Can real estate pros thrive when the economy is in a mess? When extreme inflation and rising mortgage interest rates are causing an upheaval in the real estate market?
I learned last week that in the space of just a couple of months, the Phoenix market flipped from a sellers market to being a buyers market. Wow, after all these years of sellers being in charge, that’s shocking.
But real estate pros can still thrive.
The real estate market has gone up and down many times over the years, and those agents who made the effort have thrived throughout it all. That’s the clue – it will take some effort. And if you’re an agent who isn’t afraid of hard work, that will be good for you. Agents who don’t want to make the effort will drop out!
Here, in general are 6 ways real estate pros can thrive. We’ll break these down in a minute.
- Remaining visible and in touch
- Staying abreast of market fluctuations
- Adding to your education
- Targeting the right homeowners
- Prospecting consistently
- Sending the right message to prospects
Remaining visible and in touch will be important to your success.
Unless you stay in touch, some of your past clients and people in your sphere may assume that this economy has caused you to drop out of real estate. Don’t let them think so! Stay in touch with letters, emails, phone calls, and occasional in-person visits.
Note: Don’t make every contact a sales message. Instead, be informative or entertaining, then remind them that you’re there for them any time they need you. If you don’t know what to say, use my Event-themed Keeping in Touch Letters. If you call or stop by, be interested in them and what’s going on in their lives. Never make it all about you.
Remain visible in your territory by attending local events, frequenting the local coffee shops, attending school sporting events, and volunteering with your favorite non-profits. Talk about real estate without being “salesy” and do take time to answer questions about the market.
Real estate pros who thrive are visible on line…
Keep your personal agent website and your blog up to date and filled with good information.
Keep doing what you’ve been doing on Facebook and other social media sites. If you haven’t been doing much, start now. Report on changes in the market. Promote your listings. Celebrate your closings. Share advice for buyers and sellers. And be upbeat!
Staying abreast of market fluctuations is more important than ever.
Make yourself valuable to buyers and sellers by always being in the know. Pay attention to everything going on in your market so you can shift your advice as the market changes. And keep records. You may need to say something like this to a seller: “Yes, that was the case last month. Here’s how things have changed since then.” Then show them the hard facts.
We’re already hearing about prices coming down. If that continues, some sellers will have a tough time accepting reality. Prepare yourself to be sympathetic, yet firm, when you tell them what they need to know. It will do no one any good if you let them talk you into listing at a price at which their house will not sell.
Adding to your education will help you thrive.
Take some classes to learn about a niche you haven’t considered or add to your skills in writing, photography, negotiating, or staging. The more you know, the more valuable you will be to your clients. And being valuable is what makes some real estate pros thrive. Besides, stretching your brain is good exercise.
Target the right homeowners / send the right messages
There are two groups of homeowners who will sell: Those who want to sell and those who must.
Stop and think about what will motivate sellers to take action in this economy.
Sellers who don’t have to sell may be motivated by:
- A strong desire to move nearer their families
- A strong desire to move to a different climate
- A wish to downsize or upgrade
- Changes in their neighborhood that displease them
Others must sell for reasons such as:
- Military or corporate relocation
- Job loss, illness, or the death of a breadwinner, resulting in the inability to make payments
- Lack of resources to make necessary repairs
- Inability to continue living alone
You can’t know which homeowners have a private, personal reason for wanting to sell, but you can determine why others might be eager to do so.
Divorce and Probate
Divorce and probate are obvious, and you can obtain lists both through services and by accessing public records. You can also develop relationships with attorneys who will refer business to you.
If you enjoy working with homeowners who are being relocated, you can learn about neighborhoods that are largely populated by military personnel and or by employees who work for specific corporations. Since you don’t know each homeowner’s individual situation, use letters geared to a geographic territory. Your letters might include a P.S. along the lines of “Relocating soon? Call or write to learn how my added services can make it easier for you.”
Since you don’t know which of those homeowners have already been given notice to relocate, use your website and your social media sites to attract them.
If you’re interested in helping those people, you can devote a page on your website to the problems and solutions around relocating – and relocating in a hurry. You can also write blog posts – even relate stories about how you helped past clients in specific situations. Then, add a capture form with an invitation similar to the suggested P.S. above. Follow up with messages such as my Letters to Homeowners Who Need to Move Soon.
Run down properties / declining neighborhoods
If you have investor buyers and you’re interested in listing physically distressed properties, or properties in declining neighborhoods, drive around and collect addresses. Then send our “I have a cash buyer” letters.
Inability to continue living alone
Homeowners facing the inability to live alone don’t want to hear that you know that – and in many cases you won’t know it. So use the Senior Relocation letters that acknowledge a variety of reasons why they might want to relocate, without making any assumptions.
You should be able to purchase lists of senior homeowners, and you can also target senior communities.
Inability to make payments
Once again, use your website, blog, and social media sites to let people know that you’re there to help them. You can also purchase lists and/or watch legal notices for homeowners who have received a notice of default. I offer 3 kinds of Notice of Default letters on my prospecting letters page under “prospecting to homeowners in distress.”
For agents who don’t have a steady stream of referrals and repeat clients, prospecting consistently is and has been the most reliable way for a real estate pro to thrive.
Mailing (or emailing) to the same people over and over keeps you on their minds. Sending good information repeatedly keeps them looking forward to hearing from you and learning to trust you. The result is that you will be the person they think of when they want to buy or sell.
Pairing your good messages with a website filled with useful information is even better. So is maintaining an informative and entertaining blog.
Yes, real estate pros can also thrive by working with buyers.
I just heard on Monday that pending real estate sales are at their lowest level since 2010, and it is easy to understand why.
Rising interest rates combined with high inflation are taking a big bite out of people’s budgets. That fact has put some would-be buyers out of the market. In spite of that, it’s still wise for those who can to purchase a home, and that’s the message you need to be sending.
Owning is still better than renting.
It’s still wise because along with interest rates, rental rates will rise. You know the old saying “Charge what the traffic will bear,” and that’s just what many landlords will do.
If you can get your buyers into a house with 30-year fixed rate payments they can afford, they’ll be in a much safer position over the next few years. Rents will go up, but their payments won’t.
What if that means they need to purchase a house that’s a step down from the one they dreamed of? Isn’t it still perhaps a step up from renting? And won’t they be earning equity with every payment? Once upon a time, people purchased “starter homes.” It’s time for that to make a comeback.