Brokers

Broker Confidence Ticked Up in May — RISMedia

Residential real estate brokers are feeling better about the state of their industry, albeit only a little bit. This was the key takeaway from RISMedia’s Broker Confidence Index (BCI) survey in May.

The monthly survey polls more than 3,000 of the nation’s top brokers to gauge their overall confidence in their respective markets. After a 50-basis point drop from March to April (7.5 to 7.0), the BCI score trended back upward to 7.2 in May. Scores can range from 0-10, so even with some recent monthly volatility, confidence has remained relatively high.

This should be welcome news to real estate professionals who have reasonable angst about some of the very real headwinds facing real estate that include higher interest rates, rising inflation that’s amplified by fuel prices, a gross lack of housing inventory and international turmoil. Still, the BCI score does reflect macro-level anxiety, as it has fallen 100 basis points since the study launched in December of last year. That said, the BCI shows that the mood has lightened some since April.

“[ The ] Trends are good,” remarked Ron Sweeney, managing partner at Coldwell Banker Heritage REALTORS® in Dayton, Ohio. “Inventory has increased allowing more buyers to enter the market that have been patiently waiting.”

Several other respondents also suggested that their businesses have remained healthy and that they are riding a spring market wave of success. This potentially transitory success is likely responsible for the small uptick in confidence, especially as economic concerns continue to mount.

Given these concerns, RISMedia wanted to explore the implications of a cooling market after months of frenzy. We asked brokers if their agents were prepared for a frostier market. Less than half (40%) of respondents said their agents are “very” prepared to weather whatever storm may lie ahead. More than half (55%) of respondents said their agents are “somewhat” prepared. Only 5% of brokers expressed a pessimistic “not at all” outlook.

Across the board, whether or not brokers stated they were confident in their agents, most attributed communication, education and experience as the determining factors of what will impact their success in new market conditions.

Broker/Owner Jim Fite of CENTURY 21® Judge Fite Company in Dallas, Texas emphasized why his agents and brokerage will be ready for whatever comes next. “Train, train, train. Being an 85-year-young company we have a lot of people with a lot of experience in slowing markets.”

Another broker who wished to remain anonymous shared a similar point of view and offered advice to those who may be concerned about their agents’ readiness. “We are actively coaching our agents on how to prepare for deceleration in the market. Focus on listings, save more commission income and prepare effective marketing.”

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