I have been writing for months now about the lack of supply in our market. As a result of the limited supply the market made a radical shift around this time last year from a being a buyers’ market to being a sellers’ market. Currently it is not uncommon for us to receive multiple offers on our homes, or for them to sell over our original list price. This begs the question, how long can this last?
Inman reports that homebuilders are beginning to kick it up a notch and build more homes in response to the lack of supply, and yet 90% of home sales in the U.S. are existing home sales, or re-sales. It is my belief that, in Seattle, the market will continue its heated rate of appreciation fueled by the supply constraints; however it will slowly taper off as home values continue to climb. When existing homeowners begin to realize greater equity, they will begin to have the ability to sell their home and use the proceeds to buy a better home. As more and more homeowners contemplate selling and begin to take action, the lack of supply will gradually disappear and supply and demand will equilibrate. When that comes to pass home appreciation rates will level off and normalize.
Given that Seattle has an unemployment rate under 6% it is hard to say just when supply and demand will come into balance. This is still one heck of a desirable town to live in and it seems like the majority of our homebuyers are coming from out of town for job related reasons. As the local unemployment rate continues its decline toward full employment, home values will continue to rise fueled by more demand than supply. Given this influx of homebuyers into the area we could be realizing an appreciation trend line that will outpace the rest of the country for months to come.
There are a million reasons. Period. What a hassle. Period. BUT… Can it be done?
In celebration of Bike to Work Month/Week/Day here in Seattle – I thought I would challenge Agents (especially our greenie followers) to challenge their notions of why it is impossible to be a bike commuter in this line of work (i.e. real estate).
I recently read an article in Wired Magazine about some tech-guy out of Portland. I have no idea what the article was about – but I do remember one of the interview questions. The reporter asked if Portland was indeed like the show Portlandia. Hilarious show, right?
And his answer was: “It’s pretty close to the real thing.” He goes on to state that his most “Portlandia Moment” was reading a bike blog that was discussing a new tow-able hot tub. Commenters were excited about the possibilities and even went so far as to discuss mobile midwives being a primary user of the tow-able hot tub! (WTF?)
While the blog comments also dive into other harebrained uses for the tow-able hot tub, I am left scratching my head. If Portland has Bike to Work Midwives, why can’t Seattle have Bike to Work Real Estate Agents? Why is this idea so far-fetched?
In comparison – it seems like a pretty doable business model and maybe even a clever way of making a sale.
Imagine it: You’ve got a client couple (maybe even relocating from Portland) who work at Googlezon and want to see a few homes in Ballard. You meet them at the home on your bike, help them unload theirs from their Suburu Outback, look at the home and muse about the neighborhood. Then you take them to the next home while stopping to sip some water in a nearby park, muse about how awesome it is to be so close to the park. Onward to the next home! Talk about the bike lanes, then finish off near Burke Gilman for a beer at Populuxe Brewery and grab a bite from their food truck Fridays! Wow, Ballard is awesome via Bike! Let’s buy that super energy efficient home and save money on Energy and Gas! We <3 Seattle! All without having to circle Ballard at 5pm to find parking (that in itself is a huge time-saver)!
Here is a sample map using several available Green Canopy Homes! Lucy, Dinah & Maritime Lofts.
I asked our resident cyclist, Canuche (who bikes or runs to work EVERY DAY, like a total goon) what are some tips for Agents who may want to try out some different wheels for Bike To Work Day this Friday.
Here are his tips for making this doable:
Plan in Advance: Plot out your course and see if your client would be up for it!
Don’t go overboard. Maybe you want to show two houses in the neighborhood/maybe just one? Maybe you show them a place and you bike to a coffee shop to talk about it.
Bring Water: In a reusable bottle, of course.
Don’t overthink it: You don’t need a lot of gear to have a relaxing time and you don’t need to look like you just finished the Tour-de-France when biking 1 mile between homes.
Don’t invite the clients: Maybe this is just something you do for yourself – to stay fit, be healthy and enjoy the competition and the FUN of Bike to Work Month.
While Portland is CLEARLY number 1 on the country’s most bikable cities, Seattle is still in the top 10 (according to Walkscore). Bike to Work on Friday or Any DAY in May! You can find more tips for Biking here, at Cascade Bicycle Club. They are The producer's of the Bike to Work Challenge here in Seattle and can help anyone get started!
If our construction guys can do it…. So can our agents, right? (Yes, some of Construction Project Managers have been biking this month!)
Contributed by Krystal Meiners, Marketing Manager for Green Canopy, Inc.
Even though I am the Marketing Manager for a builder (AKA the Marketing GENIUS or self-proclaimed M-architect) – I don’t pretend to know the many nuances and facets of the WORLD of real-estate marketing and I don’t pretend to assume that we do a great job of it ourselves. What I do know is that we try really hard, and working with agents has given us a 1-up. From what I can tell marketing for real estate can get pretty complicated – and the rewards of your efforts are not always measurable.
To do it well, real estate agents have to be graphic designers, web designers, bloggers, social media gurus, public speakers, PR aficionados, salesmen(women), community activists, construction experts, design experts, neighborhood experts… the list certainly goes on.
What I also know – is that Agents have a world of tech at their fingertips to make their jobs “easier” (harder) and “less complicated” (super complicated). There are a million different ways to connect with clients and my feeling (totally un-researched) tells me that most of this is happening online.
In an effort to understand this phenomenon and to try and keep up with our Agent associates I have been trying to do more research. One of our Certified Energy Agents recently kicked this my way, and I have to say – I LOVE IT! These guys are apparently pretty hot in the real estate biz and they host an outrageous Google Hangout (yes people use Google Hangouts! WTF) about Real Estate Marketing. Their live video chats and interviews have been translated into iTune’s #1 Business Podcast - and for good reasons.
Chris Smith is entertaining and whip-smart i.e. not boring at all. So, take a minute or 45 and Watch/Listen/Learn about what you could be doing to boost your marketing efforts from these pros at the WaterCooler. Their live show airs every Wednesday evening at 9:15 EST and if you can figure out your Google+ Account, you can join them or watch them here.
You can also catch all of the past episodes on their Youtube Channel.
The Green Canopy blog is written by our CEO and Culture Curator, Aaron Fairchild, as well as our staff and a few very special guests.