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When Hazel Shakur started out in real estate, agents could almost walk down the street and have deals fall in their laps.
“It was great,” she recalled during a Wednesday session of Inman Connect.
But then the bubble burst. Everything changed.
“All of a sudden my pipeline dried up,” Shakur said, “and I really had to learn how to hustle.”
Though Shakur said she doesn’t think the same amount of chaos is coming for the market today, real estate is going through similar growing pains as it transitions from the heady times of the past few years to a situation in which mortgage rates are high and prices are stagnant or even falling.
That shift was the topic of Shakur’s session Wednesday, and she appeared alongside Adam Hergenrother to share tips for how to become a successful top producer even in a cooling market. Here are the tips the two industry veterans offered:
Always help people
Shakur — who is an agent with Redfin — said that one of the keys to success even in hard times is for agents to always make sure they’re looking out for others.
“A top producer is a person who is helping as many people as possible,” she said, adding later that, “typically if you’re helping people, you’re helping yourself.”
She went on to recall that she grew up with a parent in the military, which meant moving frequently — to the point that she attended 10 different schools before going to college. The experience taught her that housing and real estate matter and that helping people find a home is a noble thing to do.
“Having a place to rest, to raise your family,” she continued, “that’s very important.”
Double down on what works
Hergenrother — who is the founder and CEO of Livian — said that in a turning market agents have to “increase the velocity or intensity of the activities that matter.”
“So if you’re doing three hours of lead gen a week that needs to be nine,” he explained. “And that’s what you absolutely have to maintain right now in order to have any type of Q1 type of result that you want.”
Alternatively, Hergenrother advised agents to narrow their focus and to dump anything that isn’t helping them.
“Delete anything that’s not bolted to the floor,” he added.
Both industry veterans stressed the importance of doubling down and continuing to work, with Shakur going as far as to say that perseverance is so central to her attitude that it’s actually the meaning of her daughter’s name.
“Perseverance is tremendously important,” she said.
Hergenrother made a similar point, noting that “staying in the game long enough so you can experience multiple expansions and contractions,” is part of what makes agents successful and resilient.
“Never give up,” he suggested.
Shakur went on to say that part of this idea is staying passionate about the work and achieving a positive work-life balance. She additionally suggested agents come up with a definition for “top producer” that works according to their own goals and metrics. And while she and Hergenrother agreed that the market is turning, they also said a different kind of landscape doesn’t have to sink agents’ ambitions.
“I don’t think the market can ever determine everyone’s success,” Hergenrother concluded. “I think it determines your strategy.”