Real estate agents should prepare to point consumers toward information that will help them navigate a return to a normal, slower market, Anthony Lammachia said at ICNY on Wednesday.

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Agents who want to increase business in 2023, despite apparent headwinds and consumer fear over economic uncertainty, need to arm themselves with the latest mortgage and finance options and be ready to act as the educator for the public and their clients.

Real estate is the one topic and industry that people always want to hear about, and in times of uncertainty, Realtors are well positioned to share information within their networks, said Anthony Lammachia, CEO of the Lamacchia Companies, at Inman Connect New York on Wednesday.

“If you’re a carpenter, if you show up at a family party, would people say, ‘Hey I hear there are no galvanized nails out, that’s really cool?'” he said. “That doesn’t happen. But we happen to be in a business that people always say to us: ‘How’s the market?'”

Anthony Lammachia, owner of Crush it in Real Estate, at Inman Connect New York on Wednesday | Photos by AJ Canaria & Mercedes Santiago of MoxiWorks

Not only that, but agents who are prepared to field increasingly common concerns from sellers and buyers will position themselves to attract more clients and close more transactions, Lammachia said.

“Educate to attract. The more information that you’re putting out about your market, the more information that you’re putting out about interest rates,” he said, “the more you’re going to attract people to you.”

Lammachia recommends not only becoming a pillar of education as a way of attracting leads but being ready to handle any question.

And after interest rates doubled in 2022, housing prices have begun falling after a historic run-up and transactions slowed to a halt, there’s no shortage of questions agents might face.

But there are some common themes.

“There are still millions of sellers across the country saying, ‘Yeah I want to sell but where am I going to go?'” Lammachia said of potential sellers who claim to be interested in selling but don’t actually take action.

Sellers of late have remained largely frozen, with inventory in 2023 expected to remain around 15 percent below the average in 2019.

He recommends teaching potential homesellers and buyers about the benefits of a fixed monthly payment, rather than the possibility of rent increasing. Buyers need to know about the benefits of the home interest deduction provision, he said, and Realtors are the ones who need to tell them.

“You are the conduit to home ownership,” Lammachia said.

Anthony Lammachia, owner of Crush it in Real Estate, at Inman Connect New York |  Photos by AJ Canaria & Mercedes Santiago of MoxiWorks

For those hesitant to buy because of interest rates that are around 6 percent, Lammachia suggests talking about rate buydowns, which have become increasingly popular in recent months.

“You need to be very familiar with interest rate buydowns,” he said. “Temporary buydowns. Traditional buydowns that are more permanent. Adjustable rate mortgages.”

“You don’t have to become [a mortgage expert],” he said, “but you do have to be better at explaining these kinds of things so that you can get a buyer’s attention.”

As an example of the power of educating your network, Lammachia’s firm created a series of websites to which he pointed Realtors at Inman Connect. MyRateBuyDown.com is a source of information for mortgage options. BenefitsofHomeOwnership.com can help Realtors come up with pitches for buying a home rather than renting. And WantToBeSellers.com provides answers to common questions raised by potential sellers.

The latter answers questions about pocket listings, flexibility around closing dates and disclosures that make a final sale contingent on the seller finding suitable housing before closing.

Doing that type of research in anticipation of a common slate of questions Realtors face today will increase the amount of business agents do this year, Lammachia said.

“If you get better with the conversations,” he said, “you will convince more people to take action ahead of time to get themselves completely ready to be able to make a move when the right home comes up.”

Email Taylor Anderson

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