellers who have been on the sidelines are going to be anxious to get into the market as it starts to pick up, and they will expect their agents to be one step ahead of them. Customers will continue to raise the bar on response time. They used to expect agents to respond within 24 hours. Today, with mobile devices, (they expect a response) in just hours.

Wish List:

I would love to see even more agents and brokerages embrace the tools that allow us to build and contribute to a powerful online community. The online universe has expanded exponentially with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and so have the possibilities for real-time connection. The online communities allow us to be relevant and connected. The industry as a whole would really benefit from adapting to this exciting change from what’s traditionally been a top-down information structure to more interactive communication.

Leslie Tyler
Vice president of marketing
ZipRealty
Emeryville, Calif. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

Sales in Michigan will remain steady. Inventory levels will continue to drop but at a slower pace. With that the median sales prices will also rise.

Wish List:

My wish is that we do not see another flood of foreclosed properties come on the market. We are hearing that some of the banks may be holding back a number of properties because they are not able to deal with the quantity right now. I am "wishing" that this is not true!

Karen S. Kage
Chief executive officer
Realcomp II Ltd.
Farmington Hills, Mich. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

More mobile applications that involve brokers, consumers and real estate-related services.

Wish List:

"More market stability and consumer confidence."

Lauren Emery
Chief executive officer
Information and Real Estate Services (IRES) LLC
Loveland, Colo. …CONTINUED

Predictions:

The market, unlike 2009, will be predictable.

We will have a spring market starting in January: There is pent-up demand; first-time buyers will want to take advantage of the tax incentive and the $6,500 tax credit for move-up/retrenching buyers will also help. I also predict that the industry will lose at least 10 percent of its firms and salespeople. That will be good for the industry.

Liberal newspapers will try to make things seem better (to support the current administration and Democrats’ re-election of congressmen), the economy will stabilize, the health care debate will be behind us, interests rates will flatten, employment will get a little better, Wall Street numbers will continue to look better, home prices will stabilize, consumers will feel better. Real estate unit sales in Connecticut will be up 12 percent and flat in Rhode Island.

Wish List:

I wish for the economy to stabilize and grow. That would take care of most of the problems.

Peter Helie
Chairman and chief executive officer
Prudential Connecticut Realty
Rocky Hill, Conn. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

The first quarter will be up and strong in most areas and price ranges. The market will level off by summer. Unit sales will continue to be greater than volume. With current lower inventory levels we will have difficulty meeting demand in the $150,000 to $300,000 range for many neighborhoods.

There will be greater activity in the $300,000-plus market as more homeowners realize the stimulus is for them. The high-end luxury market has had an increase over the last 60 days. This will continue in spurts throughout 2010. Overall, the market will have swings but will show increases in most areas.

Wish List:

After my long-winded prediction, my real estate wish list is only one word: jobs. Jobs will solve most ailments in the economy. Prices, rates and stimulus won’t matter with job security. Fortunately, the unemployment rate has fallen a bit.

Helen Hanna Casey
President
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
Pittsburgh, Pa. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

2010 will be very similar to 2009. Unit activity will be up slightly and prices will decline slightly. The net is even.

Wish List:

My wish is for the move-up buyers to return to the market.

Stephen W. Baird
President and chief executive officer
Baird & Warner Inc.
Chicago, Ill. …CONTINUED

The conditions are set for a surge of sales activity heading into 2010 thanks to historically low interest rates, adjusted home prices, and the extended/expanded Federal Housing Tax Credit. After the expiration of the tax credit in April 2010, we can expect to see a dip in sales, but there are some things the government can do to ease this transition.

First, the U.S. Treasury should continue to purchase mortgage-backed securities until 2011 in order to keep interest rates at historic lows. Second, I’d like to see the development of a national downpayment assistance program through state housing finance agencies. Combined with current economic conditions, these items could provide housing the support it needs until the market is stable enough to stand on its own two feet.

J. Lennox Scott
Chairman and chief executive officer
John L. Scott Real Estate
Seattle, Wash. …CONTINUED

Predictions:

We don’t generally make predictions; we leave that to the economists. But here are two: If we continue to "eat at the trough" of expanding federal programs, our economy will suffer well into the future. And the tired, unwieldy, nondescript, disparate multiple listing service will get rebranded.

Wish List:

I wish for some sensible legislation at the local, state and national levels that does not mortgage our future.

And (I wish) for local, state and federal officials to develop a taxing system(s) that would be simple and not place undue burden on property of any type.

Steve Sullivan
Chief executive officer
Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR)
Indianapolis, Ind. …CONTINUED

Wish List:

My only wish for 2010 is consolidation. In the Connecticut market alone, Realtors spend between $2.5 million to $3 million a year on duplicated multiple listing services, staffs, buildings, contracts, etc. At 17,000 Realtors in the state, that comes to roughly $150 dollars a year in waste. Who couldn’t use $150 more dollars in their pocket these days?

