2020 has been a doozy, in more ways than one.
Virtually every meaningful data point on mental health has changed for the worse, an unprecedented number of businesses have closed, and, worst of all, reports from CNBC suggest that 60% of those businesses will never open their doors again.
But we made it.
And as the doors close on one of the most challenging years of the decade, a new door opens to 2021.
At this point — no matter how difficult this last year was — there’s only one question worth asking: how to grow your real estate business in 2021?
The past is the past and the future is the future.
So let’s start by looking ahead to what the experts expect!
What to Expect From The Housing Market in 2021
Promisingly, Chief Economist, Danielle Hale, of realtor.com expects that “The 2021 housing market will be much more ‘normal’ than the wild swings we saw in 2020.”
Most experts expect home prices and mortgage rates to rise, as well as buyer demand. Depending on how high those numbers tick (and whether there are more state-wide shutdowns around the nation from the pandemic), these trends look like the makings of a seller’s market.
In fact, the CEO of Redfin expects “absolutely insane” buyer demand in 2021.
“There’s no way it can last forever. This level of demand is absolutely insane. I would expect it to last into 2021, at least. There are so many people now who have decided they’re not going to be able to buy a home by year-end, who expect to do so going into 2021, especially as their kids shift school districts. I do think we’re going to see this for some time.”
For agents, then, it might be a good idea to market your services hard-and-fast (particularly, to sellers) and use the fact that it’s a seller’s market to encourage people to sell. In other words, it’ll probably be a good time to sink extra advertising dollars into finding sellers.
We recommend securing as many listings as possible, putting those up on your own website (more on that soon), and then using those listings to rank in Google, drive traffic, and find buyers. This system works really well. And the agents who win in 2021 are going to be the ones who focus on clear-cut marketing.
For investors, there will likely be a slight uptick in seller confidence (even for the owners of distressed homes), which means it’ll be important to consistently bring in as many leads as possible and follow-up with those leads over multiple months so that you’re still top-of-mind when things don’t go as planned.
Additionally, house flippers and buy-and-hold investors might want to focus on peddling higher-quality properties than usual. According to Ryan Dossey, REI coach and the founder of multiple REI-based companies…
“I don’t have a crystal ball or anything but I see there being a push toward home offices, work-from-home spaces, and people spending more money on quality housing. People will be likely to want larger places and nicer places if they’re going to be there an extra 40 hours a week. I think this will highlight the importance of quality rehabs in flips and rentals. Also, I see properties like studios and 1-beds further dropping in desirability amongst remote employees.”– Ryan Dossey
He also thinks there might be an increase in demand for coworking spaces, so that people can go work somewhere other than at their house. For buy-and-hold investors, that could represent an interesting opportunity.
Tyler Austin, real estate investor and the founder of REISift, has built a 7-figure real estate business by managing his data well. Here’s what he said:
“It’s important to cover all angles when moving into an uncertain market. People should leverage being an investor, and an agent, and more than anything, a solution provider to homeowners. But, first, you have to get in from of homeowners.– Tyler Austin
You can collect data from providers like Propstream, ListSource, or your local records. You could also use Facebook Ads, SEO, or direct mail to generate leads. Then you’ve got to track and manage that data well.
Start by skip tracing and tracking the results. Who do you have numbers for? Who do you not have numbers for?
As you contact sellers (or don’t), update your data in real-time in order to refine your marketing campaigns and find individuals you haven’t reached. Eliminate wrong numbers from future campaigns and find exhausted records who need a new marketing or sales tactic.
From my experience, good data management builds a more sustainable business and it leads to more leads and more deals.
Jake Thompson, another investor, is hedging his bets on a rise in the number of foreclosures…
“I’m anticipating a correction and a rise in the number of foreclosures once we see the moratorium’s end. I’m getting ready to starting mailing NOD lists within the next month to get a headstart of showing up on people’s radar.”– Jake Thompson
And Seth Carlson from California Family Homebuyers expects that the Spring 2021 selling season is going to be “huge”.
Ultimately, agents and investors should look forward to 2021 with excitement.
Casey TeVault, the owner of Casey Buys Houses, said:
“I expect 2021 to look similar to 2020, driven by low inventory and low rates. Rates will begin to increase Q3 and so will inventory, which will slow things down. We will see a slight increase in foreclosures, but they will just list the house as a standard sale since 80% of U.S. households have 50% to 100% equity. Commerical will take a bath, and we will see a lot of mixed-use buildings be converted to multi-family.”– Casey TeVault
By all accounts, it’s going to be a great year that’s full of opportunity — and the entrepreneurs who win will be the ones who approach it as such.
When I asked Edward Beck, the owner of QuickSell Buyers, what advice he would give to other real estate business owners, he recommended that “investors should be careful about buying flips in general.” But that “low-income rentals would be a good idea for buy-and-hold investors (not for resale).”
