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Brokers Discuss Pandemic’s Impacts on Real Estate, Give Future Market Outlook at NAR Annual Conference

WRITTEN BY NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

During a panel session at the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, several top real estate brokers discussed how the pandemic has altered their business models and also shared their outlook for the coming year.

The forum – “RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum: Setting Your Sights on a Record-Breaking 2022” – was moderated by RISMedia Founder and CEO John Featherston and MoxiWorks CEO York Baur.

Cindy Ariosa, senior vice president with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., told the assembled audience that the pandemic changed the way brokers are approaching their office space.

“We used to plan for 100 square feet per agent and that meant you would have a 10,000 square foot office for 100 agents,” Ariosa said. “You don’t need that anymore.”

She added that many agents have built their own offices at home and prefer a flexible, hybrid environment.

Anthony Lamacchia, broker/owner and CEO of Lamacchia Realty Inc., made it clear that low inventory is causing a headache for many homebuyers throughout the country.

“We are heading into 2022 with a lower inventory than we had heading into 2021,” Lamacchia said. “We are going to see bidding wars and frenzies from coast to coast heading into the winter. But I am cautiously optimistic that we will come out of that and see listing inventory go up a lot faster in 2022.”

When asked about his expectations for the housing market in 2022, Allan Dalton, senior vice president of research and development at HSF Affiliates LLC, anticipates a correction an emphasized the importance of Realtors® on the market.

“It’s not a question about if the market will correct, it’s a question about when,” Dalton said. “We don’t often hear much discussion about where our industry is going to take the market. I think we can do a much better job at influencing where the overall market goes.”

Looking to the future, Helen Hanna Casey, CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, stressed to the audience to be prepared for cycles in the market and to pay attention to a wide variety of statistics.

“We are seeing birth rates dropping and people marrying and forming households later in life,” Casey said.  We need to pay attention to things other than mortgage rates and other real estate numbers as we plan for the next five years.”

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.