The real estate market is currently balanced, according to Century 21 national president Don Lawby.
"As professionals, first of all, recognize this," customer service expert Richard Robbins told 700 delegates Friday at the Century 21 Real Estate national conference at Kelowna's Delta Grand hotel.
"Don't confront clients and certainly don't tell them they don't know as much as they think they do. Just start providing them with valuable information, that kind of insight and perspective that eventually gives the consumer the aha moment and they realize they really don't know it all."
There's so much information on the Internet about the real estate industry and everything else.
But there is a shortage of insight and perspective on the Internet.
And this is where the savvy realtor comes in, according to Robbins, who has his own Toronto-based real estate training and coaching firm called Richard Robbins International.
"Every realtor has a website and Facebook and all the social media," he said.
"But rather than just post stuff and promote yourself, give your clients something they don't know. Maybe something like how to pay off your mortgage faster or that only 42 per cent of homes for sale actually sell."
Most consumers don't know that last statistic.
But by letting clients in on that information, realtors solidify their position that a professional is needed to price the home fairly, stage and market it properly and ultimately sell it.
With all the technology nowadays, Robbins also sees too may realtors and other professionals forget how important face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations are.
"Technology is quick and efficient, but professionals have to fix the disconnect and be more approachable to clients," he said.
"That means face-to-face time and picking up the phone every once in a while."
Robbins also sees smart professionals moving from self-promotion and hard sales to education.
"What that really means is education is the new marketing," he summed up.
CENTURY 21 PRESIDENT DON LAWBY TALKS REAL ESTATE
Is the U.S. going to war?
Will interest rates surge?
Will house prices rise or fall?
Are modest sales the best we can expect out of this real estate market?
"It's all crystal ball gazing," said Century 21 national president Don Lawby at the company's conference in Kelowna, Friday.
"But what we can do is the best we can in this balanced budget where sales and prices are inching up."
If the U.S. goes to war with Syria, it will cause uncertainty in the world and when that happens, people hold off on large purchases like a home.
Mortgage interest rates, which have been historically low for years, may go up a bit in the coming years.
"But nothing dramatic," said Vancouver-based Lawby.
"Governments want recovery and part of that is low interest rates."
Generally, Lawby feels the Canadian market has fared well since the recession of 2008-09.
"But the recovery has been a little slower in the Okanagan because Alberta oil and gas money isn't pouring into the Valley the way it was prior to the recession," he explained.
"What hasn't changed is there's not many places in Canada like the Okanagan, so it will always attract retirees, second home buyers and investors."
Century 21 chose Kelowna for its 2013 conference because it has great facilities at the Delta Grand as well as ideal September weather that allows delegates to get out on the lake, golf course or wine tour before and after sessions.