Are we in an economic recession or a market-imploding housing recession? This week, Byron Lazine and Nicole White discuss the impact of low builder confidence, the changing real estate industry and politics from left, right and center.

Byron Lazine and Nicole White are two agents in Connecticut who give us their thoughts on the week’s news every Friday in “The Real Word,” a weekly video column on Inman.

Byron Lazine and Nicole White began this week’s episode by discussing the most recent decline in builder confidence according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

White said that even with inventory so limited in some markets, there’s still an opportunity for buyers to get what they want with a new build without the compromises they might have to make when buying a resale home.

Lazine said that his spring prediction is coming true and that buyers are sitting on the sidelines due to higher housing costs. If builders sit on the sidelines as well, this continues to kick the can down the road in terms of perpetuating low inventory issues.

Lazine and White discussed a warning from Bleakley Advisory Group chief investment officer Peter Boockvar that actions by the Federal Reserve and current economic trends suggest a real estate price bubble in the offing that will wipe out recent home equity gains. Lazine said that while we are in an economic recession and a normalizing housing market, he does not agree that we are in a housing recession.

Next, they discussed the Inman Industry Blueprint for a Changing Market. They reviewed the advice gathered at the recent invite-only CEO Connect held during Inman Connect Las Vegas.

The duo pinpoints Sean King’s comments that greater automation would allow agents to do more transactions and make more money, even if fees and compensation structures were reduced.

Finally, Lazine and White turned to their segment Left-Middle-Right, which looks at political issues across the spectrum. They looked at Colorado River water cuts coming due to massive Tier 2 shortages. Agents in that region need to be providing value-added education and data to potential buyers in their markets.

Next, they looked at how teacher shortages are impacting school systems and what schools are doing to try to deal with the gaps in hiring. Because so many homebuyers make their decisions based on the local schools, the best piece of marketing you can do is interviewing teachers and administrators at the local school, Lazine said.

Finally, they looked at a story about San Francisco’s walk-back of initiatives to defund the police and how they are having to pivot to address increases in crime and homelessness. Agents need to know the data and be able to discuss the positives of the market.

Want to be part of the conversation? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below, or shoot us an email.

Byron Lazine
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