Mark Twain famously said, “The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.” So too with the markets current weakening. If we learn nothing else from the Great Recession, we know that downturns do not last forever.
With that in mind, during any real or perceived slowdown, there are certain things brokers can do to improve their chances of success. Here are some of those ideas.
Meet real estate professionals: Owners, buyers and allied professional such as attorneys and accountants hold the key to the careers of brokers in their hands. So why not get to know them? Meetings provide the opportunity to better understand both the collective and individual mindsets of key market constituencies. Further, there is no better way to build relationships than face to face. So schedule an appointment, drop-by, or meal, and watch your productivity increase.
Know the market: London taxi drivers have a legendarily difficult test – possibly the most difficult test in the world. Prospective taxi drivers are required to know all addresses, shortest travel routes and all unique properties by name or description in London. This is a ridiculously difficult test and is meant to ensure that London’s cabbies are far and away the best in the world.
As a broker, you need to possess a crazy level of knowledge as well. Know the comps, listings, owners in your neighborhood. Know which properties are in disrepair and which ones are trophies. The bottom line is that you must have a near photographic understanding of everything in your area. The only way to get that is through intentional effort.
Stay emotionally strong: The greatest strength anyone has is the power of their thoughts. During difficult markets staying positive becomes harder but is more important. To maintain a high level of energy, enthusiasm and effort it is:
1. Important to focus on activities you can control; and
2. Reward yourself for achieving them.
For example, a broker can control hours worked, calls made and the number of meetings she conducts. These activities will lead to listings, offers and closed deals at some point. What is difficult to precisely predict is when results will come from effort.
By refocusing on effort and away from results brokers can enhance their attitudes and results.
Nike has had it right for all these years when they say “Just Do It.” That is the achievement cycle in a nutshell. Too many people fail to achieve what they are capable of because they get distracted by external events, how they feel or how they think at a particular moment.
In contrast, I am a strong advocate of “Just Doing It” and letting your effort drive your thinking and feelings. This way by doing what you can control you can always maintain a positive attitude.
Mark Schnurman is chief sales officer, principal at Eastern Consolidated, New York, N.Y.