“It’s important that you’re in front and knowledgeable about anything in your business and, of course, the economy has a major impact on our careers,” says Debbie Hanlon, a sales rep in St. John’s. “Clients are going to have concerns and if you’re not ahead of them, you won’t instill the trust they’ll need in you.”
Indeed, agents who don’t educate their buyers and sellers, at least in some regard, are doing their clients a serious disservice. Even the most economically savvy clients need to understand market trends and theories, and – more importantly – need to trust that you as their representation understand these things in great detail.
“You’d have to fully educate yourself on your market to give the proper advice,” Hanlon says. “The more knowledgeable you are the more competent and confident you are, and the more confident your clients will be in trusting you.”
But spouting off numbing statistics isn’t going to prove anything – you need to understand the cause of concerns, the root of the problem. For instance, Hanlon says it’s important for agents in Alberta to understand how, exactly, oil values can impact real estate.
“What is the root of the problem?” she asks. “With oil, it’s how that trickles down.
“People will be wanting to buy and sell in any market, and if you’re knowledgeable about your market and you have a good handle on where it’s going to end up, you’re better able to help them when they’re selling and with what to buy. It is not all doom and gloom.”
And, finally, you need to be prepared when faced with doomsayer clients, and offer advice outside of buy or sell.
“It’s not all going to be roses, but be prepared for it,” Hanlon says. “Maybe they want to stay in the house and maintain it or they want to lease for a bit. Give clients alternatives to just selling and moving off. There’s always a choice you can make and … by better preparing them, you make them better clients.”
Agents whose clients have climbed back on the fence because of the (almost laughable!) overvaluation reports could inadvertently be perpetuating the problem.