In the following interview, David Mussari of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty fills us in on keeping all angles of your business in perspective as you move forward.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty
Region served: State of Ohio and Northern Kentucky
Years in real estate: 17
Number of offices: 25
Number of agents: 450
Most successful marketing practice: Identify the specific needs of each individual client and then make sure your agents have the tools to best serve those needs.
Favorite relationship-building strategy: Make everyone feel important.
When it comes to consumer confidence, where does your market stand?
While the markets across Ohio are diverse, overall, consumer confidence is up from where it’s been in recent years. Pending contracts are showing steady increases month-over-month and mortgage activity is up. We’re also seeing a lot of first-time buyers enter the market and the days on market are down. On the consumer confidence front, this means consumers aren’t afraid to act quickly.
What is one of the biggest challenges your market faces and what are you doing to overcome it?
Our biggest challenge is lack of quality inventory. We’re seeing a lot of pent-up demand after the down period we went through, but there are still plenty of buyers out there, so it’s all about helping them find the right home. Another challenge is the fact that a lot of folks are still not selling because they think they’re underwater. To combat this, we have marketing programs targeted toward homeowners to educate them in regard to the realities of today’s market.
What is your top strategy for closing a transaction?
While I don’t sell anymore, I make sure my agents understand that there’s a lot more to the transaction than simply getting it under contract. In fact, the time between contract and closing is critical, so we preach one of our core values—Perspective—to keep all parties in the transaction focused on the end goal. A lot can happen between contract and closing, so it’s important that our agents and clients keep things in perspective during this time. This simple practice affords us a significantly higher closing percentage once under contract.
What would you say is the key to real estate success?
We are truly a people-driven company, so we try to attract the best staff members and agents in the industry. Hiring the best makes a huge difference, and that includes leadership. We’ve worked hard to establish a strong leadership team. Agents look to leadership, and that’s how we’ve built our brokerage. When you can bring in the best, success follows.
How do you see your market evolving throughout the next year?
I see consumer confidence continuing to steadily grow, and mortgage rates starting to tick up. Not only will this act as a catalyst to get people off the fence, it’ll also add an extra boost to the recovery we’re experiencing. New construction is going to get stronger as well, providing new product to fill the demand we’re seeing. Overall, I’m very optimistic about the next 12 months.
For more information, visit http://www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.