How to beat the feast-or-famine cycle

Key Tips to Remember

  • Become a regular presence in your local area
  • Professionalize your online presence
  • Market when you’re busy; prepare when you’re slow

Real estate professionals often report a "feast or famine" cycle that causes stress and financial trouble. Instead of coming steadily throughout the month or year, it often seems like work in real estate comes all at once or not at all. This means that when you're busy, you're really busy, and when things are slow, they're really slow. It’s tough to beat the feast-or-famine cycle, but it can be done by putting extra work into planning and marketing.


Networking allows you to expand your pool of potential clients. Whether you're building your connection with existing clients or meeting new homebuyers and sellers, networking is a powerful tool for generating steady business. Becoming a regular face at stores, coffee shops and restaurants in your local area can help to build your credibility and may create more opportunities to meet new people and generate new leads.

Work on your online presence

Having a solid online presence is essential to receiving steady work as a real estate professional. Unlike the real world, the Internet allows you to present a consistent message that can be marketed almost automatically. Take advantage of tools like email marketing and Google Adwords.

Email marketing can be an effective way to keep yourself in your clients' minds and may result in a personal recommendation the next time one of their friends needs an agent. Don't overdo it — just send out an email every two weeks or so, tell a story, include some pictures and let them know that you are there if they ever need a real estate professional.

Market when you're busy

This may sound counterintuitive, but when you are most busy is also when you need to continue to focus on lead-generating activities. Many agents fall into the trap of marketing when things are slow and stopping marketing efforts when work picks up. Unfortunately, if you stop marketing when you get busy, you are virtually guaranteeing that things will be slow again as soon as your current busy time is over.

When things are busy, make sure that you continue to market yourself steadily. Most of the time, there is a gap between when your promotional material goes out and when you see returns from that material in the form of new clients. By leveraging this delay, you can keep the business flowing in steadily. 

Prepare when things are slow

When things are slow, make sure you aren't using it as an excuse for doing less work. You should, of course, be promoting yourself when you don't have enough work, but you should also focus on organization and ensure that licenses and compliance measures are in order — as well as anything else that will allow you to better manage your time and clients when work picks up again.

The feast-or-famine cycle affects newbie and experienced real estate professionals alike. By putting in a little bit of extra work, you may be able to steady things out and reduce your stress.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.

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