Christy Edgar Murdock is a regular Inman contributor who writes about news, tech and marketing. She has two recurring columns, “Lessons Learned” and “Dear Marketing Mastermind” that publish weekly and monthly on Mondays and Tuesdays respectively.
Whether it’s a market correction or just the slower pace of fall and winter, your level of busy-ness will probably go up and down at different times of the year — and over the course of your career. It becomes important for you to not only adjust quickly in the face of a slower season, but also to develop strategies that create passive income year-round in order to weather the adjustments more easily.
Here are some ideas for coming through a slower season intact and even using that downtime to build wealth and improve your business overall.
One of the best aspects of a down market is the opportunity it creates for finding bargains. As a real estate agent or broker, you are uniquely positioned through both your market knowledge and your professional network to find great investment opportunities. That means there’s no time like a slow season to get into real estate investment.
If this is your first foray into real estate investing, you’ll need to think through the type of investment strategy you’ll want to pursue. That means identifying your investment personality so that you can pursue opportunities that work for you both financially and personally.
- Builder: If you’re just starting out, you might not have a great deal of savings to work with, so much of your strategy will involve building a nest egg to leverage in order to step up your investment. Starting from scratch? Consider wholesaling when you’re just starting out in order to build an initial cash reserve.
- Preserver: If you are further into your career, you might have some savings but need to conserve much of it for the kids’ college tuition and for retirement. In that case, you’ll be interested in safer investments where the equity is built in from the start. Working with a more experienced investor may also help keep you on track and give you more peace of mind.
- Joiner: Want to branch into investments without spending too much time on the day-to-day decision-making? Participate in a solid REIT or crowdfunding platform in order to give you the passive income advantages of investment without the hassle of managing individual projects.
Work with investors
If you’re not interested in investing your own money, you can still boost your income by working with investors in your local market. They’ll be more active during a slow market and looking for the expertise only you can offer.
Visit local REIAs to make connections and build your investor network, as well as to find other professionals who can help, like lenders and title company reps who specialize in the needs of real estate investors.
Finding and negotiating great deals — then offering them to investors who are set up to add those properties to their portfolios — is a great way to build some additional income and hone your bargain-hunting skills.
Assign the contract to a local investor with a tidy profit for yourself, then lather, rinse, repeat.
When you can speak their language, find great deals and understand how to crunch the numbers, you’ll find no shortage of investors who’ll love working with you on both the buyer and seller side.
If you offer property management services, you’ll also find a number of investors who are in need of your services to help them maintain their portfolio.
Want to grow your business without branching into investment? Even if the market overall is experiencing a slowdown, you can still find segments that are popping — and when you do, it’s time to develop a strategy for representing that more active sector.
1. Analyze the market
Take a look at the market data for your local area, and find patterns where there is still strength. Perhaps you’ll find a specific neighborhood that is experiencing growth. Perhaps you’ll find that new construction is growing in popularity.
Perhaps you’ll find that there is an increase in first-time homebuyers in your area. Study both geographic and demographic trends to find your opportunity.
2. Evaluate the opportunity
Once you have identified an area that is ripe for growth, evaluate the opportunity and what you need to do to take advantage of it.
Perhaps you need a new designation or certification to be more marketable to that sector. Perhaps you need to find a mentor or to build a professional network to help you seek out possibilities.
Build the framework for success in the segment you’ve identified.
3. Create relevant content
Want to build your identity as an influential part of the niche you’ve identified? Begin creating content that speaks to the needs of potential clients and colleagues in that sector.
Whether you choose to use blog posts, videos or podcasts to get out your message, researching and creating content will help you build your reputation and give you something to share on social media and email blasts.
In addition, as you add content to your website and blog, you build SEO for the niche you have identified. That helps you show up higher in Google searches and connect with the people who need the service you provide.
Whether you choose to create new opportunities through investment or better identify the existing opportunities in your market, responding to a slow season with a productive, growth-oriented mindset is a great choice for your business.
And the best part? When the market comes back, you’ll have even greater opportunities available for further development.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach, and consultant with Writing Real Estate and a Brand Ambassador and content marketer forApartmentPostcards.com. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.