If the real estate market could talk, this is what it would be saying right now:
It feels like there is no inventory at all, when it should be the height of the spring busy season.
Yes, this year, a global pandemic threw a wrench in all of our well-laid plans, but there’s a way to talk to your clients about what the market is doing right now that can keep them calm and keep them looking to the day they can continue with their plans to buy and sell.
Whether you know it or not (and whether there is a pandemic or not), there is always a natural ebb and flow to the real estate market.
Once you identify what the natural flow is in your market, you can use it to your advantage and help your clients at the same time!
In today’s episode of Confessions of A Top Producing Real Estate Agent, we discuss how to identify what the flow of the market is where you work and live and how to talk about it with your buyer and seller clients to manage their expectations.
We also explain how you can use this knowledge to schedule in seasons of work time and personal time throughout the year.
I sometimes think running a successful real estate business feels like constantly training for a marathon and once you understand the natural ebb and flow of the inventory in your market, you can plan your year out so you know when it’s time to add those extra miles and spend a lot of time working, while other months mean you can scale back and finally “tapper” your work schedule, scale back and enjoy some much needed rest.
Understanding What The Flow Is In Your Market
Every real estate market has certain times of the year when it’s a “better” time to sell and a less “good” time to sell.
What is it in your market?
The Yearly Flow of The Market
For example, if your market is very school calendar driven, meaning many people look to move in the summer so they aren’t moving in the middle of the school year, then perhaps the best time to buy a home and sell a home is during April, May and June, so that everyone is moved in, settled in and ready for school come August.
If that is the case where you are, then you could communicate this information to your buyer and seller clients–that the majority (but not all) of homes sell during that time frame and how those facts determine what to expect.
For example, if a clients comes to you in October wanting to buy a home in that area, you can explain that you will look for them, of course, and their criteria is in line with they could find (if that is the case), but right now, the inventory is low and to keep expectations low until April.
Doesn’t mean you won’t see houses on the market at all, you’ll just see less and you can tell them not to give up hope…it’s not their criteria, it’s just the timing that is off.
Or, maybe you service a ski resort area and the best time to buy and sell is when everyone wants to go skiing.
I don’t know what it is your area, but there is one.
Here is what the “natural flow” of the market looks like in the areas I service, but there are some “micro-markets” that work on a slightly different season and when I have a client who is looking to buy or sell in one of those “mico-markets” I’m able to communicate what to expect to my clients so they can plan and manage their expectations.
Download it here, maybe it’s the same as your market! If yours in the same, you can use this free download in your buyer and seller meetings to explain what the flow of the market is and what to expect.
The Weekly Flow of The Market
There is also a weekly cycle to the market. In most markets, homes come on the market closer to the weekend, when buyers have the time off work to visit homes.
Specifically, for my market, the best day to put homes on the market is Thursday. It’s when the majority of homes come on the market (but not all) and the reason is because we want our listings to update on all the listing website and feeds overnight and show up in buyers inboxes on Friday so they can reach out to their agents an schedule showings for the weekend.
Nobody ever told me this, it’s just what I noticed and once I did, I used it to help my buyer and seller clients and plan my weeks accordingly.
How Going With The Flow Helps Sellers
For seller clients–there are certain times of the year that are better to put houses on the market that will yield higher buyer turn out, a quicker sale and for more money.
There are even certain days of the week that are better to list homes that will get your seller clients more buyers coming to the house. So, I can explain that we list homes on Thursday. That alone brings clarity and a plan to sellers and then I can explain to them why. That makes me look like an expert and also has them realize that my worth is not just in an offer, it’s what I do all along the way to get them the best offer possible.
How Going With The Flow Helps Buyers
For buyer clients–oftentimes, they are simply looking at a time when there is a lower number of houses on the market.
I keep their hopes up and say, “if the market could talk it would say, ‘it’s me, not you'” and that lightens the situation for them and helps them understand that what they want in a home is possible, just not right now.
I then go on to explain when the inventory normally comes back and why and sure enough, when it happens, they feel even more certain about move forward with a home then because they were told this is when the houses come on the market sure enough, they did.
