Real estate agents re-think strategies to remain competitive
- Posted by REO Advisors
- On June 26, 2015
Real estate agents have a challenging career that requires them to be knowledgeable in various areas of the market, have a sense of what buyers and sellers are looking for and be available to clients during off-hours and on weekends. In an increasingly competitive economy where buyers are trying to secure mortgage loans and close real estate transactions quickly, agents are also tasked with working efficiently and in the confines of the law to avoid potential E&O insurance issues. As the market continues to evolve and agents are forced to be more aggressive, many are reconsidering the strategies they are using to close deals and turning to time-tested methods to boost business.
The tactics real estate agents choose to rely upon may vary based on the individual markets in which they operate. For instance, in stagnant economies that have yet to see consistent signs of recovery – such as in Las Vegas, Nevada – many agents are taking a “back to basics” approach to winning over new clients that includes cold-calling, community networking and being more proactive about hunting down leads, Vegas Inc. reported . Open houses have also come back into style, as has relying upon postcards, newsletters and other marketing materials to help agents establish themselves among certain neighborhoods that may provide business opportunities to struggling agents.
In addition, the article noted that prior to the housing market collapse, many agents were so inundated with new and consistent business that they frequently shied away from transactions that involved foreclosures and short sales, both of which require agents to work more closely with financial institutions to seal these deals. In today’s economy however, these types of transactions provide many agents with regular business, despite the increased paperwork and communication that it may bring with it, the news source notes
Busy markets see more aggressive sales techniques In other markets that are characterized by shrinking inventory and aggressive housing demand, real estate agents are abandoning traditional marketing tactics and instead trying to stem the tide of buyers and sellers through unique tactics. For instance, in Texas, shortages on homes for sale have prompted many agents who once utilized the traditional multiple listing service to market properties “on the side,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
“Off-MLS marketing is out of control,” Jeremy Conway, a Michigan-based real estate sales consultant, told the news source. “That friendly pocket listing has now become an epidemic.”
Conway added that is some cities, more than 30 percent of inventories are withheld from the MLS with the sellers’ permission in order to control the market and fuel buyer interest.
While analysts remain divided on when or if the housing market will stabilize, it is certain that real estate agents will be required to continue shifting their tactics to cater to the evolving market. In addition, a recent study found that, given the state of the market, the number of young professionals who opt to become real estate agents is on the decline. This scenario may place more of a burden on agencies to recruit talent while also managing higher demand for their services.