Property Observer | 6 December 2012

The 10 tips for estate agents to come out of the Christmas/New Year holiday break with bounce

The 10 tips for estate agents to come out of the Christmas/New Year holiday break with bounce

The real estate market always slows down during the Christmas/New Year holiday break, especially after a tough and exhausting year.

But estate agents should always be ready for new or repeat business, as even if you're not around, you just never know who is and what they might want to buy.

Mobile phone and iPad devices have assisted showcase property listing accessibility right from the formal Christmas Eve office closure well past the New Year's Eve fireworks.

Securing transaction without interfering with family holiday plans is achievable, especially as most agents now have executive assistants who can doing some of the legwork.

Even if its not happening, the holiday slowdown can be used for getting the mind and devices organised for the new year.

There's also an opportunity to take advantage of social and networking opportunities so that as the sales year heads towards the Easter break you've got some fresh prospects.

Teresa Boardman, a real estate broker in St. Paul, Minnesota, and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog, says when business is slow you can not let it slow you down.

Her top tips are:

1. Attend holiday social events.

2. Schedule lunches, evening drinks or coffee with as many friends, neighbors, past clients, vendors and competitors as possible.

3. Revisit this year's business plan and fix it up all nice and pretty for the next year -- complete with measurable goals, tasks and a budget.

4. Write blog posts about getting a home ready to sell, how to price a home, and how to choose a real estate agent. Link to the posts from social media accounts like Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter to generate more traffic. Hot (cold) weather usually means a decrease in foot traffic and an increase in website traffic. People start doing their homework online months before they contact an agent.

5. Read a book or two. Create and keep a reading list all year long of business books and books with ideas or practical advice.

6. Make five phone calls each day Monday through Friday during the month of December, excluding the holidays. Call friends and past clients and wish them a happy New Year. That doesn't sound like much, but it is huge.

7. Take pictures of local businesses and parks all decked out for the holidays and share them on the internet on social networks and blogs. There is gold in those photographs, and good karma, too. They start conversations, and help promote local businesses and neighborhoods.

8. Buy items for my business like computer, phones or software to take advantage of seasonal discounts and tax deductions.

9. Use any spare time to tweak online profiles, websites and blogs and get rid of accounts that are not being used. Get rid of clutter on the computer, in the cloud and around the office.

10. Walk at least a mile every day. Walking burns calories, is free, clears the mind, and relieves stress. It is also a way to get from one place to another.

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