We saw 53,000 real estate transactions fall out or cancel last month—the highest rate we’ve seen in about a year. 

That is a lot of transactions falling apart—and it has some real ramifications for real estate agents in the field. To stay ahead of this and help your clients navigate the market, here are five things you need to be doing as deal cancellations rise.

#1—Stay Informed

Here’s what I know: There’s confusion in the market. People are uncertain about what to do, and they are not clear on the best path forward.

Typically, cancellations are the result of uncertainty and confusion. So that means, as agents, we’ve got to share more than ever on:

  • What’s going on in the market?
  • What’s happening with rates?
  • What does Fed policy mean for home buyers and home sellers? 

To stay informed, read articles, and consume real estate data on a daily basis. Go to places like BAM, HousingWire, Inman, RealTrends. Watch the Knowledge Brokers Podcast, where every week, myself and two other killer team leaders talk about how to explain these things to people in ways they can understand—because that’s what consumers really need right now. They don’t need all the jargon and the big words, and they don’t need you to sound smart. They need to understand what’s going on in the market. 

Consume something daily about real estate and what’s going on. If you’re not staying informed, then you’re not going to be able to speak intelligently to your clients. 

#2—Show, Don’t Tell

Secondly, I’d be showing people, not telling them about the housing market. . 

Here’s what I mean. When you say, ‘Hey, everyone’s predicting home prices are going to go up the next four or five years.’ Well, that’s great to hear that from a real estate agent. People don’t trust real estate agents when the market turns because they think all they want to do is sell another home. And there is some truth to that. Those misconceptions are reached because there’s at least one agent out there who has done that. And word gets out and all those things. 

So, instead of just telling people, download charts and graphs and have documented third-party sources that are showing and demonstrating the things that you’re sharing with people. Here are a few sources to get this type of information:

If you’re reading or listening to these sources, looking at the data, and you have it downloaded on your phone, you can put it in a text message or an email that shows, ‘Hey, this agent is actually telling me what’s really going on.’ This will give people clarity on what’s happening in the market.

#3—Increase Your Pipeline

When you have this many transactions fall through, you have to have a bigger pipeline. Some people just aren’t going to transact. 

The number one job of a real estate agent is to find people to sell houses to. That is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your business. I cannot stress this enough. How can you add one to two people a day who may transact in the next six to 12 months? 

Notice we’re talking about a long game here. This is not the situation that we’ve been in the past couple of years. 

#4—Reset Meeting

So we know what you’re digesting, we know how you’re having these conversations with people, and we’re having conversations to add them to your pipeline. 

When all of that starts to happen, you may start getting to a point when you are under contract for a transaction, and a client wants to kill the deal. Or they might be getting nervous or uncertain, which is all normal. This is when it’s really important to implement the reset meeting. 

The reset meeting takes place when something goes wrong, a deal goes sideways, and you don’t want to lose the client altogether. Losing the deal is one thing; losing the client is another. 

Here is what it sounds like with a buyer:

“Hey, [client name], let’s get really clear on your goals here.

“I know that last home didn’t work out and I’m glad we’re out of that. If you were nervous about it, I totally support that decision. I’m on your side here. 

“Let’s talk about what’s most important to you. Let’s talk about why that didn’t work and maybe what kind of new property you’re looking for.”

The same thing needs to happen with a seller. If a deal blows out because of a repair issue, a defect, or something that caused the buyer to get cold feet and back out, you need to have a conversation with them.

“Hey, let’s have a reset and figure out how we can go ahead and remedy this and overcome that obstacle and sell the home anyway.”

Remember, the only way a real estate agent gets measured is by selling the home or getting the buyer a house. That’s it. There’s no gray area there. It’s black and white.

So having that reset meeting and staying really positive during that is going to be critical. No one wants the negative Nancy vibes. You have to stay positive. You have to keep everyone moving forward. That is a recession-buster rule. And the real estate industry is very clearly in a recession right now—not the real estate market—the real estate agents selling homes. So that is something you’ve got to add to your repertoire. 

#5—Practice Your Conversations

Lastly, you need to practice all these conversations. 

  • Are you practicing your appointments
  • Are you role-playing your scripts
  • Do you know the objections
  • Do you know how to get someone into a reset meeting? 
  • Are you talking to enough people on a daily basis to add those couple of folks to your pipeline? 

If you’re not practicing with peers and agents on your team or in your organization, that means you’re practicing on your clients and your paychecks. And that gets very dangerous and can be very costly. 

Take these steps knowing that we’re seeing the highest rate of transactions fall through in a long time, and make sure you’re bulletproofing your business. You might still lose a deal from time to time, but don’t lose the client, and don’t lose opportunities.