What skills should agents hone before the new year?

October 5, 2018

Now is the time for real estate professionals to get up to speed on a few skills they will need to be as sharp as possible when the new shopping season begins. There are many areas where an agent's expertise might just need a little brushing up so they can put the best foot forward and connect with both buyers and sellers - now and throughout the months to come.

Perhaps the most important area of concentration in this regard is being able to carefully survey the local real estate market and see what's changed, according to Skills You Need. If the last time an agent really had the time to take a look at some of the deep data that's available on real estate sales was in the late winter or early spring, just before buyers started flooding the market once again, they need to keep in mind that the market has probably changed a lot, and reacquaint themselves with the relevant information.

That kind of familiarity may also be true when it comes to local or state rules and regulations, which may have changed already, or are expected to change in the near future. Agents should always strive to understand the ins and outs of the often-complicated sales process, but if they know change is coming, they probably need to familiarize themselves once again.

Staying in touch
Likewise, it can be important for agents to make sure they know how best to present themselves to their clients - current and prospective alike - in a number of ways. That means being up to speed on the latest tips and tricks for social media use, revamping their email marketing efforts, and generally guarantee they know how to stay in touch on an as-needed basis, just as a means of keeping up with client expectations.

Better communication
Finally, agents might also need to do a little more to focus over the fall and winter  on the best methods for turning leads into clients, according to Inman. While most agents are quite skilled at building a rapport with potential clients, they might not be doing all they can to wring as much value as possible from every lead. Being able to identify areas where they can ask qualifying questions, for example, will help them get a better handle on what a lead is looking for in a home or what their motivations may be for trying to sell.

That, in turn, will present them with opportunities to find better ways to close the deal and book a formal appointment or meeting. When these kinds of efforts are undertaken during the "off" season for the market, it's a great way to hit the ground running when spring rolls around.

Generally speaking, agents will have a pretty good idea of what they need to work on, but taking a careful look at past successes or struggles may help them find unexpected ways they can improve their daily work.