Top 3 Things Seasoned Real Estate Agents Do to Succeed in a Downturned Market

Survey says! There are many things real estate agents do to keep their business going during down periods, but seasoned professionals make sure to do three key things.

The AceableAgent team recently conducted a detailed survey of real estate professionals that are currently working in markets across the U.S. Many agents are working in challenging markets where there’s a lot less activity than years prior. Between high home prices that haven’t eased much, record inflation, increasing interest rates and concerns over the economy, many people are hesitant to make any sort of move on the seller or buyer side. 

Across the nation, May 2023 existing home sales are down 20.4% compared to the year before. Buyer demand is so weak, the limited inventory still isn’t going under contract like it used to not long ago. 

For newer agents that happened to get a real estate license within the last few years, this is uncharted territory. But for seasoned real estate agents with 15+ years of experience, this is nothing new. Those professionals made it through the Great Recession when interest rates were far from the biggest concern in the real estate industry. They didn’t give up on their dream of making a career in real estate when the markets suddenly shifted out of their favor. Instead, the seasoned real estate agents that are still selling homes today understood they needed to adjust with their market. They understood it wasn’t business as usual, and that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  

How Real Estate Agents Feel About Current Market Conditions

When we asked real estate agents how they were fairing over the last year and how they felt about a cooling off period in many markets, new agents had a different perspective on matters than seasoned agents. The disparities were notable.

Here are a few things new real estate agents had to say:

  • 78% of new agents have concerns about real estate markets in 2023. 

  • 52% of those who have concerns are specifically worried about their ability to generate leads and get clients.

  • 50% are concerned about their ability to build relationships with clients.

  • 49% are worried about competing with more seasoned agents.

That last point is telling. Because at the same time, 58% of seasoned real estate agents and brokers said they feel positive about the current real estate market. That’s right. Well over half of the seasoned professionals don’t just feel okay, they feel positive about the current situation. 

Why? It turns out they know when the going gets tough in real estate the agents that get creative and put in the work stand to do even better than before when things pick back up again. They see the opportunity even if they aren’t selling as many homes at the moment.

3 Things That Seasoned Real Estate Agents Say They Do to Get Through a Down Market

It’s understandable for newer real estate agents to be more uneasy than seasoned agents when the markets take a downturn. They simply don’t have the same experience going through the ups and downs like a seasoned agent. New agents don’t know what to expect. But if they follow the advice of seasoned real estate agents they stand a better chance of getting through this downturn and being better prepared to reap the rewards of a rebounding market. 

The seasoned real estate agents and brokers that took our survey shared insight on their strategies for not just surviving, but thriving in a down market. No two agents use the same exact approach, but there were some commonalities. There are three key things seasoned agents do to help them succeed when the housing market cools off: 

  • 49% of seasoned agents offer incentives to buyers.

  • 46% offer free market evaluations to build relationships with clients.

  • 45% utilize their social network to generate leads.

These are all best practices new real estate agents can benefit from in any market. New agents should be doing all three to increase their potential for getting sales. 

Other Ways Experienced Agents Thrive in Market Downturns

It’s undeniable that in every market downturn there are some agents that excel. They recalibrate and capitalize when the market cools off by looking for new ways of generating business based on the conditions they’re currently in. They don’t try to keep operating as if it were a few years ago. They get lean, they analyze who is actually buying and selling at the moment and they create new outreach campaigns that are highly targeted. 

They also use the free time to improve their business in other ways so that when things pick back up they’ll be in the position to improve their total sales volume. When less hours are devoted to touring homes with clients, there’s more time for continuing education and earning certifications that can open up new business opportunities now and in the future. 

A down market doesn’t have to mean your real estate career will stall out or you’ll struggle. With the right strategies it could actually be what sets your career on the fast track of success. 

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