Now is not the time to close up shop and cancel services, it's time to buckle down and focus on business building activities.
Real Estate has always been a forward thinking business. As an agent you are taught to keep your pipeline filled, think 90+ days into the future. Which got me thinking, why are real estate agents freaking out? We should have at least 90 days of security and preparation before we need to worry. Even if you have an attrition rate of 30% you should still be in good shape.
Look, markets shift, things change, we take vacations and miss a month of business. If you are really a successful agent then a hiccup like this pandemic should be a business blessing in disguise. Let’s be real, a well established and successful agent should not be freaking out about anything this quickly unless they just enjoy the drama of the freak out.
If you’ve built your business, pipeline, and database properly you will be sustained during this time, with a minor hiccup. Everything has a beginning, middle and an end, you freaked out in the beginning, you need to get past it and get focused.
A lot of agents have been telling me they are cancelling services, which is the absolute WRONG thing to do right now. You should be focused on using your services, the CRM, the content provider, your website, your IDX feed, and on. Your real estate business should always be based on what you did 90 days ago, so the effects of now will be felt in June, if you are doing it right. So how are you doing it?
The right way is to focus on the future, become the bastion of light and hope for your Sphere and all the contacts in your database. Keep them informed and interested. People are scared and worried, you are the real estate expert, so offer advice.
The Shift Happens.
Remember when everyone you knew at Keller Williams was giving you a copy of that book Shift? Did you read it? Well you should, there’s a chapter on what to do after a shift, and that chapter is all about focusing on your database and your contacts. You have to work your database, in case you didn’t know that.
The reality in real estate is this, it will continue, the market is just on a short hold in some areas, while it is still as active in others. Rates are low and refinances are actually soaring right now. Be the normalcy that your contacts require right now, that sensible down to earth and helpful voice that will soothe them through this uncertainty.
Right now is the prime time for you as a real estate agent to focus on building your business. To take advantage of the slower time to improve your systems, refine your marketing and strategy and organize your database. Assess the systems you use now, whether they are offered for free by your Brokerage, or you have selected them yourself. You want to ask some tough questions about the products.
5 Steps to Smart Business Choices in Uncertain Times
- Are you utilizing those products and services to benefit your business? Chances are you may not have optimized or personalized a service as much as you can.
- Is the focus of the service on you as an independent agent, or your brokerage? Those freebies you get from your broker are not always going to drive leads, or business with you, remember you’re an independent contractor, you need to focus on your business.
- Are you using all the features the service offers? Chances are you are not. Take a tutorial, read a FAQ, ask questions.
- Don’t react to anything in panic mode. When things got crazy a few weeks ago, and you went off the deep end and cancelled your data plan, and your CRM, and downgraded everything else, were you really thinking about the best options? Consider the alternatives, you might’ve had a grandfathered data plan, or a service agreement that pre-dated setup fees. Are you really saving money when you cancel a service you’ve used for a long time?
- Before you reinvent the wheel, make sure you won’t spend more time, money and effort reinventing it rather than using a pre-existing solution. Your time is money and the highest and best use of your time isn’t in doing things you can outsource.
The point is: Focus on business development.
You can’t continue to build a solid and profitable business if you shut down all your systems that generate the leads you need. You need to be focusing on those systems, not removing them from your business model. You should be working on your messaging, contacting your leads, past clients and sphere. Seeing how you can be of service to your community. Do things for other people who might not be as fortunate as you are. Serving the needs of your community will offer an amazing ROI, so give until it hurts.
You need to be networking, connecting and keeping in touch with your database now more than ever. But we’ll get into more details about that in the follow-up post later this week from our guru of lead generation, Brian Rayl.
There are alternative ways to cut your expenses.
This is a terrific time to ask for reduced rates, or deferred payments. A lot of companies are offering those options to their customers, many without late fees or penalties. It’s not the time to cancel, it’s the time to renegotiate. Not just for business related costs and expenses but personal costs as well.
You can negotiate with your cellular provider, cable provider, landscapers, and many more. We’re all in this together and there is a trickle down effect when you cancel a service. This is something you can do at other times as well. I have often shopped rates between cable and satellite providers, and when I go to cancel a service they escalate me to retention departments and make phenomenal offers.
You’re a real estate professional, you negotiate for a living, so keep your skills sharp, and you mind savvy and renegotiate your bills rather than give up valuable services that will help you maintain your business, and even build it, in this time when you have found time to focus on the administrative matters you rarely have time for.
So, keep building your business, and looking for ways to make it better so you come out after this is over ahead of the game.