Given how advanced today’s real estate market and customers are, reaching prospective homebuyers is a lot more challenging than it used to be. Not only agents need to master new digital marketing techniques, but they must also learn to optimize their daily activities as they spin out of control.
These challenges are not unique to the real estate industry, though. In their annual research of field sales reps and sales executives across industries, the team at Richardson tried to draw a clear picture of sales issues and how they evolve. These insights will be interesting for agents too.
Understanding the real estate sales challenges will help agents evaluate their shortcomings and deliver better customer service. In the overcrowded, competitive real estate marketplace this has never been so important.
Let’s take a look at what makes sales difficult in 2017 according to the recent research by Richardson.
Real estate sales challenges in 2017
1. Prospecting stage
Keeping the sales funnel full of leads is a difficult task for a busy real estate professional. The biggest challenges at the prospecting stage are:
- creating a targeted prospecting strategy (17%);
- qualifying leads (14%);
- winning appointments (12%).
Today’s customers are tired of endless outreach. A good prospecting strategy powered by insights from your CRM system should be the backbone of an effective sales outreach.
2. Negotiating stage
Those of salespeople stuck on the negotiation stage report the following challenges as most difficult:
- gaining higher prices (24%);
- closing win-win deals (20%);
- maintaining profitability (17%).
Pricing and negotiating strategies and listing presentations are important steps at this stage. Agents take enormous effort to keep clients engaged before they switch to another brokerage. Going the extra mile for your clients without charging more was always important but today it becomes a new standard and is likely to secure you a better deal.
[Related post: How to Give a Fantastic Real Estate Listing Presentation]
3. Closing stage
The closing stage brings yet another real estate sales challenges to cope with:
- competing against a low-cost provider (24%);
- differentiating your service (19%);
- creating a compelling case for change to avoid a “no-decision”.
It takes all your knowledge of the client’s needs to turn “no” or “maybe” into “yes”. Supporting clients throughout their decision-making process is essential too. Helping them to sort out matters like finding a contractor or mortgage broker will make your service more valuable to clients and compel them to act now.
[Related post: 5 Ways to Warm Cold Real Estate Leads Before They Opt Out]
4. Buyers’ decisions
According to Richardson, seeing customers taking action is especially challenging when it comes to:
- combating the status quo (26%);
- comparing options (21%);
- building internal consensus (16%).
Homebuyers have so much info at their disposal that they often have a hard time comparing it. They become hesitant and the decision-making process slows down. Again, offering to go the extra mile can help agents win their clients’ trust and move on with the deal.
One of the most important real estate sales challenges is to remain productive even if the workflow is increasingly complicated. Little wonder that salespeople lag behind because of:
- spending too much time on administrative or non-selling activities (49%);
- finding the right marketing assets to support their selling efforts (17%);
- balancing time spent with your prospects and clients due to a large territory (14%).
Administrative tasks are the most boring part of the routine, but if you don’t have the budget to outsource them, there’s hardly any way to avoid them. The answer may be to automate as much as you can to minimize the time spent on them. With lots of (free) apps, this becomes easier. For example, managing real estate websites, franchise networks or portal feeds from within your CRM is a huge time saver.
Integrating your marketing strategy with your CRM can save marketing budget as well as free up time for the team.
At the same time, using scheduling apps and shared calendars can take some strain off servicing your local territory. This part of the job remains unpredictable, though: only agents know how much time is wasted on driving because of cancelled appointments.
All of these real estate sales challenges remind you once again how hard it is to keep your head above the water. The tools you use to simplify activities coupled with a targeted marketing strategy will be the key to your real estate success.