Every Market is Tough: How to Deal with This One

Eden Sunshine
Vice President
Realty Executives Phoenix

 

Aside from the occasional extreme optimist, in over 20 years involved in the real estate industry I have never once heard anyone say, “this market is easy.” Every market brings its own complexities, and thus, every market is inherently challenging. We are in a hard market, like every market, on several different levels. Specifically, record low inventories and extreme competition among buyers is one of the most notable complexities in the real estate industry today.

Buyers and agents representing buyers are experiencing heightened levels of frustrations or what is now being termed “buyer fatigue.” Which simply means that buyers are getting exhausted from the process of finding a home and occasionally bail out of the search entirely. Agents are getting fatigued as well. Even seasoned agents, who are fully engaged in the business, are reporting that they have never worked harder to find a home and get an offer accepted for a client.

In an industry where markets are ever changing, new threats emerge, advances in technology rapidly occur and new opportunities present themselves, agents must be able to adapt and quickly adjust if they want to win in real estate.

Here are a couple tips to help navigate in today’s market and current challenges.

  • Helping Buyers Cope with a Tough Market. More than ever before, agents must prepare buyers with the inevitable challenges they will face when buying a home. The best, and most effective, approach is to explain and share the brutal facts with your clients up front. Make sure you have your buyers total and undistracted attention. Literally grab their hands and look them in the eyes and say,

    “Listen to me. You need to know the truth about what we are going to experience together. Yes, I am in this with you, but you must understand that we are going to be faced with some major obstacles finding you a home. You will be disappointed many times, get frustrated, maybe angry, and tired during the process. We are going to have to be persistent.”

Then explain the competition they will face like dozens of cash, over asking, offers on homes, waived contingencies etc. Finally, ask them, “Are you ready to get started?”

When they experience disappointments, simply remind them of your initial conversation and that what is happening is to be expected and that you will get through it if they do not quit.

  • Schedule Some Personal Recoup Time. The life of a high production agent does not allow for much rest and free time during an especially challenging market like today. Agents are often telling me they are working nights and weekends with little or no break. They are succeeding and making good money, but they are also getting burned out. It is okay to set some boundaries and allow yourself some time to recreate, decompress, and relax. Make an appointment with yourself. The demands of the job require some time to recharge so you can serve your clients well and stay levelheaded even when they are not.

 

  • Focus on Getting Listings. I have mentioned before that retooling your business might be necessary for some people. Many agents who call themselves buyer’s agents often do not like when I suggest a change. The fact is the agents that typically make the most money in this business focus mostly on listings. The key to this market is creating more listings. Agents need to be telling the story about why selling is a good idea and emphasize the opportunity for some homeowners. An agent complained to me that there are only about 4500 homes for sale in the Greater Phoenix area and there is just nothing for their clients to buy. I told him there are over 1.3 million homes in the county, go find a home that is not for sale and create a listing. He was not happy about the idea, but it made sense to him at the same time. Great salespeople figure out how to put a deal together and great agents know how to put buyers and sellers together, even if they must work outside the context of traditional business. In this case, relying entirely on the MLS and the work of other agents.

Succeeding in any market requires the ability to adapt to unique circumstance, situations, and market conditions. Succeeding today requires resilience, managing stress, and creating sales opportunities rather than waiting for them to come to you.