RISMedia just wrapped the third in its series of virtual events, "Spring Into Action," co-presented by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
The event was held on April 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT, and attracted 5,000-plus attendees who tuned in to learn from more than 75 of the industry's top leaders, coaches and trainers.
RISMedia CEO and Founder John Featherston and NAR President Charlie Oppler started things off during the event's opening session, discussing Fair Housing month, improving agents' and teams' success in a post-COVID era, and moving away from the pandemic's biggest challenges.
"We are going to hear some really interesting insights from today's leaders on this show," said Featherston. "This is going to be an action-packed day of educational insights and powerful opportunities to help you achieve even greater success in the weeks and months to come."
"Fair housing never stops. It's the right thing to do," said Oppler. "In 2021, we've challenged our leadership team to complete our Fairhaven program, go through the At Home With Diversity certification and watch the video on implicit bias." Oppler stated that over 500 members of NAR's 1K leaders already completed all three levels.
"What are the biggest challenges and changes that you see happening to our industry over the next year?" asked Featherston.
Overall, Oppler stated brokerages are spending time with their agents, ensuring they have the best tech and tools to compete in today's market so the consumer gets the best experience.
"The agent has to be integral in the transaction," said Oppler.
With the opening session wrapped up, industry leaders tackled some of real estate's biggest challenges and opportunities in a series of general sessions.
With the vaccine rollout in full swing across the U.S., everyone's wondering the same thing: When will life return to "normal"? NAR Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research Lawrence Yun shed some light on this during "Spring Market Update: How 2021 Has Unfolded So Far…and What Lies Ahead."
"After the initial decline during the lockdown months in spring last year, the markets made a strong surge. Is it topping out?" Yun asked. "Sales are not clicking with the momentum we saw before."
According to Yun, generally in spring months, about 30% additional inventory shows up compared to the winter months—but this winter had record-low inventory. In the $1M-plus markets this hasn't been an issue, but lower price points are really feeling the inventory crunch.
"The buyers are out there, yet home sales are not clicking for the simple fact that there is not enough inventory," said Yun, who predicts a 15% home-sale increase in Q1, followed by a 40% increase in Q2 but then a lack of gains in the fourth quarter. If things go as predicted, Yun said home sales for 2021 will likely be 10% above what it was in 2020, and home prices should continue to "march higher."
RISMedia is making a limited number of "Spring Into Action" sessions accessible to the public. Readers may view this dynamic session in the video below:
Additionally, RISMedia's event addressed some of the challenges and opportunities for women in real estate over the years during its "Women in Real Estate: Seizing the Opportunities in 2021."
The session was moderated by Joan Docktor, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®. Panelists included:
- Bess Freedman, Chief Executive Officer, Brown Harris Stevens
- Helen Hanna Casey, CEO, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
- Rosey Koberlein, Chairperson, Long Companies
- Christina Pappas, Vice President, The Keyes Family of Companies.
Docktor kicked things off by asking panelists to identify challenges women are still facing and what has progressed along.
Here's what they all had to say:
"It is easier today because at least there's more women around that you can look to for role models," said Docktor.
"You didn't have a lot of role models or peers that were women," agreed Hanna Casey. "But you also had to find people in other industries to talk to because management is management no matter how you do it."
"You had to find a niche in the organization where you can step in, solve a problem create credibility because the reality of the situation is that we were watched," said Koberlein.
"You still walk in a room and there's still a limited number of women at the table," said Pappas. "I'm hoping one day, you walk in a room and there's just people, and no one's thinking about how many women or how many men are there."
"Stereotypes still persist unfortunately, but women handle power really well because they're careful, they're cautious and that shows up when you see women in real estate," said Freedman.
During a one-on-one session between RISMedia's Featherston and Brian Buffini of Buffini & Company, the pair discussed the tools agents need in order to succeed as well as the trends impacting the months ahead.
"What we are challenging clients to do is really focusing on the fundamentals," said Buffini. "Make long-term decisions not short-term decisions. Ultimately, you want to leverage every buyer you have to get a listing. There's an enormous amount of pent-up demand."
Sign up for Buffini's giveaway here.
During another one-on-one session, this time with Real Estate Webmaster's Morgan Carey, the pair discussed the importance of technology in real estate, and how it can be utilized to create a competitive advantage.
"Agents need to work backwards from their objectives," said Carey. "They need to be adopting readily available tech and lead-gen systems. They need to stop thinking they need to reinvent things and just focus on the object of their business."
Stay tuned to rismedia.com for additional coverage of RISMedia's "Spring Into Action" virtual event.
Spring Into Action 2021 Sponsors
National Association of REALTORS® Center for REALTOR® Development
Real Estate Webmasters
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.