As we’ve witnessed before, markets can change on a dime. Are you ready for when that happens next? Here’s how you can prepare your team — and yourself — for a shift, and how to keep your business nimble.

The real estate market is constantly shifting. Most recently, with the rise of COVID-19, industries worldwide experienced a significant change. As a result, real estate agents needed to adapt from running an in-person business to going digital quickly.

It comes as no surprise that those agents who served clients through virtual calls and tours, well-produced videos, social media and more were able to pivot as needed during a time of record-level of movement across markets worldwide.

As we enter a new year with low inventory and pent-up demand, real estate agents need to be prepared and adapt for any further shifts in their markets, in addition to thinking about what they need to do to position their real estate business and best serve clients.

Here are some strategies I’ve used to overcome shifting real estate markets over the years, and ways agents can implement them in their local market.

1. Stay informed

Information is essential in this business. You must know the latest data and movement in your market. Gathering market data can be time-consuming, but this information is a must to understanding the market and where it may be headed.

I recommend gathering data on comps and demographics within your market every week. With low inventory being a challenge, as a new listing hits the market, make sure you know everything about that property and share it immediately with clients (if relevant).

The market is moving fast. Agents have to stay ahead and up-to-date. I recommend following your local real estate board, industry groups and reading the latest economic reports from sources like the National Association of Realtors.

At The Agency, we’ve continued to host weekly office meetings via Zoom to provide an opportunity to share agent insight, knowledge and on-the-ground experiences about the market. This has been invaluable to our agents to get first-hand knowledge on their markets as things develop.

Additionally, don’t forget to check your local health department on local mandates regarding COVID-19 as guidelines continue to change. It is essential to stay informed on local policies to ensure you and your clients stay healthy and safe.

2. Balance tech and touch

Technology has wholly advanced our industry to new heights. As we enter a new year, be sure to adapt and update your systems, technology platforms and more. Technology can be an excellent tool for reporting to clients, tracking digital activity and streamlining operational systems.

We’ve hugely invested in technology but understand that it can’t completely replace relationships and local knowledge. With that in mind, find balance with tech and touch. It is vital to contact clients through genuine and regular check-ins.

For past clients, reach out via a simple text, email or call to let them know you are thinking about them and know you are a resource to them on all things related to real estate.

As the year comes to a close, this is a great time to send a message of holiday cheer, a small gift or a donation in their name. Even an end of market review on their property or neighborhood can serve as a thoughtful gift and showcase your experience and expertise.

3. Evaluate your marketing

When there are significant shifts in the market, don’t be so quick to decrease marketing budget and efforts. In the past, during recessions and market downturns, I did the complete opposite.

Be sure your marketing messaging stays relevant to the market conditions, sensitive to the times and high quality. With people searching for homes online more than ever, your photos need to be professional.

Additionally, staging is very valuable, as well as any videos, virtual tours and other tools to showcase the home’s presence to viewers online.

As your business might pivot, you still need to stay informed on the market, use technology, connect with clients and create unique and relevant marketing for your listings and business. These strategies are essential for any market shift — now and in the future.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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