As 2009 begins, I am cautiously optimistic that it is going to be a good year for real estate sales. I am encountering a great deal of buyer activity in El Paso, Texas and I get the sense that most people think that it is a good time to buy, with interest rates and home prices at attractive levels. I am not finding people scared to buy — on the contrary, they seem anxious to buy in this market thinking that they can get a good deal.
Another good thing is that the declining real estate market does not seem to be the main news story every day. We are now on to new problems — bank and automaker bailouts. At least it isn’t real estate!
So, what should you do to take advantage of these conditions?
- Let everyone know how low interest rates are and that they won’t stay this low for long. Send out email blast to your mailing list — call your top buyer prospects.
- Send out a list of best buys to your buyer prospects. Again by email and also call your top prospects.
- Follow up, follow up, and follow up. This is what really makes the difference between the top Realtors and the rest. You don’t have to be good at what you do — but you have to be there — when they are ready to buy or sell. Continually check back with your prospects by both email and phone. Don’t fall in love with email — a lot of people only follow up by email. You still need to make a good old fashioned phone call once in a while.
- Stay upbeat about the opportunities in this market. I find that when I have a good positive attitude, it is infectious and good things happen.
- Do more with less. Reevaluate all of your expenses. If you can do without the item, cut it. I’m also making more of an effort to reach people by phone. I would generally try to reach a prospect one time, and if I couldn’t get them, I’d move on to the next — because I had so many. Now, however, I am cutting some of my lead generation expenses, so I need to make more of an effort to harvest what I have. I am now making three attempts to reach people — at different times of different days — including Saturday mornings if I can’t reach them during the week. It takes a bit more time, but I’m hoping it will allow me to do more with less expense.
So far, the year has started with a bang! Not only do we have a lot of sales, but I have a lot of people in the pipeline and tons of people visiting our website and inquiring about El Paso homes. Hopefully the rest of the year will continue on this pace.