Branding yourself as an agent

If you enjoyed last week's episode of Rise Above the Ranks, we have good news! Our special guest Mauricio Umansky, CEO of The Agency and star of Netflix's Buying Beverly Hills, is BACK again this week.

We talk about another important subject: branding. We dig into what we think makes a great brand for real estate agents, whether you're just starting out or looking to revamp everything. We discuss how to sell yourself while staying true to who you are.

You won't want to miss this one because the content in this episode will help you take your branding to the next level!

– James and David

Inventory climbs, but not because of new listings

Source: Unsplash

According to’s October trend report, active listings nationwide are up 33.5% from the same time this month last year, which equates to an extra 189,000 homes on the market. That growth rate in inventory has surpassed 2020 levels. One reason for the inventory boost: buyers are hesitant due to rising interest rates and market uncertainty. Therefore, homes are staying on the market longer.

But as inventory is rising, new listings are down 15.9%. This is because wary sellers are not putting their homes on the market.

Our Take

While we still think inventory is low here in Los Angeles, we are encouraged to see this trend nationwide. Buyers simply need more options. How were they ever going to buy their dream home when competing with 30 people? This market allows for more opportunity and we like that. It is healthier and normal. Reminder, this is a price-sensitive market, and you can’t overprice your home right now!

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Another sign that this market is nothing like 2008

Source: Unsplash

Nearly half of all mortgage owners are equity-rich, meaning they owe no more than half of their property's market value. This equity cushion gives homeowners protection against the slowed appreciation projected for 2023 and makes a foreclosure wave like we saw in 2008 very unlikely.

Here are two key takeaways:

  • Equity-rich mortgage owners increased to 48.5%, up from 39.5% a year ago

  • Only 227,100 out of 58 million mortgages were facing possible foreclosure last quarter

Our take

This is great news! As we've said, the market is slowly stabilizing, and we expect to continue returning to normal in 2023. Homeowners aren't over-leveraging themselves in their mortgages like we saw in 2008. It's important for you to relay these positive trends to your clients. Let them know that signs point toward markets normalizing rather than collapsing. That’ll help them feel more confident about investing in real estate, and investing in you!

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10 popular sun belt markets where prices are falling

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We’ve already seen falling home prices in the midwest, south, and Rust Belt in Q3, and now Business Insider reports that the Sun Belt is following the same trend. Several Sun Belt cities have seen a price drop of 10% or more since May and June. Economists think that there are still more price drops ahead.

Here are the 10 Sun Belt metros with the greatest home price reductions from Q2 to Q3:

  1. Reno, NV

  2. Winston-Salem, NC

  3. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

  4. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

  5. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR

  6. Savannah, GA

  7. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL

  8. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

  9. Ogden-Clearfield, UT

  10. Naples-Marco Island, FL

Our take

This is a good market adjustment. Prices were too high! Most of your buyers want a home they can live in for many years. They're not just looking to buy any property for the sake of it. Right now, buyers in these markets are in great positions with prices coming down. Sellers can also benefit now because the demand in these affordable markets is climbing. Get out there, sift through the inventory, and find your buyers a great deal as these desirable markets become more affordable!

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The news that just missed the cut


🎧 Rise Above the Ranks

In this week’s Rise Above the Ranks podcast, James & David talk about how to brand yourself as a real estate agent. Special guest Mauricio Umansky, CEO of The Agency, again joins the guys to share more about what he’s learned over the years. They discuss important tips for agents who want to improve their branding.

  1. Understand who you are as an agent. This means asking yourself some deeper questions: What are your goals? What are your values? What is your mission? How do all of these set you apart from other agents? Get specific! Write down your answers, and focus on creating a unique message that's the heart of your brand.

  2. Remember that the real estate industry is collaborative. Clients can come and go, but your agent relationships will stick around. Branding yourself within your agent community is a perfect way to grow your network and find future deals, especially as a brand-new agent. Network with other agents who inspire you to level up your business!

  3. Find a brokerage you can identify with. As a new agent, it's so important to find a strong mentor. Look for mentorship in your agent community from those who share the same visions and values, and don't be afraid to reach out. Networking and collaborating with other agents is part of strong branding!

Want the full scoop? Check out the episode → Apple | Spotify | YouTube


You ask, James and David answer!

Q: What can I do differently in terms of marketing to clients since they are getting bombarded with material from every agent in Atlanta right now?

Janice, Blueprint reader, Atlanta

A: We always say this, but door-knocking and sitting open houses are the best way to get in front of clients. It’s not always about getting the listing, it’s sometimes just about being a wealth of information for people around real estate. Share recent sales in the neighborhood, share insights from our newsletter, or go chat with a developer about an idea you have to make the home better. Following up is key as well, so when you get out there, grab as many emails as you can because you never know which one will turn into an actual sale!

James & David

We’ll be back next week with another answer to a real reader question. Submit yours here!

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Rocket Mortgage

That’s all for this edition of The Blueprint! Reminder, if you use your share link to send The Blueprint to one reader, we will give you our 35 page Essential Real Estate Toolkit covering the most important topics that got us to where we are today!

See you Friday!

– James and David

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