Editor’s note: Inman News asked our audience to share their views on what’s in store for real estate in the year ahead, and also to list their wishes and resolutions. This is the final installment in a series.
Predictions: The issues will continue to compound due to lack of lending and buyer/seller lack of confidence. It will be another year in which people will be forced to accept that current market prices are much closer to "real" than the pre-recession numbers, which were based on unsustainable hyperinflation/appreciation. People will be forced to rethink the role of real estate in regards to investing/wealth acquisition.
1. People begin to accept the present market as reality and not attempt to use some sort of PMA (positive mental attitude) to wish themselves into the market of yesteryear.
2. That lenders begin to change their model and lend to truly qualified borrowers vs. penalizing the entire population for their recklessness.
3. People begin to realize that their greed or idea that they can buy things for 25 cents on the dollar is not true in all markets. The 25 cents on the dollar was based on prices from several years ago — you get what you pay for.
4. The government eases up on the Band-Aid process. If something is broken from the inside, no amount of "Band-Aiding" can help it heal. The market is capable of sorting it all out. That is capitalism/the free market.
5. People find the ability to make decisions with confidence. Just because they have access to the information and everyone is out there chasing them down because they seem like a potential buyer, the ethics are being tossed out the window on both sides.
6. That people stop complaining and hoping for something that is yet to be determined. We must seek resolve and be proactive in doing what we can each day as professionals.
Resolutions: Hold fast, keep focusing on clients’ needs, and do what brokers are supposed to do each and every day: Bring buyers and sellers together.
Lewis & Clark Realtors
Greensboro, N.C. …CONTINUED
Predictions: How was the second half of 2010 … good? Expect more of the same for 2011, except with higher mortgage interest rates and a very public fight over the mortgage interest tax deduction.
Wish List: Millions have faced a foreclosure due to the downturn in the economy and their lenders’ failure to modify loans. Once back on their feet, these buyers need to be allowed back into the market sooner rather than later to absorb the glut of inventory that is driving down prices and leading to even more short sales and foreclosures.
Resolutions: Regardless of the outcome of 2011, someone will still need to buy and sell real estate so I resolve to continue prospecting to make 2011 a banner year for my business.
Keller Williams Realty Southpark
Charlotte, N.C. …CONTINUED
Predictions: More of the same. In many areas there is nothing on the horizon to indicate an improving real estate market. The second round of quantitative easing ("QE2") will prove to be another flop orchestrated by an inept Federal Reserve, and cause more damage to the economy and further damage the value of the dollar.
In spite of a lackluster real estate market and economy (at best), there will be plenty of opportunity for quality real estate professionals as millions of existing homes will still be sold in 2011.
Wish List: That the real estate profession will change their selling points. It’s not always the best time to buy a home, and homeownership may not be the best investment or right for everyone. Realtors should promote their services and the value they bring to the real estate transaction, even if it means pointing out the foregoing.
Emeryville, Calif. …CONTINUED
Predictions: It’s sad to be gloomy, but I’m really quite bearish on the market in 2011:
1. A "double dip" in housing, except in very select markets, seems inevitable.
2. Lower buyer demand due to uncertainty in the economy and policy; higher interest rates; tougher qualification standards; and the shadow inventory.
The media certainly won’t help matters. 2011 might be the year when people wake up and realize that Twitter can’t help you that much when buyer demand drops off a cliff.
Wish List: Coherent, stable national housing policy. Brokers who wake up and realize fundamental changes are necessary. Association leadership that realizes the status quo simply won’t do, and starts actually leading.
Resolutions: Keep trying to help those who wish to help themselves.
Greater New York City …CONTINUED
Predictions: In the Midwest, potentially more of the same, although some areas do better than others. We are still seeing distressed properties and will (continue to) in 2011, and pricing is low to move properties.
Many buyers are sitting on the fence, wondering still about the economy, their employment security and although asking prices for homes and interest rates are low and interesting, many are just not yet ready nor willing to tackle this — one of their largest investments in life!
Wish List: Oh my …
1. Less unemployment, more job security.
2. A better and improving economy.
3. Bringing back to the U.S. manufacturing jobs, new inventions, new factories, nuclear power: i.e., creating independence on energy consumption, etc., etc.
