Market shifts come with the territory in the real estate business. Seasoned veterans know that every market can work to your advantage if you’ve got the skills and tools to weather the storm. When it comes to newer or less experienced agents, however, it’s hard not to worry about how they’ll fare during periods of change.
As we’ve seen over the past several years with the COVID-19 pandemic, adaptability is critical. It’s not always possible to predict how the world — and therefore the market — will shift. What we can do is teach new agents how to navigate the changing tides.
Here are some strategies to ensure that your agents stay ahead of the curve no matter what the market throws at them.
1. Have them stay up to date on trends
Knowledge is power. It’s imperative that your agents stay informed and pay attention to trends in the market. There are several ways to do this including keeping up with the news, reading industry publications such as Inman’s columns of experts, following economic factors like interest rates, taking courses and attending conferences such as Inman Connect.
You can help facilitate your agents’ ongoing learning by sharing resources with them or hosting recurring meetings to share insights and experiences. There are endless podcasts, panels and social platforms to be enriched by.
2. Be flexible
Flexibility is the best trait to have in a shifting market. One way your agents can remain agile is to expand their knowledge base. That could mean training in new technology or identifying a unique niche and becoming an expert in it.
With change comes opportunities for growth. When agents keep an open mind about what is possible, bold and creative solutions emerge.
3. Strengthen client relationships
Volatile markets often leave clients wanting more communication and reassurance. Agents who are easily reachable via phone and email will maintain trust even as clients’ fears rise.
Keeping in touch with past contacts via email newsletters, handwritten cards, and phone calls is also a great way to ensure that your referral pipeline keeps flowing.
4. Learn from others
The best of us are prepared to admit what we don’t know. Asking for guidance and advice from veterans is a sign of strength and signifies a hunger to improve and grow.
Pairing new agents with seasoned pros who have experienced changing markets before will help your relative rookies learn to handle shifts with ease.
5. Expand your marketing
During market downturns, it’s tempting to slash your marketing budget. However, the opposite action is a better impulse. Periods of change call for up-to-date marketing materials that reflect the times.
During the 2008 to 2009 housing downturn, when most agents were cutting back on their marketing and advertising budget, I actually ramped mine up. I took out pages upon pages of the Los Angeles Times’ property section so anyone searching for a home and reading that publication, associated the luxury market with my name. Take risks and get strategic to stand out from your competition, especially in a slower period of activity.
Encourage new agents to make sure they have a robust and high-quality arsenal of photos, videos, and virtual tours. It’s always worth investing in representing your business and listings in the best possible light.
6. Explore new niches
Just because the market slows down doesn’t mean you should follow suit. If anything, it’s the perfect time to diversify your business by exploring emerging niches.
Certain niches may pick up when other areas of the market slow down. Creating new pipelines of business will help your agents not only survive but thrive when shifts occur.
Changing markets are an opportunity
As leaders, new agents will look to us during uncertain times. When we remain calm and clear-headed, others will do the same.
Markets can change on a dime. The truth is these shifts are an opportunity, both for veterans and newbies. When you roll with the punches, you can diversify your business and expand your knowledge base. Set the example for new agents — your success isn’t inextricably linked to what’s happening in the market.