Chattanooga real estate reflects national trends. Chattanooga is like many mid-western tertiary markets. We do not see the big booms or the steep falls that coastal or some primary markets tend to experience. Chattanooga is a mirror of the national economy. Chattanooga home sales under $100,000 fell in 2013. The national first time home owner market is down. Chattanooga home sales over $200,000 is up. The U.S. luxury home market is doing well. I noticed late summer Chattanooga home sales slowing. Two weeks later I am reading a National Association of Realtors report that U.S. sales are slowing.
Real estate franchises reflect the same. I grew up in a real estate family. My Dad was an agent in the 70s. Both of my parents are brokers and have owned a company since the early 80s. I have observed closely the real estate franchises of Century 21, Better Homes and Gardens, GMAC, and Prudential. Keller Williams is a brokerage model that has been on the rise nationally over the last 5 years. It has been that way in Chattanooga as well. Real estate may be “local”, but overall national trends seem to play out in Chattanooga.
Another trend I see is independent real estate firms sprouting. They are growing alongside the wave of technology changes. As I drive down the road I notice more Facebook business window ads. Creative entrepreneurs are serving customers with less overhead. Technology is allowing them to be more direct.
The change in trends reflects a shift in how we “package” and “market” trust. As an example, the franchise Better Homes and Gardens conveys a message of trust because of its well established magazine and cookbook. Keller Williams (is not a well known household name brand) but it packages bits of ownership to its member agents. It is a way of conveying “trust” to its teammates. I believe technology changes are a result of people demanding more honest and trustworthy personal interaction. Brokerage firms will follow because agents and customers demand it. People are creating new forces to mold the real estate business. The Scenic City is not immune. Chattanooga real estate reflects national trends.