If you’re starting a career in real estate, whether as a property manager, agent or broker, there’s one question you need to know how to answer:
How strong is the real estate market where you work (or plan to work)?
We always hear about “good” and “bad” markets, but the truth is, whether it’s a buyer’s market, seller’s market or a balanced market, someone is going to be in a position to come out ahead. It’s also important to remember that every geographic area is different. When people in the national news media talk about “good” and “bad” markets, don’t pay too much attention to them. The only market that matters is the one your are buying (or selling) in.
The factors that determine your market’s strength are the supply, the demand and the artificial influences that are at work. Homes that are available for sale or that will be available for sale in the next few months make up the current inventory. Permits for new construction and current construction are also factored into this number. The unemployment rate, population changes and other demographic considerations are factored into the supply of buyers (demand). You can find census data online or from your local chamber of commerce to help you gauge the demand where you live.
As for artificial influences, foreclosures continue to be common in many areas, and foreclosed properties are boosting the inventory of available properties. The federal First-Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit is exerting influence by luring buyers with a tax credit. Property taxes and mortgage availability, two variables that are never constant, have a significant effect as well.
Let’s go back to the first question, then one we hear over and over: “How strong is the real estate market where I plan to do business?”
You can look at the available inventory, the total number of houses sold and the average house price—all figures specific to the geographic area you’re researching—to determine the state of your market. Don’t worry about national or statewide trends. 2008 was a disaster for the real estate business nationwide, but many local markets pulled through relatively unscathed.
Once you know the true picture of your market (instead of the sweeping generalities you hear on the national news), you’ll be poised to leverage your marketing and sales skills to suit the needs of buyers and sellers where you are. Advertise your services to make sure everyone in your market knows how to find a real estate agent or broker that meets their needs.
If you’re just starting out, Meditec’s Real Estate Office Manger Program will equip you with the skills needed to apply for your real estate license and succeed in every kind of market. Part-time courses (15 hours per week) will get you through the program in about six months. Topics include business essentials, marketing and sales, human resources management, and office procedures. You’ll take your courses at your own pace and under the guidance of instructors who are leaders in the real estate industry.