The prevailing belief within the real estate industry is to think that each business is a one-size-fits-all business. Every prospect gets the same script. Every buyer gets signed up for home searches, sees properties and then closes. Every seller takes photos, throws the home on MLS and then hopes it sells. It’s the way it has always been done. It’s what the consumer expects, which is why so many agents are viewed as commodities. Everyone does the same thing, provides the same value and consequently is worth the same commission at the closing table.


Most agents are only perpetuating this assumption. It’s just the same thing over and over again. They peddle the same basic systems, steps and even narratives to everyone. But you’re not most agents. Providing world-class value involves a customized approach for each and every client. You have to evaluate and adapt accordingly. 


Expert consultants take the time to evaluate the needs of their client. You should spend a substantial portion of your initial consultation understanding the motivation, timeline, and goals of your clients. Once you have a firm understanding, you’re able to prescribe the best course of action. Evaluate their needs and adapt your services.


Agents who want to tell their clients how they will lead them before hearing the needs of their clients are no different than a doctor writing a prescription before asking for the patient’s symptoms. It’s foolish and is by no means the best way to care for the client. Too many agents struggle with this because they want the shortest possible route to a commission check.


This doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of overlap when you compare one client’s process to another. Sometimes what is best for this client is also best for that one. However, the overlap should only exist because it really is what is best for multiple clients rather than because it’s the only way you know how to do it.


Now let’s step back and take a broader look at the need to adapt and evaluate your business. The need for this is no more evident than when it comes to seasonal adjustments. You will prospect and lead clients differently in fall and winter than you will in spring and summer. You won’t work any less hard. You won’t provide lesser service. You may not even do less business. It will just look different.


Plenty of homes are still sold in the fall, but the route we take to the closing table may look different. We need to evaluate how the difference in the season and consequently the market is going to force us to adapt. 


We will deal with prospects differently from one season to the next. In the fall, we need to speak into the fallacy that all real estate transactions happen between March 1 and September 1. It’s just not true. This is another lie that the industry peddles.


Prospects need expert advice to understand that they can still achieve their goals in the fall. In fact, they can take advantage of the myth that the market slows down. If they’re trying to sell, all of the sudden a huge chunk of the competition is going to be convinced that they shouldn’t go on the market. This creates natural scarcity for sellers.


But wait! Won’t all the buyers disappear? Nope. Even if the number of buyers in the market drops, creating less demand, they will drop in proportion with the sellers, so supply will drop too. It’s not as if everyone still wants to sell and no one wants to buy. The numbers of buyers and sellers in the market will fluctuate together when you’re looking at seasonal changes.


Generally speaking, a big chunk of the buyers leaving the market in the fall were probably just tire kickers, to begin with, if they just gave up when September rolled around. If a buyer is seriously looking in the fall, they seriously need a home. A seller may get fewer offers, but each one of those buyers is going to be all-in on getting home. I don’t need to explain how fewer buyers in the market are beneficial to the buyers. There is far less competition for them to deal with.


Good agents will grasp that they can still help clients buy and sell in the fall. Great agents will know how they can adapt their strategies to take advantage of the fall. They will use this information to their advantage. They’ll steal houses for their buyers from homeowners who think they’re forced to settle just because the leaves changed color. They’ll create absurd amounts of scarcity and urgency for their sellers, forcing buyers to bring their best and highest where other sellers are just sitting on their hands panicking.


What do you need to do to make this the best fall and winter of your career? What opportunities do you see to do more deals and provide better service while other agents are going into hibernation?