I’ve been listening: To the news, to agents across the country, to industry experts and to my competition. There is an elephant in the room. Nobody’s talking about it but we all know that the real estate market will be substantially impacted in the weeks and months to come.
I’ve been through markets where the transaction volumes plummet and real estate values depreciate and I know that looking at things realistically, logically and strategically is essential for your survival.
Around the globe, we are seeing the tension between a terrible public health crisis and an unprecedented economic crisis. We are all feeling fear. Some fear for their health and the health of their loved ones. Some feel fear for their financial future. Many fear for their inability to provide essential resources to their family right now. We all wonder when this will end and what the world looks like when it does.
I haven’t written over the past two weeks because I wanted to take the time to understand the enormity of this situation, and what realtors need to hear. Part of me wants to tell you that if you can keep in a good mindset and stay productive, it’s all going to be ok. This is what you want to hear, it’s easy for me to deliver and I can likely maintain some revenue for a while. The other part of me wants to tell you the truth and of course, that prevails.
There’s no way around it, this is going to be hard.
While some transactions are happening in a few markets, the transaction volumes are plummeting. There are very few deals happening and this will be the case for the duration of the pandemic and likely beyond.
While Social Isolation will end at some point, many people will be in desperate financial shape as a result of unemployment, decreased salary, decrease sales etc. Some people will default on their mortgages and others will feel huge pressure to sell and relieve themselves of mortgage debt. We could see a dramatic increase in listing inventory and few buyers to pick up absorb it. This is where the depreciation could begin. While there may be a baby boom and an increase in divorce rates, it’s unlikely that it will be enough to fuel a speedy recovery. We will recover, but it won’t be soon.
Real estate commissions are going to be hard to come by.
So, what now?
Here is my survival strategy.
Step 1: Secure the safety and well-being of you and your family. Covid-19 is a serious threat to our health both physically and psychologically. We need to feel strong, safe and sane if we are to manage our path through this.
Step 2: Secure your financial well-being. Money is going to be hard to come by. While there will be the odd bit of commission here and there for a few REALTORS®, there will not be nearly enough to feed us all. Reduce your expenses, significantly and early. Figure out how to support your family for what could be many months.
Step 3: There will be people who need to sell, buy or rent during this crisis. They will need a REALTOR® who is knowledgeable and equipped to help them through a stressful and complicated transaction. It is essential that you know what is happening in the market. Read the economic news and monitor the real estate stats daily. Speak with other active agents in your marketplace.
Step 4: Know that the real estate industry will be different coming out of this crisis then it was going in. The REALTORS® who survive will be the ones that can adapt to circumstances that we cannot yet foresee. Surviving this kind of disruption takes creativity, strategic thinking, and grit.
I know this is a harsh message but I truly believe it is the message that you need to hear. You aren’t going to hear this from the other coaching companies because they can’t afford the loss of revenue that will result. Some of you are going to survive and live on as trusted real estate consultants in what promises to be a very different world. I can help you navigate that path. While the modern world has never seen this combination of events, I have more experience than most building strategies for success through turbulent markets.
Click here to read my Boom and Bust Story from the fall out of the late 80’s.
If this message lands for you, I am offering three new programs for REALTORS:
- Free Facebook Live – each Wednesday at 9am – This will be an opportunity for us to keep on top of market updates, talk strategy, and engage in ongoing adaptation as the situation evolves. Pre Register for next Wednesday here
- CNE Foundations online live – Use this time to earn a designation and skills that will be even more essential in this market. Max 25 participants.
- I am also considering a low-cost group coaching program to engage more actively with individual realtors determined to find a route through these changing conditions. The pieces are still coming together, but send me an email if this is something you would be interested in.
And, let me know what other programs would help you now and in the coming months.