A Year of Real Estate in a Pandemic
Updated: Apr 1
A year ago, many Maine businesses closed their offices, and watched as our nation went into quarantine. Real estate was deemed non-essential in some states, and in Maine some cities followed suit, prohibiting in-person showings. Amid the uncertainty, a lack of inventory further challenged buyers of real estate, forcing Maine agents to pivot quickly to meet the constantly changing rules and market. As the US reaches the one year mark of the closings, we can now look back at the first year of the pandemic compared to the market pre-pandemic and see how buyers, sellers and agencies have fared. Here is a look at Keller Williams Realty of Maine, the most productive agency in Maine, with over $1.4 Billion in sales volume in the last 12 months.
In the first 2 months of 2021, agents at Keller Williams Realty of Maine closed almost 37% more real estate sales and took 10% more listings than they did in the first two months of 2020. While new listings in the Maine MLS in January and February were down by over 5% compared to the same months in 2020, KW Maine agents saw an increase of 10% in the same period. This growth is no accident.
Why are agents at Keller Williams thriving when many agents struggled to survive in 2020? In a word, culture. Backed by a culture focused on coming from contribution, KW agents have access to daily high-level trainings, coaching, and support for their businesses -- and for themselves personally. They are coming from contribution when they talk to their clients, helping sellers and buyers with much more than just sales. More sellers are choosing to list with KW agents this year, knowing that with each KW agent comes a powerful network of well-connected professionals.
When offices closed in the Spring of 2020 and people across the country began to struggle with changes in the economy, KW agents did not go into hiding, nor did they need to figure out on their own how to maneuver in a pandemic-fraught market. They were immediately and repeatedly provided resources, information and training that helped them in their outreach to past clients, friends and family. Even in quarantine, they jumped on the phones to check in on people and to offer help. They shared information about Loan Forbearance, PPP, home improvement ideas, contractor lists and property values. The KW Maine owners, leaders, coaches and business partners pivoted quickly to the new normal and poured into the agents daily, arming them with powerful tools to manage their budgets, cut expenses, understand the economic climate, and stay connected. “I have felt so tremendously supported during the past year, and my business grew as a result. I am so grateful for KW!” said one agent.
Agents rally together day after day in virtual meetings to brainstorm how they can give back to the people who have supported them and their individual businesses. As the saying goes, "you reap what you sow," and when you sow care, gratitude and connection, abundance shows up.
What do we see as we look back on the first 12 months of the pandemic? Here in Maine, 153 Keller Williams agents more than doubled their sales in the 12 months beginning March 2020, compared to the same 12 month period before COVID-19 hit Maine, and 54% of KW Maine agents in production grew their business by over 50% during a time when in-person showings were discouraged, travel was restricted, and buyer demand created historically low housing inventory. In Maine there was a 6 month supply of housing inventory statewide in January 2020, compared to a less than 3 month supply in January 2021.
What do we see as we look ahead? More growth. For the agents who tap in to what is offered, there are extraordinary opportunities to have businesses worth owning, careers worth having and lives worth living. This may explain why, in the first 2 months of this year, 42 agents made the choice to join Keller Williams in Maine.
The future of real estate is bright. Call your Keller Williams Realty agent today and tackle that inventory shortage together. Onward.
(Source of listing and inventory info: Maine Real Estate Information Systems, dba FLEXMLS. Source of KW growth: KWRI reports, Keller Williams Realty)