Heads or Tails? Making Sense of a Shifting Market

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Samantha Jones

By Samantha Jones

It’s no secret most of our markets rival the uncertainty of a roller coaster ride at an amusement park these days. Buyers expect to pay less; sellers don’t want to drop their prices. Pristine homes that should seemingly sell in hours, sit on the market stalled. Deals falling apart multiple times for the same client.

You feel that? It’s the market shifting. Correcting itself after a robust rebound during the last several years. The normal ebbs and flows of the economy, which we are all attuned to.

When the going gets tough these days, the tough have to get going. No matter the state of the market, people still need to buy and sell their homes. We just may need to dig deeper within ourselves to make it happen. After chatting with several veteran brokers at a tour recently, I’m relying on these strategies to ride out this wave.

@rawpixel, 2018. pixabay.com

1. Quality over quantity. As deals become more complex, they’ll require more time—our most valuable asset. Because of this, being selective about the deals we take on is crucial. Grossly overpriced listing? Pass. Cranky seller who will fight you every step of the way? “Run, Forrest, run!” Buyer will not commit even after you’ve shown them the perfect home a number of times? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider.

I’ve always been of the “I want to save the world and fix everyone” mindset. Yet after nearly five years in the business fulltime, I’ve realized we simply cannot help them all. Sometimes your time and talents are better served helping others.

2. Pinch those pennies. As the market shifts, so too can our bank accounts. The struggle is real for independent contractors. Knuckle down on your business budget. Hone in on where past business came from and cut out the fluff. Stop paying for leads if they haven’t panned out. Double down on what does work for you, ideally inexpensive avenues. Save for the perpetual rainy day. A little financial padding, even if you never need it, goes a long way for the psyche.

3. Invest in yourself. Self care does wonders for the soul. It’s self love: working out, traveling, reading, seeing loved ones. The list goes on. Find your stress reliever or passion outside of real estate and lean into it. No, watching House Hunters does not count. (Believe me, I tried and realized it’s a no go.) I’m here to tell you it’s okay to put yourself first. We’re in the service and sales industry. You’ll need to give your clients the best of you instead of what’s left of you. You’re worth it.

4. Your why. Remember what or who brought you into this wacky business in the first place. I guarantee it’ll rapidly strengthen your resolve to thrive in the shift.

5. Confidence. Many say their first indications of the market changing pre-recession stemmed from confusion. Similar to a breakup. The “it’s not you, it’s me” mentality. The “all of my deals are harder than ever, I’m the common denominator, so I must have lost my touch,” self doubt inevitably creeps in. I’m guilty as charged on that front this year. Let’s double down and know our worth. It’s no coincidence our clients trust us with their largest investments. Don’t forget that.

I’ve been told by a number of agents that shifts represented their best years in the business. A renewed respect for our profession. Heavier consults, but necessary ones nonetheless. Fasten your seatbelts. You don’t have to simply be along for the ride. Let’s strive to find our way into the driver’s seat.

Been through a market shift before? Or have your own strategies to cope? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

Samantha Jones is an award-winning real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Chicagoland area. She is a top producer who specializes in residential sales. Connect with Samantha on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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