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A housing professional’s guide to making the most of slow winter months

Start viewing slower times as a long-term blessing

There are two types of people. Those who sit back and wait for things to happen, and those who go out and make things happen.

My absolute favorite thing about being a real estate agent is that we’re responsible for 100% of our success. On the flip side, but equally as important, we’re responsible for 100% of our failures. Everything we choose to do, or choose to not do, is on us. 

Dustin Brohm, Columnist

So with that in mind, what do you do when you have a slow day, week, or month? What do you do with that time you’re not spending serving clients and doing transactions? I urge you to really reflect and answer these for yourself. Really. No, like, really really

Agents and loan officers: we are entrepreneurs! If you don’t see yourself as one, well, that’s part of the problem. 

You know those (very rare) days where you look at your calendar, and you hardly have anything scheduled? You may have one or two appointments, but not the typical 37 different appointments or obligations. 

When you have one of those days, what is the first thought that goes through your head? Is it one of relief? Fear? Excitement? For me, it’s a combination of relief and excitement.

Not because I have a free day to take a nap and catch up on hilarious Silicon Valley episodes on HBOGo, but because now I have a chance to knock some things off my business to-do list that I just haven’t had time for. 

I want you to start seeing those slower times as a long-term blessing.

During the winter months is the perfect time to launch that new website; to learn a new skill; to hire a videographer and launch your own show; to start a podcast; to finally learn how to run Facebook Ads effectively; to go to some events and meet new people. What we do during these “slower” months can make or break any potential for long-term success.

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked” – Warren Buffet

Come summer and fall, you’ll see who really got after it last winter when things got a little slow. You’ll also see those who slept later and worked less. Hopefully, you’re not seeing the latter person in the mirror.

Let me say this: winter is not slow for everyone. Not even close. There are many real estate professionals who have extremely busy winters. They have a consistent flow of business all year long. But why? 

It’s because of what they did when they were slow!

They put systems in place to make sure that business was more consistent. They studied the concept of content marketing and consumer attention. They watched some YouTube videos on how to start a podcast, and then actually started a podcast.

They took the time beforehand to study other successful community-facing shows and made notes of the types of content that was resonating with their audiences. Then they trained themselves to think as a local reporter would. They made it about the community, which has a never-ending source of topics to do episodes or videos about. 

Because they thought about what a local consumer actually wants to see or hear about, they started talking about the big high school football rivalry game coming up next weekend. They started reviewing local breweries and coffee shops. They created a podcast or video show that became the local resource that locals kept coming back to for more. As a result, their businesses and their brand awareness exploded. 

I’ll admit, I used to think that having a slow month was something to be afraid of. But that’s because I spent the time doing the same old stuff, never really doing anything new. I would subconsciously sit back and hope that the phone would ring, or that I’d get a random text message from someone wanting to buy a house. I just kept doing the same old stuff that I had always done.

Strangely, business never just fell into my lap. It’s weird how that works! It’s almost as if if you want something to happen, you have to cause it to happen.

This time of year, everyone is posturing and pontificating online about how 2020 is going to be their “best year ever!”  You have all these New Year’s resolutions, and claim that you’re going to “crush it next year.” 

But how will you make next year the best year ever? What got you here will likely not get you there. Take advantage of all the incredible tools and social platforms you have available – most of it is free! 

Do, and I cannot stress this enough, the damn thing. Because if you don’t do “the things,” no one else is going to do them for you. And beyond that, if you don’t do them, someone else will.

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