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Every month we see that the number of transactions starts to decline. The market is constantly changing and the agents who work in their business and focusing their efforts on the right businesses will benefit the most from this slowdown.
As the market changes, the question becomes: what are you going to do to ensure that your business continues to grow?
No matter what the market does, there are always agents who thrive. What are they doing differently? The following 12 steps are what the best agents do in a time of market transition. These steps will help you grow your business when, not if, the market changes.
1. Evaluate your business
Compile the lists and closings you’ve had over the past 24 months, and break them down to determine what works for you and what doesn’t.
What areas of your business are generating business for you?
- Sphere of influence?
- References ?
- Online leads?
What are you doing that isn’t working?
Evaluate activities that you are spending time or money on that are not performing as well.
We are often so busy that we don’t stop to assess exactly what is bringing the business and what activities are not generating activity. Once you have identified the activities that offer you opportunities, choose the winning strategies and eliminate the others.
2. Keep in touch with your old customers
Check in with clients, especially if you haven’t communicated with them for a while. Ask them how they are and start the conversation without an agenda in mind. Just be a real person.
“I just checked in with you because it’s been a crazy year, and wanted to see if you still love your home.”
These conversations help you build relationships with your customers, so they know you’re there to help them when they need you.
3. Send unsolicited CMA videos
In my opinion, there is no better strategy for agents who want to add value to their clients and their business than the Unsolicited CMA.
Record your screen using a screen recording app, like BombBomb or Zoom, by reviewing comparable homes that have sold, are under contract, and are currently on the market. Give them a range of their current value in the video and an estimate based on standard closing costs for your area of ââwhat they could get out of the sale.
Email these videos to people who have mentioned they might sell in the future, to your past buyers, to people you have met at open houses who own a home in the same neighborhood and all. other owner that you have in your database.
With prices escalating as they have over the past year or so, many homeowners are curious about how their home’s value has been affected. I did one every day I worked in the last quarter of 2018, and listed $ 11 million straight from the 72 video CMAs.
Send one every day and you’ll generate new business now and for months to come.
4. Evaluate your expenses
Survey all the subscriptions and other tools that you pay for each month but don’t use. Cancel these subscriptions, even if they only cost $ 10 per month. I have seen agents free up as little as $ 50 and some as much as $ 500 per month by evaluating their credit card statements and eliminating these subscription products.
5. Learn a new skill
Identify a skill you would like to have and spend time learning how to do it. You can learn how to use social media, grow your farm, use video in your marketing, or any other skill you want to develop.
We are living in a fantastic time in history. We have the resources available at our fingertips to learn everything we’d like to know in the information age.
Enjoy podcasts, YouTube, books, blogs and countless other tools to become an expert in skills that will help you grow your business.
A simple Google or YouTube search like “How (whatever you want to learn)” is all you need to find an unlimited number of people willing to teach the skill you want.
6. Double up on farming
Agriculture is a basic strategy for business growth, so if you don’t already have a neighborhood where you are the local expert and resource, find one. If you already have a farm, add another.
Look for a neighborhood that does not have a dominant player and that will become more valuable to you if you invest time and resources in it.
Use traditional methods such as direct mail, âcome from a listâ and âjust soldâ flyers, door-to-door, prospecting circles and organizing open houses. But also, get creative with how you can add value to your farming neighborhood through activities like coordinating a food truck party or a fall neighborhood festival.
If possible, create an email list of neighborhood owners and use routine communication to stay on top of the list.
Agriculture is essential to the growth of your business.
7. Network with feeder market agents
Is there a particular region that people regularly leave to settle in your area? There is a lot of money to be made by finding food market agents who will send you referrals.
Build relationships with agents in those markets by introducing you and offering to pay them a higher than normal referral fee for the clients they send to you.
Send them freebies and make phone calls to find out how you can help them with their businesses. Relationships are vital to receiving a constant flow of referrals, and food markets are an opportunity that many agents overlook.
8. Shoot more video
Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Since a video is frame after frame, I’d say it’s worth a million words. Use video is vitally important today, and I believe it will be even more so in the future.
The more videos you shoot, the better you’ll get there and your personality will shine.
Wondering what to shoot? here is some ideas:
- Market updates (especially useful during market changes
- Virtual open house
- Neighborhood presentation videos
- The story of your favorite transaction
- The funniest story of your transaction
These are just a few ideas, but the key is to take action: start shooting videos (or shoot more videos).
9. Expand your market knowledge
Become the most knowledgeable agent in your market when it comes to market statistics. Dive deep into the market so you can easily deliver value to prospects who need your expertise.
- How has the price evolved in your market over the past 10 years?
- How has the price changed on your farm over the past 10 years?
- How has the price changed over the past year or even last spring?
- How has the average number of days in the market changed?
- What trends do you see developing?
- How do this year’s sales compare to sales for the same month last year?
Understand the data related to your market, then use tools like videos to share it with your audience. Your expertise will build trust and deepen relationships with people who are looking for their permanent agent.
10. Having conversations with tenants
The difference between the cost of renting and buying has never been greater, so many renters can buy a home and pay less money each month than they would if they were renting. Add to that the tax benefits and the financial investment of the property, and it’s a better situation all around. Renters should know this information.
Look for websites or your MLS that show homes that were rented eight or nine months ago. Most residential leases are for 12 months, so these tenants are probably starting to wonder what their next move will be after their lease expires. Your communication with them could be something like this:
âI see you signed this lease about nine months ago, and I’m assuming it’s a 12 month lease. I was just wondering if you had considered buying because your mortgage payment as a homeowner might be less than the monthly rental fee for a house of the same size.
11. Check back with buyers
Find buyers who have been frustrated because they failed multiple offer negotiations over the past year. Inventories are increasing in many parts of the country. Get back to those buyers and see if they want to resume their search due to the changing market.
Let them know that the market has changed a bit and that may work in their favor.
12. Set up a system every month
As the market slows down a bit, we’ll have time to catch our breath and be intentional about our business. Putting systems in place that will keep you in a position to thrive no matter what the market does.
- Create checklists to make sure you don’t miss any milestones with new announcements.
- Develop a follow-up system to keep in touch with old customers.
- Design checklists that will take you from contract to close.
- Create a content calendar that streamlines your social media posts.
The market is constantly changing and agents who work in their businesses and focus on successful activities will benefit the most from this downturn. Try different things to see what works best for you, and look for ways to reach out while others might opt ââout.
Jimmy Burgess is the Director of Growth for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.