In challenging economies, our sense of net worth and emotional stability very often rise and fall like the stock market ticker on our television screens.
Finding that much-desired feeling of empowerment and security may seem tougher to come by, but by shifting your view to what is possible, you find enormous opportunity. The value of your stock is not based on what is, but upon your response to what is. Top agents rely on action, tenacity and good old fashioned people skills to keep their stock high and their stress to a minimum.
Building your “stock” in today’s market has much more to do with your daily activities than your investment portfolio. A great number of successful businesses and extraordinary entrepreneurs are born from tough markets. The question is, will you be one of them? In this economy it’s important for serious real estate professionals to tap into what can be done NOW – that means, investing in yourself, your business, and your future. Here are four key strategies to ensure that your “stock” is on the rise.
Build your inventory. It is listings that drive this business. Your income is determined by your inventory. For example, if you only have a handful of listings, you can’t with any certainty “bank” on closing transactions this month. However, if you maintain an inventory of 15-20 or more listings, and they are PRICED right, you can trust that you’ll have a steady flow of income. Markets are always in flux and when sales contracts are suddenly on the rise and buyers are on the move, there is opportunity for those who are prepared. By keeping your inventory in place, you are positioned to capitalize on these market shifts. Whose listings they purchase is entirely up to you!
Price them right. We’ve touched on it already, but pricing has never been more critical. I’ve heard agents say, “Any listing is better than no listing,” and that couldn’t be further from the truth. We are currently in a market saturated with fence-sitters – buyers who people who are waiting out the market to buy and sellers who are waiting to sell at their price. It seems to be a perpetual game of “how low—or how high—can we go?” Overpriced listings that sit only compound the problem of an over-glutted market and damage your reputation.
Real estate guru Darryl Davis offers some great dialogue for competitive pricing: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, if the market is going down in price, we can’t price it at what the market IS; we have to price it at where the market is GOING to get it sold.” ProspectsPLUS! users are getting a lot of mileage from the Merchandising Review and Price Pyramid found in their agent marketing software. It is important to include tools and visual aids in your presentations that demonstrate the importance of pricing right. Why? They help the agent convey to sellers how critical it is to price at or below market value in today’s economy if they wish to get their home sold sooner rather than later.
Get organized! There are signs across the nation that our markets are picking up. If you don’t get organized, systemized and prioritized now – when will you EVER have a better opportunity? When business is at a full-court-press agents tend to ignore all those “little things” like staying in touch with their current book of business. Trust us when we tell you that if you don’t know who your customers are and have a system in place to remind them that you are there for them consistently; they will most definitely return the favor. Build your systems now, and they will serve you for years to come.
Build relationships. Sales skills and negotiations aside, this is and always will be a people business and people do business with those they trust. Our trying times have made consumers all the more anxious to ensure they have the best possible advocate and resources on their side. Gone are the days of just “getting by” in terms of customer service and relationship building. People expect more than they ever have and certainly have more exposure than ever to your competition because of the internet. In Gary Keller’s book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, he shares that statistically, one in every twelve people in your sphere of influence will result in a transaction per year if you’ve stayed in touch with them. Top that with the studies conducted by the National Association of Realtors which tell us that top producers credit their sphere of influence for more than 74% of their business. Marketing analysts tell us that it takes roughly $10.00 of new business to replace $1.00 of lost business. What does that tell you about where YOUR marketing dollars should be spent?
Remember, success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. Building your stock is the preparation that will position you for success. More than anything else, your best investment strategy in ANY market is an open mind, a positive perspective, a willingness to continuously fine tune your skills and connect with people. Keep growing, learning and taking action and you’ll find yourself pulling ahead of your competition and staying there.
Roberta Ross is President of Six Figure Real Estate Coach, Inc. She has been in the real estate business for more 15 years. She travels nationwide speaking to thousands of real estate professionals and coaches agents on marketing, lead generation, and business strategy. Her unique blend of business and speaking experience enables her to educate, entertain and motivate real estate professionals to achieve their goals and beyond. To get great tips and insights for your business click here to like her page!
Julie Escobar is a syndicated columnist with more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the real estate and speaking industries and is passionate about providing the tools, techniques and solutions brokers and agents need to build extraordinary careers.