The urge to sell is at its strongest now. With unwanted costs and pay rates falling, selling your home might be the right decision. But in Minneapolis, selling your home is a challenge. But if you come across a potential buyer with the right circumstances, you could very well make a sale and end the days of paying an over-your-head mortgage.
Agents too have been in retrench mode. I’ve seen many leave the business or place their license on ice so that they stop incurring the many different costs associated with being an agent. I have also bumped into several agents as they now work a 2nd job trying to make up for lost revenues. This was a market ripe with excess and a downturn was inevitable so while these changes are painful, they are part of the natural balance of things and will leave us with a leaner, stronger base to build from when the market recovers.
As the law of averages always goes, there are some agents doing far worse than average and some doing far better than average. I feel lucky to count myself among the latter group but it has come at the cost of extra time and money required to keep activity and sales high. As a whole my company and office are doing above average as well, which I find is a testament to the agents, management, and environment we’re in every day. In fact, our parent company, Home Services of America, has been given a $250 million war chest by our owner, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, to use to go out and buy real estate brokerages that are fundamentally sound but challenged by today’s market.
In the broad economic downturn that is hitting our country, it seems as if most people are feeling some of its effects and I’d argue that the real estate agents and brokers are getting hit harder than most. In the past people argued that real estate agents/brokers made too much money I think those same people would have a harder time arguing that point today.
Adversity can bring out both the best and worst in people and challenges like this bring forth opportunities for improvement in our tradecraft. While I’m not happy about the struggles that have befallen our market, I look at this as a chance for all of us to reset our expectations and actions and prepare us for a new beginning. I’m a firm believer that a positive attitude and making smart decisions leads to being “lucky” and consequently I’m encouraging all of my friends in the business to not lose sight of the opportunities available if they simply continue to think positive and act smartly.