Red Rock Real Estate 2019 market review with featured realtor Steve Mangelson

Composite image. Background photo shows Red Rock Real Estate & Property Management, St. George, Utah, Aug. 6, 2019. Foreground image shows Steve Mangelson of Red Rock Real Estate, date and location unspecified | Inset photo courtesy of Red Rock Real Estate, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Everything in the real estate industry is being flipped and turned on its head right now, and the value of real estate agents and brokerages is being questioned like never before.

Steve Mangelson of Red Rock Real Estate, date and location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Steve Mangelson, St. George News

“It’s starving for customer service,” Red Rock Real Estate realtor Steve Mangelson told St. George News. “We’ve got a lot of work to do in this industry.”

Mangelson, who began his career in real estate in 2004 working predominantly with Spanish-speaking clients in Littleton, Colorado, said agents working today have to be crystal clear on the value they are providing to clients and should start looking at every aspect their transactions and asking themselves, “Am I providing my customers with a ‘wow’ experience?”

“I truly care, whether it’s a $100,000 transaction or a $2,000,000 transaction. It’s people lives and dealing with their families,” he said. “That’s not lost on me.”

Mangelson started working with Red Rock Real Estate just over a year ago, and he said doesn’t focus at all on how much business is being done but rather how that business is being done. It’s more than just real estate for him; it’s getting involved with his clients’ lives and helping to educate them on ways to make a great buying or selling decision.

“I want my business to be close to 100% repeat referral,” he said. “That’s when the business is fun anyway.”

Mangelson said he’s always evaluating his own business and asking himself if he’s providing an incredible experience throughout every step of the process.

He said there are two models at play within the real estate industry: the agent-to-consumer model and the broker-to-agent model. Anytime a consumer or an agent perceives a lack of customer service or value, people are going to have questions about what they’re paying for. 

Buying a new home is one of the most important financial decisions people make in their lives, and sometimes agents lose sight of how stressful the process can be, he said and added that he thinks the true value that a real estate professional offers is being out on the forefront to take the hits so the clients don’t have too. 

Mangelson said the great thing about working at Red Rock is the company’s very simple model.

“It’s not complicated,” he said. “They’ll do everything they can to help agents build their businesses. It was a good fit for me.”

‘If you liked 2019, you’re going to like 2020’

Home prices continued to rise across the board in 2019, about 5% higher than the previous year, Mangelson said, and although he doesn’t believe the nation is facing another “housing bubble,” he does think that things are past overdue for a shift. 

Typically, real estate cycles go anywhere from seven to nine years, he said, but the country is well into that, stretching into almost a decade of a seller’s market. There is a huge advantage to those looking to list a home for sale.

“It’s just an incredible time, he said. “I think 2020 is going to be very, very similar to 2019. If you liked 2019, you’re going to like 2020.” 

Interest rates are still extremely low, but at some point things are going to change. Mangelson said these rates are a key indicator for consumers to follow, and if someone wants to get into a home, it is best to figure out how to do it for their family in the current market. With interest rates this low, it’s practically free money, he said.

One thing he often hears from potential buyers is that they are going to wait to purchase because home prices are too high, and they are going to hold for things to slide down a bit. However, he cautioned that prices often drop much slower than interest rates rise, and though there may be a 10-15% correction in selling prices at some time in the near future, there is no telling exactly when, and if consumers pause too long to pull the trigger, that may catch them on the way back up.

“If interest rates go up a percentage point and prices come down, they’ve just negated any kind of savings, so it doesn’t really help them to wait.”

The 25-year average is 7 1/2%, and the current 3% is simply not normal, Mangelson explained. Although he doesn’t think anything will be changing during an election year, people should try to buy the biggest house they can comfortably afford. He said if he were a betting man, he’d put money down that rates are going to rise sooner than later.

When helping clients considering buying a new home, he draws from his time as a consultant and advises clients to do it based on what their life goals are, such as how long they want to be in the home, what they can afford and what their job situation looks like.

“I just don’t view myself as a salesperson, I view myself as a consultant,” he said. “I have to take into consideration the whole package — all of these different things to help them make a decision.”

One of the indicators he uses to judge the industry are local median home prices, which in 2006 was about $275,000. The last time he checked, the median home price in Southern Utah stood at almost $325,000, and now first-time homeowners are being priced out of the market. 

“It’s really hard. You get two wage earners, making $20 an hour, they can’t afford a home here in Washington County,” he said.

In his heart, Mangelson’s a coach and consultant, and he loves to see people succeed and grow their lives. Doing his best to change the industry from within is just as important as working with his clients, he said, and while somewhat cliché, his unfair advantage over everyone else is that he cares more.

“I take it pretty personal when someone hires me to represent them and be an agent for them. They are supporting my family, and I take that pretty serious. I am extremely grateful for that.”

Mangelson can be reached by phone at 435-313-7164 or at his office at Red Rock Real Estate located at 90 E. 100 South, St. George. Find his current listings on his website.

Written by ANDREW PINCKNEY, St. George News.

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