A few months ago I offered a post here about delivering bad news. It was something I’d struggled with so thought it would be useful to share what I had learned to make it easier. Of course, as with all things, as soon as I got good at it the circumstances shifted. We started running low on bad news as the market began to trend positively. In fact, heading into spring, the news has been near-giddy good.
So what’s the problem?
Good news is being met with a bit of resistance. In fact, folks seem actively reluctant to believe it. Buyers are wary and sellers are still convinced they have to sell a small child with their property in order to come anywhere near their number. Even agents, who for the first time in years are dealing with multiple showings and competing offers, do everything they can to tamp down any expression of excitement. It’s like we’re afraid to think good thoughts, lest we be crushed again by some new economic blow.
So what do we do? I’ve found these few tips helpful:
- Lead with facts. Use statistical data, charts and articles to demonstrate it’s not just a feeling but a fact that things are moving in a positive direction. (C.A.R.’s own statistical reporting tools, along with those in MRED, are very useful in this regard.)
- Don’t overdo it. Yes, there’s a shortage of inventory in several markets and yes, we are seeing stability in some markets and an up-tick in others. These are moderate improvements. We have to show we’re not going to feed a new hysteria, the likes of which got us into the last mess. Temper your good news with a long-view approach and reasoned analysis. (Those same C.A.R. and MRED tools are great for this piece too.)
- Follow up. A one-time presentation of good news is a single drop in the ocean of not-so-great news we’ve been seeing over the past several years. Provide timely and varied follow-ups so clients can see the progression of good news over a period of time. (‘Did you notice that house in our area sold in less than 45 days?’ ‘I’m sending you this article from the Tribune which touches on that increase in home sales we talked about,’ etc.)
The most convincing thing you can do to reassure potential clients that the market is improving is to believe it yourself. The facts are what they are. We are no longer in a recession. Distressed sales are clearing out of the market. There is a marked shortage of inventory in many areas. Interest rates are still at record lows.
We may not see these market conditions, which provide positives for both buyers and sellers, for very long. Conditions will shift again and there will be new issues to deal with. For now, if our trouble is that we have to deliver good news we have come a long way. Believe it, enjoy it and convey it.
Carmen V. Rodriguez - Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage