RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

APR 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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GINO BLEFARI , CEO of HOMESERVICES OF AMERICA, is encouraged by a greater sense of balance permeating the U.S. housing landscape. "I believe there will be greater balance in U.S. housing in 2019 with home prices leveling off and home sales ticking up," says Blefari. "I believe housing de- mand will remain firm across the U.S. as the employment picture is about as strong as it's ever been, and wages are finally moving forward. Housing inventory remains a key issue. I believe help may be on the way. With wages growing and U.S. homeowners sitting on roughly $14.5 trillion in real es- tate equity—an all-time high—the time may be right for more people to list their homes and make their next real estate move. More homes coming to market this spring would help ease the supply challenge and ease upward pressure on home prices." To achieve ongoing success in this balanced environment, Blefari advises brokers, managers and coaches to focus on "strategic planning, account- ability, being consumer-centric and being completely dedicated to the suc- cess of each of your agents, in a way that provides the greatest value to the consumers and clients we serve." SIMON CHEN , president and CEO of ERA REAL ESTATE, has his sights set on a continued correction in market prices, supported by continued low interest rates. "A 'healthier' inventory and days on market will reward those brokers and agents with sound business practices," says Chen. "I believe that many of the business practices that have flourished since the economic recovery will be heavily challenged as the market stabilizes." According to Chen, "as the market shifts from a seller's market to a buy- er's market, this creates tremendous opportunities for well-qualified buyers. The same can be said for brokerages and brands, who will find a greater in- ventory of companies to acquire. As part of Realogy, ERA is well capitalized to help our brokers search for and subsidize merger and acquisition activity. We have seen our M&A pipeline increase 2,000 percent year-over-year." For DAVID MACINTYRE , COO and broker/owner of ARIZONA BEST REAL ESTATE, the most important factor in real estate success has and always will be relationships. "I believe my role as a broker/owner is to help the individual real estate agent earn the money they need to provide a balanced quality of life," he says. "A life where the most important part is family, friends and relationships. Our culture of cooperation and friendship with our owners, managers, staff and agents makes this easier." Looking ahead, changes from federal, state and city governments will trigger challenges. "Government actions change the mood of consumers— positive news, negative news, interest rates up, interest rates down…it all changes consumer decisions," explains MacIntyre. "We cannot control government. So, we stay ready to react quickly to any changes in policy, procedures, rules and laws." Gino Blefari Simon Chen David MacIntyre certainty is a distraction to the gen- eral public," agrees Ed Forman, pres- ident of Watson Realty Corp. "There is a huge business impact when people are uncertain and distracted from their financial goals." But despite this uncertainty and the challenges presented by inven- tory and affordability issues, Power Brokers do expect home sales to tick up in the year ahead as home prices level off and inventory gradu- ally improves. This is being reported even from Power Brokers in hot markets like Denver. "We are expecting a de- crease in the rate of home appre- ciation and an increase in inven- tory, resulting in a more balanced market," says Donald Sarno, CEO of Keller Williams Preferred Realty Denver North. Power Brokers also agree that the fallout from national news will need to be balanced more than ever with the wisdom of local expertise. "Real estate remains local," says Robin Miller, president of Coldwell Banker RPM Group. "It is impor- tant that real estate professionals do a better job of educating buy- ers and sellers in their local mar- ket, especially those of us located in balanced markets. The national real estate news seems to carry the weight, which can impede a bal- anced market." What keeps Power Brokers at the top of their game, however, is their imperviousness to market condi- tions, political unrest and the media. As Mavera Mir, broker/owner of Re- alty ONE Group United, says, "Real estate happens in any kind of mar- ket. It's up to the REALTOR ® to be dictated by the market, or to dictate the market." RE RISMedia's REAL ESTATE April 2019 55 POWER BROKERS: INSIGHTS & FORECASTS (continued on page 58)

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