Mark Cipolletti Knows How to Market His Business
Anthony Bolling Knows How to Navigate the Current Market. Do You?
Anothony Bolling has been in the real estate industry longer than most. He became a licensed real estate professional in 1986 when he was still a student at the University of Virginia. After graduation, he returned home to the D.C. area and has been working there ever since.
He is now an associate broker and team leader with the Anthony Bolling Group, an affiliate of Keller Williams. Over the years, he has also become an award-winning agent. He has been recognized as a Mega Agent and a top 50 producing real estate agent by Keller Williams International. He is also the #1 ranked commercial real estate professional at Keller Williams Preferred Properties.
For those agents who haven’t been in the business as long as Anothony, there is a lot you can learn from him if you want your business to last.
Navigating the Pandemic Market
For even the most experienced agents like Anothony, the pandemic led to some big surprises. Sellers appeared to have unprecedented power and interest rates were at historic lows.
Anthony explains, “I was working with clients who were paying 50, 60, 75,000 dollars over ask price. Sellers were demanding you to make offers as-is without any appraisal contingencies. It was just a phenomenon I’ve never experienced before. People were actually making offers sight unseen, no contingencies.”
With multiple offers on most homes, Anothony certainly stayed busy. While a lot of buyers were on the hunt because of the record-low interest rates, securing a home was a big issue. Anthony worked with one client who made several offers on different homes but as Anthony explains, “We were losing out left and right.”
The Market of Today
Since the blazing hot days during the pandemic, the market has shifted. Anthony explains, “Now the last six months, last year, things have cooled off considerably. It’s slowed down, the inventory is way down, the interest rates are way up.”
With such high interest rates and home prices, buyers are struggling to afford their dream homes. For sellers, these high interest rates are also taking their toll. Buyers cannot afford to put work into a home after buying, so they are demanding move-in ready ones instead. In fact, 77% of buyers won’t even consider a home that isn’t move-in ready.1 If they want to sell their home quickly, homeowners can no longer expect to get away with selling a home as-is or getting offers without any contingencies.
As a result of these high interest rates, lenders are using “exotic” mortgage options. But these new options do not phase Anthony. “If you’ve only been in the business 10 years, you think a 3-2-1 buydown from a lender and an adjustable-rate mortgage is an exotic mortgage.” Anthony continues, “You have never seen an adjustable-rate mortgage because the market has been so strong, and the interest rates have been so low. But now I am seeing lenders coming back with those kinds of mortgage products to help buyers get in.”
A Fair Warning
For those agents who haven’t seen these types of mortgages before, you may want to be vigilant. Anthony notes that the National Association of Realtors is predicting a decline in members in the next year or so.
Anthony believes, “That’s due in great part because interest rates have been low for so long and persons who have gotten into business in the past ten years have come in with little to no training and little to no experience.”
The agents who may have been able to get by because the market was so hot will likely struggle. He continues, “Now you actually have to show market knowledge to be competitive in this market… Simply saying to a property owner or a prospective buyer, ‘Do you want to buy, sell, or lease your real estate?’ that’s not going to get it done. You can’t stay in business.”
How Anthony Stays Ahead
If you don’t want to be one of those agents who gets left behind next year, take a page out of Anthony’s playbook. To get houses off the market quickly and for top dollar, Anthony knows that pre-listing updates are a must.
Unfortunately, funding these projects isn’t always easy. Many homeowners simply do not have the upfront money to pay for these repairs. Anthony explains, “Clients having these older properties — they’re in need of money to renovate these properties. They’re trying to borrow money or as a result, because they don’t have the money to update their properties, they’re selling them at discounts. They’re selling them as-is because the properties just aren’t updated.”
One solution Anthony found helps homeowners make these updates and pay for them later based on their credit. Anthony explains the potential problem here. “The client still had to apply for credit. They had to be creditworthy in order to get the funds to then get the work done. And my first (Curbio) client, they weren’t creditworthy… They had inherited the property. It was an estate. They themselves weren’t creditworthy, but there was tons of equity in the property.”
Instead of throwing in the towel, Anthony was able to find another solution for his client— working with Curbio. Unlike this other program, Curbio looks at equity in the home, not the seller’s credit. Because there was a lot of equity in the home, Anthony, his client, and the Curbio D.C. area team transformed the house and sold it for more.
After that project’s success, Anthony has worked with Curbio on other listings as well. He explains, “I think Curbio is a solution in this market and other markets across the country. A solution that I’m incorporating into my local as well as nationwide marketing for persons who have older homes that need remodeling, need refreshing.”
Knocking Down Hesitations
For anyone skeptical, just remember how long Anthony has been around and ask yourself don’t you want to be like him?
Anthony himself has heard pushback from others who are hesitant to get started. “People have asked me, ‘Hey, but was it more expensive for your client?’” But Anthony has seen this type of thinking backfire. He tells the story of a homeowner who thought he could save money by painting the house himself. Unfortunately for the homeowner, the finished product left much to be desired, and the work had to be redone.
In summary, his answer is, “You might be able to get that service for a few dollars less than what Curbio is charging you, but the overall experience, the confidence that you’re going to get working with Curbio — of knowing that these people are going to be there, that someone is managing them as a project manager that’s dedicated to your project, that the contractors are there working when they’re supposed to be working, that if you see issues that you have questions about there’s a way for you to communicate those issues and those concerns and get a prompt response — well, I’ve been doing this a long time and you really can’t put a dollar amount on that.”
He reminds homeowners and other agents, “It’s an investment. It’s not an expense. It’s an investment that you are making in the property to enhance its marketability and its competitiveness.”
So if you find yourself struggling in the current market, take Anthony’s advice. “If you want to be successful, you want to have the kind of longevity in this industry that I’ve enjoyed, then you need to align yourself with other quality competent professionals that will support you and provide solutions to your clients. And Curbio is right up there amongst the top.”
- Curbio (2022). Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report