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4 Creative Ways Real Estate Agents Can Produce During Periods Of Low Sales Volume

By Laura Agadoni · Mar 2, 2016 · Real Estate

4 Creative Ways Real Estate Agents Can Produce During Periods Of Low Sales Volume

Image courtesy of Pixabay, Squeezed Wallet

In this article we discuss four ways that real estate agents can get ahead when their local market begins to slow down.

Every real estate cycle will have periods when the sales volume becomes extremely low, slowing practically to a crawl. Different forces cause real estate markets to have low volume, such as high interest rates, high prices, a local economic crisis, or a natural crisis. Regardless of the reason, there are four things real estate agents can do to create more sales.

1. Consistently Promote the Best Deal

Market a great deal to motivated buyers until the property sells. To do this, you'll need to set up a campaign with some innovative ideas. Here are five methods to get you started:

  • Virtual open house: You might lead the pack if you include a virtual open house on your website. A virtual open house provides an online, interactive, 360-degree virtual walk-through of the listing. And like a real open house, you get contact information from the viewers who are required to enter their information to use this site feature.
  • Listing appearances: Make sure your listing appears on all or most of the top 10 places people are looking. According to Alexa website traffic as of March 2016, they are Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo! Homes, Realtor, RedFin, Homes, ApartmentGuide, Curbed, ReMax, and HotPads. Also, include Craigslist, Facebook, and Pinterest.
  • Put on a writer hat (or hire one): Create a description of the listing that will make buyers notice. Maybe it's the way you paint the picture of the home, or maybe you appeal to a buyer's emotions. Here's an excerpt of a listing that stands out, courtesy of the National Association of Realtors: Enjoy gatherings in the generously-sized living/dining area graced by a fireplace, wine cooler, huge windows and glass sliding doors that lead out to the rear deck. The recently renovated gourmet kitchen will inspire your inner chef with its granite counters, marble center island with seating, large pantry … and stainless steel appliances.
  • Buy a domain name: You can create a website for the property you're selling by using the property's address as the domain name, such as 123MainSt.com. You can then customize the site to feature anything you like, such as a map of the neighborhood, nature photos you can see from the living room window, the floor plan, etc.
  • Host a get-together: Host a monthly get-together or happy hour in a popular restaurant/bar. Invite your best clients and their friends. This is a fun way to grow your network.

2. Find Motivated Sellers

Even when sales volume is low, there will still be sellers out there who need to sell their home right away, no matter what the market conditions are. As a real estate agent, your job is to find motivated sellers and get them to hire you. But how do you do this? Here are some ways:

  • Find out which areas near you have high turnover rates. Then mail postcards to homes in those areas stating that you have buyers interested in moving to that area. Include your contact information, and wait for a response.
  • Consider hiring a real estate marketing company. With all the ways to market yourself: radio ads, print ads, videos, mailers, newsletters, Facebook ads, and so on, you might wish to hire someone to do some of those tasks for you. You might not be able to hire an agency to do it all. Do what you're good at, and hire someone to help you with areas that you don't know much about.
  • Call for-sale-by-owner sellers. If the FSBO home has been on the market a while, the seller might be willing to give in and hire an agent.
  • Work on getting name recognition by being helpful in the community. Join a Facebook group or Nextdoor, an online neighborhood group. You can give helpful tips to people when they ask, and you can post real estate articles of interest or neighborhood statistics. When someone is ready to sell, they'll think of you.
  • Use BeSmartee to grow your brand. This tool can help you get more traffic to your website and open houses.

3. Introduce Leasing Into Your Repertoire

This includes both residential and commercial leasing, both markets that you should consider, especially if business is slow.

Residential

Some landlords don't have the time to market their property to find new tenants, and that's where a real estate agent comes in. Your services could include one or all of the following:

  • Pricing the property
  • Marketing the property
  • Showing the property
  • Screening the tenants
  • Preparing the lease
  • Being a resource of landlord-tenant law in your jurisdiction

Be prepared to answer prospective landlords' questions. You should be able to tell them how long, on average, it will take you to rent the property; how you will market the property; how you will screen tenants; and what the whole process entails from the start to handing over keys to the new tenants. Real estate agents typically charge the equivalent of the first month's rent for this service.

Commercial

With commercial real estate, you would deal with small-business owners. You might work with a building owner who needs tenants. If you find a tenant, the building owner pays you a commission, which is generally around 3% of the rent paid over the lease period.

If you're representing the small-business owner, you would help them find a good space at a great deal. You would help your client read the lease to help ensure the terms are good and that there will be no surprises or hidden charges. You would also help negotiate the lease payments. As with residential real estate, if you're the listing agent and another agent brings in the tenant, you split the commission.

4. Discover the Hidden Deals in 1031 Exchanges

You could develop a niche and specialize in 1031 exchanges. A 1031 exchange refers to the IRS code that allows real estate investors to defer capital gains tax when they sell their property by buying another like-kind property. There are all sorts of rules involved with 1031 exchanges, and investors often don't know what they don't know. You would be the person to ensure they do everything correctly before the they close and it's too late to fix any problems. Once you familiarize yourself with all the laws and technicalities, you can market your business to investors, letting them know that you're an expert in 1031 exchanges and can save them potentially thousands of dollars in income taxes.

Bottom Line

You don't need to sit around and wait for the market to pick up again. You can be proactive by changing what you normally do, making some money even during a slow time.

*We would like to thank Mike Work for his expert insight on this article.

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