Canada’s housing market is hot, hot, hot. Even though current figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association show a slight dip in monthly numbers, year-over-year figures are booming and there are a number of reasons why the market could continue to heat up this summer.
Agents should be prepared for continued growth so they can offer their clients the best value and service, whether they are buying or selling. Here are seven things agents can do right now to prepare for growth in the Canadian real estate market.
1. Pay attention to trend reports to know where the growth is (or isn’t) happening
Every agent should be reading Canadian real estate trend reports and analyses from trusted sources, such as PwC, the Canadian Real Estate Association, and of course, REW.
By reviewing this information, you’ll be able to anticipate whether the growth is coming from residential, commercial, or industrial markets, specific housing or building types, urbanization or suburbanization, and so on.
For example, PwC found that the concept of “15-minute cities” is on the rise. This means that “residents can meet their daily needs, such as a trip to the grocery store or school, within 15 minutes of their home either by walking or cycling.” By understanding this demand, you can start paying attention to these residential features and offer that information to your clients.
2. Stay on top of market predictions
Reading trend reports helps you understand what has actually been happening in a market at any given time. But understanding market predictions and anticipating future trends can put you ahead of competitors.
For example, with COVID-19 restrictions easing up across the country, now might be a great time to talk to current and past clients about their return-to-office plans. Not only can you be a valuable resource for them if they are looking for new commercial or industrial spaces, but it will start giving you an idea of how you could potentially reach and help new clients, too.
This is especially true as the average real estate customer is constantly evolving. Understanding predictions of where the market is going and why can also help you better understand prospective buyers.
3. Have an entrepreneurial mindset
Of course, agents already are entrepreneurs, but some of us still need the reminder to keep the mindset.
Entrepreneurs are constantly looking for opportunities in the market for new products and services - that’s also something agents can do to prepare for growth. Don’t simply react to the changing market, also look for gaps that your competitors aren’t filling. Is there an up-and-coming geographical area or specific need that you can specialize in? Are there prospective clients or leads that you can reach out to so that you’ll be top-of-mind when it comes time to look or list? Don’t just expect the growth to come your way: go out and find it for yourself. And make sure you’re always branding yourself to stand out from your competitors so clients know exactly what to expect when working with you.
4. Position yourself as a knowledgeable, industry thought leader
Again, a way that agents can prepare for growth is by making sure leads are thinking about them before the growth happens. Agents have a great opportunity to position themselves to prospective clients as subject matter experts and trusted sources of information in the industry.
There are a number of ways you can do this. You could start a podcast, newsletter, or video series. All of these are great ways to grow your personal brand online, but they are also great ways to remind clients that you know what you’re talking about! You could create content for other blogs or websites, or offer your views on other real estate-focused podcasts. This way, you’re positioning yourself as a thought leader while also getting in front of new readers and listeners.
With this tactic, it’s all about not only becoming knowledgeable by staying on top of market reports, trends, and predictions, but it’s also about sharing your thoughts on those subjects to a wider audience.
5. Find out what people are searching for
Whether you’re planning out content for your blog or doing general research in your market, it’s a great idea to learn what your prospective clients and other people in your area are actively searching for. Use basic SEO keyword research practices to figure out what your customers want to know about the current real estate market, and use that information to plan out your marketing and inventory strategies (more on that next!).
6. Become an inventory expert
By having a deep understanding of current inventory in a given area or industry, your clients will gain confidence and know that they can rely on you as a trusted resource. You will be able to proactively share opportunities as they become available on the market, providing a lot of added value. A few steps you can take to become the inventory expert in your area include viewing as many properties as possible, studying REW.ca regularly, understanding neighbourhood characteristics, and understanding potential issues or challenges in that market.
If you’re in a market where inventory is low, you could also focus on trying to generate new listings. That way, you’ll not only be known as the agent who knows the most about the inventory, but also the agent who’s responsible for a lot of the inventory.
7. Start marketing now
Even when there’s market growth on the horizon, it doesn’t mean that you can let up on your proactive marketing tactics. Agents should be consistently focused on brand advertising and lead generation. That includes providing value to any current or past clients through many of the steps we’ve mentioned already, as well as looking at other paid marketing options to reach new buyers. Putting yourself out there through some strategic, thoughtful marketing efforts will make sure that your name is top-of-mind as customers get ready to buy and sell.
Rising interest in a market is always exciting for agents. By taking these steps and preparing properly, you will be able to better position yourself to capitalize on the growth in your market.