I want the entire country to be uplifted, then real estate will follow!
Resolutions: Work hard, continue contacts with former clients, make new connections, use the social networks and work for a … brokerage that uses all that is currently available to improve the odds of doing business successfully and to the best advantage for the brokerage, the Realtors/brokers and the buying and selling public. We all have to stay optimistic and look for new ideas and new ways to ensure that real estate is still a good investment and a good business to be in.
Edith Karoline Jasser
Prudential Rubloff Properties
Chicago, Ill. …CONTINUED
Predictions: No improvement in the economy, maybe even more downturn.
Wish List: Less competition from other brokerages, fewer agents in the business.
Resolutions: Adopt new efficient practices, drop all print ads. License our company and systems as a boutique operation to "going concerns" (companies experiencing financial difficulties) as licensed affiliates across the country.
Chester, Nova Scotia
Predictions: Price stagnation, bigger inventories, more and more short sales. Rollout of the (U.S. Department of Energy’s) Home Energy Score tool will start reshaping contracts across the country into 2012.
Wish List: Multiple listing service inclusion of high-performance and green features of homes to better inform appraisers using comps, help market homes, and get ahead of the Home Energy Score issue.
Resolutions: Move into new areas of brand-building, tap into lower price points and corresponding buyers.
The Jeff Geoghan Realty Group
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals
Lancaster, Pa. …CONTINUED
Predictions: It’s very area-specific, but in the East Bay (of the San Francisco Bay Area) we will (generally) see properties increase in value.
1. Work with more investment property buyers and sellers to complete my CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) portfolio.
2. Work directly with banks to provide REO (bank-owned property) services that are at the same level with regular fiduciary duty to the seller. That is not the case today.
Resolutions: Make sure all potential consumers understand it makes a difference to work with knowledgeable agents. Not all agents provide the same service, have the same market knowledge and negotiations skills, and communications skills required in this business.
Oakland, Calif. …CONTINUED
Predictions: Slow start of a recovery.
Wish List: Lenders’ cooperation in modifying, buying and selling real estate.
Resolutions: Cut back on all costs not cut before, and reorganize for the new world of real estate.
Morro Bay Realty
Morro Bay, Calif. …CONTINUED
Predictions: Shadow inventory will hit the market.
Wish List: More REO accounts.
Resolutions: We plan to reach out to the community through many different avenues — including several different local associations — and Internet marketing.
Northern California, Connect Realty
Antelope, Calif. …CONTINUED
Predictions: The industry will improve in quality next year, with fewer but better agents, and fewer but more operationally efficient brokerages. The economy is an unknown.
Wish List: Listing syndication gets fixed.
WAV Group CEO
Arroyo Grande, Calif. …CONTINUED
Wish List: More employment in Northern Nevada. More employment would bring out the buyers sitting on the fence.
Resolutions: Open houses, door-knocking and marketing to past clients and friends.
Keller Williams Group One Inc.
Sparks, Nev. …CONTINUED
Predictions: The absorption of the 5 million foreclosures will undermine any market appreciation.
Newport Beach, Calif. …CONTINUED
1. More distressed properties: Many homeowners started loan modification attempts within the last half of the year. Many of these owners will be denied modification and forced into a distressed sale situation in the new year.
2. Brokers: Look for the big franchises to start consolidating offices and office staff to remain cash flow positive. If you hear "back to basics," you know they are in trouble.
3. Agents: The gap in income between the top 5 percent and the bottom 95 percent will continue to widen. Many agents become part time or no time as they seek income elsewhere, creating a huge opportunity for those who have the drive, the stamina and the work ethic.
Wish List: Banks to decide they are either in the short-sale business or they aren’t. Put together a streamlined process including an online data entry point, hire competent and well-paid financial analyst to oversee the process, and hand us the terms in 30 days of input.
Resolutions: Increase our digital footprint as a market expert within our specific niches. Further build out of our niche social communities. Outsource some of the work load to virtual assistance while adding another buyer’s agent to our team.
Jacksonville, Fla. …CONTINUED
Predictions: Same old, same old.
Wish List: The ability to endure.
Resolutions: Increase the use of technology and innovative approaches to the business. The objective: Enhance time and cost efficiency. Expand market outreach through licensed (regional) offices.
First National Realty Inc.