How To Frame Your Realtor Messaging In A Risky Market

April 9, 2024

Yesterday I was on a podcast hosted by the ever-lovely Stefanie Lugo, chatting about how the “modern real estate marketing landscape” (oh that’s big and juicy, isn’t it?) has and is evolving.

We talked a little about how agents moved about during COVID, what happened when things took an abrupt downturn after, and where we are in the game now.

We hit on some mildly uncomfortable Realtor branding truths with love — and, I hope, a wise eye — and I look forward to sharing some of the episode when it drops later on.

For now, just some added thoughts, as my talk with Stefanie had me simmering on the topic all morning long.

Here’s a nugget for you:

What you do during a market downturn will determine your brand, and reveal who you are really are, at the foundational level.

Like, we’re at this kind of market inflection point right now. You know this more than anyone.

If you’re a real estate professional of any kind, people are watching you. They’re listening.

You have their attention more than ever, the same way you did during COVID when everyone was looking to you to say the smarter, more emotionally resonate, more comforting thing than the next agent…

…when everyone wanted to know, “Did my house just decline 20% in value because of this? Did XYZ just happen? IS XYZ about to happen?!”

It’s an uncomfortable market out there and your people have questions.

Which means the ripple effect of your brand is so much greater.

If all that mess has left you feeling confused about what kind of content to put out nowadays, then here’s a simple exercise to answer the question of “how to market” on your Instagram, to your email list, in your next mailer campaign.

01 – Write down the top 5 questions you hear from clients, prospects, and renters are asking about buying.

02 – Write down the top 5 questions your clients, prospects, and overall sphere are asking about selling.

03- Then in clear, concise, and transparent language, write answers to all of those things.

Now you have your social campaign, your email plan, and your mailer model for the next month.

This creates a real-time feedback loop for you.

You’re talking to people, hearing questions, and then answering those questions at scale, publicly.

I believe this is one of the simplest + most effective ways to become attune to your audience in a tough market.

And remember, the key is transparency.

If you answer the real questions ambiguously or evasively, or without forethought, you could actually damage your brand.

Be intelligent and brave in giving the kind of answers that your Realtor competitors may be too afraid to give.

For instance: most agents are out there trumpeting on social media, “It’s still a great time to buy!” In answer to exhausted, fearful buyers who are crippled by interest rate challenges.

It kinda feels like an old coaching, “old Realtor marketing wisdom” line to me. That it’s “always” a good time to buy or sell — it’s just a seller’s market or a buyer’s market — but it’s never a BAD time, so we don’t say that, do we?

But…is that actually helpful?

What does this kind of thin messaging actually do for burned-out prospects who are hungry for authentic messaging?

I wonder what would happen if a truth-teller Realtor stuck his or her neck out and said what the other agents are unwilling to say:

“Hey, you know what? It’s incredibly difficult to be a buyer or seller right now. If you decide to make a move right now, most likely, it’ll be challenging. But I can help you if you really want it, and I’ll give you my absolute best until it’s done.”

Why not just say that?

When you say and do what your competitors are unwilling to say and do, therein lies the differentiation.

On yesterday’s podcast episode, Stefanie and I talked about the move away from more real estate self-promotion, toward a more genuine brand approach that that makes space for telling stories and refining systems that truly serve people.

I think that’s huge here, too, when we’re talking about how to market sensitively in a tough market.

The notion of self-celebration isn’t the enemy, but it IS something to be skeptical of right now.

Given the times, your own production numbers this month and your personal prosperity, if you want to quantify that, may not be the most healthy angle.

Say you just sold an incredible listing. You did a great job.

Maybe on Instagram today, instead of celebrating what you did, write a true case story around your relationship with the client, your strong collaboration with the right third party vendors, and how challenges were surmounted.

To the extent that your buyer or seller is willing to share THEIR story —

Tell THEIR story and put a big red bow on it.

Now more than ever is a time to break old marketing patterns and reframe how to communicating what achievement looks like for you as a real estate professional.

Now more than ever is a time to tell better stories.

Every sale is an opportunity.

(For more super actionable advice on how to storytell in your real estate marketing, check out my past posts HEREHERE and HERE. +Lots more to learn from across the blog, if you fancy doin’ a little digging.)



P.S – What’s BLUEPRINT, again? 

We’re a gaggle of designers, writers, and creatives on a mission to change the branding narrative in real estate.

We offer a signature branding service and the industry’s most elegant and high-converting digital products to help modern, stylish Realtors do three things:

➝ Communicate their worth;

➝ Become the obvious choice;

➝ Tell the right stories to stand out + SELL more.

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  1. […] I’ve written about being an “uncommon truth teller” in real estate before, particularly in a risky market. There’s nothing more powerful (or rare?) than been uncommonly truthful to an audience expecting yet another Realtor Platitude of Infallibility. […]

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