Are you Prepared for the Shifting Real Estate Market?
It feels like everyone these days (including us) has an opinion on where the real estate market is headed. From impending doom to hyper-optimism there’s an article for every scenario. But regardless of how the market changes, one thing remains true: achieving success is contingent on being prepared. Outlined below, you’ll find strategies to ensure your brokerage is prepared to handle whatever the market has in store.
The real estate industry learned a lot from the last two years including the importance of having a solid infrastructure in place that allows business to continue seamlessly regardless of what is happening outside of the real estate space.
Having clearly defined processes for onboarding, day-to-day office management, and lead tracking and nurturing allows you to navigate uncertain times focused on the important issues at hand like higher interest rates, low inventory, and even a full-on market crash, rather than having to figure out who is responsible for what. You don’t want to have to focus your energies on the minute details of day-to-day operations when you-know-what hits the fan or when transactions pick up significantly.
Invest in Digital
We live in a digital-first world and your brokerage should be too. Find technology that helps your brokerage achieve your unique goals and start training your agents on how to use it so that you don’t have to focus energy on implementing tools last minute — a great example from the last two years on why investing in digital tools now is so important is 3D home tours and how important that was when some markets weren’t allowed to host open-houses. From technology that drives and manages leads to software that allows agents to be flexible and versatile, there’s no better time than now to make sure you’re set up for the future.
Ensuring you have a reliable CRM that agents can access from anywhere is a great place to start. This can mean making updates to what you’re already using or finding a CRM that meets your needs. Going one step farther and investing in digital solutions that will nurture your leads through qualification screenings or text follow-up ensures that no one is falling through the cracks and saves agents time. It also means that when your agents are super busy with a current buyer or seller, they aren’t missing out on their next opportunity. These types of digital solutions can also provide you with better tracking insights.
With more and more people working remotely the pool of potential buyers has grown significantly. Gone are the days when you’re limited to just those within your service area. Getting in front of buyers all over the country, and potentially the world is the new normal for brokerages looking to grow and maintain their market share. Starting with a data-backed, beautiful website is only the first step in a strategy that will drive results. The most successful brokerages understand the importance of an omnichannel digital marketing strategy, but they also understand that success doesn’t happen overnight. While paid media can help you drive traffic and leads in the short term, a thorough and impactful organic strategy can take months to build traction. Union Street Media’s team of experts is here to help you find a tailored solution that aligns with your goals.
Focus on People
Relationships matter in real estate. Building relationships with buyers and sellers is the hallmark of any successful brokerage — we all know the importance of referrals and repeat clients. How are you delivering exceptional service buyers, sellers, builders, and investors won’t find elsewhere? When inventory falls, having loyal sellers and builders can mean the difference between making a transaction that month and not. Buyers and investors who know they can count on you will be ready to take the next step regardless of how interest rates are performing. Nurturing these relationships consistently means that when it’s crunch time you don’t come off as predatory or sales-y because the foundation of trust and knowledge is already there.
It’s no secret that agent retention is difficult. Building a culture of loyalty takes transparency, a consistent feedback loop, support in and out of the office, and of course showing the value you are bringing to agents. Having a way to collect and follow up on the feedback you’re receiving from agents is a good first step in ensuring they feel like their voice is heard and that they can help make changes and correct pain points. Hiring a marketing manager, photographer, or other office-related staff to help reduce some of the pressure on your agents so they can focus on what matters to them: transacting real estate.
Of course, showing your value through leads and marketing is a huge factor in retaining agents. Do you have internal communication systems in place to have transparency on how leads are distributed and also show tangible results that the work agents or your brokerage as a whole are doing outside of meeting with clients is having an impact on their commissions? An example would be sharing how being active on social media, contributing blog posts, or investing in paid search tactics has helped to drive website traffic and leads that month. If you are on one of our Digital Marketing Packages and would like to discuss how you can better show value to your agents, reach out to your Digital Success Specialist, or let us know via our contact page.
Diversify Service Offerings
Buyers and sellers expect more from their brokerage experience and as margins continue to tighten for many agencies – it’s more advantageous than ever to diversify. According to a study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), the most popular ancillary businesses for real estate include mortgage lending, relocation services, home warranty, home improvement services, title, and escrow. Regardless of whether you started your own, acquired, invested in, or partnered with an existing business, dedicating time and resources to marketing your ancillary businesses (or partners) can be incredibly worthwhile.
You may already have the groundwork in place for a lot of the strategies we discussed above. Union Street Media can help you think beyond buyers and sellers and make the most out of what you’re already doing or help guide you as you make decisions. Give us a call today to speak to one of our experts on how you can be prepared for whatever the market throws at you.