The tyranny of the Status Quo

What is the status quo?  As Webster’s dictionary defines it, it is – the existing state of affairs (at a particular time).  What is wrong with the status quo in real estate?  The market is in a constant state of flux.  Interest rates change, inventory levels change, the market shifts between a buyer’s market to seller’s market regularly, housing prices fluxuate between areas & neighborhoods, attitudes of buyers, sellers and agents  alter within the market,  and as we know now, the appraisal portion of our transaction has also adjusted.  The internet has brought more information to more people more quickly so it is imperative that we as agents adapt to change. 

Let’s analyze where we need to make adjustments in our business to maintain a competitive edge.  First, our conversations with clients, other agents, lenders and appraisers must change.  We have seen inventory levels steadily decline, demand steadily increase, we see multiple contracts throughout our area and across different price points and we are definitely in a seller’s market.  Let people know how the market really is and not what the media says it is.  As an example, The Washington Post wrote about Short Sales and strategic defaults on mortgages this past weekend.  We have been dealing with these issues for several months now.

Our marketing efforts must be a reflection of how to attract what is “working” in our marketplace.  Today we are seeing investor and first time buyer purchasers buying a majority of houses in Northern Virginia.  Prices are down, interest rates remain low, the rental market is hot, and the $8,000 tax credit are making it ideal for buyers in both categories to enter the market.  Hold home buying seminars geared towards first time buyers and investors.  Now is also a fantastic time for move up buyers to take advantage of the market and “switch” equity positions.  Call past clients and tell them how the market really is, build inventory and sales will follow. 

Our education – as previously mentioned in the internet comment in the first paragraph – CDPE, winning multiple contract situations, Green Designation are what we need to direct our attention to in today’s market.  Determine the next trend and pursue your education in that arena.  The more you know, the more you will grow and your bank account will follow.

Our networking efforts need to be increased.  You need to get in front of people to get your message out.  Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines.  Make the effort and see the results.  Networking opportunities are everywhere – informal places like the gas station, grocery store, schools, games, swim meets, swimming pools, etc to formal ones like chamber events, BNI’s, etc.  Also, network with lenders, builders, title companies and other Realtors to gather information on our market for you to share with others you meet to show your expertise.

Our prospecting efforts need to be more intentional.  Be direct in regards to past clients, sphere of influence, and adding new people to our databases.  Your prospecting efforts need to be continuous, consistent, as well as meaningful to the recipient.  Send the right message and get sent referrals.  Your prospecting must be done on a daily basis – not on occasion.

What should stay the status quo – diligence in which you pursue your personal and business growth – persistence in your prospecting efforts to expand your database and your business as well as consistency in your communication with your sphere in regards to the number, type and message delivered to the people in your database.  Your pursuit for success is reflected in all of your endeavors you undertake in your daily routine.

Get busy getting busy.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.  Now, go sell something.

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