This is another entry in Orlando Business Journal‘s “Realtor Diaries” series, which follows three local Realtors during the course of six weeks. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here. These stories will appear together in the a special report in a future OBJ print edition.
Real estate broker Deanna Armel often is recognized around town, not because of the homes she has sold, but because of what she does when trying to sell them.
“Over the years, people now say, ‘You’re the Realtor who plays music at showings,'” Armel, CEO of Kissimmee-based Armel Real Estate Inc., told Orlando Business Journal.
Armel said she always plays music during home showings, a simple strategy she believes can make a big difference.
Of course, Armel doesn’t just set her music library to shuffle before showing off a property. She’s intentional about matching the music to the prospective buyers, she said. “I mirror the buyer. If I see a guy in cowboy boots, I put country on. If it’s an older couple, I put on upbeat jazz.”
Playing music at showings is a tactic employed by many real estate agents to encourage people to buy, according to a 2017 report by Realtor.com. The report points to past research that indicates shoppers want to spend more money when they’re listening to music. The strategy has caught on with enough agents that the National Association of Realtors in 2019 published tips for playing music at open houses, along with a playlist.
Likewise, Armel said she plays music at home showings for the same reason retail stores blast tunes. “It’s part of the psyche. It changes the mood.”
Such a gambit may seem unnecessary when homes have been flying off the market in Central Florida. While a strong seller’s market continues in metro Orlando, home sales have slumped for three straight months as the median sales price hit an all-time high of $320,000 in August.
In fact, Christine Elias, Realtor and founder of Winter Park-based Urban Dog Group by Coldwell Banker Realty, said homes have become a tougher sale among some buyer groups in the face of high prices. “The people who want to buy a bigger house or buy a smaller house here were kind of pulling back out of the market. Now I’m seeing that with my investors.”
Across Central Florida, there were 3,879 local home sales last month, down 5% from 3,999 sales in August, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Meanwhile, the median home price declined for the first time since September 2020, sitting at $318,000.
Fewer sales mean the region’s home inventory ticked up for the fifth consecutive month. The 3,667 homes on the market last month were a 38% bump up from April, the low point of the year. Still, it’s clear there’s not enough homes for sale in the Orlando area: There was less than a month’s supply of homes on the market in September, far less than the six months of supply that indicates a balanced housing market.
Trends in the residential real estate market are important, as every home sale in the state has an estimated local economic impact of $90,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. In addition, the housing market often is considered a reflection of the local economy’s overall health.