Declining Inflation Presents Opportunities for Real Estate AgentsTimothy Hall
The recent trend of cooling inflation is having a notable impact on the real estate market, particularly for homebuyers and real estate agents. As mortgage rates are projected to decrease, potentially reaching the 4% range, there is a renewed interest among buyers. In this article we’ll explore how the decline in inflation affects real estate agents and the opportunities it presents.
Inflation Rate and Mortgage Rates
The calming inflation rate observed in recent months has contributed to a decrease in mortgage rates during the holiday season. Although consumer prices continue to surpass the typical 2% inflation rate, November of 2022 witnessed the lowest level at 7.1%. The deceleration of inflation is a significant factor behind the forecast of a 5.5% mortgage rate by the second half of 2023. Should the deceleration accelerate beyond expectations, there is a possibility that mortgage rates could dip into the 4% range. This potential decline in rates is likely to attract buyers back into the real estate market.
Impact on Rental Market
One influential factor contributing to the declining inflation is the rent paid by individuals and the rental equivalency for homeowners. Both measures have experienced significant increases, with annual gains of 7.9% and 7.1%, respectively, marking the highest rise since the early 1980s. These substantial gains can be attributed to the housing shortage and historically low rental vacancy rates. However, recent data suggests that the housing shortage may not be as severe as initially perceived. The rental vacancy rate increased to 6% in the third quarter of 2022, up from 5.8% the previous year. Additionally, overall sale inventory experienced a 2.7% increase in December. Data on new lease rates from apartment property managers also indicate a notable slowdown in gains. These developments in the rental market contribute to a further calming of consumer prices.
Conversion of Commercial Spaces and Housing Supply
To address the housing shortage, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has advocated for the conversion of vacant commercial spaces, such as empty shopping malls or office buildings, into residential units. This can be facilitated through funding and tax credit incentives. Additionally, financial incentives for rehabilitating dilapidated and abandoned homes in major cities can contribute to increased housing supply and enhance neighborhood safety. These initiatives present opportunities for real estate agents to explore new avenues for business and contribute to the growth of the market.
Economic Outlook and First-Time Buyers
While there are concerns about a potential recession, the economy demonstrates signs of near-zero growth. However, strong job creation remains a positive aspect. Despite industry layoffs, there are still significantly more job openings than unemployed individuals, with a ratio of 7-to-1. This year, net job creation is projected to be between 1 million and 2 million, creating a pool of future homeowners. However, it is worth noting that the share of first-time homebuyers in November remained relatively low at 28%. This finding, highlighted in NAR’s 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, indicates the lowest annual share since NAR began tracking the data.
So what does it mean for the real estate market?
The cooling inflation and its various impacts present real estate agents with unique opportunities in the market. The potential decrease in mortgage rates can attract more buyers, while efforts to address the housing shortage and convert commercial spaces provide avenues for growth and increased housing supply. However, the low share of first-time buyers suggests the need for further initiatives to encourage homeownership among this group. Real estate agents must stay updated on these trends and adapt their strategies accordingly to navigate the evolving market landscape.
What can an agent do to capitalize on the positive trends?
In an improving housing market, real estate agents can leverage marketing materials to capitalize on the positive trends and attract potential clients. Here are some strategies that agents can employ to make the most of the situation:
Highlight Market Data: Real estate agents should gather and present relevant market data to demonstrate the improving housing market. This can include statistics on increasing home prices, decreasing days on market, rising sales activity, and decreasing inventory levels. By showcasing this data in their real estate marketing materials, agents can instill confidence in potential clients and position themselves as knowledgeable professionals.
Showcase Success Stories: Sharing success stories and testimonials from satisfied clients who have recently bought or sold properties in the improving market can be highly effective. These stories serve as social proof and can create a sense of trust and credibility. Including these narratives in marketing materials, such as brochures or online testimonials, can help potential clients envision their own success with the agent’s services.
Professional Photography : High-quality, professional photography is essential in marketing properties effectively. Agents should invest in professional photographers to capture visually appealing images of the properties they represent. Additionally, offering virtual tours or 3D walkthroughs can provide an immersive experience for potential buyers, allowing them to explore properties remotely. These visual marketing materials can attract more interest and generate qualified leads.
Utilize Social Media and Online Platforms: With the increasing reliance on digital platforms, real estate agents should have a strong presence on social media and other online channels. They can create engaging content, share market updates, showcase listings, and provide valuable insights and tips to potential clients. Active participation in relevant online communities, such as neighborhood groups or real estate forums, can also help agents establish themselves as local experts and increase their visibility.
Develop Targeted Campaigns: Real estate agents can create targeted real estate postcard marketing campaigns that specifically focus on the benefits of buying or selling in an improving market. This can involve email marketing, direct mail campaigns, or online advertising. By tailoring their messaging to address the specific needs and desires of potential clients, agents can effectively capture their attention and generate leads.
Collaborate with Local Businesses: Building partnerships with local businesses, such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors, or interior designers, can provide added value to clients. Agents can collaborate with these professionals to create joint marketing materials, referral programs, or even host joint events or seminars. Such collaborations can enhance the agent’s credibility, expand their network, and attract potential clients.
Offer Educational Content: Providing educational content, such as blog posts, videos, or webinars, can position real estate agents as trusted advisors. Agents can share insights on market trends, home buying or selling processes, financing options, or neighborhood guides. By offering valuable information, agents can build trust, establish themselves as experts, and attract clients who appreciate their expertise.
In summary, real estate agents can capitalize on an improving housing market by utilizing effective marketing materials, including professionally designed Realtor business cards. By showcasing market data, success stories, high-quality visuals, and valuable content, agents can attract potential clients, differentiate themselves from competitors, and ultimately increase their business opportunities in the growing market.
Realty Cards is the industry leader in designing and printing quality real estate marketing materials, and we would love the opportunity to work with you on providing quality promotional materials for your business!