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Luxury homes are already a rarity in real estate, so in times of record-low inventory, it can be challenging trying to find that ideal listing for clients. Often as soon as a property appears on the market, there are multiple offers—and only one can be accepted.
So what can be done for all those would-be buyers who didn’t have the winning bid? There are four strategies that I’ve particularly found helpful when properties are few and far between.
Expand your client and peer network
It probably comes as no surprise that networking is my top priority as an agent working in the busy market of Montréal. But now is the time to double down on your efforts if you haven’t done so already.
Strategy #1: Connect with clients in-person and online
Social media is one of the most valuable tools for boosting the visibility of our business while getting in touch with buyers and sellers. Facebook in particular allows you to join groups for communities and events in your region, giving you a chance to participate in real estate conversations. These channels are often a great way to find out who may be planning to list their property without an agent’s help—then you can kindly reach out and see if they’ll reconsider.
Circle prospecting can be helpful in a low-inventory market, but I only make time for it if I feel truly invested in that neighborhood and see great potential in it. Every minute is precious, and my preference is to stick to online efforts for more efficient lead generation.
Strategy #2: Keep cultivating your professional network
I also rely on social media to contact other real estate agents. LinkedIn is a solidly reliable source for building your circle of influence with colleagues, and sometimes with potential clients. But I joined Clubhouse earlier this year, and have been able to connect with ultra-luxury agents around the world. These relationships have continued off-platform, allowing us to share listings and referrals.
When reaching out to agents on social media, specificity has served me well. I state what type of property and neighborhood my client is looking for and the approximate budget they have, and often someone in my network will come through.
Sometimes the properties they send my way haven’t even been listed yet, and that’s another compelling reason why nurturing relationships is so crucial. Friending them on social media is good—but in my opinion, it’s even better to attend events, go for coffee, and make a genuine effort. The agents who are the most engaged are the ones who are going to be market leaders.
Position yourself as a trusted expert
In periods of low inventory, you can set yourself apart with your knowledge, insight, and proactiveness. Not only can you stay productive when there isn’t much on the market, but you can also attract emerging opportunities.
Strategy #3: Provide value in everything that you post
Instagram has long been my preferred social media platform for presenting beautiful images of my listings—but when inventory is low, quality is more important than quantity, and style must make way for substance.
Recently, I’ve realized that Instagram is also a powerful tool for educating the public about the real estate market. While I still strive to create aesthetically beautiful posts and stories, I’m intentional about the content of each post, and how it can provide extra value to viewers. I measure the success of my endeavors not in terms of likes, but post shares and interactions.
Email newsletters are also a useful yet underrated tool. Connecting with homeowners on a regular cadence keeps you top of mind. Even though they might not open each of your biweekly notices, your tricks, trends, and market updates will be there waiting for whenever they’re ready to list.
Strategy #4: Be a colleague and an ally to other agents
When inventory is scarce, I also strive to assist other agents. If I know of someone who is looking for a particular type of property and I have a pocket listing that might be a match, I reach out to them, and I don’t ask anything in return.
Even if you don’t seek reciprocity, it inevitably comes. Last year, a contact of mine who chose to leave the market began sending me all her clients, simply because I had supported her and her business over the years. You never know when a relationship is going to come back to help you.
Whenever you plant a seed, it needs time to grow. Whatever you’re working on now, whether it’s lead generation, professional networking, or trying to locate that perfect property, remember that it’s probably going to take 45 to 90 days to become fruitful.
We can’t ask for instant gratification in a low-inventory market—but we can be patient, proactive, and provide as much value and service as possible.
Monique Assouline has been helping buyers and sellers of Montréal Real Estate since 2005. With a background in Finance and Marketing, she left the corporate world to pursue a career in real estate when her children were very young, and never looked back. She works with investors of new construction, first-time buyers, as well as sellers of properties across the city and has built a local and international network. Her blog, on which she writes articles offering tips on buying and selling, has been selected as part of the Top 50 Canadian Real Estate Blogs multiple times. Always looking to surpass her clients’ expectations, her work ethic, as well as her strong focus, ensure a pleasant and unforgettable real estate experience for everyone.