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Will Some Agents Seek Greener Pastures?

With night time temperatures dipping below freezing, it signals the change from autumn to winter for both nature and the local real estate agents.  Since coming out of the recession many years ago the number of real estate agents practicing in our community and nationwide has increased substantially. However, we have returned to a situation where there are far more agents than listings and nearly as many agents as there are transactions each year. Historically, the Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate market has been one of the most competitive places in the world for agents and brokers.

The reality is that a small percentage of agents will do the lion’s share of the business in our local market handling 15+ transaction sides annually. More than half the agents will handle zero to two transactions as is typical in our local market.

During the past year, the number and size of Incline Village real estate brokerage firms remained relatively static. With so much business being conducted on the Internet and agents able to work efficiently from a home office, it’s no longer important for the major brokerage offices to keep expanding their square footage unless absolutely necessary.

As the year comes to an end, agents and brokers will begin planning for 2020. The New Year also brings the largest quarterly statement from our real estate board; which includes charges for local, state and national association dues. This is the time when many agents contemplate whether to renew their membership, consider a change of brokerage or possibly seek alternative sources of income.

It is much easier for an agent in our market to switch brokerage firms between November and April than during the busy summer season. Due to the slower pace of activity, you can change brokers and rebrand yourself during the off-season with fewer disruptions to the flow of business. Whether changing firms is beneficial depends on a number of factors and the goals of each agent. But every year several agents will change offices or on occasion even get a broker’s license and open their own office, in the hopes of achieving better performance.

Agents who have enjoyed a stellar year will use the off season to contemplate the current commission arrangement they have with their broker and sometimes try to renegotiate more favorable terms. It’s always a little bit of a cross between a tug ‘o war and a balancing act whenever agents and brokers sit down to discuss compensation packages. Since each broker is free to utilize whatever compensation structure they deem appropriate, it can often be a case of comparing apples and oranges when agents try to analyze offers from multiple firms and decide what course of action to take.

The property management and vacation rental firms in town have remained fairly stable in the past year. This industry has undergone a revolution during the past decade with the advent of online booking and the proliferation of websites such as VRBO.com and AirBnB. Both vacation renters and long-term tenants have more choices than ever before and the rental agencies have ratcheted up their service several notches to meet customer demand.

Employee turnover is the bane of every rental agency. Having an intimate knowledge of the property inventory and our local amenities is important to being successful in the rental business, especially in a mountain resort community. While there is always some turnover from time to time at the staff level, the ownership and management of the half dozen or so major rental firms has remained fairly constant. Those who are still thriving are the ones who innovate and continue to work hard and build their businesses into the future.

Weekly Real Estate Update

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 11/10/19

Houses                Condos                     PUDs

For Sale                                       107                          56                          17

Under $1 million                         11                          30                          11

Median Price For Sale          $2,195,000           $749,000                $884,900

YTD Sales 2019                          145                        145                          52

YTD Sales 2018                          164                        172                          58

New Listings                                 7

In Escrow                                      11

Closed Escrow                              7

Range in Escrow        $255,000 – $2,345,000

These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of REALTORS® or its Multiple Listing Service as of November 10, 2019

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