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  • Writer's pictureKathy Colkitt

#KathysCorner Helpful Hints on going "Old School"

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

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Enough is enough.

A slow down occurs every year, but this?

This is bad.

For the first time in probably 16 years I have no listings, no pendings, no nothing.

And I’m freaking out.

I had my best sales year ever in 2017, so to go from blowing it out of the water to dead in the water is pretty shocking.

Part of me is saying I didn’t do enough prospecting, marketing, and follow up; that I wasn’t proactive, which is causing me to be reactive; that this is all my fault.

Another part is reminding me that I slow down every year, that it’s okay, and to be grateful for this blip in time because it’s allowing me to work on projects that I’ll be too swamped to work on later.

And a slow down is normal, especially around the holidays. It’s easy to rationalize because everyone knows that everyone is too busy and too broke to think about real estate during that time.

So, I got my Christmas shopping done, hung out with friends, cleaned my house, organized closets, tidied up cabinets, read some books, and you know, basically just did the stuff I wish I could do when I’m too busy to do it.

And for a minute I got busy again, and now I’m not. I’ve got nothin’.


Deep down, I know this isn’t really a “me” problem. I know it isn’t a Jackson, Michigan problem, or a State of Michigan problem. It’s a National problem. Our inventory is so ridiculously low that our slow-downs are longer and harder than ever before.

And until it gets fixed, we’ve gotta figure out how to make a living. We’ve got to out-work, out- perform, and out-do everyone else.

So, I’m going old school.

Market, Advertise, Promote

  • Those personalized postcards you’ve been meaning to send to your database? Mail them now.

  • Drop off doughnuts, bagels, or other edible goodies to your car dealership, hair salon, teacher’s lounge, favorite small business owners, past clients, anyone that you can think of that would appreciate a snack with your name/face on it.

  • Facebook Live. By the time everyone is “forced” to do video, those of us already doing it will be ready for the next big thing. Stand out now by doing it now. Start small by sending out facebook birthday wishes via video. And if you’re scared, partner up. It makes it a lot easier!

  • Going to the gym? Have your logo on your bag, shirt and/or water bottle. Going to the store? Wear your nametag. Everywhere you go, people should know what you do.

  • Carry business cards. (Duh.) You never know when an opportunity will pop up to leave your card. A popular restaurant one city over encourages people to put their cards under the glass on their tables. Now people see my face while drinking craft beer. Yay!

  • Get involved. Give your time, volunteer, network, and you’ll be rewarded.

Up Your Game

  • Freshen up or revamp your market analysis, website, and marketing materials.

  • Update your database.

  • How’s your professional wardrobe? If you’re like me, a shopping trip is way overdue. Clothes from 2012 probably need to go.

Be Proactive

  • Do you have people waiting till Spring to list because they “don’t want to move in the winter”? Call them today. If they list now, chances are they won’t be moving till March. If they wait till Spring, they’re moving in the summer. And buyers still want to buy now, so listing now means less competition for your sellers.

  • Call your buyers about a new listing before they call you. You should be studying the MLS like it’s your job, because, well, it is your job. Do it.

  • Go through past emails and text messages and write down all the people who contacted you in the past year or so about real estate. They might be the perfect people to fill your pipeline right now.

Going “old school” means good ol’ fashioned networking, face-to-face time, and a solid work ethic. It means going to where the business is instead of the business coming to you. It means calling people, not emailing, not texting. It means not being “too busy” to answer questions, make small talk, or making someone smile.

This is how I built my business 16 years ago, it’s how we built our new company nine years ago, and it’s how I plan to set myself up for success in 2018.

Go old school, and out-do the other guy for your piece of the real estate pie.

Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.

Sixteen years of helping clients. Nine years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.

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