It’s a weird time to be a real estate agent, and I see it all around me here in the Denver metro.
Brokers who rode the proverbial wave of real estate during the pandemic and have now had to reroute or pivot to figure out how to navigate a market that was once boasting the lowest rates in decades are disoriented.
For those of us who have spent most of our careers in real estate, we know what it’s like to be part of a feast or famine industry.
But what happens to real estate agents when the market shifts and goes down? When people are less apt to buy and sell property? What happens when unstable income gets even more unreliable?
The reality is that in real estate, success is not exclusively tied to a booming market, though the headlines would have us all believe otherwise.
In fact, some of the most successful real estate agents have thrived even more when times are tough. Surviving and thriving in a down market necessitates a unique blend of skills and strategies.
To make it in such an environment, real estate professionals must embrace the following elements: visibility, systems, consistency, education and prospecting, along with a commitment to being an actual expert in their field.
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these elements below.
1. Visibility: Making your presence known
In a down housing market, it goes without saying that visibility is crucial. Your prospective clients need to know hat you’re a real estate agent and you’re still an active player in the field.
You haven’t thrown in the towel nor are you “only doing it” if your cousin’s kid is looking for a first-time buy. Establishing and maintaining your visibility involves actively engaging with potential clients, networking and participating in the local real estate community.
Consistently being active on social media is still the most effective way to enhance your visibility.
Read about what’s going on in the market. Share your insights about it on your stories or your statuses, offer tips for buyers and sellers and showcase your expertise. Regularly updated profiles on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter can serve as a digital business card, making it easier for potential clients to find you.
2. Systems: The power of CRM
A strong Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is also a secret weapon in a slower market. While we all know it’s essential to generate new leads, it’s equally crucial to nurture those existing relationships so they don’t get an email from you and think to themselves “huh, where’d I meet that person?”
A CRM helps you organize your contacts, track interactions and set reminders for follow-ups. This ensures that no lead falls through the cracks, allowing you to maintain a consistent and personal connection with your clients.
Right now, I’m on the train of sending one email a week to prospective clients. Enough to keep them seeing my name, but not enough to bombard them and get sent to the dreaded spam folder.
Actively following up on your CRM is key. Your clients are facing an uncertain market, and they’ll appreciate the reassurance that comes from dedicated follow-up efforts.
3. Consistency: The steady path to getting what you want
Because real estate isn’t a nine-to-five job, consistency is the backbone of success in this field, especially during challenging markets. You’ve got to reach out to your sphere of influence and stay engaged with the broader market.
Maintaining a regular presence in your clients’ lives ensures that they think of you when they decide to buy or sell and don’t call the guy they met down the street a few weeks ago.
Consistency doesn’t just apply to your outreach efforts; it also extends to your work ethic. Word-of-mouth will always be your best asset, but you got to make sure it’s a positive one.
Keep delivering high-quality service, even when the market is slow. This reputation for reliability will set you apart from others and build trust with clients.
4. Education: Becoming the expert
To thrive in a slower market, you need to be an expert in your field. This means understanding not only the market’s current state but also its history and future trends. Being well-informed allows you to guide your clients effectively, helping them make informed decisions that protect their investments.
Education involves continuous learning. I think that’s the thing most missed with agents. We take our tests, pass them, then think we’re done or that we can learn everything on the fly. But, it’s just not that easy.
We’ve got to attend industry conferences, take courses and read books and articles related to real estate. If you’re with a brokerage, ask them what mentorship opportunities they have available. The more you have to pull from, the better equipped you’ll be to navigate the complexities of a down market. And the more potential clients will trust you.
5. Prospecting: Growing your business
Prospecting is the lifeblood of any real estate business, regardless of market conditions. This can involve hosting open houses, reaching out to your sphere of influence and networking with other professionals in the industry.
Joining networks, clubs and groups specific to your real estate market can significantly expand your reach. Don’t underestimate this even if you’re one who would rather be on the couch than out at a brewery networking with others. Even in a slow market, there are still buyers and sellers out there.
Succeeding as a real estate agent has and always will demand a combination of hard work and commitment. You must become an expert in your field, consistently provide value to your clients, and actively work to grow your business. The market may be challenging, but there are always opportunities for those who are dedicated.
Ultimately, it all comes down to maintaining a visible online presence, leveraging CRM systems to stay organized, and adhering to a rigorous schedule of outreach and follow-up.
The path to continued success as a real estate agent may be challenging, but it’s far from impossible. Business is always adapting but there are key tools that will help you succeed in any market. Stick to the foundations then build other pieces on top!
Bret Weinstein is the CEO and Founder at Guide Real Estate in Denver, Colorado.