By Jim Droz
Tis the season for debate on whether putting a house on the market is a good move or not. While it’s true that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is stressful and busy regarding holiday functions, the same can’t be said for real estate agents who wonder what to do during this traditionally slow time for selling.
What to do? Glad you asked.
Even if your leads are down, these weeks are great for reconnecting with former clients and your database on a personal level. Reach out to them via e-mail or a phone call and chat or set up a time to meet. You might be surprised how many of these people know someone who’s interested in buying or selling a house, if not now then a few months down the road. But you’ll never know until you reach out, which this time of year can also double for spreading holiday cheer. That can also be accomplished by sending holiday notes or small gifts to former clients to let them know how much you still appreciate the time spent together during your transaction.
The extra time should also be used to put a nice bow on the year while preparing to ring in 2013 with all systems set and ready to go.
“I plan for this time of year to do the things that I don’t have time to do during the spring and summer,” said Bryan Dunaway, an agent in the Charlotte metropolitan area of North Carolina. “If you’re planning any major overhauls or systems changes or new budgeting measures, this is the time of year to do it because, for the most part, you don’t have to worry about taking valuable time from a possible buyer or seller.”
You should also prepare a marketing plan for the entire year and make sure that all of your electronic forms and links are in proper order and go to the right places. Your title tags and keywords for your blogs and websites should also be investigated and updated if necessary, in addition to making sure that all of the resources on your website are up to date. Nothing drives people away faster than a website that looks outdated, has stale information and doesn’t link properly to other sources or sites.
Setting up a budget and what you want to make financially are other key things to establish this time of year. Make sure your budget includes everything from marketing and advertising to gas and dues, and when it comes to anticipated commission checks, make a list of everything that will be required to reach that goal, such as calls, lead follow-ups and presentations, and make a pact with yourself that you’ll stay committed to the amount of time it will take to make it happen.
And, of course, if you have active leads, give them the time necessary to keep them in the fold, even if it doesn’t appear that a transaction is imminent.
“Even the people I have looking right now aren’t really looking, so to speak,” Dunaway said, “but I make sure they get all of the information they need and to continuously let them know that I’m ready for them when they’re ready for me. … And if I’ve taken care of everything and am ready for the New Year from the first day, I’ll have an advantage over those who still might be a few weeks behind.”