Real estate coach and consultant Dr. Lee Davenport is a fourth-generation homeowner and educator, a second-generation real estate investor, and a first-generation Realtor and coach.
She holds a Master’s degree in legal studies and became a managing broker of three RE/MAX offices. For her doctoral dissertation, she studied some of the nation’s top 1,000 agents using RealTrends as her data source and unearthed several key qualities of top producers no matter their personality. Her findings have helped agents in the U.S. and abroad learn how to succeed in what she calls ‘profit with your personality.’
RealTrends: Agents are burned out and frustrated with today’s market. But the market is changing. What can agents do to prepare for a market shift to more inventory and fewer buyers?
Davenport: One key principle of effective coaching as identified by the International Coaching Federation is asking powerful, soul-searching questions to help clients have a revelatory moment that suits their needs and life situation. Thoughtful reflection and pre-planning instead of being blindsided by changing markets have been key to navigating shifting financial markets.
It’s like GPS telling you while you’re driving about an upcoming slowdown, allowing you to re-route to a new road to still get to your destination. With today’s news of rates rising, we are getting those GPS alerts that a slowdown is coming, so proactively reroute.
RealTrends: You make the point that in seeing some extremes over the last 20 years that you have been in real estate as an investor, agent, managing broker and now educator/coach, ‘one size never fits all.’ Please elaborate.
Davenport: It may be because you are in a different part of the nation. Perhaps you serve a different niche market, such as horse farms versus in-town condos. You may have ailing parents to also consider. Perhaps student loan debt impacts your drive for real estate deals. Or you may have something completely different that weighs heavily on your wheeling and dealing in real estate.
RealTrends: Given most agents and brokers you coach do not have the same life circumstances, you use questions to help each hone in on what works best for them personally. What are those questions?
- What type of clients have been my ‘bread and butter’ during the last month and has this changed year over year?
Hint: reflect on each closed deal, think about how your clients found you and what their characteristics were, such as a move-up buyer, relocating buyer, investor, used down payment funds, paid cash. Be sure to always avoid categorizing your customers by fair housing protected classes. You might note having worked with first-time homebuyers, but don’t classify them as ‘young families.’
- As interest rates continue to rise, how will such changing conditions impact similar clients?
Hint: think about how your deals year over year may have changed had interest rates been higher. Who would have been left out of the market? Who would have gotten off the fence and into the market? Which of my resources would have been used less? Which of my resources would have been used more?
- How can I enhance my marketing and resources – including preferred partners – to continue to serve current clients but expand my client base to mitigate rising rates and inventory – how can you move away from having all your eggs in one basket?
Hint: you don’t know what you don’t know, so this is where taking more classes and networking at innovative conferences comes into play. At the bare minimum, be sure to set up alerts such as Feedly, Google Alerts, Mention.com to receive notices of new and/or improving resources in your area.
Davenport notes that by reflecting on those three questions each month for the remainder of the year will help real estate professionals stay ahead while navigating market shifts.