At many major companies, marketing is the first thing to go during tough economic times. However, research has suggested this move can actually set these businesses back even further. One study from the Harvard Business Review showed that businesses that drastically cut back on marketing after the 2008 recession had the lowest probability of pulling ahead of the competition. Another study showed something similar, indicating that businesses that slashed marketing had to spend even more money to recover.

How does this translate to the real estate business? Let’s start with a look at the housing market before the coronavirus pandemic. Inventory was tight and mortgage rates were at historic lows. That means that now, aspiring buyers with secure employment face less competition when looking for homes, and they have the opportunity to lock in a great mortgage. Buyers are out there, and with economists suggesting a period of pent-up demand in the near future, consumers are going to look for agents who can best serve them.

Even though the market has slowed down, your clients still want to hear from you. Your marketing shouldn’t pause—your messaging should change. Adjust your marketing tone to favor empathy and compassion and stay top of mind with your relationships. Here are ways to market smarter this year:

Understand Your Market
Stay on top of the latest market information. Get your updates right from the source, seeking interviews and insights from real estate leaders, economists, government officials and other experts in the field. Make sure your clients know they can reach out to you with questions. Establish yourself as a valuable source of information, and your relationships will remember this when they’re ready to buy or sell again.

Share Quality Content
The marketing pieces you share with your clients during this time should be uplifting, informative and valuable. Send monthly marketing materials by mail and email on relevant and insightful topics to help folks during this time. On social media, only share content with vetted, reliable information straight from industry leaders. The content you share should help people navigate these times, rather than hard-marketing your services.

Level-Up Your Service
Your marketing strategy must demonstrate your character. Show your level of care by writing personal notes and making calls to see how your clients are holding up. Check-in calls and notes contribute to that and keep you top of mind for when this crisis passes. You should also look for opportunities to serve your best people outside of your business. Try dropping a small appreciation gift on your client’s doorstep, send them a digital gift card or ship them a board game from Amazon.