Buying or selling a home is arguably the largest financial, stressful undertaking in a person’s life. Add in current market challenges, and the role of a real estate agent today compared to a year ago has radically shifted. 

Pause, take a deep breath in and exhale. Now let’s take a look at some tips for agents to stay sane and excel in 2023. 

1. Slow down and listen to client expectations

My grandfather taught me that a person has two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you speak.  A real estate agent possesses an abundance of tools to assist their client, but without listening to every single word that your client has to say, you’re not going to be able to apply those tools to strengthen the client relationship. Thus, you miss out on assisting them in attaining their goals and earning their referrals. 

While listening, don’t immediately react by changing or questioning their expectations. This is the discovery phase of the relationship. Like a first date, listen to what they expect from your relationship. Take notes with a pen and paper — It shows your client that you care and it is the best way for you to retain information about what they’re saying.

Bonus: Put your phone away

Simon Sinek said, “Technology is terrible for creating human connections.” If you’re replying to a text while meeting with a client, how does that make you look to them? It implies that they’re not the most important people in your world at that very moment, and if your client doesn’t feel that you’re putting them first, they will respond in kind. 

Never have your phone out, on or available when meeting with a client or prospect. Leave it in your car, or if you have to have it with you, put in on Do Not Disturb. For hundreds of years, the Earth rotated without the use of cellphones and will continue to when you leave yours out of a client meeting.

2. Lean in with data

Accurate numbers never lie. 

More than ever, real estate data is readily available online, from your lender, title rep and broker. Leverage that data to reinforce and strengthen your relationship. Show clients and prospects detailed property information regarding a specific zip code, property…etc.

Constantly reach out to your trusted partners for accurate data, as some numbers change daily. Once you’re aware of your client’s expectations you can present specific data sets to address their expectations.

One of the best data sets that can be presented is year-over-year appreciation rates beginning in 2015 to year-to-date 2022. Remember, the most relatable data is localized data. Show a client data that is pertinent to the specific location that they’re interested in.

Bonus: Leverage data to farm potential out-of-state buyers looking to relocate

Use your partners and Google News to find out where people from out of state who are moving to your geographic area, i.e. county to county inbound migration. Obtain contact info on addresses within those counties and farm them like you would farm a local neighborhood via circle prospecting, mailers, digital ads…etc.

3. Establish effective systems

A question frequently asked within the real estate sector is, “What tool works the best?” The answer is: All of them that are used consistently, fit within your personality and business model. 

Not implementing a system with a variety of tools is like having a gym membership, never going and wondering why you can’t fit in your favorite summer pants.

Define what systems you like working with: a CRM, time blocking, circle prospecting, mailers, digital ads and open houses all work as long as you have a plan to consistently implement them.

Bonus: Always be tweaking systems

In order to work on and not in a business, be on the eternal quest to evolve. Ask top producers or join a real estate agent mastermind group ask what they’re using. You’ll be surprised how much they’re happy to share.

4. Maintain balance in your life 

In order to be the best version of yourself, shut down work mode and invest your time in yourself, family and friends every day. The single-most significant investment one can undertake is to time block daily, soul-nourishing activities.

Change is never easy, and the real estate market has seen plenty of change in 2022. With these tips for agents, it should be easier to be as elastic as the surrounding environment for a gratifying, growth-oriented 2023. 

Jeff Fargo is the assistant vice president of sales and digital strategy for Fidelity National Title of Nevada.