But waiting for better market conditions is a major mistake, concluded guests at the two Inman Connect New York 2020 panels at the Marriott Marquis hotel, “You Say Slow, We Say We’re Crushing It” and “Surviving and Thriving in a Changing Market.”
Any long-time agent will know that each market fluctuation opens up new and unique opportunities for agents. Just because luxury homes aren’t selling doesn’t mean there isn’t a strong demand for fixer-uppers and rentals, Sandra Miller, president of Engel & Völkers Santa Monica, told an audience gathered at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square on Tuesday.
“Any games on your computer are not going to get you to where you want to be,” Miller said. “You really have to go out there, learn the market and talk to people.”
Here’s some tips for how to weather market shifts without losing your cool:
Understand that success in the industry doesn’t happen overnight. To bring back a lot of business in 2022, you need to start preparing now. This could be something as basic as setting a business plan to investing in technology that will help you get better leads to knocking on doors and talking about real estate. While it is not a good idea to set too many ambitious goals at once, having a specific plan will help you keep going even when overall statistics seem discouraging.
“Change and disruption have become such buzzwords that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are things that stay the same in the business,” Frederick Warburg Peters, CEO, Warburg Realty, said. “The centrality of running an effective business stays the same year after year.”
The wisdom (and folly) of the crowd
Sue Yannaccone, regional executive vice president, eastern seaboard and midwest regions at Coldwell Banker NRT, advised against being too quick to change gears. When you see a slump in your sales, it could be tempting to throw money towards a new ad campaign or technology and then not see the ROI you expected. Keep up with industry trends but, in the end, stay true to your own business plans and needs. If you can, hire experts that will help you analyze where to invest and where to hold off spending.
“Don’t recreate the wheel,” Yannaccone said. “Learn a lot from other people and know what to leverage to help you achieve your goals.”
If you only think of your clients when they’re looking to move, you’re doing it wrong. The way you’ll stand out in the industry is by forming tight-knit relationships with the people in your community — networking, remembering birthdays and slowly gaining trust as the go-to real estate expert in your community. Face-to-face contact is great but it’s also not the only way to stay at the top of your clients’ minds. Develop a social media following and provide them with information that’s at once relevant and interesting.
“If I’m doing a home inspection, I’ll go and post about what you need to know during a home inspection,” Compass agent Laura Miranda said. “It all trickles back.”
Become a trusted adviser
In an unstable market, it can be hard to find new clients and break into new markets. That’s why, according to Compass sales agent Marnie Greenwood, you should always start with the people in your community. Think about them and the best way you can help with what will likely be the most important purchase of their lives — if clients trust you to provide great value, they will come to you no matter what the market brings.
“You need to start with the people you know,” Greenwood said. “The people who know you, trust you and want to be around you.”
Don’t forget yourself
It may seem that, especially in one’s first year, agents need to live from showing to showing and permanently give up sleep. According to Miller, this is a major mistake — eating well, getting enough rest and having hobbies outside the job will help you succeed and stay sane for the long haul.
“It’s a lonely business, and if you can develop those deeper relationships with your colleagues, it can be really fulfilling,” Miller said.