By Maria Patterson
Individual leadership is exactly what it will take to overcome the current inventory shortage, says Scott. “As leaders and agents, it is up to us to get the word out. For example, we are running a radio show now that talks about the opportunity for sellers. We believe there is a huge opportunity for people with negative equity to come into the market. We have to help those sellers. It’s about a grass roots effort—about taking your sphere of influence and walking them through the reality of the market.”
For Mark Woodroof, partner at Houston-based Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, the inventory shortage is making new-home construction another critical profit center in the new age of real estate. “The inventory situation should not have snuck up on us,” explains Woodroof. “We were building less than 500,000 homes, when the market calls for 1.5 million a year. The new-home builders will not be able to fix this in a year, but it will be a continued growth area. There is a 30 percent increase in housing starts so far this year. However, we are adding 10,000 people a month with immigration—so new homes alone won’t get it done.”
The other key opportunity Power Brokers are targeting is the revised role of the investor. According to Scott, while the big investor focus since the housing crash has been on hard-hit areas like Las Vegas and Florida, today’s investor is now focused on more stable markets that demand higher rental rates. “I believe investors will come back into more markets at a more normal pace,” says Scott. “If you are not in the property management business, you need to consider it—it is a business-generating machine for the brokerage business if done right.”
According to Dan Forsman, president and CEO of Prudential Georgia Real Estate, new to the HomeServices of America family, today’s investors are more apt to partner with real estate professionals. “Today’s investor is very disciplined and is treating real estate in a whole new way,” he explains. “They used to take us for granted, but now they’re anxious to work with brokers and agents.”
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