Slow market growth is what separates successful agents from those who consistently remain stagnant. It’s much easier to move houses when business is booming, but in those slower periods, you really have to innovate.
Of course, when the market takes a downturn, you can easily find yourself stuck for ideas. Here are some possibilities to get you unstuck and on your way to mastering your market.
1. Evaluate and refine your marketing strategy.
When there's a lot of work coming in, it can be hard to find the time to really take a look at your marketing plan. A slow market gives you the chance to evaluate what you're doing and change what isn't working.
Look at your sales numbers before and after a marketing push. Assess the results twice: once immediately after the push and again a few months later. Were there any immediate or lasting changes?
Send out a questionnaire to a random sample of your target audience. Ask them whether your last marketing campaign reached them. If they're your customers, find out what got them in the door.
Calculate your return on each marketing investment. If any of them aren’t worth the money you're spending, think about where you could reallocate those funds.
2. Research your market.
When there aren't enough real estate clients to go around, spend some of your unscheduled time on market research.
The first step is to determine who your market actually includes. Different types of homebuyers need different things, so figure out who you're positioned to serve. Do you work best with:
- Long-distance movers or local re-locators?
- Downsizing empty nesters or upsizing young families?
- High-end or budget buyers?
Once you know who you're targeting, look at local data and industry trends to find out what that category of home buyers might need. Then you can develop a marketing plan to show how you are positioned to meet that need.
For example, if you serve mostly families and you're a local parent, you can emphasize your connection to nearby schools. Conversely, if you're selling condos to young professionals in the city, you can highlight your knowledge of each neighborhood's amenities, nightlife, and quality of transit.
3. Nurture existing client relationships.
Did you know that 90 percent of home buyers say that they would use their real estate agent again? That's a lot of potential future business.
How much repeat business are you actually getting? Look back in your books and find out how many of your clients hired you more than once. If it's less than nine out of 10, you can benefit by reaching out.
Remember, even if your past clients never buy another home in your market again, they can still recommend you to others. Plant the seed in their minds by:
- Giving them a call to ask how they're doing in their new home
- Publishing a newsletter with information about the local community
- Sending small thank-you gifts to recent buyers (assuming that's allowed in your state)
Also, stay active in your community on a personal level. If you're out and about, attending or even donating to community events, your past and potential clients will see you as someone who cares.
4. Start a content marketing campaign.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72 percent of marketers find that content increases their lead numbers. A slow market provides a perfect time to get a campaign going.
First, think about your audience. How do they consume media? What topics interest them? These insights could help you create:
- Blog posts geared toward first-time home buyers
- Infographics for real estate investors
- E-books that offer strategies for home sellers
- Articles about community events and neighborhood amenities
Think about whether you want to create the content yourself or hire a freelance writer and designer. Your market won't be slow forever, so consider investing in an ongoing content strategy.
Consider partnering with dynamic real estate marketing brand, like The Real Estate Book, to get connected and boost visibility in your local market.
- When the market is slow, you have time to focus on your marketing. Start by assessing what you're already doing and how it's working.
- Learn as much as you can about your potential clients, then use that knowledge to address their needs.
- Reach out to those who have used your services in the past.
- Get on board the content train. Develop a long-term strategy so that you can keep your content marketing going when your business takes off.