The Facebook post caught my attention. It said,
"I heard today of 3 top real estate agents in Tulsa who gave in to our difficult market and quit real estate. It saddened me that they couldn't work through the hard times. No matter how upbeat I am on here, I am feeling the very same hard times as the majority of you."
It was written by Bonnie Baker, a nice lady who owns "Real Estate Essentials," a store in Tulsa that carries signs and other items for Real Estate folks.
I was surprised when I read Bonnie's Facebook post because Tulsa has been a relatively strong market, even through the downturn. This year though, it has been rough. After the tax credit expired, someone hit the "off" button on the Tulsa market. Things got scarey quiet for a while. They've picked up some, but not like they should have.
When I first entered Real Estate, selling houses was like getting in a sleek, powerful sports car and zipping around the track at over 100 miles per hour. It was fun and it was exciting and it was pretty easy to do. And there were lots of people who wanted to take the ride with you! Today it is more like putting on heavy rubber boots and a heavy rubber coat every morning and then slogging through deep muddy marshlands. You will get to the other side, but it ain't gonna be very easy to do. And there aren't very many people who want to trudge through the muck and mud with you. And they tend to get grumpy and fussy when you tell them what it is going to take to get to the other side. And all the other people who are out in the muddy bog who are trying to get to the other side are really grumpy too...at least for the most part. I guess it isn't any surprise that many Realtors will throw in the towel and say, "Forget it! It's too hard and too expensive in a down market!"
I could give you a pep talk right about now about how, if you stay the course and persevere, that you'll be well positioned when the market turns. And I could encourage you to retool your marketing plan and to go back to the basics, etc. I could do a lot of things like that, but I'm not going to because many already have. And besides, you already know all that stuff.
What I will say is this. A down market is a an excellent opportunity to evalute your Real Estate career. Is Real Estate really what you want to be doing with your life? Is it your passion? Do you still wake up each morning excited about what the day might hold?
That, I believe, is where we have to focus our attention in this kind of a market. If we're in, then let us be in...muddy boots and torn rain coat and all. But if we think we may want out, then that's okay too.
But if we want out, what will we do then? I heard that there are mud holes all over the place with people struggling to get through them.
Something to think about.
Race car photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estoril/2662909055/
Muddy boots photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aunto/3483044414/