No question the market is tough. Let's face it. . .Real Estate transactions have become very challenging to put together whether it is a foreclosure, short sale, estate property, bankruptcy, or a distressed property owner who has tried a loan modification with no avail and now is a desperate and distressed seller.
A "regular or normal" deal is rare. For example, a homeowner who wants to simply sell their home for fair market value and is willing to negotiate when an offer comes in. Of course, once this "normal" contract becomes active you have all the hoops of inspections, then re-negotiating and then battling all the financing guidelines.
I think it is fair to say that the level of difficulty has tripled in the last 2 years and the stress level of agents has quadrupled. This year I have become acclimated to agents yelling at me, insulting me because they are upset with an inspection response I wrote or frustrated that my seller won't acquiesce to the buyers low ball offer. You would think, or at least hope that these tough times would raise the bar of professionalism. Weed out all the loose cannons who can't handle the heat in the kitchen and leave an elite, sophisticated, driven and professional group of agents.
What I have noticed this spring, as our market grows more saturated with listings and our economy gets hit even harder, is the stress level of the buyers and sellers. It is very intense with emotions running high.
After having a fantastic morning (total morning person ~ was up by 3am) my day became really tough due to some very disappointing behaviors with local agents. My partner (The world's best Dad) came into my office and sat down in my big red chair and just listened as I poured out all of my frustrations. I told him how disappointed I was with so many components in the real estate industry. He handed me half his lunch and insisted that I eat it. I felt better. Of course, your family can be comforting when your stressed, but this was business and my partner had my back. I just sat there thinking, why don't other agents support each other more?
Later this afternoon I ended up calling a friend and top producer from another office. For the first time in a year she sounded tired and discouraged. I told her, "We just have to keep a positive attitude and keep doing what we love." She said, "I know, but it is so hard sometimes." I just wanted to reach through the phone and give her a hug. She is a fabulous agent and I look up to her. I realized I have never told her how talented she is and that I admire her as a competitor.
My new goal is to ensure I go the extra mile with empathy and patience, with not only my clients, but with my colleagues. No matter what the market, no matter what the economy, no matter what ~ we have each other! What is more valuable that people and relationships?