The Impact of Low Inventory in Corporate Relocation
By: Barry Matheny, Vice President of Relocation Services at John L. Scott Real Estate
Over the past few years, the real estate industry has been challenged by low inventory in many markets, particularly in the more affordable and mid-price ranges. At John L. Scott Real Estate, we’ve seen firsthand the impact of the market conditions: multiple-offer situations, long lines outside of Open Houses, homes going pending for far over asking and more.
Meeting the Challenges of Today’s Market
Relocation Management Companies (RMCs), corporate clients, transferees and relocation brokers are all feeling this crunch as well. Conditions are starting to regulate a bit with rising interest rates and we will return to a strong pre-pandemic housing market. No matter the market conditions, it’s crucial as relocation professionals to meet these challenges head-on by reinforcing our value proposition, strengthening our relationships with our partners and delivering exceptional client care.
Building Trust Through Communication + Education
To start, we need to empower our relocation broker associates to build trust by demonstrating an in-depth understanding of a client’s needs. Client education about what to expect, and the ability to ask the right questions to understand a client’s needs, will demonstrate why a broker is worth their commission. As the transaction progresses, an open dialogue between the broker and client is key, as is a solution-based mindset to help a client relocate successfully.
Open communication is also important for relocation leaders as we establish and grow strong relationships with our partner RMCs. When market conditions change, we bring them up to speed in real time and share how these changes can impact their bottom line, as well as ideas for moving our partnership forward.
For example, our company has shared that commissions have changed in some ways in our market, particularly with new construction builders. Some new builders in the areas we serve are working with just their on-site brokers instead of trained relocation brokers. Going past awareness, we aim to establish a dialogue where we can discuss a way forward as partners through changing market conditions, which aligns with the overall goal of helping those that are relocating.
The ‘Right People on the Bus’
While communication and relationship building are essential for navigating a low inventory market, great results can’t be achieved without a solid team of relocation real estate professionals. I always say that having the right people on the bus makes all the difference. We do a lot as relocation leaders, but it’s our brokers who are out there every day making an impact on our relocation clients.
Our standards for becoming a relocation broker at John L. Scott are high, and we continually provide growth opportunities for established relocation brokers so they stay engaged and have the tools they need to reinforce their value proposition. And of course, ensuring our broker associates offer top-notch client care is essential as we navigate a changing real estate market.
About John L. Scott Real Estate
John L. Scott Real Estate, led by third-generation Chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott, has been helping buyers and sellers realize their homeownership dreams since 1931. JLS has over 100 offices with more than 3,000 brokers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. JLS is recognized as one of the top 20 residential real estate brands in the nation. Last year, John L. Scott closed over 35,000 transactions, totaling more than 20 billion dollars in sales volume. In support of the company’s core value, Living Life as a Contribution®, the John L. Scott Foundation helped sponsor 29 events for 17 children’s hospitals in 2021, which helped raise over $15 million for children’s healthcare.