By S. Jack Butala
December 1, 2021
Jill and I have always had differing opinions on the holidays and how they affect the real estate business. So, as we get closer to the holiday season, I wanted to look at the data and finally settle this.
My roots are in commercial real estate and before that professional accounting and consulting, always in an acquisition capacity. Generally, professionals working in these areas tend to slow down through the holidays and almost completely shut down somewhere between December 15th and January 5th.
Jill has always disagreed with that concept. Our business does not shut down for the holidays. And to be fair, after looking at our data, the numbers really don’t change much for us during the holidays. In fact, our lowest sales numbers are in the deep summer. July and August are our toughest months, people are not thinking about work, they are having fun and spending the summer with their children.
So, what makes us different from other businesses? I think it’s because we are the business owners. Maybe it is slower for most businesses and maybe there are less buyers, but for those of us willing to show up through the holidays, we’re getting all the deals.
I think it also depends on what you are doing. For example, historically, December is a good month for the Land Academy business, and it is a great time to buy land, but sales tend to be slower. If you’re buying infill lots and selling them to a builder, November through January might not be the best time to do that. If you are buying and selling or leasing office space, or apartments, I can tell you from experience in any commercial capacity, it is almost a dead stop during the holiday season.
Even if you find the buying and selling part of your land business slows down, it’s a good time for you to step it up in other areas you might not have had time to focus on throughout the year. In the fourth quarter, you should be planning for the next year and where you want to be next December.
When I have downtime, I’m constantly looking for new markets to send mail in.
The answer is… Jill and I are both right. Unless it’s food or retail, most businesses typically slow down during the holidays. Your business could slow down too if you let it.
Just show up. Schedule, plan and continue to send out mail. If you choose to make yourself unavailable, you will likely miss a good deal, maybe more. There is always a chance of one last homerun before the end of the year.