Four Things That Real Estate Agents Should Do in Winter (Plus One Bonus Tip)

11/25/2014 08:37 PM (CST)

snowmanInman News ran this piece lately: 4 Ways to Winterize Your Real Estate Business. Below are their tips on how to survive winter as a real estate professional:

1. Refresh your market data

2. Upgrade your photos

3. Offer staging as a bonus

4. Set a realistic price to melt the ice

These are some great tips; let’s elaborate a little bit more.

#4 should go without saying. It’s never easy, but the sooner you have “the talk” with your seller, the better; especially in winter. In fact, real estate agents who are very upfront and not afraid to speak their mind to their clients tend to do better in a long term then the ones who always agree with their clients. That fact that you have fiduciary duty to your client sometimes means you have to be very direct. Often times, sellers don’t know what’s best for them. This leads us to the #1 tip on the Inman’s list: refresh your market data.

No matter who you are and what you do, your job when interacting with clients is to present yourself as an expert worth their trust and business. Yes, you have to be a people’s person to make it in real estate, but you also have to know your trade.

Nothing demonstrates your knowledge better than your ability to present and analyze data. Not just rattle off the statistics, but to be able to analyze the market too! Colder months are great for just staying in and reading. Browse the internet; learn a new way to create presentations; research your “farm.” If you end up presenting a compelling case why your sellers should lower their expectations or why they shouldn’t wait until spring, they will listen to you.

# 2 should also go without saying. Since you can’t achieve much with the exterior photos in winter, concentrate on the interior. However, if current homeowners went out of their way decorating their house and their yard for the holidays, make sure you take a full advantage. When it’s cold outside, people crave for warmth and coziness; convey these feeling in your photos and you will be more likely to sell your listing faster.

There is one more tip that was not mentioned in the list: go after niche markets. We have said it many times, but it won’t hurt to repeat this again: there are plenty of short sale data (homeowners behind on their mortgage payments and homeowners with set sale dates). The fact that there aren’t that many short sales and that foreclosures are up in certain markets indicates that real estate agents won’t list short sales, banks are frustrated and they are more aggressively foreclosing. Every foreclosure auction is a lost opportunity for a successful short sale…