A friend of mine is a successful real estate professional in a competitive market. We often discuss changing housing market conditions, and the pressure real estate agents are under to stay relevant in the wake of increased competition.
He built his business on an existing strong sphere. But as his business has grown, he increasingly has had to adjust and modify legacy strategies to better meet the needs of today’s market and maintain his strong foothold in the market.
He also often looks to the robust marketplace of technology tools available to help automate the mundane to ensure he stays focused on his skill set: delivering stellar customer service.
As the real estate industry changes, agents and brokers must adapt, and create new strategies — often underpinned by technology — to remain relevant and lay the foundation for long-term success.
After our discussion, I thought more about how to help real estate professionals thrive, despite continued market challenges.
Here are four key tips on how to effectively adjust your day-to-day strategies, evaluate your technology stack and modify legacy processes to stay relevant in today’s market.
1. Reflect review and set goals
Before the end of the year, start thinking about 2024 and what success might look like based on results this year and where you may have fallen short.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Where are the red flags, road bumps or missed opportunities within your business?
- What changes can you make to your day-to-day business practices, technology stack or marketing plan to help avoid these in the future?
- Consider your competition and how they have found success. Can you replicate it?
- How can you alleviate time-consuming activities to focus on the essential human elements required for success in real estate today?
Taking a step back at the end of the year to identify and address the gaps is well worth the effort to refine your business, establish yourself as a valuable resource and better meet the needs of the modern market.
2. Invest in your online presence
Today’s average consumer is savvier and more educated than ever before about real estate and where to find trusted and successful real estate partners.
It’s no surprise but, often, real estate professionals who have a strong, consistent and relevant online presence are the ones who will capture more new business than those who neglect their social persona.
While social media can be daunting, it is an essential tool in building awareness of who you are as an agent, helps to differentiate you from others in your market and gives potential homebuyers a glimpse into your personality.
It also helps to connect with prospects and build trust. Social media is an easy and effective way to showcase your skillset and proven success and lynchpin to staying relevant in 2024 and beyond.
3. Focus on lead generation
No matter what, leads are lifeblood. Without a consistent and reliable lead source, agents will is built on leads and increasing these to build a successful business.
Ask yourself: How many leads do I need and where will they come from? Budget for success when building your marketing plan.
4. Prioritize long-term conversion
While hot leads often monopolize an agent’s attention, consistent nurturing of the entire database is what will build and sustain a business. It is essential to consistently engage with all leads to stay top of mind for when the time is right.
Consider how to incorporate lead nurturing activities and strategies throughout the year to set yourself apart and consistently offer your database meaningful and valuable content to stay relevant.
Explore the options within your CRM to ensure you are maximizing all the tools the database has to offer to amplify engagement and drive even more conversions in the year ahead.
As we work through these changing times, agents and brokers must adapt to the new market, new financial models, new lead-generation tactics and how you present online. These are your keys to success and to staying relevant in your market.
How have things changed on a brokerage level? Let’s compare different brokerage models.
A traditional brokerage will offer agents a recognizable brand, a place to hang their hat and resources that have been created to help them succeed. They might offer training and career development, but it really is about the quality of the broker.
Will they invest in technology and do they have the right systems in place? Most brokers are always thinking about recruiting and retaining top talent, and they sometimes forget about the basics.
You also need to think about cost versus profit, or your monthly fees versus commission.
The new brokerage is creating different options for making money. They really focus on helping eliminate the administrative tasks for agents. Their main goal is to attract consumers with strong lead generation, connecting these leads with agents and offering some form of referral programs.
They make sure agents spend their time selling real estate instead of getting bogged down on administrative tasks, delivering a better experience with a nontraditional financial model.
As the industry comes out of these hard economic times and with all the questions around commissions, the new way of thinking is far ahead and is becoming the preferred model. And it will be interesting to see how fast the old traditional brokerages will shift.
Some quick final thoughts on what you can do today to build a strong real estate business:
- Be seen and get found online.
- Create a network of referral partners.
- Create multiple lead streams. If you’re not hitting your goals, consider paid leads.
- Increase your GCI and earn more commission.
- Close more deals long-term from your database management.
- Put the right systems in place that are heavily AI-driven to do some of the heavy lifting.
- Consider managing rentals; think about short-term gain versus long-term potential.
The reality is that the real estate industry is changing quickly, with a heavy focus on AI (i.e., ChatGPT). The average agent needs to spend some time learning these new ways of attracting prospects.
Keep in mind that consumers have become much more educated and will spend more time finding the right real estate professional to work with.
Stuart Sim is vice president of industry development with Chime Technologies.