How to Bounce Back After a Lull in Home Sales

cropped7Today I’m sharing a blog written by Jennifer Riner for Inman.  Jennifer’s topic is one that all Agents can relate to, and I think you’ll really enjoy her tips for how to bounce back after a lull in home sales.

Jennifer writes:

In real estate, business tends to fluctuate depending on demand. You might experience months with little to no new business knocking at your door.

This is not abnormal, especially in a career where success is highly dependent on the local economy and, sometimes, the weather. The point is, slow business isn’t always your fault.

Rather than allow a hiatus to plague the rest of your year, prepare adequately and keep your head held high with these tips.

1. Prepare for seasonality highs and lows.

Seasoned real estate agents in specific locales know when things are about to slow down. In Chicago, for instance, business may calm when the weather starts to cool off, and pick up again rapidly in the late spring. As long as you know when clients typically taper off, you can financially and emotionally ready yourself and your business.

If you’re new to the market, don’t stress. You can prepare for lulls even if you aren’t sure of the average demand rate in a new city.

Ask other agents in your brokerage what their experience has been with seasonality and success. Nationally, the homebuying season is late spring and early fall, as most climates hit that not-too-hot, comfortable weather for house hunting. Not to mention, listing photos are more attractive when the flowers are blooming or the leaves begin to turn.

Financially, it’s important to save your money to prepare for a slow business period. Don’t overspend in the high season or you’ll run into unanticipated financial issues later on in the year. Just because business slows down doesn’t mean you get a break on your mortgage or monthly rental payments.

Download an app like Mint, which monitors your personal spending trends based on categories like groceries and clothing purchases. It even calculates your estimated net worth based on your linked accounts, and allows individuals to set budgets throughout the year.

IXACT Contact Tip:  Slower days are a great time to focus on your keep in touch efforts with your database.  Use call reminders in IXACT Contact to help you remember when to reach out to prospects and past clients.  Communicating this way is a great way to build relationships that will lead to more sales.

2. Keep a routine.

It’s easy to spend your days on the sofa watching “Million Dollar Listing” reruns when you don’t have listings or active clients to manage. No new business isn’t an excuse for slacking.

Marketing is pertinent year-round. In fact, many marketing techniques like search engine optimization (SEO) require months (or even years) before their benefits begin to kick in. Keep posting fresh content, optimize your onsite SEO and maintain your regular social media scheduling with a tool like Hootlet.

Remaining productive will prepare your mind for the busy season ahead. You won’t feel like you’re behind schedule when things start to pick up in the real estate realm once again. And with a primed marketing campaign, new clients can reference a more comprehensive website or blog and be duly impressed with your online authority.

Aside from e-marketing, try using your newfound spare time attending niche networking events, investigating new technology, monitoring your online presence and researching the local market. In real estate, fresh opportunities are abundant. Things change every day, so you have no excuse to sit around just because you don’t have any active listings or clients to represent.

IXACT Contact Tip: Keep up with your regular routine by setting aside dedicated time for prospecting, keep in touch phone calls, and attending community events.  Your IXACT Contact calendar and task list will help you manage your time effectively and maintain your workday momentum.

3. Get organized.

Think of a slow period as an opportunity rather than a challenge. With free time, you can get organized without distraction.

Get a jump-start on your quarterly taxes. Most real estate agents identify as contractors for tax purposes, which means you’re completely responsible for filing on your own without the help of a managing broker. Your team might be able to refer you to an accountant who is well-versed in real estate agent taxes.

Keep a running list of potential deductions. For agents, this includes car payments, business travel, property depreciation for investors, supplies and insurance. For a more in-depth view on tax breaks, check out “The Real Estate Agent’s Tax Deduction Guide” by Stephen Fishman.

Overall, creating a list of tasks for each day and checking them off when complete keeps you feeling productive and primed for the hectic, unpredictable world of real estate.

IXACT Contact Tip: One of the best ways to get organized is by using your real estate CRM.  By automating tasks like drip emails, your monthly e-Newsletter and call reminders, you’ll have more time to focus on running your business.