Sentiment about the housing market is shifting, according to RealTrends Q2 2022 BrokerPulse survey. Only 32% of those brokerage leaders surveyed expect sales to be up 5% or more, compared to 48% in the Q1 2022 survey. Some 42% of those surveyed expect home sales to be down in the next three months.
Despite that, 53% of those surveyed are still optimistic about the market overall, down quite a bit from 76% last quarter. That optimism could be due to home prices, which 62% of you expect to continue to climb 5% or less in the next three months.
“If the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes prick bubbles in the U.S. stock, housing and credit markets, they could trigger a deep recession,” says a broker/owner of a CENTURY 21 franchise in the northeast.
RealTrends BrokerPulse requests surveys from some 19,000+ real estate brokerage leaders around the nation on market trends and brokerage opportunities and challenges. Of the 628 completed surveys, 33% were from the Southeast, 15% from the Southwest, 25% from the Midwest, 22% form the Northeast and 5% from the Northwest.
Boosting agent productivity
When it comes to challenges, unlike the last few quarters where recruiting and attracting talent was tops, this survey reveals that increasing per-agent productivity is the biggest challenge brokers have over the next three months.
RealTrends recently added an AgentPulse survey which will help brokerage leaders gauge what agents understand about the services brokerage’s offer and offer agents a temperature of the market. While the results are out yet, there is one interesting nugget to note.
To improve their business, agents say they need more machine learning and artificial intelligence products to find people who are most likely to buy and sell. In addition, local networking was mentioned by at least 30% of agent respondents. In addition, referral networks will become important lead generators. One agent said that they are, “signing up for every referral network available to get the next lead.”
In another change from past surveys, cybersecurity was mentioned as the second-biggest challenge for brokers, followed by competing with new business models and pressure on net and gross margins.
In the RealTrends 500, fast-growing flat-fee brokerage comprised 10 of the top 25 brokerages in the rankings. However, with transaction sides potentially decreasing, it will be more difficult for these firms to grow at the rate they’ve been. These firms generally get paid a transaction fee.
At a recent United Real Estate conference in Orlando, President Rick Haase predicted transaction sides to be down 10% in the coming year. However, according to Haase and CEO Dan Duffy, the firm expects to take market share during the downturn and will aggressively expand.
Preparing for the market shift is something the brokers surveyed are concerned about and planning for. “Our brokerage has always been hands on with our clients. We are at all inspections. When they call, we answer the phone,” says Stacie Priest, broker/owner of Squaw Peak Realty, a woman-owned boutique brokerage in Arizona. She notes that these actions will help market proof her brokerage during the upcoming market.
Other brokers mentioned improving work efficiency through online platforms, investing in education, focusing on core service capture, strengthening managers’ professional knowledge and increasing the brokerage’s and agents’ local connections through networking events and community service.
If you have questions about BrokerPulse, email RealTrends Editorial Director Tracey Velt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to sign up for my bi-weekly broker newsletter, called BrokerSource.