It is a time of disruption in the real estate industry with changes in the market, advances in technology and consumers who have more information than ever. REALTORS® who learn to address and adapt to the changes will succeed.

“Markets always shift,” said REALTOR® Harrison Beacher. “What you do and the actions you take are what’s most important.”

Earlier this year, Beacher and Nobu Hata shared their insights on how to confront challenges and thrive in a shifting market in the Illinois Young Professionals (YPN) program, “Disrupt Yourself,” in Springfield.

Beacher serves on the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) YPN Advisory Board and is a Washington, D.C.-area REALTOR® with Keller Williams Capital Properties. Hata is NAR’s Director of Industry Outreach.

Here are some takeaways from their presentations:

Tell the story of what you do in a new way

The future is mobile and REALTORS® need to be able to tell consumers what they do in a concise and clear way. Get better at having an answer for what it is that REALTORS® do and how it benefits your clients.

  • If you are still trying to explain your value through 3,000 words, you are losing because people are busy and mobile and don’t have time to read it. You have to be able to convey your value through a two-inch screen with pictures and a story.

Ditch the industry lingo

Stop talking like REALTORS® to consumers. Absorption rates, historically low interest rates, inventory levels and even the stats on how many homes you have sold may not mean that much to consumers.

  • Buying or selling a home is a big move, and buyers and sellers just want to know how you will help them in the process. Humanize the conversation and be the person in their corner to make sure the transaction goes well. Consumers could do it on their own, but they are willing to pay more for the service of working with a REALTOR® to improve the experience and financial outcome.

Think like an entrepeuner not a salesperson

Take a look around at the real estate industry, do the things that others aren’t and do those things better. Think bigger and give people the “aha” moments they are looking for.

  • Hata points to successful marketing campaigns from companies such as Amazon and Fed Ex. The focus is on customer service and making the story about the consumer, not the company (or in the case of real estate, the REALTOR®).

Run your business like a business

Maintain a profit and loss statement and track where ALL your money is going and the returns on your investments. Cut costs and carefully analyze your budget. Be skeptical of new marketing and lead generation promises that come your way.

  • By monitoring his marketing return on investment, Beacher found the online lead generation system he spent thousands on did get his properties in front of people, but it wasn’t resulting in many closings. What did drive transactions were the personal efforts (neighborhood dinners, etc.) he targeted to his sphere.

Double down on the people who are already referring business your way

Invest in building up the successful relationships you already have. Stay front of mind with consumers so they think of you when it comes to real estate.

  • Create a VIP sphere list of people who have gone out of their way to refer business to you in the last year. Those referrals may have been free direct referrals, Facebook mentions or texts.

Personal connections can help you ride out any market changes

The best defense in a market shift is talking to people. Make it a daily habit to reach out and maintain connections.

  • REALTORS® get so focused on accomplishing the one goal, with the one client at that one time that they overlook the larger picture. If you increase your connections and do right by people your pipeline will stay strong and you’ll get future business, he said.