Even as the housing market continues to cool in the face of low inventory, high interest rates and growing affordability concerns, some agents are finding ways to uncover opportunities and grow business. Others, however, are struggling to regain the momentum they had during the go-go days of recent years.
“We can’t control the market or interest rate. And we can’t control when people are ready to buy or sell a property. But what we can control is our effort to show up every day and provide the most valuable service to as many people as we can,” says Quintavius Burdette, an agent with RE/MAX Experts in Germantown, Tennessee, who ranked No. 6 in the U.S. and No. 3 for U.S. transaction sides among RE/MAX agents in 2022.
“Because one thing remains true: People are still buying and selling houses in every single market. It’s really just a question of who’s helping them do it.”
Burdette, who has closed more than 800 transaction sides in his first four years, has continued to produce regardless of market changes. In part, it’s because he has avoided these two common mistakes.
1. Focusing more on the transaction than the relationship
“In recent years, many agents became focused solely on transactions because the market was moving quickly, and they were juggling a lot at once,” says Ben Fairfield, a RE/MAX Vice President. “To some degree, many of those agents compromised the relationship side of real estate that’s so integral to a sustainable business.”
Especially now, Fairfield says, it’s time to remember the building block of this business: connection.
“Agents need to shift from a transaction-focused mindset back to a relationship-focused mindset,” he says. “Making connections and nurturing those relationships is the foundation of generating new and future business.”
That approach certainly works for Burdette, who is consistently among the top-producing professionals in the RE/MAX network, the most productive real estate network in the world, as measured by residential transaction sides.
“It’s simple – agents need to be talking to more people,” Burdette says. “You have so many past or prospective clients right in front of you, in your phone and on social media, but also locally, at grocery stores, restaurants and other places you frequent.”
Burdette started his career four years ago by striking up as many conversations as possible at the grocery store, ending each encounter with a reminder that he could help with any real estate needs. Even now, although he’s evolved from a beginner to an established top producer, he stands by the goal of connecting with 50 people every day.
2. Not taking advantage of available resources
Another mistake some agents are making, Fairfield says, is failing to use the tools available to them. Whether operating from a small independent firm or aligned with a large franchise brand, every agent has some level of resources. But those tools – from local Broker/Owner support to technology to marketing systems – are only helpful if they’re used.
“In today’s market – which is actually more normal than what we saw in recent years – many of the agents who are staying productive are leaning into the resources provided by their office or brand,” he shares. “They’re using technology. They’re making referral connections. They’re embracing education and learning new things. And they’re taking advantage of their company or brand’s visibility in the marketplace. When you do all that, doors open faster, and it can really help scale your business.”
Fairfield acknowledges that some agents, like those aligned with a RE/MAX brokerage, have access to far more competitive advantages than others. When the market is red hot, these elements may not seem as important. But now, when leads and sales may be harder to come by, they can give an agent a crucial edge.
“For many agents, now’s a good time to take a close, honest look at the support they’re getting at their current brokerage and brand,” he says. “If they realize those services are coming up short, or they feel as though they’re not positioned to win in this highly competitive environment, they might want to think about making a change.”