Winning the Market Shift | Strategies to connect with your past clients and sphereOct 11, 2022
Welcome to another session of Brilliant Talks, a free weekly coaching session for real estate agents. In this session, we have Brian Curtis, CEO of Curtis Realty Group discuss some strategies for agents to win in this shifting market.
We’ve had a crazy market in the past 24 months, specifically since 2020. But for a lot of local markets nationwide, we’ve seen that growth slowing down. Let’s face it: The market has shifted. We don’t have people knocking on our doors to help buy or sell their homes anymore. It has cooled down. That’s why we have to look at things a bit differently.
For several local markets across the country, we’ve seen a decrease in the number of active buyers and an increase in houses for sale on the market. A lot of people are struggling now.
Now that the market has shifted, the majority of our businesses will most likely come from our past clients and sphere. Hopefully, you have a plan in place to get those referrals and work with your past clients and sphere.
Brian reminds us of an important thing: In any kind of market, “the person who controls the listings… is going to be the person who wins.” It is simple and true. That’s how it has always been.
As agents, what can we do to keep winning?
Challenge the way your buyers think
With the interest rates up to the 7% range, we hear a lot of people say “I don’t want to buy a house right now, I want to wait for when the interest rates drop next year.”
While that is a definite possibility, the thing you can tell buyers, specifically renters who don’t own a home, is why “NOW is always the best time to buy.”
To illustrate, let’s take a look over the course of the last 24 months and the next 12 to 18 months, and ask in every scenario, “Is it more advantageous to be an owner or a buyer?”
- In 2020 and 2021, mortgage rates were at an all-time low. If you are a buyer, competition for buying homes is fierce. You compete with first-time homebuyers, opportunity buyers looking to invest and expand their portfolio, and big companies and investors. Yes, the rates are good, but the competition has driven the prices on properties very high and very fast.
- Now, in October 2022, the rates are at 7%, 7.5%, or maybe even 8%. It is high, but the competition is low, and you can put in offers that are lower than the asking price. You can even get seller concessions.
- Let's say, the rate drops to 4% in 2023… if you are a buyer, the rates might seem better than a 7% mortgage rate, but the competition will be as fierce as it was in 2020 and 2021. You see multiple offers again.
But as a homeowner in each of those scenarios, you get a lot of advantages. If you own a home and put it up on sale during the “pandemic boom,” you get multiple offers to choose from. Let’s say, you got your home this year when the rates are so high. If they do drop by next year, you can apply for refinancing. And if it stays the same, or even, say, climbs to 10% as some experts say, you are still locked in at a lower rate.
Next time you have a buyer who is sort of on the fence about buying a home because they want better rates, challenge the way they think. Ask them “What’s the benefit in that?”
Strategy One: Easy CMA Strategy
One way to reach out to your past clients and sphere is by doing this simple CMA strategy. Hopefully, you have been following up on the people in your database and have a good relationship with them. The better your relationship is with your past clients and SOI (sphere of influence), the more successful this strategy will be.
Step 1: Make 10 one-page comparable market analysis (CMA) reports
Your past clients and SOI are interested in real estate. If they are homeowners, they also want to know how much their homes have appreciated in value. But unlike us who live and breathe real estate daily, they probably don’t know or fully grasp what a 25% appreciation in value means to them, personally.
Do a CMA for people you already know and have a good relationship with. You can simplify it in such a way that all the information they might be interested in is easy to see and understand. Some of the important things to put in your CMA report are:
- A photo and address of the property.
- Several comps in the neighborhood and their prices
- The purchase price of their homes, the current estimated value of the property if it goes up for sale, and highlight the market value appreciation.
Ideally, you do this for homeowners who (1) are your past clients, because you have that connection of helping them get that home, and (2) they’ve owned the house for just 2-5 years.
If they’ve owned their home for 10 to 15 years, they would expect that it would go up in price. But even for Brian, who recently sold one of his homes, it was surprising for him to realize that in just 8 years, his house has gone up more than double in value, with the majority of the appreciation coming in during the last 24 months.
Imagine the excitement of homeowners who’ve just owned their homes for two to five years to see how quickly their homes have appreciated in value.
Make sure you give realistic numbers in the estimates and take advantage of the recent crazy market we’ve experienced.
Step 2: Send an Email
After making those CMA reports, email them to your clients. It can look something like this:
I hope this email finds you and your family well. I want to reach out with some amazing news about your home and its appreciation and value.
As you know, home prices in Denver have been rising quite a bit in the past 24 months.
