The Short List: Kevin Oldham’s Tips for Keeping Busy in a Slow Market

by Peter Thomas Ricci


Kevin Oldham is the chief marketing director for United Real Estate.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Kevin Oldman, the chief marketing officer for United Real Estate, about how agents can keep busy in a slow market.

In a slow market, there are a couple of underlying principles. First of all, whether a market is slow or busy, real estate will always change hands. It may be the consumer to consumer,  business to consumers or consumer to business, but you’ll always have activity. Secondly, people like to do business with people who are busy or perceived to be busy, much like choosing between an empty restaurant or one that is hustling and bustling. When you walk into a restaurant, and there’s nobody there, sometimes you turn around and say, “Well, that’s not a good sign.” So my strategies underline those two principles.

5. The key is to stay top of mind with the consumer and capture your marketshare, and that’s paramount in a slow marketplace when there are less buyers and sellers in the marketplace.

4. I always recommend that agents intercept those consumers further upstream in their decision making process. We know that if somebody is buying or selling in a slow market, they’re probably going to be pretty serious, especially buyers. So, we want to make sure that we intercept those folks further in the decision process.

3. Google has coined the term “Zero Moment of Truth,” which is, people are leveraging all sorts of technology and doing all sorts of research before making a decision. So one of the tactics that Realtors can use is, always be on the “one screen,” meaning the screen that is in front of a consumer when they are doing research about buying or selling real estate. We live in a multiscreen environment, but when consumers are at the “Zero Moment of Truth” – meaning, when they are making their final decision – all that matters is the screen that’s in front of them.

2. One of the ways that you can do that is owning your own media assets that are sticky and resourceful, and one of the most common ways is to blog. The barrier of entry to blogging is zero and anybody can do it in terms of technological skill, but I like to offer several pieces of advice for blogging.

One, you have to consider it a gift to the world and expect nothing in return; I’m not a writer, but I can read a blog and tell when someone is expecting something. Two, blog multiple times a week, and assign a personality to your blogs, especially with your picture and bio. Three, keep blogs digestible, in the 300 to 400-word range; people’s attention spans are very, very short, especially when reading blogs. And most importantly, promote sharing and conversation. Blogs are a form of social media.

1. Finally, play the demand game, and adapt quickly to your market. For example, if you go into real estate and say, “I’m just going to be a buyer’s agent,” but all the buyers exit the market, you have to adapt quickly and go where the market is going.

Kevin Oldham is the chief marketing officer of United Real Estate. Prior to his current position, Kevin co-founded United and United Country’s wholly-owned marketing firm, Enhanced Marketing Solutions, and built it into the largest real estate marketing services organization in the U.S. by number of annual engagements. He earned his Bachelor’s degree and MBA from Baker University, and in 2012, he was recognized by KC Business Magazine with the Rising Star award, which celebrates business leaders under the age of 40.

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  • Barbara King says:

    When you have “lulls” is also the perfect time to prepare yourself to be busy…to evaluate your inventory and to reach out to past customers, send mailings, do your research about what’s on the market-where-and for how much, compared to your inventory and to what’s selling.

  • Robert Hicks says:

    Great Read!! When the market is a little “soft”, it gives me more time to till that soil, plant those seeds and get ready and into position for when the market changes, and it WILL!!!

  • Kevin Oldham says:

    Barbara and Robert: Excellent feedback from both of you. Thanks for reading!

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