A slow market is the time to market
The instinct to conserve resources during a slow market is the wrong one for struggling Realtors, local experts say.
Lee Merryweather, a top-selling agent with ReMax, said most young Realtors he sees are not doing what they’re supposed to.
"They’re pulling back," he said. "They’re limiting the level of advertising and it’s difficult to keep up a high level when times are lean, but that’s when you need to aggressively market."
He credits his success in outselling other agents to his print and internet advertising.
"You have to stay present. Do things like sponsor a local sports team," he said.
One thing that works for him is to promise a new pair of skis with every closing. When he shows up to sign the paperwork and he’s got skis in his hand, it brings a big smile and gets him stuck in peoples’ minds," he said.
He knows it’s tough for struggling novices to spend money when they’re not making it, but he said to do it anyway.
"What you invest in your business is equal to your return," he said.
These strategies to assert his presence keep people re-signing with him even if the market prevents properties from selling quickly.
"Have differentiation, have a unique selling proposition and be consistent in your ads," he said.
Marketing oneself so one’s ads are recognizable is key. And in the current market, he also said networking is vital.
Rob Wells with Keller Williams is finding networking to be his secret to success. Wells is new to real estate, he only started in February. This is a transition he’s made after retiring from the military.
But he’s not new to Park City. He chose to work here because he has connections that allow him to build a good network and market himself.
Considering the trends in real estate right now, he said he’d never have gotten into business here without that network. His mother was one of the first Realtors in Park City and he said he benefits from her experience. Yet even with those introductions, he said success in real estate is about hard work. During boom times, people sometimes dabble in real estate part time. Right now there are no part-time Realtors, he said.
Michael Hatz with ReMax is also new to real estate, but not to the local business community. He owns the Spring Chicken Inn in Wanship. He started doing general real estate four years ago and this downturn is the first he’s seen.
"The most important thing is just to keep your name out there, keep in contact with people, let them know there are buyers looking," he said.
Now is a good time to build long-term relationships, he said. He does this by being completely honest with people, even if that means advising them to wait to sell. He might have a short-term loss doing that, but he’s banking on that trust paying off later.
Along the same lines as Merryweather, Hatz said a slow market is a great time to establish a presence since other Realtors hang back and wait.
This is important because there are still buyers looking at the area. They’re looking for low prices, but they’re here.
"I look to create relationships, get referrals, do postcard campaigns and market updates. The more people who see your name typically, is what gets people to pick up the phone," he said.
Transactions are small and far between, but it’s good time for somebody with a strong marketing plan to enter the market, he said.
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Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson has decried what she called a lenient sentence in a child sex abuse case in which a 20-year-old reportedly attempted to impregnate a 12-year-old. The perpetrator was sentenced to 20 days in jail and 10 years of probation.