Claudio Encina: Pivot, position, profit

Are you fear-focused, unfocused, or strategy-focused now that we’re in a much calmer real estate cycle?

Over the past week, I’ve spoken to agents and directors to unpack their current psychology, plans, and experiences.

Most agents are experiencing some form of slowdown with fewer buyers and sellers unwilling to meet the market in the face of a rising interest rate cycle the likes of which has not been seen in 12 years.

I know from my 27 years in the industry that leadership equals sales.

Many salespeople, when faced with uncertainty, seek out people like you to make them feel safe and create a level of certainty.

But if and how you do it depends on your position in the market.

I have identified three types of agents:

  • The fear-focused agent/mandator. This group is the most emotional, worried and upset.
  • The unfocused agent/principal. This group is the most uncertain of the three. They don’t know what to do and play wait-and-see.
  • The strategy-oriented agent/principal. This group is the most focused, adept at getting the most out of their hand and are always focused on growth and opportunity.

So how does it all break down?

Fear driven

  • They consume five times more media than the agent or strategy-focused principal.
  • They are worried about the market and afraid of rising interest rates and the impact it will have on their business.
  • They use the terms “no buyers” or “interest rate” more than strategy-focused agents or managers.
  • They use negative future pacing words such as struggle, fear, hard, or difficult.


  • They consume 3.5 times more media than the agent or strategy-focused principal.
  • They don’t have a plan.
  • They want things to change and get on with it.
  • They hope more buyers will enter the market.
  • They avoid giving negative news to their suppliers.

Strategy driven

  • They stay informed of interest rate changes but are not consumed by them.
  • They understand that they can only control certain things.
  • They adapt their mindset from ‘market victim’ to ‘market leader’ and from ‘fear’ to ‘seize the opportunity’.
  • They are four times more likely to have already made changes to their business.
  • They use the words “action” or “opportunity”.
  • They can provide solutions to their salespeople because that’s what they paid for.
  • They challenge the thinking of their customers.
  • They use quality questions and frames to create influence and persuasion.
  • They have moved from “conversations about transactional value” to “conversations about relationship value”.
  • They develop systems to produce predictable results in their business.

We live in unique times right now, and what was common acquaintance with buyer work and supplier management has become common practice.

So how do you pivot when buyers and sellers are struggling?

Make sure you don’t lose control of the process after listing the property.

Doing reminders the same way won’t have the same shortcut. You need to humanize the call rather than jump into a script.

One way to use the relationship value approach at open houses is to look for ways to compliment someone at the callback. It could be the bridge to connecting with someone.

Also, beware of tired dialogues. Instead of asking for feedback on the property, ask them what attracted them to the house or what they would give it out of 10.

If he rolls a seven, ask them what they think they can do to make it an eight or higher?

You can choose to have a deeper or more superficial conversation when you call back.

Be the agent focused on the growth strategy and apply the 3Ps.

Pivot – new ideas, strategies and techniques.

Position – remain relevant to the consumer.

Profit – make more sales and list more properties.