How to Succeed When the Market is Down

By: Carol Freyer

In an industry like real estate, professionals have to be prepared to make it through the rough patches, like when the market has slowed to a crawl. In some parts of the country, this is currently the case, where home sales have been plummeting at much the same pace that they rose during the housing boom a couple of years ago.

Many of the same agents who flocked to the industry in 2005 and 2006 were trying to capitalize on a booming real estate market that was making many in the industry a nice profit. Unprepared to face the inevitable slow-down that was to happen, many of these agents are now leaving the profession in search of something more stable and not so reliant on commission sales and fluctuating economies.

In order to ride out the housing storm, real estate agents need to be very smart when it comes to planning their time. When the clients aren't rushing to your door, you need to work harder, and in some cases, work longer hours in order to get noticed by the people you want to work for. Whether you prefer cold calling, mailing out promotional materials, placing newspaper advertisements, or rely mostly on word of mouth, you need to make sure that you are getting your name out to as many people as possible.

Pull out all the stops with your various marketing campaigns, especially on the internet.

Today's best agents are aware of how the internet is changing the world of business, including that of real estate. As average people become more and more web savvy, it is imperative that you have good exposure on the web. You need a website with informative, well-written content, have an easy-to-navigate information architecture, and optimize your site to make sure that it ranks high with the search engines so that when users search for real estate in your service area, your site will be one of the first pages they see.

Your website is at its most basic, a business card. It should have your contact information displayed throughout the site so that visitors who aren't interested in sifting through page after page of real estate information can get to what they want, which is you.

Some real estate agents choose to have very simple websites, with just their contact information and a list of services on the site, while others choose to offer tips on buying and selling, feature listings of available properties in the area, as well as tools such as mortgage calculators on hand to make users feel more knowledgeable and empowered before they even contact you.

Sites like these are not only helpful and informative to the user, but they also demonstrate the authority of the agent, and show how up-to-date they are with the latest technologies and market information.

In addition to having a great website, and continuing with traditional marketing strategies, you need to use your creativity in order to attract more clients. Brainstorm ideas, attend seminars on the latest sales techniques (including ones that are not directly related to real estate), and get together with other agents to discuss innovative ways to get new business. By reaching outside of your comfort zone, you could stumble upon a fresh new way to increase your income while the real estate market slowly gets back on its feet.

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