This year has made the world of real estate feel like it is on shifting sand, like so many other industries. As a real estate agent or real-estate-agent-in-training, you may feel that this is a particularly difficult year for you and worry about what the next few months may hold in the wake of COVID-19. The news is that people still need your services, but you may need to take special considerations and make preparations to create a successful real estate career in 2020 and beyond.
The Current State of Real Estate in Portland
Many competing factors both hindered and improved the real estate markets in Portland this year. From people stuck at home deciding it was time for a change, to those who put off a home search, people made choices in various directions that led to some contraction in the market. As OregonLive points out, the Portland market experienced big drops in listings compared to the same months in 2019, but some recovery came in June and may result in some stabilization over time. While some homes are still in such high demand that getting a good offer is not particularly difficult, there are also fewer homes for sale in many areas, making it harder for new real estate agents and those who are looking to build up their client base.
Pandemic Effects on the Real Estate Market
In the end, the pandemic put Portland and the rest of the United States into a period of volatility that pushed home buyers and sellers in two directions: those who were more likely to delay purchases and sales, and those who wanted to use this unusual year as an opportunity to find a good deal on a property.
Recently, a myth has been debunked about Portland and other urban real estates markets. A study revealed that most people aren't abandoning city life for the suburbs, which some thought might be possible due to greater contact with other people in crowded cities. The numbers don't show that to be true. If you want to be a real estate agent in Portland proper, you still can find opportunities here without moving to a different, more suburban area.
However, like many different industries, real estate experienced some overall contraction. People always need somewhere to live, but if enough people are nervous about the market, they'll hold off on buying and selling for a bit. This results in a market that offers fewer opportunities for real estate agents than in recent past years.
How You Can Weather The Effects of the Pandemic on the Market
Given the fact that general market contraction makes for fewer total home sales, it only makes sense that you may be having less easy success than in past quarters or years. However, there are many ways you can create a reputation for yourself even in a more sparse market than in the past. Here are some of the ways you can think about your real estate agent career even when the pandemic is happening.
- Make sure you are known for protecting clients, both buyers and sellers, and for offering as many virtual options as possible. Can you learn more about virtual open houses? What other strategies can you implement to improve the socially-distanced home buying process? Thoughtful considerations like this can help you stand out and make clients feel comfortable.
- Spend any pandemic-related downtime building relationships. Ask your past clients what it was that made them choose you as a real estate agent, and see how you can network. Portland, like many other areas, has plenty of video meet-ups and happy-hours where you can meet people from the safety of your home and mention the work you do.
- The sales that are happening are often quite competitive, so put your best work into every sale, from a small one to a large one. Right now, achieving a good end result for buyer and seller during a pandemic creates a positive sensation that your clients will carry with them, so even if it is more work than usual, that word-of-mouth advertising is likely to carry forward.
- A time when work is slow can be a great time to learn more about your chosen field or refresh in time for having to re-take your licensure exam. Consider Portland Community College as an opportunity to continue growing your knowledge of the Portland real estate market.
Needing to License or Re-License?
Knowing that so much has changed this year, Portland Community College remains unwavering in our commitment to creating valuable resources in the form of flexible professional development coursework. Our real estate course offerings help you prepare to enter the real estate profession through test preparation, and we want to be a valuable resource for your other professional development needs as well.