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What Do You Know About New-Home Sales?

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More Than You Realize

Business Building by Margaret Kelly

RISMEDIA, August 18, 2008-We’re talking a great deal lately about how much home buyers and sellers need our guidance. They’re on the outside, watching the housing dips and debates-and, thankfully, licensed agents are there to help clear the often-muddied windows on the real estate world.

But how many of you have considered that there are professionals on the inside experiencing the same confusion and uncertainty as consumers?

Your expertise could be just what they need to re-stimulate their businesses and kick yours up a notch in the process. They’re ready and willing to pay for quality representation, too.

I’m talking about new-home builders. In recent years, new housing developments sold out long before the bulldozers and backhoes started kicking up dust. Builders didn’t need help marketing their properties.

But in many U.S. markets, times have changed. As of May, the National Association of Realtors estimates 526,000 new homes will sell this year. That’s a 37% decrease from last year.

With an estimated 11-month supply nationwide, new-home developers in some regions are sitting on streets full of empty properties and wondering where the buyers are in this buyer’s market. That’s where you come in.

Housing developers want what all sellers are looking for: a fair price for their homes in a timely manner. But you understand that consumers’ priorities are different now. Promises of a free flat-screen television or kitchen cabinetry upgrade might not hold the same appeal as they did a couple of years ago.

When issues such as rising gasoline and food prices, ongoing war and pressure to save for retirement dominate thoughts and headlines, you know it’s important to appeal to consumers’ more conservative habits.

Put together a tailored packet for local builders that communicates your understanding of today’s buyers. Be clear about how you market properties to attract people who are on the fence about moving right now, and especially how you’ll communicate the advantages of purchasing a new home.

It’s a great time to boost your understanding of the new-home business and its challenges. You might even consider taking courses that lead to a new-home certification or designation-a great way to establish credibility and trust.

Show builders that there’s value in working with an expert. By helping them through the tougher climate, you’ll certainly see benefits in the short-term.

Margaret Kelly, CRB, is chief executive officer of RE/MAX International.

For more information, visit www.remax.com.

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