Cameron Paine
Chief executive officer
Connecticut Multiple Listing Service Inc.
North Haven, Conn. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

Activity in the first half of 2010 may be artificially robust due to the tax credits, and the activity in the remainder of the year will help determine how strong the housing recovery is.

Wish List:

I wish for a continued stabilization of the market that results in slow and steady growth with an easing of lending regulations, and that Realtors would identify and claim the high ground so that they would be recognized for the valuable and unique contribution they make in building neighborhoods and communities.

Mae Hassman
Chief executive officer
Missoula Organization of Realtors
Missoula, Mont. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

For consumers, Realtor ratings in 2010 will become as routine as rating hotels, restaurants and movies is now.

Wish List:

  • That Realtors across the country would embrace agent ratings as a way to raise the bar, improve the image of Realtors and provide a tangible way to differentiate them from each other.
  • Now that more than half the members of NAR belong to a multiple listing service that provides a public Web site, all MLSs across the U.S. will recognize the tremendous benefits of creating MLS public Web sites that assist consumers, provide free leads to Realtors and drive traffic to broker Web sites.
  • That the economic conditions will stabilize and improve so that more consumers feel confident enough to buy or sell a home.

 
Bob Hale
President and chief executive officer
Houston Association of Realtors
Houston, Texas …CONTINUED

Prediction:

I think on the conservative side the first two quarters may have a slow start but the market will pick up in the third quarter.

Wish List:

My real estate wish list is the same for everyone. Foremost, I want to see growth in the housing market and I want lenders to be less strict about making loans. But then again that may hurt the economy more?

Annie Ives
Chief executive officer
Combined Los Angeles/Westside MLS
Los Angeles, Calif. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

My prediction for 2010 is not a bright one. I expect our association membership will drop by 15 percent. I have members who have been in the business more than two years who say they cannot make their dues for next year. We ran a sales report of the agents who are selling, and (the ones receiving referrals) from past clients have remained the top sales agents. They have the experience from past declining markets over the years.

Wish List:

My real estate wish list for 2010 would be to retain the agents who have gone to all of the designation and certification classes and who know how to work a short sale, know the foreclosure market, and know when to advertise themselves strongly.

Shirley Skerbelis
Executive vice president
The Inland Gateway Association of Realtors
Corona, Calif.
…CONTINUED

Prediction:

The world won’t end. Real estate agents and brokers who have an open mind, are willing to work very hard, put their clients interest first, and — above all — adapt and evolve will find great success and satisfaction in this amazing industry.

Matt Case
Associate broker
Director of support services
Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors …CONTINUED

Resolution:

My primary real estate resolution for the year going forward is to truly understand and be involved in social media and real estate as they evolve and grow together. In the short time since I finally joined Twitter, I have found that I’ve started to network and make connections with a wide variety of people: agents, consultants, buyers and old friends alike. I also want to bring this vision of using and embracing social media to my business.

Nicole Beauchamp
Ramos Beauchamp & Associates
New York, N.Y. …CONTINUED

Resolution:

This morning I sat down at my kitchen table with my steaming cup of coffee and relived the antics of last night. There I was, on the stage of a dive karaoke bar, looking down at 35 fellow agents from my new office and thinking to myself, “What are you doing?” But, as the music began, I found myself belting out "Proud Mary" with gusto. I did kicks, I did fast feet — "I pumped a lot of ‘tane down in New Orleans" — and I laughed.

Laughing felt great, considering that desperation was my constant companion in 2009. Vain attempts to hold deals together, counsel troubled sellers and corral touchy buyers had left me empty of the buoyancy and delight I had previously found in entrepreneurship. I was "worrying a lot about the way things might have been."

Not this year, Tina!

I’ve decided to kick-it up a notch. My business will increase because I am making a personal commitment to remain outside the chatter and focus on working with like-minded people, both clients and agents. This year I will hold onto my joy with determined perseverance. And to start things off right, I’ve signed up for a night class: "Stand-Up Comedy." I figure by the end of 2010 a little Tina Turner and some giddy laughs will have paid out in rock-solid thighs, record closings, and a big smile.

Alisha Alway Braatz, Broker
RE/MAX Integrity
Eugene, Ore. …CONTINUED

I want a "4G" smartphone that can identify my location and give me instant virtual tours, pictures and home details so that I can show my buyer clients on the fly why we should see that listing, or better yet, why I didn’t have it on the list of homes for them to visit.

Bruce Lynn
Keller Williams Realty
Coppell, Texas

Inman News reporters Matt Carter and Andrea V. Brambila assisted with this report.

***

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