In the midst of what often seems to be a media circus regarding the current housing market and economic crisis, I recently had an opportunity to talk with 11 leading real estate experts: Floyd Wickman, Mr. Interview™- Michael Krisa, Bill Barrett, Darryl Davis, Carol Johnson, Mr. Internet®- Michael Russer, Matthew Ferry, Walter Sanford, Dave Beson, Claudia Wicks and Judy Ladeur.
I asked them to share two good things about our industry today; their best advice for brokers and managers; the smartest thing agents can do sooner rather than later; and how they stay motivated during these challenging times. I came away with more than 20 pages of extraordinary real estate knowledge—so much great information that I decided to write an entire article on each of the four topics. This article focuses on the first one.
Here are the 11 answers from our panel of masters. The topic? Name the top two good things about our industry today:
1. Industry icon Floyd Wickman: I would have to say—if you look at it from everyone’s point of view—this is the perfect buyer’s market. If you ever wanted to buy, now is the time. Some day that will turn again, so it’s an opportunity just as much as it is an obstacle. I’d say even a pretty good one for a lot of people!
Next, I would have to say that this market is a major adjustment. A 2006 USA Today article was all about how real estate prices were out of whack and overinflated. That was a negative. Now things are coming back down to normal, and perhaps we are just bringing them to where they should be.
2. That Interview Guy™, Michael Krisa: I believe that a challenging market brings out the best in real estate professionals. It forces the good agents to adapt and get creative in their approach to business and marketing. More importantly, it weeds out the weak and part-time agents.
The same is true of real estate industry product and service providers; it puts the value and effectiveness of what they have to offer to the test. Agents will NOT spend precious capital on vaporware and empty promises in tough times. So, in essence, it forces us all to be sharper and deliver more.
3. Real estate and trends expert Bill Barrett: Interest rates are still incredibly low, so it’s a great time to buy—particularly in cities such as Orlando, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sarasota and Miami—where prices went high but now have gone down. There’s tremendous value now for both new construction and inventory; builders will do ANYTHING to sell their homes. The good news is that builders and RELO companies are unemotional; they’ll do whatever it takes to get the properties sold—from improving the condition to lowering the price.
4. Noted speaker Darryl Davis: I’d have to say that we are already starting to see some bottoming out in some markets, which means fewer listings this year than last—same number of sales, but fewer agents. That means more money per agent. Also, FSBOs need us now more than ever, which equals an increase in commissions and more cooperative sellers.
5. Recruiting pioneer Carol Johnson: First-time homebuyers have some opportunities never afforded to them before, so it’s a great time to work with that segment of the market. The second good thing is that investors can pick up on some outstanding opportunities—if they have cash and PATIENCE.
6. Mr. Internet®, Michael Russer: Everyone is scared, which means that the people moving forward will gain market share and have a great advantage. It’s a tremendous opportunity to capture market share lost by those who are leaving and establish yourself in one or more specialties.
During any time of tribulation, there are major problems and major opportunities to solve those problems. Don’t be afraid of it; run toward it! And remember: No thumb sucking allowed!
7. Industry coach Matthew Ferry: Now more than ever, the public is listening to REALTORS® very intently. We are no longer plagued with arrogant sellers who spit in our faces and tell us that we are worthless. The general public is scared and now actually wants to know our thoughts.
Next, all of the “skimmers” are leaving the business. Never in real estate history has overall per-agent production been so low. We will now see a dramatic rise in per-agent production because everyone who got into the business to sell their friends one house is leaving. Serious businesspeople are going to be the only ones left standing. The agents who press on and make it happen in this market are going to have their best years during the economic downturn. At least that’s what my coaching clients are finding.
8. Real estate expert Walter Sanford: I will give you four “good things:” Sellers produce listings, and listings produce buyers. Looking for unique inventory for buyers produces seller leads. Buyers and sellers pay you to look at the inventory that you should be buying. There are trainers that do the business better than you do, and you can copy them. These are all called the “leverage” of real estate sales. That gives you the ability to do the business of three agents by just doing the right activities.
9. Industry icon Dave Beson: People understand homes, and most know that they need us now. Unlike mortgages, or these crazy financial instruments that we don’t even understand the value of, they do know about homes. So a home is worth 15% less? Perhaps, but the flip side of this is the roller coaster of the stock market. With real estate, we’ve got shelter, dreams and tax deductible interest. People need and crave what we sell. While not everyone can get into a home today because of tougher underwriting and such, about 80% can sell or buy. They need us, and that’s good.
Secondly, we can’t be terminated. We can just fade out by not doing more of what we already know we should be doing. Now is the time to determine if you are ready to quit. If you aren’t, then get going! Almost anyone can improve their business if they go to work two hours earlier and plan their day the night before, with a focus on prospecting and lead generation. Stay in the present, and just do your assignment every day.
10. Speaker and trainer Claudia Wicks: Great opportunity for buyers; it’s the best combination of house prices and attractive interest rates we have seen in a long time. That’s a great opportunity for investors and the agents who work with them!
This also is the perfect time for agents to re-tool their business practices. During the downtime, take the opportunity to build a business. When the turnaround comes, you’ll be poised to take advantage of the market.
11. Recruiting guru Judy LaDeur: Consumers can buy homes today that they have never been able to buy—and have instant equity as the market starts to improve.
Next, know that there are two levels of agents in today’s market. One group is making “no money;” the other group is making more money than they ever have. So if you’re willing to work hard and learn how to be creative in this market, there are more opportunities now than ever before.
There you have it… from some of real estate’s top talent—the “real” opportunities are there for the professionals who are willing to tap into them. I strongly urge you to step back from the doomsday news reports and agents who dub themselves “realists” but aren’t doing anything proactive to expand their business—and focus on what you CAN do!
We are extremely fortunate to have these experts in our network of real estate friends. They offer priceless tips, techniques, ideas and insights that we use to create the marketing solutions you need, when you need them.
Stay tuned for the remaining three parts of this series: Leadership Lessons from the Top; The Smartest Thing You Can do to Build Your Business; and Motivated—Me? In the meantime, I’d love to know what YOUR two top things about this market are! Email me today!
ProspectsPLUS! provides the tools and information you need to find and implement the strategies necessary to propel your production in any market. Visit our blog at blog.prospectsplus.com, or discover the many solutions offered online at www.prospectsplus.com. Julie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 405-3641.