The Iowa housing market continues to be strong due to bid wars, with realtors struggling to find homes for their buyers.
Iowa Realtors Association president Jen Burkamper of Ames says the issue hasn’t dampened interest in the profession. “No, we actually make it easy – so everyone wants to get in,” says Burkamper. According to her, over the past couple of years, many people have joined the ranks of realtors.
“At the Iowa Association of Realtors, we just laid off 8,000 members,” says Burkamper. “In 21 years, we always had about 7,800, 7,700, and we just cut 8,000 members.” Burkamper says the pandemic has a lot to do with growth.
“I think with the changes in jobs, unemployment and everything else in this pandemic, people wanted to get into this industry,” she says. Burkamper says quick sales and higher selling prices can attract people to the business, but she says there is a need to be prepared for the long haul.
“It looks easy when things sell quickly, but they don’t see all the work involved in doing it,” says Burkamper. She says Iowa is generally a good place to work as a real estate agent. “We’re pretty resilient – we’re not like coasts, where there are big swings and then high swings – we sit pretty stable,” says Burkamper. “So, as long as you’re on top and doing what you need to do, you probably won’t face a sales problem. You have to work hard. “
Burkamper calls the latest market the craziest market she has seen in her career and expects the situation to return to a more normal situation eventually.