Join industry visionaries Pete Flint, Spencer Rascoff, Ryan Serhant and more at Inman Connect New York, Jan. 24-26. Punch your ticket to the future by joining the smartest people in real estate at this must-attend event. Register here.
It’s almost impossible to look at the anxiety so many agents have right now over the shifts and turns that we’ve been through and what lies ahead for the market and not be concerned about how they’ll handle more change.
Here’s what I will tell you as a leader: They are going to take their cues from you. The calmer and steadier you are about change, the calmer and steadier they will be.
If you’ve been in this business a while, you probably feel like I do — that every market is a good market for real estate professionals when they’ve got the tools and skills they need to navigate them.
As a real estate agent and a human being, it’s important to be able to adapt to change. Whatever that looks like. Our industry is now and always has been cyclical and ever-evolving. What worked last year might not work this year.
5 tips for training your agents
To help ensure your agents stay ahead of the curve, here are some tips on how to train them to weather any market shift with more ease.
1. Have them keep an open mind
Being able to adapt to market shifts requires open-mindedness. That means preconceived notions need to go out the window, and limiting belief systems need a makeover.
Change is a good thing because it brings opportunities and windows for growth. I tell agents all the time to “not kill off possibilities.” Too often, we get so focused on why we can’t do something that we never even look at why we can.
2. Be flexible
Things can change rapidly in the real estate market, so give your agents the tools they need to be flexible and agile in the face of that change.
For agents, that might mean training in new technology, reimagining time management, developing a niche they are passionate about or learning new ways to communicate and stay top-of-mind. By helping your agents expand their knowledge base, you are also providing the bridges they need to shift with the market because it won’t feel like unfamiliar territory.
3. Stay up-to-date on trends
It’s also important for your agents to stay up-to-date on trends in the real estate market. By keeping up with the news, watching experts craft their predictions, and watching (and understanding) economic factors like interest rates, they’ll be better prepared to handle whatever comes their way.
There are several ways they can do this, such as reading industry publications, attending conferences, working with a coach, or taking continuing education courses. You may consider setting up a blog or information-sharing system in your brokerage to make sharing and staying up-to-date easy for your agents.
4. Be willing to learn from others
In addition to staying up-to-date on trends, it’s also important for your agents to be willing to learn from others who are more experienced than they are. There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t know everything; in fact, it’s actually a strength.
By being open to learning from those who know more than you, you can ensure that your agents are always at the top of their game. Pairing new agents with seasoned veterans who have already navigated their fair share of market changes will help your new members learn to shift gears without stress.
A bonus in this is that, often, the newer agents will help re-energize their mentors and even open doors to looking at old practices in new ways. It’s a win-win.
5. Encourage creativity and outside-the-box thinking
Finally, encourage your agents to think creatively and outside the box when managing market shifts. The most successful agents are often those who can think creatively and develop new solutions to problems.
So, encourage creativity by encouraging them to brainstorm new ideas on how to respond to market changes. Throw out the rule book every once in a while, and see what they can come up with!
Changing markets are never bad markets
When I was a real estate agent, the interest rates were 13-14 percent. You might be wondering, “How could you sell homes with those interest rates?!” I did — and so did agents from coast to coast. I was managing at least six real estate transactions monthly, and the average time for a house to be on the market was six to seven months. It doesn’t matter what kind of market we are in; you can be successful as long as you shift with it.
Years ago, I used to coach my son’s soccer team, and I used to share a quote that Wayne Gretzky, a famous hockey player, once shared as advice from his father: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has already been.”
I would tell the kids that rather than chasing the ball and running behind it, they should run faster to get where the ball was heading so that when their teammate wanted to pass it, they were there and ready.
We usually talk about the real estate industry having two markets: Buyer’s and seller’s markets. However, a third market rarely gets a mention — the fair market, or as I like to call it, “the sweet spot market.” This is the market most real estate agents thrive in.
Market corrections aren’t bad things. It’s the change that most agents fear because it means they have to adapt and change the way they have been doing business. However, when you understand the basics of what happens in each type of market, you can be prepared and switch gears before your competitors can.
What matters in each type of market?
In a seller’s market:
- Sellers think their house is worth more
- Don’t see value in agents
- Harder for agents to take listings
- Pressure to cut commissions
- Inventory is low
In a buyer’s market:
- Buyers want rock-bottom pricing
- Want to look at everything
- No pressure to choose a house quickly
- Pressure on agents to negotiate
In an agent’s market:
- Homes are selling at fair market value
- Sellers recognize value in using an agent
- Buyers are more reasonable
- Less pressure all around
The real estate market operates like a pendulum — it always has and always will because that’s its nature. When you can understand this, we can be successful no matter what housing market we are in.
When it comes to training agents, take the time to invest in outside training resources for your agents to expand their exposure to the skills and tools they need to be confident no matter what the market brings.
Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. He currently hosts weekly free webinars to help agents navigate market change and design careers worth smiling about. Learn more at his website or connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.