Coming off of one of the busiest winters in recent history, many Canadian real estate markets are likely going to be hot this spring. Depressed interest rates should continue to inspire new buyers, and there’s a good chance that inventory could rise as the weather turns warmer in the spring and summer months. To stay a step ahead of the curve, agents should plan for a busy spring by spending some time preparing for the rush.
Here are five ways that agents can prepare for a spring real estate rush.
1. Start your outreach early
In some parts of the country, the housing market is already scorching hot, a trend that most speculators didn’t see coming last year. Though it’s possible to play catchup during a busy season, you’ll do yourself much better if you start your outreach before the spring and summer months.
Reach out to your trusted contacts, which should include friends, family, and existing clients, and make sure they keep your name top of mind should they know anyone looking to buy or sell. These are people you should be in touch with regularly, so make sure you’ve been making the rounds.
Unlike outreach to your close family and friends, pursuing new business from colder contacts can fall to the wayside if it’s not given proper attention. Before a real estate rush begins and you’re too busy to do any prospecting, contact the buyers and sellers that chose to wait and not buy or sell in the last 18 months. Go through your CRM and look for leads that didn’t respond in that period as well, and make an effort to be in touch with as many prospects as possible. It can be a lot of work, but the fruits of your labour can keep you busy throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Seller leads are few and far between in many Canadian markets right now, so it’s good to start making connections early.
2. Study the market
Experience is a significant asset as a real estate professional. When experience is paired with an investment in education and a passion for the community you serve, your value will be beyond evident to those searching for an agent.
Things change every year in every community, not just in 2020 when changes were more pronounced than ever before. Neighbourhoods become safer, housing styles become outdated, prices fluctuate, and once-popular areas become less desired. The market is constantly changing. As an agent, you should evaluate the market every month and do a deep dive into the areas you work in most frequently to give you an advantage over the competition. If you know your numbers, the trends, and new developments in your community, it will be easy for your clients and potential clients to see you as the local expert.
While you’re conducting your research, keep your eyes open for new business opportunities. Introduce yourself to areas beyond your expertise and get to know the market conditions beyond your service area. Knowledge is power in the real estate industry.
3. Layout your marketing calendar
Creating and managing a real estate marketing calendar that reflects your goals has lasting benefits. It gives you actionable steps to follow with dates attached to tasks and encourages you to plan campaigns and the ongoing distribution of marketing materials. Simply put, a marketing calendar sets your pace and keeps you honest.
There’s a lot you can lay out in your calendar at the beginning of a busy season that can help you stay on track. Keeping a running social media schedule that calls for specific kinds of posts can take the guesswork out of your social media marketing. Similarly, setting up branded advertising campaigns and lead generation campaigns that run throughout the year ensures that you’re investing in yourself even when things are hectic. You can also use your calendar for budgeting purposes, allotting dollars throughout the year to be spent on promoting your area of expertise on websites like REW to connect with more buyers and sellers. Take a look at REW’s Agent Market Pro and how it can help you increase your brand and market presence.
Planning marketing campaigns throughout the year that run while you’re out of the office, especially when things get busy in the spring, is a great way to set yourself up for success. It allows you to generate more leads and brand awareness while you’re out meeting with clients.
4. Ask for new reviews
The real estate industry is relationship-driven, so be sure to lean on your solid relationships and request new reviews before the spring rush. It’s good practice to update your reviews throughout the year and to ask for reviews from your happy clients upon closing.
Getting new reviews added to your website, REW profile, and online directories can help with social proof, especially when those recommendations have dates attached to them as they do on REW’s agent profiles. Additionally, if you solicit reviews on your Google My Business page, you’ll help your brand rank higher in search results. That’s a huge benefit that can help you bring in new business during the busy spring season.
5. Update your digital stack
Management tools, sales and marketing software, and even website platforms get better and more useful every year, so take the time to evaluate your digital stack to look for improvements before things get busy. Evaluate the tools you’re using and do some research into new platforms that could help make your life easier and take you to the next level.
This is especially true when it comes to your website. Don’t let it sit without any maintenance or updates. Invest time into improving your website before the busy spring season, which includes writing new copy, adding new photos, and even moving to a new content management system (CMS) if your needs aren’t being met. You won’t necessarily need to start from scratch, but a little attention can often go a long way.
Though it’s difficult to predict trends in the real estate market, many Canadian cities are likely set to have a busy spring season this year. If you’ve seen a busy winter come to a close, take the opportunity now to get ahead on the five strategies listed above. You’ll thank yourself later.