No one knows quite what to expect from the real estate market in 2021. Will things return to semblance of normalcy? Will the wild swings of 2020 continue? Or will we see something approaching a middle ground? With that in mind, we asked top-performing agents how they’re preparing for the year ahead.
Here’s what they had to say.
Become the digital-first agent consumers want
“I really looked at how my ability to network and interact with clients was affected by the pandemic. This year I wanted to pour a lot of my focus into connecting with my clients and also their experience throughout the process. Pre-pandemic I could meet clients for coffee and casually sort through the listings we wanted to view and talk about next steps. As the market intensified, it became more important than ever for agents and clients to work as a team and be on the same page with distancing precautions in place. That left a huge void for many when building a working relationship, so I directed my energy to digital rapport, utilizing social media so clients “see” me often and feel confident in my ability to help them. Once we are working together I rely on apps and technology to enhance our communication and strategy. Clients depend so heavily on digital tools to sort and prioritize properties, so me being on the same app with the ability to see what they see and take action has been a huge advantage. Today’s clients don’t want the fluff and sweet talk, they are tech savvy, ready to move and want results.
The plan is working well, my social media platforms are exploding and my clients and I are able to effectively collaborate over apps, such as Homesnap, to communicate and explore properties quickly.”
Lauren Matera, Coldwell Banker Realty, Annapolis, MD
Don’t forget the human connection
“My mindset for 2021 is all about human connection. 2020 was a really tough year for many, and I want to make sure that my clients know that I’m here for them. Getting back to the basics… calls asking how I can help, giving to charities that are important to them, sending little gifts letting them know that I’m thinking about them, etc. The pandemic created this virtual world where we do most of our interaction behind a screen, so it’s really important to me that my clients still feel that personal connection!”
Julie Singer, BHHS Homesale Realty, Baltimore, MD
Follow up with each and every lead
“I have reviewed last year’s numbers to evaluate what we can improve on, adjusted systems to better serve our clients and strategized on what we need to do daily to hit our goals for 2021. With that being said, I noticed in 2020 we missed out on a lot of business due to simply not following up with the customer. Therefore, I updated our CRM to ensure the customer is contacted at every stage in the process. Lastly, I ensured all agents are equipped with the tools, knowledge and documents necessary to be successful and confident in their position. Being consistent with our craft is a must. “When The Why Is Clear, The How Is Easy!”
Bryant Miller, Maximum One Realtor Partners, McDonough, GA
Understand where you want to go
“I LOVE writing vision statements every year. I date it one year from the day I write it, and I think about what would make me happiest and proudest to accomplish that next year. I write in past tense to allow myself to understand that I actually achieved those goals. Vision statements are powerful.
When it comes to specifics for my business, I base my prepping off of reflection from that previous year. Did I hit my goals, and if so what did I do to get there? What worked? What didn’t work? What can I improve on? I make sure the goals I set are achievable while setting the bar high for me and my team. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel if you don’t need to. Capitalize on what works for you and own it. Think about numbers, clients and customer service, systems, and organization.”
Rebecca Donatelli, McDowell Homes RES, Solon, OH
Relentlessly pursue improvement
“In preparation for 2021, one of the goals for our team was to focus on implementing new systems and databases, one of which was a new robust contact relationship management system. We did our research and selected a great system that works for us, which we recently transitioned all of our clientele to a few months ago. We are training and educating ourselves on how to best utilize all aspects of this new system to provide an improved operation for the team as well as keeping in contact with our clients, capturing leads, and working seamlessly together as a team. We love systems and processes and are always looking to improve. We’re looking forward to what’s in store in 2021.”
Sheena Baker, CarMarc Realty, Aurora, IL
Remember your importance to the community
A sense of community was an important focus this year. Agents bring families and communities together, and the sense of support given to others has become the foundation of our business. Even if we have to do it virtually, we still want to bring a sense of community.
To accomplish this, we focused much of our marketing on the personal—that includes branding, custom note cards, as well as agent features in local publications. We’re also hosting virtual meetings and networking events at least 3X a week.
Racheallee Lacek, Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty, Pittsburgh, PA
Stay in touch with old clients. You never know.
I prepped my business for the new year by sending gifts to all my past clients and also putting new systems in place to help stay in contact with new sellers and buyers.
Rayshell Scott, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate – Metro Brokers, Peachtree City, GA