How to Manage Your Real Estate Listings Over the Holidays
Those two weeks leading up to and just past Christmas and New Years are a strange time in the world of real estate.
Some buyers decide to pause their search for the holidays. Others want to keep hunting.
Some sellers don’t see why the work to get their home sold should stop for that whole time. Others welcome a bit of a reprieve.
It can be a slow time in the real estate market. And then there’s the fact that real estate agents need a bit of a break, too!
Whatever the case may be, one fact remains: your listings are still there. Unless your client wants to pull their home from the market until sometime in January, you’ve still got listings to manage.
So what’s a real estate agent to do?
Take our advice. Read on for tips on how to manage your real estate listings over the holidays.
Communicate and Manage Expectations
First step: talk to your clients. You need to understand what their plans are and what they’re expecting from you.
Do they want to pump the breaks until the kids are back in school and people are back at work? Or do they want to keep up the interest and energy?
You also need to communicate your needs. If you’re planning on working less or different hours over the holidays (or taking a rare vacation as a real estate agent!), you need to inform them and set boundaries with your clients.
What it all comes down to is communicating and managing expectations. You want to avoid your clients feeling as though you’ve let them down.
Maintain Curb Appeal
Whether you’re hoping for a mid-holiday sale or not, you need to keep up appearances — on the listing, that is.
If your client hasn’t decorated their home for the holidays, consider gifting them a big wreath for their front door to add some cheerful charm.
If they’re going to be away for the holidays, make sure you stay on top of shovelling and salting (even if you have to hire someone to do it) — letting it pile up is both a safety concern and a sign that no one is home.
Same thing goes for collecting packages and mail, and garbage and recycling pick-up.
Don’t Forget About Leads
Interest and inquiries may slow to a trickle during the holiday period, but that doesn’t mean curious buyers aren’t looking at listings.
You may not have open house plans or a marketing push planned for these two weeks, but you do need a plan for managing inquiries you may receive.
Here are a few ideas for keeping up:
- Post an update on your website and Instagram. Wish everyone a happy holiday and communicate your hours and/or response time.
E.g., “Happy holidays! Please note that I will be offline from December 24 to December 27, and that my response time may be a little slower than usual until the new year. I look forward to connecting with you soon!”
- Turn on your email auto-responder. Write a message similar to the above, so that anyone emailing you directly won’t be irritated if you don’t reply immediately.
- Schedule social media posts. You can continue to sell the sizzle over the holidays by creating and scheduling Instagram posts featuring your listings.
Adjust the Price
Is your client highly motivated to sell despite the holiday lull?
Worried about not attracting similarly motivated buyers because of the holiday lull?
Time to drop the price.
A price adjustment is the best tool in your toolbox for helping nudge a listing towards “Sold” status over the holidays. It’s a bold move that can be enough to grab the attention of buyers who may have otherwise waited until after the new year to resume their search in earnest.
Of course, there’s risk involved. If the price drop doesn’t attract serious attention, then you’re stuck with a lower price point in January when things do start picking back up. But depending on the client — and the house — this big move could have big payoff.
Prep for January
If your client wants to wait until the new year to make another push, that doesn’t mean your listing has to lay completely dormant.
In addition to keeping up with social posts about your listing, do a little prep for January. Like scheduling and planning for a standout open house.
Pick a date, prep your marketing materials (maybe a real estate postcard invitation?) and get ready to start promoting the first week after the New Year.
How do you keep up with your listings over the holidays?