Key Lessons Learned From Shifting Markets

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There are some people in the business who come to mind immediately as people who have a tremendous amount of insight to share. Ron Wexler is one of them. He’s been part of the real estate industry since 1984. That means he’s seen his fair share of changing markets. And as an agent, an investor, and an operating partner, he clearly has a lot of experience. When I saw a posting Ron made in our Pivot: Shift Ahead group of a note he wrote to himself back in 1995, it was clear the group needed to hear more from him. It was a motivational note of sorts, a list of things to keep in mind when the business gets tough.
What Ron shared was that when he wrote himself this note, he’d been in the business less than 10 years. But this note remained relevant to him year after year because, beyond the shifting economic markets he experienced, he also experienced a seasonal shifting market in his local market of Chicago. This letter was essentially a personal reminder to focus on what he could control. He used the Tickler File method , where every year at the same time and on the same day, this note would come up. He’d then read it and recall the lessons he needed himself to hear.
  • Ron’s words of wisdom: “Remember, the market slows down whether you want it to or not!”
    Aha: The market doesn’t stay in a particular pattern forever. Changes will always occur, so you have to adjust your perspective. You may not be able to control what happens in the market, but you can make sure that your business doesn’t negatively change because of it.
  • Ron’s words of wisdom: “Up your activities to keep momentum….”
    Aha: It’s important in any market, but it’s more essential now to be purposeful in your activities and to hold yourself accountable for the results you receive. Ron shared how he was very particular about doubling his activities beginning the first of every October to account for the seasonal changes in his market. Instead of reaching out to 30 people in a day, he would increase the contacts he made to 60. If you want results in a shifted market, make the activity and behavioral changes you need to achieve them.
  • Ron’s words of wisdom: “When you start to get depressed looking at the gap between the goals you set to where you are, look at the progress you’ve made since last year.”
    Aha: Like Ron, it’s likely you set big goals for yourself. And make no mistake, this is great. Big goals set the stage for big results. But sometimes when you set stretch goals and don’t reach them, it can sting. Make sure you look back at the progress you’ve made. Remember that you’re building your business and growth provides positive momentum, even if you don’t reach that stretch goal this year. Set another stretch goal and keep moving forward.
  • Ron’s words of wisdom: “The whole world wants to get off until January 15th. Keep in the game…”
    Aha: We’ve all seen it – and maybe even experienced it – the real estate market slows down as the fourth quarter comes to an end. And if you’ve worked hard all year, you likely need your time off too. So account for it. Plan when you’re going to work and when you’re going to play and then keep these professional and personal commitments. When you’ve scheduled time off to be with family and friends, be fully present. On the flip side, when you’re at work, double down on the activities that will make a difference in your business and ensure your year starts off on a strong footing.
Remember, when the going gets tough – and it will – you shouldn’t feel pressured to find a new career. But you should feel the need to address the challenges you’re facing. When you can identify the problem you’re experiencing and be versatile enough to change your approach in order to fix it, you’re well on your way to thriving through a shifted market.
Ron’s advice to himself has stood the test of time across decades and shifts. What most resonates with you?
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