Keeping up with a market that never stops moving can often feel exhausting. In the following interview, Linda Rocha, the manager of Realty ONE Group in Corona, Calif., shares her top tips for staying ahead of the game.
Region served: The Inland Empire, Calif.
Years in real estate: 38
Number of agents: 185
Number of offices: 1
Favorite relationship-building strategy: Show that you care. That’s my motto.
Top tip for thriving in today’s market: As a manager, it’s by producing the best resources and coaching.
Describe the current consumer-confidence climate in your area.
I think people feel reasonably good about the economy. Not only are there opportunities for consumers to take advantage of, but unemployment is down as well. All in all, I think we’re heading back toward a more normal market.
What do you like most about the region in which you work?
This area is among the fastest growing areas in the state. In fact, according to a study by IHS Global Insight, the Inland Empire is projected to be one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. And home prices are still about half of what you’d pay in the metro areas located to the west and south.
What demographic segments are driving your business these days?
Move-up buyers are playing a large part in our market now that prices have gone down and people have equity in their homes. We’re also starting to see more international clients. First-time buyers are still out there, but their numbers have dropped due to down-payment issues and stricter lending requirements.
What are some of the most difficult challenges buyers face today?
Higher home prices and tighter lending requirements.
How are you using technology to better serve your clients?
There are a couple ways, the first being maximum online exposure for all of our properties with ListHub, which has an extended network of over 900 Internet sites. Also, something you’ll be seeing very soon: Curb Call mobile app, which allows agents to monetize small windows of free time throughout their day to pick up on-demand showing requests from buyers who want an immediate tour.
How do you stay ahead of the competition?
What provides the greatest value is the brand that we represent. Kuba [Jewgieniew, the company’s CEO and founder] provides an excellent, personalized app that not only has a GPS feature, but also gives the agent powerful analytics. The company also provides prime listing placement on sites like Homes.com and Trulia at no cost to the agent.
How do you see the market evolving throughout the next year?
Real estate truly is a roller coaster ride. The slower pace of sales, higher inventory, and affordability are becoming more of an issue, and lending standards remain tight. As rates go down, there will be higher housing demand.
For more information, visit www.realtyonegroup.com.