Winter is here and real estate agents have officially entered the slow season.
The holidays are a busy time for everyone. Between holiday parties, traveling, gift shopping and wrapping, school recitals, holiday cooking and baking, family photos, and holiday cards, everyone’s to-do list is seemingly never-ending in the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year. With everyone running around merrily, real estate agents are either thankful for the slowdown in listings or eager for the lull in real estate business to pass quickly.
With active listings and motivated buyers getting more challenging to find right now, savvy real estate agents know it's time to switch up their strategies to stay busy. As schedules open up, now’s a perfect time to focus on building your business pipeline. Remember, what you do now sets you up for the next six months. So use the extra time on your hands during this slowdown to set the stage for a productive New Year.
The following are four tips for staying busy during the holiday season and beyond.
Rethink your marketing game
Whether you’re new to real estate or you’ve been at it a while, chances are there are things you can do to improve your marketing strategy. If you haven’t done so already, develop your website. And if you have a website, take steps to improve your search engine optimization, which should be revised at least a couple of times a year. While you’re working on your online presence, don’t forget about social media - Have you joined TikTok yet? How active are you on Instagram? Are there any new Facebook Groups that are relevant to your area? Do you follow the rants and raves on Nextdoor? An active social media presence is as impactful as ever so really consider how you can best utilize these platforms.
Perhaps the most important thing you could consider is to get started on a new marketing strategy; marketing can feel daunting but the most important thing is to keep your branding, clear and consistent. Just as they say in real estate “location, location, location,” well in marketing, the mantra is “remind, remind, remind.” It all comes down to constant repetition about who you are, what you know, and how you can help. Creating a routine is helpful in making this less daunting so commit to time blocks and set goals. For example, calling X potential clients at 1 pm every day. Commit to X amount of social media posts and comments on others each week.
Demonstrate your expertise
One great way to build your brand is to demonstrate your expertise. Social media is a great way to do this but there are other ways to do this to find quality leads. Community seminars can help you showcase your knowledge of the market to people in the areas you work. Seminars can be geared toward potential buyers or sellers and can offer insight into today’s trends that may impact their buying or selling plans in the future.
Another great way to demonstrate your expertise is by thinking outside the box for expanding your target audience of potential clients. You can prepare a “tips and tricks” sheet for FSBO properties - given the choppy waters of the current market, they may well change their mind and call in a pro. You can also target apartment renters with average cost comparisons between renting and buying a property in their area.
Join the gig economy
When commissions slow down, many agents look to find second or part-time jobs to supplement their incomes. The trouble is finding something flexible that allows you to stay available should any clients need you. The gig economy is a great option - from ride-sharing to delivery drivers, there are plenty of options.
Even better, find gig work that lets you work within the real estate industry and helps to build your network at the same time. Apps like UnlockdBox help you use your real estate license to make money doing simple tasks for other agents in your brokerage. For example, if an agent is on vacation but their client needs to see a house, they can find and hire an agent from within their brokerage to help unlock the house for the showing. Agents can be hired for any sort of task from unlocking the door for an inspection, stagers or photographer, or checking in on a vacant house for sale while the owners are out of town. You can even collaborate with other agents to sit open houses together to expand your potential buyer network.
Nurture your network
While you should spend time expanding your contact list, don’t forget to nurture your existing network. The end of the year is a natural time of year to touch base with past clients. Holiday cards are great because they are expected at this time of year but a quick text or email also works and can even be more personal. Now’s the time to go the extra mile so consider sending a pizza when you know they’ve spent a long day holiday shopping or Doordash their favorite coffee on Monday morning to let them know you are thinking about them.
It’s important to simply touch base without mentioning anything about real estate - your focus is on the relationship. I live by the philosophy that “Givers Gain” and during the season of giving, be generous with your time and talents. Without pretext or agenda, perhaps offer to lend a helping hand. You can help neighbors by putting their deliveries inside their house while they’re at work, walking their dogs while they’re out of town, or shoveling snow from their driveway while you’re out doing your own. Has a contact in your network expressed a need for a plumber or electrician? Offer them an introduction to one of your trusted vendors. If you want a referral, find a way to give one first.
The winter cool-down may be here but that doesn’t mean your real estate business needs to go on ice. Be bold and use your hustle to keep you warm and you may not even need to wait for spring to see the fruits of your labor.
This was a guest article from Rachel White, CEO & Founder, UnlockdBox.
Rachel takes her years of experience in management and real estate to push the envelope on what it means to be an agent. Having practiced Real Estate in Los Angeles and Ventura County, Rachel has the lived experience of what it means to be an agent. Driven by creating more opportunity for all agents, Rachel is a creative at heart who loves to see other people thrive.