Here in the Midwest, we’ve seen a heavy trend of increasing buyer demand and dwindling inventory. It has finally hit a point where there are 50 percent fewer properties for sale now than there were last year this same time.
With the warmer months approaching, it’s expected the inventory will rise because that’s usually when most people like to make a move. However, as hot as this market has been, with most homes only lasting a few days on the market and many going well over asking price, we can expect that trend to continue given low interest rates, a high buyer pool, and the stagnant amount of properties becoming available at any given time.
So whether a hot market or a slow one, how can you plan for the upcoming selling season? Putting your best foot forward, here are three easy ways agents can prepare for a potentially hustling and bustling spring marketplace without the downtime that a slow winter market usually provides.
Rally your sphere
Your sphere of influence (SOI) is a warm contact you know and essentially have had at least a 10-minute conversation with at some point in time. These are people you’ve established a relationship with, whether family, friends, neighbors, someone at the gym or anyone else who fits into that category.
Remember, people make moves for life-changing events: a new job, expanding the family, being closer to their grandkids, and many other reasons that impact one’s lifestyle.
These will be your best contacts and the ones who can help you the most in locating potential buyers who are about to make a move. Although real estate is not rocket science, it’s a relationship-driven business.
You should always recognize that everyone knows somebody, and rallying your sphere is a great way to find them. Whether you call, send an email, or pop by, these activities will keep you top-of-mind when the time comes.
Pursue that new business
Every year, I set goals of working with people in neighborhoods, cities around my metro, and new developments that I have not yet partnered with before because I want to expand my clientele, build on experience and pursue new business.
There are several developers and builders whose work I admire around town, and I’m not afraid to tell them so. Neither should you! As the saying goes, we have not because we ask not. If there’s a property you’re gushing over or a leader in your field who you’d like to meet and one day work with, send them a note.
Let them know your admiration and be straightforward about your intentions. You will exude professional confidence and the attitude of a go-getter with ambition.
I find that reaching out to those folks at the end of the year or the beginning of a new year is the best way to set yourself up for future opportunities.
Study your market
You can never know your market too well, and in fact, that should be exactly what you strive to do. One of the best things that my broker (and one of my greatest mentors in real estate) taught me early in my career is that it’s all about going to the “knowledge bank.”
To have longevity in a competitive industry like real estate, you have to add value. You should strive to have a well-rounded understanding of the market instead of focusing on the dollars.
One way to provide value is to have a competent understanding of the marketplace activity and the past, present and future trends taking shape.
As Benjamin Franklin put it, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” By studying your market, you can speak intelligently with others about things taking place and add value as a real estate professional to consumers making one of the biggest investments of their lives.
Each of these tasks, in one way or another, can help boost your business and prepare you for spring. Asking for help from the ones you know is a humble action, and it gives those around you an opportunity to be a connector of people.
Reaching out to a developer to show your admiration for their work and willingness to help them where they need is complimentary and leaves a lasting impression. Understanding an ever-changing marketplace in which you’ve studied the trends and familiarized yourself with the inventory positions you as a player in your market and better prepares you for a hot spring season.