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Being the Market Expert Part 1: Learning

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financial-equalization-1015309_960_720Market expertise is one of the most important pieces of knowledge a real estate agent can possess. In the next three days, we will examine Being the Market Expert in separate ways: 1) How to become the market expert, 2) Explaining the market, and 3) Showing your expertise. Enjoy!

Being the market expert is a key component in any successful agents game plan. An agent without market knowledge is doing neither him/herself or the consumer much good. Buyers and Sellers rely on an agents expertise in order to compete in this quickly changing real estate world. While market knowledge is not rocket science, it does take some effort to fully understand. Here are five (5) ways to better understand the market on your way to expertise:

1. Track the numbers. Periodically look at the numbers in your market. Ideally, I’d do some serious recon monthly. Look at the following: Sold Properties, Current Inventory, Average Sales Price, Days on Market, Sales to List Price ratio, Absorption rate. Many of these numbers are available from your local association and/or MLS. I like charting them myself, doing some math and forcing myself to LEARN the numbers.

2. Pay Attention. Read articles, listen at sales meetings, read the paper. Follow some of the better info distributors in the business like the Inman News,, and Keeping Current Matters.

3. Look local, Think national. While it is necessary to know YOUR market, it isn’t a bad thing to be up to date on the national market as well. The resources above can help with that knowledge.

4. Talk to Agents. Be a good networker with your fellow agents. Rely on the experience of market savvy veterans, especially those listing a lot of properties. Your peers have a ton of expertise and most are willing to share.

5. Preview/See Houses. In my full time days, I liked to preview 10-15 houses a week. An agent can be in and out of a house in 5 minutes, so previewing is a great opportunity to understand the market by actually seeing inventory, comparing prices, and analyzing the competitive nature of the available homes.

Hopefully, these five ways to work on your market expertise have been valuable. Tomorrow, we look at a simple formula for explaining the market simply and effectively.