However, I'm guessing that you may not know by how much. Believe it or not, in our market we've seen over 25% appreciation in the past two years. You really did make an amazing investment buying your home!
To be more informed, I've prepared a market analysis to show you the actual rate that occurred on your home, specifically, and I know you're going to be happy when you look at those numbers.
I'm going to call you here in the next 24 hours and answer any questions that you may have. In the meantime, feel free to call me right away if you'd like to discuss this sooner.
If you are a busy person and can’t commit to calling in the next 24 hours or receiving a call ASAP, don’t put it in there. Put a realistic timeframe of when you can call, or tell them to send you a message to discuss when it is convenient to have a call or meet with them. You can even put time slots of your availability for them to choose from.
The goal is to give them the CMA report to bring value, and to open an opportunity to have a conversation by having them get back to you.
If you have a good relationship with your past clients and sphere, the response rate will be around 50-75%. That’s because these people are already your friends—hopefully, they already trust you and like you.
Step 3: Send a text
Texts have 90% read rates. Brian recommends text, not as a way to convert people, but as a way to start a conversation.
We’ve mentioned it before, the key to winning in business is to not treat every conversation as a transaction with the goal of closing, but as a way to build relationships and bring value.
Your text can be as simple as:
Hey, I just sent you an email and I'm sure you're going to want to look at it. It’s about your home and how much it's appreciated. I know it's going to make you smile. I'll give you a call in the next 24 hours, to answer any questions you might have.
You can also throw in a GIF or emoji to make it fun.
The goal of the text is to drive people to look at your email.
Step 4: Do what you said you would do
If you said you’ll call them in the next 24 hours, call within that time frame. First, this isn’t about selling over email or text. Second, you need to be able to deliver on what you said you’ll do.
Once you call, you’ll probably ask whether they’ve had the chance to check the CMA report you emailed. Yes or no, at this point, your goal is to have a conversation. Ask them questions, and go through the report with them if they haven’t seen it.
You can say something like this:
Hey, how are things with you and the kids? Are you guys back in the house? Were you surprised by the value? I can tell you, even though I'm in real estate, it's really baffling to me how much the market has increased in the last 24 months.
The important part is to have a conversation.
If you can’t get them to call, set up your drip for reminders to do it for the next three days. If you call and they do not answer, leave a voicemail and follow up with a text.
Statistically, if you go through the steps, and you have a good relationship with your clients, 1 out of 7 or 8 set an appointment with us using this strategy. People are interested in real estate. You, as the agent and expert, have the information they are interested in. Plus, if you have built a good relationship over time, they will want to hear from you. And the more value you give them, the more they want to help you.
As Brian said, “I don't know if anyone really thinks about this, but most people really like to help other people.”
Strategy Two: Client events
The second strategy is also simple. Client events. Do a client appreciation thing. Since it is October, one thing you can do is send pies to your past clients and sphere. Find a local specialty pie store in the neighborhood.
You can call them and say:
Hey Bob, this is Brian Curtis from Curtis Realty Group. We're just reaching out to people because we have a quick client appreciation event and we know Thanksgiving's coming up. We're still thankful that you're our client, and with that in mind, we're giving away some pies from one of our local bakers.
You can even give them flavor options to choose from. Even better if you package it up nicely and put a personal note.
Client events give you an opportunity to simply show up, and make your past clients feel good and appreciated. Again, it is the law of reciprocity.
There are a million client events that you can do, and you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on them all the time. But the goal is to show up, have conversations, build relationships, and give value. Celebrate your clients. Make them feel good about you. That being said, the most powerful thing about a client event is a reason to connect with that person.
Why it works
The law of reciprocity works: when you give something to somebody they want to give back to you.
We get very insulated in what we know. In other words, we live each and every day in the MLS, showing houses, and going on listings. We get a really good feel for what the market is.
Don’t forget that your past clients are interested in real estate. But most of them do not spend hours and hours on it every day.
If you are going to do this, follow the strategy. Don’t skip steps. If you can’t commit time to make the calls, don’t do it.
I want you to call the person. I want you to text the person. I want you to video-text the person. All of these things are ways to reach people.
When you're doing a client event, it's not about getting people to show up to the client event. It's about the opportunity. Give them something, and have a conversation.
Relationships, at the end of the day, are how we win in any kind of market.
Watch the full coaching session with Brian on our YouTube Channel, and if you are interested in more one-on-one or group coaching with us, you can click the link down below to register.