Handling Downtime In Your Real Estate Business

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I'm Jennifer Myers, Founder of Agent Grad School and host of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, The Agent Grad School Podcast.  My goal for each episode is to give you actionable steps you can implement today to grow your real estate business.

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Every one of us works in a real estate market that has a yearly cycle to it (and a weekly cycle too, but that’s for a different conversation).

Every year there are slower times and there are busier times. And they come and go like clockwork.

Most of our markets look something like this:

With one of the quieter times of the year being right now.

Sometimes the quieter time lasts a full month, sometimes it’s only a week or two. But like clockwork, things start popping again right after Labor Day.

So, here’s an important question to consider:

How do YOU handle downtime in your real estate business?

Do you let it fill you with anxiety and thoughts like, “This is the end of it. I’m never going to sell another house again.”


Do you use the naturally slower times of the year to your advantage?

For the first five or so years I was a real estate agent, I didn’t realize there was a natural cycle to the market. I let the quiet times fill me with anxiety.

Eventually, I saw the pattern and made the conscious decision not to let anxiety in and wear me out like I had in the past, but use the quieter times to my advantage instead.

It was liberating. And, truly life changing.

No exaggeration on life changing. How I decided to spend the downtime in my business lead to me deciding to move across the country, meeting my now husband, and several other pivotal moments that changed the trajectory of both my life and business.

How YOU decide to use these naturally quieter times could be just a life and business changing.

Learn how to stop the anxiety and take advantage of downtime in your real estate business instead on today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, The Agent Grad School Podcast.

Listen in here:

To your success,

P.S. If you have an agent friend who is panicked by the quiet in their real estate business right now, help them out by sending them this episode.

