March of 2020 saw the new spring market grind to a halt as COVID-related shutdowns and fear swept the country. Subsequently, real estate agents and brokers developed new and innovative ways to serve clients in the process of buying and selling their homes, paving the way for one of the most active and extended market recoveries in recent memory.
Now, as the 2023 spring market approaches, it’s a good time to think through your preparations to ensure that you are ready for what lies ahead. The industry is expecting a normalizing of the market, and there are always opportunities for those with the drive, creativity, and commitment to stay in frequent contact touch with clients for the referrals those relationships generate.
As you prepare, here are the things you need to know to make the most of what promises to be an interesting spring selling season.
Technology is still essential
The adoption of new platforms and processes allowed real estate professionals to continue to serve their clients throughout the darkest days of the pandemic. For many clients, there is still an expectation that virtual tours and contact-free transaction management will be widely available.
While some markets have seen successful vaccine rollouts, others are still limited in the amount of contact they’re allowed. Make sure you are making the most of your online and mobile platforms to simplify and streamline transactions and provide optimal client service.
Interest rates and inventory are factors
For a while now, we’ve seen mortgage interest rates rise at a good clip, and while four and five percent rates probably aren’t coming back any time soon, today’s rates are historically more in tune with the norm. And there are sellers who have come to understand that what they may have been able to demand as little as eight months ago isn’t going to fly in today’s market. But regardless of these factors, there are always people who will need to buy and sell: military families who are being stationed elsewhere, spouses who have divorced, empty nesters wanting to downsize, and those who have new jobs in other locations are just a few groups who will need the help of a good real estate agent.
Adjust marketing messaging
You may want to update your website copy and social media platforms to acknowledge the current market realities and how you are positioned to meet client challenges. In addition, you may want to market your expertise in a particular niche to make your messaging more targeted and effective.
Focus on underserved markets
If downtown areas in your market have taken a beating or multifamily condominium and co-op developments have seen a mass exodus, these may be exactly the areas you need to focus on. As frustrated buyers give up on finding homes in the suburbs, they may be looking for opportunities to purchase elsewhere. Rents in many areas are as high as some mortgages, making renters a potential source of leads if you educate them in the proper way. Also, as vaccines take effect, many areas that have been struggling may be in demand again.
Upgrade offer presentations
If anyone knows how important a good impression is, it’s real estate agents. Make sure that your paperwork is attractively presented with the most important information upfront. Include the highlights of the offer in the email, and don’t forget to attach all the required supporting documents.
Expand your service providers
If you haven’t revisited your list of referral partners in a while, this would be a good time to do so. You have your favorite lender, home inspector, and closing officer, but when was the last time you sat down for coffee together? You need to nurture these relationships just like any other for the leads they can produce. If you haven’t established a network of referral partners, then use this handy worksheet to start reaching out. Having a “team” of service professionals is something you should market to prospects. It will greatly enhance their experience to know they’ve got one place to go for all their needs.
The spring market is always an exciting time for real estate agents. Ensure more successful outcomes by being proactive and creating systems and processes to streamline marketing, communication, and operations. Don’t put off improvements, training, and new initiatives. The better you use this time, the more prepared you’ll be for the challenges and opportunities waiting for you this spring and beyond.