Inman is interviewing industry thought leaders to find out what’s next in 2016. Here’s Sarita Dua, principal broker, The AskSarita Team, Keller Williams Realty Professionals.
Are you optimistic about 2016? The economy? Why?
I am optimistic, yes. Prices are going up; rents are high. People are spending. Unemployment is low, and the job market is strong.
What we are going to see now and for the foreseeable future is healthy. We knew interest rates were not going to stay this low forever. And that is OK.
The housing market? Why?
Yes, again. I guess I am the optimist, but we have a shortage of inventory and more and more people that need to buy. I sell houses, not flat panel TVs or yachts or luxury goods.
People are always getting married, getting divorced, changing jobs or having babies. Food, clothing, shelter. It is a basic need, and I am privileged I get to help people buy or sell real estate. I get to be a part of their life.
Your success? Why?
Absolutely. Because as an agent and team leader, I control my destiny. Real estate is about activities, and I have said this before and will say it again — we are still in an industry, one of the very few, where we get to get up and control our destiny by what we do and the attitude with which we do it.
I feel like we have full control, and that is the recipe for a successful business and a successful life.
What are you worried about?
I worry about safety. I worry about climate change and natural disasters. I worry about war. I worry about the safety of my children and the world they are growing up in. And from a real estate perspective, I worry that my children won’t be able to buy real estate with the way the prices are going up.
People do not plan far out in the future. They don’t plan even two to three years out. And to be successful, you have to have a plan and work toward it.
How much do you fret about global events?
While it is natural to worry, I don’t fret about things I cannot control. I am not naive and know we all are affected by global events. I just focus on what I can control.
Will mortgage rates go up or down next year?
They will go up.
Which market are you in?
Will unit sales go or up or down in your market?
They will go up. More and more people are moving to Portland, Oregon.
Will home prices appreciate in your market next year?
Will agents be more productive next year? Why? Or why not?
Yes, however, the market is shifting, and knowledge of the market and understanding and educating clients with relevant market information and economic data will be the key to being more productive. That, and not forgetting our No. 1 job is lead generation.
To be productive, it always boils down to an agent’s activities. Spending time each day on lead generation is a critical element to being productive.
What will be the biggest source of real estate leads next year?
My database. For me, my greatest source of business is and always will be my sphere and referrals. I am thankful they put their trust in me.
Are you making plans to expand, contract or maintain your business this year?
What is your biggest challenge in the coming year?
My biggest challenge continues to be finding the best talent to grow our business. I know what I need to do, and I am always looking for the right people to take our business to the next level.
We have the leads; we have great systems. Now it is all about leverage — and being in business with the right people. Recruiting has become an ongoing part of my life, and not something I just do when I have a need. It has become second nature to me.