‘Homeownership wins in any market’: How agents can do the same

RealTrends recently spoke with David Childers, president of Keeping Current Matters, about the challenges of the current market for agents and how agents can position themselves as experts.

RealTrends: Mortgage rates are soaring, impacting housing affordability even further. What’s your perspective on the current market?


David Childers: Very quickly the real estate market has come to an inflection point caused by skyrocketing mortgage rates and the dramatic rise in home prices over the past two years. That combo one, two punch has decreased demand and increased inventory and crushed affordability, the exact opposite of the past two years. So, what we do at Keeping Current Matters is bring perspective to the market in a way that is simple to understand, and easy to share with those you’re working with. A few things that stand out to me:

First, the past two years in real estate have been anomaly years, we haven’t seen activity like that before and may never see it again. So, any comparison to interest rates and affordability isn’t a fair comparison because it’s been anything but normal.

Second, housing affordability is based on three things – home prices, interest rates and income. My perspective is prices aren’t crashing and won’t, interest rates will go up then down based on the Federal Reserve’s work to try and control inflation, and incomes will continue to go up. So, I am optimistic that while affordability is a challenge today it won’t be forever.

Third, here is what I know. Homeownership wins in any market. Buying a home is much more about the security it brings, the wealth it helps families build and the satisfaction of being a homeowner. We need to bring that perspective to those we serve. No doubt there are challenges with affordability, but a longer-term perspective is what is needed today.

RT: What does that mean for an agent right now?

DC: It means an agent must have a fact-based market opinion. Let me explain, today we live in a world where people don’t know what to believe. That isn’t just real estate, that’s in just about every area of our lives, and media outlets don’t really help with that problem. They are trying to drive attention not the truth, the job of the news is to get you to watch more news. So, what you see most often is a distorted truth about real estate, without context or insight needed for a buyer or selling to help them make a confident decision.

In this market, every agent must have a relevant market opinion based upon fact. Now, there are many opinions in our business but rarely are they based upon fact. They are based upon what someone thinks, or an emotion of how they feel things are, or even worse something that they were told that wasn’t true. That’s where having the facts about what’s really happening in real estate are critical and at KCM that’s what we give agents. If they have the facts, then they can be the expert when someone asks them, “How’s the market?”

RT: How does an agent put together a comprehensive picture of what’s happening now?

DC: Two things are critical right now – national understanding of what’s happening around the country in real estate combined with an agent’s local expertise. The national real estate perspective is so important because when someone reads an article or turns on the news, they are educated on the national real estate market. They hear what’s happening with prices or homes on the market or something else and often times it’s either sensationalized or told in a way that isn’t easy to understand what’s really going on. That’s where the educated agent comes in, they are able to simply and effectively explain to the client exactly what’s happening. This allows them to instantly build credibility and trust.

When an agent understands what’s happening with the national real estate market, then they can effectively bring their local expertise. An example of this would be review national inventory trends i.e., More homes are on the market today than last year, and here is what is happening in the area we’re in. Giving the buyer in this case a deeper understanding of homes on the market nationally and in the local area.

RT: How does Keeping Current Matters help agents build their brand as an expert?

DC: At KCM, we believe that the educated agent wins in today’s market. And so, our goal is to arm agents with the most relevant and timely insights, so they are prepared when someone asks them, “How’s the market?” and they have everything they need to answer the question confidently. 

You know, what drives us is our mission. We believe every family should feel confident when buying or selling a home. And in today’s market there is a lot of uncertainty about should I buy or should I sell. The truth and the data aren’t always available to consumers, and they are misinformed or misled about what’s actually happening in the housing market. 

But for KCM members, we give them all they need to be able to confidently answer some of the very toughest questions right now. That’s what being a market expert is. 

I always say, “In times of uncertainty, people follow the certain.” And if you’re building your brand as a market expert, you’re going to build credibility. And with that, you’ll also build trust.

That’s a brand that will carry you your entire career – no matter what’s happening in real estate. 

For more information on how Keeping Current Matters can help agents build their brand as experts, click here.