There are thousands of real estate agents in Houston, and there are two things that scare them: competition and economy. The first just comes with the job, as there are so many different agent offices and franchises within the city and the suburbs. The second is when a disaster like Harvey occurs or the 2008 market crash, and they feel like no one is going to spend money on homes. But I will let you know what the truth is — when everyone is doing one thing, you should do the other. That applies for sales as well as investments.
When you’re doing something that many others are doing in the same industry and market, you have got to stand out and show some differentiation. That comes down to being unique with your marketing tactics and building relationships. The real estate market is immensely dependent on relationships. My new leads come from the unique advertising I do (such as SEO and Facebook campaigns), but recurring leads come from referrals of relationships I’d already built and matured. Your network is the most important thing, and that applies to both real estate agents and real estate investors. Connections can bring so many different kinds of opportunities, some of which you wouldn’t even be able to predict.
The major takeaway is that regardless of what it feels like is happening with the economy, there’s always a house to be sold or purchased. When most people are looking to sell their homes or if others trying to avoid mortgages due to interest rates, there’s someone else who is looking to buy with cash and others who are interested in picking up as many properties as possible at discounts. The “blue ocean” is a real thing, and there’s always enough for everyone to work with. Having any other mindset allows yourself to fail, and you should make failure an impossibility in your mind.
Right now we’re in what stock market investors would call a “bull market”, where home values are consistently going up and everything is looking good. Some agents haven’t dealt with a bear or down market at all yet and they won’t know how to deal with it. But in either situation, it’s all about standing out, building relationships, and finding those deals. In cases where people aren’t able to list on the MLS and they absolutely need to sell, it’s worth referring them to a home buyer because that will not only build a new relationship for you but that will help those homeowners get out of a terrible situation. Always keep the homeowners in mind.
This is the best market for agents. Get out there and make deals!