Business Planning for the New Year: A Guide for Real Estate Professionals

The real estate industry is particularly volatile right now, and while 2023 forecasts are already starting to roll in, no one can truly predict what the future will hold. 

Inventory is still tight in the Chicagoland area and much of Wisconsin, but some experts feel the market will shift more in favor of home buyers in the coming months — although average housing prices show no signs of a sharp decline on the horizon (in contrast to some national news.) There’s still plenty of room for success for creative and forward-thinking brokers. 

Now is the perfect time to take a deep dive into your business plan for the new year, and we’ve got the insight you need to ensure you and your clients always come out ahead.

Prioritize Personal Connections

2021 was a banner year for real estate, and many brokers have continued to thrive throughout 2022. As winter approaches and the year begins to wind down, it’s crucial to take the time to reconnect with your network and forge new relationships.

Even in a slightly more sluggish economy, people still need to buy and sell homes, and they’d much rather work with a broker that comes with a glowing referral from someone they trust. Consumers are four times more likely to partner with a business recommended by a friend or loved one.

According to the Social Proof Theory by Dr. Robert Cialdini, testimonials and online reviews are one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal, so it’s well worth the effort to solicit these from people you’ve worked with before. You can make it practically effortless by providing a template

Leverage Technology

Stellar electronic word-of-mouth reviews are even more critical for clients who are in the sought-after Millennial and Gen X demographics.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

In the ongoing digital transformation, consumers demand accessibility, individualization, and consistent, engaging messaging across multiple platforms. If you haven’t adopted a customer relationship management (CRM) software solution yet, they can be a total lifesaver when it comes to valuable lead generation opportunities. 

Here are a few of the best free CRM software options for small businesses and real estate brokers:

Social Media for Real Estate

Don’t underestimate the importance, ease, and affordability of social media as a way to connect with potential clients and engage your current ones. 

Americans spend vast amounts of time on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest, and it doesn’t cost a single penny to build a profile and create strategies that result in sales

Master Your Market

We may be heading out of the wild frenzy of the past couple of years and into a calmer buyer’s market, but real estate still offers a wealth of opportunities for savvy agents and brokers. 

One of the most effective ways to position yourself and your brand as an expert in the field is to do extensive research so you can educate your clients regarding their smartest options. 

Your website is typically the first point of contact and can be a primary way to share your expertise. Evergreen content that answers buyers’ most frequently asked questions will help your site rank higher and showcase your deep local knowledge. 

Staying in front of industry trends is imperative, especially in areas like Chicago, where conventional wisdom doesn’t always apply. Our unique market demands a bit more dedication to ongoing education than other major US cities.

Manage Expectations

As consumers face rising interest rates and higher prices for everyday goods and services, they’re thinking twice about paying top dollar for housing. Potential buyers are on the hunt for the best possible deal while sellers continue to expect to receive multiple offers over the listing price. 

Avoid disappointment (and less-than-flattering reviews) by being transparent and upfront right from the start about the current situation and how it might affect their real estate goals. 

Buyers still need to be competitive as the current inventory lags behind demand. Remind your clients that getting pre-approved for a mortgage, setting aside earnest money, and having their financial ducks in a row will ensure they’re poised to make the winning offer. 

Those who are looking to sell their homes in the near future may be especially reluctant to negotiate a deal that’s more realistic in today’s economy. Focusing on the numbers will help avoid emotionally-charged decisions all around

Find the Right Partner

Planning for the future is challenging at any time but now it’s more important than ever to have a flexible strategy that can adapt to our ever-evolving real estate market. 

You can ensure your business thrives by building strong relationships with clients and a lively ecosystem with your peers. Referrals and glowing customer testimonials are the keys to consistent lead generation.

Working with a team of experienced professionals will help you deliver optimal results for your clients no matter what the new year brings. Find out how — reach out today! 

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