Masters of the Market

by Doug Pitorak

An Intimate Knowledge of the Market

Thorough market research is the essential first step to high sales volume, though it’s not particularly difficult to obtain such information. NAR and local MLS services frequently report on the market from a national (and a local) standpoint; an agent’s main job is a never-ending study of the market and an understanding of how best they should analyze the data and apply it to their specific real estate business.

Groth totaled $15.73 million in sales volume in 2013, and she utilizes Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) for most of her market analysis. Every single morning, Groth looks at absorption rates, local inventory and new listings, and checks the price of properties that recently sold.

By effectively gauging what kinds of properties are selling (their characteristics, amenities, etc.), what prices they are selling at and what areas of what neighborhoods appear to be attracting the most buyers, Groth establishes what the “real market” is, which in turn helps her know how to negotiate during transactions. Such analysis is also important for Mills, who makes sure to know the CMA values of the other properties when negotiating prices with buyer clients.

Marketing Your Attributes

Though mastery of the marketplace is a key attribute of any top producer, such knowledge can only be put into practice if you have a broad, ever-evolving assortment of clientele to apply it towards, and all top producers similarly distinguish themselves through unique, expertly crafted marketing materials. Many firms provide their Realtors with access to such resources, a fact that often convinces top producers to work with a firm as opposed to being an independent owner.

Marketing support can be incredibly helpful when working towards top producer status – Mills credits much of her success to her brokerage and the support Koenig & Strey provides, which includes the creative design on all print and Internet marketing and the financing for her marketing campaigns, as well. While she loved owning her own business, she says she made the right decision to join a bigger firm.

“To be supported how Koenig & Strey supports me with various aspects of my business, it just gives me peace of mind,” Mills says.

Top agents also utilize an online presence, something that is quite important with today’s homebuyers. NAR reported in June 2013 that 90 percent of homebuyers prefer the Internet while gathering information in a home search. Eighty-four percent of consumers pay the most attention to the photos in an online listing, according to NAR, and 79 percent care the most about the listed info on that property online; surprisingly, only 45 percent of consumers want to see a virtual video tour. Photos clearly matter most, and top producers consistently use professional photography and maximize the number of photos allowed on any site, as well as an interactive floor plan by shooting each room from all angles.

Lee markets through various mediums: the Internet, brochures and billboards in Lake County. Buyers and sellers who’ve closed a deal with Lee are even offered a free moving truck with her picture and contact information on the side of it (her business owns three trucks). Lee regularly produces brochures, but that’s the only print marketing she does – until this year. When Lee saw an opportunity to broaden her exposure in the North Shore area, she took it. This year, she took out a print add in Forrest & Bluff, a monthly magazine delivered to Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents for free. Her ad will appear in every issue this year.

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