Friday, October 17, 2008

Developing Your Strategy in a Changing Real Estate Market

Just about every area in the United States has experienced what most would consider a down market. As a real estate professional, it is important to evaluate your business on an on-going basis, specifically, when the market begins to slow down. In the Northeast, we are beginning to see signs of what we would consider a buyer's market. This is unusual for the area, which is an adjustment for sellers, and quite frankly, some of the newer real estate agents that have not been accustomed to taking a consultative approach with their business. There are a few key elements to developing and continuing a steady stream of clients.

Client relationships-Quality real estate agents consistently discover that their business is closely tied to the relationships they have built over many years. Building and nurturing those client relationship results in trusting relationships and referral business. Focusing on client service, with a long-term view of those client relationships, creates value.

Clear, written plan-Successful agents develop a detailed business plan including how many closings they are targeting for the year, the activities tied to reaching their closing goal, and the amount of personal promotion money that they will allocate to build their business. These goals should be visible to the agent, and not just developed at the end of the year (for the next year) and stuffed into a file. Having a focus on your goals on a daily, monthly, quarterly basis will increase your odds of consistent, viable business.

Market Knowledge-As the market begins to turn, it's not only important to have the statistics for your buyers and sellers, but also have the in-depth understanding of the impact. Being able to articulate the changes in each neighborhood, price range, and overall market will add to your credibility as a sales professional.

Communication with your clients-Changing markets do strange things to both buyers and sellers. Anxiety is created with change. The most effective way to help your clients through the change is keeping them apprised of all of the news, whether good or bad. Clear, consistent, and thorough communication also develops long-term client relationships.

Melissa Riley is an Office Leader with Prudential Connecticut Realty. She is a 24-year veteran of real estate and relocation. Visit her website at

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