AgentIndustry VoicesNewsletter

How to grow your business when inventory is low

Market-proof your business and advance your career with this simple blueprint.

While there are signs the housing market is slowing down, inventory is still low, prices are high, and prospective buyers are everywhere. No matter what the market, in order to grow your business, you must do certain activities.

With inventory this low, homes are trickling onto the market. When you do manage to close a sale, it’s going to be a good month — but it’s not easy to sign new listings in this hypercompetitive market environment. On top of that, sellers know they’re in the driver’s seat, and many are asking for big concessions such as commission discounts or a smaller share of closing costs. It’s tough out there!

But there are more ways to advance your career than just racking up sales. Here’s a definitive blueprint on how to grow your real estate business in a low inventory market.

Make a (Business) Plan

You’ll never get where you want to go if you don’t have a map, and a good plan is your map to success.

This may seem less-than-relevant when you haven’t closed a sale in three months, but real success is built on a strong foundation. Start at zero, with no assumptions, and define your business philosophy from scratch. Some questions you might consider:

  • What do you do better than all your competitors?
  • What are your guiding values and principles?
  • How much money do you want to make, and how are you going to get there?
  • How do you want to feel at work, and how much time do you want to spend at work?

Answering these questions can put your path forward into sharp focus. Once you’ve accomplished that, all you have to do is execute.

Write a Killer Marketing Plan

Marketing isn’t a “sometimes” task — it’s an “always” task. You should never stop refining and carrying out your marketing plan.

Your marketing plan can dovetail nicely with your business plan, as your marketing will want to build off of the one thing you do better than your competitors. Whether that’s data visualization, neighborhood specialization, or social media outreach, you’ll want to communicate that value to your customers through your marketing.

But effective marketing isn’t just about you. You’ll also want to define your ideal client and tailor your marketing to them. What do they want to accomplish, how do they want to be reached, where do they spend their time? Are they first-time home buyers? Are they big investors focused on a 1032 exchange? Once you figure out the answers to questions like these, you can be sure your marketing finds a receptive audience — and one that’s ready to buy.

Hone Your Online Presence

A huge percentage of buyers begin their home searches online, so you want to meet your potential customers where they are. That’s going to require a great website and a robust social media presence.

Once you’ve started executing your killer new marketing plan, you’ll want potential prospects to have an inviting landing spot. Your website should be fast, light, aesthetically pleasing, and focused on SEO best practices, so your customers can find you easily.

Facebook can be an incredibly effective platform for real estate professionals. Your listings can be posted on your business’s page, where interested buyers can browse, comment, or contact you directly. Livestreamed home tours can be an easy, organic way to connect with clients, and the videos that live on your homepage afterwards are great advertisements for your listings.

Better yet, you can also pay to boost your listing posts on Facebook. Facebook’s ad tools allow you to target your audience with amazing accuracy, according to age, occupation, location, and other characteristics. With a little testing, you can make sure your listings are seen by the people most likely to be interested in them.

Pursue Referrals

A staggering 75% of the average agent’s business comes from word-of-mouth referrals. Although this puts a lot of emphasis on providing great service to your clients, that doesn’t mean you should sit back afterwards and passively wait for them to refer their friends and family to you. You should encourage your clients to refer business to you, and make it easy for them to do so!

To drive the point home, you could also offer personalized, branded gifts to your clients after the close of their sale. Flowers or gift baskets including tasteful, quality branded items such as refrigerator magnets, stationery, or business cards can ensure your name stays in their mental contacts.

Try each of these ideas in turn, and track your results; once you’ve determined which strategy works best for you, double down on it. You’ll see your business grow.

Reach Out to Prospects

It’s not enough to just get your name out there or to get your listings in front of eyeballs. If you’re serious about growing your real estate business, you have to proactively reach out to potential prospects you’ve already identified.

A simple system using emails, mailers and postcards, and phone calls can be remarkably effective. Most prospects aren’t ready to buy for several months after they contact you. You’ll want to build a relationship over time, so when that prospect does ripen, you’ve already laid a foundation for business. Zooming out, as you nurture all of your prospects, you’re building a pipeline of future sales that will make you money for months or years to come. Smart agents play the long game!

When you reach out, don’t make it a one-sided communication. A good prospect email engages them with a call to action (CTA), which can mean anything from a timely educational blog post or a downloadable guide.

And remember: when it comes to reaching out, consistency is vital! You never know when a prospect is ready to buy, so touch base at regular intervals as their agent. Above all, you want them to understand that you’re there for them when they need you. There’s always a prospect who’s ready to buy: Your job is to connect with them at that perfect moment.