I started my real estate career in 1980 and if ever I have seen history repeat itself it is now, nearly 30 years later. In 1983 I sold homes with interest rates of 17 1/2 %. Realtors dropped like flies because the attitude was "I can't sell homes with those kinds of interest rates". Fast forward to 2008 and again Realtors are dropping like flies. Same result as the 1980's.
What separates those that succeed in any market and what is the common denominator for those Realtors that hang up their spurs, leave the business and look for other ways to support themselves and their families? I have decided there are 3 traits common to all successful Realtors that allow them to weather any economic storm that causes real estate markets to change drastically.
The servant attitude
Every truly successful Realtor I have seen have all had what I call a "Servant Attitude". By this I mean that they truly desire to solve a problem or help someone in need. They thrive on finding solutions for any given situation whether it is finding the perfect home for a buyer or marketing a home no one else can market. They are driven by their desire to help someone in need. In contrast, we have all seen those agents that are self serving and are driven by the attitude of "What's in it for me?". They spend every commission before it is earned and all their advertising and actions are about them.
Vision - Every successful company has it
Ford motor and Toyota don't just manufacture automobiles and hope someone buys them. They must have a vision of what consumers will be buying 1, 2, 3 and more years down the road. They try to anticipate what consumers will be buying and why. When the stock market skyrocketed a few years ago there was no foundation for its record upward movement. 2005 was the same for real estate. It was an artificial upward swing with no foundation driven by stated loans and greed. I heard Realtors, lenders and builders make statements that the market of 2005 would last for 5, 10 and even 15 years! These statements had no statistics to back them up; they were all based on the euphoria that was prevalent at the time. These agents "lived for the moment" without any regard for what would follow. The handful of Realtors that recognized this false sense of security were busy preparing for what the next real estate market would bring. Idaho's upper end market is fueled by the California real estate market. When the California market is strong Idaho's upper end real estate market thrives. Through my friends here on Active Rain I kept hearing early in 2006 that the California real estate market was weakening. There were signs that our own market was changing. Whenever I suggested that our Idaho real estate market was changing and shared why I believed this I was told that I was wrong and that our real estate market was healthy and strong. All the signs were there that our real estate market was changing but only a handful had their eyes open enough to see it.
Systems put into place
Because of my belief that the real estate market was changing and my belief that Idaho Short Sales and Idaho foreclosures would sky rocket I created short sales pages for my Idaho Real Estate site that would educate the public regarding short sales and foreclosures. By late 2007 my site was on the first page of Google for the term "Idaho Short Sales", "Short Sales in Idaho" and "Idaho Short Sales Assistance". By early 2008 my site was number one on Google for these same terms and remains number one today. I also have taken numerous short sales classes and in June of 2008 became a "Certified Short Sales Specialist". Early this year Realtors were really struggling and many came in to see me and asked what I was doing different. They asked why I was doing well when so many were struggling. Many of these Realtors had no systems in place and had taken no classes to take advantage of the current real estate market. In fact when I asked many to accompany me to short sales classes in the spring they denied my offer. They were "hanging on" and hoping that the real estate market would turn back around to what is was in 2005. They are still waiting but now many are waiting tables at local restaurants.
Without a strong Passion for what we do we might as well find another line of work. After nearly 29 years in the business I cannot wait to get to work in the morning. I can't wait to put another system in to place, meet a new client, learn something new. I read everything related to real estate that I can get my hands on and I take many classes every year that are not even required. This is because I am a spong and love learning everything I can. Passion drives me and keeps me excited about my career. I can't believe I get paid for doing what I love so much!
Our MLS has lost over 3,000 Realtors and our own office has lost over 30 Realtors from the peak year of 2005. All this is happening while a hand full of Realtors are having great years.
If you are still surviving in this market congratulations! If you are still in business but struggling look at your own market. What do you see happening and why? What trends are developing and why? What systems do you have in place to take advantage of your real estate market for the next two to three years and beyond? Are you investing in the right classes to take advantage of the real estate market in your area for the next 2-3 years?
Posted By: George Tallabas - Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent - Associate Broker
with RE/MAX Advantage, Canyon Counties #1 Brokerage in sales and listings
specializing in Boise Idaho Real Estate and Southwest Idaho Real Estate.
Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes