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Anne_LuskIn the following interview, Anne M. Lusk, owner of Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty in Lancaster, Pa., discusses challenges in the market and marketing strategies.

Region Served: Central Pennsylvania
Years in Real Estate: 26
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 40
Favorite Way to Unwind: Walking my dog

What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
The media, as it can sway the minds of consumers – and what we talk about, we bring about. When the media is talking about the market being bad or slowing down or it being a hard time to sell, the consumer’s mind is swayed toward negativity. When there’s a lot of positivity being reported, people seem to believe it, and there’s often a rush to buy.

What is one of the challenges your market faces, and what are you doing to overcome it?
There is inventory in central Pennsylvania, but it might not be the right inventory for what the current consumer is desiring. Our rental market is very tight. In a market of under 250,000 people, consumers desire to buy because it’s actually cheaper than renting, and they get to own the home and get a tax benefit. To overcome this, we’re taking the time to seek out good inventory that we can offer our client base before it even hits the market.

When it comes to dealing with picky buyers, what’s your best tip?
It all comes down to communication and finding out what’s best for the buyer, so begin with a consultation in your office to discuss their real needs and determine what their housing goals are. The reason buyers are picky is because they have fear. If you can alleviate that fear, it makes the process more enjoyable for them and you.

What is your top strategy for closing a transaction?
Preparation. When you’re properly prepared, you can easily reach your destination. While I spend a lot of time preparing for whatever I do, whether it’s going out to list a house or meet with a buyer, a lot of agents don’t take the time to prepare for success. If you take the time to prepare, you will have no problem getting that transaction to the finish line.

You use an integrated marketing strategy, including print and, specifically, Homes & Land. How does it benefit you?
Homes & Land benefits me because in Central Pennsylvania, people still like print. You need to have an integration between print, the internet and your personal sphere of influence. I feel like Homes & Land has been excellent for me because it offers various technologies. It has print, an online presence, and even gives consumers the ability to text for more information on specific properties.

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Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern.

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