Episode Transcript

On today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. We’re talking about How To Handle Downtime In Your Real Estate Business. Every single one of us has a very predictable yearly cycle to our real estate business and our real estate market. And there are certain Downtime when no matter what we do, it’s just gonna be a little bit quieter during these predictable times when this episode is being released right now is one of those quiet times. You can choose to fill it with anxiety and worry and panic, or you can choose to actually do things that are going to propel your business and your life forward. So we’re gonna talk about all that on today’s episode. Welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I’m your host, Jennifer Myers, listen in, as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the us to even opening my own brokerage full of agents taught me serve all the clients that were coming my way. I taught those agents the same strategies I used and day two became top Producing agents. Now through this podcast in agent Grad school.com, I’m sharing those same modern marketing and business strategies with you. Most of which I learned from looking outside the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques or paying for leads, just the exact steps to get you the real estate business you’ve always wanted. And the life outside your business, you’ve always wanted too. Let’s make it happen. And dive into today’s episode. How do you handle the natural ebbs and flows? The natural Downtime in your real estate market? All of us, every single one of us, whether you know it or not has a predictable cycle yearly cycle and weekly, but that that’s for a different episode, but a predictable yearly cycle to the real estate market. Most of us, I would say probably 85 to 90% of us have a market that looks like this January, February, things are a little bit quieter and then they start ratcheting up like clockwork March a little bit more April, a little bit more may June being the pinnacle every year of activity, the most buyers, the most listings, and then come June. It goes a little slower July, just a little bit slower August. And then we have a pop again, come the fall market, right after labor day, like clockwork. There’s more listings, a few more buyers pop out of the woodworks. And that continues. And from labor day, till about, than right before Thanksgiving until the end of the year, and then like clockwork, that cycle continues. Now the last couple years, it’s been hard to see that cycle because it feels like it’s been so robust and no matter what day your moment is, it felt like houses were selling and that’s true, but we’re getting back into a normal market. And so you’re gonna start seeing this cycle again. So the question I have for you today is how do you handle those naturally slower times in your real estate market? Do you let them fill you with anxiety? Do you feel panicked by them or do you use them to your advantage? The first five years, I was a real estate agent. I allowed myself to be filled with anxiety every single year. I thought, I mean, it was like clockwork and I didn’t realize it until about the fifth year that there was a pattern and every year, like mid mid-August, like clockwork. And again, during the holidays like clockwork, I would just be filled with panic because it would get so quiet after being so busy. And then finally after the fifth or sixth year of that happening over and over and over again, I started noticing the pattern. And when I started noticing the pattern, I was like, wow, it’s like clockwork. As of the release of this episode and recording of this episode, it’s mid-August. And for many of you, it’s gonna get real quiet between now and labor day. And in my market, in my business, that happened like clockwork. And rather than try to swim upstream and panic and really use up a bunch of energy that I could spend doing many other things. Finally, when I started recognizing the pattern and I was able to consciously choose how I wanted to spend that Downtime and not allow it to fill me with anxiety and wasted energy, I then started figuring out how to use this naturally Downtime in my business, in to my advantage. I started to take advantage of it and I started to plan for it. And honestly, I started to look forward to it, like it was my favorite time of year after a while. So how do you choose to use this time now? Of course you can absolutely choose to fill yourself with panic, expend a lot of energy being worried, but frankly, those aren’t very helpful emotions. They don’t help us do anything other than kind of stay stuck where we are or feel helpless. Instead, I would highly recommend that you first start noticing what the patterns are in your, in your real estate Mar market. And most likely, it’s probably very close to the cycle that I just explained. And again, if you want a visual of what that looks like, you can go to agent Grad school.com forge slash Downtime. And I share with you what my yearly cycle looks like in our real estate market. And chances are it’s very similar in your market as well. So the first thing to do is start noticing it, ask yourself, is this true in my market? Is it slightly different in my market? I guarantee there is some version of it in your real estate market. The only places where I think it could really be different is if you’re kind of in a resort or ski town, right? Like things are just a little bit different when you’re in a vacation town. Or if you sell houses where, you know, it snows all the time. Like those, that cycle might be slightly off from what I’ve described, you might kind of end your fall selling season a little bit sooner, or you are, if you’re, you know, living in an area that is really hot in the summer, that might be a Downtime, but there is a natural cycle. So first step is, notice it, what is it in yours, in your, in your real estate market? And then after that, you need to, you’re just automatically, I, you know, still automatically I go towards anxiety, I go towards worry. And so I just consciously say to myself, Nope, this is just natural. This is what happens every year. And that’s kind of step two in this process of how to use this Downtime in your business to your advantage. And again, it took me years to get to, at first it took me five years to even notice the pattern. Then I think it took me a year or two to kind of like believe myself once I, once I noticed it. And then finally, I think eight years into my real estate business. And I’m sharing this episode in hopes that it doesn’t take you this long of torturing yourself. Like I did myself to learn and take advantage of this Downtime. Then finally, I can still remember. It was such a pivotal moment in my business. I finally, with one of those Downtime, I finally decided to take action and what I did that first year, where I was like, I’m not gonna have an anxiety. I’m gonna look forward to this Downtime and I’m actually do gonna do something that helps push my business forward. And when I decided to do that first year was put together my CRM. I gathered all of my past client database, my, my past client folders. And I created a database. I