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Success as a Realtor® is a matter of threes: the three things every agent should know about the upcoming shift in real estate; the three letters you should drop from your name; and the three criteria for choosing your next client.” In a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Denny Grimes discusses these three areas and recommends ways agents can prepare for success in a shifting market. Grimes speaks from 33 years of real estate experience, as a current South Florida Realtor® and a past director of the Florida Association of Realtors® and the Fort Myers Association of Realtors®. Here’s a closer look at each of the areas Grimes discussed in the webinar.

1. Keep an eye on the shifting market

According to Grimes, there are three things all agents should know about the coming market shift:

  1. There’s a coming downward shift in the market. Because of this, it’s good to be honest with the information you share with your clients, but also keep in mind that your clients could take this as you being overly pessimistic and choose not to work with you. Before telling your clients about this shift, consider how much you should share, and set a standard before your meeting. It’s not a changing market that will bring you down. Instead, it’s the “pause” that can kill your business. Remember, there’s never a shortage of buyers; just a shortage of people willing to sell.
  2. Learn to spot the beginning of a good or bad market. To do this, look at the number of days a property stays on the market – as the number of days increase, the expectation gap is widening.

2. Change your career with three letters

According to Grimes, marketing does not sell homes. The market sells homes. Grimes shares that agents should change the way they’re perceived, moving from a “marketing expert” to a “market expert.” Drop those three letters, he says, from any collateral you hand out. Your listing plan and the marketing plan are two distinct things. You can’t market your way out of a bad market.

When you become a “market expert,” you’re then able to analyze what kind of market we’re in. When friends or clients ask you, remind them that it’s like going to a hospital and asking “How are people feeling?” It depends on your perception. For example, those in the maternity ward feel very differently from those in the emergency room. When you walk into a housing market, the same is true. Some houses will sell quickly because of their perceived price and location, while others will stay on the market.

3. Accept the clients you know you can help

  1. Practice the doctor/patient relationship. You, the agent, are the doctor and your client is the patient. If you meet with a client/patient who isn’t coming to you for your expertise but wants to tell you how to “make them better,” then they probably don’t need you. Clients who start off your relationship telling you how to do your job are showing early signs of wanting to take control. If that’s their opening, you can trust it will only get worse. Don’t waste your time or theirs.
  2. Take on clients who understand market momentum. Market momentum is the ability of a market to sustain an increase or decrease in prices. Market momentum, or a lack of it, can be a good indicator of what is likely to happen shortly. You and your client should both understand that momentum is reflected not only in price fluctuations, but also in the number of homes sold. When a client understands this, they’re more flexible and open to your plan.
  3. Understand that success is a we thing, not a me Buyers are looking for their new home 24/7. They’re looking when they wake up in the morning, while waiting at stop lights, on work breaks and before they go to sleep at night. They want to find that perfect house, and they’ll spend every spare minute looking for it. As a result, most of them are going to find that home before you do, and that’s fine. A problem arises when they think, because they found the home, they’ve done your job and now they no longer need you. When you first meet with them, it’s important to stress that this will likely happen. Explain that your job is to help them get that perfect dream home, not simply find it. They need you because of your other skills, such as getting inspections, pricing the home, making an offer and closing—all the hard work that goes into the buying and selling process. It’s easy to find a great home, but it’s hard to walk away with the title and key.

To learn the rest of Grimes’ tips, including how to price homes, myths that will cost you money and how to create the perfect marketing plan, watch the full webinar. For more free real estate education including best practices, visit Secrets of Top Selling Agents. Be sure to sign up for the upcoming webinar, “How to Triple Your Business by Using the Power of Three,” featuring Dirk Zeller on September 28th at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.