This article is part of our ongoing series offering tips on how to sharped your skills this summer and use the season to your advantage. Read more in our Supercharge Your Summer section.
A Miami real estate agent is having a tough time selling during the blazing hot — but dreadfully slow — Miami summer months. What can her broker do to inspire better production?
We haven’t even hit the dog days of summer yet, and it is hot everywhere — except my market. Summer is traditionally a slow time for business in South Florida in general, and real estate is no exception.
I hate to make excuses, but I have been through plenty of these cycles, and it is always the same: as the mercury rises, things grind to a halt. People naturally fall into summer routines (including out-of-town travel) and tend to put their real estate decisions on the back burner.
Instead of spinning my wheels on sales that don’t seem to be happening, I am wondering if now would be a good time to instead focus on things like professional development, client farming, cleaning up my website, etc.
Putting in the long, hard hours now would put me in a much more prosperous position for my clients and my business when the cold winter days arrive. (I won’t be hibernating!)
Agents should have multiple streams of business flowing throughout the calendar year.
This ensures that our business flow keeps itself balanced and can sustain healthy growth season over season, year after year. Streams of business could include spheres of influence (SOI), geographic farming, attorney networking, internet lead generation, sign calls, open houses and social media. This strategy will go a long way to maintaining a steady and predictable workload.
I don’t necessarily accept the suggestion that summer is a dead period, even in excessively warm markets. In fact, I find that many families choose to look for a home when school is out so they don’t disrupt their kids during the school year.
The agent could apply this reasoning to her contact list, find potential buyers who fit this profile and market the listing accordingly. Furthermore, if some of this agent’s colleagues are not working during this slow period, it’s a perfect opportunity for her to benefit from their absence.
I always advise my agents to prepare for the summer months by making their clients extra comfortable: provide cold bottled water and snacks while showing property, make sure the air conditioning is lowered in cars and homes before appointments and simply show fewer homes because the buyers feel at home.
I find that if you say, “These are the best three homes available right now,” it will stick in the mind of the client rather than saying something like, “These are the top five properties on the market.”
How to meet halfway
In markets with any anticipated seasonal slowdowns, agents and brokers should work in tandem to prepare far in advance.
In this case, the broker could produce and provide company-branded water bottles and work with agents in April and May to identify and market to “summer-friendly” buyers such as parents with children at sleep-away camps, families eager to establish residency near highly rated schools before the school year starts, buyers who choose to vacation in the fall or winter and may only have the summer to house-hunt, etc.
This out-of-the-box thinking may unearth a surprising roster of prospective buyers and new ways to sell to them.
If lengthy slowdowns occur despite these practices, agents can certainly use that time to set up, clean up, or improve their communications and operations systems, and to reach out to past clients.
Anthony is the broker-owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty in South Miami and Kendall, leading the activities of more than 170 agents. He is also a working Realtor who sells more than 125 homes a year. In 2017, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce honored him with the R.E.A.L. award in the category of “Real Estate Broker – Residential.”