What is your bandwidth right now? How about your capacity? What is your current workload?
All of these terms refer to our ability to handle a certain level of transactional volume. Each spring, we begin to test the limits of our bandwidth/capacity/workloads as activity spikes and the market starts to really heat up.
This will come as a surprise to no one — available housing inventory is at an all-time low. Multiple offers, one day sales, escalator clauses and waiver of inspection are becoming increasingly common, and it is mostly due to the fact that the available inventory of homes is down by as much as 5x from the worst days of the bubble and 2x from only a few short years ago.
So, this inventory starved market introduces a new set of pressures on us all and with it, some questions that we need to address.
The Spring Spike
It feels like the public is realizing the inventory conditions as well and beginning their search earlier. Each year of the past several, the spring market has both started earlier AND been more intense — as the chart above shows.
As agents, when we begin to feel the spring market upon us, we face a choice — take on as much as we can and try to hang on for dear life, or pick and choose the deals we can do to match our capacity.
Sizing Your Personal Pipeline
So be honest, how many transactions can you comfortably do? 10? 30? 100? But more importantly, how many can you do in the period from February to June? Being able to do 50 transactions in a given year is all well and good, but can you do 30 in a 4 month period — AND provide the level of service you should? Few of us can, but that is exactly what the spring market asks us to do.
At the end of the day, we can choose to size our own individual capacity for our average need or most extreme one. In other words, do you size your team for the extreme needs of the spring and carry it through the slower summer and fall, or do you carry insufficient capacity for the spring and just hope you can somehow get through. Or do you turn away business when you are too busy knowing that you will either a) be unable to service it, b) have a mental breakdown from lack of sleep, or c) both?
Know Your Capacity
So spend some time understanding/examining not only your own personal capacity, but also the time required to do the type of transactions you do. All deals are not created equally, and understanding how much time each one takes is a huge factor in sizing your business correctly.