The founder of Keller Williams reminds agents that it’s still a seller’s market and stresses lead generation amid the ongoing slowdown.

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Rather than bemoan today’s downturn in home demand, real estate agents should spend their energy positioning themselves for the next market upturn, Gary Keller said Tuesday.

The founder of Keller Williams told agents at his company’s mega camp event this week that times aren’t so bad for real estate professionals, even as the market pendulum is in the process of swinging back swiftly toward buyers.

“You’re still in a seller’s market nationally right now,” Keller said. “It doesn’t quite feel like it, but when it’s only 14 days on the market [to sell a home], excuse me, it’s a seller’s market.”

For many agents — especially those who joined the industry in the last few years — such a steep decline in home demand after almost two years of red-hot sales might lend the impression that these are bad times for real estate agents.

But the reality is that there are still plenty of transactions and commissions to go around, Keller said. 

However, agents who want to build or maintain market share can no longer get by without a rigorous focus on lead generation, he added.

“When the market shifts, you don’t necessarily have to put in more hours in a day; you have to shift how you spend your time,” Keller said. “And if you don’t like lead generation, you’re going to get caught right now.”

For much of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, historically low mortgage rates ensured a steady stream of buyer clients including homeowners who were spurred to list their properties to get in on the action.

During those times, Keller said, the attention of agents was largely focused on serving this easy stream of clients. Going forward, that’s less likely to be the case, he said.

For agents to continue making revenue and position themselves for higher paydays in the future, they must focus on maintaining and building their market share in the meantime, Keller said. 

The pie of commissions may be smaller in the near future than in the recent past, he said. But when that pie starts growing again, agents that have gained market share during the downturn will stand to benefit.

Finding and managing leads will be crucial, Keller told the audience of real estate agents. Keeping a detailed database of past clients and potential clients is important, as is following up with them.

Based on previous market cycles, Keller predicted that the current rebalancing in favor of buyers would take a total of two years — and possibly less time than that, he said.

“The good news is, you’re already seven months into it,” Keller said. “Hang out long enough and you’ll be through it before you know it.”

Email Daniel Houston

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