One of the first things that occurred when the COVID-19 lockdowns began was a stark delineation in philosophy and behavior between real estate professionals.
While some immediately went into overdrive, developing new skills and new platforms, others sat back and waited to see what would unfold. Subsequently, as demand soared and the market built momentum, those who took a wait-and-see approach got left behind.
What behaviors and states of mind contribute to success in any market? How can you open doors for your clients and for your business? Here are some of the ways you can keep yourself open mentally and professionally — and some of the ways people close themselves off to opportunity.
Door closers are practices that cut off communication and limit your ability to respond to the buyers and sellers in your market. Here are a few examples.
Holding fast to old ways of working — in your marketing, operations or transaction management — cuts you off to movements in the market, shifts in buyer and seller attitudes, and the professional network you need to help you weather changing conditions.
If you pride yourself on doing things “old school,” consider whether you are leaving money on the table by failing to respond to new realities.
If you are primarily a listing agent, your market is probably seeing low inventory and multiple offers, which is good news for your clients. If you’re primarily a buyer’s agent, you’ll need to get creative with the offers you craft to ensure the best possible outcomes for your clients.
In either case, you do your clients a disservice if you don’t keep an ear to the ground and help them reach their goals through strong negotiations and innovative strategies.
Now more than ever, you won’t get anywhere by sitting back and waiting for business to come your way. You need to get out there and talk to other agents in your area, work with your professional affiliates, and reach out to your sphere of influence.
Don’t let your pride get in your way and keep you from making the moves that will make you more successful right now. Actively communicate, and put deals together to build and keep the momentum going.
Door openers help you pave the way for new clients, new practices and new ways of doing business so that you’re always growing as a real estate professional. A few of them include:
Everyone’s been saying it, but it’s past time for you to implement a coherent virtual transaction management system. In my view, no one is going back to the old way of looking at multiple homes in person, even when COVID-19 restrictions end.
They will expect the kind of service — virtual tours, virtual open houses and virtual document signing — that many of your fellow agents are providing.
If you’ve built your business on a particular kind of client, a particular part of the market or a particular type of home, it may be time to branch out and become more responsive to the demands of today’s clients.
If you’ve been focused on in-town condos, the current exodus to the suburbs may be an opportunity for you to pivot your focus and your marketing. If you’ve built your business through networking and live events, you may need to implement content marketing strategies.
Networking and communication
If you’ve been talking to the same old people in the same old way, you probably got left behind during the recent market upheaval. At The Address, we implemented a weekly sphere of influence email for each of our agents to distribute to their list. We communicated with each other through a new book club. We brought in guest speakers for Zoom conferences and educational development.
If you don’t have as much business as you’d like, that means you need to put that extra time and effort into communicating. This might mean connecting with your sphere or connecting with agents in your market and beyond.
Develop new ways of reaching out — maybe a renewed commitment to social media management or first-time homebuyer training through online events — and create new pathways for future business.
Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.