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— by Dale Archdekin

What Real Estate Agents Should Do During Slow Months

Real estate sales often slow in the winter months. This is especially true if you live in a region with a colder climate. But just because you might have fewer sales does not mean that you put your real estate business to rest and wake it up when spring comes. Slow periods can provide you with significant opportunities to improve your marketability, expand your client base, and grow as a real estate salesperson. In other words, use the slow periods to prepare for the peak periods. 

Can Real Estate Agents Sell in Winter? 

Let’s get one thing straight, the winter is not a total dead period when it comes to real estate sales. There are people who are moving throughout all the seasons and so there are people who are buying and selling houses all year long. 

Although the notion that spring is the best time to sell is pretty much a ubiquitous idea in the real estate world, there are opportunities for business in the winter. We wrote an article a while back discussing how to deal with leads whose objection is “I want to wait until spring to sell my home.” We talked about how to convince them to sell during the winter instead if it makes sense for their situation. 

Without going too deeply into that other article, the punchline is that there are some clear advantages to selling in winter like less competition, highly motivated buyers who need a house fast, and the ability to highlight the winter side of your home (e.g. fireplaces, hot tubs, easy to shovel driveway, etc.). But ultimately, it all comes down to you getting at the buyer’s or seller’s motivation and understanding their perspective, process, and desired outcome. 

And for plenty of people, it makes sense for them to buy or sell during the winter months. So you shouldn’t automatically think of the winter as a time when you are unable to make real estate sales.  

What to Do if Sales Are Slow in Winter 

With all that said, however, overall it is likely that most winters will be slower than the spring and summer months. If that’s the case, then the key is to look at this time as an opportunity rather than a dead loss. As a real estate agent, you are out selling houses on a daily basis. Going to showings, setting up open houses, speaking back and forth with your clients and other agents—basically in the field doing what you do best, buying and selling homes. 

The problem that can arise, however, is that you can get so caught up in working in your business day after day that there isn’t much time left over to work on your business. By that I mean exploring new marketing options, improving your existing lead generation and sales funnel systems, making sure your team members have the resources they need, or are using those resources to be as efficient as possible, and the list goes on. 

Slow times (hopefully) aren’t coming around too often, so when they do come around use them to your advantage. 

Network and Marketing 

When times are slow is when you should be doubling down on your real estate networking and marketing efforts. You want to get as many clients and leads into your pipeline so when springtime comes, you are ready to start having homes fly off the shelves. Consider attending community events and business luncheons. Search for volunteer opportunities in the area where you could meet new people. Whatever you do, be sure to follow up with any new contacts you meet.

When it comes to targeted advertising and marketing, the slower season is actually when a lot of agents choose to beef up their efforts. This is because the majority of people who are looking to buy and sell their homes in the spring are thinking about it and preparing for it during the winter months. Once the craziness of the holidays is over, people who are planning to move in the spring will most likely start to get serious about developing their plan. 

This means continuing your social ads targeting new potential buyers and sellers, keep sending emails to your database, and, in general, keep investing dollars into your advertising efforts. One of the biggest mistakes real estate agents make is to cut their marketing when they have fewer dollars rolling in. Remember, marketing is an investment, not an expense. This is true no matter what time of the year it is.

Educate Yourself 

The slow season is also the prime time to sharpen your overall skills. This means taking advantage of training and coaching resources, improving your phone skills, working on your sales conversations, and learning new marketing techniques (like how to effectively utilize social media for real estate). We live in a time when excellent resources are never more than a few clicks away. The problem, like with most things, is finding the time to sit down and utilize them. 

Learn More about Your Real Estate Market or a New Niche

Another great way to utilize your free time during the real estate offseason is by both conducting researches of real estate trends in your market and by branching out into new fields or niches. Because the real estate industry has a reputation for being fiercely competitive, real estate professionals often feel like they must learn more, be more, and do more in order to succeed. 

However, this story can be somewhat misleading. Better is often to be selective in identifying your target market. When agents market themselves as experts in a certain niche of the industry, it not only helps the agent but the client as well. Use this slow time to better understand your market and to find any possible niches or angles that may exist to help you improve your real estate business. 

Conclusion

Just because times may be slow for your real estate business doesn’t mean that you should be taking a couple of months off. First off, there are ample opportunities to sell in the winter if you know how to find the right leads show them that it is in their best interest to do so (if it in fact is). Secondly, this is a time to work on your business. Work on your marketing, find the customers who are going to be selling come spring, educate yourself, and learn more about your market. 

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