In the event of an economic downturn, real estate agents should market with the future in mind

Property managers argued Thursday at the virtual event Inman Connect Now that agents leaning into this low market would gain market share that could benefit them for years.

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Real estate agents who hold back on marketing and lead generation as home sales fall are at risk of losing market share and momentum to competitors, two real estate executives said Thursday at the virtual event Inman Connect Now.

Agents should think ahead about how they want to position themselves in more active markets in the future when developing their marketing strategies for this slowdown, said CEO Josh Harley of Fathom Realty and CEO Laurie Finkelstein Reader of Laurie Reader Real Estate.

Josh Harley | Understanding Real Estate

“When we get depressed, a lot of people will drop their marketing just trying to survive and hope to get to the other end,” Harley said. “But what happens in the end is that they [businesses] This is dying.”

Harley said that dealers who spend time, energy and money to market themselves even during a downturn — when competitors typically scale back or leave the market — stand to survive and thrive.

More importantly, he added, these agents have a good chance of getting out of the downturn with a larger market share than before.

He said there is a recent precedent for this. By the end of the housing recession in 2007, the share of agents who had dropped out of the market was greater than the decline in real estate transactions. He said those dealerships still holding out had more business when the market improved.

Reader agreed that this is a good time for agents to put effort into marketing and lead generation, even if the business is slower than it was a year ago.

Laurie Finkelstein Reader | Laurie Reader Real Estate

“It’s all about bending inward now,” Reeder said. “Don’t be afraid, adopt and do what you can from this marketing perspective.”

Since attending Inman Connect Las Vegas in August, Reader says her team has doubled down on emphasizing daily activities that serve the consumer and move the business forward through their sales funnel.

“I’m telling you, Katie, we [as an industry] Reeder told event coordinator Katie Kosseff of Kosev Group. And it was really clear because the conversations on every board we heard [at Inman Connect] It was all about getting back into human contact [and] human interaction.”

The importance of forming a deeper relationship with clients over time becomes clear when considering not only the impact of repeat business but also the influence of past clients who turn their friends into a respected agent.

“People usually move on for hard reasons,” Reeder said. “It is not always a good reason. And I only believe that what makes that consumer comes back to you [and] Referring five clients a year – that’s human interaction and human touch.”

Harley said that agents who focus on cultivating a more manageable number of meaningful relationships are likely to be more successful than those who try to balance a large number of acquaintances at the surface level.

He said that listening to clients and understanding their needs — even if it hurts the prospects of a short-term deal — can earn their trust and lead to more referrals in the future.

“We as agents tend to be almost as psychologists,” Harley said.

Email Daniel Houston

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