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In the following interview, Michael Davar, Regional Manager of OC & IE with Realty ONE Group in Irvine, Calif., gives us the inside scoop on fully utilizing an active market.

Davar_MichaelRegion served: Orange County, San Bernardino and Riverside, Calif.
Years in real estate: 29
Number of offices: 8
Number of agents: 1,256
Top tip for staying organized: Use a CRM system and make sure to develop a drip campaign that will streamline your follow-up process.

Please describe the current market conditions in your area.
Our market is very active. Last year we had approximately 33,000 homes sold in Orange County alone, which translates into 66,000 buy/sell sides. We currently have about 2.5 months of inventory, prices appear to be very stable and the short sale and REO market is a very small percentage of our business. Properties that are well priced and well staged are still attracting multiple offers.

What demographic segments are driving your business?
A good portion of our business is still first-time buyers. The move-up market is still very active as well. We’re also experiencing a lot of international buyers/investors in certain pockets.

How do you effectively communicate with your sales professionals?
As a manager, it is extremely important to be effective in communicating with my sales professionals. I accomplish this by conducting two to three training classes a week, as well as a couple of bi-weekly mastermind meetings. I make sure my office meetings are short, highly motivating and beneficial to our sales professionals. A lot of work goes into these meetings, but it’s worth the effort, as they create value for our sales professionals and makes my communication with them a lot easier. We also provide an “item of value” at each meeting.

How does social media fit into the mix?
The industry is evolving, and agents who embrace technology and social media are experiencing great results. Consumers are becoming more savvy and they perceive the sales professional who uses social media as a person they can better relate to. Therefore, we frequently invite experts into our offices for social media training.

What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
Interest rates are still very low, and a lot of buyers are motivated to get into the market before they go up further. The same applies to move-up buyers. However, consumers are very picky and seek sales professionals who are knowledgeable and have their act together.

How do you see your market evolving throughout 2014?
Agents who invest in implementing technology and systems will experience an increase in the amount of business they’ll do at the expense of those who lag behind in investing in these systems. I believe the market will remain stable with prices staying about the same. However, I anticipate prices going up after 2014.

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