“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller
I love this time of year. The holidays always bring a smile to my face and a flutter to my heart. But it’s also around this time of year that I begin to think about the next year, and that always gets me excited. I’m an eternal optimist. I always have been, and always will be.
Writing about the future is thrilling, especially for the coming year. And, despite some naysayers, many things are moving in the right direction, pointing to 2015 being a strong year for real estate.
But it’s not just me who feels this way. In November, the National Association of Realtors invited me to speak at its annual convention in New Orleans. My class sold out with more than 500 attendees. It was a blast, and I met so many great people.
As I talked with the attendees, I noticed a prevailing sense of optimism. They were feeling good about this wonderful profession. I was glad to see this, because I believe optimism is something all Realtors should make a part of their daily lives, because as Keller so aptly said, it’s the faith that leads to achievement. As a coach and consultant, that’s what I’m all about – helping Realtors achieve.
So, let me get to the specific reasons I believe you should be excited about 2015:
1. More first-time buyers will be entering the market. You may have seen the report this fall that the number of first-time buyers hit a low. Well, that may have been true. But now, there are factors at play that will encourage first-time buyers to enter the market, such as more jobs, underwriting standards that are more welcoming and mortgage products that allow buyers to only put down 3 percent.
Plus, all-cash investors are stepping away, giving first-time buyers a better chance to get into the market. I also think the steady job and economic growth will cause trade-up buyers to jump off the fence.
2. Finances behind real estate will expand. The funds from the taxpayer bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been paid back in full. In fact, recent profits from the two companies have become revenue for the federal government. Meanwhile, the FHA bailout is on track to be paid back by year’s end. Plus, the number of seriously delinquent mortgages is down from 10 percent a few years ago to just 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014.
3. The inventory shortage will improve. Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in the new year, with the National Association of Homebuilders predicting a 20 percent rise in single-family homes from this year. Analysts say that will likely help total home sales climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years. And distressed property sales – REOs and short sales – are at their lowest levels since at least 2008.
That’s the way I see it. But no one has a crystal ball. I tell my clients that no matter what the market does, people will always be buying and selling homes. Your job as a Realtor is to work with integrity, professionalism and, yes, a healthy dose of optimism. If you do that, I think you’ll be a busy real estate pro.
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential broker or agent’s existing practice.