PRESIDENT'S CORNER: New Strategies for These Turbulent Times

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: New Strategies for These Turbulent Times
Tony D’Anzica, HGAR 2023 President

Are you concerned about the recent sexual harassment claims at NAR? Do the pending anti-trust lawsuits leave you worried about what your business and our industry will look like in the future? Do you feel uncertain and unsure about how high mortgage rates and low inventory will affect your business? The answer to all of these questions is: YES, YOU SHOULD!

In today’s real estate market, uncertainty often seems to be our only companion. From high interest rates, low inventory, inflation and wars to the anti-trust lawsuits and sexual harassment claims facing NAR, real estate professionals are routinely finding themselves navigating through uncharted waters. These are turbulent times and, while Realtors and our industry are being put to the test, it is precisely during these most uncertain times that we must demonstrate resilience, adaptability, and foresight.

Uncertainty certainly brings challenges, but it’s how you face those challenges that sets you apart. It’s not just about weathering the storm, but about bouncing back, maintaining a positive attitude, inspiring your team and your clients, learning from the experience, and emerging stronger. Now is the time to project both confidence and calmness, assuring your clients and teams that they are capable of handling any adversity.

Many in our industry, especially newer or younger Realtors, have never faced so much adversity. We just witnessed the highest inflation rate in decades, the highest mortgage rates in decades, the lowest inventory in decades, and the least affordable housing market in at least 40 years. Many Realtors were not even born the last time we experienced this market cycle. To put things into perspective, back in 2006 many homeowners refinanced two or three times in the same year because they couldn’t believe that mortgage rates would ever drop below 6%.

Whether we describe the current real estate market as being in flux, or just readjusting back to its historical equilibrium, we’re still experiencing change. Like it or not, change must be embraced and tackled head on. Dealing with change successfully demands flexibility and the ability to constantly adapt. Resilient Realtors, like any true professional, must be able to shift strategies to accommodate to new market conditions.

We must be able to adopt innovative technologies to improve efficiency. We must ensure that we communicate clearly, honestly and consistently with our clients and staff, which also requires the ability and patience to listen and understand them. We must provide staff with greater education, training and support for their professional growth and their emotional and mental well-being.

Tackling change with confidence, transparency and composure helps us build trust and instill confidence in others so that your knowledge, skill and professionalism are never doubted.

It’s easier said than done, but uncertainty is an opportunity for Realtors to demonstrate their knowledge and professionalism. Realtors must constantly stay abreast of ever-changing laws that regulate our industry, monitor current real estate market conditions and study industry developments at the local, state and national levels. Knowledge is power, with which you can more successfully anticipate market trends and proactively develop strategies to make informed decisions, guide your clients, train your staff and overcome challenges during uncertain times. Perhaps now is the time to create contingency plans, diversify investment portfolios, explore new revenue streams or consider expanding into niche markets.

Feeling concerned, unsure, or worried about the real estate market, our Realtor brand, or the future of our industry as we know it, is natural. However, those feelings should not dictate how you act. After all, much of it is out of our hands. Your individual actions won’t change mortgage rates or increase inventory. Unless you’re on the legal team representing NAR, nothing you do will impact the verdict in the Burnett v. National Association of REALTORS trial that is scheduled to start this week.

Don’t let circumstances that are out of your control allow you to lose control. Face the challenge and tackle the change. Invest in training, education and development. Build a culture of continuous learning. Be proactive, flexible and ready to pivot at any given moment. Strengthen your business relationships. Empower your team by giving them the tools to navigate through turbulent times.

Markets are cyclical and they always change, even for the better. Don’t just try to weather the storm. Build a resilient team that gets you through that storm stronger, smarter and more nimble than ever before.

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