YPN Virtual April Breakfast: How to Navigate A Disrupted Market | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

On April 29, 2020, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast virtually through Zoom. While our get-togethers at Manny’s Deli are on hold, we couldn’t wait to devour advice from local top-producing real estate professionals. You can stay up-to-date on the next YPN virtual events by following the YPN Facebook page!





Good news: this isn’t the ’08 crash.

As we examine past market real estate disruptions, it’s important to understand how people got into the position they did. Looking at the 2008 market crash and how it compares to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all of our speakers agreed that one thing is immediately, comfortingly clear: this is not the same situation.

“I’m getting this question a lot, and the truth is, this isn’t 2008. The market is not going to crash 38%. Prices are holding,” Matt Laricy said.

Natalie Carpenter echoed the sentiment. “If we look at the signals of what’s changing, we know that the housing industry didn’t cause this recession. We’re experiencing this along with everyone else.”

When asked how today compares to the last big real estate market disruption, Kelly Parker — who began her real estate business in 2009 — said starting at that time was the best decision she ever made. “People thought I was crazy, but I believe in the power of home,” she said. “I was also really clear with myself on what my purpose was.”

All three of our panelists work with absolute clarity on the services they provide people and how their businesses fit into the bigger picture. We asked what type of data they are studying right now, and Natalie shared that she looks at what’s happening to the people her brokers are serving. How are they living, what industries do they work in, what’s happening to those and who is losing their jobs right now? These factors will tell you what to anticipate in your own business.

Kelly also watches the employment statuses of her clients, and she added that studying what happened in the past is just as essential.

“Don’t base how busy the market is off how busy you are; that has nothing to do with it [the market] as a whole,” Matt added. When watching market stats, stick to facts about employment, supply, demand, inventory and close of contracts. Lean on resources like CAR’s FastStats and MRED’s shareable graphs to keep you up to date.

What to do when you have time to think about time.

How are these successful real estate professionals managing their schedules and routines right now? Both Kelly and Matt are navigating having toddlers at home while running their businesses, and they both offered advice on how to balance family time and real estate.

Knowing she’s most productive in the morning, Kelly works in the early hours. She also blocks time for her clients where she promises uninterrupted attention for their questions, thus giving her the chance to balance business hours and the other strange, more hectic hours with her family.

Matt acknowledged that his schedule is very similar to before the shelter-in-place order. He sleeps in a little and works out in his home gym, then drives from the suburbs to his office in the city where he puts in his work hours. “I have to shout out my amazing wife and mother-in-law for their help with our son and their graciousness knowing when I have to work on my business.”

“I can have all the routine in the world, but I may wake up one morning and not be feeling it. That’s okay. You just take on the next day as it comes,” Kelly said.

Natalie’s routine also hasn’t deviated much. She starts her day like any other with her standard morning routine, but in the time she would be driving to the office, she’s added care calls. She’s also setting aside time to focus on her emotional health. One day a week, her office does a happy hour where they can debrief, distress, ground each other and share the week’s triumphs.

For Matt, the hustle hasn’t slowed. It has simply pivoted. “I’m putting in more hours than I’ve ever put in my life. It’s important to stick to a routine, and for me, to not let this virus bring me down. I’m determined to win and not lose my own personal momentum.”

Enrich yourself and your mind, and you’ll be ready for anything.

How do these three top-producing real estate professionals recommend to set yourself up for success during the shelter-in-place?

“It’s time to enrich ourselves. Do things that make you a better person — feed the mind!” Natalie said. Take the time to educate yourself. Whether it’s through the education and training offered through your own brokerage or you utilize the many classes and events CAR has to offer, your expertise is your best asset.

Kelly is taking the opportunity to connect with every client ever. Her calls are mostly wellness checks and friendly check-ins. She’s also working on her marketing, tackling projects that have been sitting on her to-do list for some time. “People will look for other people they know, like and trust to help them. And who says I have to be at my desk to do this? I use my walks to call people!”

Natalie emphasized the importance of wellness calls. As a managing broker, she’s using her extra time for her one-on-ones with her brokers. Meetings that used to take up only 10 minutes now take up 30 minutes, but she’s happy to be able to give them that time and attention.

“This is your ’08 market,” Matt said. “This is your time. You have to break through and change your business model and do all the things you’ve been wanting to do. It’s little moments like this to take advantage of. Don’t give up on yourself.”

So, when you’re not checking in with your clients or powering through training, hone your digital presence. Update your profile picture and bio on Zillow, REALTOR.com and your brokerage profile page. Set up your LinkedIn page, Facebook profile and Instagram account. “Get better at your craft!” Natalie added. “We’ll all be better business people at the end of this if we’re focusing on ourselves now.”

Kelly agreed. “Knowing the information also puts you ahead of the game. Have a good team you can rely on — connect with awesome affiliates and lenders and so on. The more we know, the more we can be proactive.”

Mind-set wise, these things are controllable. How are you measuring productivity and goal-achievement while also giving yourself grace? “Be more in the moment. Be more available to people,” Natalie advised. “Be more introspective and more committed to growth and sharing.”

This is a great time to be new to real estate.

New to the real estate community? All three of our guest speakers agree this is a great time to be new.

“Take advantage of all this additional education that’s out there,” Natalie advised. “Turn to mentors and coaches. Create your database and go through all the people you know.” If you’re in your first few months or years, use this time to prepare so you’re ahead of the curve.

Matt’s advice was all about commitment and investing in yourself. “Spend at least four years working on your business, think of it like going to college where you spend those four years going to work on you.” He recommended lowering overhead costs as much as possible. “You can’t get rich quick in your network. You have to get rich in education and just learn.”

Kelly created a buyer packet after working with only two buyers. “I took the time to create the material and be ready for when opportunities presented themselves!” She also connected with mentor figures who, while also re-navigating their routines and schedules, had the time to answer her questions. Her goal: to speak knowledgeably about what’s going on.

“Remember, this too shall pass,” Natalie said. “Focus on what you can control. Be mindful of other people’s feelings. Work on yourself and your education, and you’ll be fine. Learn how to take times like this and make lemonade!”


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