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The 5 Key Habits That Will Get Your Listings Sold and Create Raving Fans - In ANY Market Cycle!

#tinastips listing agent tips Aug 03, 2022
Tina Beliveau


If you've sold real estate in the last 3 years, you've been seeing dynamics on the listing side that are truly unusual and atypical! 


The real estate market in Baltimore is softening, and I am hearing that agents all over the country are seeing the same dynamics for the most part. 

In our area, some neighborhoods are really going soft value and demand-wise, and some are just becoming more 'balanced'.


This market change has the delightful benefit of exposing business weaknesses. If you're finding that your communication patterns and systems aren't satisfying your sellers and matching the "market of the moment", then this advice is for you...


First things first: whether we have a full downturn/recession, or whether this is just an adjustment to "normal", things are definitely changing and that can't be ignored or denied.

There is no need to be afraid! There is a need to level up.


During the last downturn, my business flourished. It was such a GIFT to me. The hard times I went through made me a communication ninja. I became really, really good at analyzing the market, selecting the right price to make listings move, and most importantly, having really candid conversations with my clients to help them make decisions that served them well. 

Those skills and the outcomes I created for my people led to me having the most loyal client base you can imagine! 


So what needs to change? 



And expectations. 



Let's talk expectations first. It's time to shift your expectations, and then articulate those changes to your clients. 

For sellers - you and they need to be ready for higher days on market, less multiple offer situations, having appraisal and inspection contingencies return to your contracts, having requests for seller help, having to pay your own transfer taxes (LOL - I still can't believe buyers were paying sellers' transfer taxes!), and negotiating repairs after home inspections. 

In some ways it will be more work, and in some ways it will be less work.

I can promise you this, you will be doing a LOT more damage control work if you don't change your habits and your systems so let's talk about that next!


The Good News About Change

Change can feel so overwhelming. It's important to remember that making change is a temporary state, with long term gain. You don't need to change everything you do over and over again. You probably need to make a few minor or moderate adjustments, and then stick to them. 

The faster you make these adjustments, the faster you will be in a better place mentally (because you've taken control of what you can control), and the faster your clients will feel more peace of mind and will see the results they expected to see when they hired you. 



Here are the 5 habits that have made it possible for me to serve hundreds of happy sellers, garnered insane client loyalty that has weathered ups and downs of all types, and made it possible for me to run my Baltimore metro real estate team from behind the scenes:

  1. Price reasonably from day 1. Give your clients the best case, likely case, and worst case price ranges. Always be conservative. Use a range, not one number, ranges are your best friend!! And: do not overpromise. You will regret it so much if you overpromise. Clients will fire you and it will hurt your reputation.
  2. You can't be sloppy with condition. Visual prep, touchup repairs, staging, and great photos are more important than ever. Things you used to do more casually won't work anymore. You may need to meet the photographer now and make sure they photograph that stained glass closeup. You may need to time block and walk through your vacant listings once/week to make sure the AC is working and the weeds aren't out of control (true recent story). An ounce of prevention will cure so many hairy problems and complaints before they happen, and your listings will sell faster. Ultimately these extra up front time investments will save you more time down the road and get your deals closed.
  3. Expectation setting at the listing appointment on pricing is key. I shared this with every seller: "A properly priced listing will sell in 2 weeks or after 10 showings, whichever happens first. My job is to set you up to achieve this, and to measure and report back on the metrics as we go in case the market performs differently than we expect. I will give you all of the data, ground level insights, and tell you the full truth of what it will take to get your home sold. You're the homeowner, you can decide what to do with my advice, but my promise is I will always be honest with you because I am not going to waste your time, money, and carrying costs." 
  4. You must have clear, proactive communication systems and promises in place for your sellers. My personal system worked really well for me when I was in the field as a top listing agent: Monday my admin works on getting all outstanding feedback and sends an email breaking down the showing traffic, feedback, and days on market. On Tuesday I called ALL my active sellers with a rundown of showing count, showing feedback, days on market, relevant market insights, and price reduction recommendations. I never, ever skipped that call. It wasn't my favorite thing but it was the most important thing I did every single week for my listing business. On Friday they got an automated MLS email showing all market activity in their immediate area with similar sized and priced homes. At the listing appt, I promise them these 3 things will happen like clockwork every week and then I time block, deliver personally, and make sure my systems are running properly.
  5. Follow the rule of thumb of 10 showings or 2 weeks for every reduction. If you have 10 showings in 2 days and no offers, you're almost probably overpriced. If you go 2 weeks with no offers, you're definitely overpriced. When you have this conversation enough times, it becomes way less scary and you will eventually feel empowered by the clarity it brings you and your clients.


Extra tip: If you have overpriced listings - go have a conversation about the 10 days / 2 weeks rule. Get them priced right and get them sold. You will build your confidence and momentum. Then work on adopting these habits and systems. It takes way less time and energy to do these things proactively, than to reactively field complaints, clean up messes all day every day and feel like a jerk because your clients aren't happy. 


Extra extra tip: This is also a great time to get referrals for listings when other agents aren't getting the job done. Here is something you can say to your advocates and sphere: "The market is changing rapidly. If you know someone whose home is sitting on the market and they're feeling frustrated about it, please introduce me and I can give them a second opinion." Fun fact - when you swoop in as agent #2 (or 3, 4 or 5!) and get the job done - you'll have a raving fan for life!


Please connect with me on IG @tinabeliveau if you'd like to stay in regular touch! 

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