I'm always surprised when the public and even other agents ask me if I'm slow every fourth quarter. Slow? No! But why you ask? Because I not only work with serious buyers and sellers in Q4 as a COO, but I'm working on my business for the new year each Q4 as a CEO & CFO. Below are some great suggestions by Shaun Nilsson on how to be, at the very least, a busy CEO & COO in Q4 so you can be a busy CFO in January. Please post your comments to Shaun's original post too!
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.
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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