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During the pandemic, agents were told to pivot as the market quickly accelerated to frenzied buying.
But that’s all changed as the economy has moved to uncertain territory and mortgage rates are in flux. Now, agents need to learn to “shift” instead of “pivot,” Kendall Bonner of The Kendall Bonner Team at RE/MAX Capital Realty told Inman Connect Las Vegas attendees on Wednesday.
“Now it’s ‘shift,’ and I think we’re all feeling it a little bit,” she noted.
For agents looking to change their listing generation strategy in a shifting market, panel speakers Jonathan Spears of the Spears Group at Compass and Lauren Rosin of The Rosin Team at eXp Realty shared their top tips.
Address the seller’s mindset
A lot of sellers are still in the mindset that they hold the power in the transaction, given the frenzied sellers’ market of the past two years. But the seas are changing
“I think it’s still a sellers’ market because we’re so low on inventory, but sellers just won’t have as much power,” Rosin said. That’s making her have conversations with sellers about not overpricing their properties right now.
Spears added that real estate transactions look completely different today than they did just two years ago, and that now is the time to set seller expectations and steer them away from aspirational pricing.
“Trying to set the expectation is everything, and that’s really the key in this market,” Spears said.
“It’s all about controlling the sellers at this point,” Rosin later added, “and if you have to walk away from a listing because of a huge price difference do it, but keep following up with them because in a few months they might come back to you.”
Increase your marketing opportunities
During this market shift, Spears said he’s been pushing the team’s social media marketing, especially to get younger generations — and multigenerational families — thinking more about real estate.
“For us, social media is really a great marketing avenue,” he said. “I always say we’re a marketing company that just happens to be transacting real estate.”
Rosin said she’s also turned to tech to help with her listing generation strategies.
“We’re definitely running a lot more marketing than we used to,” she said. “Basically, we’re pushing notifications through an app we use, [a mobile app powered by HomeStack].”
Leverage cash offers
As part of her team’s tool kit, Rosin said they’ve presented cash offers to potential clients for years, because it helps get their attention. After that, her agents can also effectively give that seller a listing presentation and show them how much more they could stand to make by putting their home on the market publicly.
“We have offered cash offers on everything for years,” Rosin said. “If someone says they want a cash offer, it’s a listing lead. So it’s just a foot in the door.”
She also creates spreadsheets so that clients can compare and contrast the differences between a cash offer and putting their home on the MLS.
Get back to basics
“Technology does not always tell the story,” Spears said. He added that it’s important to consider that particular seller’s mindset, and address where they’re coming from in a straightforward way.
“For me I always try to go into an appointment thinking about the why, then the what,” he said. “And why their neighbor’s house might have sold for 50 percent more than what I’m recommending to them.”
Rosin said that an agent can use as much tech as they like, but it’s the personal connections that will help them win a listing at the end of the day.
“The problem with really strong markets like the one we’ve been having for the past decade [is it] creates really weak agents,” she said. “You can make all the TikTok videos you want, all the Instagram videos you want, but if you’re not making calls, you’re not going to make it.”
“You have to be sharpening your skills right now,” she added.
Prospect with purpose
“As we prospect, we need to prospect with purpose,” Spears said.
He encouraged agents to have a value proposition for that specific seller going into the call, and plan ahead of time, being open to not even discussing real estate.
“At the end of the day, people work with folks that they like,” he said.
Given that his market is largely made up of second homes, Spears also does targeted prospecting, mostly of waterfront properties, using direct mail campaigns. He uses this method because he knows those types of sellers that are often away from their second property need a physical reminder in front of them of their selling opportunities.
Rosin consistently works sellers who aren’t ready — sometimes for years — because she knows when the time is right for them, they’ll think of her first. Recently, she got a listing after five years of discussion with the seller, because she leveraged her role as their advisor over an extended period of time.
Correction: The app Lauren Rosin referred to when discussing using push notifications was a mobile app powered by HomeStack, not kvCORE, as an earlier version of this story stated.