4 ways new agents can take advantage of a slower market
Managing a downturn as a new agent can be challenge — and an opportunity. It's time to focus on your business strategy, brush up on your skills, and network.
- Start putting systems for your business in place. Checklists are a good first step.
- Reach out to more seasoned agents for mentoring now that they aren't as busy.
- Be active in your local community to make connections and build your sphere.
The changing real estate market has given veteran real estate agents time to reconnect with clients, refresh their marketing materials, and reset after a frenzied few years of buying and selling properties.
But what are new agents to do?
Jason Delatte, a New Orleans-based business coach for the Tom Ferry organization, says now is the perfect time for new agents to work on their business as well as in the business.
Create a system for your business
"You want to own your business without it owning you, so you need to have systems in place," he says. "A good system will help you work efficiently and allow you to delegate some of your work when you're extremely busy, but it takes time to build. Now is the time to do that building."
To start, make a lot of lists, says Delatte — lists of questions to ask in different scenarios, checklists for tasks leading up to closings, lists of social media posts to make each week.
"Think about your business like it's a franchise," he says. "When you buy a Chick-fil-A, you're not buying a restaurant, you're buying a really detailed checklist. That's the sort of thing you want to create."
Look for mentorship and training opportunities
New agent Amanda Leeb, a member of The Lenard Team doing business on Long Island, N.Y., says the slower market has given her time to broaden her sphere and work on her skills.
"There's definitely a lot of mentoring and training going on right now," says Leeb, who earned her real estate license two years ago. "When I started, it was best-and-final offer and that was it. Now, the market is so different, I've had to learn step-by-step how to negotiate."
Gig Harbor, Wash., agent Allison Paoli earned her real estate license in December 2022. She's choosing to look at the slower market as an opportunity.
"Before I got my license, I worked at the same brokerage doing marketing and operations," she says. "The real difference between last May and now is that the senior brokers have more time, so I'm able to learn from them and shadow them. They have time to mentor me now, which they really didn't have before."
Get out into the community and network
Giving back to the community is a pillar of Paoli's brokerage, Neighborhood Experts Real Estate. "That was one of the things that drew me to this brokerage. Having extra time has allowed me to actually be in my community," she says, noting recent attendance at a Rotary meeting, delivering perishable goods to a backpacks-for-kids program, and attending the grand opening of a local business. "They're good networking opportunities but they're also great 'I need to fill my bucket' opportunities."
For new agents still building their network, Delatte says this is a great time to get out in the community. "Networking works best when it's natural," he says. "New agents should be thinking about deepening connections they already have. Do you have kids in school? Now may be the time to approach the principal and ask if you could stock the teacher's break room with snacks once a month. Would the person who cuts your hair let you set out business cards?"
Perfect your social media and other marketing skills
Both Leeb and Paoli say they're also spending a good portion of their time these days brainstorming and implementing marketing strategies.
"I had started my social media marketing accounts before, but now I have time to really make sure my posts are informative and authentic. It's a good opportunity for me to reach out to let people know what I'm doing, how the market is changing, and that I know how to help them find a property in this market," says Leeb.
Delatte encourages working with mortgage partners to help fund some of these marketing efforts. "Especially when you're starting out and especially in this market, it's good to invest sweat equity in your business. It's going to pay off in the long run."