“Educating consumers and working to restore consumer confidence is about preaching the truth,” says Mark Stark, CEO/owner of Prudential Americana Group, REALTORS® in Las Vegas, Nev. As we continue to make our way through this once-in-a-lifetime market that is defined by low interest rates and depressed value, Stark believes there has never been a better time to buy, and he and his team are taking this message to the streets.
“You can’t argue with the facts,” says Stark, who describes the current market in Las Vegas as being busy with lots of activity, challenging and opportunistic. In fact, Stark noticed a significant change in the marketplace throughout 2011 as people began to realize that what we’re seeing is the real estate market, the new normal. “Over the last year, as people have come to accept the fact that what we’re dealing with is the norm, they’ve started to do their homework and come up with solutions to solve their real estate issues,” he adds. “I believe that consumer confidence is a local phenomenon, a product of results,” says Stark. “As people begin to solve their issues—whether it be foreclosure, short sale, bankruptcy or giving up equity and moving to a new home—more people will catch on and do the same.”
As a business service company, Stark emphasizes the importance of communication when it comes to educating homebuyers about the realities of today’s market. “We are constantly communicating with our sales associates who then go to the marketplace and communicate with buyers and sellers,” says Stark. While a majority of the education process takes place through the communication of key points with sales associates, it is augmented through the use of technology, mailers and face-to-face communication.
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that prospective buyers and sellers do their homework and work with a real estate professional who knows their stuff,” says Stark. He adds that it’s also important that you take the time to sit down and figure out what you want and start with your end goal in mind. “Your plan should lead to your decisions, so it’s essential that you don’t base your decisions on what others have done, as everyone’s situation is unique.”
In the end, Stark believes that restoring consumer confidence on a larger scale comes down to three things: job growth, population growth and not trying to politic your way to success. “Let the free market do its thing. The real estate process is an amazing process if you let it work.”