2023-05-02 | Real Estate Agent 2.0
Real Estate Agent 2.0
What has changed in the way we work as real estate agents in 2023 and why this is so important for you as a seller or buyer of a property.
To be successful as a real estate agent, we are required to have a high level of expertise, specific market knowledge, a strong customer focus, and negotiation skills. We must also have extensive legal and financial expertise.
Since the beginning of 2022, there have been many changes and developments that have affected the way we work as real estate agents. These include, first and foremost, geopolitical developments. But also climate-related developments and related legislative changes such as the tightening of energy codes.
Changing customer needs also play an important role. Nowadays, our customers expect a high standard of service and individual advice tailored to their needs and wishes. In addition, our customers are better informed due to the information possibilities of the Internet and often have high expectations regarding the quality of advice and the information available.
As real estate agents, we have to adapt to this development and adjust our offering accordingly. We are happy to meet this challenge. We do this, among other things, with individual online consultations, the continuous expansion of our international customer network, the targeted referral of specialist lawyers and experts, and an extensive information service through our Berlin Real Estate Talks. We also provide our clients with extensive information on the energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of the properties we broker, as properties that are energy-efficient and have a good carbon footprint often prove more attractive to potential buyers.
What specifically changed as a result of the interest rate turnaround?
Demand from the broad middle class has plummeted by around 50-70%. Whereas we used to get around 150 to 200 inquiries per week for around 100 live properties, since the summer of 2022 we have only received 60 to 90 inquiries.
As a result, the number of transactions fell by 50 to 70 %. We were only able to compensate for the halving of inquiries by growing the supply of apartments and houses for sale. We cut advertising budgets and reduced general costs. We subsequently re-sorted online budgets from owner advertising to buyer advertising and are currently in relative balance for both audiences.
It is important to note that the real estate market is very volatile and dependent on many factors that are difficult to predict. Therefore, careful observation of the market and individual analysis of the situation before buying or selling is essential for us. Every month is completely different. There are very weak months (January), super months (February and March) and medium months (April). In total, we do about 50% of the transactions we did in 2021. But the time effort is the same.
The focus is changing. We are working more with broker colleagues than we used to. Overall, the industry is moving closer together. It will stay that way for now. And that’s good for you as a customer.
You want to buy or sell a property?
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For you as a real estate seller or buyer, it is important to be aware of important consequences in the real estate market. They can be decisive for the selling or buying process.
The TOP 6 consequences if you want to sell your property:
- You hear the truth. As serious brokers, we tell you the real selling price. We do not want to put resources into overpriced properties. There are enough properties that are too expensive and are not for sale.
- You need patience. Selling a property successfully today takes as long as it did before the interest rate increase – about 6 months.
- You will have fewer viewing appointments. If you want to sell a rare property in good condition and in a highly sought-after location, we will select prospective buyers more to save you unnecessary time wasting. Apartment tourists at Top Immobilien are even more on the move today than in the past.
- International customers and expats are gaining in importance. They are used to buy with more equity than the “locals”. Through our international network we can offer your property to selected international buyers if desired.
- Existing customers, personal relationships and database marketing are even more important than usual. Good agents sell 30-50% of their properties to their existing clients. As strong and established real estate agents for many years, we have a large pool of existing customers.
- Broker networks are gaining in importance. The IVD is the most important real estate association in Germany. IVD brokers work together so that you as a property owner can achieve a sale faster.
The TOP 7 consequences if you intend to buy a property:
- Cash is King. Only potential real estate buyers who have 20-30% equity should buy property today. So look for apartments or houses that fit these cash ratios.
- Find a good realtor to work for you. The realtor cares about you. He is strongly motivated to find the right apartment or house for you. Because there are fewer buyers than before.
- Look for brokers who work in a network. The IVD (real estate association) is the most important German broker network. You as a buyer can be sure that IVD brokers work seriously. Another advantage: Through IVD brokers you have access to more properties.
- Isn’t renting better after all? Good brokers not only sell, but also rent or work closely with property managers. This gives you a good overview of rentals as an alternative to buying.
- Yes, there are bargains to be had. But don’t wait for the “deal of the century.” Because all the other people interested in buying a property do. Consult with your realtor and make realistic decisions.
- Prices are not going to drop another 15-20%. With the current rate of inflation and the shortage of housing, it is positive that prices have not increased. What is affordable for buyers today will sell.
- New locations are gaining popularity. Make compromises. Consider moving to another neighborhood. We work nationwide and also offer affordable alternatives.
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