Homesearch Blog

5 things to do when the the market cools

Dec 20, 2022 8 min to read

The last four months have felt like a kick in the butt compared to the last two years.

It’s clear than many agents almost denied the market shift and tried to continue as usual, waiting for the natural momentum and competition to drag them to great results.

Over the last two years, it’s fair to say many agents have been pretty comfortable with the steady amount of work (and offers) that were coming in. That led to laziness, riding the “list-and-sell above asking price” market with little prospecting and buyer nurturing. And now, those much-needed agency skills, the ones that earn you your proper fee, might be a bit rusty.

But all is not lost. Plenty of property is instructing and selling, it’s just now more about generating your own results, rather than relying on the market.

So here’s five things you can do to do just that.

1. Ask past and existing clients for more work or referrals

It can be hard to ask for help. But asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness or failure. If you’ve done great work for someone, they will want to refer that same great service to those closest to them who need it. But you only get what you ask for. Through the past two years you will have achieved some great results for your clients, and hopefully, you’ve been building strong relationships too. Now’s the time to call on those relationships. with my clients. Go through your list of clients, past and current, and email them individually to see if they need anything from you in 2023. And if they didn’t, if they knew anyone who may need your service. Landlords are a great place to source referrals too. A lot of people consult their friends who have investment properties before they contact an agent. There’s a feeling that they know ‘more’ about the market than others, so they’re often the first stop. You need to make sure you’re top of their mind so you become the second stop for their friends and family.

2. Prospect new clients

This one’s obvious. If you want more business, you have to go looking for it. Create a prospecting plan, and a prospecting budget (yes, you will need to invest money) and stick to it. Consistency is everything when it comes to successful prospecting. Here’s a short list of who you could be aiming to speak to every day:

  • Homeowners on the market with your competition
  • Buyers registered with you with houses to sell
  • Homeowners who were on market and didn’t sell in the last two years
  • Properties that have just submitted planning
  • Properties with expired EPCs
  • Buyers who registered during the boom, that owned their home, and now may see better value (and increased equity)
  • Homeowners who own properties exactly like what you have just listed or sold
  • Homeowners you have valued for in the last 5 years
  • Plenty more

The key here is to schedule the time and budget to make your prospecting happen. It’s estate agency 101 and always delivers great results.

3. Updated online messaging

As the market shifts, so should your messaging. Every day we see ads for agents who make the claim they are the #1 agent in their patch. Why not try something along the lines of “Still selling above asking price even in a tougher market”. It’s important to acknowledge the conditions in your marketing, because your clients will know about them so if your messaging doesn’t line up with what they already know, there’ll be an immediate disconnect and your chances of a call, email or valuation are dramatically reduced.

4. Review your numbers

Where are you spending the majority of your time and money? What delivers results and what is merely nice to have? It’s a sad thing to write, but this needs to include people too. Everything in your business needs to be effective. Once you know what’s working (and what isn’t) you can double down on the right and rid yourself of the rest.

5. Work on your business

Tough times provide a great opportunity to re-evaluate all aspects of your business. Spend regular time strategising about the future. What do you want your agency to look like in two years? Five years? 10 years? Once you’ve answered those questions you can begin to work backwards to put the plans in place to hit those targets. Working on the business, and having big goals to look towards, is a great way of separating yourself from the ‘down’ news cycle that is so easy to get trapped in.

Today’s market isn’t forever, plan for that.