Referring specifically to wholesaling, he pointed out that “if you’re still here next year, you should be good. A great shaking has happened in most markets and it’s clearing out the weekend warriors and the newbies.”
“2021 should be a better year in certain regards. The great part about investing in real estate is that you can make money in down markets as well as good markets. The future of where the market is going is unclear. I’ve read opposing views and both make sense. The truth is that we don’t have any true data to analyze in order to judge how the pandemic will affect our profession next year.”– Edward Beck
2021 should be a better year in certain regards. The great part about investing in real estate is that you can make money in down markets as well as good markets. The future of where the market is going is unclear. I’ve read opposing views and both make sense. The truth is that we don’t have any true data to analyze in order to judge how the pandemic will affect our profession next year.”– Edward Beck
With all of that in mind, how should agents and investors prepare to systematically grow their businesses in 2021?
Here’s some advice from the Carrot team. :-)
How To Grow Your Real Estate Business in 2021 – Trends and Tips
The Rise of The Hybrid Agent/Investor Strategy
Traditionally, the agent and investor business models have worked separate from one another.
Agents serve traditional buyers and sellers while investors seek out motivated sellers.
But why not serve both of those markets with your business?
In fact, this is something that we’re seeing more and more of.
As iBuyers interrupt the market and wholesaling becomes a little more difficult in certain areas because of recent laws, this new business model is emerging.
Namely, the hybrid real estate model for the investor/agent.
What is that?
It’s where you serve both motivated sellers and traditional homesellers.
This means getting your real estate licencse if you don’t already have it and learning the wholesaling business model if you haven’t yet learned it.
But the benefit is that your business becomes more resilient to market fluctuations.
If wholesaling competition becomes overwhelming, then you can count on traditional sellers to create revenue for your business. Like any real estate agent, you can list their home on the MLS, market it, and collect a commission.
If, on the other hand, the seller market slumps, you can still count on people needing to sell their homes quickly for cash.
It’s a win/win for your business.
Of course, it also means that you can the hybrid site template to cover both markets as an investor/agent.
You can build these sites quickly and easily through a motivated seller website.
These sites can have the same branding, name, and logo, but different domains (or add content to your current motivated seller website).
You can provide solutions for every seller.
If someone insists on listing their home on the MLS, then you can just list it, and if it doesn’t sell, then you can offer to purchase it for cash.
This business model allows you to serve your leads however they need served. That way, you’re making the most of every single lead that comes your way.
This makes your business more resilient and capable of enduring market changes.
So is 2021 a good year for you to build a hybrid real estate business?
We certainly think it is!
Announcing the NEW
Investor/Agent Hybrid Site Template!
Unlock our newest site template in our Advanced Marketer plan to stay ahead of industry trends and convert more seller leads!
“Evergreen” Marketing – How to Attract More Of Your Favorite Clients Without Cold Calling, Direct Mail, Zillow, and Marketing That’s Burning You Out
Here’s how most real estate investors and agents do their marketing.
- They run some ads, hand out some business cards, and send some direct mail.
- Then they generate some leads.
- They close on some of those leads and keep their business and lifestyle afloat.
And then… they have to do it all again.
Now, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that — many real estate investors and agents have built successful businesses by “hunting”, so to speak, for their deals.
The only problem is, the cycle never ends.
If you stop working, leads and deals stop flowing…
Sometimes, it can feel a bit like being a hamster on a wheel.
You’re working your butt off and, for the most part, you’re maintaining and staying consistent.
But you’re struggling to grow your business… because there’s only one of you and there’s only so much time in every day.
You probably worry that burnout is waiting just around the corner.
What if there’s a better way to do business?
What if there were a way to generate more leads without working more?
I’m here to tell you… there is.
And it’s called “Evergreen” marketing.
What is “Evergreen” marketing?
I love this definition from Marketing Artfully…
“Evergreen marketing is producing a basic marketing idea, plan or concept that will last beyond the next couple of hours, days or even years, perennially providing you with new sources of sales or prospects!”
It’s the difference between hunting for your food and farming for your food.
The hunter goes out, kills an animal, and eats for a little while. Once they’re out of food, they have to go hunting again.
The farmer, though, anticipates the future. He sees the longevity of his crop and knows that his investment in it is going to pay him back disproportionately well.
He will probably work on it every day, but then he can eat the food it sows for years to come… and he can easily replant and grow more food.
That’s the difference.
A hunter goes out, kills something, and eats it.
A farmer builds an ecosystem that will support him for years to come.
The most successful business owners are farmers, not hunters.
They use marketing tactics that will generate leads every single month, even if they choose to take a day off.
But… what are the “farming” marketing tactics that you can use to build a more sustainable and scalable business?
Well, in an achronym, SEO.
