From market movements to marketing strategies, everyone’s scared of something. Check out our list of what real estate agents around the country are afraid of this spooky season, and hop in the comments to tell us what strategies you’ve found to counter these common fears.

Ask any real estate agent what they’re afraid of, and you’re likely to hear a range of answers. For many, cold calling is definitely high on the list.

Tara Bryant

According to Tara Bryant, SVP of Global Sales for Pipedrive CRM, this fear comes from a number of other fears that are wrapped up in the cold calling process — fear of hearing “no,” fear of saying the wrong thing and fear of not hitting their sales goals.

The good news, according to Bryant, is that you have more control than ever of your cold calls. “In today’s age of social media, the fine art of cold calling has gotten ‘warmer,’” Bryant said. “A quick look at someone’s LinkedIn or Facebook page can give you more of a sense for their background and interests than the old-school days of the phone book ever could.”

According to Bryant, using tech to pre-game a call helps an agent build rapport while staying authentic. That helps you make a great first impression, which goes a long way toward making those calls more successful.

“It can be scary to cold call — that’s why I strongly recommend honing in on your purpose and goal for each one,” Bryant said. “Goals should be things like gathering background information, scheduling a next call or finding out who the decision maker might be.”

Bryant also marks off each call on a Post-it or piece of paper. “In over 25 years of sales, I have never gotten to one hundred calls without getting one ‘yes,’” she said. “So don’t ever be afraid to make that next phone call even after you have been rejected all day long. And celebrate your noes because they mean you’re closer to your yes.”

What are you afraid of?

We reached out to find out what else real estate agents are afraid of now. Check out our list of current fears, and hop into the comments to tell us what strategies you’ve found to counter these common fears.

Economic and recession fears

Benjamin Ross

Mission Real Estate Group, Corpus Christi, Texas

Benjamin Ross

Many economists expect a recession in 2020. There is some good news, and there is some bad news. The good news is that the housing industry most likely will not be the cause; the bad news, we can expect to see a drop in buyer demand. Many experts are pinning geo-political disruptions, a stock market correction or national trade policy as all possible influencers resulting in our next recession.

What does add credence to this fear of recession is the fact that we are in the longest uninterrupted economic expansion in U.S. history. Many housing experts and economists believe it is at its end. The secnd longest economic expansion was 120 months beginning in 1991 and lasting through 2001.

So if you are a Realtor or working within the housing industry, it would be prudent to add a little more cushion to your savings in preparation for the next recession, which is coming.


Fiona Dogan

Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, Westchester County, New York

Fiona Dogan

What I worry about in 2020 is the impact of an election year on the real estate market. Political uncertainty causes people to freeze. Homebuyers and sellers develop concerns about changes that may or may not be happening with a new administration.

Will their property taxes rise? Will interest rates go up? What will the changes be in the tax code? No one knows what’s going to happen or how it’s going to impact them, and that can dampen and slow the real estate market considerably.

Even now, prices are down, and inventory is up. The economic indicators are strong, but the climate is chaotic. That could get worse in 2020. I’m preparing for shaky consumer confidence.

To prepare for any market uncertainty, I’ll continue to stay on top of the local market to help my buyers and sellers make decisions that work for them. The economy and the real estate market will always have ups and downs, so it’s best to make well-researched, informed decisions.


Jaquetta Ragland

Jaquetta Ragland

Young and Finance, Winston Salem, North Carolina

One fear I currently have is buyers and sellers having the fear of a potential recession. This will cause sellers to not list their home and stop buyers from searching for a home. If this takes place, the market will become extremely stagnant.


Industry shifts

Bob Nyswonger

Comey & Shepherd, Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Bob Nyswonger

I’ve been in a Realtor for almost 30 years. I’ve devoted hundreds of hours to my education in providing excellent service.

Prior to that, I was a full-time musician. My biggest fear is the trend I see developing wherein through social media platforms, people believe they can look at a few automated value models and bypass working with professionals altogether.

