The Ultimate Guide on How to Thrive in a Tough Real Estate Market

The Ultimate Guide on How to Thrive in a Tough Real Estate Market


“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” – Joseph P. Kennedy

Working in real estate means that it’s either bright, sunny days every day when the money flows no matter what you do and selling property couldn’t be more lucrative. Or, when the market dips, it’s just plain bleak and miserable and you wonder how you’re ever going to make ends meet. But, real estate markets always peak and trough and they’re always going to so it’s important that you have good strategies in place when the market is down. The tough real estate markets really separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’ as this is the time that those agents who are bad at their jobs, have poor people skills or don’t have good strategies in place, exit the industry in droves. The top agents end up with the market share no matter if the market is strong or weak – people sell property in both markets!

Here are our top tips on how you can thrive in a tough real estate market:

1. Review your marketing

This is the perfect time to start educating yourself on marketing techniques that you may not be using or may not be good at. You can’t ignore video, social media or SEO any more or you will become irrelevant. Start off by reading about the basics and then just jump in and get going. You can hone your skills on the job. Many of these marketing methods will only cost you time in the first instance so are perfect for a tough market.

If you don’t have properties to show, then think about other ways you can build your following e.g. tips on presenting properties to sell including styling, maintenance etc; tips on the current market and what’s happening; the dos and don’ts around auctions; or even on how to choose a great real estate agent! Let your personality shine and include a bit about you so your potential clients get to know you. Follow the rock star agents on social media especially those from the US who have hundreds of thousands of followers and emulate how they do it.

Join local business groups or meet ups or local chamber of commerce groups. It’s a great way to meet your local community and you could even offer to give a presentation. Hand out your business cards and make sure you turn up consistently, so the groups get to know you well and trust you.

Brand yourself not just your agency or franchise. Real estate is a people game and your clients want YOU not the franchise.

2. Don’t undervalue yourself

In tough markets there will always be pressure to lower your prices or commissions. It’s about value for money not the lowest price so it’s up to you to educate your clients about the benefits they will get working with you. Give them value not discounts. Make sure you are up to date on the latest industry regulations as well as what’s happening in the local area. Be the expert they need to guide them through their sale.

3. Planning

Because the real estate industry is cyclical, plan for the lean times when the market is up. As long as you have a cushion, you will get through. If there is no cushion, then it’s too easy to become desperate and no one wants to work with someone like that.

4. Mind set

It’s very easy when times are bad to get down in the dumps. The great agents will still get the lion’s share of the business so do whatever it takes to keep your spirits up and your outlook positive. Passion is infectious. Everyone wants to be around positive, motivated people. You need to find a way to maintain that passion always. Make sure you fit in some exercise, plenty of healthy eating and me-time to keep yourself positive.

5. Stay in touch

This is the time to increase your efforts with your database and past clients. You’ve built that database, so work it. Even if you have no properties to market, stay in touch with them. Call them for a chat. Send newsletters with information on the market, auctions, tips and/or anything that you are putting out on social media. Ask them to follow you on your social media platforms and share your posts. Update them on anything interesting happening in the local area. It’s important to stay top of mind.

6. Work with your property managers

Don’t write off the renters. This is a great source of potential clients who may be looking to buy a property or even to sell an investment property. I know of one lady who has a multi-million-dollar property portfolio who told me that she would never give her sales business to the agency managing her rental properties because they are sooo bad at looking after her! Very short sighted and had she been given first class service, they would have had her sales business as well.


Remember that you need to be the ‘one’ people remember and think about when the time comes to selling their property. Look after the buyers and the sellers. To do that you need consistent, persistent effort and not just in the good times. Set the blocks in place for a strong business that will keep generating results.

Authentic, caring people generate trust. You can’t pretend to be a nice person only when you are getting big, fat commissions. People will see through that very quickly. Everyone wants to deal with a professional real estate agent they can depend on and trust whenever they want to sell or invest or buy. The tough markets will separate the true professionals from the amateurs – which one will you be?


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