Jessica Lautz to Speak at ACREres

The Alabama Center for Real Estate’s second annual residential real estate conference and expo (ACREres) is just weeks away. Jessica Lautz, the National Association of Realtors survey research and communications managing director, will be expanding on this year’s FlashForward theme by sharing the industry’s most recent housing statics and notable trends to watch.

Lautz will explore the make-up of first-time home buyers, the driving forces in home-ownership, and how Realtors can reach and attract future buyers and sellers.

In 2017, the profile of first-time home-buyers changed significantly on a number of fronts including the age, the average income, and marital status of individuals.

“The average age of first-time home buyers continues to rise, our 2017 numbers show that the average age of a first time home-buyer is 32 years old. People are waiting longer to purchase a home for several reasons. Millennials are buying more expensive first-time homes than they were previously and are saving up the requisite income to purchase their desired home. Secondly, people are getting married later. The average age of first-time couples is now 31 years old, and 57 percent of first time home buyers are married couples,” said Lautz.

As buyers’ use of agents increases, topping a staggering 87 percent, it is important not only to know who your client is but what they are looking for in their home purchase.

“Home buyers are still looking for the traditional factors such as location relative to school districts and shopping centers, renovated kitchens and bathrooms, and the typical buzz-worthy amenities like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood flooring. However, people have are wanting even more than what we have considered standard item lines,” said Lautz

Today, 68 percent of home buyers own an animal and people are taking their pets into consideration when buying a home. Lautz said people are becoming more concerned with “pet offerings” than they were before. Fences, hardwood floors, and even “pet-friendly showers” (showers that people can easily bathe their animals in at home) are becoming more important. 57 percent of homeowners will make a renovation to accommodate their pets.

People are also hungrier for “smart amenities”. Mobile controlled HVAC and locks are becoming talking-points and wishlist items for first-time home buyers.

“As technology advances, so does the wishlist of first-time home buyers,” said Lautz.

How should agents go about engaging these new-age buyers and sellers?

Lautz said the first step is online.

“Social media marketing is becoming more and more important. While it is important to list your websites on your personal and company website, Realtors are seeing greater engagement by posting listings, events, and open houses on their personal and business Facebook pages because it organically shows up in people’s daily feed without them having to go to a website. It’s more direct and more approachable,” said Lautz.

Lautz will expand on these topics as well as others including affordability issues, the knowledge gap, and financing tactics.

“There a plenty of ways to help your clients. The key is just knowing what they are going through and the latest tactics to help them close on that first home,” said Lautz.

To hear more from Jessica Lautz join us at ACREres on May 3rd at The Club in Birmingham. To register for the event visit:

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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