Battle-tested tips for brokers in a challenging market
This is an uncertain moment, but brokers can lead others to solid ground by taking focused action.
- When the environment changes, leaders need to change as well.
- Tough times can reveal new opportunities.
Real estate leaders can uncover new opportunities and even get stronger in a more "challenging" market, with smart, careful adjustments and business discipline.
By taking a measured approach, brokerages can bolster their businesses, teams and agents — and guide them toward success in a shifting environment with new characteristics.
Jack Miller, President and CEO of T3 Sixty, consulted with the company's brokerage leadership team to provide some tips and suggestions for adapting well at this time. (Note: T3 Sixty founder Stefan Swanepoel also founded Real Estate News.)
Get creative in closing transactions
Show your agents how to use rate buydowns and seller concessions to keep deals.
Set price expectations with sellers
The market has changed, and most sellers aren't "in it" as much as your agents. Show your agents how to generate reports for list/sell, comparable sales and on market competition "now," and to set pricing expectations.
Price listings right
Coach agents on how to take price reductions, including how to use updated market comparables, showing activity and inquiries, so they can set reasonable expectations with their sellers and help them understand the current market.
Get pricing feedback quickly
Implement an "unsold listings" broker caravan. Have agents from your office tour all your unsold listings and give price and condition feedback. Use this to support any needed price reductions or repositioning.
Carefully manage cash flow
Pause new expenses, opportunistic or unplanned hires, and capital investments that can be delayed. If you can wait on something, take a beat. Kudos to Gary Keller for teaching this to brokerage leaders years ago.
Negotiate regular expenses
Review software, advertising and other contracts and leases and look for renewal dates and terms — be ready to negotiate these if cash flow gets tight.
Look for opportunities
There are always opportunities in a market slowdown; you may be able to acquire, fold in, tuck in, or recruit another business during this time.
Refocus lead generation and advertising
With inventory creeping up and able buyers becoming harder to come by, you may want to refocus to find an even mix of able and ready buyers and homeowners who need to sell.
Spend more time with less-experienced agents
If you have agents that have only worked in one type of economy in their career, spend more time with them, offer a historical perspective, and see how you can help.
Protect against "secret agents"
Don't let your sales team become "secret agents." Now is the time for agents to stay visible and let their people know that the sky is not falling, and that sales are still happening. Promote open houses, new listings and sales vigorously.
Some of your top agents could use a break
Very few people take enough time off in this business, and some of your busiest agents have been slugging it out in a high velocity market the last two years. Now could be a good time to coach them to take a well-earned vacation from the hustle while the market cools. They'll come back refreshed and ready to get back at it.
Markets shift all the time, and the key is to respond and be proactive. Talk to your network, reach out to your agents, and be present.