CEO Spotlight: Toronto’s Larry Weltman: How Realtors Succeed Against Competition
As the hot residential real estate continues to cool in Canada and interest rates continue to increases it’s hard to find, buy and afford a home.
It’s also becoming an increasingly competitive industry for Realtors — as well as those buying or selling their own home. To stay ahead of the competition, Realtors will likely need to work a bit harder to grow or maintain their business, says Larry Weltman.
The founder of Larry Weltman Consulting, Larry Weltman helps Realtors and Brokerages draft and modify business plans and improve their marketing. His servicealso offers brokerage administration consultancy and advises on cash flow management. Weltman also plays a crucial role in research and development for AccessEasyFunds, a Canadian company aimed at helping real estate agents with commission advances to streamline their cash flows.
As Realtors look to up their game this year, Weltman said that the majority of agents aren’t prepared for the changes and challenges of 2023. There are several current examples of major market changes. But perhaps the most relevant is that many current realtors lack experience in a marketplace with decreasing home prices & rising interest rates.
Many Realtors have only been working for a few years. Yet Canadian home prices have been growing for a long time, leaving many professionals without the experience to handle a market that suddenly turns in the other direction — which always happens eventually, Weltman said.
That’s one reason why it’s necessary for Realtors to get prepared for 2023 and expand their knowledge with some helpful advice from experts like Larry Weltman.
“Nobody can predict the future, no matter what many people will tell you about their certainty about certain market changes,” Weltman said. “The smart Realtors learn what they’ll need to know to thrive in any situation — they don’t wait for a market downturn to learn how to handle one.”
Most real estate agents need to select a market niche that can provide a consistent income from reliable sales.
All Realtors will end up working on projects that never come to fruition or sales that never materialize. That’s why it’s important to focus on the areas that work the most consistently and provide a financial incentive that Realtors can rely on.
“Many people think the age of specialization is behind us, and it’s more important to focus on developing skills in every possible niche,” Weltman said. “In reality, both are true. You need to be well-rounded and have the basics in every sub-discipline of real estate — and you also need a specialty in a specific one.”
It also means knowing and understanding that market niche better than the competition, Weltman added.
“It doesn’t matter how much you’re working on making sales if you don’t already have a visible presence in the area,” Larry Weltman said. “People need to have seen your name already before they talk to you.”
Realtors should constantly be visiting, exploring and conversing in their market. Offer open houses, check on new homes added to local listings, form relationships with locals and become involved in local organizations.
Any Realtor needs to develop a select group of clients they can rely on, not only for sales but for referrals that can become additional sales.
If a Realtor can build a list of 100-150 people in their target market, it becomes much easier to deliver successful marketing campaigns. That starts with providing reliably useful information, perhaps in a weekly email newsletter or text group or even visits in person.
“Always ask for referrals, especially in person,” Weltman said. “Even with all the technology that we now have, it’s still better to talk to someone face to face and ask them for a good word after you’ve done a good job.”
Keep learning and never stop developing your relationship with your market and the people who live there, Weltman said. No matter what happens to the economy, he said, maintaining a congenial and personal presence will always generate sales for realtors.
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