As agents, we all know the real estate market is one that works in cycles.
Property demand rises and falls as do interest rates and general market sentiment.
And we’ve certainly seen a slight shift from the heady market of 2021 during the first half of this year.
In just a few short months, interest rates have risen, higher than anticipated inflation is hitting the hip pocket and the market is softening as a result.
That said, the activities of real estate remain the same, as do the skills required of an agent.
People still need to buy and sell property. In fact, demand for property remains high. But agent skills are now more critical than ever before.
So how can you ensure you thrive not just survive in a softening market?
Follow the client
With our industry now swinging its doors open to a changing market, we’ve witnessed a dramatic response.
It’s no secret there’s been a reduction of activity as buyers’ and sellers’ confidence wanes.
We must remind ourselves of that good old ‘economic cliff’ prediction of 2020. It proved a panicked prediction, not a market reality.
And we are in a similar transition right now. As the media spruiks doom and gloom, it’s important to remember, agents are at the coalface of the market, and that market has always shown its resilience.
Our role is to follow the client and educate them about what’s really going on.
It’s time to connect with your community, offer an accurate and authentic insight and get back to basics on great customer education and service.
What questions do people in your marketplace have? What are their major concerns? Where are they at in the property journey and what are the roadblocks that are holding them back?
Now is the time to be relevant and engaged – to follow and interact with your marketplace long before a prospect becomes an actual client.
It’s all about the face to face
Technology has proven an incredible asset for the real estate industry over the past couple of years.
But now people are craving the authenticity of a human connection along with expert knowledge and reassurance.
This is the time to make yourself available, to understand your buyers’ and sellers’ needs, and to quell their concerns.
Make no mistake, technology is here to stay. All the tools that rolled out during the course of a pandemic remain relevant. But right now, agents need to also amplify the human element.
Sellers are seeking options. They are screaming for guidance. The agent who has their back takes their corner, and has the tough conversations is the one they will seek for trusted service.
You are the brand
While new technology has become entrenched and the property market has slightly shifted, one trend continues to remain the same: it’s about the agent, not the real estate brand.
I’ve long believed technology will never truly replace the role of the agent in the selling process.
The real estate transaction is emotionally charged and there’s no piece of technology that could ever handle this better than an empathetic and experienced human.
I also believe the authentic connection an individual agent forges with their marketplace is far more important and relevant than the signage on their door.
Right now, both these beliefs play into the heart of the market reality.
Buyers and sellers need experienced, empathetic real estate experts to guide them, and these are often individual agents they resonate with who provide local insight, market expertise and a proven track record.
It’s not about the tech. It’s not about the brand. It’s about the agent who listens, understands, knows the market, and guides their clients through a market transition while drawing on all their skills to assist.
Markets will come and go
Market peaks will subside, and troughs will ease, but the true art of real estate involves being able to navigate any market in the knowledge the needs of your client remain the same.
It’s about market knowledge, authenticity, great service and a human connection.
And at times like the present, opportunity lies in getting back to basics and ensuring these skills shine through.