Today’s Real Estate Market Is Booming, Particularly For Tech-Savvy Realtors & Clients Market Trends
Local real estate properties are selling like hotcakes amid the current pandemic, especially for tech-savvy Realtors and their clients who know the ins and outs of the sales tools available to help in socially distant home shopping.
Shelley Sandler and Mary Miller, two of Wellington’s leading Realtors associated with Illustrated Properties, agreed that the region is hot, real estate wise.
“There is a huge inventory shortage in the Wellington area, and the reason I believe this is happening is because of the quarantine,” Sandler said. “There are many people who now realize that they can work at home, and that home can be just about anywhere. They no longer have to wait to retire to find the home and the place where they want to live. They realize they can have the home and the lifestyle they always wanted right now, and they are shying away from the big cities because of the fear of COVID-19 and the mass of people. Palm Beach County may have everything you want but without the congestion of Miami or Chicago.”
Miller stressed that the virus pandemic has given people a new perspective.
“I think you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. People can move wherever they want because they’re working pretty much from home. The other people, who are essential workers, have had the time that they spent at home these past few months to give them a new perspective on their lifestyle,” she explained. “They may think, ‘Gee, this really isn’t my dream kitchen’ or ‘this isn’t the perfect home for us,’ and people nowadays have been staying in their homes longer, so they have a lot more equity to get the most out of their home, so it’s a win-win situation.”
Both Realtors believe that this strong market will continue.
“Some people think we are in a bubble,” Sandler said. “I don’t feel that way at all.”
“I don’t either,” Miller added. “The prices may drop a little bit, but I don’t see a crash, because in the last crash, properties were over-financed and there were a lot of bad loans. Now there are very strict rules to prevent any big crash because the loans are managed well. A correction will just be a dip, and the tight inventory with the pent-up demand will dissipate that drop. Any dip we experience in the future, and we come back to the biggest problem we’re all facing, and that is we need more inventory.”
The pandemic has changed how real estate is marketed, and Illustrated Properties is at the forefront of the new trends in advertising, showing and closing.
Some sellers need more time, some have an empty home and are motivated. “You structure your offer appropriately for each area and property,” Sandler said. “We learned to become much more flexible, and we base our business on individual needs. It is more important than ever to have a Realtor that offers specifically individualized service with the staff to support that level of service.”
Sandler and Miller are not a team, but individualized professionals whose service complements each other. “We have each other’s back,” they said almost in tandem.
The agents use 3D photos for cameras in the rooms, allowing viewers to look up and down and all around, and feel like they’re standing in the room and view a potential new home from their current home at their leisure. “We give them walkthroughs using Facetime,” Sandler said.
“We prequalify the prospective buyer so only the most interested and qualified come to an owner-occupied home,” said Miller, who explained that then they follow CDC protocols with social distancing, masks and gloves, and the visitors are alerted not to touch anything. “We don’t want to risk someone’s health to show the property.”
Yet Miller explained that even something as bad as COVID-19 can bring about good things.
“Virtually viewing a property means you can really see the home and get to know if it meets your needs and dreams,” Miller said. “It has opened us up to a lot more virtual showings and made us more versatile.”
It has also made some Realtors stretch their comfort zones to adapt to all the new technology.
“Some of the techno-dinosaurs in the industry have been forced into the use of e-signature and online viewing. Some software is cumbersome, but we use something called AppFiles at Illustrated Properties, and it’s amazing and user-friendly,” Sandler said.
Knowing your clients’ needs is also crucial, Miller added.
“I spend a crazy amount of time making sure that the potential buyer is qualified and certain it is the kind of house they want. There’s enough material online that you can see the property, but you have to be really serious before you walk through the home, especially in an owner-occupied dwelling,” Miller said.
These marketing and advertising innovations are here to stay in all communities and are heating up this bubbling market.
“The benefits of living in Wellington are so numerous,” said Sandler, who has lived in the community since 1986. “People from up north always remark that Wellington is a real town, a real hometown, and not just more urban sprawl.”
Sandler explained that Wellington has a main street and a town center, excellent schools and parks, and some very specialized neighborhoods with the equestrian facets and the Aero Club, gated enclaves with HOAs, and areas with no gates or HOAs.
“There is a nice combination of everything from huge luxury estate homes to townhouses,” Sandler said.
“Wellington has zoning and guidelines that keep it nice,” Miller added.
“I always thought that once my children were grown, I would move to another area, but every time I go outside of Wellington and look around, I come back here to the village,” Sandler said. “I don’t know of another area that feels like Wellington.”
Learn more about Shelley Sandler at www.shelleysandlerproperties.com and Mary Miller at www.marymiller.net.