Making a Move in A Changing Market? Changing Seats on The Titanic Isn't A Plan!

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 05 March 2008 16:00

Are you in a rut? Ever played musical chairs? A lot of folks in real estate do, but sometimes the way they play it … it's more like playing Russian roulette! Sales are off, your broker is too busy to assist you, and voila! You decide why are you putting up with this? The grass is always greener at the new real estate office across the street! They'll really appreciate you, and besides their corporate logo is a real eye catcher, and the cheery office décor is "To die for!" So why not change real estate offices? It sounds like a real plan, but is it? As a survivor in real estate, it may not be such a good idea!

Have you ever noticed that real estate sometimes can be like changing seats on the Titanic? If not in your own life ... look at those around you! Change is very uncomfortable, and when it occurs we sometimes feel a geographical change will boost our self-esteem and outlook on life. It is sort of like the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence syndrome. It is always better to be someplace else, and the sun always shines there … at least for the moment.

For agents that work out of the office, sometime the grass is greener working from home. For those agents that work out of the home, perhaps they feel they can develop more of a routine working at the office. Perhaps structure and discipline will magically appear in the new location, and maybe it won't. If we take this to another level, perhaps if we change real estate companies we will find the right answers, or success lies just ahead if when we open our own boutique real estate office. Impulse for the moment satisfies a misguided instinct that all change is good. It isn't! It only provides momentary relief that takes our mind off our dismal markets.

However, upon coming back to your senses … that mindset doesn't works at all. It boosts our esteem up for the moment, but we still have the same issues to deal with at the new company or surroundings. It wasn't the office you were in -- the real estate market has just changed. Slow sales, increased days and market, higher marketing costs are now compounded with new expenses of signage, and new marketing materials. The move will cost you in many other ways that were not so apparent at first! We also tend to forget that for the moment it is like moving and not leaving a forwarding address. Old phone numbers, corporate websites, email addresses may not be portable and that is a major problem when past clients cannot find you!

Real estate is just a business cycle which is neither all up, or all down. Every year in business cannot be a new record in sales. We deal with supply levels of inventory, competition, rising interest rates, contracting credit and yes changing job markets. In real estate it translates into change. We go through great markets and not so great markets. Have you noticed when things start sliding, the tough get going? They want you to join them at a new company that just opened! It sounds good, but nothing changes there either. If you stay put, next month you will see many of those agent leave the business for good, or return to where they were established before. Some agents leave an office, and returned when the mood changes. I must admit, I am guilty of this. I also believe it is our nature to do so.

Sometimes we never miss what we had until it is gone.

The fact of the matter is that sometimes, success and peace of mind comes from staying the course instead of just playing musical chairs. Suppose Thomas Edison threw the towel in on the light bulb after 8500 failures. More often than not, success is an inside out job. We give up before the miracles happen. That marketing plan or that farming we've been doing for years hasn't paid off! The word we should be thinking is, "Yet!"

I've found, when my view of the world changes ... my world does change. Changing our attitudes to the external events insulates us from despair and leads us instead into action. That is a positive thing. When that happens we find success, reaffirmation, and peace of mind in our current surroundings. We can stay focused on the tasks at hand, and be successful. That is a much better thing than playing mind games or musical chairs on the Titanic!

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