Real Estate Recovery Yields New Playing Field of Opportunities

By Paige Tepping

New-construction sales, global business and luxury market provide new opportunities for continued success

“There’s no doubt that we’re in the midst of a market recovery, and it feels good to have the wind at our backs,” explained Richard W. “Rick” Davidson, president and CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate, during RISMedia’s 2013 Real Estate CEO Exchange held last month at New York City’s prestigious Yale Club. “However, as leaders, we need to constantly be thinking about what’s next by anticipating where the market’s headed.”

A sentiment shared by panelists who took the stage during the session titled “Your Three Best Bets: New Construction, Global and Luxury,” Davidson went on to note that we all have the opportunity to take marketshare profitably from each other as time moves forward. For Davidson, growing that pie exponentially is all about identifying the next opportunity—or point of differentiation. “While one quarter of all goods and services that have ever been produced in human history were produced in the last 10 years, technology and communications have enabled a global economy,” said Davidson, who noted that international buyers represent a significant opportunity for real estate professionals who take the time to understand both the culture and process surrounding these buyers. “While Hispanic immigrants come here aspiring to be homeowners, getting involved with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) are two great ways to break into a demographic that’s nearly 19 million strong.”

For Paul Boomsma, president, Luxury Portfolio Intl.; COO, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the real opportunity today lies in the luxury market, as this group has not only rebounded, but changed its attitude when it comes to purchasing real estate. “When the crisis hit, half of this group thought they would lose their money, while one third thought they would lose their job, creating a fear mentality that kept them from purchasing unless they were getting a really great deal,” said Boomsma. Boomsma went on to note that luxury buyers are now in the market to purchase again, especially when it’s worth it to them, however, what they’re looking for in a home has changed. For real estate professionals, finding the attribute of that property is crucial when it comes to getting luxury buyers back into the game.

As the needs of consumers—and their desires—change with every market up and down, keeping up with education and training are two ways real estate professionals can set themselves up for success as we move forward on a new playing field, complete with new rules. While the luxury and upper-tier market are typically handled by a default group of brokers/agents/offices, Lawrence P. “LP” Finn, III, director of Corporate Services, Coach REALTORS®, has taken a proactive approach to move his company to better tap into the luxury market.

From educating agents in regard to affluent buyer and seller behavior to looking at presentation skills and providing prospecting materials so agents can grow their sphere of influence, Finn has pulled out all the stops when it comes to elevating his agents’ game. “Finding success in today’s market started with empowering my agents so that no matter what the competition was, they could get the buyer because they understood them,” said Finn.

Another huge opportunity in today’s market? New-construction. According to Dennis Walsh, founder, Dennis Walsh & Associates, and REbuildUSA, we’ll need roughly 18 million new homes built in this country between 2010-2020. And it’s clear to see that buyers are interested in the new-construction trend. In fact, a national survey conducted by BHI Inc. shows that 19 percent of buyers were not interested in buying anything other than a brand new home. Additionally, 35 percent want to be shown new homes during the process. “While the desire for new-construction is out there among buyers, less than five percent of real estate professionals have the skills and training to do this trend justice,” said Walsh, underscoring the importance of building a new-homes culture within your real estate business.

As the industry continues along the road to recovery, finding success in today’s market boils down to two important things: being up-to-date and ahead of the curve wherever possible.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.