Many salespeople around the country are reporting a shift in the market, from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market. A shift in the market can pose several challenges for salespeople.
The first challenge is to notice the shift.
Buyers are usually the first to notice a change in the market. Buyers appear fussier, which is understandable because they have more properties to choose from. Offers are harder to extract from buyers.
Another symptom is that agents carry more stock. Days on market increase. A larger portion of agency stock is overpriced for the new market, although some agents don’t face that reality, preferring to deny the shift and hold onto the vain hope that their listings will soon sell.
Finally the sellers get the message, although how quickly they do depends on their listing agent’s willingness to convey to them the reality of the market.
The next challenge is to stay positive.
In any market, and I mean ANY MARKET, listings sell if they are priced correctly. Overpriced listings don’t. Therefore, in buyers’ markets, skilled agents make sales. The secret is to stay positive and believe that you can thrive in this new market.
My friend, Peter O’Malley, principal of Harris Partners Balmain says, “There is no such thing as a tough market. There is such a thing as weak salespeople“.
I think he’s on the money. In buyers’ markets the easiest thing is to blame the market for a lack of sales and saleable listings. The fact is, skilled agents list and sell in high numbers in all markets. They face the reality of each market and face challenges head-on.
For decades I’ve heard salespeople blame the market for their poor performance, but I’ve never heard them credit a boom when they do well. If you’re a market victim, you’d better pray for another boom to come soon!
The third challenge is to reskill, and quickly.
If you’ve been in real estate for twenty years or more, you’ve seen every type of market there is. If you’ve been around that long, you’ve developed skills to survive and thrive in any market.
But each market throws up different challenges. Price reductions – repositioning the price – is a good example.
In a sellers’ market, agents who initially overpriced their listings often didn’t need to ask sellers to reposition their prices. The market was rising and even properties that were initially overpriced for the market, sold.
Not so in a buyers’ market. Coming out of a sellers’ market into a buyers’ market requires salespeople to reskill, and quickly. How you handle the price issue is crucial to your success. The sooner you reskill to handle the price, the quicker you’ll adapt to the new market.
Conducting the price discussion during your listing presentation is important. To be able to deliver an HONEST estimate of the likely selling price of a property during a listing presentation and still win the business is the hallmark of a skilled lister.
For many years I’ve said, “In real estate, to tell the truth about price and still win the listing, you’d better be a skilled presenter“. This is the market where you’ll require this skill once more.
You might also need to brush up your skill in asking sellers to reposition their price, should buyer interest and buyer feedback suggest that a price reduction is necessary.
Overcome these three challenges: 1. Notice the shift; 2. Stay positive; 3. Reskill quickly, and you are well placed to make the most of a buyers’ market.
When the market shifts, we must too.