Fact-based marketing gives agents confidence that they understand what’s happening in their market and the courage to have a conversation about home prices.

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There’s no shortage of opinions about where housing markets are headed next, creating an opportunity for agents to inject themselves into the conversation by building a marketing engine that’s built on facts about their local market.

That’s according to David Childers, CEO of Keeping Current Matters, who told a roomful of Realtors attending Inman Connect New York on Tuesday that the numbers he’s looking at should give agents and their clients hope, confidence and courage.

“We live in a business right now where there are a lot of opinions, and very few are based upon fact,” Childers said. “I’m gonna walk you through a fact-based opinion. You don’t have to agree with me today. But I do think it’s important that you have a marketing engine that’s based upon facts so that you can then have a conversation. It’s not my opinion versus your opinion; it’s your opinion versus the facts.”

Childers predicts 2024 will be “the year of the fives:” Mortgage rates will drop into the 5 percent range by the second half of the year, home sales will grow to 5.5 million, and home prices will appreciate by 5 percent.

Lower mortgage rates should help many would-be sellers feel less locked in to their existing mortgage, he said, and make homes more affordable to buyers.

“From a volume standpoint, we’re not talking about 2020 where everybody’s gonna buy a house and ‘We’ll take two’ or anything like that,” Childers said. “But what we’re talking about is more people that put off their decision [in 2023] will come back.”

Fannie Mae’s highly regarded research team of eight economists and economic analysts last week predicted that mortgage rates won’t drop into the fives until the final three months of 2024; that home sales rebound by only about 4 percent this year, to 4.96 million; and that home price appreciation will dip from 7.1 percent last year to 3.2 percent in 2024.

Childers can cite plenty of facts that support his more optimistic outlook. Seven of the eight home price appreciation forecasts he threw up on the screen predicted prices will keep rising in 2024, as demand for homes continues to outstrip supply.

But his main point was that any agent worth their salt should “have a relevant market opinion, based upon fact.”

To help agents position themselves as experts, Keeping Current Matters (KCM) provides agents with local real estate data at the county, city and ZIP code level, along with branded visuals to deliver insights to prospects.

The idea is not only raise agents’ visibility, but to restore their own hope, confidence and courage.

Looking back at 2023, “a lot of people lost some hope in our business,” Childers said. “Some people said, ‘I don’t know if I’m gonna stick it out.’ Some hope was lost.”

Having not only opinions but facts to base them on can give agents confidence — “the conviction that I understand what’s happening right now” — which in turn gives them “the courage to step out in the market and have a conversation about home prices,” Childers said.

“What wins in this market, no doubt, [is] action and education — being active and being out there and being the educator in the market.”

Email Matt Carter

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