It’s pretty ironic that I wrote Thriving in a Volatile World two-weeks before the stock market lost $945 billion of its market value (Feb 2018).  I feel like we all need the Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy with “Don’t panic” written on the cover.  But seriously…don’t panic!

Surviving a bear market.  Bear markets (stocks declining by at least 20%) happens every three and a half years.  You will likely live through 23 bear markets during your lifetime.  As sure as there will be at least one detour on your road trip, there will be a bear market knocking on your door.  Often, during your most profitable year.  Weirdly, commercial real estate tends to do well during the first half of a bear market – folks trying to sell off their properties before prices get too low – but towards the middle the deals tend to dry up.

Prep mentality.  We all know the market goes through ups and downs.  We’re all expecting it to crash when it’s at peak levels.  But instead of prepping, we usually (I included) drag our feet.  Why?  We convince ourselves that this rise isn’t like the last one.  This one has meaning to it, profitability, high expectations.  But we don’t REALLY believe our own story, do we?  The real reason is we want to spend our bull-market money on that new Porsche, not CRM (client relationship management) software or other investments in our business that could bolster sales for tomorrow.  Why should we when we’re making so much today?!

Pay yourself first.  When used by entrepreneurs, this phrase isn’t just about your retirement fund, it’s also about putting a portion of profits into your business to help it grow and succeed.  Is your laptop about to die or your cell phone barely hanging on?  Investments made into your business capital can ensure your productivity during the busiest of times and the items can sustain you through the worst of times.

Build lead funnels. Making investments into your lead funnel can also be a big differentiator between having lots of clients now and being forced into applying for a used-car sales job in the worst of times.  Build your lead funnel now, while money is coming in, don’t wait until the leads have dried up.  The more avenues you have pulling in leads, the better and more stable your business will be in a downturn.

Diversify your lead funnel.  We always hear about diversifying your investment portfolio, but how do you diversify your leads?  You should have multiple lead capture events over many mediums.

  • Website captures. Using your website to capture as many leads as possible by offering while papers, evaluations, consultations, and more in exchange for contact info
  • Blogs. Keep people coming back to your website with a regular blog.
  • Newsletters. Keep in touch with your lead captures with a monthly e-newsletter.
  • Social media. Participating regularly in social media will keep you top-of-mind and shows your business is active when others are not.
  • SEO. Bring in more traffic and gather additional website captures.
  • Cold calls. Use automated calling like direct to voicemail, mass texts and CRM calling to increase your leads and decrease your time expenditure.

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Don’t panic.  There will always be ups and downs in our market place.  That’s one of the reasons it’s so exciting!  The inevitable downturns shouldn’t scare you away from making good business decisions.  Concentrate on your lead funnel (5 Steps to a Keller CRE Lead Generating Website) and make sure it’s as stable as it possibly can be.  Prepare for the volatile future first, buy that Porsche last!