There are two camps of real estate agents today: those sleeping on their business, waiting for the storm to pass, and those who are doubling down, capitalizing on opportunities the current market is presenting.
Over the past month, we’ve been tapping our networks to find out what people’s challenges are, what’s working for them, what’s not, and what agents are seeing in local markets across the country.
It comes as no surprise that the majority of agents and Market Leader customers we’ve spoken to have not experienced dramatic losses. The common thread that seems to tie them all together?
Getting through the COVID crisis with your mind, health, and business in tact comes down to mindset. In life, just as in business, situations like the very one we are in builds resilience and, if you’re approaching it right, presents opportunity.
There is opportunity to grow as others exit the business.
There is opportunity to position yourself as an expert and a resource during a time when consumers need guidance most. “The worse things get, the more value you can add,” Aubie Pouncey of KW Pacific NW put it plainly. “It’s a real estate agent’s job to usher people through challenging times.”
The COVID crisis might have much of the world confined, but it is still turning. The pandemic won’t stop people from needing to buy or sell a home.
People move out of necessity because of:
• Financial hardship
And that’s just the short list. Those affected by life events still need to move, and they need the guidance of an agent now more than ever.
There is opportunity to build out a pipeline now that will:
- Keep your business moving
- Boom on the other side of the pandemic
The reality is buyers and sellers in the market right now are active and, while there might be less of them, they are more serious. You might have to work harder, but the opportunity is there.
And, for those who may have decided to pause their search or pull their listing, continuing to engage with them and make yourself available as a resource during this time will secure their business in the future.
Your competition is leaving the business.
Redfin laid of 41% of its agents. Compass laid off over 350 agents. Zillow halted its iBuyer program.
What does this mean for you? A large percentage of your competition is not active in the business and there is market share to be had.
Between the Redfin and Compass layoffs, there are 1700 agents exiting the business right now.
That is opportunity.
iBuyers bought over 53,000 homes in 2019. That’s over 4,400 homes a month. Zillow Offers bought over 1200 properties in the Phoenix area alone last year. That’s 100 properties per month in one market.
Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor all suspended homebuying in March.
That is opportunity.
People are still buying homes.
While some numbers might be down year-over-year, there is still movement markets across the country.
According to NAR, 19% of buyers are still actively searching and determined to buy when they find the right property and 53% are still searching and keeping an eye on the market, but not as actively. And of those still searching, 34% are looking to purchase in the next six months. Only 28% of buyers in the market have decided to stop their search.
That is opportunity.
People are still selling homes.
Despite the pandemic, people are still listing – and selling – their homes. The process might look different depending on your market and shelter-in-place orders in your state, but transactions are closing.
One Bremerton, WA homeowner listed her home for sale on April 8th, a Wednesday, and accepted one out of eight offers over the following weekend.
JoAnn Bailey, Broker at Real Estate Services in Idaho, closed the biggest deal of her career, curbside, on April 6th – sharing a post on Facebook that went viral and inspired thousands and started the hashtag, “#curbsideclosings.”
There is still a great deal of opportunity to be seized.
Engage your sphere, make yourself available as a resource, position yourself as a trusted expert and guide your community through uncertainty.
You might have to work harder than normal, but your business will thank you.
Please note: Official guidance in regard to COVID-19 is constantly changing. For the most up-to-date and accurate recommendations for your area, please refer to the CDC and your local healthcare authorities.