( Carole Rodoni is the past COO of Alain Pinel Realtors and an industry leader with her finger on the pulse of what is happening in the East Bay real estate markets. This is a portion of an interview Jim Walberg conducted with her on March 12, 2008 in Pleasanton, California.)
If you want a STRONG opinion based on years of leadership in Bay Area real estate then speak with Carole Rodoni. Her “opinions” are greatly valued by the industry because of her years of leadership and because of her constant study of the economy and how it impacts real estate. Here are some of her remarks regarding the state of the East Bay real estate markets in 2008.
What are the critical topics Buyers need to focus upon regarding when to purchase real estate this year? The first question a Buyer needs to answer is why they want to buy a home right now. Their answers will determine when and what community they make their real estate purchase. There are always Buyers that need to purchase home right now; Employment changes; Growing family; Changes with elder care; and many more important reasons to purchase a home. The rest of the answers to the topics Buyers need to consider are;
- Tax benefits while owning a home;
- Tax benefits when it sells regarding the capital gains exclusion for a large portion of the gain from the sale;
- Holding the property long enough to enjoy the appreciate that will happen because of purchasing a home in the correct location in the East Bay;
- LOCATION is still the most critical factor when purchasing East Bay real estate; schools, lifestyle, vital employment centers; close to San Francisco, Monterey Peninsula, Tahoe, the wine country, etc.
- Readily available mortgage money at a great interest rate and terms.
- Do not base your Buying decisions on what your read in the newspapers or hear on various media sources. Every market is a micro-economy about which it is impossible to generalize. What is happening in Brentwood and Antioch is much different than what is happening in the Alamo or Danville real estate markets.
What should Sellers focus on in a Buyer’s market? There are four critical factors for Sellers to consider;
- Why do they need to sell their home now? If you have to sell, you obviously don’t have a choice. But, if you don’t have to sell, the Seller may want to wait a year or so.
- If they need or want to sell now they need to evaluate what they have accomplished financially by owning their current home; appreciation, tax benefits, and be satisfied with those benefits and get over the fact they may not make a killing on the price of their home.
- Price their home as to what it will be worth in two to three months from now, and get it sold FAST.
- Become a Buyer ASAP! The Seller will be able to get similar values with the next home they purchase as a Buyer did with their home. Plus, there are areas of the East Bay where homes are still going up in value and multiple offers are the norm. Again, East Bay real estate is made up of many very diverse micro-economies.
What advise is Ms. Rodoni giving Realtors who are reading and listening to her remarks about how to thrive in the 2008 East Bay real estate markets? Besides advising Realtors to create value for their customers, lead with revenue, and demonstrate how to create wealth, Ms. Rodoni had four specific action items on which Realtors needed to focus in 2008;
- Participate in non-stop education and learning. Know your statistics of the local markets you serve. Understand the dynamics of what factors are creating our current economic conditions. With this knowledge keep your real estate “audience” constantly informed regarding how these factors impact their real estate experience. This will result in the clients hiring a Realtor who brings true value to the transaction of buying and selling.
- Network with your sphere of influence, your community, and BANKS. Most banks are lost in the midst of the mortgage meltdown and need educated and competent resources to assist them with the sales of the home that are now a part of an unwanted inventory at the bank.
- A Realtor needs to invest in their business; internet marketing; print marketing; high tech tools that allows for communication systems that match the expectations of our sophisticated consumers in the East Bay; “drip system” marketing to their geographic audiences. And, most importantly, work, work, and work some more. Realtors own a business. They are not employees. As a business owner what do you do when the economic model you started out with changes? You adjust your game plan, and work!
- If a Realtor is not willing to participate in the first three of these suggestions, then they need to exit the business, get a job that pays them an hourly wage or a salary, and re-consider real estate as a career at a later date.
I had the opportunity to spend three hours with Ms. Rodoni yesterday, as an audience member and for a one-on-one hour interview. There will be additional postings regarding many other economic and industry topics she presented. I look forward to sharing more of this valuable information for both Buyers and Sellers in the near future. Until next time…