Five Tips to Succeed When Inventory Is Low

By Hope Walborn | April 5, 2024 | 5 min. read

The shortage of housing inventory continues to be a challenge for Realtors® across the country. Recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the biggest agents in Tennessee, Tyler Tapley offers some advice on how to succeed when inventory is low. Tapley has been a licensed real estate agent since 2006 and has averaged over 300 homes sold every year for the last five years.

Tapley noted the lack of inventory nationwide and how that shortage has caused a steep increase in competition. “Frankly, there are a lot of great agents out there,” he said, recognizing the challenges agents face. “They care, they’re motivated, they’re tech-savvy and they post cute, funny memes on social media. It’s very hard to stand out.”

His overarching advice for standing out and succeeding despite low inventory? Build relationships and put your name out there.

1. Use the Internet

“Embrace Google,” Tapley recommended. “Get at least 100 Google reviews from past clients and set aside a small budget for Google ad campaigns. I have people who are interested in buying real estate in the Memphis area who find me via Google and contact me.”

“Another great option is the website,” he added. “It caters to experienced and potential investors who are interested in real estate investing, and it helps find potential buyers/sellers who may be looking to expand their portfolios or sell their existing properties. Treat it like your daily blog and blog about your area and notify potential clients about your market. There are also commercial and short-term rental opportunities there.”

Additionally, Facebook groups that are location-specific can be places to look for potential buyers and sellers, as well as to get to know the area more. There are several investor-friendly Facebook groups with buyers and sellers looking for real estate contacts.

2. Talk to Property Management Companies

Tapley suggested building relationships with property management companies that may know sellers who have multiple properties they want to sell, or they may know buyers looking to add to their portfolio.

“We have gotten referrals from sellers with 10-20 homes that they want to unload (and we try and sell these to our existing investors), plus we are constantly interacting and meeting new or potential investors wanting to buy more properties in our market. We send these investors to local property management companies, and they can answer their questions about the market and the process,” he said of him and his team.

“If you give them business, they will return the favor,” Tapley added.

This can be especially helpful when you’re referred to potential buyers/sellers who are out of state and don’t know any local agents. In these cases, he noted there’s significantly less competition and the referral could lead to more future opportunities.

3. Go Explore

“Go find properties that may be listed for sale, become familiar with those buildings and try to become friends with the property managers, particularly the ones on site,” Tapley recommended. “They may know which owners may be willing to sell in the future.”

“As an example, one time I sold a foreclosure that had been vacant for several months, and I was corresponding with the local property manager about the basic rules and regulations of the building and what was included in the monthly HOA fees. I sold the vacant unit and then two weeks later, they called me about another seller who wanted to sell. This relationship went on for several months, and I ended up selling 13 units in the building just by becoming friends with the local property manager. The local property manager had relationships and constant communication with all of the residents and he knew which ones were interested in perhaps selling their property.”

“I would suggest going to these complexes and introducing yourself and becoming an expert in that particular building,” Tapley said. “They probably have other properties that they manage that they could also send to you.”

Exploring and building relationships with property managers or management companies can also apply to senior living facilities as well. Tapley recommends reaching out to management/associations at these places to see if any elderly residents are looking to downsize or need to sell.

4. Consider Partnering Up

If you’ve been referred to sell a type of property that you’re not very knowledgeable about (for example, a farm), consider partnering up or co-listing with another agent who may have more expertise in that area. Tapley shared, “Instead of just taking a referral fee, I’d recommend you see if you can work with them and really learn the process and that particular field of real estate.”

“You take less commission, but you gain knowledge and potentially gain more future business opportunities because of it,” Tapley noted.

5. Don’t Be Intimidated

Tapley believes it’s important to establish and build relationships in order to succeed in real estate, and he says anyone can do it anywhere.

“None of these ideas require a large marketing budget or costs at all,” he shared. “It’s actually all face-to-face communication and therefore can be done repeatedly on a small budget by any agent, new or old.”

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