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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The post-election real estate economy, and what it means to your customers

The election is over.

Regardless of who you did or didn't vote for, you're likely relieved about that.

That is, until you start thinking about the work that still needs to be done in the United States and abroad.

While housing has made a bit of a rebound, some economists have predicted the economy is far from stable, and could get worse before it gets much better.

It's a scary subject, and one that many might prefer to not think about. That is, unless they're considering making a large investment and concerned with what outside economic factors could impact that decision down the road.

As a real estate agent, you're probably not an economist. You're not a forecaster. You're not a stock market expert.

But to your clients, you are an expert on what might be their largest investment, and the only one that literally protects their family--their home.

You have a vested interest in learning what you can, and so do your clients. They lean on you for advise, and they've become more savvy to sorting through the politics--bad content and sales pitches--to find that which will truly help them make the best decision for their family and future.

While that may sound to some like an overwhelming task, it also presents you with an enormous opportunity. You can be the person your clients turn to in order to help them make their best decisions.

Your opportunities live in what has otherwise been a national economic trend. People turn to national outlets for news. Even local news outlets have leaned on syndicated stories. This allows for a larger spectrum of news, but it often comes at the cost of local stories presented in such a way that they're meaningful and relevant to your life.

The same is true for markets, particularly the real estate market. As the economy began turning in 2007, real estate markets took a dive. Some areas saw larger downward trends, and noticed them before other markets had been hit. These factors helped skew national home values and sales data, and large national real estate portals became sources of home data that consumers and the media began to rely on.

The public eye was on real estate, but not for the reasons you hoped it might be. As an agent, you probably struggled to combat some of the negative overall feel in the real estate industry at the time. In fact, you may find yourself often still fighting those battles. But once that fear is set in the mind of a consumer, you've found it difficult to combat.

The consumer wants to believe you when you say your market wasn't hit like some other markets were. He wants to trust when you tell him home prices are rebounding and he'll be able to sell his listing; that the bottom shouldn't drop out tomorrow.

But he has turned to what he has deemed the top real estate sources, and he has seen skewed data that has led him in a different direction. So you find yourself attempting to influence an already tainted decision, rather than helping to educate an interested but worried customer.

Sound familiar? Politics and the national economy aren't that much different.

You wished there was a way you could better control this; to get the message across from what you're seeing in the market. You wished you could more effectively tell the stories of the trends that are occurring in real estate, rather than battle those perceptions that the national media helped create.

As your own brand, you have this opportunity. You have the knowledge of the market, and the ability to tell your story. You can share information, and help your consumers better understand what they're up against in the real estate market, the local trends, and how they've changed in recent months.

Your Market Watch reports allow consumers to take a deeper look at this data. They can see what home inventory levels are doing in relation to home prices. They can follow your view on these changes through your blog, and see other national real estate trends there as well, because you can automatically source those to your blog just as a local news outlet might. And they can see this data without talking to you--their sales person. If they feel the information is rewarding enough that they can trust you, they'll reach out to you when the time is right. The reports won't make them feel "sold to," so that's a high possibility.

You can give your customers something other agents can't--a deeper, more intuitive look at the local market in a bumpy economy. And you can give them the peace of mind they're searching for when trying to make potentially the toughest decision of their lives in uncertain economic times. And you can do it all without making them feel like they're living through another election cycle or being fed general, national news that might not pertain to them.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to help your clients better understand their real estate economies.
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