There is no escaping the impact of the real estate market. And when you make a living as a real estate professional, the impact is up-close and personal.
While almost everyone knows something of foreclosures, short sales, REO, and brokerages closing; do not overlook the other side. That is, some in the real estate business is thriving.
A number of real estate professionals have accurately adjusted to the market changes and are now on a growth spurt.
So, how did they do it: They started by looking at their costs structure and making the hard choices of getting efficient and spending wisely. Next, they made sure their leads and prospects programs were delivering the goods. And they made changes to take advantage of outside resources.
Costs that can be Reduced are these on your list?
When times are good we tend to spend more and overlook the spending that really isn’t necessary for running the business. However, a number of these expenditures get on the list and no one knows why. It’s time to re-assess what it takes to run your business, and what it takes to grow your sales and profits.
1. Telecommunication – a number of phone companies, internet service providers, email providers and cell phone carrier have lower prices in response to competition. Have you checked your providers’ websites lately? They are likely offering better deals than when you first signed on. You should check your bill or monthly statement, compare it to their current plans, then call them for a discount.
2. Cost Per Click (CPC) Advertising – are you paying too much per keyword? Have you checked your stats to see what others, whose ads are displaying along side yours, are paying? You will be surprise to learn that sometimes you can adjust your cost downward and still remain in the same display location. You should also check that your keywords have not become outdated and are still accurate for your business.
3. Computer Support Agreements – You should have technical support for your business. You do not want to spend valuable time troubleshooting program problems when you should be focusing on clients and sales. To get your support costs reduced, look to switch to real estate software providers that includes support at no additional cost.
4. Office Supplies – reusing file folders, hanging folders, paper clips, and binders can certainly reduce your costs. For your folders, either remove the label or just place a new label on top of the old one. And the next time you are ready to toss out any clients documents, remember to remove paper clips and binders then store them with your other office supplies.
5. Office Rents – Start with taking an assessment of your agents. Do most of them only show up to the office for meetings? If so, perhaps you can reduce the number of cubicles and your overall office space; thereby lowering your monthly rent. You can also change to using software and other technologies that let agents and some staff work from their home.
Increase Clients by Targeting the Right-Ones
Our research shows that a number of brokers and agents thriving in today’s real estate market have made changes according to their community impact. For example, agents in areas with high foreclosures are targeting sellers who need short sales, as well as buyers looking to get deals on property purchases.
The key, however, is that brokers and agents have identified the market shifts in their areas and have adjusted their marketing campaigns to specifically target their type of sellers and buyers. Here are some of the things you can do to target your clients and get your pipeline full.
1. Assess Your Community – Take a good look around. You want to get a physical sense of will more people be leaving an area, and therefore want to sell. And will people recognize the bargains and want to purchase. Check for house vacancies, for sale signs, for rent signs, new commercial construction, chain stores opening, small business store closing or opening, etc. You can cross reference this information with your MLS to draw your own expert conclusions.
2. Identify Your Type of Sellers – Once you know your areas, you should have a sense of the types of sellers that are likely within those markets. Develop a profile for the types of sellers that fit best with your business.
3. Identify Your Type of Buyers – People are attracted to communities for different reasons. Whether it’s safety, schools, charter schools, exclusivity, family feel, etc. Know what your different communities have to offer and highlight the key features in your marketing materials.
4. Conduct Information Seminars in Neutral locations – Everyone wants information. For example: should I buy now; how much should I offer; what is the right selling price; what areas will be increasing in value; etc. You can provide this information and be seen as the go-to person for real estate. One of the best ways for you to gain a following and credibility is to conduct your seminars in neutral respected places. These are places where people normally seek information and generally already trust the venue –like libraries, schools, place of employment, community development organizations, church meeting rooms, and chamber of commerce.
Regardless of the market conditions, you should always set aside time to analyze your business costs and sales. When you are too slow to recognize that changes are necessary, this puts you behind your competition. And just as important, a large percentage of the broker and agents in our research also agreed that you should move hastily to make the change, once identified. Prolonging changes do not make your business better.