Mike DelPrete to top agents: It’s halftime - will your team win?
Throughout this Ask Me Anything event hosted by Bryan Smith, Side’s Vice President of Partnerships, talks COVID-19 with renowned real estate tech strategist, Mike DelPrete. In addition to being an internationally recognized real estate tech thought leader, DelPrete is also known for regularly publishing data-driven reports focused on current events; the most recent of which is titled, Survival of the Fittest: The Real Estate Pandemic Survival Guide.
Mike DelPrete is a global business advisor, speaker, and mentor with broad expertise. He formerly held roles as a tech entrepreneur CEO, strategy director, and head of corporate development. With a passion for growing new businesses, DelPrete travels the world talking to and working with leading property portals and real estate tech businesses, gathering first-hand knowledge and insights on industry trends and themes.
During the webinar, DelPrete analyzed various reputable data sources to evaluate the impact of this pandemic on the national and global real estate industry. Learn what your team needs to do during this economic pause ‘halftime’ to bring home the win.
TOP 3 TAKEAWAYS
1. TOP AGENTS WILL DOMINATE WITH MARKETING; leverage deep lead package discounts and opportunities created by the shifting market to beat out competition.
There’s a unique opportunity to capture more market share as other agents who are less financially prepared to weather this economic storm stop spending on marketing.
● Contrary to instinct, top agents should double down on what’s working -- but only if their balance sheet supports it.
“This pandemic [presents] a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, and if you think about market share, there [are] very few natural or unnatural events that can cause a significant shift.
The natural inclination is to pull back your spending and conserve cash. Why spend performance marketing dollars right now when nobody's buying houses? But if [your] competition just stopped spending money, you have the opportunity to spend money and leapfrog them, and that's huge. If you have a great balance sheet and you can afford to continue marketing yourself and spending money to generate buyer leads, now is a great time to do it.” DelPrete also encourages agents to look for deeply discounted lead packages as companies push offers to bring in new business. Lead volume is lower, but the cost savings is dramatic enough that agents investing still come out on top (ex; 30% fewer leads, but at a 50% discount).
● The value of a buyer lead is changing, and your leads are looking for guidance.
“Play the long game right now; give people information. The best agents are giving us information. Sharing what’s happening now [and] what to expect. Be honest, open, and available. Vulnerability is a great attribute to have. Tell people as much as you know and tell them when you don't know something, [too].”
2. THE MODERN BROKERAGE MODEL IS POISED TO WIN; top agent focused brokerages with tech-forward transaction management (i.e., Side) are poised to win; big boxes will see their share of struggles coming through this.
● Side is well-positioned to support the right agents:
“Side supports [top agents] and smaller independent brokerages that are looking to be nimble and have some agility. What I really like about Side is it's not ‘Side and Mike DelPrete’; it's the ‘Mike DelPrete team’. It doesn't even say powered by Side, and that's appealing. If I was a top-performing agent or team, I'd be looking at options.
● There [are] not seven companies doing this; there's just one.
The model here is good, and if I had to place bets on companies that will a) be around and b), be thriving and succeeding, Side and the associated teams would definitely be on the latter list. A lot of the usual suspects? I'm not so sure which list they would be on.”
● Big box brokers may face big problems:
At big boxes, things have been difficult for a while. Margins are getting squeezed, and it’s harder to justify value. DelPrete says, “There's a lot of things shaking up right now, and if you're paying a brokerage fee to somebody, you're going to be looking at what you're getting out of that now more than ever.”
3. IT’S HALFTIME; the economy is on pause, be the team who accelerates ahead of the competition when the whistle blows.
● The most important strategy for businesses and agents is to make sure you’re around for the rebound.
“Survival is the name of the game, and it's pretty simple. It’s conserving cash and making sure you have enough runway. There is a temporary dip, we're hitting the pause button, and then there's a recovery - and we don't know how fast the recovery is going to be. It could be months.
[But] things will recover, and if you want to be relevant when they [do], you need to be around. That's the first step. If you can't afford to pay the bills and you have to lay everybody off, close the door, and find another line of business - you're not around for the rebound. So step one is survival [and] there is no step two. You just have to survive.”
● Lots of analogies can be used to describe COVID-19.
“We're at halftime. Somebody blew the whistle, everybody's off the court, and nothing's happening. Are you going to sit around, twiddling your thumbs, counting tiles in the ceiling? Or [is your team] looking over whiteboards of strategies, plotting, and planning? You want to be the team that's making the most of this and strategizing and coming up with what to do next.”
The companies that will succeed are getting ready, marshaling their troops, and investing now so that they can blow past the competition in a couple of weeks or in a couple of months.”
Huge thanks to Mike DelPrete for taking the time to share your data and insights with us. We learned a lot! His parting words to agents as he wrapped up the webinar were to “Keep an open mind. There’s a lot of new information and new intelligence. Don’t suffer from confirmation bias. Get a sense as to what might come by looking around and absorbing information.” Great advice.