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2008-08-08 16:37:14

How to Flourish in a Slow Market

You hear the words slow market and what images pop into your mind?

  • You, sitting at a desk strumming your fingers waiting for the phone to ring?
  • Sweat forming on your forehead, thinking about unpaid bills?
  • A neighborhood filled with for sale signs and no buyers in sight?

Now, replace those images with these:

  • You, sitting at your desk talking to eager buyers extremely interested in your listings.
  • Going to the bank to make yet another deposit in a growing savings account.
  • An open house where buyers are streaming in like kids into a candy store.
How do you get from the first set of dismal images to the second?
Well, in a slower market, you have the power to choose how to react. You can certainly choose to see the uglier side. And it’s easy to do. What’s more, it’s easy to find company to commiserate with. Sit down with a group of agents and you won’t have to wait long before you are up to your armpits in all the complaining.
But conversely, you can see the other side. Instead of fearing a slower real estate market, you can view it as an opportunity to let your professionalism not only pull you through, but also make you shine as well.
You see, history dictates that the best agents will continue to succeed, and many will even increase their production in difficult times.
And while this may seem hard to believe at first glance, consider that in a strong market anyone can sell real estate. When homes are selling fast, inferior competitors may very well beat you out of listings, and gain the allegiance of buyers, simply based on their personalities. You know precisely what I’m talking about. You’ve seen them come out of the wood work when the market gets hot.
But when the times get tough, many of these less professional competitors fall by the wayside as the easy transactions dry up. And even more importantly, consumers start paying attention to the credentials, experience and quality of service when choosing their agents in a tighter market.
If you’re reading this now, I have to believe you’re one of the true professionals in the industry. You’re sticking out the slower market, one, because you know you can and two, because this is how you make your living. In other words, you’re not a “fly-by-nighter”. You’re in this for the long haul. And by hanging in, you’re becoming a better agent. Sure, it hurts. And it’s tough sometimes. But you’re in it to win.
To me it comes down to confidence. Believing in yourself and your skills as a professional, understanding your own competencies and your ability to thrive, can and will make a difference in a slow market.
Here are a few tips to capitalize in a slow market:
  • Emphasize your credentials, experience and quality service. (You’re way ahead of those who poach on the market when things are going well). And change your marketing materials to highlight current market conditions and your ability to meet those conditions.


  • Highlight your dedication. Let prospects know you’re a full-timer and that selling homes is your passion.
  • Price properties to the market. Explain market conditions and why setting the right price is key in generating interest and offers. 
  • Get properties into top notch shape. In a tight market, it becomes a beauty contest.
  • Be more selective with your time. Avoid running around without a purpose. Realize that time is an asset.
 Make the commitment now to tap the deeper powers within your professionalism to meet the opportunities that await you now in this market. You can do it!    
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.
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