As a real estate agent, you’re used to seeing the market go through different cycles. Granted, you might hold your breath as the shift starts to occur, but as you’re able to assess new market opportunities your confidence returns quickly and business continues.
This isn’t the case for buyers and sellers though. Rapid shifts in economic conditions can lead to fear and apprehension in consumers when it comes to making big purchases and life-altering decisions. Basically, the success of the housing market is tied to consumer confidence in the overall economy.
When prices begin to fall it increases negative sentiments about the market, and that negative mindset exacerbates falling house prices and inventory further. In a word, sentiment drives the cycle.
When people are fearful and apprehensive it’s not just the big decisions that get affected. Expectations about everything from price, to the level of service begin to change as well. Someone who would have been on the fence about your price recommendation before is suddenly swayed to one side or the other because of their current confidence level.
I know this sounds like a tough situation but I do have some good news! Your sphere and the market itself can be redirected through a shift in perspective. And YOU have the power to influence this thinking by using the right combination of your experience, credibility and knowledge.
So ask yourself: what do I think my clients should be doing right now… what is their best move?
Moving the Needle
It’s no secret that there is enormous opportunity in the market for a variety of sectors, but the key to capitalizing on it as a real estate agent is being able to pair the right opportunities with the right people, and then getting them to take action.
People only make big decisions and take action when they have confidence in what they’re about to do, and inspiring confidence in others (especially when it concerns major purchases) is a process, so I’ve broken it down into 4 key steps for you:
Step 1: Educate About the State of the Market
When economic conditions change on a large scale, people start looking for information. This is one of those rare circumstances where consumers are interested in real estate market updates, even if they’re not currently looking to buy or sell. This poses a great opportunity for you to gain exposure as a trusted expert, but also to communicate the sentiment you want your personal market to embrace.
Lead with integrity. Don’t manipulate or stretch the truth. You can’t possibly control the market enough to pull this off, and if you’re caught gaslighting your credibility will be destroyed.
Step 2: Present the Right Opportunities
Just because there are challenges in certain parts of the market, doesn’t mean there aren’t also opportunities in others. It’s your job to find them and get them in front of the right people within your personal market. Sharing opportunities will help you boost sentiment among your sphere, and might even move buyers or sellers that were on the fence before to take action.
Step 3: Have a Plan for Navigating Challenges
When people are uneasy about market conditions they tend to have more questions, take longer to make decisions, and can even cause additional problems with their own apprehension. By doing a little critical thinking of your own, you can get out ahead of this and ensure a great experience for your clients, as well as yourself.
Think about the questions and challenges that might arise before, during and after a transaction, and develop some tools for yourself to help counteract them. By working ahead to make sure your clients are empowered, you give them the confidence they need to make decisions… not to mention they end up having a memorable experience which translates into repeat business and referrals for you!
Step 4: Set Expectations
People get frustrated when reality doesn’t meet their expectations, which can certainly occur more often in a stressed market. And when people are frustrated, their confidence in others waivers heavily.
On the whole, people are much less likely to even get frustrated when they know what to expect. So, make sure you inform buyers and sellers what the realistic expectations are around things like time, money and the hidden headaches that can arise, and give them a healthy outlet to express any frustrations as they may come up.
Knowing these things ahead of any frustrations will help your buyers and sellers have a better experience overall, but can also increase their level of confidence in you as well.
Closing the Gap
So get out there, set the most realistic expectations you can, build confidence within your sphere and present the right opportunities to those that need them. One way or another, you’ll be building their confidence in you.