Working as a real estate broker sometimes feels like you’re playing craps in Vegas. If the local housing market is hot, your phone never stops ringing, and you rake in the chips. If the market is cold, every deal seems to fizzle out. How can you stay afloat through ups and downs in the North Carolina housing market? Here are six tips on how to survive when the going gets tough.
Go after clients others don’t want
Sure, everyone wants a $2 million listing. But until you land that whale, represent buyers and renters looking for more modest dwellings. You may have to schlepp a little more and earn a little less on each deal, but commissions add up.
Also, consider working with renters. Remember to provide them with excellent customer service, because today’s renters will eventually enter the North Carolina housing market as buyers and sellers. And when they do, you’ll want to be their go-to broker.
Hand out business cards
Giving out business cards is a good way to keep your name, face, and number easily accessible when someone needs a real estate broker. But the real advantage of handing out business cards is the interaction that happens before the card changes hands. Each card left in the world can cause significant ripples. People have family, church friends, and business associates with whom they can share that little piece of card stock. Set a goal to hand out 5 or 10 cards a day; it will pay off.
Set aside capital
Even though a North Carolina real estate career doesn’t typically require large chunks of capital, you still must maintain a financial cushion throughout your career, which will help you weather the bad times. Real estate professionals differ on how cushy that cushion should be. But the point is, rainy days and stormy months happen, and you must be able to protect yourself financially when they do. A good starting goal is to set aside at least 6 months of personal and business expenses.
Always stay in touch
When things are rosy, and you don’t have enough time to breathe much less catch up with old clients, you should catch up with old clients! One of the best ways to cushion the ups and downs of the North Carolina housing market is to nurture your network, relationships, and past clients during good markets.
Set aside time every day—at lunch, at the end of the day, whenever—to check in with people in your sphere. Even if they’re not planning to sell at the moment, they might know someone who is.
Slow times give you the opportunity to take continuing education classes that will boost your skillset when the market heats up again. Take a digital or social media marketing class. Enroll in a public speaking course that will help you polish up your act. Learn about commercial real estate so you can pivot when things are slow in the residential quarter.
Views bad markets as half full
There is a brighter side to weathering a down market. Tough times separate the dabblers from the professionals. In the end, fewer brokers remain standing, and those who do have less competition for business.
Remember: People buy and sell homes no matter how hot or cold the market is. Be prepared, and you’ll emerge from tough times stronger than ever.