We Ask Our Experts: What’s New on the Local Realty Scene
Writer / Janelle Morrison
We asked about what today’s buyers look for in existing homes and how advancing technology is affecting the way that realtors market homes. Lastly, we inquired about whether this is the right time to buy and sell existing homes.
RE/MAX: Ability Plus- Kempler & Associates 12710 Meeting House Rd
Carmel, IN 46032
Joseph M. Kempler (Joe) went full-time in his real estate career after retiring from a 31-year career with IBM and Lexmark in 2007 just before the Great Recession. Kempler weathered the economic downturn and focused on building his knowledge of the local market and on strategic and innovative ways to market his client’s houses. In 2012, Kempler joined RE/MAX and currently has four associates, including himself. Two of his associates live in Zionsville.
“RE/MAX is the number one brand in the nation and has a highly-recognized logo,” Kempler stated. “There are many good real estate companies out there, and I enjoy working with all of those agents. We do about half of our business in the Village of West Clay, where are located, and the other half in Zionsville, Westfield, Fishers and the surrounding areas. We focus on doing things that others don’t do and that includes state-of-the-art technology. We understand that our customers use media, digital and print to communicate. Social media is a big player in how we market, and we publish feeds and blogs but also maintain a balance of traditional marketing and digital marketing.”
Kempler has partnered with another RE/MAX team on a program called Coming Soon Homes. It is much like watching previews at a theatre. “We have the exclusive rights with this program in Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, and Marion Counties,” Kempler said. “It allows people to see what is coming onto the market before it is published on the MLS. As this national program becomes more recognized, more people will be going there to get a preview of what is coming here to our local markets.”
Kempler stated that the Boone and Hamilton County real estate markets are strong and the inventory is low, which allows sellers to have their foot on the pulse of the market. In other words, it is a seller’s market although he warned, “The buyers have not forgotten the Great Recession and are not going to just fork over the selling price. The price of the home has to be market-priced.”
Zoë Moore Homes for Keller Williams
1500 W. Oak St. Suite 500, Zionsville, IN 46077
Moore been in the industry for 11 years and joined the Keller Williams team last August. She focuses on the local Zionsville and greater north Indianapolis markets. For her, the Keller Williams way of business aligned with her philosophy of conducting business and how she treats her customers.
“For me it’s not just about a house,” Moore emphasized. “It is about the people and the relationships. It is important for me to give my clients the best advice and taking good care of them. With the advancement of technology, this is even more important. Buyers and sellers have technology at their fingertips and use websites like Zillow. As agents, we need to go where the people are and be creative with our marketing campaigns. We must stay on top of the technology and think outside of the proverbial box. My priority is taking care of my clients. We take a lot of pride in getting the houses ready to be put on the market and taking our time to do it right rather than just putting in on the market as soon as possible and waiting to see what happens.”
Moore and her team of five, including four active agents, strategize and coordinate the necessary updates in each of their listings. Based upon the seller’s budgets, they update the homes prior to listing them.
“Solid surface counter tops and wide plank wood floors are still poplar trends,” Moore said. “Neutral colors and light cabinets are preferred over the honey-oak cabinetry and richer colors that were popular in the 1990s. Once we’ve completed the upgrades, clean up the home, and prepare it for listing, we typically get multiple offers and even over asking price for the same home that was listed for less prior to our listing and updating it. It is currently a strong market and sellers can get more for their home now than in previous years. It is a seller’s market but it is a discerning market and the sellers have to pay
attention to the trends of today’s buyers.”
The Laviolette Group, F.C. Tucker Sonnie Laviolette, Broker
10 N. First Street, Zionsville, IN 46077
Sonnie Laviolette spent 16 years specializing in advertising and marketing before she entered the real estate profession in 2003. Laviolette came into the market when it was strong and like other agents, has seen the industry evolve through some interesting climates. Her strong background in marketing has served her and her team of three quite well.
“We bring different strengths and expertise to the table,” Laviolette said. “We do intense marketing for our sellers. We understand the online market and reach out to prospective buyers that we haven’t met and don’t know where they are located. We use various mechanisms to connect those prospective buyers to our properties. It’s more than just putting a sign in the yard. It’s about connecting with buyers on various levels, and we have insights on how to do that.”
Laviolette spoke about the current state of the market and on the demographic shift that the industry is experiencing locally and nationally. “We have been seeing home values increasing steadily every year, and sellers are sitting on their investments creating a bit of a challenge for the buyers,” she said. “It’s not a matter of how many days houses are on the market rather than how many hours. It’s a challenge for agents to get buyers to a house fast enough because there are several other buyers looking at the same property.”
Laviolette continued, “The real estate market moves in any economic climate; it just moves slower when the market is challenged. Currently, we are experiencing a demographic shift that is affecting the market in a variety of ways. The Baby-Boomers are downsizing and simplifying their lives. Traditionally, the younger market would migrate into the larger home with the larger yard and raise their families. Today’s younger market is not as interested in continuing this cycle. They are living their lives in a different way than the generation before them. The Baby-Boomers are downsizing and this has created a submarket of the ‘empty-nester’ product that is being built and sold on the market by builders across the nation.
This changing dynamic is definitely impacting the real estate products that are available on the market.” Laviolette stated that the areas where she and her team focus on in Boone and Hamilton County continue to be strong, prime locations that continue to increase in value.