Even with many potential sellers going to ground during the recent pandemic, top real estate agents are finding creative ways to build relationships, ferret out listings, close sales and fine-tune their businesses. An agent’s key to success is remaining agile and focusing on the advantages rather than the limitations imposed.
With so many people homebound, it gave time for homeowners to really reflect on their living situations. While some realized they were financially over their heads and needed to make a change, others determined they needed larger or different housing options by downsizing, right-sizing or even moving to different communities altogether.
The big question for homeowners became “Why are we living here?”
Another advantage the pandemic provided was that the commute was reconsidered. Once companies and employees discovered how to work efficiently without having to be physically present, many homeowners decided to move without having to consider the time they would spend commuting. The new mantra for many became “Live where you want, not where you work.”
Smart agents recognized these shifts in the market early and turned to both technology and good, old-fashioned low-tech methods to stay current and active in the business.
Here are a few strategies shared by top agents on how they survive challenging markets:
1. The Sibbach Team in Arizona suggested reaching out to clients via FaceTime or by creating individual video messages and sending them via text. Reach people where they live—on their phones.
2. Texas agent Kyle Handy suggested taking advantage of a slowdown to get expenses right by eliminating anything that isn’t critical to running the business. Also, update your databases.
3. Arizona agents Kevin Kauffman and Fred Weaver went deep into cost-cutting, advising to renegotiate leases, reduce staff, focus more on existing leads than paying high fees for new ones, narrow the features on CRMs to what you really use, create more digital information to distribute instead of printing and mailing, and switching bank accounts to ones with lower fees.
4. California agent Kyle Whissel invested time and effort in improving his team’s skills at creating video messages for social media that provided real value to both buyers and sellers, drawing attention to how their services could help.
5. Texas agent Knolly Williams advised agents to pick up the phone and call everyone in their sphere of influence, their farm and their niche. The purpose of the calls was to demonstrate care and to offer suggestions of ways to handle the challenges.
6. Illinois agent Brian Ernst reached out to everyone he knew, encouraging people to check on their friends and neighbors and to let Brian know of their needs, as well as resources. He became a referral source of valuable information without directly marketing his real estate business. Yet when people had real estate questions, they knew where and how to contact him.
7. California agents Bryan and Colleen Souza invested time in writing and mailing personal notes of encouragement to clients. And, on the opposite end of the communication spectrum, took advantage of technology to highlight properties through virtual tours, challenging viewers to spot something specific. It was styled like a virtual scavenger hunt to make the tours fun and to create engagement.
8. eXp Realty Senior Vice President of Agent Experience Kirtus Dixon helped agents sharpen their skills around business planning, specifically creating a three-year picture for winning the long game rather than getting stalled during current challenges.
In summary, yesterday’s challenges will evolve into today’s successes with some creative thinking and innovation. Today’s challenges of handling multiple offers on listings and, in some instances, receiving offers way above asking prices, will cycle into something else. What’s important to remember is to remain agile and to look for the silver lining in every challenge.
Judy Slack is the director of Content at eXp University. These tips are from top-producing agents at eXp Realty. Learn more about eXp Realty.