With the first quarter in the rearview mirror, real estate professionals across the board are working hard to make sure they’re positioned for success and profitability in order to maximize the spring and summer real estate markets. And while the real estate marketplace is going strong, it’s still uncertain—making it more important than ever that real estate professionals understand the trends that will impact the industry as we continue to make our way through 2021.
This topic was discussed at length during an exclusive, one-on-one session with Brian Buffini—founder and chairman of Buffini & Company—and RISMedia Founder, CEO and Publisher John Featherston—as part of RISMedia’s “Spring Into Action” virtual event. Co-presented by the National Association of REALTORS®, the event was held on April 8, attracting more than 5,000 attendees.
RISMedia is making a limited number of “Spring Into Action” sessions accessible to the public. Readers may view this dynamic session in the video below:
While all eyes are on the future, Featherston kicked off the candid discussion by asking what real estate professionals need to do to keep their mojo from disappearing as we navigate a market defined by an inventory shortage, with prices climbing quickly.
The answer? According to Buffini, it all comes down to the fundamentals.
“What we’re challenging clients to do is focus on the fundamentals and make long-term decisions rather than short-term decisions,” said Buffini, who went on to explain that we’re going to be “floating up to our eyeballs in liquidity” for some time due to the fact that the stock market is hot, there’s cash in the system and on the sidelines, and the government plans on infusing more cash in the midst of what is already proving to be a rebound.
“There’s still an enormous amount of pent-up demand, so ultimately, you want to leverage every buyer you have to get a listing,” added Buffini. To do so, Buffini suggests that real estate professionals use directed targeted marketing to not only leverage buyers, but to also generate inventory.
The conversation then turned to inflation, which Featherston noted may be rearing its ugly head.
“We know inflation is coming,” said Buffini. “You can’t pump $6 trillion in cash into the system and not have that happen.”
The greatest hedge against inflation? Assets with fixed expenses—aka real estate.
“People know this, and so, it’s only going to create more demand, which is going to create even more inflation,” explained Buffini. To combat the issue, Buffini is advising his customers to help their clients buy a home and keep it. “Then, if you can, buy real estate yourself and hold it, because real estate is going to be the best protection against inflation you can find.”
Another trend that has garnered a lot of attention recently is agent teams that have been able to quickly adapt to the challenges facing the industry.
Committed to supporting teams, given the fact that 40% of the people Buffini & Company coach have a team, Buffini’s biggest concern is that he’s seeing a lot of teams over-leverage themselves today.
“You’ve got to be very careful about building your business plan based on the very top of the mountain,” said Buffini. “While rates are low and sales are going off the charts, it’s critical that you don’t build your business model around the hottest market you can have.”
Agent teams aside, Featherston went on to ask Buffini about his tried-and-true tips for agents looking to successfully sync their personal branding with the strength of the brand of the brokerage they work with.
“If you’re working with a regional, national or international brand, separating yourself from that is the single biggest mistake made in the real estate business today,” explained Buffini. “You want to wrap your arms around it because there’s coverage, there’s brand promise and there’s a sense of comfort.”
Having grown up in real estate in the 1980s, where it was all personal promotion, Buffini believes that the pendulum has gone too far.
“As a top agent or team, you want to lean into those brokerages that have maintained brand consistency. And if you’re leading a large brokerage, let people know what the brand promise of your organization is and how every agent needs to know what that brand promise is, wrap themselves around it and be the 800-pound gorilla.”
Wrapping things up, Buffini shared his thoughts regarding the recent Zillow headlines that have been making waves throughout the industry—and what he sees on tap for the remainder of the year.
“Speaking specifically to Zillow, I want to tell the real estate industry, ‘I told you so,'” said Buffini.
“These were hardcore, publicly traded people who decided they were going to eliminate the real estate agent, but they still need agents advertising and marketing with them to make it go. At the same time, they want to come over here and compete,” explained Buffini.
As for what he sees for the remainder of the year? A raging hot real estate market.
“I think you can be at the center of the storm, but you have to be fundamentally connected to your database,” said Buffini. “We have to go with the flow, do the best we can and strap in. There’s going to be turbulence, but I think as long as the seatbelt is on, it’s going to be okay.”
Spring Into Action 2021 Sponsors
National Association of REALTORS® Center for REALTOR® Development
Real Estate Webmasters
The Corcoran Group
Lone Wolf Technologies
Realtors Property Resource, LLC
David Knox Productions, Inc.
The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing
Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting
Sign up for Buffini’s giveaway here, and stay tuned to rismedia.com for additional coverage of RISMedia’s “Spring Into Action” virtual event.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.