Can real estate agents really thrive in 2023?
After all, the reports coming in say that real estate sales are down and we should expect them to stay down for the foreseeable future. They expect a continuation of the trend toward fewer home sales and a drop in home prices.
That makes sense, considering higher interest rates, combined with inflation and uncertainty in the stock market. Right now,both buyers and sellers are confused.
Some real estate agents thrive no matter what is happening in the economy.
Real estate has traditionally had its ups and downs. and some real estate agents have survived and thrived through all of them. During those same periods, other agents have left the business.
Which will you choose – to thrive or get out in 2023?
If you choose to stay in real estate and thrive, the first thing to remember is that now is absolutely not the time to cut back on marketing.
In fact, this is the time to ramp up your efforts to connect with new clients and to stay in touch with those past clients and people in your sphere of influence who can send new clients to you.
Your fearful competitors will be cutting back. They’ll stop prospecting. They’ll stop placing ads in publications. And because they don’t know what to say, they may even stop making phone calls to current leads, past clients, and those in their spheres of influence. They’ll forget that some people need or want to sell no matter what’s going on in the country or the world.
How can you ramp up your marketing without breaking the bank?
First, fill your website with useful information that positions you as the expert in your territory or your niche.
- Be sure your agent bio is up-to-date and that it showcases both your personality and how clients benefit from working with you.
- Add those community pages – or niche pages. Consider adding a “How I work page.” post to your blog regularly – adding even more information about your community and/or your niche. Take extra care with your property descriptions to make sure they attract buyers. *Note, the pages linked here do contain guidelines, should you choose to write them yourself.
- Stay abreast of changes in your local market, and create an interesting market report at least monthly. Send it to everyone on your email list and invite them to call or write you with questions. Post it on your website – remembering to update the page every time you write a new report! Keep track of interest rates, so you can answer if someone asks.
Then, use your website as the hub for everything else you do.
Use every other segment of your marketing to invite people to visit not just your site, but specific pages on your site. When you invite them, tell them what they can expect to find there – and make sure it is there to find!
Next, dive into:
- Prospecting – by mail, email, phone calls, and personal visits.
- Making a splash on social media
Postage is expensive, so choose your lists carefully. Consider which niches are filled with people who need to sell. Mail to them twice weekly for 3 mailings, then drop to once weekly, then monthly. Remember to remove them from the postal mailing list as soon as they’ve made contact with you. From there you can stay in touch via phone and email.
Segment your current lists.
If you have past clients who have moved from the area, put them on a list to contact quarterly rather than monthly. You aren’t trying to turn them into clients, but they could refer others to you, so send your market reports and a cheery “thinking of you” greeting. Hand-written notes go a long way toward making people feel special, so write them!
Do the same for recent buyers, but put them on a second list to telephone or visit at least once a month. Remind them that you’re there should they need a referral to a service person or advice about anything real estate related. With their permission, email your monthly market reports to them.
Keep in mind that if they’ve been in your area for a while, they’re likely to have friends in the community they could refer to you. So stay top-of-mind with them!
If you have current leads/ prospects who haven’t quite made up their minds to act, mail your market reports and a short note to them monthly, and email or call weekly. Make sure they think of you first when they make that decision to sell. In addition to market reports, send them tips on getting ready to sell.
My seller advice letter set would be a good choice for them. If you let them know to expect them, you can send these 18 messages via email to save money.
What about buyers?
If you have buyer leads, do send market reports. In addition, give them information that will be useful to them as they prepare to buy a home. My Nurturing Buyer Leads set will help if you’re unsure what to say.
- Do your homework so that you can tell them about any loan programs that might help them with their down payment or closing costs.
- Keep abreast of interest rates from day to day.
- Watch your MLS carefully, so that if there is a price reduction on a house that might interest them, you can let them know right away.
To thrive in 2023, get out in public!
Before homes started selling within days and before the pandemic restricted our lives, agents got out among their prospective clients. If you have extra time right now, you can get back to that. Remember to wear something that indicates your role as a real estate agent. Those who are interested will ask you about real estate. So have your business cards handy!
- Attend their yard sales
- Attend school sports events
- Stop for lunch at local cafes
- Shop in their boutiques
- Try door-knocking – Just introduce yourself, give them a copy of your market report, and let them know you’ll always be glad to answer their questions about real estate. Use door hangers when residents aren’t home.
Be careful what you send…
Market reports are always interesting to anyone interested in real estate. Beyond that, if you want to thrive in 2023, be sure your message is focused on them, not you.
Avoid the temptation to tell them how wonderful you are, and don’t say “I need listings!” Offer to answer questions and be of service. If you are marketing to a niche, be sure to keep sending good information related to that niche.
If you don’t know what to say, visit my prospecting letters page and choose one or more sets of letters to fit your target audience or audiences.
Remember to use just listed cards. These are seen as more of a public service than an advertisement, so they help build goodwill among neighborhood homeowners.
To thrive in 2023 – Go all out on social media.
Choose one or two of your favorite platforms, then go all out to thrive in 2023!
Blog about your new listings of course, but don’t stop there. Provide information from your market reports and from other research you’re doing. Talk about the loan programs that help buyers, and write about topics related to your niche or your neighborhood.
Tell interesting stories about things that happen when you’re on a listing appointment. You don’t want to name names or tell stories about your customers, but you can talk about things you see that are different or interesting. and if you showed a listing that’s not your own, you can certainly tell how funny it was when someone came to the door in their underwear.
If there are new subdivisions being built in your area, write about them. Tell how many homes are being built, and the price range they’re in. if it will be a community with a clubhouse, a pool, tennis courts, etc, talk about that.
If a reader leaves a comment, be sure to respond. When appropriate, send a personal message.
And always, always invite your social media friends back to specific pages on your website to learn more.
Always remain upbeat! Whatever you do, don’t talk about how slow the market is, how few buyers there are, or how few sellers want to sell. Even if that’s how you’re feeling, don’t say it. Save those worries to share with your families.
Tom Hopkins said that when anyone asks you about the real estate market, even if it’s in a terrible slump, your answer should be an enthusiastic “Unbelievable!”Then change the subject to something about them.