Real Estate News: Communication and empathy are keys to success

By: Justin Ohnstad
February 1, 2018

Women make up 62 percent of Realtors in the United States. They have a variety of positions within the business of real estate: some are agents, others are managers, still others are owners and real estate trade association executives. I am privileged to work for a company that is managed by a female broker.

Justin Ohnstad

When I put the question of why we saw success for our female colleagues, Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors CEO Karen Becker told me, “Over the last 20 years, I’ve witnessed the number of women entering the real estate industry rise sharply, as is true in many areas of business. Part of women’s success in real estate is their ability to be empathetic with their clients, tough negotiators and the fact that they tend to keep in touch with clients long past the closing.  They are often strong communicators.  All of these skills are an advantage when navigating the average 182 steps in a real estate transaction. They are also drawn to the flexibility of the career and the knowledge that there is no “glass ceiling” to punch through – their success is their own.”

It’s not just the real estate business but the mortgage and title industries that have a business model that encourages women to succeed. In many cases, your entire home-buying or selling transaction may be handled by women.

Real estate is a fantastic career for both men and women.  I would encourage you to reach out to your Realtor with any questions you might have about the business and how you can be a part of it.

When you talk to your Realtor, be sure to ask whether now might be a good time to sell your current home. We have an incredibly low inventory of houses for sale. If you have considered selling your home in the past and felt the value wasn’t there or it just wasn’t a good time, spring is right around the corner and you are in a good position to reconsider your decision. Interest rates are starting to go up, and soon we will see new construction pick up, making this one of the best times in the last decade to sell your house.

In the last year, we have seen the number of homes for sale decline. The number of closed transactions is down 10 percent from last year – mostly because of the lack of inventory. The best news is the median sale price is up almost 4 percent from the year before. The average days on market is down from 73 days to just 63 days on the market.

So if you’re ready to sell your home, odds are good that there’s someone out there who can’t wait to buy it. Ask your Realtor how to get the process started.

Justin Ohnstad is president of Southeast Minnesota REALTORS© and is an ERA Gillespie agent based in Owatonna.

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