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Surviving the Winter Market Slump

March 03 2016

winter hand houseIt is not easy to carry momentum through the winter market slump in real estate. Unless your brokerage benefits from the winter home market, your business is likely in its midwinter slumber. Taking a different approach to your goals is the best way to make the best of things.

Recognize that the business year is a long season, but timing is everything. If you break the year up into its component parts, you will recognize that there are natural cycles. By looking at website traffic, sign call volume, lead volume, and transaction volume, you will see that everything is in sync, like the tide that ebbs and flows. When the tide is out, focus those goals that prepare the business to operate more efficiently when the tide is in. Here are some suggestions to tidy up your digital life to prepare for the busy spring selling season ahead:

1. Drip Marketing and Auto-Responders – Test your drip marketing and lead management solutions. Pretend that you are a consumer. Evaluate the consumer experience interacting with your technology solutions, paying close attention to the graphics and text. Your goal is to align your online communications with your offline communications so they have a single voice.

2. Documents, Forms, and Transaction Management – Make sure that your agents have easy access to the materials that they need. Although it is painful, you need to review every document that they are using. Aside from making sure that they are current, make sure that the branding is correct, brokerage contact information and URL are in the footer, etc.

3. Google Everything – Using search engines like Google and Bing, search for your keyword phrases like your company name, your offices, your top agents, your listings. Make sure that you are showing up correctly for customers looking for you. The most significant volume of search traffic to broker sites are based off of those keywords.

4. Social Media Hygiene – Visit all of your social media profiles: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. Facebook and Pinterest are the most important ones, but check them all anyway. Build profiles that you do not have in place. Make sure that your profile pages are current and attractive. Make sure that consumers can easily connect with you on these sites by providing links from your website. Search for yourself on these sites to make sure consumers can find you.

5. Agent Pages – Review every agent profile page on your website. Make sure that they are complete and compelling. Missing photos, bios, etc., are not acceptable.

6. Add/Remove Agent Process – Make sure that your process for introducing a new agent to the company and adding them everywhere is solid. Review your new agent checklist. Many brokers do not have a checklist for removing agents. Build one if you don't have one, otherwise review the one you have.

7. Check your listings on syndication websites – Take a look at how you are syndicating listings today. Turn off publishers that are not sending you traffic or leads. Check your listings for accuracy on the sites that are effective to ensure proper broker and/or agent branding. Make sure that your company and agent profiles are complete so consumers on those sites can easily contact you for more information on your listings.

In an ideal world, these would be activities that you would install into your business process on a quarterly basis. But once a year is better than never. As you go through your technology solutions, let us know if you have any questions or if there are ways that we can help.