Tip of the Week
Are We There Yet?
by Loren Keim
“Are we there yet?” is a question my children often ask when we’re driving on vacation or to relative’s homes. It’s the same question our realtors ask about the real estate market. When will the market begin to recover? When will buyers decide it’s finally a good time to buy? The answer is always the same – “We’re not there yet, but we’ll be there soon!”
Pastor Scott of New Life Church in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania opened his sermon this week with a joke. “A man walked in to see his doctor, upset because he believed he was shrinking. The doctor promptly responded, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll just have to be a little patient.'”
I realize that, for many Realtors, it’s hard to be patient in this market when your mortgage is overdue and someone is outside repossessing your car. As a rule, we’re not the most patient group. Successful salespeople are headstrong, impulsive, determined, and stubborn.
Sadly, we don’t control the marketplace or the economy, but we do have some control over our careers. When the market collapses, like it has over the past two years, many Realtors shut down and give up. Agents come to work a little later, go home a little earlier and perhaps spend more time watching television, commiserating with others about the market, or griping about the news or blaming poor marketing and spend less time building our careers.
However, there are still homes selling, even in the current market. There are people selling because of divorce, job relocation, and job loss. There are people buying because their leases are up and the interest rates are fantastic. There are buyers moving to the area for jobs and buyers purchasing because they’re having children and need a larger home. Really there are!
When others are working less is the time you can gain a competitive advantage by doing more and by working smarter. Additionally, there are so many methods to build business that cost little or no money. For example, when was the last time you went back through you list of past clients and called a few to reconnect with them? When was the last time you wrote a quick ‘Just-A-Note’ card to a friend, relative or past client?
Here are a few quick things you can do to try to generate business:
• Post your listings for free to Craigslist. We generate a number of buyers each month from our ads on Craigslist.
• Enter your listings for free into Postlets.com and syndicate your listings to other sites from there. It takes 10 minutes to add a listing and it’s syndicated to Trulia, Vast, Google Base, Oodle, Hotpads and others.
• Post a note about your latest listing on Facebook.
• Send out a free e-card from egreetings.com to several of your past clients.
• Send out an e-newsletter to your past clients.
• Pick up the phone and call anyone you know.
• Jot a handwritten note to someone you haven’t seen in a while.
The more action you take, the more likely you are to run into those who really need to buy or sell, which will help you to build your individual business. Sadly, when I suggest proactively seeking buyers and sellers, the immediate reaction is either “I tried that and it doesn’t work” or “I just don’t have the time to do all that stuff.”
I know each of these ideas work because they have each personally brought me buyers and sellers. And regarding the excuse that e-greetings, postlets and craigslist take too much time. Right now, you have plenty of time to work on building your business and none of them take more than ten minutes. So set time aside each day, perhaps in the morning with a cup of coffee, and build your business.
Waiting for the phone to ring and the market to return is not the way to build a long-term successful career. Don’t focus on what you can’t control. Focus on what you can control and get back to work. Buyers and sellers are waiting!