Right about this time every year, our builder partners make the comment, “What’s it like with the rest of your builders? We’re slowing down a little bit”. You can hear the concern in their voice when they ask. They’re noticing that business is slower than usual and they’re wondering what’s going on. It’s a pretty common occurrence. My go-to answer is usually to take a breath – relax. What’s happening is normal, and the market is just exhaling…and so should you.
Now, it’s one thing to anecdotally say that each year things start to slow down around certain months. But when you look at actual search trends over time, the numbers tell the same story.
Kevin recently showed me 5 years of search history for terms like “New homes in Dallas.” Any guesses on when you see that little blue line start trending down? That’s right: mid June. And when does it get all excited and spike back up? Correct. Like clockwork, after the New Year, people get the itch and start looking for homes again.
Crazy right? Well, not really so crazy if it happens EVERY YEAR. To clarify, just because search volume is low doesn’t mean you aren’t selling. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. It doesn’t mean you should start panicking. It just means you’ve seen all the people who will hurl checks at you. So we need to stop having this knee-jerk reaction and get ready for the inevitable SHIFT that happens every year.
But all that doesn’t mean you should slow down along with the market. Now it’s time to get to work. If you plan ahead, you can take advantage of these slow times by focusing on prospecting and strengthening the leads you do have.
Here are 3 straightforward ways to prepare and manage during The Shift:
- Think Ahead: You don’t want to play catchup when the leads are fewer, and walk-in traffic slows. Plan ahead and put EVERYONE in the CRM who came in when it was busy. Rate them correctly, keep great notes, and follow up! If you don’t stay in touch during the busy months, they’ll ignore you in the slow months (or at least not recognize you when they answer the phone, which is never a good thing.)
- Get Busy Prospecting: Prospecting is the hard work; searching through a bunch of dirt for actual mineral deposits is a grind. Start making those calls, sending those emails, and reaching out. Just a point of clarification – email marketing is not follow-up. You need to send personalized follow-up messages that include “outlook style” emails, phone calls, video emails and text messages.
- Set Realistic Expectations: It takes 3 times the amount of outreach to get the same result when you are working “aged leads.” Don’t think you are going to convert 1 in 10 people. It’s more like 1 in 30. Set those conversion goals you can actually achieve.
Before you know it, it’ll start picking up again. The buyer search cycle is cyclical, so there’s no need to stress out when it starts slowing down during the summer. Instead, prepare for the shift. It’s just like the in-laws at Christmas, we know they’re coming whether we like it or not. We might as well be prepared and set the right expectations.