Real Estate Sales Representative with ReMax Legacy

I've been criticized for posting helpful tips before, but I think that everyone could use a pick me up, so here is a great article that just might lift your spirits, it did mine!

Surviving the Slump by Ralph Roberts

Realtors across the country are hurting. Housing markets are in a downward spiral. Homeowners are flocking to FSBO websites to list their own homes. Internet lead generation services are heating up the competition. And many agents are offering cut-rate commissions to survive the cutthroat market.

Realtors have to remember, however, what most retailers already know -- competing on price alone is for suckers. Start offering sellers lower commissions and you are setting yourself up for a world of hurt, both in the short-term and well into the future. Once you establish a reputation as the "cheapest agent on the block," turning that around later can be nearly impossible.

Instead of competing by offering lower commissions, find something else to compete on -- quality service, experience, and know-how. Adjust your marketing materials to highlight current market conditions and your unique ability to sell homes in a down market:

Do not sugarcoat news that the market is down. Provide facts and figures showing the current condition of the market. Let prospective clients know that other agents may try to present them with a rosier picture just to get their business.

Inform clients that according to the NAR, a home sells for 16-percent more on average when sold through a Realtor than when sold by the owners or someone less qualified. Most homeowners are unaware of this fact and may need to be reminded that you are likely to earn much more than your keep.

Highlight your experience. If you have been a Realtor for ten years, that is a big plus. Make sure your clients know the value of your experience and that you have sold homes in slow markets before.

Highlight your dedication. If you are a full-time Realtor, market yourself as a full-timer and let you clients know that selling homes is your passion. Let them know that some of the agents they talk to may be part-timers and may not be quite as responsive as you.

When you meet with prospective clients for the first time, make sure you have a marketing plan in place for their home. Highlight your three-pronged attack for selling a home in a slow market:

Pricing the property to the market. Explain why setting the right price is so important in generating interest in the property. Explain how you arrived at the asking price, and back it up with plenty of facts and figures from comparable properties.

Getting the property in tip-top condition. Explain why curb appeal is critical and why the home needs to make a great first impression. Consider putting together a team of consultants, including a home inspector and a professional stager to write up a plan of action, complete with an estimate for the work that needs to be done, and how much these improvements are going to increase the salability of the property.

Marketing the property online and off. Demonstrate to your clients your ability to get the property listing in front of as many prospective buyers as possible. Explain the access you have to MLS listings and show your client at least eight places on the Internet where you plan on marketing their property, including Craig's List and Backpage.

In a slow market, many sellers are worried that in addition to losing money due to market conditions, they stand to lose an additional 6 or 7 percent by having to pay your sales commission. Make sure they realize the benefits of using a licensed Realtor, including the following:

  • In addition to marketing the home to the general public, you market to other Realtors, who can show the home to their clients.
  • You prescreen prospects, so only the most serious prospective buyers can look at the home, and you accompany all qualified prospects as they tour the sellers' home.

  • You can help the sellers compare and evaluate purchase offers.

  • You can negotiate with the prospective buyers without tipping the sellers' hand or compromising the sellers' negotiating position.

  • You can handle all the details related to closing to make sure the sellers' interests are protected.

When a sluggish market and other changes in the industry heat up the competition, you have to make some adjustments in the way you present yourself to prospective clients, especially those who are in the process of considering hiring you as their listing agent. Step up to the challenge. Never simply give in and lower your commissions. Offer more value, and earn your commission

Comments (3)

Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY
Myaann- why would you have been criticized for posting helpful tips??
Apr 30, 2008 08:07 AM
Yvette Smith
LONG & FOSTER - Williamsburg, VA
Realtor In Williamsburg VA, Homes for Sale


Thanks for the helpful information!

All the best

Yvette Smith

Williamsburg's Preferred Realtor!

Apr 30, 2008 08:15 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Hi Myaann, I feel like I should criticize you for posting this very helpful overview !  Just kidding - keep posting anything of value.
Apr 30, 2008 08:16 AM