Top 5 Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2019
There are exciting developments in the real estate markets in 2019, but with a cooling of the market and interest rates on the rise, agents must be attentive to what homebuyers really need in order to attract their business. Our guide to the Top 5 Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2019 will give you a look at the mindset of today’s buyers and help you meet them where they are.
1.) A strong online presence with effective personal branding will be more important than ever.
The truth is that your most successful competitors have most likely had strong online presences for the last decade, so if you don’t, you’re not yet in the game. Buyers are looking for video content (which is viewed and shared far more often than images and text), fresh updates on a regular basis, and rapid response time to messages.
At least 80% of homebuyers today start their search online, and that figure is going to continue to rise as Generation Y and Millennial buyers will take over more than half the market by 2020. Having a strong online presence will likely be your most reliable pathway to closing sales in 2019.
However, baby boomers are in direct competition with younger buyers for properties, and they have different needs when they are looking for properties online. The most successful agents will cater to both audiences equally well. An over-emphasis on reaching younger buyers will make you invisible to a huge segment of your audience.
To reach more people online, post plenty of video content, keep your sites user-friendly, make sure they are all mobile-responsive, and give equal thought to both Android and iPhone users.
In order to be truly successful online, you must not only make your virtual office robust, user-friendly, and appealing, but you must also stay current on shopping patterns and communication trends.
To start out, ask buyers how they like to communicate online. Make yourself available on those platforms and become proficient in their use. Remember, you’re online to be a responsive, helpful resource for potential buyers. Don’t say anything in private communication that you wouldn’t say in your office. All online communication can become published publicly at any moment, and a buyer might not think twice before broadcasting a message you’ve sent them privately.
2.) Successful agents will add value through their insights and expertise.
In 2019, buyers won’t come to you to have you show them new listings. They’ll have been looking at homes online and if they’re like most homebuyers today, they will already be informed about market trends and interest rates through online research.
Instead, buyers will look to you for your insight and expertise in your specific housing market. Give them inside information on neighborhood trends, show them how to get the most house for their money, and help them navigate the bidding and mortgage processes, and they’ll be glad they chose you.
3.) Evidence of authenticity and success will be vital.
Gen Y and Millennial buyers are able to detect marketing flash and they’ll be quick to figure it out if you don’t have substance behind your online presence.
The best way to provide evidence of authenticity is to create and maintain an authentic connection with buyers you work with along the way. Maintain a personal touch despite the digital nature of most of your interactions.
For example, you could capture a quick video testimonial from a pleased client and post it while it’s current, show a video montage of you working hard to take a home from dowdy to beautifully staged, or take viewers around up-and-coming neighborhoods on a virtual community tour.
Above all, demonstrate that you are warm, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. More people are using ad blockers than ever before, so in 2019, you may not be able to reach people well with online advertisement alone.
However, posting authentic and shareable content is an excellent way to lean on your personal connections to help you make an impact online.
4.) A larger inventory of homes, particularly luxury homes, will shift the landscape for both buyers and sellers.
For several years, there has been a very slim inventory of homes for sale. Buyers have had to compete fiercely to get their foot in the door. However, inventory has finally started to recover—but only a bit. Next year we may see as much as a 7% increase, which will help first-time homebuyers enter the market.
In higher-priced markets, however, the growth is probably going to be mostly from luxury homes. Nashville, Seattle, and San Jose may even see double-digit increases in their housing markets, much of which will be in luxury housing.
In those markets, then, the inventory of moderate and low-priced housing may not increase by much, meaning that most buyers will still need to bring their best bids if they want to win the home of their dreams.
5.) Suburbs and second cities are key markets for buyers today.
Because cities like New York and San Francisco are less affordable today than they have ever been, younger buyers have begun to migrate out into the suburbs. For these buyers, single-family homes in walkable developments are the most desirable.
The Census Bureau reports that in 2016 and 2017, more than 2.5 million people migrated out of larger cities into the suburbs. The ULI’s latest Top 20 emerging market report revealed that 55% of new residents have moved into a suburb over the last five years.
Clearly, in 2019, a successful agent will have the best insight into strategies for successfully purchasing a desirable suburban home in safe, walkable areas.