Pete Moulton is a real estate broker and founder of his Chicago-based business consulting firm.
Having coached real estate brokers for the last 15 years, I’d like to point out some universal truths about real estate brokers and business planning — so let’s just dive right in.
First, I’ve met very few brokers who have the ability to forecast their performance through the various cycles of their real estate markets. It is now October, and many top producing brokers are immersed in business planning for 2017. They know that first quarter business is largely dependent on the strong marketing and networking done from August through January.
However, most productive brokers tend to take a well deserved breath in the beginning of October. Hence, the complete fallacy of the spring market beginning at the close of the Superbowl.
Your spring market begins with the Halloween candy on October 31st. Everyones’ life in real estate is seen through the lens of 90 days ahead. Ninety days from Halloween is January 31st — right on the edge of spring.
Here is an excerpt from the National Association of Realtor’s 2016 profile of buyers and sellers:
“Buyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at a median of 10 homes. The length of the home search was the longest for buyers 36 to 50 years old at 12 weeks. Buyers 35 and younger and 51 to 60 both searched for 10 weeks, while buyers 61 to 69 and buyers 70 to 90 searched for only eight weeks. All generations except for 70 years and older viewed 10 homes, while buyers over 70 years viewed only eight homes.”
Did that just say that the period from conversation about moving to being under contract is only between eight to 12 weeks?!
It sure did. So, think about it. Have you ever gone longer than eight weeks in between contacting everyone in your database?
What about sellers?
If your client has decided to become a seller, they decided to become a buyer before that. That means your window of opportunity is still just eight to 12 weeks. Now, consider every person you know in the world and ask yourself, “Have I been in contact with them in the last eight weeks?”
In all of the years I’ve worked, business plans I’ve seen and brokers I’ve worked with, I can honestly say that only about 10 percent of these brokers see that they have to constantly campaign for business. Owning a successful real estate business, or any small business for that matter, is very similar to running a political campaign — it never ends.
So, just to be clear, here is your job description: Find and capture qualified opportunities, period. Everything else is bullshit.
Have a happy and safe Halloween!