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Field Guide to Surviving and Thriving in a Challenging Market

(Updated March 2014)

Every market has its ups and downs, and real estate is certainly no exception. In difficult times, it is more important than ever to find your niche, to discover new marketing methods, and to explore how you can separate yourself from the competition. And whether you are a residential or commercial specialist, your clients will be looking to you for advice on coming out on top. This Field Guide offers tips and ideas to help you and your clients survive and thrive in a challenging market. (D. Shumaker, Senior Library Information Specialist)


Handouts for Consumers

Whether the market is cold or hot, knowledge is key. REALTOR® Magazine has a collection of great handouts for consumers — both buyers and sellers — for you to customize and share. Topics include: 10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership, 6 Creative Ways to Afford a Home, How to Improve the Odds of an Offer, Does Moving Make Sense? and many more.


Adjusting Your Strategies in a Changing Market

Is a listing in the pocket worth two in the MLS? (REALTOR® Magazine, June 2013). Off-MLS listings are back with a vengeance. Tom Gillett offers some reasons why pocket listings represent short-term gain in exchange for long-term pain.

You Survive the Next Downturn Now, (ULI, Oct. 14, 2013). Real estate leaders explain how they manage during the upswings—so they can better withstand the inevitable downturns.

6 Ways to Stay Motivated in a Down Market, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 2011). Real estate has seen its share of ups and downs over the past 10 years. When life, and the market, throw "lemons" your way, use these tips to make lemonade.

Is it time to change your niche?, (Realty Times, Jan. 31, 2011). In today's frantic real estate market it is not "Who moved the cheese," but rather "Who stole it?"

Do You Run Your Business, Or Does It Run You?, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2010). It's time to get more systematic about your success. Here are some steps that will help you bring order to your business.

Take Command of Costs, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2010). Need to do some belt-tightening at your brokerage? Here are six strategies that'll help you cut wisely.


Working With Clients

Pricing strategies for tough sellers, (RealtyTimes, Sept. 9, 2013). A few dialogues and strategies for pricing listings right in ANY market.

5 Ways to Keep a Positive Outlook, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2013). One of the most important things real estate practitioners give consumers is positivity. Here are a few ways you can keep yourself in the right mindset and bring positive energy to your interactions with clients.

Managing Expectations, Teaching Change, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2011). When clients understand what to expect, they can weather the storms more easily. Here are a few examples of how you can prepare them for the range of possibilities involved with a real estate transaction.

Be More Persuasive on Pricing, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 2011). If you have listings that sit on the market too long otherwise or don't sell, you may want to consider your approach to pricing. Here are a few ways to get homes priced right.

Agent Tips for Navigating Today's Market, (Realty Times, Apr. 27, 2011). Your clients rely on your expertise to help them make smart moves. How can you be the best facilitator?

Declining the Monkey without Alienating Your Client, (Realty Times, Feb. 22, 2010). Refuse to accept responsibility for problems that are not yours to solve.

How to negotiate with tenants in a tough economy, (Journal of Property Management, July/Aug. 2009). You should develop, with your building owner, a lease negotiation strategy that includes the landlord's response, along with fall-back positions to all the lease provisions the tenant is likely to negotiate. Q

4 Ways to Get Buyers Talking, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2009). Many real estate professionals do too much talking and not enough listening. But that's a dangerous proposition in any market, and especially today, when buyers are facing so many new challenges.


Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Tips for buyers in a fierce seller’s market, (Washington Post, May 15, 2013). How buyers can better stand out among competitors in a multiple-offer situation.

7 reasons your house isn’t selling, (USNews, Mar. 26, 2013). Having trouble attracting a buyer? How to overcome some common obstacles to a home sale.

6 Lowball-offer Errors Home Buyers Make, (MarketWatch, Oct. 15, 2011). For some home sellers, it was a long summer without a home sale. That means this fall, some buyers - smelling the desperation - may be able to cut a better deal.

Seven Selling Sillies that Sap Home Sales, (Realty Times, Oct. 7, 2010). Don't make these mistakes when you're ready to sell.

Pricing your home in a recovering market, (Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2009). All you really need to do is to concentrate on what's happening in an area within about one mile of your home.

How to SELL Your Home in a Down Market, (Black Enterprise, May 2009). To make selling your home less stressful, experts recommend several strategies. Q

How To: Get a good deal on a lease, (Inc., May 2009). A commercial lease is a long and complex document, and negotiating one can be daunting. Get expert advice. Q


eBooks & Other Resources

eBooks.realtor.org

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The 10-Minute Stress Stress Manager (Overdrive Audiobook)

1,200 Great Sales Tips for Real Estate Pros (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Cash in on the Coming Real Estate Crash: How to Protect Yourself From Losses Now, and Turn a Profit After the Bubble Bursts (Adobe eReader)

Learn to Relax (Overdrive Audiobook)

Real Estate Millions in Any Market (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Shift (Adobe eReader)

Surviving a Downturn (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Thrive on Pressure (Adobe eReader)

Timing the Real Estate Market (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Shift: how top real estate agents tackle tough times, (New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2009).

Prepare to profit: your guide to creating wealth in any real estate market, (Murietta, GA: TamTam Press, 2007). 

Real Estate Millions in Any Market: the Lowdown on No-down Investing, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2004). 

Field Guides & More

These Field Guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Farming & Prospecting

Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®

Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a Home for Sale

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.