I know many of buyers want a house the minute they decide it’s time to buy one, but sometimes it takes a little time. It’s definitely NOT like HGTV when you go out look at four houses and buy one of them. That is a grossly oversimplified version of what it’s like to buy a home (and we really wish they would stop making it look like that is what it will be like).
Explaining the ebb and the flow of the market to buyers keeps them calm, keeps them engaged in their search even when there is not much inventory and keeps them from looking to you to do something. Instead, they understand, it’s just timing.
How Going With The Flow Helps You As An Agent
Not only does understanding and then communicating this ebb and flow of the market to your buyer and seller clients help them, but it also helps you.
1.) You don’t have to panic if there aren’t many homes on the market for a buyer when there is a natural ebb.
For example, in my market, the listings would dry up like clockwork every August and every December. Rather than panic, I would explain this to my buyers that it just wasn’t the most likely time they would find a home. Doesn’t mean we won’t find a home, but just don’t panic when you don’t see any homes on the market week after week. I’d say that the inventory comes back after the new year and like clockwork, houses would come on the market in January and they were ready for it.
Knowing this information calmed them down, they knew what to expect and it helps them realize it wasn’t them, it was just timing. It also helped me, because I knew that those months of the year would be slower and I could plan more personal things in my life outside of work and actually have the time to enjoy them.
2.) You can schedule in seasons of work and seasons of personal time.
Being in real estate can be a 24/7/365 job if you let it. But, if you know and understand the ebb and flow of the market, you can look at your real estate business like a surfer rides the waves or like a runner trains for a marathon.
Here’s what I mean…
A surfer knows when the waves are at their best. There are certain times of the day when the waves are better. That’s when they go out to catch a wave.
Once they are out there, they know that sometimes they have to wait it out before a wave comes in. They wait, but they are always looking.
They finally get the wave they’ve been waiting for and it’s worth all the planning and waiting and patience.
In the running example–if you’ve ever trained for a race or know anyone who has, you know that there is a schedule to adhere to based on when race day is. Some weeks you have a few miles to run, some weeks you have to put your head down and do the long runs. Then, there are weeks when you “tapper” and rest to get ready for the race day.
You can use the natural ebb and flows of the market to do just this in your business.
Some weeks or even months are going to be all consuming with work. You are making the hay while the sun shines so-to-speak. While other months are going to be slower. Not becuase you don’t have any clients, but because you are in a natural ebb of the market when it’s time o take a break. You’ve planned for this, you are ready for this and you spend this time resting, relaxing and doing all the things you put off when you were working maybe a little too much.
You can communicate these seasons to the people around you so they know what to expect from you and what’s possible as well.
I know my family really appreciated understanding the cycle in my market so they knew there were times I would be busier with work than others and we could all plan accordingly.
Just like accountants are busiest from February through April, you might need to communicate to your family that is busiest time of year work-wise, but it will be worth it come August or December when you have more free time to make up for the busy time.
3.) Positions you as an expert
When you communicate to your buyer and seller clients what the natural flow of the market is and tell them how they can use it to help them succeed in their search or sale of a home, you position yourself as a true expert.
Being able to predict what will happen before it happens and explain that this is “normal” when they aren’t hearing that from anywhere else, means you know things they can’t get anywhere else.
All the more reason for them to choose you as their agent and refer you to all their friends.
4.) Answers that question, “Why Should Someone Choose YOU?”
As always, we need to be answering that question, why should someone choose YOU as their real estate agent vs. all the other options out there.”
Understanding the flow of the market and communicating this information to your clients, no only answers that question, but also keeps clients calm, helps them manager their expectations, allows you to plan the seasons of your year according and positions you as a true expert.
I hope you’ll start using this in your business today.
To your success,
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about your instructor
Hi, I'm Jennifer! I'm a real estate agent, founder of Agent Grad School and host of the podcast Confessions of A Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I teach real estate agents the exact steps I used to go from no sales my first few years in real estate to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US. Become a student, binge on the podcast or take a free class and let me show you how you can have the real estate career you've always wanted!