Shift Your Perspective
I woke up this morning freezing. Creeping out of bed I shuffled to the thermostat. Heat. I needed heat. As my morning eyes struggled to focus on the temperature showing on the thermostat, I wondered if it was 50 degrees in the house. It felt so freaking cold. My jaw dropped as my eyes focused on the seven in front of the zero. 70. I’m shivering and its 70 degrees. To someone in Alaska, 70 degrees must be super toasty. In most of the US that would be a pleasant summer day. This led me to two realizations:
- If you live where summers reach 120 degrees, 70 is apparently cold.
- I have lived in Phoenix way too long.
As I continued to shiver holding my coffee mug for warmth and its magical caffeine, I realized that so much of the shift and market changes we are discussing online, in the office, and with clients are kind of like my 70 degrees. The housing recovery after the 2008 crash and the booming market of recent years is summer. It’s been hot and suddenly normal feels like winter. Normal feels like doom and gloom. Normal feels a little scary. In Phoenix, we are looking at a return to normal. Something we haven’t seen since 2002. And with our turnover rates that means most agents actively working in the Phoenix market have never experienced normal. They don’t know what to do with normal. I got my license in 2004, so I am with them. We are in a whole new frontier. And then it hit me:
- It’s all in your perspective. Whatever that perspective is.
- And your perspective influences your reaction or overreaction.
I have spoken to many agents who are concerned about what our market will be like in 2019. They are all looking at this “shift” from their own perspective – when they got their license, the source of their business, the way they run their business, etc – and that impacts their reaction to what is happening currently. In Phoenix, our inventory is still low, prices are still up, buyers are still plentiful. Sure homes aren’t flying off the shelf like a 50% off sale on a 72 inch TV on Black Friday at 5AM at a certain discount retailer, but they are still selling in short order…if they are properly priced in the high demand price points.
I’m a believer in consistent activities equal consistent results. Often it doesn’t matter what those activities are as long as you do them consistently. That word…consistent. It’s the only word that matters in your marketing plan. What are you willing to consistently do to generate business? Be honest with yourself. If you loathe open houses – don’t say 10 open houses a month because you will taper off in month two even if it is giving you amazing results and by April your open house signs will be covered in cobwebs.
Let’s say you have zero idea what to do to generate business in 2019. Start with 2018 and source your business. Find out where it is coming from. And focus your consistent energy on those areas that provide the best ROI, not just for your dollar but for your time as well. No business in 2018 to source – here are some great ideas on things you can do consistently in a changing market that if done consistently in 2019 will provide a consistent stream of business.
- Your Sphere…Obviously!
- Open Houses
- Traditional Geographical Farming
- Calling FSBO’s
- Calling Expired
- Circle Prospecting
- Direct Mailing any of the above
- First Time Home Buyer Classes
- Webinars on Home Buying
- Creative Listing Promotions
- Creative Buyer Promotions
- Social Media Ads
- Community Pages on Facebook
- Community Involvement
- Sitting in a Coffee Shop with an Ask the REALTOR sign
- Out of Area Agent Referrals
- Sales Niche’s – Probate, Divorce, REO, Short Sale
- Twirling a Need to Buy a House Arrow on a street corner (joking…or am I)
I could go on forever because really the list is utterly endless. ANYTHING you do consistently will work. Here are things that I have personally known agents do consistently that has worked from them.
- Local Newspaper Advertising in a Niche Community
- 10 Conversations about Real Estate Every Day
- Daily Open Houses in a Targeted Geographic Area
- 2 Hours of Dialing for Dollars Every Day Monday through Friday
- Regular Direct Mail to SOI
- Monthly Pop-by’s to A Clients
- Networking with Builders
None of these things are the same, but they all work. And another agent can go out and fail with every single one of them if they do not apply consistency to the plan. This is why if you ask 100 agents how to succeed in real estate you will likely get 125 answers. Thomas Edison once said “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” I want to agree with him. When you are doing what you love, how you love to do it – it isn’t work anymore. It’s fun. Find the ways to do real estate that inspire you, thrill you, make you smile. Build your marketing plan around them. Structure your schedule to create consistency and become the agent that doesn’t panic when the market shifts. All you have to do is shift your focus and no matter what the season you will never find yourself alone in the cold.