New markets require new approaches and tactics. Experts and industry leaders take the stage at Inman Connect New York in January to help navigate the market shift — and prepare for the next one. Meet the moment and join us. Register here.
As the song goes, so does this year: If you don’t love what you are doing right now, I doubt you ever will. For many of us, this has been a year of transformation. A year that has shown us once again that we can’t control the market, but we can control how we react to it.
We’ve spoken about the shift so much that now that world has turned and left us here. If you are not truly passionate about this industry at this moment, I doubt you ever will be. Passion and grit are what will drive agents to help their businesses survive in this market; how you choose to cope is up to you.
23 resolutions, unpopular opinions and hard truths that just might change your business in 2023
- Ditch the complaining, the begging and the negative energy around your “down pipeline.” No doubt we get it. Business is slow, but consumers burdened with high prices and high rates really do not want to hear about your problems. You have two choices: You can ride it out, or you can come back when there is more business to go around. Not everyone is going to make it, and that is OK. Measure success by what works for your household, not by unrealistic expectations. You can always refer out until more favorable market conditions.
- Know the true statistics of your market. How many agents are in the areas you work in? How many listings typically sell, and who sells them? This information will help you create metrics around the reality of what’s happening and help you prepare for what’s next.
- Ask for better splits, marketing tools and leadership. If you have been with a brand or company for five-plus years, make sure that your pay structure is still competitive.
- You are going to have to work harder to close fewer deals but remember that each deal you close has the potential to grow into a referral that will help your pipeline grow in the future.
- If you are not hitting your numbers, get a second job. Look for something with flexible hours that will help you build your sphere of influence. Although you may be working extra hours, some regular income can actually relieve some pressure around lead generation. This type of schedule and hustle is not for everyone. It’s not glamorous, it’s very hard work, and it can be exhausting.
- Don’t buy into the rhetoric that “part-time” agents cannot be successful. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a situation that will negatively impact your personal financial health. Old-school financial advice doesn’t necessarily work in these market conditions.
- Make time for real conversations with the folks that you want to connect with. Your time is now your most valuable asset. Be very careful with whom you share it.
- Take care of your mental health. Your partners, spouse and friends are not trained therapists or business coaches. The advice that they are giving or not giving you can be impacting your headspace. Hire a professional and get serious about making change instead of complaining about how change has impacted you.
- Social media platforms have changed significantly. Research and work through the changes, get some professional help, or all the time and energy you put into creating content could be going to waste. I will say it for the kids in the back. Great photos and personal stories are the best type of content you can create.
- If you have changed brokerages, make sure to review your digital footprint to make sure all information is up to date.
- Don’t sleep on direct mail.
- Don’t sleep on casting a wider net. You may have to expand your territory and the types of homes you typically sell to keep things moving.
- Take some coffee dates with vendors (loan officers, title companies, home inspectors). You never know what relationships you can build. Kindness goes a long way, and everyone is looking for extra networking.
- Learn about RPAC, and get involved.
- Start or join a diversity committee in your office, local association or state.
- Challenge yourself to create 10 short videos this year, and get over your fear of being on camera.
- Don’t sleep on LinkedIn. Start posting more on this platform. Connect with your sphere, unconnect with your competition.
- Always own your email, CRM, and domains, and control your social media. Have a “roll and go” plan.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your leadership what isn’t working for you. Give them chance to fix it, and if they don’t, take note and read No. 7 one more time.
- Understand that you need to bring value to your clients and your brokerage to create balance and sustainability. If one area of value is unevenly distributed, often it shows.
- Learn and grow. If you don’t know and don’t try to know, it will cost you dearly in this market.
- Surround yourself with the best experts that you possibly can to help you succeed. Don’t try to DIY every aspect of your business. Often when you DIY, it shows.
- Be true to yourself, and think about your future. If you don’t want to sell homes until you are 70, smart financial planning is the key to building a career that lasts.
A few words about change and some songs to soothe your achy breaky heart
Whether you call it fate, destiny or just plain life, your circumstances are largely unpredictable. I’m going to tell you the truth: Real estate is difficult when times are good. Life and family are difficult even when times are good.
You can change your address, your job, and your perspective and still find yourself wondering what’s next. That’s OK. We are meant to change and grow and learn. That’s what this year has taught us. Our friends at Spotify have gifted us their annual tribute to you, wrapping up your favorite songs that carried you through and over the past few turbulent months.
I think Tina Turner said it best when she said that her legacy stayed on course because she believed in herself. So after so many years in the business, and all the things we have been through together, I want to let you know that I believe in you. I believe the leaders in our industry who care about consumers will weather this shift just fine.
I also want to let you know that if you choose to tap out, there is no shame in it. There are other ways you can put the skills you learned as an agent to good use in your community, and I challenge you to take those skills and take the time to make an impact in your community.
Cheers to all of you, and of course, if you have a moment, you can check out my playlist here. Rock on my friends, a fresh start is just around the corner. Did I miss a song? What would be on your 23 for 23 playlist? Warning, this playlist contains “adult” adjectives, verbs, and expletives if you have younger listeners in the car.
Rachael Hite is a former agent, a business development specialist, fair housing advocate, copy editor, and is currently perfecting her long game selling homes in a retirement community in Northern Virginia. You can connect with her about life, marketing, and business on Instagram and Twitter.