Inman is interviewing industry thought leaders to find out what’s next in 2016. Here’s Bob Glaser, broker of record at Smith & Associates Real Estate.
Are you optimistic about 2016? The economy? Why?
We are optimistic about our Tampa Bay area market as employment continues to expand in the medical- and research-related fields. Some small corporations that are moving headquarters will make an impact.
The overall affordability of Tampa Bay compared to other Florida cities makes the bay area a choice spot for second home purchase including the international influx that we predict based on many new direct international plane routes at the Tampa International Airport.
The housing market? Why?
Overall, I expect our market to continue to provide opportunities for expansion, as some new construction residential buildings that we represent will become even better positioned for selling.
Your success? Why?
Very optimistic! We just celebrated 47 years as a leader in the marketplace by having a record year of sales volume: $1 billion. This shows consistency in advertising, monthly open houses, customer events, and visibility in our community and with the many not-for-profit groups we support. This will only continue.
How much do you fret about global events?
Although the world market does not directly affect conditions — any sudden terrorist turn or world commotion does change the consumer mood and does have some effect on the marketplace, but not significantly.
Will agents be more productive next year? Why? Or why not?
I believe they will be more productive and that associate business will grow the use of technology. Advancing their abilities to work with leads generated from their Web sources and using new Web-based techniques will provide additional conversion of leads to a closing.
Are you making plans to expand, contract or maintain your business this year?
We have formed a partnership with MayFair International Realty, which will help us to expand our offerings to the international marketplace. Partnering with MayFair ensures that our homes are featured in the Financial Times, an online magazine that has been in business for over 125 years with a daily readership of 2.2 million people per day from countries around the world. We feel this will bring more international home buyers to our area.
What is your biggest challenge in the coming year?
We have two ongoing challenges in the markets that we are attempting to grow market share. One is that sellers will commit to agencies that will provide limited services at low costs. The other is the idea that it is a seller’s market. When sellers feel that they have the advantage, they seek out new Internet models to sell their house and the associate is not thought to be as needed.