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    The spring selling season is underway. You need to reach new clients and add new listings to build a successful book of business in 2018. Now is the time to use that contact database, tap into your network of colleagues, and reach out across social media with a strong, knowledgeable, and confident message.

    Here’s what we know: 2018 market conditions look to be very similar to 2017. What worked last year and what didn’t? Consider the circumstances:

    The Good

    • New tax laws are putting more money in the pockets of potential buyers
    • Millennials now dominate the workforce, unemployment numbers are low, and salaries are finally beginning to inch upwards
    • Many sellers have held off putting their homes on the market—now they’re ready to sell.
    • New construction is underway to meet some of the expected demand

    The (Possibly) Bad

    • Interest rates are set to continue to climb slowly and steadily, barring a sudden overheating of the markets which could drive inflation
    • Home prices continue to rise and inventories tighten
    • Many homeowners wishing to sell may not be able to because they’re unable to find a home to buy

    When it comes to marketing in this kind of environment—and it’s understood that conditions are not the same in all markets—strong messaging is needed. Not only will you project the urgency of the situation, you’ll also illustrate your knowledge, experience, and ability to deliver under these conditions.

    Direct Messaging

    • Lock-in: Now is the time to act. Interest rates are set to rise by a full basis point this year.
    • Time is of the essence: Encourage your clients to work with your lender of choice to get  pre-approval so they can act fast when the right property appears.
    • Manage expectations: This is not a buyer’s market. Prepare to pay the asking price or maybe more.
    • Transparency: Keep clients up-to-date on changing market conditions. Situations can shift quickly—a listing can disappear within a week or even less. If a client is unable to act fast on a property and it’s suddenly no longer available, you don’t want to be blamed.
    • Present alternatives: For first time homebuyers, consider the purchase of a rental property. For homeowners leaving that starter home, would they consider new construction?
    • Confident optimism: In other words, don’t let them see you sweat. If a listing or two is lost for whatever reason and your client is discouraged it shouldn’t be the end of the world. Optimism is contagious. Let them know you’re willing to do whatever takes to help them find the home they’re looking for.

    In a challenging environment like this, REALTORS® need to look at the market from a variety of perspectives. You need to be ready to move quickly and with confidence. Your marketing message should be a clear call-to-action—not an alarm. Promote your experience, illustrate you market knowledge and negotiating skills. And, if a sale falls through or you’re unable to find the right home for a client just now, they’ll come back and they’ll refer you if they know you’ve been straight with them from the start.

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