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With the market in a state of flux marked by interest rates and low buyer activity, getting back to the basics is more important than ever.
That’s according to David Parnes of The Agency, Tiffany Pantozzi of ALIGN Real Estate, Bianca D’Alessio of The Masters Division of Nest Seekers International, and Jill Biggs of the Jill Biggs Group, who spoke at Inman Connect on Tuesday about navigating the fall market in a year Gary Keller says is poised to be the “second worst deal year in history.”
Despite the doom and gloom, it’s important to remember every market is different. Think of your job as an educator to your clients about your local market, Pantozzi advised.
“Right now is the time to really think of yourself as an educator and go back to some of the basics,” she said. “I think the biggest challenge right now is people that are receiving misinformation, or they’re just reading headlines. Although you may read a national headline that may be discouraging about the real estate market, in my particular market in the state of Florida, there are a lot of opportunities here. Our projections of what’s happening in our market are quite different from other states.”
Pantozzi tries to act as her own digital media company, blasting out updates via social media on the local market to keep her network informed, she said.
“Being your own media company — where you’re taking information and you’re breaking it down and regurgitating it to your market,” she said. “Being that true adviser, that true expert that people look to you for that’s going to set you apart from the people that are just sending people. ‘Do you want to buy? Do you want to sell?’ It’s more than ‘Do you want to sell or do you want to buy’ it’s ‘Here’s why you may want to sell’ or ‘Here’s why you may want to buy.’ ”
It also helps to point out to buyers that while mortgage rates may be on an upward trajectory now, the rate they lock in now doesn’t necessarily have to be the one they’re stuck with for 30 years, Parnes pointed out.
“Yes, interest rates have gone up, yes it is more expensive to borrow money right now,” he said. “But a mortgage broker said to me, ‘Listen, you’re not married to a loan, you’re just dating it.’ ”
The drop off in competition brought on by high borrowing costs can also help buyers land the property they actually want, Parnes said. While they’ll pay more for it than they did a year ago, they won’t have to worry about competing with dozens of other offers.
“Right now, I tell my clients it’s a great buying opportunity,” he said. “Yes, inventory is low, but you can buy a house you actually want and then you can always refinance later.”
Making time for the extreme basics like doorknocking and phone banking can go even further in a slower market, panelists said.
“Nobody should be too good to go doorknock or do an open house,” Pantozzi said. “Those are the all the basics I built my business on and if that’s what I need to go back to doing because it’s not as easy and things aren’t falling in my lap like they were, we’ll go back to doing it.”
It’s also important to hold yourself accountable and set aside time in your schedule for making phone calls, said D’Alessio.
“Another thing that’s so valuable and important is time blocking,” D’Alessio said. “I make sure that I block out my time in the morning and afternoon for when I’m making my phone calls. And when I’m making my phone calls… I’m not doing anything else, I’m not looking at emails, I’m not text messaging people.”
On top of basic sales skills it’s important to keep your marketing campaign fresh, Biggs said, in order to keep growing your brand recognition.
“We’re constantly marketing, you want to be — especially now — top of mind. People are going to go to people that are experienced,” she said. “They can throw mailers away over and over and over again, but they’re still seeing it and they’re still recognizing you and there’s something for brand recognition.”