A forest of trees with sunlight streaming from above.

These days, the market is always changing. But no matter what changes, the ever-relevant question remains: How can you stay on top of the market and ahead of your competitors throughout?  

One thing’s for certain. From the bigger picture to the small stuff, you’ll need both sides—and everything in between—to understand the state of today’s housing market, your place in it, and how to grow from there.  


The bigger picture.  

To understand where your brokerage is at, context is key. When we talk about housing markets, we talk about all the contextual factors that make it: location, the current state of the economy, and of course, supply and demand.  


Location, location, location.  

Your location means a lot of things. It’s important to consider the housing market in your country as a whole, then your state or province, and finally, your local area(s) of operation. Tax policies, available units, and average household incomes come into play here.  

Example: The Canadian real estate market has had major changes in the last few years, resulting in higher prices compared to its U.S. counterpart. Meanwhile, the American market has had its own challenges as well. Either way, last year was a tough market for North America overall, and these larger trends trickled down into smaller markets in unique ways.  


The economy at large.  

When it comes to economic forces, keep an eye on the ongoing rates for employment, housing unit construction, and mortgage lending. These will all affect smaller markets differently depending on their own affordability ratios. Staying updated with ongoing summaries and predictions from reputable sources like Realtor.com® can be helpful here.  


Seeing the forest for the trees.  

Both of these factors come together to determine the current state of supply versus demand, or in other words, whether it’s a buyer’s or a seller’s market.  

When you can see the boundaries and overall framework, you can make more informed choices to keep your brokerage on the path to success.  


The nitty-gritty.  

Much like the overall real estate market, that was a lot. Let’s go smaller.  

We’ve already talked about the economy as a whole. But it’s one thing to see overall trends and another to dig into the numbers and stats of it all. You can gain a better idea of what’s going on in your market on national, regional, and metro-market levels with NAR, which publishes ongoing statistics about:  

  • Home sales (existing and pending)
  • Housing affordability
  • Housing shortages

And more. Again, this goes hand in hand with figuring out what kind of market you’re in, as well as tracking trends for the short and long-term.  


The small stuff.  

Finally, we’re at the small stuff—which isn’t so small. This part is all about the relevant data that you’ll find most useful for your brokerage and agents. In a way, it’s the same as the above: Listing numbers, buyer and seller trends, etc., but on a much more specific scale.  

After understanding the larger market, you can figure out where you stand in it with tools like BrokerMetrics, which track wider trends and provide insightful reports on your own brokerage’s progress.  

This is the time to compare your stats with competitors, manage your agents, and perhaps most importantly, look at your own data year over year and see how you’ve grown.  


Staying on top through it all.  

No matter what size scale you’re using to view the market, every view—from macro to micro—is crucial to understanding it as a whole. After all, there are tons of moving parts that change every day. Start slow, stay consistent, and make sure not to lose yourself in the sea of it.  

Real estate is dynamic. There’s always so much more to explore.