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.
The incredible market we experienced from 2020 through the first half of this year brought a steady stream of clients. With such high market demand, agents had plenty of leads filling the pipeline.
Now that the market is beginning to decelerate, agents should prepare for the slowdown as we move into the year’s second half and beyond.
If you are new to the industry or need to reignite your business, there are things you can start doing now to accelerate your momentum. Nick Bailey, the CEO and President of RE/MAX provides three strategies for agents heading into a decelerated market.
Focus on repeat clients and referrals
The average homeowner buys a new home two to four times in their lifetime, but some agents don’t stay in touch after closing. Approximately 94 percent of buyers say they would use their agent again, yet only 13 percent do.
The top producing companies garner their business from referrals and repeat buyers because they understand that they have more business in their back pockets than they could ever find on the open market.
Nurturing relationships with previous clients keeps you top of mind when they are ready to buy again or if they have a friend or family member looking for a real estate agent.
As the market stabilizes, buyers will have more options and time to choose, making it even more important to stay in touch with previous buyers.
Go back to the basics (with a twist)
Fundamental skills that were effective before the pandemic still work, but agents should leverage data to find the most motivated buyers. AI technology uses public data to build databases filled with clients most likely to buy.
Using this data is more efficient than relying on Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce functions where it isn’t clear which individuals want to start the homebuying process.
Another example is the traditional practice of door knocking, where agents go door to door introducing themselves. However, agents can do this in a more targeted, data-driven way. Data tells us that when one house goes on the market, another on the same street will be listed within 30 days, and within 90 days, two to three more homes will be listed.
Choose five houses in the neighborhood, introduce yourself and offer your expertise. You can start the conversation by using this basic script:
“I would like to introduce myself and want you to be the first to know that a for sale sign is going up in your neighbor’s yard.
The market has been crazy; home values have gone up by 18 percent this year and are still rising. If you’d like me to keep you updated with what’s happening, I can take your number and email address.”
Selling was already on their minds before seeing their neighbor’s for sale sign going up, making it easy for agents to find motivated sellers without spending as much time looking.
Build your digital resume
During the pandemic, Zoom meetings and virtual tours were the norms. Now that we are back in person, some agents have eliminated these options instead of building their digital resumes. Currently, only 6 percent of listings have virtual options, most of which are only available at the million-dollar-plus price point.
However, all studies show that consumers expect a virtual tour regardless of price level because they want to use virtual tours to eliminate homes they don’t want to see in person. Start building your digital resume with quality virtual tours to set you apart from other agents so you’ll be ready when homes stop flying off the market.
These three strategies will help you build your business for the rest of the year and beyond. Don’t wait for clients to come to you. Start working now to fill your pipeline so you’ll be ready when the market slows down.
Tom Toole is the founder and team leader at Tom Toole Sales Group. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn.