As much as the frantic pace of a “hot” market creates a lot of headlines and excitement, they’re not actually the best of times for most real estate agents if you think about it…
Everything you do is at a feverish pace. Most agents don’t even make more money than they would in any other market anyway—they’re still just doing an average (or below) number of deals per year. Heck, it can even be harder just to eke out an average year! Those markets tend to attract more and more agents into the business, and it usually means there are too few listings for too many buyers with pre-approvals burning a hole in their pockets.
So, even though a lot of agents brace themselves when there’s even a hint that the market will slow down, it can be a blessing in disguise for agents who see the opportunity.
Many agents just get caught up in the vibe, and don’t actually think about how good a slower market can be for them. They start looking for “real jobs” and the nearest exit sign. But that’s when agents who stand the test of time take advantage of the slow down.
They make sure their network, database, sphere of influence, past clients, and prospects know they’re alive and well, and still doing business as usual, even though the market has shifted.
Agents who survive a downturn don’t turn down their marketing
Not only do agents who capitalize on a slower market not turn down their marketing, they often ramp it up!
Think about it: a slower market is the perfect time to not only maintain your marketing, but to add to it. When the pace of the market is slower, the marketing you do has more time to have an effect. When things are moving at light speed, buyers and sellers are often just doing things impulsively, not thoughtfully.
Plus, while a good number of agents leave the field giving you less competition to worry about, the ones who stick around often cut down on their marketing because they’re worried about money. Even if their budget shrinks, the ones who thrive find a way to use what they’ve got and make sure they remain top of mind, generate leads, and nurture prospects.
Now that doesn’t mean you have or want to spend a ton of money. Very few agents have so much money to spend on marketing that they can pay for billboards, print ads, mailers, and even radio or TV spots. Most have to be selective about how much they spend and what they spend it on even in the best of times. So, if you’re on a budget, don’t sweat it; you can still take advantage and make your mark—there’s plenty you can do for no (or low) cost if you give it some thought!
Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
1) The tried and true free CMA
It’s nothing new, and pretty much every agent offers to do CMA’s for free, but they’re a great thing to reach out and offer to friends, family, and past clients in a slow market. Frame it as something you’re doing to ease peoples’ minds due to the slow market, and give people a true sense of what the current value of their home is.
It gives you an opportunity to touch base with pretty much anyone you know who owns a home. Do enough of them, and you’re bound to uncover a lead or two, or pick up a referral. Even if you don’t, it’s some free marketing that costs you nothing but time.
2) Go after FSBO’s and expired listings
Don’t groan! So many agents hate approaching FSBO’s and expireds (hooray, less competition for you!), but they’re an easy prospect to identify. Rather than spending money on broad advertising to reach anyone who may be thinking about selling, you can target efforts on someone you know wants to.
You don’t even have to spend money; you can just call them or knock on their door as many times as it takes to build a relationship or find an opening and get yourself that listing.
But if you want something really cool to offer them and get your foot in the door, you should check out the booklets we have in our Inner Circle membership! We have one for FSBO’s and one for expired listings, along with 18 others to choose from.
3) Hit up the waiters
No, not the ones at your local restaurant (although it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to network with them). Reach out to all the buyer prospects you have in your CRM, or on loose sticky notes who said they wanted to wait to buy until the market cooled down. Let them know their time has finally come!
4) Stay top-of-mind with real estate memes
Sharing real estate memes is a great way to remind people that you’re in the business, while entertaining (and even educating) them. You can easily share them on social media, through text, or by email, and it won’t cost you a dime. We have a ton for you to share for free on the Lighter Side Facebook page. But if you want more to choose from and to be able to brand them with your information, check out that Inner Circle membership mentioned above. You get a lot of different types of content to choose from for less than the price of a cup of coffee per day.
You certainly don’t need a holiday or handout to pop-by and say hi to past clients, your sphere, or an area you farm, but there are tons of inexpensive giveaways you can put together to make them even happier to see you! Check out these three low-cost ideas members of our Inner Circle Facebook group shared for different holiday pop-bys:
So, even if you’re on a tight budget, combining just those few ideas together can go a long way in helping you not just survive a slow market, but even thrive in it.
Marketing yourself is always something you should be doing, but all the more so when the market is slower. No matter what your budget, or what you decide to do in terms of marketing and prospecting, just make sure you step it up in the downturn and you’ll come out the other side alive and well!