The pandemic slowed down a lot of industries, but not real estate.
News headlines are filled with stories about how housing stock is not keeping up with demand, driving up prices in most of the country. Creating bidding wars in desirable neighborhoods and keeping relators across the country busy. Even if you’re looking to build, contractors are backed up adding to the pain of a national lumber shortage.
“Working with buyers nowadays, it’s a bloodbath honestly,” Tim Harris co-owner of Tim and Julie Harris Real Estate Coaching said. “Working the buyer’s side of a transaction right now is the biggest pain point with all of our customers.”
“Sellers have the same problems, in a lot of cases. They put their house for sale, but they don’t have a house to move into,” Tim went on to say. “This lack of inventory problem is on both sides.”
I recently had the pleasure of hosting both Tim and Julie during a recent C-Suite Network Digital Discussion. Besides running a successful coaching firm, they’re active participants of our C-Suite community, best-selling authors, and have a top real estate podcast on C-Suite Radio. Needless to say, this married dynamic duo, know a lot about real estate, and they are true subject matter experts.
Record low inventory
One thing Julie mentioned during our talk is that with record low inventory across the country, realtors really have to hustle to get listings. When they do find a seller, they aren’t using the usual channels to get the word out.
“They can’t find a house period. We have record low inventory virtually everywhere except parts of Miami and New York,” Julie said. “We have a lot of agents that are so addicted to only having the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). When in fact there’s so many transactions that never hit the MLS. They’re not supposed to be pocket listings, but they are pocket listings. (Realtors) are exchanging property amongst their own past clients.”
There’s an old saying among realtors “you got to list to last” and Tim says that’s especially true in this hot market. He says many realtors became too buyer focused over the last few years and that could be costly.
“If you’re not working with sellers in this market. If that’s not your primary focus, it always should have been,” Tim said. “If you’re not focusing all your best energies on going after listings right now, you run the risk of becoming obsolete.”
Like everything else in business, the entire process is moving virtual.
Transitioning to Virtual
“I can’t remember the statistic,” Julie said. “Between 30-40% of recent closings were found online and closed online. A huge percent were not even seen physically by the buyer.”
She continued, “It’s (due to) COVID. It’s comfort level. It’s also technology. Some of the tours that are out there, you can fly around inside the house. You can turn your camera around. You can use Google Earth and see what the neighborhood looks like. That comfort level is there, and it wasn’t so much pre-COVID.”
While you can have a lot of success in real estate right now, the industry still sees a lot of turnover. Tim said the average new broker lasts about 24 months. Why? They waste money that could be spent elsewhere buying leads and not honing other skills.
“It’s an interesting fact that the lowest quality lead you can buy is one that you buy from the internet, because they’re the least motivated,” Tim said. “You’ve got to be focusing on going after the sellers. Learning how to actually, proactively go after the sellers and be of service to them.”
Do what you don’t want to do.
Another key to success is doing the things, you don’t want to do. I like to call it, the hard stuff.
“It’s proactive to do what you don’t want to do — which is a lot of things in business, right? When you don’t want to do it, which is virtually all the time, and you have to do it at a high level,” Julie said. “You’re not just going to dabble. Try it out. Sample some things and then be “judgy” about it. You have to actually invest in it. You have to have that energy and enthusiasm about what you’re trying to do and hone your skill. Do it at the highest level. Don’t just play around.”
Many times, the hard stuff doesn’t seem fun, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s designed to build your business and make money.
What’s one of those “hard things” young sales professionals don’t like to do?
“Answer your phone.” Julie said. “We joke that like there’s this really new, cool app out there and it’s right there on your phone and it’s called…it’s called the answer button. And what you do, it’s super-secret, there’s a lot of coaching involved in this. You talk into it when it rings.”
While Julie is having some fun with that statement, there’s some truth there too. She adds that while everyone has “elaborate workarounds, landing pages, callback systems, and drip systems” it’s being available when the phone rings what brings the clients she coaches double-digit year-to-year growth.
I learned a thing or two during our conversation about the hyper-aggressive real estate business. If you want to hear our complete conversation addressing why Tim and Julie think we’re going avoid a housing bubble like we did in 2008 and how their podcast helped build their business, listen with the player below.
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