In a further race to the bottom, our national association has seen fit to give away our greatest asset — data — to every digital outlet [that] will propagate it.

I watched the same thing happen in the music industry. At this point, it’s almost impossible for a musician to monetize his or her creative efforts. Music as a commodity has lost its value — the revenue flows to the few individuals that control the platforms. The movement of Zillow toward being a broker in every market is scary as hell.


Michael Shapot

Compass, New York City 

Michael Shapot

This Realtor is afraid of the following:

  • Uncertainty. Worry about the future is always worse than the reality of today.
  • Continued interference with aspects of the real estate game as we have played it for so many years, and without a full understanding of the far-reaching consequences of change. Issues being discussed: placing caps on rental broker commissions, change in the way buyers and sellers are represented in transactions currently and others.
  • Continued erosion of buyer confidence. When people are anxious or fearful, they hold off making big moves “until the timing is better.”
  • Absence of transparency and privacy.
  • Abuse of data. Big Brother is watching in ways we never imagined.
  • Lack of a strong Realtor voice on issues affecting homeownership and the process of buying and selling residences.

Chase Michels

Downers Grove Real Estate, Downers Grove, Illinois

Chase Michels

Renting is becoming a much larger market share in a lot of areas. We are seeing a dramatic shift of families staying in downtown Chicago and renting luxury apartments [versus] moving to the burbs and buying a starter home, which is not how previous generations have lived.

Demand for downtown apartments has surged over the past several years, driven largely by the strong downtown job market. More young professionals in their 20s and 30s today are renting for longer than they did in the past, holding off on purchases of condominiums or single-family homes. And more empty nesters are selling their homes in the suburbs and renting high-end apartments in the city.


International instability

Tim Swannie

Co-founder, Home Hunts, Cannes, France

Tim Swannie

Without a doubt, Brexit is one of our biggest fears for the year ahead. However, this is nothing new; it is something that has been looming like a dark cloud for the past three-plus years. The French property market is very strong at the moment, and we think 2020 is going to see continued growth. However, pre-Brexit, British clients have made up more than 50 percent of our clients. This has now dropped to less than a third, which is a big concern for us.

In response to this change in demand, we have had to adapt and focus more on helping a much larger range of nationalities with their property searches. We would love to welcome more British buyers back and would, ideally, like to see the whole Brexit situation reversed as this “living in limbo” situation is not very good for anyone.

If Brexit does indeed go ahead, I just hope that the UK parliament is not irresponsible enough to go crashing out of the EU without a deal as the UK sterling has already taken enough of a beating, and this is affecting the decisions clients are making.


Robyn Flint

Personal safety

Robyn Flint

Founding owner, Property Wise LLC

Safety for Realtors. In a society where violence and attempted violence against Realtors is becoming more prevalent, more Realtors are relying on self-defense classes and concealed carry laws to protect themselves. Who can blame them?


‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’

Bruce Ailion

RE/MAX Town and County, Atlanta, Georgia

Bruce Ailion

I think if we went back and looked at agents’ greatest fears over time, most never materialized. There is much to be said about FEAR: false evidence appearing real. I think many agents fear a downturn, I love downturns; it clears the market and provides great opportunities.

IBuyers are losing money in a great economy. How long is that sustainable? New model brokers [are] operating at a loss. How long is that sustainable? Technology is driving down the cost of performing real estate services. Isn’t that great?

The possibility of a war is concerning. The possibility of a market collapse worse than 2008 is concerning. We have greater concentration of market power in a handful of banks and a handful of retailers; this is concerning. The restructuring of WeWork may be an early indicator of what many highly leveraged companies face.

Because of the personal nature of the real estate transaction — the complexity, the irregularity, the emotionality of the real estate transaction — there will always be a place for personal service.

What iBuyers have disclosed is there is a market for distressed sellers and those willing to pay dramatically more for additional services. The existing Realtors can accommodate that without having to take title to real estate.

IBuyers are nothing new.

Those agents who work hard, remain educated and shift with market conditions thrive in both good and bad times.

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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