How to survive a property market downturn

During an upswing in the property market, new real estate agents flock to the business, excited to take home their piece of the pie. However, reality inevitably bites! Being able to survive the hard times requires persistence, planning and strategy.

When the property market takes a breather and homeowners become reluctant to sell, here are some ways to ensure your business doesn’t go down the plughole.

Plan ahead

Throughout history, the property market has been cyclical. While the trajectory is generally positive over the long-term, there is a natural rise and fall every few years.

Staying afloat during the slower periods depends on how prepared you are. In times of boom, forward-thinking agents put a portion of their commission earnings aside to offset a future drop in income.

No matter what the current conditions, you should be continually on the lookout for ways to improve efficiency and save money within your business. This doesn’t have to mean letting people go but instead seeking low-cost technology solutions which will reduce your outgoing expenses.

Nurture your prospects

During busy periods, it can be easy to quickly complete sales transactions then forget about the vendor and move onto the next property. This is a strategy used by agents who don’t survive the down times!

Even when the market is slow, there are always people who need to sell. To make sure they choose you, you must maintain an ongoing relationship with each client you come into contact with. You can do this through email, by connecting on social media or by sending text messages. Automated software can be used to program the ways you reach out and continue a dialogue.

Something as simple as congratulating a buyer on the 5th anniversary of their house purchase could trigger them to get in touch or send a friend your way.

Put yourself out there

When times are tight, limiting your marketing spend can play against you. Now is the time to upgrade your marketing collateral, work on your content marketing strategy and keep up regular communication with your database.

There are a number of ways to get free publicity, including offering to write columns for local publications or letting local radio stations know you’re available to give market updates.

Become a buyer’s agent

If you can’t beat them….

In a buyer’s market, everybody is looking for a bargain. By using your expertise and negotiating skills, you can act on behalf of buyers and find them a true deal.

Buyers agents receive commission for their work the same way selling agents do. For the client, the value comes in avoiding weeks of property inspections and having an experienced representative acting on their behalf.

The trend of using buyers agents is rising in major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Savvy buyers understand they can potentially save thousands on their purchase by enlisting the help of a professional.

Build a steady rent roll

As well as running beautiful campaigns and selling property for premium prices, smart real estate agencies lay the foundations for financial security by growing the property management side of their business.

People need to rent property in all markets and investors will always need tenants. By building a strong rent roll, a portion of your agency’s monthly income will be guaranteed. This will carry you through the slow periods and save you from having to let go of staff or leave the industry all together.

As well as building a rent roll, you must take care of it! Happy tenants and landlords make for smoother, more long-term relationships so ensure the service you provide is efficient and reliable.

In peaks and troughs, your rent roll remains one of the most important ways to secure your business and your success for the long term.