Deer in the Headlights Ahead
Continuing the conversation… we’re in the early innings of a market shift, the first we’ve had in more than a decade. Since most people either can’t remember or have never experienced anything BUT a market driven by multiple-offers and a crazy-fast pace, we’re going to see buyers/sellers and agents struggling with change in the months ahead.
There’ll be some buyers running for the hills with fears about buying in a market that’s going down. There’ll be some sellers burying their heads in the sand, resisting the notion that there’s even been a shift. And there’ll be some agents looking like deer in the headlights when they realize that success in a shifting market requires very different skills.
Here are some things Agents will struggle with:
Low Tide: Rising markets float all boats. Realtor ranks always swell in appreciating markets when craziness covers up bad habits, bad behavior and less than full-time commitment to what should be a full-time profession. Agents exit the business in droves when the market shifts.
Relational not Transactional: Real estate is relational even if the worst stereotypes evoke images of used car salespeople. It’s about helping people navigate life transitions, involving their largest assets and their homes! Think clients rather than customers and service rather than sales.
I-Buy to Why Buy: Internet leads that some Agents depend on will dry up as more Buyers start questioning whether they should buy and whether they should seek more experience, rather than clicking on the first Agent link they see. Agents who haven’t learned how to create relationships will struggle.
Balancing Act: It would be hard to imagine a market more lopsided than the sellers market we’ve had. As things move in the direction of more balance, Agents will have to learn better communication skills and how to negotiate on behalf of their clients – something that has all but disappeared.
Listing Agents: Denial isn’t a river in Egypt, it is a fact of life in a shifting market. Be ready to temper your clients’ aspirations by having thoughtful, informed discussions about the shift and the comps that are already too old. Make sure you can explain what chasing the market down means.
Buyers Agents: No, you don’t have to offer full price. Yes contingencies are allowed. You can also put in requests for repairs. Negotiation is part of the job even if it isn’t comfortable. Days on market are a buyer’s friend.
The Digital Feed: In fast-paced markets, Agents develop habits similar to river trout. They park themselves in front of a rock, turn upstream, open their mouths and wait for the river to deliver. When the stream gets slower and shallower new strategies become necessary.