Understand the Times and Know What To Do

Written by Posted On Thursday, 23 February 2006 16:00

If there has ever been a time that real estate agents need to understand the times and know what to do it is now.

To give this article some perspective, let me say right up front that I am leading a sales team to sell out a large, beautiful, and well located condo conversion in Orlando, Florida. We are going through a market correction at the moment.

This means the low hanging fruit has been picked. The feeding frenzy is over. The market is stabilizing. The good news for us is that unemployment is the lowest in the state and is predicted to remain low for the foreseeable future.

Twenty five years ago I was doing the same thing only in the St. Petersburg area. When interest rates went to 20 percent it pretty much put us all out of rental conversion business. There wasn't one expert in the country that didn't believe we would never see single digit interest rates again.

Today, it would probably be difficult to find an expert that believes we will ever see double digit interest rates again.

In the early 90's, there was a short but serious recession among the home building industry, when banks stopped lending money to homebuilders to build inventory homes.

So with that background, allow me to make a few observations, none of which may mean much to you in your market, but on the other hand might make a difference in your attitude about your profession.

Many of you reading this column have been in real estate for the last 15 years or less. This means that your business for the most part has been pretty good.

Generally speaking if jobs are good and interest rates reasonable real estate is good to real good in that market.

Today we are seeing serious market changes in some markets with Chrysler laying off 30,000 and Ford closing 10 plants. Interest rates won't matter to this crowd. The fact that many will become unemployed with have a serious impact on prices in those areas, there is no question about it.

Yet, in markets like Orlando, one of the fastest growing areas in the country, where jobs are plentiful and the area booming, professional full time real estate agents should continue to make nice livings.

So what should you do in your market?

Generally, those of us who have ridden the crest of the real estate wave will have to put our surf boards back in the garage and go back to work.

Now, instead of being exhausted from making so many sales and attending so many closings, our energy will be directed to sharpening our ax, and developing real listing and selling skills.

I think there is a clarion call to understand our local markets and the dynamics of what is not only going on today, but what is predicted to go on tomorrow.

We must understand today's buyer and today's market.

Working with today's buyers will become more like leading a high strung horse through New York City traffic. The slightest disturbance will cause the horse to bolt. So will the buyer if we are not careful to continue to lead a nervous buyer one step at a time through the sales process. It will require more sales skills than you ever knew you needed.

It will require something else.

It will require a commitment to your vision. Without it you will not have the passion to develop the discipline it takes to become a successful agent.

So, what should you do? Do some things your fellow agents are not doing.

Here is a checklist for getting through the market changes in your area:

  1. Don't listen to "office experts." This group sounds like they know what they are doing. They just don't sell much. Don't let them steal your vision by telling you how bad things are or how they lost sales and it wasn't their fault.

  2. Understand your market. Stop by new homes sales centers to find out what they think. They are the heaviest investors in your market. They know what is going on.

  3. Talk to senior mortgage lenders at local banks. Understand they are conservative.

  4. Start reading your local paper every day.

  5. Don't become too much of an expert. Solicit third party quotes on the economy for your newsletter and send one.

  6. Don't act like the market is great if it isn't. Understand the times and know what to do.

  7. Renew your commitment to training.

  8. Develop and implement a marketing plan then change it if it isn't working.

  9. Make it a point to hang around positive people who will encourage you.

  10. Become one of those encourages to your fellow agents.

By understanding the times and knowing what to do, you will become more professional and more productive and look forward to going to work every day.

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David Fletcher, NHCB

David Fletcher is a co-founder and CEO of New Home Co-broker Academy LLC., an online e-commerce business. Visit David's website to take his famous 3-hour online course, How To Build  A New Homes Niche, to become a certified New Home Co-broker (NHCB). More than 5,000 graduates. Content is based on his long career and onsite sales success working with both builders and Realtors to list and sell more than $3 billion in new construction. If you are a broker who wants to offer your agents a way to add new homes to their resale inventory and home shoppers, this is your solution. 

Learn more and enroll.com



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