How to increase business in a market downturn

Learn how Mike McCann, 'The real estate man,' sells 500-600 homes a year

Mike McCann started in the real estate business in 1986 as an associate broker selling 100 to 150 homes a year. Today, he is well-known in the Philadelphia area as “The real estate man” and is the leader of The Mike McCann Team of Berkshire Hathaway.

For the past 18 years, he has averaged selling 500 to 600 homes a year with the help of six full-time administrative assistants and 18 agents.

By saving money and increasing his investments during the market peaks, McCann has been able to keep his business running smoothly and growing through three market cycles (and doubling or tripling his marketing budget during the market inclines).

When the market crashed in 2008, McCann assured his team that he was able to continue their pay for a whole year without selling a single property. Because of the increase of marketing, the team was able to continue bringing in clients and grow the company even further.

Confidence is essential to the real estate business in terms of clients and employees, especially during a market downturn. McCann stays on top of real estate trends to be able to help clients sell their homes for the best possible price. He also keeps track of other potential influences on the market, such as new tax bills.

McCann will not use financial resources to hire a new employee until the current team can no longer handle the workload, and when he does hire, he chooses individuals who are new to real estate so he can coach and train them on how to best help clients, who generally hire agents for advice.

What McCann emphasizes most is that the real estate market will always change, and those in the business must be prepared. At the moment, he believes the market is at a peak but will soon go into a downturn.

Chris Haddon is an entrepreneur based in Washington, D.C., a partner at Hard Money Bankers and a co-founder of REI360.net.