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Now is the time to up your real estate game. We’re on the cusp of what should be an amazing time to be an agent. Real estate, like many industries, is cyclical. In the summer of last year, I started paying close attention to the shift we were seeing across North America from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, so that I could share with my audiences and coaching members the best strategies to effectively communicate how those changes would affect their clients and customers.

Research, experience and history tell us that the centering cycle of the real estate market between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market is one that more equally favors all parties, including real estate professionals. I call it the Agent’s Market™.

Here’s what I mean. A seller’s market obviously favors sellers. Demand is high and inventory is low, so sellers tend to overvalue their property and undervalue an agent’s role in getting their home sold. Many believe they can “sell it themselves” or try the “price-it-high-we-can-always-come-down” approach, which makes listings tougher to get for many agents. There’s also tremendous pressure to cut commissions.

In a buyer’s market, inventory is higher, so buyers are slower to make decisions, want to see everything on the market, and are reluctant to pull the trigger. Sales prices also favor buyers more, so there’s frustration for sellers and sizeable pressure on agents to be tough negotiators.

But in an Agent’s Market™, there’s more inventory, homes are more likely to be priced reasonably at fair market value, and both sellers and buyers see more value in using a real estate professional. That’s a win-win-win.

To truly leverage an Agent’s Market™, agents need to get on board sooner rather than later. That means focusing on building listing inventory. To do that in a changing market, filled to the brim with real estate distractions and disruptors, agents need to effectively communicate value and service. For some, that will mean ditching old sales methods and canned speeches for new communication skills and service mindsets.

Consumers don’t want to be sold anymore. The “find the pain point and offer the answer” presentation skills don’t work, and frankly, for most agents, don’t feel authentic, anyway. It’s uncomfortable to make people uncomfortable. What I teach our Power Agents® is to serve, not sell, and to coach, not close—to have a listing conversation as opposed to a presentation. These are game changers not only in terms of bottom line results (more listings), but also in developing long-term referral relationships (customers for life).

It’s all in the art of communication, which involves asking the right questions, listening on a whole different level, and getting to the heart of a seller’s real commitment, which probably isn’t what you think it is. It’s not just selling a house; it’s about getting to their next level, whatever that goal is. Is it a home closer to the kids or grandkids? Do they need more room for a growing family? Are they downsizing so they can travel? Did they accept a job offer in another area and need to relocate?

That’s where learning to ask the right questions, and, in many cases, learning to really listen, rather than just waiting to jump in with pre-scripted dialogue, matter. When you can create a connection and trust with potential sellers, that can help you get to the root of their commitment and then use smart stories, metaphors and analogies to illustrate your value, tools and solutions to help them realize that next level—that’s where the magic lies.

Stay focused on building that listing inventory and generating now business by prospecting FSBOs and expireds at least three days per week, for at least an hour each day. Commit to the activity, let go of the results and “get in the batting cage and swing” three days per week. I love when agents break through old fears and habits and embrace this strategy. At a recent event, I shared the powerful combination of questions, mindset and skill it takes to list two out of every four of these prospects. During the lunch break, one agent who had been dead-set against calling FSBOs in the past went out to her car and made the calls. She came back in with two appointments. Another agent recently emailed me following a workshop to say that she jumped in and made the calls and got four appointments.

The difference is having the right words—and the right perspective. If you’re calling people because you know, based on industry history, experience, statistics and your gut, that you can honestly help FSBOs get a higher return on their investment, those calls get easier. Scheduling the listing appointment is then just a natural progression of the knowledge and resources you’re able to offer. You’re serving, not selling. You’re coaching, not closing.

We’re just at the front edge of the Agent’s Market™, and it’s too early to tell how long it will last. Agents, do everything in your power to fine-tune your communication and listing skills. Brokers, put the training and coaching in place to help your agents master building inventory.

I’m here to help.

To learn more, visit www.TheAgentsMarket.com.

Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level™ real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.

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