People are already searching in Google for phrases like “sell my house fast in ” and “best real estate agent in .”
What if it was your website that they stumbled upon?
How cool would that be?
Not only would you be generating leads on autopilot without any additional time or money, but research shows us that SEO leads are also much higher quality than leads that come through ads (because they came looking for you).
Conversion is 2x-3x Better…
This means more leads and better quality leads without more work.
So how do you do it?
Well, you need a fast and functional website that’s built to convert visitors into leads like clockwork. You also need to be producing content on your website (blog posts) consistently.
The more blog posts you create, the more opportunities you have to drive traffic through organic Google searches.
Every time you create a new page on your website, you’ve built an asset that can rank in Google and drive traffic for you!
Unfortunately, this can be pretty time consuming.
Initially, Trevor was forced to do all of this by himself…
But now there’s Carrot ;-)
With Carrot, you get a high-converting website with a tech stack that’s primed to rank in Google. Then, if you’re a Content Pro or Advanced Marketer member, we’ll give you 12 or 24 expert-written blog posts every month to put up on your site.
Each of those articles can then rank in Google and drive traffic.
And the coolest part is that this process is proven to work by the thousands of real estate professionals who trust Carrot for their online marketing.
You ready to do more deals and generate more leads without increasing your work hours?
Learn more about how Carrot can help you build an “Evergreen” and scalable real estate business by watching our FREE “Evergreen” marketing webinar replay…
Get a Headstart
When it comes to business, it’s always good to get a headstart on the competition.
Naturally, the real estate investors and agents who anticipate the future (rather than avoiding it or ignoring it) are more likely to succeed.
No one can predict what 2021 will bring, of course, but preparing yourself and your business is still a good idea.
But what does that look like?
Maybe it means writing down your goals for 2021 and figuring out what it’ll take to get there. Maybe it means preparing to send more mailers during certain season. Or maybe it means differentiating your business by finding a niche (more on that soon).
Whatever the case, preparing now is better than preparing when 2021 is already underway.
As always, the early bird gets the worm.
Want to learn how we do it?
Join us on December 30 at 10am Pacific…
Other Online Marketing Options
Online marketing has been a game-changer for investors and agents around the nation, allowing them to build websites and advertisement-machines that generate high-quality leads on autopilot.
So… how is that possible?
Well, there are essentially two parts to online marketing.
- Driving traffic.
- Generating high-quality leads.
Of course, there’s a lot of complexity inside each of those steps.
The first step is to get yourself a website that converts visitors into leads automatically — this means that a hefty percentage (15% to 30%) of the people who visit your website give you their contact information and express interest in working with you.
(After all, website traffic on its own is virtually worthless)
Does that sound too good to be true?
Well, it’s not.
The trick is to get your website ranking in Google for high-value keyword phrases (like “sell my house fast in ” or “best real estate agent in “, organically and through paid ads.
If you dominate the rankings for those types of phrases, then your target market comes to you rather than you having to hunt them down.
Better yet, if you rank organically, then you don’t even have to pay for those leads!
(Although there’s nothing wrong with Google Ads!)
So… how do get your website to the top of the rankings in 2021?
Generating High-Quality Leads
Unfortunately, just because you’re driving traffic to your website does not mean that you’re generating high-quality leads.
Ideally, it does.
But more often, it doesn’t.
You might drive a ton of traffic to your site through SEO, but if your website isn’t crafted to systematically convert visitors into leads… then a lot of that traffic is gonna go to waste.
Because here’s the reality: most real estate investors and agents are amazing at building relationships, talking on the phone, and closing deals… but, well, they’re not so good at building high-converting websites.
That’s because they’re two different skillsets.
And there’s a big gap between offline marketing and online marketing.
So what makes a website convert like clockwork?
A lot of things. You should have an opt-in form that sits above the fold when someone lands on your homepage, your phone number should be in the upper right corner, and all attention should get drawn to your primary call-to-action.
How do we know?
Because we’ve spent year testing, iterating, and perfect our Carrot sites.
We know how hard it is to build a website that actually gets results.
More importantly, we know what it takes to build a high-converting real estate website.
You could try to build this site on your own, or you could get yourself a proven-to-convert Carrot site for as little as $69 per month (with a 30-day money-back guarantee!).
Many investors and agents have already made the shift and used online marketing to grow their businesses beyond what they thought was possible.
Is 2021 your year?
For those who want to grab 2021 by the horns, join us on December 30 at 10am Pacific…
Find Your Niche
As everyone knows, the riches are in the niches.
Counterintuitively, it’s easier to grow your business when you’re not serving everyone. Niching down allows you to speak directly to your target market and brand yourself as their go-to solution.
But as a real estate investor or agent, how do you find your niche?
Well, the first step is to find a market that you want to serve.
