The fastest-growing city in the U.S.

Plus, tips for sharpening your people skills

Grace Townsley
June 07, 2022

What we’ll do for the deal

A few weeks ago, a buyer came to us with a very specific list of wants and needs. We knew we had the right property for him. The problem? It wasn’t going to come up on the market anytime soon. 

But we didn’t let that stop us. We strategized the best way to present the opportunity to the current homeowners. With off-market listings, we’re always careful to start the relationship off on the right foot. 

We decided to cold e-mail the owners and explain the situation. It worked! They allowed us to show our buyer the incredible property and, within a matter of days, we closed a $15,000,000 transaction. 

Take it from us—sourcing off-market business is worth the extra work. Sometimes you can react to the market, and other times you can create your own!

- James and David

Homeownership is still the popular choice

Source: Unsplash

Despite rising home prices and shrinking affordability, homeownership is still the ultimate goal for many Americans. Check out the results of an interesting homeownership interest survey by Bankrate.com.

  • 74% of respondents reported homeownership as the biggest indicator of success, beating out having a career, children, and college education.
  • Of the 2,500 people who took the survey, only 1,400 of them own homes. The rest mainly pointed to home prices or limited income as their reason for waiting. 
  • 58% of respondents (mostly the younger survey takers) said they’d be willing to compromise on the type of home or its location in order to find an affordable home to buy.

Our take 

This stat really proves that, as an agent, you’re in the business of selling the thing most people want more than all– a home of their own. We’re in such a valuable position because our entire job is helping people realize their dream. Let that sink in for a minute. Take ownership of your position as a real estate agent, appreciate it, value what you do, and let that give you confidence! You’re the trusted advisor helping hundreds of clients achieve the ultimate feeling of personal success. We all experience frustrations in our job, but we feel this is a great reminder that what we do has tremendous value.

Is San Antonio the new Austin?

Source: Unsplash

In early 2021, Austin topped Redfin’s list of most popular relocation destinations. Now, the former front-runner doesn’t even rank on that list. Instead, San Antonio has begun attracting the thousands of relocators who can no longer afford Austin’s skyrocketing prices. 

  • San Antonio ranks as the fastest growing city in the country, adding 13,626 residents between July 2020 and July 2021
  • A full 17% of recent Redfin searchers looking at homes in San Antonio currently live in Austin, compared to only 10% last year 
  • The median home in San Antonio only costs $330,000, which is $200,000 less than the median home in Austin
  • While the average monthly mortgage payment in San Antonio is up 59% since the start of the pandemic, the average mortgage in Austin shot up 97%!

Our take

Buyers are always looking for value and the next up-and-coming area. Austin became such a hot market that prices went through the roof. Now people realize they can get two or three homes in San Antonio for the price of one place in Austin, and they’re moving. We think that’s awesome! San Antonio is a great city with a ton of potential. As an agent, help your clients find areas of extra value just like San Antonio. Every metro has an up-and-coming area. If you can help your buyers tap into those areas, you’ll never be short on business.

Layoffs in the real estate industry

Source: Unsplash

Since the beginning of 2022, the real estate market has seen shake-ups across not just brokerages, but also tech and lending companies. The sharp rise in mortgage rates has been the leading catalyst, with a majority of workers being laid off in the lending industry. Here are some notable developments:

  • Better, an end-to-end mortgage lender, laid off 900 employees via Zoom
  • Blend, a mortgage tech lender, laid off more than 200 employees (10% of its workforce) 
  • Dorma, a title, escrow and insurance company, laid off more than 300 employees in May
  • Keller Williams laid off over 150 employees from the lending department
  • Redfin laid off 120 workers across sales and operations

Our take

It’s unfortunate to see stories like this, but as mortgage rates keep increasing, companies are having to make tough choices. Even with certain companies going through rough patches, we believe this is still one of the best industries to work in. We’re confident that hard workers will always find a way to land on their feet. 

Schematics 

The news that just missed the cut

Source: Rocket Homes

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

How are your people skills? Be honest with yourself! If you know your ability to relate, connect, and communicate with your clients could use a little work (and truthfully, I think we all have room to improve!) keep these tips in mind next time you meet up with them.

  1. Listen first, talk second. Before you start talking numbers, take time to really understand your client’s wants and needs. Ask what they’re looking for and why. Give them the space to share their story before you jump into the details. 
  2. Be boldly confident. You’re the expert, so sound the part! Let your clients know you’ll do everything possible to get them the best deal with the best terms. After all, no one knows your local market like you, right?!
  3. Know when to be reassuring and when to walk away. Sometimes our clients need a bit of reassurance that they’re making the right choice. Don’t be afraid to remind them why they decided to buy or sell in the first place. But if they’ve changed their mind, be ready to let it go. 

Want more deal-closing tips? Check out Entrepreneur’s in-depth article here.

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

Your knowledge of the market—both locally and nationwide—is what will truly set you apart as an agent. Reading today’s Blueprint is a great first step. What else can you do this week to expand your expertise? Who can you talk to? What else can you read or research? The agent who’s always learning is the agent who never runs out of business! 

- James and David

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