Preparing for a new year always brings new challenges and new ideas. Here are some ways you can prepare your business for 2020 and some coming trends.
State of the Market
There has been a lot of discussion that a correction, or recession, will be coming in 2020. However, unlike past recessions, the housing market is unlikely to be at the center of it. Housing market analysts seem to be in agreement that millennials will continue their upward swing in homebuying, but inventory will diminish as existing homeowners continue to hold on to their houses for longer than they did in the past. Realtor.com predicts that the median sale price of homes will increase by 0.8% this year, while sales of existing homes will decrease by 1.8%.
Keep up with Trends in the Market
What does this mean for real estate agents? It means that, more than ever, they must keep abreast of trends in the market, for one thing. Some of the trends that real estate agents should be keeping an eye on are
- The changing needs of Baby Boomers. As our population ages, there is an increased need for appropriate housing, whether that equates to active living communities, upscale apartments or just smaller properties as seniors choose to downsize. In fact, by 2035, over one in five people in the U.S. will be 65 or older and one in three households will be headed by a person in that age group. That’s about 79 million people who will, in the majority, own rather than rent their homes.
- Millennials on the move to “Hipsturbia.” Many millennials have become parents and have migrated toward the suburbs of big cities where the communities have become more diverse, and tend to have stores, recreation, and offices within walking or easy transit distance.
- Smart home technology on the rise. Increased demand for smart home devices going into 2020 could increase both buyers’ interest and property values.
- Continuing lack of affordability. It is still difficult for much of the U.S. population to afford a house. If home prices continue on an upward trend and home sellers remain on the sidelines, this could make it more difficult for first-time home buyers. In these situations, it is even more important that both buyers and sellers work with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent from their local market.
- Investors with a lot of capital. On the other hand, investors will have a great deal of liquidity due to the favorable economy. While they may be taking a conservative approach to investing it, a well-prepared, well-educated agent can help steer them into advantageous investments.
Prepare Your Marketing Plan Now
Probably the most important thing you can do now to protect yourself and your business in case a recession hits is to put away money for your marketing efforts for the coming year. You can’t afford to lose your media presence regardless of a downturn in the market. In fact, you likely will want more exposure as others lose their influence due to cutbacks.
There are several things you can do ahead of 2020 to get yourself positioned to bring in more clients.
- Start a blog. If you don’t have already have a blog, now is the time to start one. This is a great opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. And, a good practice is to give this knowledge away without your readers having to sign up for anything in return: it shows you are a valuable and trustworthy source. Write about what matters to your audience, such as the pros and cons of home warranties for home buyers and sellers.
- Update your skills. As the trends above illustrate, you may need more and different skills to navigate the changing landscape of the housing market, both because of and notwithstanding any recession. For example, both the aging Baby Boomers and the millennials will need specific skill sets to deal with their particular housing needs. Or, you may need expertise in foreclosures or REOs. Now is the time to make some decisions and get the training you need.
- Update your use of social media. For example, 59 percent of millennials, who are the biggest pool of first-time home buyers, use Instagram on a daily basis; yet, only 39 percent of Realtors® utilize it. If you have been dragging your feet learning social media platforms that you might not have used in the past, now is the time to learn. Think back to the trends mentioned earlier and start posting.
2020 is the year of clear vision- having crystal clear insight into your business strategy this year will help prepare you for whatever the real estate industry brings.