The market is shifting. I’m generally seeing a lot of panic in the real estate market and even among agents inside LabCoat Agents because of this shift. We’re getting a lot of differing views and worries as to where the market is heading: Is it going to crash? Is it going to stabilize? What’s happening?

That’s why I decided to start Brilliant Talks, co-hosted by my friend Mark Raider, one of the top-producing team members at Tristan & Associates out in Los Angeles-Ventura County. We want to have a platform where agents can come together and learn and be equipped to survive and succeed in this market shift.

And from what we’re seeing right now, the market is heading towards a more neutral place. Of course, things can change and something big and unexpected can happen anytime that might throw us all off-guard. It is also too early to forecast what will happen to the market so far into the future when we are still in the middle of changing. But based on the data we currently have, the market isn’t going to crash anytime soon.

However, it is best to gear up right now, because things are going to get a little tight as we navigate this market shift. What can real estate agents do to prepare?

Focus on your database.

In the world we live in today, our database is literally at our fingertips, but we don’t use it enough. Our smartphones are powerful tools at our disposal to succeed in this shifting market.

There are two kinds of databases you can have: organic and paid. Paid databases include paying for leads, lead generation through Google PPC, or something similar to Zillow services. Organic databases, on the other hand, are free and are something you can maximize, especially when things (and budget) are tight.

So let’s dive a little deeper into the organic database first.

Leverage social media

We always say, “Go where the consumer is” and yet we do the opposite. We are overlooking the most powerful tool at our fingertips in order for us to succeed.

The immediate place that I need you to look at is social media. According to Wikipedia, the top 5 most visited websites in the world are Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In the top 25 are LinkedIn (23), Reddit (20), and TikTok (18).

These social media platforms are free to use, and they can serve as an extended form of your database. It also comes with some paid additional services and affiliates for businesses, and yet we aren’t utilizing them enough.

Let’s look at LinkedIn, for example. They now have something called "Sales Navigator." I talked about it more extensively in a recent episode of Brilliant Thoughts, a SUCCESS magazine podcast, titled Sharpen Your Social Media Strategy. Basically, it allows me to set my lead filters and reverse search for people I want to focus on as my audience. It lets you filter out what you post and who you reach out to.

You can even “hack the algorithm” on popular social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by doing a simple thing: Provide your audience with information they want and need; be the resource that gives them the answers to their pressing questions about real estate. Then call them to action: invite them to DM you.

For example, I am subscribed to Keeping Current Matters, and they provide beautiful guides with graphs and quotes, and a lot of fresh and relevant information about the current state and trends in real estate. You can use that information, compile it into a PDF, and make a teaser of that information to post on your feed. Then you invite your sphere, your people, to message you if they want to know more, so you can give the rest of it for free.

You can even make YouTube videos and dive deep into these topics.

These are all strategies that work in leveraging social media for success in this shifting market. But at the end of the day, these won’t work if you are not engaging your audience in an authentic way.

Don’t forget that the most important part is to build relationships. Yes, be strategic, get creative and intentional with the content and value you are putting out there, but don’t forget to connect to them as a human being.

Newsletters are still a thing

If you don’t have one, I can’t stress how important it is that you get one. Newsletters work. The only reason they might not be working for you is because you are spamming people with information that has no value to them or nobody wants to listen to you. One way you can send out value is to be proactive in being more targeted.

My friend, Blair Ballin, out over in Phoenix, AZ, did an awesome job at this. He creates video content, and when Redfin released data on the migration patterns of people during the pandemic, they mentioned that a lot of people moved to Phoenix from Washington. Blair contacts agents and people who are planning to move out of Washington, sends them a newsletter about this through Facebook, and closes transactions.

Just recently, he closed his biggest one ever at almost $3 million from a newsletter.

Think of the opportunities you are passing up on in newsletters.

From phone and Gmail to CRM

I talked about this in one of my YouTube videos: Your First Year in Real Estate, (or you can read the blog here.)

This is probably the easiest thing to do. You can export your contacts on your phone to an excel file using an app. We use MCBackup Pro, but there’s another great app called Contacts Backup. These are available for Apple and Android on the app store.

Once you’ve exported your contacts, categorize them. I usually use these for categories: A, B, C, and D.

A: They’ve given me a referral

B: If I ask, they will give me a referral

C: They’ll probably give me a referral, but I’ve never asked

D: They’ll never give me a referral. It could be for any reason. Maybe I messed up before. Or they probably don’t like me, and I don’t like them either.

