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Surviving the Winter Slump

For much of the country, real estate agents and brokers see a slowdown of both would-be homebuyers and requests for listings in the winter. Most people attribute this to cooler temperatures and busy holiday schedules. As a real estate professional, how can you keep your business going during this time, and be stronger in the spring?

Here are four says to help survive that winter slump:

-          Prepare now. The most important thing to know is how your market is affected by cooler months. If sales slow down considerably, you’ll want to budget your money so you have enough to cover bills and any overhead costs for your business. Be sure to pay attention to past trends, and how the winter has been for your area for the past few years.

-          Update your listings. By adjusting your current listings, you can answer buyers’ questions, says Veterans United . For example, showing photos from each season shows potential buyers what the home looks like with a mowed lawn, or leaves in the trees. This way, they don’t have to wonder what will happen to their front yard 6 months down the road. Changing room staging can be important, too. By creating a cozy feel in living and bed rooms, buyers can imagine warming up inside the home, instead of just worrying about the cold temperatures outside.

-          Expand your education. Why not take advantage of fewer meetings and showings by furthering your education? You can take your continuing education classes, or spruce up your staging skills. There are often great multi-day conferences in the winter you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of in the busy summer months. By boosting your knowledge when it’s slow, you could put your new skills to the test when the market picks up again in the spring.

-          What slump? Some areas of the country don’t get a layer of snow covering homes in the winter; they stay hot (and get hotter) all year long. Other areas have busy tourist seasons that contribute to different housing trends. Plus, with mortgage rates continuing to stay low, many people are taking advantage of applying for loans during every month of the year.

As is the case with every real estate issue, every market is different, and the most important thing is to know your own area. Brush up on the latest marketing and social media trends, and you’ll set up your business for success all year long.

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