Do you want to help first-time homebuyers? Do you want to help people who are going through foreclosure? Do you want to help high-ticket homesellers?
There are a ton of difference niches that you could enter into.
One of the easiest hacks, though, for choosing a niche is to base it on location. Since you’re a real estate business owner, your target market is heavily determined by location. And you easily leverage that fact by serving specific markets and creating city-specific landing pages.
Once you’ve made a decision about who you want to serve, then it’s simply a matter of building a website and branding yourself as the go-to solution for that market.
This is also a great way to surpass your generalist competitors — while they might have a larger presence or bigger operation, you are branded as the expert for a very specific market, and those people are going to want to work with you instead of the big generalist company.
In 2021, there’s still going to be a lot of competition.
And the people who find a niche are going to have a lot of success!
The easiest way to niche down is by targeting very specific cities, suburbs, or neighborhoods. In fact, ranking for these city-specific keyword phrases in Google can consistently drive you high-quality traffic! And with Carrot’s city-specific landing pages feature, you can create as many of these pages as you want… and rank for darn-near every neighborhood in your area of operation ;-)
Follow Up With Leads
The truth of real estate investing is that most deals don’t happen after the first phone call.
It’s a process.
Sometimes, it’s a process that takes a long time.
That’s not a truth that’s specific to sales in real estate, either. Just look at the data…
But it is a fact that’s probably more true when seeking out motivated sellers.
Selling a home is a big decision. And timing is everything.
Maybe someone doesn’t want to sell their home right now. Maybe they’re not willing to accept your offer. Maybe they outright reject your offer… but what happens in 6 months or 12 months?
Time changes things.
And you never know when a lead will be ready to bite the bullet and sell their home.
So maintain a good reputation (even if they get angry with you at your first offer) and keep following up for at least 6 months (ideally, a year).
As for how often to follow up, consider a process that looks something like this…
- Follow up every day for 5 days, but split those follow-ups between different mediums (phone, email, text, mail).
- Follow up once per week for a month.
- Follow up once per month for 6 months.
- Follow up every quarter for a year.
And one final piece of advice… to make a good first impression, contact them within 5 minutes after they opt-in to your website and become a lead.
Likely to contact a web-based lead if you return their call within 5 minutes and 21x more likely to enter the sales cycle. – insidesales.com
How do you do that?
Well, with Carrot, you don’t just get a high-converting website. Every time that you get a new lead, we’ll notify you via text with all the pertinent information (phone number, name, etc) and you can call them right away.
This massively increases your chances of building a good relationship and even closing the deal!
Network In Your Community
The more people who know you, the more people who respect you, and the more people who know about your business… the more referrals you’re going to generate.
Plain and simple.
In local businesses (such as real estate), there’s a lot to be said for getting out in the community and building relationships.
This advice applies to agents and investors.
Schedule time to get out in your community and talk with other people. You might be surprised at how many deals this habit generates for you down the road.
- Helping with charitable events.
- Joining in on community activies.
- Doing community service.
- Going to various sorts of meetups.
Team Up With Your Competition
If competition is fierce in your market, then you might consider trying to build some partnerships.
This can look a lot of different ways for a lot of different businesses.
Maybe your business can merge with another business in the area and beneft from the synergistic strength of both working together. Maybe you can create relationships with investors or agents in a different niche — you send leads their way and they send leads your way. Maybe you can just trade marketing ideas with competitors in your market and agree that the “best man will win.”
Whatever this looks like, stay open to opportunities with other real estate professionals.
Build relationships with them and get creative in thinking up ways to work with them (in a symbiotic manner, where both people benefit).
Maybe your worst enemy will become your best friend ;-)
Focus On Your Personal Growth
Here’s an uncomfortable truth: your business can only grow as far as you’ll let it.
But that’s liberating, too.
It means that if you grow, your business can grow as well.
If you focus on becoming a better leader, becoming more resilient, and knocking down limiting beliefs, that is arguably the best thing you can for your company.
After all, your company depends on you as its leader.
If you aren’t there to support it, drive results, inspire team members, and create effective processes, then well… no one is going to do it for you.
That doesn’t mean you have to do everything within your business or micro-manage every task (you shouldn’t).
But it does mean that you need to lead the business and steer it in the right direction.
The only way to become the leader that your business needs, though, is by developing yourself personally. Read great books, get better friends, attend masterminds and conferences, challenge yourself, and keep growing.
As you grow, your business will grow.
There’s a lot here to think about but if you were wondering how to grow your real estate business in 2021 you can now with some additional confidence.
Get a headstart, focus on online marketing, fix your website’s conversion rate, find your niche, follow up, network, team up, and grow yourself personally.
If you do those things, 2021 is likely going to be a great year. :-)
But enough from us.
What do YOU think 2021 is going to bring? And how are you going to prepare?
Let us know in the comments!