Previously published on Inman
Get lessons from leaders of top-producing teams to set your agents up for success in a shifting market.
Team leaders, what does your team’s morale look like right now?
Chances are you have agents on your team who have never tackled a market quite like this one. After all, the average agent has just 8 years of experience, meaning they’ve never worked through a market shift before.
Many agents are nervous. As their leader, it’s up to you to guide them through what could well be the roughest waters they’ve traveled in their careers. The good news is that, with the right focus, this can be an incredible market for your agents to grow their business — if you can point them in the right direction.
Here’s what leaders of top-producing teams are doing to set their agents up for success in 2023.
1. Keep your agents focused on the long game
If there’s one constant in the housing market, it’s change. Today, the market may be slowing, but at some point it will pick back up.
As a leader, it’s your job to make sure your agents don’t fall prey to the doom-and-gloom mentality that can run rampant during a downturn. Make sure they can see the bigger picture.
“I’m keeping my team focused on what I call the ‘10% mindset,’” said Meredith Fogle, founder of The List Realty. “The goal is to become one of the 10% of agents who do 90% of the business by developing the expertise, executing on the activities, and delivering the service that 90% of agents never will.”
Following the 10% mindset keeps agents focused on building skills like scripting, lead generation, and effective follow-up that will serve them well throughout their entire careers, rather than chasing quick fixes in the wake of a softening market.
Joey Bergandi, founder of Velocity Realty, takes a similar approach with his agents: “I’m making it a point to show the newer agents on my team that long careers can be built in this type of market. If you love on your clients and are willing to put in the work daily even when you don’t see immediate results, you’ll be building the foundation for a long and successful career.”
2. Double down on supporting professional, full-time agents
When the market cools, part-time agents start dropping out of the industry.
That’s fine. Let them go.
“In my view, the single greatest danger to the real estate industry is the part-time agent,” said Darren Dowling, co-founder of Beyond Realty. “Most brokerages make their money on the revolving door of membership fees from part-timers, but I’m resolved to stay as far away from that model as possible — unless a part-time agent has a firm plan to become full time within three months. Part-time agents just don’t make time for education, and too often that results in them confusing or even causing harm to their clients.”
Focusing your efforts on training full-time, committed agents. Not only will your clients receive better service, but your team will be better positioned to increase your production.
“This market is an opportunity for agents who approach real estate as a career and are willing to do the work it takes to be successful,” said Meredith. “As agents who ‘lucked into the business’ are forced out of the industry, they’ll leave behind plenty of room for the true real estate professionals to gain market share. This is the time for new and energetic agents who are passionate about the business to dive in, to learn all they can from a great team leader or mentor, and to leverage the fact that buyers and sellers will need professional skill and exceptional service in this market.”
3. Arm your agents with data and best practices
Consumers are being inundated with news headlines like: “The Housing Market Is Worse Than You Think.” Few of them will actually read the article, and fewer still will synthesize all the takeaways. But thanks to coverage like this, many prospective buyers and sellers are nervous about the housing market.
This is an opportunity for your agents to be the voice of reason — and for you to equip them with the facts they need to do just that.
“Take a look at NAR’s existing-home-sale report from December,” said Darren. “To those complaining the market is at a dead standstill, do the math — a house is getting sold every eight seconds.”
Darren makes it a priority to get up-to-date market info from sources like NAR and Keeping Current Matters into his agents’ hands as quickly as possible so they’re prepared to handle any objections thrown their way.
“The last two years have been an anomaly,” Darren said. “This shift is pushing us back to a more normal market. If you have all the data at your fingertips, like our agents do at Beyond, you shouldn’t be intimidated by what’s happening in the market.”
Similarly, this is the time to double down on agent education. After two years of homes practically selling themselves, even your more experienced agents may need a refresher on property marketing, objection handling, or cold calling.
One of the best ways for agents to prepare for the year ahead is to learn directly from other agents who have weathered these exact market conditions before. This year, encourage your agents to join mastermind groups, sign up for new courses, and attend industry conferences in earnest — and consider getting involved yourself and sharing your own knowledge. Darren, Joey, and Melissa will each be speaking at this year’s Side x Side, the premier conference for top-producing real estate agents, to help committed agents beyond their own teams gear up for success in 2023.
The more we can collaborate and educate one another, the more we will elevate the industry as a whole.