5 things every real estate agent should do during the downtime
January 20, 2017
Clients have disappeared. Less houses are on the market. What’s a real estate agent to do? Lots apparently. Award-winning REALTOR® Lisa McLaughlin, from Royal LePage Realty Plus Oakville, says it’s worth taking advantage of the slow times to make your busier times more efficient and more successful. Here are five things you should be doing when the market slows down.
1. Get organized.
No better time than now to make sure you are organized. Is your desk clean? Is your email inbox empty? Have you been doing a good job with your files? And don’t stop there. Go through your data base, suggests McLaughlin. Clean it up. Make sure you have the correct contact information and that you are still in contact with past clients. This will help to ensure you get repeat clients and new clients through referrals. You can also use this time to invest in marketing that is more time consuming, like creating your own website or hiring someone to develop your digital plan.
2. Play catch-up.
Now is a good time to do the things you just don’t seem to have time for, like following up with past sales. “Having clients is like having a short-term relationship,” says McLaughlin about the intense time you can have meeting with and guiding people into their new homes. “Once the deal is done, it’s like you break up with them.” But she doesn’t want it to feel that way, so she uses the winter and summer downtimes to reconnect with clients and to help build a friendship with them. “I get a lot of my business from referrals, so it’s important for me to do these follow-up calls.” You don’t often get the time for the top-tier, face-to-face customer service you would like to offer your clients, so do it now. “When you’re busy this is one thing that falls to the wayside. It shouldn’t but it does because you’re so busy with current clients.
3. Get ahead.
Take advantage of this time to make yourself a better agent. Reach out to your mentor again, as well as take classes, attend seminars and conferences, suggests McLaughlin. You won’t be bogged down with client demands and you can focus on bettering your knowledge, your skills and your insight on the market. She also suggests using this time to mentor someone. Not only will you help someone, but you’ll also reinvigorate your passion for the job.
4. Think about your business.
Pull out your business and marketing plans from last year. It’s time to evaluate how they worked out for you. Did you get a boost of new clients from a billboard? Are you getting enough referrals? How is your social media presence? What was your gross commission? “December and January are often quiet, but it’s also a new year,” says McLaughlin, adding that you’ll want to re-evaluate this coming year’s goals and strategies. She’s currently using this time to create videos to be used as part of her digital marketing plan. “I’m looking at things that will help me stand out a bit from everybody else.”
5. Take a vacation!
Life is all about balance. And this is the time to take a holiday with the family and rejuvenate your love for the business, says McLaughlin. “It can be hard to keep positive during the down times,” she says. If, even after you’ve finished the first four on this list, you find the business side of things to be too slow for you, take some time off. You deserve it.