What’s the saying? Adapt or die.
It’s an adage REALTORS® can appreciate because real estate always lands its share of change. If you’re an active REALTOR®, I offer you my heartiest “congratulations” for having survived the tsunami of transformation the industry has endured over the last few years.
But let me quickly follow up with, “Don’t rest on your laurels.” A new year is here, and with it will come more change. Some of the trends that will keep you from resting on your laurels are these:
- More competition from new agents entering the profession who are smart, tech-savvy and hungry.
- More diversity in your potential clients, with both millennials finally having success getting mortgages as well as baby boomers entering the market with differing housing needs.
- More technology in homes. This could be the year consumers truly expect the latest in smart home automation.
- More social media. I know, it’s hard to believe there could be more, but it continues to gather strength as a powerful marketing tool in business across many industries.
- More inventory of homes. Yes, finally supply is catching up with demand.
So what skills match these trends — what skills will you need to make 2018 a great year? Here are my best suggestions:
Learning skills: No surprise here. The more things change, the more you need to learn. Make an extra effort to stay up on the latest changes in real estate with an emphasis on your local market and farm area. Regularly check your REALTOR® association for continuing education and professional development courses and commit to take them as soon as you can.
Computer/technical literacy skills: Again, no shock here. That’s been the case for the last 20 years, but as each year unfolds, it’s becoming more and more of an imperative. I’d like you to think of technology in two ways: one as a way to make your work more efficient, such as using software for getting and converting leads, staying in touch with prospects, reaching prospects or handling administrative tasks; and two as a way that makes your prospects’ lives easier — specifically taking time to better understand how technology is being used in homes.
Communication and interpersonal skills: Yep, another common need in real estate. But again, I can’t stress their importance as time passes. Always take every opportunity to polish your listening, speaking and writing skills. And take time to appreciate the differences in each generation and adapt to each one. One day you’re working with a 20-something newbie, and the next day, you’re working with a 65-year-old retired couple looking to downsize. Each has very different needs and ways of communicating. And know how to set expectations, especially for those younger buyers entering the market. I’ve seen far too many deals fly off the rails because agents didn’t prepare buyers on what to expect during the homebuying process.
At this point, you might be thinking, “Gee, Bubba, this sounds like a good bit of work.” And you know what I say: “Darn right. Success takes work and plenty of it.” There’s always a certain level of investment of time, energy and money needed to be successful at anything — and the real estate industry is no different. If you’re passionate about your job and you’re willing to put in the work to improve your skills, you also have a better chance at improving your career.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!
Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international real estate, mortgage and small business coaching company committed to helping clients balance success in business, while building value in life. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 or visit www.CorcoranCoaching.com.