Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Vision 212
Will your business increase, decrease or keep at the same pace next year? Why? We had a great year, and based on the fourth quarter in 2011, our 2012 should increase by 20 percent. We have a strong inventory of sellable listings. Most of my agents have made sure to inform their past clients and circle of influence that we are a full-service brokerage offering expertise in traditional sales, short sales and rentals.
What is RE/MAX planning for 2012? What goals have you set personally in your business and what are your company’s goals? The office has a general business plan that we annually review with each agent individually to customize, based on the agent’s situation, time allocated to real estate and personal strengths.
Do you see the amount of buyers vs. renters increasing, decreasing or staying the same? Definitely increasing, with an increased percent of short sales among the amount of closings each year. These individuals, even if their credit is recovered, still have to wait three years before they can buy again if they missed any mortgage payments, or one year if they were able to close on a short sale without missing any payments. I also see a larger percent of my listings being sold to investors; these are often cash buyers. So many buildings have issues, such as lower than 50 percent owner occupancy, which makes it difficult for buyers to obtain financing.
Do you think the government will help or hurt housing in 2012? I think the most important involvement is if Congress extends the 2007 Debt Relief Act, which expires December 2012. Without this, homeowners can have tax liability for the short fall from their short sales. In regards to the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, it’s a good program, but it has a lot of issues that make it difficult for the average homeowner or Realtor who doesn’t specialize in short sales.
Will there be more or less people choosing to join the real estate industry next year? Do you think a significant amount of agents will switch from full-time to part-time due to the market? I think with the increased hours to obtain a license and the general public opinion that the real estate is market is slow (which is not true), there will be less people joining the industry. More veteran agents will continue to either work part-time or just quit the industry, which is good in the long run for the consumer and fellow agents. The real estate industry was always dynamic, but between the increase in short sales/REOs, the traditional methods of capturing clients becoming less effective, the importance of web presence, and speed in which clients demand information, many agents will be forced out of the business or just have drastic decreases in their usual business.
How do you plan to grow your business? Make sure each agent follows his or her business plan, which is any agent’s road map to success. I’ll also stay in constant contact with past clients and build a strong database for referrals.