5 Secrets to Beating the Real Estate Winter Blues

Real Estate Technology with CityBlast

For many, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.


But for your business, it’s usually the opposite.


The days get shorter, the weather get colder and your business slows down as people bundle up and hunker down for winter.


It’s an inevitable part of the real estate cycle - and it isn’t something you have much control over.


But beyond the broad, cyclical trends of the market, there are steps you can take now to ensure you beat the worst of the winter blues - and get ahead of the game when the industry picks up again in the new year.


It’s time to heat up your business and prepare for your future.


Here’s what you need to be doing to be successful over the coming months:


1. Keep Up With Your Contacts


The market slows down as winter unfolds - but that doesn’t mean you should let your leads go cold, too.


In fact, this is the perfect time to continue nurturing your leads. It’s also a unique opportunity to do this in a personal way - appealing to the emotional, kind hearted nature of the holiday season.


Create e-newsletters to send out to your contacts bi-weekly, offering some useful and targeted information. Here are some great ideas from Home Value Leads:



End-of-Year Neighbourhood Market Reports

This has two purposes: it’s a useful resource for your contacts, but, more importantly, it reminds them of your expertise - and unwavering enthusiasm - for real estate.


Open House Announcements

Let your contacts know that you’re still working hard for your clients.


Just Sold

This is a chance to reiterate the notion that you’re still hard at work - and that the market is, too.

Local Holiday Events Calendar

The perfect occasion to demonstrate your community involvement (and holiday spirit) with friendly reminders of local events.


Upcoming Market Information

Along the same lines as your current market evaluation, providing a useful resource to contacts will give them something to think about over the holidays - and, ideally, nudge them in the right direction: ultimately deciding to buy or sell with you.


Preparing for a Home for Sale
There’s likely a small margin of people on your list currently deciding on selling: tip them towards a transaction by offering some helpful tips on preparing their home. This also establishes you as an authority on real estate - and a trusted source of information, which will benefit your personal brand.



2. Make A Big Marketing Push


Here’s a well-known marketing secret: it doesn’t have immediate results.


It’s methodical - and largely done preemptively to encourage sales in the future.


So only driving marketing efforts during your busy season doesn’t make much sense, but I still notice many agents neglecting the opportunity to ramp up their marketing as the slow season approaches.


Many of your leads won’t be prepared to buy for months - so bringing them in now makes sense, as PipelineROI points out.

  • Focus on encouraging potential buyers and sellers to investigate buying/selling at the end of the year

  • Design targeted ads to potential buyers/sellers intending to make a decision in the coming months

  • Write social posts to the same potential buyers/sellers


3. Stay Up-To-Date On Local Market Activity

The market slows down - but it doesn’t stop entirely. There might still be homes on the market.


Remember: the goal here is to ensure people think of you as a go-getter - someone who isn’t dejected by the winter slowdown.


Show them you’re still watching the market closely: preview homes that are still listed. This has another purpose, too: keeping both buyers and sellers happy.



4. Nurture Existing Clients


The numbers don’t lie: 72 percent of recent sellers only contacted  one agent before signing, while 32 percent of sellers recommended their agent three or more times since selling their home.


Your clients have the capacity to be your most important tool for generating more business. Don’t let them go cold over the holidays.


Remind them of how much you value them with a thoughtful gift: a bottle of wine, holiday bouquet or potted plant are all appropriate for the holiday season. Be sure to include a handwritten note expressing your gratitude - this truly resonates with people.



5. Revamp Your Web Content

The holiday season - and the slowing of the market - typically leaves you with more time to spend on other things: so why not get online and start creating content to drive more traffic to your site?


The importance of content marketing is well-documented and impossible to ignore - so get ahead of the pack and start working on your blog.



Have any tips for keeping your business hot over the cold winter months? Let us know in the comments!


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Comments (25)

Kathryn Acciari
Central One Federal Credit Union - Shrewsbury, MA
Mortgage Loan Originator

I actually enjoy this time of year. A little slower in the market, so I can catch up with all of my contacts. Much more fun than shopping!

Nov 28, 2016 12:56 PM
Sana Solanki
Kingsway Real Estate - Brampton, ON

Great points and advise,  thank you for the information.... 

Nov 28, 2016 04:28 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Good evening Shaun Nilsson ,  That is very good information to pass along, reminding us that there are buyers out there just waiing for a great listing, whether it's Winter or umer.

Nov 28, 2016 04:44 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Wahoo a 4th Quarter game plan that really is on target for a strong finish to each year!

Nov 28, 2016 05:55 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Thanks for the tips ! Always looking for some new touches !!!

Nov 28, 2016 06:06 PM
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Great tips on how to keep you in business throughout the year.

Nov 28, 2016 06:32 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Or you can just do what I do and say to heck with it all, I'm going to Hawaii for 6 weeks. I have a cell. People know where to reach me. Bye. LOL.

Nov 28, 2016 06:56 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Appreciate all the great tips on keeping our business well oiled so we don't miss a beat ... I do also take this time to go visit my two children and grandkids in Arizona ... but only for a few days .. then it's back to work.  Although having a cell phone and laptop I can stay on top of things just as if I was in town ... so it's an easier challenge than years gone by.

Nov 28, 2016 07:08 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This is beautiful advice. When I was a broker I knew far too many agents who said "This is a slow time" and quit doing anything but shop, bake, gossip, and watch TV. 

Then they wondered why it took until March or April to see any new commission checks. 

Nov 28, 2016 07:29 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Shaun,

Or catch up with all the stuff that did not get done during the year, while still raising your hand from time to time to let folks know you are there, if they need you.

Nov 28, 2016 07:44 PM
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

This is an excellent reminder of how important it is to have a plan all year round and to look at what's working and what has not worked during the year. Then we can hit the ground running in the new year!!

Nov 28, 2016 07:56 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Shaun, you've got some great suggestions here!  And maybe throw a party!

Nov 28, 2016 08:06 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

When you focus on helping people succeed, the work appears!

Nov 28, 2016 11:32 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, this is great advice. The market continues all year long, so should our marketing.

Nov 29, 2016 03:15 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This is the time of year to easily reconnect with clients--ask them out for lunch or coffee, drop off some cookies.  Also--get ready to send them solds in their neighborhood--everyone loves that!

Nov 29, 2016 07:00 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Great information and inspiration to keep on working, even is slow times.

If we think of a funnel, something has to be going in all the time if we want something to come out all the time.

Nov 29, 2016 07:29 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

There are some great end of the year tips here. Bookmarked for further review

Nov 29, 2016 07:46 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Shaun, updating my web content is a huge item on my December to-do list.  

And the weather?  Is the chill worse than August?  Here in DC it sure isn't!

Dec 01, 2016 05:19 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening ,'

Love the information and great tips to re-connect with clients!

Dec 01, 2016 05:33 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

As usual a very informative post with thoughtful well laid out information!  thank you

Dec 01, 2016 10:26 PM