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Tracy McLaughlin On Pandemic Market Shifts and More

By Phil Butler | April 1, 2022
Tracy McLaughlin
Tracy McLaughlin, one of America's top luxury real estate professionals

Back in August of 2020, I interviewed one of America’s most successful agents, Tracy McLaughlin about key marketing at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week we touched base with her again to discuss more in-depth marketing strategies and the effects of inflation and other variables on the real estate market.

In the previous interview, Tracy gave her best advice on things like pre-planning, writing the best ads, social marketing, and the importance of stunning photography for selling at top dollar. This time she covers in more depth some of these key points, while also delving into some of the shifts that the pandemic and a looming economic cycle are already having on the market. 

The Q & A

RealtyBiz: In your book Real Estate Rescue, you discuss decisions that impact the outcomes of real estate transactions. Can you briefly explain how the right marketing strategy can positively impact a sale, for instance?

Tracy McLaughlin: For me, marketing is largely about the preparation of a home. If the interior and exterior paint colors, light fixtures, and staging (just to name a few things) are not “right” no amount of great marketing including photos, videos, and write up/comments are going to sell a home for the highest possible price. So, great marketing begins with great preparation for the demographic the home’s potential audience is in, followed by snappy, quick videos to gain the attention of followers on social media, amazing photos with high levels of contrast, and a compelling write up with word choices that convey a brand for the home and property.

RealtyBiz: You’ve also discussed in depth how the pandemic has altered how people buy and sell homes. There’s transience that has come out of all this. Do you believe people will try to recoup their pre-pandemic lives, homes, communities, and so on? 

Tracy McLaughlin: I think that 70 percent of those who moved or tried something different will continue to live where they moved. I am doing a lot of research on this in “real-time”. People who left California are experiencing fewer taxes and more options for houses that are more affordable. Based on my own interaction with clients who have moved, some being gone as long as 1.5 years now, I feel that about 30 percent of those people will return. Those who might return are missing their families, the climate, or the recreational opportunities that they left behind. However, again, most seem to be staying “put”.

RealtyBiz: What other real estate trends do you see coming because of this paradigm shift the pandemic caused? 

Tracy McLaughlin: The pandemic, and the infusion of money from the government into the economy, have now resulted in inflation. Inflation has created a significant delay in orders for home appliances, construction materials, and scarcity of labor. As a result, buyers are paying far more for “new” or recently remodeled homes and condos as the hassle factor, delays, and cost of building and or remodeling right now is prohibitive for many. So, buyers would rather pay up for “new” or “done” and even live in an inferior location versus buying something that needs a lot of work in an “A1” location.

RealtyBiz: What’s next for you Tracy? What new prospects are interesting for you personally? 

Tracy McLaughlin: I am having a lot of fun doing media interviews, helping sellers monetize homes with advice on improvements, and spending time in Aspen, Colorado, hiking, biking, skiing, and doing yoga. I love having the experience of being in another community and simultaneously working. It’s magic.

About Tracy McLaughlin

Tracy is ranked in the top 20 in the U.S. having closed over $4 billion in transactions. Considered one of the world’s top experts in marketing for maximized transaction value, she’s been Marin County’s top producing agent for the past 16 years. Tracy is also the author of the bestseller “Real Estate Rescue,” on the subject of maximizing home value before the sale. She's The Agency’s Director of Luxury Estates and the top-selling agent globally, as well.  

Phil Butler is a former engineer, contractor, and telecommunications professional who is editor of several influential online media outlets including part owner of Pamil Visions with wife Mihaela. Phil began his digital ramblings via several of the world’s most noted tech blogs, at the advent of blogging as a form of journalistic license. Phil is currently top interviewer, and journalist at Realty Biz News.
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