Select Page

Preparing for the Surge

Marc Pickren
April 20, 2020
Imagine that you are on a beach vacation with your family (Pre-COVID of course). It’s been a beautiful day, with plenty of cool drinks, warm sun, and not enough sunscreen. All of the sudden, the water quickly recedes from the shore. You look up, curious. Where there was once seemingly endless waves, are now miles of wet sand and exposed sea life flopping about.


You need to run. NOW.

A tsunami is one of the most powerful naturally occurring forces experienced on this planet. When a large sudden displacement, like an earthquake or eruption, happens underwater, the ocean pulls back water from close shores with alarming speed. This recession immediately precedes a 50 ft wall of water travelling toward your beach blanket at 30 mph.

The American economy took a hit in March, and it wasn’t a slow decline. The markets looked like a beach at low tide, dry. Real Estate professionals felt the decline quickly and acutely. No longer able to meet with customers face-to-face, and losing out on buying and selling opportunities, many agents saw shades of 2008.

This is not 2008.

So far, many of the best agents have quickly adapted to the new normal, digitizing their businesses and meeting people where they are, online. Now it’s time to prepare for the next phase. Like a tsunami, when markets quickly recede, they tend to roar back with a similar intensity. Inman is predicting an influx of real estate activity in the coming months. How are you preparing to handle the surge?

Let’s look at the facts.

Fact 1: People need somewhere to live

Downturns don’t mean that we all start living in tents. While many companies have had to lay off or furlough employees, this is only part of the story. Some industries are growing during this crisis,  and a stunning 56% of people are now working from home. If we cannot be outside, that means we must find somewhere to shelter in place. There are predictions that all of this close quarter living will cause divorce rates to spike. That’s pretty dire, but divorce isn’t the only reason people need real estate agents. Experts expect for birth rates to spike, which means the Hendersons will want to leave their stylish 2/1 for a family friendly 3/2.

Fact 2: Real Estate dreams were not cancelled, just put on hold

People have many reasons for wanting to buy a new house. Perhaps they are moving for a new job, want more space, or just need a change. Whatever the reason, a downturn doesn’t end dreams, it only puts them on hold for a bit. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies said, “While there have been some sales cancellations due to job loss and economic and stock market concerns, they have been minimal thus far.” People aren’t quitting on their housing goals, and the COVID crisis didn’t solve the pain they were feeling before getting cooped up in the house they were already trying to leave.

Fact 3: Housing caused the last recession, this time it can lead the recovery

Nobody in real estate needs to hear the spooky ghost story of the 2008 financial crisis again. This time, they are not the boogie man. Rather than too many homes in the market, there is now a housing shortage. Prices will fall, but they will not plummet.

In most states, residential construction has been deemed “essential.” Builders are creating, home services professionals are fixing, and people are still buying. They may have to take home tours via video chat, and sign documents by sliding papers through car windows, but demand has not gone down. This can only mean that when  we are all allowed to leave our homes again, that many people will be ready to take their dreams back off-hold.

How to prepare for the surge

In order to capitalize on the housing market’s return, smart real estate professionals will keep the following things in mind.

Be mindful of where you live

States and cities that were hit first, will rebound first. West coast and East coast agents need to be ready for the busy season to hit quickly. If your governor is planning to “reopen” the economy, you need to follow their lead and plan accordingly. Don’t react, strategize.

Fill your funnel now

The only way to catch a wave is to see it coming and prepare for it by positioning your surfboard and paddling in advance (please do not try to surf a real tsunami). In this case, you must be top of mind with your customer base. Be where they are, which means be online with them.

The best way to post in this season is to stop selling and start empathizing. Engage in conversations, play silly Facebook games, post humanizing “shelter-in-place” photos. People will buy from you when they are ready, not before. Its okay to be a human until the wave hits.

Just hold on

We know this downturn is painful, but it was sudden, not slow. The rebound is likely to be just as quick. Enjoy some time with your family now, and don’t lose hope. When this thing hits, you will be pulling 20 hour days and reaping the benefits.

OutboundEngine has always championed small businesses but has had a special affinity for our Real Estate Clients.  Hardworking professionals are the backbone of the American economy.

We believe it strongly enough that our entire business model relies on the success of the professional corps.  Believing that a rising tide lifts all boats, we created a 5-step plan for all small businesses so that we can all ride the wave when it hits.

  1. Stay connected with social content done for you.
  2. Engage and share your expertise to generate quality conversations
  3. Share content on social, email and online where attention has soared.
  4. Stop buying leads and spending money on paid search.
  5. Consolidate all marketing in one place. One login, one password, one mobile app.

    This crisis has impacted every human on the planet, but so will the rebound. In order to reap the benefits of the wave rather than be smacked by it, real estate professionals must prepare now. If you need help digitizing your marketing, strengthening your presence online, or preparing for the surge to come, learn more how we help top real estate agents protect and grow their business. We would love to celebrate with you in 2021 because we all prepared together in the Spring of 2020.

Read Next

We write great emails

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of our blog, tailored for you.