– The old way of doing business is over and agents need to adapt to market challenges and opportunities.
– Agents should take a slow and methodical approach to growing their business, even in uncertain markets.
– Planning ahead and nurturing relationships with clients and potential clients is essential for long-term success.
– Agents should stay the course and not abandon the practices that have worked for them in the past.
– Building a strong support team and utilizing technology can help agents focus on their clients.
– Connecting with people and creating memorable touchpoints is important for building lasting relationships.
– Agents should start putting in the work today to see results in the future.
Somehow, Q4 is here. And while the “high season” for home sales may be winding down, it is by no means time for agents to take their foot off the gas pedal. In fact, what they do now will likely determine their success in 2024.
Thinking about the whirlwind real estate market we’ve experienced over the last few years, here are five things every agent can start doing today to ensure their business will thrive next year.
1. Be a tortoise
2023 has been a year of shifting market dynamics. Interest rates and inflation have certainly shaped the real estate market, with varying regional impacts across the country. Markets will fluctuate, but methodical, strategic, and yes, sometimes slow growth is the only way to ensure your business will continue to thrive regardless of these external variables. Or as I like to think of it, being a tortoise.
With this approach, I was able to expand our business with two new locations in the Atlanta market this year, which on paper, wouldn’t seem like an ideal time to be investing in new office space and expansion.
However, because I have taken a slow, methodical approach to growing my business over the past five years, I was able to move in a market of opportunity, when other agents and brokers were perhaps pulling back on spending and being conservative with growth investments.
2. Plan ahead
Be it snail mail, digital campaigns, or outreach to old clients, marketing initiatives won’t yield results overnight. As agents, we must plant these seeds over time and continue to nurture relationships with current and potential clients all the time, especially during “down” markets. If you wait until an “ideal” market to start your marketing initiatives, you’re already behind.
As an agent, slower markets signal to me that it’s time to double down on nurturing relationships, a strategy that has served me well when the market rebounds and people are ready to move real estate. I’ve put in the work, so I can hit the ground running.
3. Stay the course
The real challenge for the tortoise is when things are going great. It can be tempting to table some of the best practices that have gotten you through slower markets and just sell, sell, sell as fast as you can. However, even during the best of times, and the market is optimistic for 2024, it’s all the more important to focus on doing the work methodically.
This means executing the fast-paced art of closing the best deals for clients, finding the most exclusive listings and honing your sales expertise, but it also means investing in marketing, creating regular touchpoints with clients and prospects, investing in your own professional development and being diligent throughout.
Don’t abandon the foundational elements that have served you well to this point. By staying the course, you will be prepared when the market inevitably turns again, whether that’s five months or five years down the road.
4. Build a strong support team
In order to maintain a laser focus on current, former and potential clients, agents need to have a strong support team around them.
While you’re out there nurturing relationships, working your network, holding and attending brokers’ opens, and helping clients through the process of buying or selling their home, a team of experts and the right technology can and should automate and support different parts of your business.
For example, digital drip campaigns, mailings, social media presence, documentation, filings and beyond. Remember, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
5. Connect with people, and the clients will come
In my experience, I’ve found that there comes a moment for every agent when it feels like nothing is happening. They’re putting in the work, investing in marketing, and diligently following through on every potential lead, and yet, nothing is popping for them.
When this happens, I say keep going. Don’t stop putting forth the effort no matter how pointless it can feel at times. Keep doing what you are doing and don’t quit because it’s not working fast enough.
Sure enough, I will eventually get the call that all of that work and effort is finally paying off. These agents are so glad they continued to push through even when the results weren’t immediate. While connecting with people takes time and multiple touch points, it results in lifelong clients and amazing word of mouth.
Taking a “people first, clients second” approach to cultivating your business means creating memorable touchpoints that stick with someone long after the interaction. For example, one of our agents handed out branded corkscrews and mini bottles of wine to parents taking their kids trick-or-treating. We’ve also had agents hold events at pumpkin patches during the fall season for pumpkin picking and photo opportunities for children and pets.
Another of our agents leaves behind one of her pens at every restaurant she visits. Connecting with members of your community on the topics that matter most to them is a slow but sure way to build a roster of lasting relationships.
Get started today
As the real estate industry weathers the last few months of 2023, remember that slow and methodical planning will allow your business to thrive in a changing market. In moments of constriction, most agents will pull back. But, with the proper diligence and planning, the most successful agents will lean in and double down on business during these times, taking advantage of market opportunities that others aren’t able to.
A successful real estate career is most certainly a long game, but worth it. Start putting in the work today to see results in 2024 and beyond.
Christa Huffstickler is the founder and CEO of the top-performing Engel & Völkers Atlanta. Christa is the winner of the Atlanta Homebuilders Association’s Obie Award and is regularly recognized among Atlanta’s most powerful business leaders. Christa ranks in the top ten Engel & Völkers license partners and advisors worldwide. Connect with her at Instagram or LinkedIn.
Property Chomp's Take:
The real estate market has experienced significant shifts and challenges over the past few years. As we enter the final quarter of 2023, it is important for agents to continue pushing forward and preparing for the future. In order to ensure success in 2024, here are five things every agent can start doing today:
1. Be a tortoise: The real estate market is constantly changing, influenced by factors such as interest rates and inflation. To thrive in any market, it is essential to take a slow and methodical approach to growing your business. This allows you to make strategic decisions and take advantage of opportunities that others may miss. By staying consistent and focused on long-term growth, you can ensure your business will continue to thrive regardless of external variables.
2. Plan ahead: Marketing initiatives take time to yield results. Whether it's through snail mail, digital campaigns, or outreach to old clients, planting seeds and nurturing relationships is crucial even during slower markets. Don't wait for an "ideal" market to start your marketing efforts. By consistently investing in marketing and relationship-building, you'll be prepared to hit the ground running when the market rebounds.
3. Stay the course: Even during prosperous times, it is important to stick to the foundational elements that have served you well. While it may be tempting to abandon best practices and focus solely on selling as fast as possible, remember the importance of methodical work. By executing the art of closing deals, finding exclusive listings, and honing your sales expertise, you are setting yourself up for success in the long run. Don't abandon what has worked for you in the past.
4. Build a strong support team: To maintain focus on your clients, it is essential to have a strong support team around you. Utilize technology and automation to streamline parts of your business, allowing you to focus on nurturing relationships and providing the best service to your clients. By leveraging the expertise of others, you can ensure that no aspect of your business is neglected.
5. Connect with people: Building lasting relationships is key to a successful real estate career. Even when it feels like nothing is happening, keep putting forth the effort to connect with people. This may involve multiple touchpoints and a slow-building process, but it will result in lifelong clients and word-of-mouth referrals. Find unique ways to connect with your community and leave a lasting impression.
As we approach the end of 2023, remember that success in real estate is a long game. By taking a slow and methodical approach, planning ahead, staying consistent, building a strong support team, and connecting with people, you can ensure that your business will thrive in the future. Start implementing these strategies today to see results in 2024 and beyond.