Dozens of agents from across the U.S. and Canada shared insights Tuesday during Inman Connect Now. Overall, they described active markets that have also changed during the tumultuous months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the pandemic began sweeping the U.S. in March, real estate professionals and their clients have been on a rollercoaster. Along with dire case numbers and economic chaos, interest in real estate plummeted early on before rocketing back up in many markets.

On Tuesday, dozens of agents from across the U.S. gathered during Inman Connect Now to discuss what that looks like for them locally. Among other things, they described rapid sales, low inventory and strategies for digging up new opportunities. And while every market is different, the overall theme of these conversations was that amid tragedy, there are still openings for success.

Here’s what the different agents had to say. Click through to the stories on each region to read more.

Northeast: Fleeing New Yorkers are fueling nearby markets

Multiple agents working in the Northeast said Tuesday that they’re seeing an influx of buyers from New York City. The buyers are pouring into metros such as Philadelphia and other areas within two hours of the Big Apple. Price and the ability to close quickly also seem to be more important to these buyers rather than the specific area where a property is located.

Clockwise from top left: Katie Clancy, Byron Lazine and Annie Balcerzak at Inman Connect Now Tuesday. Credit: Inman

Many of these buyers are looking for specific amenities, such as pools or multiple home offices, though the biggest draw appears to simply be more space. And the end result of this trend is that, much like other regions, prices are rising and inventory is low in various destination communities. Read more here.

Southeast: Agents thrive by mixing the old and new

Agents in the Southeast are facing a scorching hot market, and in order to thrive said Tuesday that they’re relying on tried-and-true tactics such as cold calling and going door-to-door. With existing clients, they also described having success with high-touch contact.

Clockwise from top left: Jorge Guerra, Jr., Lynn Johnson and Quintavius Burdette. Credit: Inman

However, they aren’t just stuck in the old school. The agents also said they are using video and other virtual tools to stay in touch with clients, and suggested everyone jump on the technology bandwagon. Read more here.

Southwest: Despite a busy market, agents should work to diversify their business

Agents from a group of states in the Southwest uniformly described busy market conditions Tuesday, in some cases saying that they have recently had record months. Still, challenges remain during the coronavirus pandemic and the speakers encouraged other members of the industry to proactively seek out new opportunities.

Clockwise from top left: Nicole Lopez, Stacie Staub, Tiffany Curry and Shar Rundio. Credit: Inman Credit: Inman

Among other things, the agents suggested focusing social media strategy on “pertinent followers,” donating money to charity and looking for ways to stay in touch with clients. Read more here.

Midwest: Real estate pros predict a strong start to 2021

Agents from the Midwest who spoke during Inman Connect agreed with their counterparts in other areas that inventory is low and buyers are seeking out housing with more space and amenities. They also said that the luxury urban market has slowed down considerably, and they envision a strong start for real estate in 2021.

Clockwise from top left: Angela Raab, Tommy Choi, Lucas Howard and Malcolm Landenberger. Credit: Inman

The agents from the Midwest also shared tips, urging agents to give industry pros gifts and to reach out to contacts in their database, among other things. The idea, they argued, is to “future-proof” agents’ business. Read more here.

West Coast: Agents future-proof their business with technology and a human touch

Agents from California, Oregon and Washington who chatted during a West Coast breakout session Tuesday said they’re seeing growing interest in vacation homes and in real estate within 100 miles of primary metro areas. Buyers also seem to be interested in single family homes, though what happens next in the market remains an open question.

Clockwise from top left: Sabrina Brown, Sarita Dua, Nina Dosanjh, and Frank Nolan at Inman Connect Now Tuesday. Credit: Inman

Either way, though, agents who want to stay competitive are leaning on newer technologies such as Matterport tours, which are now being included in more and more listings. However, they cautioned against leaning exclusively on technology, saying that agents still need to maintain a personal, high-touch connection with their clients. Read more here.

Canada: Agents are confident amid high demand and low mortgage rates

Canadian agents who also appeared during Tuesday’s Connect Now regional breakout sessions described many of the same trends their U.S. counterparts have seen: High demand for single-family homes, low mortgage rates and general confidence in the housing market even if there is still some broader economic uncertainty.

Clockwise from top left: Sandra Kirkland, Tony Joe, Kim Heitzmann and Faisal Susiwala. Credit: Inman

Canadian agents also mentioned a debate about real estate best practices, including if and when open houses should come back. But whether or not they do, the agents advised their industry colleagues to continue looking for ways to connect with people. Read more here.

Email Jim Dalrymple II


Don’t miss the next two Connect Now events, September 15 & October 20. We’re actively adding new speakers to the September event line-up and, wow, there is a lot of firepower. Click here to learn more. 

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