Even as the U.S. housing market faces the worst conditions in decades, there have been signs of hope in recent months. According to a report released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau, home sales climbed 17.5 percent in December over the previous month. However, the figure remains 7.6 percent below the same period a year before.
But if and when the housing market begins to improve, most analysts agree that real estate agents – those most battered by the market's bust – will face an explosion of competition. To stay on top, agents need to adopt comprehensive personal marketing strategies – ideas that compile print, digital, online and direct mail initiatives.
"Your level of success in lead development will determine if you succeed or fail as a real estate agent or small business professional," writes Barret Niehus for BusinessKnowHow.com. "The key is targeting your specific audience, and making your message stand out against all of the other junk mail that your prospects receive."
What's more, Niehus adds, real estate agents need to expose consumers and prospects to a message enough times that they will think of it before any others.
The economy is beginning to note improvements in other key areas – employment, business confidence, consumer activity and manufacturing. While housing may continue to lag behind, it is still the time to prepare for a recovery.