With fewer deals to go around, many markets experiencing a downshift and more agents than ever, it makes business sense to reach for the fundamentals. That’s why at Inman, we’re going Back to Basics with curated throwbacks to some of our most-read stories as well as new insights from agents in the field — all culminating in Inman’s Playbook for the Fall Market, a two-day virtual event that you should make plans to attend.
As a solo agent, how do you prepare for what is coming? We undoubtedly see a shift. Depending on how you define the commencement of that shift, there are already noticeable elements of it in play right now.
This isn’t the first shift we’ve seen either. There was 2008’s recession, of course, and jump further back — you have the 1991 crash. I was an agent at the time, operating in the Sacramento market when the market’s metaphorical roof came crashing down. Two Air Force bases and the Army depot closed in the local area.
Overnight, tens of thousands of civilian jobs attached to the bases and service members left the community. There were suburbs where every house had a for sale sign. You would show a home knowing that there were 100 similar homes that would hit the market the next day.
In 2022, we are not headed for apocalyptic scenes like these, but that doesn’t take away from the stress, uncertainty and potential panic.
So how do agents stay above it all and keep their heads on their shoulders, even if they are pivoting?
Stay outside the hype
Life will still go on, and all the functions that life brings, births, deaths, marriage, divorce, relocation and more. Housing, or shelter, a basic human necessity, will remain as a stalwart regardless of what your social media feed might tell you.
Bad news and more bad news can quickly become the mantra. Step away from that. Take time and focus on yourself, what you can do, and what will help your practice, not the “what ifs.”
It’s easy to get into a space where you want to quit because of all the noise around you. Stay focused on the positives.
When the market tightens, sellers are going to be looking for agents with experience. That means more sellers and buyers alike are going to start depending on you, the agent, to help them. So stay positive, and keep growing and promoting the value of the services that you can provide.
Positivity is a daily reminder to deliver at all of the client touchpoints. Continue to highlight your value proposition and why you are trustworthy in a market of uncertainty.
Systems, processes, and efficiency
The agents who have spent time enhancing and improving their business’s running will transition through this period nicely and, in many cases, may pick up more business. Conversely, the agents who do not have a business machine going will really begin to feel some pain.
Take care of your mental health
There will be increasing pressure on your business, finances, and, more than likely, your personal life.
I am all too familiar with the struggles of mental health, having run my own personal battle with that in the past, coming out of the end stronger and better off. I am a big believer in the power of physical exercise as a way to ward off mental health issues. Get yourself active.
Also, turn off media content that breeds sensationalism. This might be your news on the television or social media channels.
Avoid workspaces that inspire negativity
Unfortunately, this could be your office, and it could even be the people you choose to surround yourself with in a professional capacity.
Focus on the longer-term goals, rather than what is between now and six months ahead.
Make your office a breeding ground for inspiration, positivity and productivity. Agents will need you to show leadership over the next period.
It’s important to remember that this all looks different for everyone, but the core goal is the same: if you take care of yourself, then you take care of your business. A key thing to remember is that regardless of shifts and changes, keep investing and nurturing your systems, both professionally and personally.