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RISMEDIA, Nov. 18, 2008-The following is an excerpt from SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan:

By choosing to embrace opportunity, you’re choosing to shift. And whether a market shift forces you to choose or you simply choose to shift your business to another level, there are twelve issues you must tackle. These are, in fact, the twelve fundamentals for shifting your business, anytime and anywhere. This just may be one of your biggest aha’s you get from a shift. These twelve tactics are not just timely, they are timeless.

There are times in life when the market shifts and you have to shift to react. There are other times when you’ll simply need to make a shift. These twelve tactics are appropriate for when you’ve been shifted and for when you choose to make a shift. When you’ve been disrupted by the market or when you want to disrupt the competition. Master these twelve tactics and you gain utmost control over your business. Fail to master them and, at some point, a shift will put you at the whims of the market and your competition.

So, whether you are dealing with a market shift or you’ve decided to give your business a lift, there are twelve things you need to do.

-Get real about your situation and get right about what you’re doing.
-Re-margin your business and get serious about expense management and profitability.
-Learn to do more with less.
-Focus your lead generation on finding motivated clients.
-Memorize and internalize the conversion process and the scripts of lead capture, connect, and close.
-Catch people in your Web and focus your Internet strategy on capturing contact information.
-Master seller pricing so your listings are always “in the market.”
-Master staging strategies so your sellers always stand out from the competition.
-Help buyers overcome reluctance and acquire genuine urgency.
-Build a creative finance team around you and put creative financing to use whenever you can.
-Participate in the “market of the moment” to give your business bandwidth.
-Bulletproof your transactions.

Tackling these areas is a never-ending process. It’s the real estate business. Downward shifts are more difficult on the front-end. Upward shifts become more difficult on the back end. On the front-end of a buyers’ market you have fewer available sales and fewer available commissions per agent. And listings won’t sell, which translates to seller dissatisfaction. It is negatively emotional on the down slope. Sellers are frustrated and confused, while buyers are fearful and reluctant. On the other hand, a sustained sellers’ market finishes with high competition. Competitors start discounting their value and then start discounting their price.

Maintaining an adequate seller listing inventory becomes a real concern.

Economic shifts come in two shapes. These twelve topics and their tactics are timeless and apply to both. Success in a buyer’s market just requires you to be doing the things you should have been doing all along.