Who will survive in this market? This is a great question to ask because right now a lot of principals and sales professionals are questioning how to be successful in a shifting market. Start planning your success now. Story by Michael Sheargold.
Many agents will exit the business not because they can’t be successful, primarily because they don’t have a pathway to move them from ‘where they are at’ to ‘where they want to be’. For example, the number of agents who have been in the industry in Australia for less than ten years is huge. Most have only sold in predominately a sellers’ market.
A sellers’ market means we’re dealing with owners who (for the most part) make a profit with every property transaction. It’s also a market where sale prices are heading in an upward direction and virtually everything that an agency lists will be sold.
When I look into my real estate crystal ball for the next couple of years at least, things will be patchy at best.
An important point – if I look at all the great career agents I’ve coached over the years, each and every one of them will tell me that a tougher selling market is where they really honed and developed their selling skills.
The interesting thing is you can take the skills from a buyers’ market and apply them to a sellers’ market and you’ll be highly successful. The challenge is though, if you take the skills from a sellers’ market and apply them to a buyers’ market, your success will be short-lived at best!
So what’s the plan?
1. Become massively dollar productive
Hopefully you’re already familiar with the term dollar productive activities. Really everything you do in your day is either moving you closer to your goals or further away from them. You need to hone in on the results producing activities in this market.
The other key is you understanding the difference between short and long term dollar productive activities. The two lists below give you a great insight to them. Give yourself a rating from 1 being poor to 10 being brilliant on each of them.
- Listing appointments
- Seller management
- Buyer management
- Open homes
- Private showings
- Training and role playing
- Property-centric prospecting
- Networking with VIPs
- Nurturing existing relationships
- Results and profile marketing
- Pipeline management
- Market knowledge
Results and success tracking
Here’s the challenge with most agents today: They are doing an okay job of the short-term dollar productive but are lousy with the super important long-term dollar productive activities. The main issue here is the short-term is all about you responding to others’ needs while the long-term has to be self initiated and generated by you. This has a HUGE amount to do with shifting from a reactive ‘waiter’ just hanging in the background to a massively proactive sales professional.
2. Be a brilliant relationship nurturer
Many sales agents miss this key to unlocking an exceptional flow of referrals – for both buyers and sellers. Most agents either lack a system to keep in touch or the discipline to make this part of their week. Either way, it’s an essential recession-proofing strategy.
Feeling guilty? Well it’s time to reconnect with your contacts by picking up the phone and saying, “Hello – it’s been ages since we’ve touched base, how are you enjoying the property?” You see, real estate is like farming so get nurturing!
3. Be an aggressive business generator
The fish are biting but you gotta go fishing! If someone told you this and you didn’t take on their advice and kept fishing the same way in the same spot and expecting some shift in results – that would be crazy!
While I don’t normally associate the word aggressive with real estate success, it seems the best word that fits. I want you to step up and become aggressive in uncovering and discovering opportunities.
4. Become a listing legend
It’s interesting, I have never seen an agent’s results be better than how well they can list property. If there was an area to further hone your presentation and rapport skills it is at the listing. Now it’s essential that you bring on listings in a way that sets them up for the sale (obvious right?). The challenge is when I visit offices or discuss with agents their current stock, they fall into two categories – the first are genuine listings and the second are liabilities. So the key here is not just listing strongly, it’s listing property and educating the owners as to where their property sits in the current market.
5. Deliver exceptional seller management
Your client should never need to call you during the marketing of their property. This includes the right mix of face-to-face meetings, phone calls and written reports so your owners are always in the know. Maybe brainstorm this point with colleagues in your office and discuss how you can improve the way you look after and inform your sellers.
6. Be a brilliant buyer manager
“Who moved my cheese?” If you haven’t read the book, then race out and grab a copy. In fact, if you do a search on youtube you’ll find some videos talking about it. You can almost replace the word “cheese” with “buyers”! Who moved my buyers? Many agents have not changed their approach to buyers for this market. I see great agents who have not modified their buyer management and engagement strategies and are wondering why their results are poor. Hello!!!
7. Be with a great brand and leader who is committed to your success
This is key in the market we’re in. You need to be with a leader who is not hiding from the market but who is all about getting out there and making it happen. If there’s something additional you need or you think would make a difference to the results you’re achieving, then discuss them with your principal. You need to think that it is your
business within a business too, so be prepared to invest in your own success.
My final tip here is to share this article and the insights you’ve gained with others in the profession. My goal in coaching real estate professionals is to see the standard of service and results raise dramatically in a way that you will be extremely well rewarded for your expertise and professionalism. Here’s to a strong year ahead!