Alison Socha, 2023 President, Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®
As the calendar turns from 2022 to 2023, Greater Boston agents face a changed real estate landscape, one that varies community by community and even neighborhood by neighborhood. The effects of inflation and higher interest rates in Q3 and Q4 created a new market for both sellers and buyers, shifting some elements of market dynamics and providing balance in several arenas, while highlighting our continued inventory concerns. As all of us maneuver through the market, managing not only our expectations, but those of our clients, it is more important than ever to study the market and have the proper mindset to create success.
The data shows that sales prices and sales volume both declined for 2022, though we know that the earlier half of the year enjoyed record-setting sales nearly across the board in the Greater Boston market. We also know that 2023 has started with lines at open houses, multiple offers and a plethora of home showings in many areas of our market. As professionals, we apply our experience and expertise to assist clients as they navigate buying and selling – helping them problem solve, providing resources and reassurance, and offering up-to-the-minute data and trends. With market conditions varying and with our efforts to support ourselves and our clients, it has become vital to level-set so we can maintain our internal harmony and have a positive mindset.
Some strategies to help work towards a good mindset include, scheduling your personal time, your business foundational time, your business creative-thinking time, your “master-minding” with other agents and affiliates, and taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health. We know that exercise, stretching the muscles of our brains (reading, questioning, studying), and taking time to center yourself, whether it’s through nature, yoga, spiritual activities and so many more ways, allows you to take better care of yourself, and then you are able to take better care of those around you. In your business, taking the time to think creatively helps you face challenges and think about next steps to allow your small business to thrive, while your business foundations, the fundamentals, allow your small business to meet your goals and achieve growth. Connecting with other experts in our field (agents, affiliates, local officials and other industry leaders) to “master-mind” brings fresh ideas and also challenges our entire industry to create a better real estate environment for residents, businesses, community stakeholders and agents. Spending time with family and friends, those people who re-charge your batteries, allows you to be grounded as well as meet your commitments to them. Both education and harmonizing your day-to-day will allow you to be put your expertise to work for your clients, as well as keep your eyes focused on your business so you can make adjustments as needed to meet your business goals.
Greater Boston remains one of the most stable economic markets in the nation, however managing our clients’ real estate expectations will be crucial. Over the last 5-7-plus years, we’ve seen that market conditions vary not only by community, but also by neighborhood. Knowing the ins and outs of your clients’ market will help you provide the information they need to make a sound decision regarding what is likely their most significant asset, their home. Agents are relied upon to paint a full picture for buyers and sellers, so we will be called upon to share both anecdotal and data-driven evidence. Taking the time to not only prepare, but also provide analysis will allow your clients to ground themselves in reality.
Real estate is a noble profession — really, there’s not a lot better than being able to work with our clients to make their homeownership goals a reality! We have an obligation to put our best selves forward, using our knowledge and experience, to be the skilled professional navigating homeowners on the journey. I hope that we’ll all take steps to always be learning and to ground our mindsets so we can provide exemplary service as that trusted advisor.