Are you a doorway or a doormat?

Real Estate Agent with Account Exectutive, Mercury Network - a la mode

"New home sales plummet."

"Housing industry lowest in 20 years."

"Foreclosure rates skyrocket."

A homeowner reading the newspaper or watching the national news these days wouldn't think they had a chance if they wanted to sell.  On the flip-side, seeing these headlines would make buyers think that it's close to impossible to get a loan given the foreclosure rates and lack of money in the real estate market.   Both buyers and sellers may assume that they should hold off until they start seeing different headlines touting that the real estate market is back and flourishing.

The biggest problem that I've seen in this market shift is that agents are subscribing to this thought process as well, which really surprises me.  Is the market down right now?  Yes.  Does that mean that the entire industry is dried up and there's no more houses being bought and sold? Hardly.

There are specific things about the market that can not be refuted:

  • Foreclosures have tightened the regulations involved with getting a
    home loan.
  • Homes are sitting on the market longer than what we're used to.
  • Home values in SOME -not all- areas, has taken a drop.

But there are other things that are still true too:

  • There are buyers out there.
  • There are sellers out there.

Our job has gotten harder but not impossible. Now it's critical to start really digging in and working with clients in your area to educate them about what your market is doing and become the voice of reason in your area.

Did your area experience a modest growth over the last 10 years?  If so, do your buyers and sellers even know this or are they left to what they see and read in national publications and networks?  Is your market in a value tailspin?  The reality is that there are still people that are fine with a modest 3 or 5 % return because they bought in 2002 and they need to sell.  We tend to assume that if the 50 - 60% returns are gone, then people don't sell.  Not true.

So how do we spread this message?  There's some effective and practical ways you can change your advertising to start becoming the voice of reason in your area.

1.  If you're in an area that has sustained modest growth, let people know.  For example, consider a postcard that said, "Knoxville homes survive the real estate plunge"?  That kind of headline is specific to the recipient and gets a further read. I would use the limited space to give the facts:

  • Knoxville experienced a modest 3% growth
  • Homes are still maintaining their value
  • Homes are seeing an additional 30-45 DOM
  • Visit my website to read all of the statistics of why now is still a good time to buy and sell in Knoxville

2.  If you're in an area that's been hit with lower values, you can still take an approach that gets them to read your message.  For example, your headline could read something like, "Why would anyone buy or sell a home in Naples?"  And again, I would just to stick to the facts:

  • Naples has seen a decrease in values but that doesn't mean that homes are not selling
  • Days on the market have increased but they're not unrealistic
  • Visit my website to see what steps I can take to ensure that your home stands out among the crowd

3.  Make sure to add monthly neighborhood statistics to your website, newsletters and blogs.  Organically, this is one of the best ways to return in the search results for individuals scouring the Internet about their area.  Because the information is fresh and specific, this not only helps to educate your potential clients but also help set expectations and realities in your area as well.

4.  Finally, don't forget to promote why you are uniquely equipped to sell houses in today's market.  Do you have years of experience?  Make sure people know that you've been around for the booms and busts over the years, which has prepared you to help them navigate this challenging market. If you have other competitive advantages such as great listing tools, shorter-than-average listing times, etc., share them in your marketing message.

At the end of the day, people are looking for solid information and good advice about how the real estate market effects them.  Now is the time to share information with buyers and sellers about their specific market that could help them tremendously and gain you clients for life. 


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Deborah Burns ~ Seattle Real Estate Agent
Realty Executives -BRIO - Seattle, WA
Good question, "Are you a doorway or a doormat?"  If someone is proactive about their real estate business then THEY are a DOORWAY, and if they are allowing the current market conditions to effect their real estate business, then They are a Doormat.  I like the way you have put this!
Feb 13, 2008 06:22 AM #1
Cindy Brandon
Santa Rosa, CA
CDPE, EcoBroker, GRI, CRS, ePro
Thanks for this post.  Its important to remain upbeat in this market.  There are always buyers and sellers, the priorities and niches just shift around a bit.
Mar 01, 2008 02:44 PM #2
Greg Dallaire
Dallaire Realty - Green Bay, WI
Green Bay Homes

Postive attitude is so crucial to being succesful.  And that is something that you no doubt have!  Thanks for keeping me in line.   I always say just because one of the market is slow doesn't mean there isn't opportunity in other sectors.  Adapt Adapt Adapt.

 Look forward to reading your blog in the future.  Keep up the great work

Mar 03, 2008 05:52 AM #3
Patti A. Puckett
Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche - Belvidere, IL

I'm a DOORWAY, I'm a DOORWAY..........WOOHOO  I'm a DOORWAY!!!

Thanks for the reminder

May 14, 2008 04:31 AM #4
Mario Avila
Simmons Homes - Owasso, OK
2008 & 2009 Sales Person of the Year

I always make sure and tell people what they hear is not reflective of this market. It takes into account national stats that don't apply here. Oklahoma was not affected by the "bubble" because we didn't have inflated prices to begin with. Once I quote sales and lack of inventory, it helps ease their minds about what they read and see on TV. 

Apr 05, 2009 06:35 AM #5
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