Every week, we ask an Boston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Boston real estate.
This week, we talked with Ricardo Rodriguez, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
Boston Agent (BA): The number of homes hitting the Boston market right now is on the rise, which many believe will help ease rising home prices. Have you noticed this trend, and if so, do you think the recent growth is sustainable?
Ricardo Rodriguez (RR): We are still suffering from a shortage of inventory. Boston is much different from the rest of the country in that in the worst of times, our prices never really went down. We had a steady level of inventory that was a little bit high, but prices mostly remained stable. In the past two years, however, we’ve seen a decrease in our inventory, which have pushed our prices up.
There are a lot of people in Boston who are looking to sell and stay in the city, but there are no houses available for them to move into. The influx of new construction expected to hit the market soon will likely help to ease those prices.
BA: While it’s always good when the market is busy and you’re considering new listings every week, there are inevitably going to be some lulls in your sales activity. During those times, it’s important to remain proactive. What do you do to stay busy when the market is slow?
RR: If you’re slow in real estate, you’re not doing your business right. You should always be working on something, even if it’s not a listing. What I always do when I have some “spare time” is prospecting – figuring out what I’m going to be working on in the months to come. Whether its new listings or prospective buyers, whatever it is, try to line up those opportunities well in advance. I already have a general idea of what I’m going to be doing next year, and that allows me to set realistic benchmarks.
BA: Real estate is a largely referral business, but that doesn’t negate the fact that marketing still plays a significant role in any sustainable business strategy. What types of marketing do you do, and which have you found to be most effective?
RR: The most effective to generate business is targeting your sphere of influence, and I think every agent will tell you that. It’s all about keeping people informed, letting them know what you’re doing and working on so that when they’re ready to buy or sell, they know who to go to.
Marketing takes different levels. Building your personal brand gives you a business persona, which is important for buyers and sellers who want to work with a true professional. And then there is building the business itself.
I like to use a lot of traditional techniques. The Internet has become a useful tool for penetrating the market, but it’s a little more personal when you’re reaching out to people directly. Making phone calls, sending individual emails, these are the types of interactions that secure lifelong customers.