Hot February Real Estate Market Fueled by Rising Interest Rates - Tips for Agents

Believe it or not, the February real estate market in Northern Virginia is heating up fast! While the winter is typically a slow time for Northern Virginia, we have tips to help your team make the most of it this year.

1) Have a Clear Strategy and Goal in Mind

Every year you should sit down and look at the past year. You should then set specific goals for yourself for the new year and a roadmap to achieve them. Include an evaluation of where you can make the most progress from the previous year. This could be investing new marketing dollars online, adding a new team member or reaching out to real estate partners to set up events.

2) Invest in Your Marketing Wisely

Real estate agents can sometimes feel like they shouldn't spend money on marketing during the winter because it's the slow season. However, winter is exactly the time that people make decisions regarding which real estate agent they are going to work with and when they're going to list. If you're not talking to buyers and sellers during the winter you may find that your spring is slower than usual.

Sometimes it can be hard to do everything yourself, and need an extra hand. Jason Shine, who is a local Business Consultant & Coach, explained how real estate agents need to think like business owners in order to market more successfully.  "Real estate agents have to remember that they are running a business.  A business is really a collection of systems that work to make things predictable, functional and most importantly, replicable.  This is critical if an agent decides to leverage his or her time by scaling and delegating certain tasks to an assistant." - Jason Shine, Real Smart Consulting.

3) Implement a Process to Make Things Go Smoothly

Since February is a short month, you want to make the most of your time. What this means is if you don't have processes in place to streamline your offer, to closing paperwork with customers, then you could end up losing precious time in the process. If you prepare your emails and paperwork in advance, that will help you save critical time for not only winning homes for buyers, but also selling homes for sellers.

"Marketing in Real Estate is evolving quickly from paper cards to social media and online marketing. There are a million accounts and sites to keep track of and be active on. It is critical for an agent to have a plan, be organized, and execute their marketing in order to compete." - Heather Pressler, Digital Marketing firm Capital Practice Consulting.  

4) Communication With Clients Is Key

Communication is very important throughout the winter and into the spring market. Just because you've gotten a verbal commitment from a client to either buy or sell with you, that does not mean that another agent couldn't approach them in some other setting. So, it's important that you keep communication lines open with clients all throughout the winter.

In addition, communication can prevent unexpected hiccups in the buying or selling process. Having notes on each client's must-have or must-get list will help you keep track of critical issues that can be encountered in the real estate transaction.

5) Work With Excellent Partners for the Mortgage, Title & Escrow

The two critical components of buying or selling a home are securing a mortgage and hiring a great title & escrow company. If you had a partner last year who dropped the ball with a client, you will know what we mean. Working with the right partners will make all the difference in Northern Virginia real estate this year.

When choosing the right loan officer, there are some important questions you should ask. We asked a top producer at George Mason Mortgage, John Kinzer, what separates one loan officer from another. John said, "We can pre-approve a potential buyer the same day so that when they go buy a house the seller knows they are a real buyer. How quickly can your loan officer approve your loan? We can actually do it in 7 days. Does your mortgage company provide flexible loan options? You can put just 3% down for a standard loan package of ours. If you are in the military you can buy a house with 0% down! Not every mortgage company provides the same type of service and products. Ask around or contact me!" 

When choosing the right title company, make sure the company can turn around title searches quickly, have an attorney on staff and are responsive. Check out their reviews on Google or Facebook. 

At Allied Title & Escrow, our team of industry experts and attorneys have over 25 years of experience in title, settlements and real estate transactions. Headquartered in Arlington, VA, we provide residential and commercial services throughout all counties of Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland. We strive to provide the highest level of service and will handle all aspects of the title and settlement process.