You can use these categories or come up with your own. The main point is to categorize your contacts.

After you do, start reaching out to them.

The idea behind reaching out to those people on your phone is that, first of all, you probably haven’t reached out to them in a while. And it’s part of your database.

The next part is, and here’s what a lot of agents and brokers and teams miss, you don’t categorize when you’re talking to people. When you reach out to somebody, your job is to categorize where you’re going to fit them in.

Once you’ve contacted them, feed them through your CRM, whatever CRM you are using. Some brokerages have a free CRM. You can also use what we use: FollowUp Boss and Chime. I’m not telling you to go out and buy one right now. If you already have a CRM, it is time to use it.

You can do the same thing with your Gmail contacts. If you have Gmail, just type in contacts.google.com and it will show you everybody that you’ve ever contacted through Gmail. They also give you the option to export them. Do the same thing with your phone contacts: Export. Categorize. Contact. Put them in your CRM.

Everybody that you talk to or want to export, guess where they go? They go on that free newsletter that you still haven’t built up. That's a free newsletter that people need to receive on a weekly or bi-weekly timeline.

Because everybody has the same question right now in real estate

  • Is the market going to crash?
  • Is there a bubble?
  • What’s happening in the real estate market?
  • Is there a recession coming in? If so, how is it going to affect real estate?

You want to have those opportunities to talk to people, to engage with them, and explain to them the knowledge that you have. But the challenge is that we’re not doing it enough.

Door-knocking and open houses

My first day in real estate, I door-knocked for six hours. I kept on door-knocking every single day. The mistake I made is that I didn’t start a database. I just door-knocked and hoped for the best. I hoped that somebody would actually want to sell or buy. My efforts were worth it. Three months in, somebody did. But the point is, I shifted and adapted as I grew with this. And I created a newsletter, eventually.

Whenever you door-knock an area, remember that you’re going to be farming the area and that you’re going to show up consistently over time. This is the key to successful door-knocking. 

The idea is, it does work. You just have to show up. You have to give the right marketing pieces to the homeowners. You have to make sure that you have a plan.

The other part of this is open houses. One of our team members also does open houses. We all do open houses but there are different levels to them.

Open houses are an amazing thing that you can do. If you are new and just starting out, sometimes you don’t have any listings that you can do an open house with. Don’t let that stop you. Ask your brokerage if they have open houses. Or check with other top real estate agents in your office. You would be surprised at how many agents would gladly let you hold an open house on one of their listings. It is one of the best things you can do. 

Expireds and FSBOs 

Just in the last month, expireds went up a little over 40%. We’re seeing more expireds come on the market. Do you have a plan for that? 

One of my very first listings was an expired luxury listing. It was one of the ways we broke into the luxury market. It was through Google PPC and calling expireds.

We called this expired, he picked up and asked me to call back at a later time. I called them back and we talked, and they asked me a favor to stop by their house instead. This was a $5 million listing. I drove up a windy hill for around 25 minutes to get there.

The seller told me he had bought the house 7 or 8 years ago at an auction. He had finished some renovations here and there. The person who owned it before him was a drug dealer, and that person would hide money, so we looked for money hidden behind walls. This seller was just a fun guy.

That was my very first expired listing call. Then it just grew from there, listing conversions.

The point is, in order to succeed, you have to show up daily. Some days you’re going to have bad luck, some days you’re going to do amazing.

How uncomfortable are you willing to get?

You have a choice for everything on this list. Either do one, do a little bit, test it out, or have no questions and go all-in. When I started in real estate, I had debt because I was right out of college.  I was already married, and I was like “I’m tired of living in one room.” I have no choice but to succeed.

When you look at it that way, you stop making excuses for failing. Then you stop becoming a victim.

You need to keep on prospecting. As Mark, my co-host in this episode, brilliantly puts it, “It all starts with finding out what your “Why?” is, and then digging deeper into why that is. That way you can hold on to it. Because there’s going to be a lot of times, especially as a new agent, or even a seasoned agent, when you’re not going to want to get up and go out there and prospect and work. You need to hold on to that why so it can fire you up.”

Ask yourself, how uncomfortable are you willing to get? Because there’s one thing to this whole process of becoming an amazing real estate agent and making this a career, it’s that it’s going to get uncomfortable. You have to adapt continually.

Things are going to continually change for you and you have to adapt. One of the best skills you can have is adaptability—being able to adapt so quickly because things are changing.