4 sales strategies that must evolve with the real estate market

While proven experience has its benefits, there’s nothing wrong with shaking things up and charting your own course in today’s market. Rachael Hite helps you question what you think you know about working with your clients today.

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Market shifts are tangible, and agents who are used to helping clients achieve their real estate goals may need to abandon conventional wisdom and go their own way to adapt to the changing tide.

Although some agents are happy to promote that finding a buyer for their new listing is a snap, we know that’s not always the case. Here are four ways to go against old-school wisdom to get great results for your current and future clients.

Conventional wisdom: only accept offers on a property for a short time

Change of strategy: create a buying window for the widest audience of buyers

Many agents are quick to say they have an offer in hand for their clients 15 minutes after they finish driving the “for sale” sign into the ground. Not keeping the home on the market for a reasonable period of time can mean you’re missing out on the best potential deals your customers can choose from.

Suppose you don’t plan a window of time for the listing to be seen by the public. In this case, you are also potentially exposing yourself to claims of buyer discrimination if local buyers have not had a fair opportunity to view and bid on the property.

Pocket listings, while convenient (but potentially against regulations in specific markets), can lead to grievances and create tension between already burnt-out agents and their customers rushing to view a home. Invest in deal management platforms that create accountability and transparency for all parties involved.

Conventional wisdom: Meet the customers at the property or you might miss a sale

Strategiesto carry: Interview buyers before showing the houses

The days of meeting a client for the first time at a property and signing a buyer’s declaration on the hood of your car should be numbered. Understanding the need to be flexible for sales is a delicate balance in ensuring your customer is a safe person to meet with and a qualified person to buy from. Some brokerages continue to promote “get in your car and find out” sales methods, but agents need to be careful and savvy in today’s market.

Try meeting with clients in a public place or in your office to discuss financing, strategy, how contracts are written and submitted, and the potential client’s personal needs. This meeting will help consumers make a quick offer and avoid the “we have to sleep on it” hesitation that is almost guaranteed to lose them in a bidding war.

Conventional wisdom: save money and tinker with your marketing because ads sell out so quickly

Change of strategy: Keep investing in marketing (don’t cut corners)

Another downside of only marketing the active list for a day or less? Less exposure and less time to market yourself and your brand. In previous markets, agents struggled to keep the conversation going for the three to six months they held a listing. Many agents today are rushing into the home selling experience.

At the same time, consumers are struggling to keep up with the zero-to-60 speed that agents attribute to the old “That’s how the market works now” excuse.

Create a formula for marketing each property and don’t skimp on the professional photography and other hospitality services you’ve offered to clients in previous years. Savvy agents know that building their portfolio is rewarding for their clients and that they earn their commission.

Customers will be less convinced that they can DIY their experience on Zillow if you stick to a pro-level marketing plan that they couldn’t replicate on their own.

Conventional wisdom: don’t question the most experienced agent

Change of strategy: stop apologizing for wanting to do things differently

Many new agents feel the need to apologize to their managers when they have a different opinion on how they want to run their business. It’s important to remember to stick to your moral compass, your code of ethics, fair housing laws, and your intuition when it comes to handling clients in this rocky market.

If something goes wrong, research, ask questions, and experiment to find the best solution for your customers. Stand up for yourself and your business.

Remember that in this new world of real estate, it will take a cool head and a lot of heart to keep innovating the best possible experiences for your clients. Stay motivated, challenge the status quo, and stay the course by paving the way for outdated advice that no longer holds up without changes.

By day, Rachael Hite helps agents grow their business. At night, she tweets and blogs. Feel free to tweet it @rachaelhite.

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