May 4th, 2009 - I was talking to a million dollar real estate agent the other day about his business, which for the past 6 years has been a whirlwind of listings, multiple offers and multi-million dollar sales in the resort community he lives in. He has thousands of people in his database, few of whom were ever contacted after the transaction concluded. Thousands more slipped through the cracks of his #1 rated website for search terms for his community, because, as he put it, “there just wasn’t enough time!” He has no e-marketing strategy, no social networking presence, no postcard campaigns; he literally has nothing set up to stay in contact with the goldmine that was his client list.
Now, the sales in his market have ground to a halt, there’s a 13 month inventory of homes sitting vacant, and he spends most of his time shuffling buyers from one home to another and trying to educate them on the market and what’s available. He is having little luck getting them to jump off the fence. This is the first time in years he’s worked exclusively with buyers, and as he told me at the conclusion of our conversation, as he was discussing changing careers, “I don’t want to show another f***ing house!” Pardon his French.
Sound familiar? Are you one of the thousands of agents who joined the industry in the boom time and created a nice Rookie of the Year story for yourself? Maybe you pocketed some cash, bought a rental property or two, finally got that Mercedes? But now the market’s wound down, you’re wary of taking listings you can’t seem to get sold, money’s tight what with your loans and car payments, and even though you loathe working with them you have no choice but to jump in to the sea of Buyers and try to tread water and keep your career afloat. Oh, and you have no idea what you’re doing. You’re a Listing Agent, after all!
Look, the reality is that you’re not alone. Literally hundreds of thousands of real estate agents joined the market exactly as you did. Many made their millions and got out. Many lost their shirts (and cars, and homes) and got out. Many more are leaving in on a weekly basis even as I write this. MLS numbers are down, association renewal dues are down, and even agents who seemingly were on top of the world just a few years ago are seriously considering another line of work.
So where does this leave you? You, whose career is following the same trajectory and perhaps the same outcome?
Well, to be perfectly honest, you are in a fantastic position to seize control of your market.
Let me explain: yes, your peers are leaving in record numbers. Some agents hear will those figures and feel the edge of panic creep in, saying to themselves, “John Rockstar Agent is leaving the business!! Who am I to think I can survive in this market??” What you need to recognize is that this is GOOD NEWS. The herd is being culled! Those who do not have the ingenuity, the fortitude, the drive to succeed in this business are going to get out of your way, and leave their clients agent-less in the process! Are you going to follow them out the door, passing those homeless clients on your way out?
The thing is, even if you are uncomfortable working with buyers, even if you’ve never had someone sign a buyer-brokerage agreement, even if like my friend you “never want to show another house” you can not only save your career by working with buyers, you can build an entirely new one, and position yourself as THE expert in your area in the process. Then, when the market picks back up, guess what? You’ll have the buyers and the listings. What better position could you be in?
The key to overcoming your discomfort or displeasure of working with buyers is to figure out what you don’t know, or don’t like about the process, and then solve that problem, preferably by learning from someone who’s done it before you. For example, let’s say like our friend you don’t want to show another house. What can you do? Here are a few examples of how some successful agents have solved that exact problem:
- “Here’s a list of homes that match your criteria and will be holding open houses this weekend. What I’d like you to do is drive by them this weekend and see what you like and don’t like about them. Then we’ll refine your list of wants & don’t-wants.” - iSucceed Mentor
- We’re going to do a caravan this weekend; we’ll stop at five homes and will spend 10 minutes in each home. Six other buyers will be attending the caravan with you. Here’s your map, you can follow along behind us in your car, or visit the properties you’re interested in at the assigned times.” Diane Armitage, iSucceed Mentor
- “Create a 360 Degree Marketing System; market your buyers to homes who need buyers instead of the other way around” Fred Peterson, iSucceed Mentor
For every problem you can conceive of in working with buyers, there is a solution. Luckily for you, those solutions were developed and tested by agents who have maintained their success long enough that they are comfortable in their careers, even during this challenging market, and so today are more than happy to reveal some of their strategies to their peers or rookies just coming up, enabling them to give back to the industry that made them so successful. Even better? Those answers are all in one place, at www.iSucceed.com
Hundreds of agents just like the ones quoted above have weighed in to offer their solutions to all things Buyer related, along with dozens of other crucial topics. With their risk-free thirty-day trial, you can literally research and implement 30 new strategies in 30 days. That’s one idea a day. Tell me you don’t think you could increase your business by at least one transaction if you learned 30 new techniques for marketing, negotiating, managing, or employing technology in the next 30 days.
Don’t shy away from the changing market just because it’s not what you’re used to. Now is a time to expand your horizons, and your business, so that you will be poised to take control of your market like never before. You’ve heard the statistics. You’ve also heard the opportunities.
Which door will you walk through?