We both know that you get the question all the time from anyone who finds out you're involved in real estate. Curious people who want to know what's happening around them and what's going on in their local market.
I must get the question at least once a day by anyone who knows what I do or anyone who finds out. Typically it's just an innocent way to strike up a conversation and in my eyes that's always a welcome thing. The more people you talk to the better and the more opportunities you will get.
But are you taking full advantage of this little curiosity on the part of the public? More often than not they are asking for some other reason than idle chit chat and you can turn this into a more interesting conversation. You just have to be able and willing to do such a thing and the benefits of such efforts can prove to be fruitful.
How do you answer the question? Do you go into an in depth analysis, or do you ask questions yourself?
The first thing I do when someone asks how's the market is ask them why they asked. If they say that they are just curious, then I ask them who they are asking for. Sometimes you will find that they have a relative or friend who is thinking about buying a home or selling their current. At that point you have a lot more to work with and you know much more about how to handle the situation. If they or someone they know is trying to buy, then you explain what the buyer's market is like, the same goes for the seller's market, rental market, and the investment market. Those in the business realize that these are 4 different markets, but most consumers don't think of it that way.
Once you know the reasoning behind the question, you are far better prepared to not only answer but possibly create a new prospect. You know the name of the game, no prospects, no clients. No clients = no sells and no sells = no money. You have to be ready to make the most of every opportunity. One other piece of advice that I would give is that if you find out the person you are talking to knows someone who is looking to buy, rent, sell, or invest, see if they will give you their friend or relatives number. It's great to give the person your card and you should, but the likely hood that it will actually make it into the hands of the possible prospect and that they will call you is not very high. So if you get the chance, get their number and email if possible so you can contact them.