Labor Day, 2009!
Here in Chicago, it's Summer's Last Hurrah! But, you know, the unusually-temperate weather here these last few months seemed Autumn-like for so long, I'm guessing few will notice the difference, right away!
So business people - we're just a few short weeks away from the Fourth Quarter, 2009. How's your business shaping up?
Have you taken advantage of the changes in the housing market across the U.S.? Become involved with distressed properties, or, if you're in Real Estate, helped your clients do the same? Or, perhaps, the down real estate market has impacted you on a more personal level.
Aside from the obvious question - "How are you doing?" - comes a more obvious one -
"Where are you going?"
Here at Dean's Team, we were down $100,000 in Gross Closed Commissions in 2008 versus 2007. For a small Real Estate Team - that's a lot of dough . . . yes? Indeed, you're right!
But, thus far in 2009, we're already up $35,000 from a dismal year last year - despite the fact our average sale has cut nearly in half, and every real estate transaction is rife with uncertainty, often until the very last minute.
The Fed $8,000 First Time Homebuyer's Tax Credit has been huge for our clients, and for us! We have closed real estate transactions here in Chicago and the suburbs involving the credit for over a dozen clients.
Our best investor clients have picked up some REO properties from banks, and a couple of Short Sale homes for a fraction of what they sold for a few short years ago. But several others failed to close over matters of financing, or approval by the seller's lender - for many, financing investment property is tougher than it's been in years!
And you have to think of the other parties to this transaction - those homeowners in distress! Unless you're the most callous investor, viewing recently-vacated homes, complete with abandoned toys, food in the fridge, and clothes hung in the closet becomes quite distressing very quickly.
According to Chicago Tribune Reporters Sara Olkon, Georgia Garvey, and Rex W. Huppke in today's paper, 61% of those surveyed across IL feel their own financial status is either the same or better than it was one year ago. 39% feel there situation has become worse, 9% consider it has improved.
And many were grateful that the "Doomsday Scenario" many predicted 12 months ago never came to fruition - although that topic, of course, will always be fodder for political discussion on the 24/7 News Channels.
But for you, your business, and you personally - have things improved? Stabilized? Or, haven't you truly hit what you feel to be "The Bottom" yet?
Have you changed your spending and investing habits? Trimmed your staffs? Changed your business model? Redoubled your business prospecting efforts against a tougher-to-crack economy?
Or . . . not?
And, where will that leave you, when the snow starts to fly, and holiday bells start to ring?
It's Labor Day, my friends. Time to take stock!
Please share your thoughts!
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO