There is no such thing as a “bad” real estate market. There are always opportunities — we just need to find them in this market shift. Here are 20 ways for getting through a market shift on a positive note.

Teresa Boardman is a long-time columnist with 400-plus Inman columns under her belt. She writes about her real estate observations and experiences as an officeless indie broker in Minnesota.

All real estate professionals understand that the market changes, and those changes sometimes result in fewer home sales — but there is no such thing as a “bad” real estate market. There are always opportunities — we just need to find them in this market shift, which has our client list temporarily dwindling or on the fence.

In planning for 2019, I’ve considered the number of agents in our market compared with the number of sales, and I believe 2019 will be like 2018. (What concerns me is the year 2020.)

In my market, the sub-zero weather in December and January can really slow down home sales, but I have learned from previous market shifts that it is flexibility and tenacity that get us through challenging times and changing markets.

If you start noticing a shift in your market, follow these 20 tips for staying up and positive during the changes.

20 tips for staying positive during a market shift

  1. No matter how slow business gets, stay on a regular schedule. Get started in the morning just like you would on a day filled with appointments.
  2. Stay away from anyone who is negative or who has given up. Stick with positive people.
  3. Treat each day like it is a golden opportunity, and let go of what did or did not work out yesterday.
  4. Plan at least one full day off each week, and schedule an activity that you enjoy. Use it as your reward for working hard. Some weeks there are no other rewards for it.
  5. Never — and I mean never — stop prospecting. Call past clients, send them emails, ask them how they are doing, write blog posts, and stay active on the social networks.
  6. Start each day with a to-do list, and check it off as you go. Keep working, and stay focused.
  7. Have lunch with a friend once a week. (Make it a friend who does not sell real estate, when possible.)
  8. Get plenty of exercise and enough sleep. Both help in combating stress and in keeping the energy level high and blood pressure low.
  9. Don’t dwell on the buyer who got away or the listings that another agent got. In sales, we usually hear “no” a few times before we hear the “yes.”
  10. Don’t buy anything expensive — especially anything that requires monthly payments. Fewer financial responsibilities means more freedom.
  11. Be honest with family members about finances or money concerns.
  12. Let friends, neighbors and past clients know that you are looking for more business. It is like looking for a job. People need to know that you are still in business and that you have some excess capacity.
  13. Go to local networking events, many are free, and they are opportunities to meet people, get out of the office and learn.
  14. Learn from your mistakes but don’t blame yourself for everything that goes wrong. We don’t have total control over everything at all times; we just like to think we do.
  15. Use any excess time wisely. Take a class or read a book to learn new skills or ideas.
  16. Take some time to update your professional bio wherever it appears online — you can always find ways to improve it.
  17. Set some sales goals for the rest of the year and start on next year’s business plan.
  18. Find something to laugh about every day, and pass it along.
  19. Find a volunteer activity in the community. Something you can do once or twice a week for a few hours.
  20. Don’t beat yourself up if you did not reach your sales goals for the month. Just ask yourself if you did your best. If the answer is no, start doing your best today. If you did your best, keep in mind that we don’t always reach our goals.

If you are new to real estate sales, find someone in your office who survived the great recession and housing market crash. Maybe they will share some of their survival strategies.

Plan on having a prosperous and happy 2019!

Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul. She is also the founder of

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