- Staying true to the core elements of your business, being consistent on social media and networking will ensure a long and steady career.
The current real estate market is thriving: Sales are high, and home prices are increasing.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in April 2017, a 1.6 percent increase over April 2016.
At the same time, the median existing-home sales price increased 6 percent year-over-year to $244,800. In spite of this, inventory continues to be a challenging issue and may be holding back even better numbers. This kind of strong market can be a double-edged sword for real estate agents, however.
Finding new listings may be a struggle, but once a house is on the market, it sells in rapid time.
According to NAR, properties stayed on the market for an average of only 29 days in April 2017, the shortest timeframe NAR has recorded since it began tracking the data in 2011.
In this fast-paced environment, agents must work harder than ever to help clients find the homes they desire. Keeping up with demand from buyers and hustling for new listings may make it easy for agents to drift from the fundamentals that form the foundation of a good real estate agent.
Overlooking these elements is a mistake and, unfortunately, an increasingly common one in this real estate environment.
Focusing solely on your current business — and taking your eye off of future prospects — is a short-term view with the potential for harm in the long run.
Agents must remember and stay true to these four essential strategies to keep their pipeline full for years to come, regardless of which direction the market turns.
Although you may be busy now, that may not always be the case. Take the long view and go back to the basics to build your pipeline.
1. Stay in touch with past clients
Don’t fall prey to believing it’s not necessary to add more new clients right now and forget your past clients. This is short-sighted.
Maintaining relationships with previous clients will help you get referrals, and they also will be more likely to turn to you if they need to sell their current home or look for a new one.
Avoid the downfall of being out of sight and out of mind.
2. Work your referrals
Agents should cultivate a strong referral network if they want to keep a steady stream of leads coming into their pipeline.
Past clients are just one potential source of referrals.
Financial advisers, mortgage originators, real estate lawyers and community leaders are some of the potential referral partners with whom you should engage.
According to the NAR 2017 Member Profile, agents reported getting just 18 percent of their business from referrals from past clients and customers, and 13 percent from repeat clients.
These numbers should be even higher, but far too many agents do not stay in touch with past clients and work their referral networks.
3. Be involved in your community
Many agents will try hard to be active in their communities when they first begin working there, but often this involvement tends to taper off as business picks up. Don’t let it.
Your commitment to working with and for the community reflects your desire to be a valued member of that area and your commitment to being a quality real estate agent.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities available in most areas, including working with nonprofit organizations and civic clubs, coaching a local team and working with a church or school.
Choose the activities that suit your interests best, and this kind of involvement and giving won’t go unnoticed.
4. Be consistent with your social media activity
One of the first details to fall by the wayside when real estate agents become busy is their social media postings.
But maintaining a social media presence, with relevant, meaningful content, is critical to reaping the long-term benefits of this kind of networking.
Going “dark” for long periods of time decreases your presence and risks losing some of the followers you worked hard to attract. Staying consistent on your social media channels builds a strong following and reputation for being a regular and reliable source of information.
A thriving market is a boon to agents, but it can make it difficult to stick with the fundamentals of building a strong client base.
Agents who lose sight of these foundational elements risk taking the short-term view of their real estate career and could struggle to find clients if the market turns.
Staying true to the core elements of your business and being consistent with your social media and networking will better ensure a long and steady career.