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With ongoing market uncertainty and talk of a potential recession, financial security is top-of-mind for many people. For those with non-financial assets such as real estate, as well as those with traditional financial investments, building economic resilience is vital to getting through market downturns with minimal impact.
So what exactly is economic resilience and how can real estate agents fortify their position?
First and foremost, resilience can be defined as persevering through market changes. Leading agents use business best practices such as sincerity and competency to expertly guide clients through shifts in the market, and to prepare them for any future challenges. Here are four top tips agents should follow to nurture economic resilience.
1. Rely on structure to create sustainability
Market instability can lead to investment uncertainty, and many people are tempted to make hasty decisions when it comes to both investments and real estate — including agents. When real estate professionals approach me for help, I recommend creating and maintaining productive daily actions that provide a strong foundation for decision-making. It is this discipline for the small things that create focus and establishes good habits. Both are necessary for sustainability and stamina during volatile times.
2. Create trust by demonstrating knowledge
In an ever-changing market and economic climate, trust is a more important factor than ever in the client-agent relationship. Trust stems largely from the invaluable knowledge we, as agents, can provide — and clients have every right to question an agent’s expertise. Clients should vet the agent and their knowledge, and if the agent cannot answer questions with direct commentary and statistics, the client may move on.
One specific way clients can gauge an agent’s knowledge is to ask how we handled previous market downturns. Every market has “war stories,” and an established agent has seen their share of action. Specifically, clients should ask me how I handled the last unique market impact in their area. Preparing to answer these questions and offering data about the current real estate landscape can put a client more at ease and inspire confidence.
3. Short-term efforts set a long-term foundation
With an eye to the future, agents should ask themselves: what are some actions I can take in the short term to set myself up for success? I encourage my agents to “embrace the grind” and look at it as a time to dial-in to better processes. Long-term growth will be shaky without a proper foundation. I encourage agents to continue to educate themselves during this time, and work on building and strengthening personal relationships through interactions — especially ones not tied to real estate.
4. Be patient and don’t expect immediate results
Economic resilience is important for long-term success, and perseverance requires patience. Despite its ups and downs, real estate is a potentially lucrative journey. As an agent, it’s easy to get shortsighted, but expecting immediate results will destroy the enthusiasm for the process.
Finding inspiration along the way is also necessary to help thrive in uncertain times. I recommend “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. Its emphasis on resilience and ownership spoke volumes to me, and helped me through a transitional time.
In an unpredictable world, agents need to learn to weather any storm, both personally and professionally, and economic resilience is the key to succeeding. Our purpose is to guide people through what is likely the largest purchase and biggest investment of their life. That means it’s the agent’s responsibility to be competent, sincere, and ready to serve — attributes that can only be a result of a resilient agent and brand.
Josh Weddington enjoyed a varied career in retail and as director of operations for a vacation rental management company before turning his attention to real estate and joining Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty. His prior experience with rentals, including how to maximize their value and capitalize on their investment return, is a boon to his client base. He describes himself as a very systematic person who enjoys helping clients uncover investment opportunities that can be real assets at any stage of life. With his knowledge base, he works primarily with investors all along the Emerald Coast, helping make sense of investments before, during, and after a sale.