Learn How To Learn a New Market Fast. (Possible Discussion?)

8 Replies

As a new Realtor, I notice that the mass majority of the public expects us to to know everything about every house in every subdivision in your state. 

Maybe you met someone like that or maybe you haven't, but We can at least agree that knowing about more than one market has it's advantages, fair?

Thinking about this, I crafted a list of simple defining questions, that if worked through, can simplify the approach to learning a new market:

"What exactly does it mean to know a market?"
"What is nice to know and what is required to know about the market?"
"What are the top 10 most common questions people have regarding the market?"
"What's the minimum I have to know about any market that will give the average person the impression that I'm competent?"

By no means do I think you become an expert with those questions alone, but I do feel you can better overcome the initial "information overload" that comes with learning a new market area and give yourself direction. 

What do you think? Let me in on the conversation in your head!
How usable do you feel this is for the new agent? or the experienced agent breaking new ground? Is there a better way? Or am I just grasping at straws to try and simplify the impossible?

I would love to talk about this.

Originally posted by @Jerome Harrod II :

As a new Realtor, I notice that the mass majority of the public expects us to to know everything about every house in every subdivision in your state. 

Maybe you met someone like that or maybe you haven't, but We can at least agree that knowing about more than one market has it's advantages, fair?

Thinking about this, I crafted a list of simple defining questions, that if worked through, can simplify the approach to learning a new market:

"What exactly does it mean to know a market?"
"What is nice to know and what is required to know about the market?"
"What are the top 10 most common questions people have regarding the market?"
"What's the minimum I have to know about any market that will give the average person the impression that I'm competent?"

By no means do I think you become an expert with those questions alone, but I do feel you can better overcome the initial "information overload" that comes with learning a new market area and give yourself direction. 

What do you think? Let me in on the conversation in your head!
How usable do you feel this is for the new agent? or the experienced agent breaking new ground? Is there a better way? Or am I just grasping at straws to try and simplify the impossible?

I would love to talk about this.

Its my guess that learning about Howard, PG and other counties would definitely benefit agents in Baltimore, Maryland. I know a few agents that work southern MD/No.VA usually take the time to learn much about the DMV. I guess it all depends on your goals. In certain regions you will run into a mixture of clientele looking in any giving town/state. Often you may have a client looking to sell in one city/county and move to another, in the same or neighboring state. In my area most agents work and are familiar with both Philadelphia and South Jersey housing markets. The more knowledge you have can mean more money you will earn. Again, its up to where you set your goals and how you want to go about reaching them....

Kudos,
Mary

Looks like a pretty good starting point to me.

One thing I think is important is for Agents to master a certain market before stretching themselves out.

It is impossible to know the in's and out's of every market. I have always kept my market small so that I would have the BEST expertise in a particular area.

Originally posted by @James Wise :

Looks like a pretty good starting point to me.

One thing I think is important is for Agents to master a certain market before stretching themselves out.

It is impossible to know the in's and out's of every market. I have always kept my market small so that I would have the BEST expertise in a particular area.

 I agree completely, 

I just feel that many agents' approach to learning and mastering a market is unstructured without a clear picture to what that means. Which is what lead to this question list.

For example, I can memorize and quote market statistics, absorption rates, common housing types, and the such, but it's still suggested at that level of knowledge you don't "know the market". 

If I may ask, When you say to master a market what does that mean?

Originally posted by @Mary B. :

Its my guess that learning about Howard, PG and other counties would definitely benefit agents in Baltimore, Maryland. I know a few agents that work southern MD/No.VA usually take the time to learn much about the DMV. I guess it all depends on your goals. In certain regions you will run into a mixture of clientele looking in any giving town/state. Often you may have a client looking to sell in one city/county and move to another, in the same or neighboring state. In my area most agents work and are familiar with both Philadelphia and South Jersey housing markets. The more knowledge you have can mean more money you will earn. Again, its up to where you set your goals and how you want to go about reaching them....

Kudos,
Mary

 You're right, it really does depend on your goals.

I definitely need to follow this particular topic. Right now, I'm still in the process of getting my license. All I've got to do is pass the state licensing test and I'll be official!

One of my biggest concerns is that I don't live in a big city. In fact, the brokerage that I've been talking to the most is in the Snellville / Monroe area of Georgia (east of Atlanta). For instance, while I've heard that other places are growing like crazy, especially in Atlanta, my particular area seems eerily quiet, even though there is a major manufacturing business going up just up the road from my house.

But this is the market that I am the most familiar with simply because I've lived here for about ten years. Even then, my concern is that I don't know what I don't know.

Like @Jerome Harrod II says, I'm going to need some structure going into this so I'm not just flailing around. Or, to put it in GTD terms, what's my next action when it comes to market research?

My best guess would be to start with employment statistics. What does the job market look like? Where is it going? Then, I just go from there. 

As far as how much is enough, I would argue that there's no such thing. But that's not helpful. The English teacher side of me says to make a rubric for yourself. On one side, you have DOES NOT MEET STANDARD in which the agent just responds to questions about the market with vague generalizations and guesses. On the other side, you have EXCEEDS THE STANDARD in which the agent can explain the ins and outs of the various subdivisions, homeowners associations, availability of businesses, parking, statistics concerning home sale, etc. 

Mr. Harrod, I'll keep asking around and try to see if I can't help glean a satisfactory answer myself.

Knowing he market is definitely important, but it's better to know how to sell the houses and negotiate. 

I'll never forget the client we had who wanted to see a house 1.5 hours away.  We knew nothing about the market and told her we can refer her to someone who knows that area.  She said she can just look online at houses, but she wanted our expertise in the negotiates to get her the best deal.

Sure, you could have out of towners coming to the area, so you want to know the market, but it's a simple 1-2-3 search and you can have the market at your fingertips.

Negotiation skills... that's a skill to master.

I just got my license (actually its still processing with the Board), but I agree with @David Hunter . More than just negotiating, if you master the people skills, your client will trust you to do research on the markets they are interested in. Be honest with them, and tell them you will look into it, and follow up. 

Knowing the market is best, but if you are starting out the best way to learn is through experience. 

So when I think of mastering a market, I think all the nuances like-

  • Why people move from x to y (relocate, move up etc) 
  • Schools and extra curriculars
  • Why they would want to move here (jobs, community etc)
  • Finishes that may be preferred here vs other markets
  • Any historic or new development info

Basically things they can't just go to zillow and see. I also think that since the public values agents less as a whole it's an opportunity to better serve clients while separating yourself from the competition. Of course you need sales skills etc but you also need new relevant info to be a master. Customer service matters if you're in this for the long haul IMO.

To know a market you can have a solid grasp pretty quick with the info on the MLS. DOM, inventory levels etc.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here