Based on survey results from 2007 and 2008, experienced real estate agents and Realtors® in the metro-Birmingham market are becoming more proactive while inexperienced agent’s level of activity is significantly declining. The survey responses were collected in 2007 and 2008 from Realtors and real estate agents attending the Birmingham Association of Realtors’ annual “Affiliate Expo” each September.
17% Fewer Inexperienced Agent Respond
The annual survey seeks to indentify new trends and the receptiveness of real estate agents to new processes. In collecting this information, a significant shift in the experience level of proactive agents was found.
From an almost identical number of respondents, the mix of experience has clearly shifted. Of agents with 3 or fewer years of experience, 2007 found this group was 47% of the respondents while in 2008 that dropped to 30%, a decrease of 17%. Conversely, the number of respondents with 4 or more years experience increased from 52% to 67%, a 15% increase. In each year, 2% chose not to identify their experience.
“This shift is not unexpected but is still important to note and it confirms anecdotal observations commonly seen in the press. Typically in a down market, the experienced agents know that they must increase their efforts and that includes networking with the affiliate service providers. With fewer sales taking place, these more seasoned agents also have more time for efforts that may otherwise occupy their time in a busy market,” says RealSource company president Doris Phillips.
“Likewise, many of the inexperienced agents don’t have the resources, client references or understanding of how to survive in down markets. This leads to attrition that is normal for the industry even if difficult for the individuals.”
Better Closing Experience is Valued and Leads to More Referrals
In other findings of the survey, the move toward a more personable closing experience was found to be of significant value to agents of all experience levels. The survey ask if improvements in the personal touches at closing would be of value and improve the number of client referrals. These “touches” include availability of beverages, fresh coffee, toys for to entertain children, snacks and an inviting, warm environment.
70% found that such extra personal services at closings would add value and improve client referrals while another 25% indicated this “probably” would be valuable and improve referrals.
RealSource conducts this survey annually as part of ongoing efforts to better understand the current market conditions and industry trends in the Birmingham real estate market.