Keep Yourself—and Clients—Motivated During Holidays

Don’t underestimate the potential to find new prospects and close deals during the merry season.

December 1, 2004

The most challenging time of the year for brokers is the holiday season—not so much because the market slows down, but because real estate practitioners tend to slack off. And when they do, it’s bad timing because buyers who look during the hectic holidays are usually the ones most motivated to close a deal, brokers say.

"The non-serious buyer will buy at the regular time of year,” says James Joseph, a broker in California. “But during the holidays, they are more serious. They're doing that because they have to buy, rather than want to buy. They visit with someone and decide they like an area and they have to buy."

Joseph, who supervises 110 salespeople, says he maintains higher productivity during the holidays by using creative ways to keep practitioners and their clients engaged in buying or selling.

"We run contests internally and we offer clients discounts on affiliated business or invite them to participate in contests,” he says. “You put your name in a box and you win prizes and discounts on services. We try to actively find incentives to keep business moving and clients can take advantage of that."

To keep practitioners motivated, Joseph reminds them that there’s still money to be made.

"Corporations move people during the holidays because kids are out of school," he says. "Ideally summer is better, but this is another opportunity to move. If you are relocating, you will do this at a time when you aren't working. A holiday is a time you can scout.

"On a prospecting level, people are home more during the holiday season,” he adds. “If you’re door-knocking and you want to meet people, these are the two months to meet people.”

Joseph says he also reminds practitioners that holidays are days, not months. “So take the day off—not two months off."

Michigan real estate company Real Estate One encourages sellers to list during the holidays, says spokesman Mike Dunklee. "A common misconception is that trying to sell a home during the holidays is a bad idea,” he says. “If you are serious about selling, it can be an excellent time to list."

Here are some more reasons why you and your clients should stay motivated during the holidays:

  • Job transferees use the holidays to house hunt because January is the biggest transfer month.
  • Investors usually want to close escrow by year-end for tax purposes.
  • Remodeling, decorating, appliance installation, and other services are more available and at less of a premium.
  • Lenders aren't as busy and can process loans faster.
  • Homes show well when decorated for the holidays.
  • Showings will be fewer and less intrusive, but more likely to be fruitful with motivated, qualified buyers.
  • There is less competition with fewer homes on the market.

(c) Copyright 2004 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.

Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.

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