A Passion to Serve: A Vital Ingredient in the Coming Real Estate Market

Most people look at real estate agents as sales consultants. But the most successful real estate agents are those who feel a passion to serve. And these days, service is as important as sales.

If you feel your energy rise to a different level when you think about providing service, then you are in the right business. But that business is changing.

The real estate market is going to shift. While it’s still strong right now, it is slowing. Fewer homes are listed for sale. Fewer buyers are willing to venture out. Their future incomes are less unpredictable.

There will be fewer agents as a result. That fact is already evident by Redfin furloughing 40 percent of its workforce last week.

Those still standing will compete for a larger portion of the remaining market share. The difference between those who rock it and those who will be looking for a career change will depend on how they spent their time up to this point.

Agents who abandoned lead generation will fall by the wayside. Realtors who channeled their passion to serve while maintaining their routines are going to be set up for the post-COVID economy.

There will be great opportunities for those willing to do the work and redefine what kind of service they can provide in the virtual economy.

If you’re passionate about service, then the calls you make today will be relationships that last into the future. They are learning opportunities to find out how their lives have changed, how they are servicing customers, and what you can do for them.

Some anticipated trends already give us a clue as to what the buyer and seller markets may look like:

— Larger families due to more pregnancies (you know why).
— Split households due to higher divorce rates (same reason in reverse).
— Families selling homes of loved ones who are no longer around.

We can also expect people’s purchasing habits to change:

— More permanent telework means reducing “fluff” expenses (do you need Sirius if you’re not driving in the car anymore? How many days a week will you swing on over to Starbucks for a $5 cup of coffee?).
— Interior home design preferences may change (for instance, less open space required for large gatherings or more rooms for people to separate themselves for work or alone time, and of course, more spending on home improvement projects).
— Different emphasis on products that improve the quality of life at home (Imagine bigger computer and TV screens, higher quality cameras, and larger grocery bills or cleaning budgets).

What do all these trends tell real estate agents about how to target their passions?

First, here are some business connections or referral partners you may want to target and nurture:

— Attorneys, particularly estate and divorce lawyers.
— Service providers like electricians, HVAC, plumbers, landscapers, and painters.
— Photographers with advanced skills in video or 3D photography.

If you’re passionate about service, then the calls you make to these partners and connections are not requests for referrals. They are learning opportunities to find out how their lives have changed, how they are servicing customers, and what you can do for them.

For instance, when calling service providers, ask:

a. How are you doing? How are you emotionally holding up?
b. Are you doing fewer jobs to prepare homes for sale?
c. Are you doing jobs in occupied homes or are people asking you not to come in?
d. Are you working on new construction and is it taking longer to get houses ready to market?
e. What kind of new services do you find yourself doing?
f. Would you like to start doing virtual estimates?

Try that approach with lenders, home inspectors, insurance agents, and financial planners and then take the conversation to the other half of the equation. Call your buyer and seller network and ask how they are holding up in the new economy. Find out if they would be interested in refinancing (bet you “got a guy” who can help with that). Learn if they want to work on folding home improvement projects into a refinance? Tell them about options that you learned from your lender network.

Don’t hesitate to make the warm connection: an online introduction that includes YOU in the conversation. Walk through the house with the contractor making a Zoom estimate; do a video call with the lender to discuss closing costs. Better yet, take this one-to-one approach and make it a one-to-many: Host a virtual buyer or virtual seller seminar. Give it an attractive title that is low pressure, something like “How to prepare a house for listing — or just to remain living in it.” Or “You’re not going anywhere now but the future you is closer than you think.”

Invite the contractor, home inspector, or landscaper to be a participant in the seller seminar. Include the lender, inspector, and financial planner in the buyer seminar. Invite your network to attend the online event. Follow up with a list of service providers or calendar links to schedule follow-ups.

You may not get an immediate lead for a purchase or sale, but you are living your passion for service and sowing the seeds for a successful real estate future full of connections and good deeds.

Are you passionate about being the best version of yourself? If so, will you be positioned to succeed? I’m looking for agents to join my team. If you are dedicated to routines or would like to learn how routines make you a more successful agent, give me a call. I’d love to chat. You can contact me at Rob@talktorob.com or call 410-262-7396.

Have a great day!