uploaded everything I could about every single one of my clients, my past clients, my, the people I knew. And it took literally eight hours a day for those three weeks, between August 15th and labor day, when that market, when my market is slow. And so I got it done. And what was so wonderful about that is because blind clockwork, as soon as labor day hit, I got a little bit busier. I became too busy to spend time working on my business. I had to switch my focus again to working in my business and, and serving my clients fully. And that really is a full-time job. So that moment was so pivotal for me, because really, truly from that moment on I was my business changed. The next year I started working on action plans. I started working on my website. I started putting on putting together my newsletter. So for the first few years that I started noticing this pattern, choosing not to be anxious about it and choosing to work on my business and really build that structure. That’s important and build the things that it’s going to create, ease and longevity in my business for years to come, I would fill the time that Downtime with those activities. And then finally, once I had all that set up and my business continued to grow and grow and grow no matter what the market was doing. And part of this, the part of what I’m talking about is those 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, like we’re not talking about the best years in real estate when I was doing this. But because I used that Downtime and because I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish in each one of those few weeks, when it was Downtime, I was able to build a business that I could really, that really could support me for years to come. And again, those activities are things like putting in your CRM, doing your website, doing your email newsletters, figuring out your marketing for the year. So many activities. And you don’t try to do all of them. The first year. You pick one activity per slow time and you get it done. You get it done. Like it’s your job like 40 hours a week. You get it done. And what that does is help you use that, that anxious energy that often we have when it gets quiet and slow, and it helps us put it towards something good, something that’s gonna move our business forward. So finally year, every year I kind of built my business, built my business, put one thing in, put the next thing in. And then finally my business really truly was running on autopilot. And this is when it gets good, because when you’ve done that, when you’ve put in the structure, when you’ve put the things in place that is going to support your business all year long and for years to come, like those things I mentioned, what happens then is that Downtime is that you can actually look forward to it and truly take a break. And I always say that I always feel like I’m selling like the year of selling real estate. Like the, from January to December, feels like a marathon every single year, but even marathoners, they need to do what’s called taper or have active rest. They do need to rest. That is part of their training schedule. And so you have to think of that rest when you are at the point where you feel comfortable and you will, I promise you if you allow yourself after putting things in place and after allowing those things that you’ve put in place to grow your business and kind of do the work for you so that you’re not always the one doing the work. Once you allow that to happen, then you really get to build in that rest. Now, I think you should build it in well before that. But then, but when you get to that point, like every single one of those Downtime, you’re like, I got nothing. I truly get to rest. There’s nothing more I can do. And that is such an amazing feeling. Now you don’t get there until you’ve reached your goals, but once you’ve reached your goals and probably surpassed them, once you get all this in place, that is the moment that you can say, yep, I’m done here. I can take a break. And it is truly a break. I know for me, those, those rest periods, those, those conscious choices I made to spend that Downtime as rest. Like I was training for a marathon, like it was required for me to run the best race the next year and the next kind of uptime I truly was able to let go of my business, take real time off. And what’s so great about this also is when you start to see this pattern, you help your clients be less anxious too. You help be. You help direct your clients in my market. For example, the last two weeks of August or the week of labor day or the week, right before labor day, it is not the best time to list a house. And so really, because not only am I trying to protect my rest, but I’m also trying to protect my clients in helping them make good decisions. I tell them, look, last two weeks of August, everyone’s gone. Everyone’s, you know, getting their kids back to school or doing their final vacations or whatever they’re doing. They’re distracted. So let’s wait till right after labor day or the week or two after labor day to list your house rather than doing it. The last two weeks of August, it benefits my clients and it benefits and protects my rest period. So same thing with buyers. When you start to realize what these patterns are and you help your clients also embrace that Downtime like clockwork. My clients would always panic come August. And in the initial consultation that I, that I teach and that I do, I tell them about the yearly cycle and the weekly cycle to the market. And I warn them, especially if we’re about to enter one of those slow times. And I say, look, you’re not gonna believe me right now, but I promise the inventory is going to go down, come August. Don’t let it panic. You don’t let that sway you and, and make you think that you can’t afford a house like clockwork. There will be new listings right after labor day. And sure enough, that happens. And what that does is not only does it help my clients like build trust with my clients, they like almost see that like, you’re a fortune teller. They’re like, how did you know that? But it also keeps them calm and it keeps them focused on the, on the big prize ahead of them. And it helps them not make bad decisions because they are operating from a place of lack. They understand the ebb and flows and you were the one to help them understand. And secondarily it helps you protect that, that quiet period as well. And you know, if you really look at it, these moments in our business, they can be life changing. They can be business changing. And whether you’re consciously choosing or not, they are life changing and they are business changing because you can decide to let these down times kind of scare you and give you anxiety. And that’s when you’ll probably start to beat yourself up, tell yourself you can’t do this. Tell yourself things aren’t working and you might talk yourself out of having a super successful business. I know if I had listened to my own self doubt during those periods, I would never be here. I would never have made six figures. I would never have made a million dollars a year. I would never have opened a brokerage. And I would never be talking to you on this