As a Realtor®, have you had a fantastic year or has it been frustrating? Odds are your answer depends on what side of the transaction you’ve been on. For those working with sellers, 2021 might be your best year yet! If working with buyers, you’ve probably had your work cut out for you in this seller’s market, making the victory of an accepted offer that much sweeter. Either way, real estate professionals have proven the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.
No one knows the highs and lows of entrepreneurship better than Mike Hardwick, founder, president, and CEO of Churchill Mortgage. As a leader in the home loan industry, Mike has learned a thing or two over the past 50 years. Read on for some of his top tips.1. Think Small Town
If you’re newly licensed, you jumped into real estate at the perfect time. With many people looking to relocate or buy a new home, the market is red hot, and they need a professional to guide them through the home buying process. The more you can connect to your client, focusing on giving them that small town hospitality no matter how big of a city you’re selling real estate in, the better you’ll do.
Hardwick says that “tapping into that groundswell of community pride and spirit of togetherness can be a powerful force for a new business seeking to make inroads in its home territory.” By making sure your clients know you have their best interests at heart and seeing how hard you’re working for them, they’ll naturally want to be part of the community you’re a part of. This results in happy clients, successful sales, and referrals for your growing real estate business.
2. Keep an Eye on Interest Rates
2020 and 2021 brought historically low interest rates for home buyers and small business loans. Both, however, are being cautious of the future. Hardwick explains, “I don’t think it’s likely rates will get any lower, but they could go up in the coming months.” His quote may be geared toward those looking to open a business, but the advice translates for real estate professionals as well. While it’s likely home loan interest rates will hold steady through 2022, you still want to encourage home shoppers to lock in the lower rates while they’re available. Hardwick put it best when he said, “don’t sit on the sidelines if this is something you’d like to consider.”
If you have clients who are on the fence about purchasing a home, tools like Churchill Mortgage’s Rate Secured program* can be beneficial in helping them decide. By allowing them to cap their rate for 90 days, clients can take time to look without fear of their interest rate changing. It also gives you some breathing room as a Realtor® to help them find their dream home in the current seller’s market.
3. Market Yourself Well
It’s no secret real estate agents do their own marketing. Are you using every tool in your toolbox? Taking advantage of things like social media and text messages can help you expand your sphere of influence (SOI) and reach more customers.
You also have more remote opportunities which allows you to meet with clients anywhere which is fantastic marketing in itself! “There’s no more excuses for not having time to go meet someone for a coffee when you can do it from the comfort of your living room,” says Hardwick about the ability to virtually connect with others. Proving yourself as flexible and able to work from anywhere puts both buyers and sellers at ease, because they know you will be available even if they can’t physically be near you.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
If you’re achieving success and are afraid to mess up a good thing, we get it. No one wants to tweak a formula that works. But what if trying something new could lead to more successful closings? Hardwick reminds us that “stepping out of your comfort zone is simply a part of the process you must embrace.”
Use time to reflect and level up your business. As Hardwick observed, “you might currently have more downtime to think innovatively and zero in on the differentiators that can make your product or service stand out.” Put those ideas we know you have to work and see where they take you!
Perhaps you want to take advantage of the changes that came with 2020 and spend more time educating your clients on things like appraisals and wire fraud. Or maybe you want to educate yourself through podcasts and learn more about things like multichannel marketing. Regardless, don’t be afraid to branch out and see what it does for you.5. Surround Yourself with Experts
Remember, not every Realtor® has been successful over the past 18 months. “Some businesses also went belly up over the past year, leaving voids that are waiting to be filled by savvy entrepreneurs who understand market forces and can capitalize on opportunity.” One way to capitalize as a real estate professional is to surround yourself with experts. We recommend partnering with a mortgage lender that makes life easier for you and your buyer. Not only will you have someone on your side as you help your clients, but you’ll have the most up-to-date information on their finances.
If you’re a real estate agent who wants more information on partnering with a Home Loan Specialist, click here. Just like Mike Hardwick has made sure to surround himself with people who believe in his mission and want to see him succeed, we’re here to help you do the same. Let us support you as you help your clients take the next step to lasting wealth through homeownership.