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Mark Twain once said, “History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Although every market shift has looked a little different, there are patterns in every shift. These patterns produce truths regarding agent and consumer behaviors. They set the stage for the agents who will gain market share during these normal cyclical times of change.
An understanding of these truths can help you thrive while others struggle to survive.
1. People want to deny a change is happening
To believe that things will stay the same would be naïve. Change happens continuously. The problem is that most people want to deny change is happening because change in the market demands that agents change. Denying change never works in their favor.
No one ever found consistent growth through drifting and going with the flow. True success comes through adapting to change, putting together a purposeful plan of action, and executing that plan.
What’s your plan? What’s your new strategy for this new market environment? Now is the time to evaluate your business with a fresh set of eyes. Take inventory of your marketing, prospecting, and the efficiency, or lack thereof, of your daily schedule. Refine these to reflect the needs of your clients now and to increase your value to the marketplace.
The act of adjusting earlier than others provides you the ability to serve your clients better and to increase market share.
2. Ego is going to kill a lot of businesses
Ego is one of the biggest leading indicators for agent failure in shifting markets. The market has made all of us look better than we are over the past few years. During market changes, the market can make many agents look worse than they are just as easily.
Now is not the time to run vanity ads or posts about how great you are or how much business you’ve closed. Now is the time to provide solutions to the most pressing issues for buyers and sellers.
Now is the time to market in a way that shines the light on the home you just listed instead of yourself for taking a listing. Now is the time to tell the story of your buyer and seller, making them the hero and main character instead of you.
Now is not the time to let your ego tell you that you have this real estate thing figured out. Now is the time to humble yourself and become the most knowledgeable agent in your city. Double down on your education and learn how to serve your clients at a more professional level. The more you know, the more you grow.
Although it has been said that pride (ego) comes before the fall, I believe the reverse is true as well: humbleness comes before the rise.
3. The influence around you will be amplified
Times of change amplify the influence of those around you. This can be explained by the fact that change creates uncertainty and uncertainty creates an environment where we search for ways to adapt to the change. The question is not whether those around you will influence you or not. The question is whether you are surrounded by a group of people that will influence you in a positive manner or a negative manner.
Here is an example to help illustrate this truth. If I am married and going through a difficult time in my marriage, and my desire is to have a healthy marriage, would it be better if the men I spent time with were recently divorced or happily married men?
Now apply this to your business. If your desire is to have a thriving business, would it be better for you to surround yourself with people that are getting out of the business or agents that are growing their businesses?
Surround yourself with growth-oriented, positive, action takers. Surrounding yourself with effective people is one of the most important factors determining your level of success in a shifting market.
4. In times of change, there is a flight to safety
In times of uncertainty, buyers and sellers want to know they are working with an agent and company they can trust. When the economy is making people nervous, there is a flight to brands that are viewed as safe. The value of being associated with a trustworthy brand, both company brand and your personal agent/team brand, increases dramatically during times of change.
Buyers and sellers want to know their home buying or selling process is being handled by a professional. Are you viewed as a trusted professional in your market? If not, here are a few ways to build and earn the trust buyers and sellers desire.
- Share testimonials from past clients
- Document, via Instagram Stories, your processes for launching a listing, hosting an open house, or finding a buyer the perfect home
- Share the stories of how you helped clients overcome obstacles that led to successful closings
- Record and share videos explaining the current market statistics
Position yourself as the most professional and trustworthy agent in your market. By doing so, your business will continue to grow whether the market goes down, up or sideways over the next few years.
5. Players are separated from the pretenders
The red hot real estate market made all of us look better than we were over the past few years. The market is changing rapidly and the separation between players (professionals) and pretenders (amateurs) will become more and more evident. Warren Buffett said it this way: “Only when the tide goes out do you find out who’s been swimming naked.” The tide is going out.
If you’ve been a pretender over the past few years, it’s not too late to become a player. Everybody lacks knowledge and the ability to operate at a high level early in their career. It is not a crime to start out lacking the ability to serve your clients. The crime is if you never do the work to get past it and become the agent your clients deserve.
Change always creates opportunity. In every business cycle, there are people who gain market share and people who lose market share. Understand the truths mentioned above and apply them to your business. If you do so, you will have the ability to build the business of your dreams.