podcast. And also teaching agents throughout the country, how to be successful in their real estate businesses. That is life changing. That is business changing. I did not allow myself to convince myself that just because my business was quiet, that that meant I was a failure. What I, what I decided to let it mean was I needed to get to work. Now, of course, the first few years, like I said, I did think I was a failure. I did go into panic mode, but I didn’t quit. There was this little piece inside of me that said, I can do this and I’m gonna keep going. So listen to that, that person, listen to that person, not the person who tells you that this is it. That you’re never gonna sell a house again, because that is also very loud. Believe me, I’ve heard it many, many times. And so when I decided to start doing something with my business, during those slow times, like doing the CRM, doing the website, getting my email newsletter, put together, those were also life and business changing those choices, cuz it’s not just about not choosing to have anxiety. It’s also choosing about proactively, what can you do with that Downtime? And it changed everything for me. It created structure in my business, which then created time. I had so much extra time and it helped me grow my business and service more clients than I ever could without those systems and out, without those things in place, my business. And I would’ve had no other time during the year to really concentrate and get those things done because there’s always somebody calling or somebody wanting to see a house or you, you time block for something and then it’s time to run out. So that’s okay. And when those times are happening in your business where you’re getting distracted, those are not great times to work on these big projects. Just remind yourself, I do need to do our CRM, but I’m gonna do it in this quiet time. And for most of us it’s either right now or it’s towards the end of the year. It get, it gets quiet. It feels scary. Don’t let it scare. You, let it fuel you and help you get to work. And then what happened after that was also life changing for me. Once I was able to use that Downtime, to propel my business, to give me more time to serve my clients more, my business just kept growing and truly it was easier and easier every year because of those things I put in place that is life changing, that is business changing. And then when I finally was able to reach that, that rest period for myself, I also had life changing and business changing moments. During those Downtime, I decided to eventually took me probably about 15 years to get to this point, but that’s okay. I got there. And I decided during that Downtime in August to spend three weeks away from the DC area, just to kind of unplug and get to know other parts of the country or get, go on vacations that I never had time for and truly kind of be off from my business. Now I tell you I was, I was off for my business, but I was still answering, you know, phone calls here and there answering emails, working a couple hours a day, but really being able to, other than those kind of chosen moments, I was able to really kind of unplug from my work. And it really gave me so much energy and helped me be a better agent for my clients and a better person to myself and to my family all the other times of the year. And what that, what that Downtime did for me was it helped me see that, like I actually wanted to move across the country. I wanted to do other things with my life. I wanted to, it just opened up this whole world of possibility. It actually led to me meeting my husband at 40 years old thinking I would never get married. And finally that Downtime actually led to all these life changes. And so when I say that, you really can choose what you do with this Downtime. And choosing wisely can be business and life changing. I truly mean it. And so I hope this podcast episode has helped you really first notice the pattern in your market then helped maybe lower that anxiety and lower it enough so that you feel like you can consciously choose what you wanna do with that time in the beginning, you’re gonna fuel that time with working on your business. And that’s perfectly fine. You’re gonna feel tired. You’re gonna feel like, you know, you’re, you’re running a marathon all year long and during the beginning of your business, that is what’s gonna happen. That is how it’s gonna feel. But if you work through that and go through that, just like training for a marathon, the next race becomes easier. You become more conditioned. Your body’s used CLO you know, more used to those, to those longer runs and it feels easier the next time. And then you don’t have to train as much. Once you get to the point where you’re at that level of fitness, once you get your business to that level of operating for you, then you can, you don’t have to grind as much as you did in the beginning. And I promise you I’ve seen it happen not just to myself, but some of my earliest students who are now, I guess about 10 years, 12 years into their business, I’m seeing it happen with them too. And I remember when they would come to me all nervous about not, you know, why is it so quiet? What do I do? What do I do? And kind of make sometimes making some, not really great choices, spending money where they shouldn’t just out of anxiety or thinking they needed leads in that moment. And I was like, no, that’s not gonna work. You’re wasting your money. Just take a breath, take a rest. They’re coming back. And then over the years finally seeing that come to fruition, then seeing them work on building their business during those slow times, and now seeing them be able to take that break. It’s just been amazing to watch other people have that same experience as well. So how do you wanna spend the Downtime in your real estate business? How are you gonna spend those predictable, quieter times that happen every single year? Are you gonna let them fill you with anxiety? Are you gonna get to work and put these important business and life-changing structures into your business? Or are you gonna choose to rest truly unplug, give yourself the energy for the rest of the year to truly serve your clients, your choice choose wisely. And I hope this podcast has helped you do just that. Thank you for listening to this episode of a top Producing Real Estate Agent. We purposely keep this podcast sponsor and commercial free so we can focus solely on providing real estate agents with the content that will help them grow their real estate business and have a life they love outside the business too, but we need your help to get this podcast in the hands of other real estate agents. So please, if you liked this episode, leave a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening, and also tell all your agent friends to listen in too. Thank you so much for supporting this show for being a listener and supporting other agents along your way to success. That’s what this is all about. See you next time. On another episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. And until then come hang with me over at agentgradschool.com. I’ll see you there.

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