10 Ways to Stay Positive in a Difficult Real Estate Market

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Pro Realty
stay positiveI've been talking with a LOT of Top Sponsors within the EXIT Realty community lately and one thing is for certain... times are tough. While certain statistics about pending sales and home prices would have you thing that the market is on it's way back up, it just not the case for certain areas of the country. After some long talks and rousing conversation, here are my 10 Ways to Stay Positive in a Difficult Market.

1. Blame no one.

I've heard a lot of blame being passed around over the past year or so about whose fault it is that the bottom dropped out of the real estate market. It's everyone's fault. Period. Now move on and see what you can help do about it. Blaming congress, Fannie Mae, Realtors, Bankers, Title companies, Appraisers, Presidents, and so on really doesn't get us much of anywhere. While what happened<!--more--> certainly needs to be understood, it is not something we need to dwell on during tough times. Blame is a negative action with negative consequences promoting negative thinking. That's no way to stay positive.

2. Be Proactive.

If you're sitting around moping and considering going part-time or getting out of real estate, do something to step up your business. Being proactive creates impetus and positive thinking.

3. Focus on what works.

Trying out half-cocked ideas and unproven methods in a down market is, in general, a recipe for disappointment. Use proven and time tested strategies to forge ahead. Prospect for FSBOs and Expireds. Increase your Internet presence. Network socially, locally, and genuinely. These methods are used by successful Realtors day in and day out in good markets and bad.

4. Carve your niche.

If you're floating from buyers to sellers, foreclosures to luxury properties, and commercial to residential, you need to step back and ask yourself what you're doing. What are you good at? What do you know the most about? What brings you the most cash in the least amount of time? Now focus in on that niche and become the go-to expert.

5. Develop a game plan.

have a planOne of my favorite quotes from Admiral Painter in The Hunt for Red October, "Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan." So true. Neither should you. If you are running around at the beginning of this year without a solid, specific, written plan for your business this year, what the heck are you doing? How are you going to know what you should be doing? Nothing makes you feel better than knowing what you should do next.

6. Work smarter.

There's nothing more frustrating and soul crushing than working hard on a deal only to see it die on or before closing. Similarly frustrating are things like working on technology that is hard to use, marketing materials that don't get results, or wasting your time in any fashion whatsoever. Work smarter. Nothing makes you feel better about yourself and your job to see a commiserate result for work done. That probably means working less iffy deals. Pre-qualify your buyers. Go on listing appointments where the seller isn't tens of thousands of dollars underwater. Do things that get results instead of run you around town, waste gas, and try your patience.

7. When you're not working, don't work.

I have a difficult time with this one. As an entrepreneur (which all Realtors are) who owns your own business, it's very easy to bring work home with you. I'll be honest. I usually fall asleep with it, dream about it, and wake up with it. It drags me down and burns me out. I know most Realtors do the same thing. Find a way to separate yourself from work. Do something with your family. Get a hobby. Do something that gives your mind a break from the stresses of your work.

8. When your not playing, don't play.

I'm not sure if this is an actual statistic or if it's some kind of urban legend but I've heard that the average Realtor does one hour of work per day. One HOUR. The rest of that time is filled with 'busy work', water cooler chat, 'social networking browsing' and other similarly activities that make you no money. While you had a good chat at work today, are you going to feel good about yourself when you go home this evening? Certainly not. Set yourself daily goals the night before so that when you go to work you go to work.

9. Create a support system.

Family support is great. The support I'm talking about though is professional support. Now, I'm not just plugging The Exit Pro but we certainly are a form of support. Find a mentor you can lean on when things are tough. Use the Realtors in your office as sounding boards for ideas as well as frustrations. Hire a coach to help you learn to stay positive and be productive. Create some form of support system whether it's one person or activity, or something more formal.

10. Take pride in your work.

Have you ever seen "What Not to Wear" on TLC? The way your dress has a profound effect on your attitude and possibly even your level of success. Dress like a professional. Do everything you do to the best of your ability. There's nothing more positive and productive for the mind than doing a good job and being proud of what you've done. I hope you use these ten ideas for positivity in your business when times are tough. All of these Things embody what we try to do at The Exit Pro and what we are trying to help our members do. What other things can all of us do to stay positive? You can find the original article and many more at TheExitPro.com.
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Comments (6)

Joe Hansen
Joe Mortgage - Precision Mortgage Inc. - Phoenix, AZ
Joe Mortgage Team

That is a great top 10.

Mar 09, 2010 01:40 AM
Joe Cuchiara
Higher Ground Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO

Ben, great counsel! I especially like number 1 and number 8... see ya I have to get back to work!

Mar 09, 2010 01:42 AM
Pam Turner, REALTOR®, e-PRO®, SFR
Century 21 Belk Realtors Dalton GA - Dalton, GA

You're right, times are STILL tough - they've been tough for a while and we're not out of it yet. It's always great to get some positive inspiration, though - we just have to regroup every day!

Mar 09, 2010 01:42 AM
Betsy Schuman Dodek
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate - Potomac, MD

Positivity breeds positivity!!! Good post!

Mar 09, 2010 02:05 AM
Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

Excellent subject matter. Excellent presentation. I hope to meet you in the course of business some day.

May 30, 2010 06:42 AM
Mary Hillerman
Crye-Leike Realtors® - Bentonville, AR

Hey Ben, Great information! This is going to be a great year!  Hope to see you at the closing table!

Apr 24, 2011 02:49 PM