Stephen Fitzmaurice – Portland Broker of the Week!
Over the last several years, Portland has been a real estate media market darling. People are moving here in droves and the spotlight is on us. From our amazing quality of life to our excellent food scene and beautiful surroundings, Portland has become a true hot spot.
Although it may all seem like “Portlandia” style fun and games, the reality is that tenants and investors alike are seeing opportunity here, and the numbers support them. Portland fundamentals are strong, with job grown at almost twice the national average supporting a highly educated workforce.
These are the fundamentals that keep Premiere Property Group real estate agent Stephen FitzMaurice at the top of his game. Having been a licensed broker in Oregon for over twelve years, FitzMaurice knows the market. With a long list of accomplishments, including the honor of being in the top 5% of all real estate agents in the U.S., FitzMaurice is focused on thriving in a today’s market.
Today’s market is one that favors the seller, and that’s what FitzMaurice has staked his business on. “Partially, I only sell homes,” he says. “I do have a buyer team with three people on it, but since it’s much more difficult to buy right now, we have to move fast to get that offer in or get that door open.”
His selling skill is such that during a 30-day period in 2014 FitzMaurice and his team sold a whopping 53 homes. He’s even published an e-book on Amazon entitled 5 Secrets to Selling your Home in Less than 30 Days.
There’s been a lot of handwringing over the state of Portland real estate. Talking heads are starting to throw out comparisons to San Francisco and Seattle prices. Zillow ranks the Portland market as “very hot” and predicts a 4.0% rise in median home values this year, on top of a 3.9% rise last year.
Does this rampant rise in prices signal an oncoming bubble? FitzMaurice doesn’t think so, as he explains. “The reason why we won’t have a bubble anytime soon is because we’ve had very limited new housing construction since 2008. So, if we do develop the bubble, it’s going to take quite some time for the inventory to be stronger than the demand,” he says.
Even so, several Portland metro markets are experiencing heavy development and are expected to ring in explosive growth in 2015, a fact that FitzMaurice is ready to capitalize on. “I sell the whole metro area from Forest Grove to Corbett to Wilsonville,” he says. The only bedroom community he does not service is Vancouver, as he isn’t licensed in Washington.
His reach does cover markets with huge growth potential in the coming years, however. “I think the Lents neighborhood is a sleeper that will pick up significantly in the next five years,” he predicts. “St. John’s is going to get pushed up by the University of Portland and Concordia is a scalding hot market.”
Competing in an ultra-hot market is never easy, but FitzMaurice believes he has a competitive edge. Using cutting edge technology, his marketing strategy is designed to sell homes fast.
“We use deep analytics,” he explains. “We study which sites are going to produce the most hits and inquiries on our listings and then we pay those third party real estate websites money so that our house gets pushed out in front of everyone else’s.”
Many don’t realize that on websites like Trulia and Zillow, the first few pages are paid results. For FitzMaurice, no dollar amount is too small to get your house sold, so he pays to make sure eyeballs are landing on your listing, and that’s not all he does.
“The most important thing is that your home is viewed online by as many people as possible,” he begins. “The second most important thing is how it looks. We pay interior designer consultants to do a two-hour walk-through of the house and help the sellers arrange their furniture and move things around so that it looks as perfect as possible. Then we bring in professional photographers,” he finishes with a flourish.
Achieving a true “wow-factor” means leaving no selling stone unturned. FitzMaurice can even quote statistics from the National Association of Realtors’ 2014 annual report to reinforce his technological strategy.
“The numbers are just wild,” he says. “The 2014 report showed that print and television ads only accounted for 1 percent of sales across the country. Although it depends on how you count the numbers, if you push them hard enough, you could attribute almost 96 percent of home sales in 2014 to internet marketing.”
Gone are the days when a simple sign in the front yard was all it took to move a piece of property. The digital revolution is transforming the way we do business, and real estate is no exception.
The real estate market gets more complex as it grows, so it’s important for buyer and seller alike to hire someone who understands the minutiae of marketing trends. If you’re looking for someone who has developed a well-oiled home selling machine that utilizes these methods, both old and new, give Stephen FitzMaurice a call.
Stephen FitzMaurice is represented by Premiere Property Group and has offices at 3636 NE Broadway, Suite #3, Portland, Oregon, 97232. His office is open seven days a week from 8:00am to 7:00pm. For more information visit his website at realestateagentpdx.com or call him at (503) 975-6853.
William Bessette – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
BIO: William Bessette is social media strategist, blogger and journalist. With over ten years of experience covering a wide range of topics, from entertainment and politics to technology and real estate, he specializes in writing in a variety of tones and styles.