Committed, full-time agents should not feel threatened by a slowdown. This market is an incredible opportunity to gain market share — so long as you take steps to prepare.
1. Less experienced agents will drop out of the industry
In just two years, over 156,000 people got their real estate license — a new record, pushing NAR membership to a staggering 1.57 million in June 2022.
As the market shifts, we will see those numbers taper. That’s because underqualified, part-time agents are starting to realize that in a softer market, they have to put in more work to achieve the same take-home pay. When homes stop flying off the MLS in 24 hours, the part-timers start throwing in the towel.
That’s a good thing.
Many of the people who will exit the industry over the next several months shouldn’t have been in it to begin with. Clients deserve to be represented by a full-time, well-trained real estate professional, not someone who got licensed in hopes of making some easy money.
And as the part-timers exit, the excellent, full-time agents will be able to expand their market share.
How to seize the moment: Differentiate yourself
Even with agents leaving the industry, the playing field remains crowded.
“You need a distinct approach that helps you stand out from the crowd,” said Kristina McCann, founder of Chroma Realty, who has become known in her community for ‘flocking’ people’s yards with plastic flamingos to raise their spirits during the pandemic. “The agents who find ways to stand out, whether by building a brand or finding their niche, are the ones who will attract more clients. No idea is bad. I’ve attracted my tribe one cute idea at a time and some of the more affordable ones were actually stickier than the big/expensive ones.”
For less-experienced agents worried about standing out on their own, this is a great time to join a team, especially at a boutique company that sets itself apart with strong branding and deep roots in the local community.
2. Budgets will tighten
That might sound daunting, but consider this: In a red-hot market, you probably don’t feel the need to be as careful with your budget. When your balance sheet is reliably in the black at the end of the month, you have more flexibility to experiment with shiny new strategies.
But that doesn’t mean each dollar you’re spending is actually helping you attract and retain clients. And the more the market softens, the more important it will be for you to trim the fat.
How to seize the moment: Double down on what works
Take time to evaluate the return on investment for every single budget line. If you’re spending on something that’s not moving the needle, this is a great time to cut it.
But don’t forget: This is also a great time to invest more in the growth strategies you know are working. After all, the companies that most quickly bounce back from recessions tend to be those that continue to invest in marketing.
“We are advising all of our partner companies to continue investing in proven lead generation channels, prioritizing the sources that deliver the best results,” said Ashley Bledsoe, director of marketing at Side. “It can be tempting to want to cut back when economic headwinds shift, but this is exactly the time to dig in and capture more attention — when everyone else is pulling back.”
3. The market is normalizing
Remember that the market isn’t crashing, it’s normalizing — and that’s been a long time coming. While a cooler market may translate to fewer home sales, at least in the short-term, it will also provide some much-needed relief for buyers who have been pushed out of the frenzied market, paving the way for them to dip their toes back in.
Yes, mortgage rates aren’t likely to drop back to 3% any time soon, and yes, supply remains incredibly low. But even just a bit of relief from the red-hot seller’s market we’ve seen over the past few years will be enough to get some buyers off the fence and more people into homeownership.
How to seize the moment: Focus on adding value
For many clients, a shifting market is a confusing market. Buyers may be waiting for prices to plummet, and sellers may be wondering why they “only” received three offers on their home.
“At a time like this, clear communication and education are more important than ever,” said Jae Wu, co-founder of Heyler Realty. “Make it a point to regularly reach out to your sphere — not just your active clients, but prospects as well — to update them on what you’re seeing play out in your local market. Being a trusted resource and deepening relationships is invaluable, especially during shifting environments like we are in.”
Sean McMillan, also co-founder at Heyler Realty, added: “Consistency in staying connected with clients is the backbone of building trust and lifelong referability. Top-of-mind awareness coupled with something like an email newsletter, monthly catch-up calls with past clients, or fun interactive social media series breaking down the latest housing stats will help you maintain likability and relevance — especially during dynamic market changes.”
If you can establish a reputation for being knowledgeable and helpful, prospects will be more likely to trust you and to think of you when they’re ready to make a move.
Side is the only real estate brokerage platform that exclusively partners with top-performing agents, teams, and independent brokerages to create and grow their own boutique companies without the cost, time, or risk of operating a brokerage. Side’s proprietary technology platform and premier support solutions empower its agent partners to be more productive, grow their business, and focus on serving their clients.
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