Resilience rewarded: seizing opportunities in a tough market

The harsh reality is that in 2023 you have to do more to get less.

It might seem like a negative note to start the article with but it isn’t meant to dishearten, but rather to empower.

You may wonder how this statement is empowering but it can liberate you from feeling like a failure, like you’re the only one who is facing the same persistent struggles.

There is also a way to turn things around.

It’s wise to start by taking a look at what’s driving this situation.

You don’t have to dig too far to uncover the source of discomfort.

There is a lack of confidence among consumers due to the shift in economic landscape, rising inflation and interest rates along with much speculation about what this all means.

The fight or flight response is triggered, or with some, maybe the response is to freeze.

It’s easy to understand people are concerned, rising interest rates pose a very real threat that the commitment a buyer may be about to make could be unsustainable.

This perception drives a belief among sellers that now might not be a good time to sell.

Even if your customers are living in a pocket of the market that hasn’t been affected by pricing corrections, their perception is that they have. 

How do you counter this?

I think the answer comes in understanding your power to influence and taking advantage of the thirds rule.

Firstly, your influence.  

The number one market tool that a real estate agent has at their disposal is the ability to talk directly to their customer base.

We know where our customers live, we have their contact information and we have our distinct advantage of being able to build trust if we embrace the long-term commitment to building relationships over time.

You see, the way to win in this industry isn’t to have the best website, glossiest advertising and most clicks on social media platforms, it’s by having real relationships with human beings.

The best way to do that is through the art of conversation.

This art isn’t required during a boom, being present is possibly the main criteria to success when it’s raining listings, but as things normalise you need to remind yourself that offering a market appraisal isn’t seen as valuable in the eyes of approximately 90 to 95 per cent of the population.

During rising markets, it’s sufficient to simply state your place of business and many home owners will be curious to talk to you, maybe even take you up on your offer of a price update. 

As property market news becomes more negative, it’s natural for home owners to eschew a conversation with a real estate agent.

‘Why would we want to sell when everything’s crashing?’

You have to create another opportunity for a conversation that isn’t attached to whether a local wants to know how much their home is worth, you have to be a bit more creative.

As an active real estate professional, the currency you have is local market knowledge.

Inside information about micro-trends and pricing fluctuations.

You are at the coal face of the property market, you have the opportunity to report directly to your customers on that. 

The other commodity many local experts have is community insight.

What development plans are sitting with council, what community activities are coming up and what property may be coming up for sub-division, possibly an off-market opportunity?

When you start to think about calling your customers to talk about things that affect them as a home owner rather than a home seller it puts a very different spin on things and forces you to become more engaging.

You’ve got to make your community want to take your call because your conversations are so valuable.

Written reports, newsletters and market updates are highly valuable marketing opportunities, but please remember it’s not the document that builds the relationship, it’s merely the excuse for you to make the phone call to build the relationship.

The final piece is to remember the third rule of business.

That is, in any market there will always be one-third of people/businesses who are growing, one-third that are stagnant and one-third that are going backwards.

You don’t have to accept that the market’s retraction equals your own business retreating.

Yes, you have to make more calls to find the same amount of opportunities, but there are still plenty of opportunities out there.

Which third are you in?

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Bianca Denham

Bianca Denham is the Head of Performance and Recognition for the leading property group Ray White