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How to End the Year with a Boom

October 24 2015

Blog Image HDC Bob Corcoran Article 2299 1024x512I come bearing good news: It looks like the remainder of 2015 will be a good one for agents looking to end the year on a positive note.

I'm sure you've noticed the recent stock market wavering – a roller coaster ride with deep dips one day and soaring gains the next. It turns out, that volatility could bring benefits to prospective buyers. Why? The drop in demand by those hurt by the stock market might just give would-be buyers an advantage in a market that's favored sellers for much of this year. Inventory grew during the end of summer and demand has kept pace, so buyers will have better options through the end of 2015.

Plus, of course, the Fed postponed raising interest rates and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports the trend in median days on market is suggesting a more balanced market. Another sweet little tidbit from NAR: a full 88 percent of buyers use an agent to buy a home.

So the obvious next move for the remainder of 2015 involves tapping into those buyers and sharing the good news with them. The question becomes: How did those 88 percent of buyers find their agent? NAR says 67 percent interviewed only one agent, 20 percent interviewed two.

So how do you get to be on the interview list? Referrals. A whopping 40 percent of buyers chose to work with an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative (or an agent who was a friend, neighbor, or relative).

Here are some tips on increasing your referrals to end 2015 with a loud boom:

  1. Know your market inside and out. Duh! But never think you know it all. We all have room for more knowledge and understanding. NAR says 91 percent of buyers say that knowledge of the real estate market was a "very important quality" for an agent to have. Buyers want agents who know the market and the inventory. An agent who can impress a buyer with market knowledge (not just company's listings) will be the winner.
  2. Build a referral database. Again, duh. But do you really have a referral system? One that regularly brings referrals to you? You'd be surprised how many agents I meet who don't. Start by listing past clients, friends, neighbors and relatives, and then create a drip system for each category.
  3. Think A.B.A. – Always Be Asking. If you don't ask, you don't get referrals. Add a P.S. to your email signature. Something like this: "P.S. If you know anyone thinking of buying or selling real estate, please tell them about ABC Real Estate and hit the reply button and tell us how we can help them!"
  4. Get involved in your community. The holidays are basically upon us. It's that giving time of year. Plus, people are more likely to refer someone they believe is a good person. A community do-gooder is by definition a good person. Volunteer at retirement centers, help rebuild and paint local parks, serve food at the local soup kitchen, take part in fundraisers, and be seen at block parties and street picnics.

Tell me what you're thinking. What's the market looking like where you are? If you could do one thing to capitalize on the market conditions in your area, what would that be? Do you have a formalized referral system? If not, why not?

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