Your prediction about the housing market is probably wrong

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Forget the memes. According to realtor Teresa Boardman, if you’ve been in real estate for any length of time, you know the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.

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There have been many predictions about the economy and the housing market as home sales decline. There isn’t a lot of good news in the housing market right now.

Most predictions will be wrong, but some will be right. The housing market is changing, but it is not the same everywhere. In some markets, homes are still being sold with multiple offers and prices are still rising, while other markets are experiencing more of a buyer’s market.

So far I haven’t heard or read anything that suggests home sales will increase and anyone with a real estate license will have enough jobs or that housing will become more affordable.

There’s a reason real estate sales are made up of mostly independent contractors. There have been layoffs in the industry, but independent contractors don’t have to worry about layoffs. Most people who work in real estate work for small, private companies.

A few memes are circulating on social media showing a broker relaxing with a cocktail while other agents are stressed. She’s calm because she was an agent at the last buyer’s market.

What’s next for the real estate market?

Will there be a buyer’s market? It sure doesn’t look like it where I am right now. If the market changes to favor buyers, will it be the same as the last buyers’ market, or will it be different in some important ways? Can there be a recession when the unemployment rate is so low?

We all know people who got into real estate during the real estate crash and thrived because of it. There were real estate agents and businesses that had their prime during the Great Recession – and have continued to grow ever since.

During that same recession, there were people who gave up real estate and started new jobs and built new businesses. Some retired early and others moved into property management as more properties became rentals. Others bought up foreclosures and rented them out. Some went into foreclosures.

Your next opportunity is waiting for you

There are always opportunities in real estate. The real estate industry and market looks very different than it did during the real estate market crash, the Great Recession and the last buyer’s market. One of the biggest differences this time around is that homeowners have equity and unemployment is low.

Those of us who’ve worked through the Great Recession and housing meltdown, pandemic lockdowns, and civil unrest have certainly gained experience and honed our survival skills, but we’re no better prepared for the next market than the agents who started last year to have.

Newer agents may be better off than some more experienced practitioners. Experience has taught us what can go wrong. We have seen people fail and perhaps even experienced failure ourselves.

When the pandemic started, none of us knew exactly how we would get through it. Most never imagined the spending spree that followed the brief slowdown early in the pandemic.

During the pandemic, we’ve had to learn to do things differently, and we’ve had to learn to do it quickly. The learning curve was steep and the experimentation window small.

Since then, business has been in a state of emergency, with buyers making offers as houses come on the market. They want to see her first, which can be challenging as no overlapping dates are allowed due to the pandemic. During the spring buying spree, houses were booked on back-to-back dates and there were waiting lists.

Even after the summer of 2020, apartment prices continued to rise. If the people who decided to move out of the city had waited a few more months, they would have gotten a lot more for their homes. Some would be better off living in the city now as they have to commute to work.

Fast forward to the current market and beyond

News about layoffs and downsizing in the industry is interesting and informative, but may not be as important to the average agent or team of agents as what is happening in the agent’s local market. Real estate is local.

The people who seem to do best when the market changes are willing to try new things. They don’t do the same as everyone else, they create innovative ways to market and work. They don’t focus on how things used to be. You take risks.

An agent who witnessed the last major market shift is probably not at all relaxed. She knows what it’s like when the housing market changes and it’s not always nice. There will be winners and losers.

There are opportunities we don’t currently recognize and trends that are still in their infancy but will ultimately transform the way we do business.

Maybe real estate agents won’t be replaced by the internet or robots, or maybe they will. Now could be the perfect time to buy and train a real estate robot.

I don’t think new agents who have come in over the last few years are at a disadvantage. In fact, I think maybe they have more enthusiasm, energy and creativity. This is good news for them and good news for the future of the industry.