Preparation is key in any business but recently I feel like my wife who went into "nesting" mode a few weeks before each of our 3 kids were born. I am focusing BIG TIME on preparation and systems. I'm probably behind by a couple months but I like working under pressure. My advice to all of you out there is "GET READY", the increase in showings and activity is nothing compared to what is coming and it won't be just the spring market. I think there is going to be a steady increase of sales over the next 3-6 months and well into 2012. It is important to understand that this new demand will NOT immediately balance prices in most markets simply because of the dramatic increase of short sales and foreclosures. Don't know about you but we just had 200 new listings come on our market in the past week and 25% were shorts or REOs. So review your systems and plug any holes because things are going to get crazy!
One other piece of advice-
A lot of the buyers we are coming across are 3-6 months out which is common in any market, most of you don't have a problem capturing them but incubating and warming is a different story. Keeping them interested takes more than sending them a list of properties for sale and tracking their activity. I would recommend using a video blog to "warm" the leads. Many of these leads provide "fake" phone numbers so the only way to communicate is e-mail or social media venues. Using video allows them to put a name to the face and if you are providing great information along with properties you will warm the leads. We produce a weekly video called "Properties of the Week" http://lehighvalleyhomes.tv/2-24-11-lehigh-valley-homes-properties-of-the-week/ . What is great about this is when we call the leads that are in our pipeline we are not making "cold" calls, these people have watched the show and we know it and they respond in a "warm" fashion. You don't have to do what we are doing, you just need to be true to yourself and create something of value for your own marketplace.
As Steve Harney has said repeadetly "each day you wake up, the market is going to get better and better". I wish everyone the best in this new season! Happy prospecting! :)