Real Estate...It is What It is...Or is It?

Real Estate Agent with | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

Technology or BUST!

Real Estate...It is What It is...Or is It?

Most folks in the real estate business have realized over the past 3 years that our business isn't what it used to be--the rules have changed and so have our individual business strategies.  Those who are 'in-the-know' realize that in this everchanging real estate climate, we must no longer just 'keep up with the Joneses' but, rather stay at least a step ahead.

In recent weeks, my listing activity has picked up considerably--not so much in sales but, semi-serious buyers who are interested in getting that '50% off' deal that they've heard so much about.  Their agents bemoan the fact that they can't seem to locate those deals for these clients and we eventually get off track to the 'how's your business?' conversation.  I'm always surprised by so many agents saying things like, "Well, it's not what it used to be in '05!" or "I've certainly gotten alot of my own home projects accomplished these last two years!"


When I ask them what they're doing to survive, they seem to all have the same mindset, "It is what it is!"  They truly feel that there's nothing that they can do about their own business; their company is going down the tubes and they're cleaning out their garage and painting their windows, adding on a screened porch and the like!  They're perfectly comfortable in the 'It is what it is' mindset.

Business and technologyI truly don't mean to imply that I don't respect these agents at all; some of them are favorite agents with whom I've worked in the past and they just don't have any earthly idea how to get their businesses going again.  They're not in 'research mode!'  Of course, many of them aren't using the internet as most ActiveRain members are but, what is so surprising to me is that they've basically put their businesses on standby for a few years.

During their time on standby, lending has changed, the way we do business in general has even changed; many of us have become masters at short sales (or so we say!) and it seems that we're in a perpetual virtual classroom.  How could one possibly catch up in this dynamic, ever-evolving business and learning environment?  


Change...are you going with it?Recently spending a few days at the hospital with my hubby, I've not been able to spend the time taking webinars or reading NEARLY as many AR posts (which is where I often hear about some of our industry changes) and I ALREADY feel a little out-of-the-loop!  I cannot imagine playing catch-up after the changes during the last three years.  

I often wonder if other non-real estate business owners just allow their businesses to be on 'stand-by' for a few years.  I can't possibly imagine that a business owner would do just that.

Yes, in real estate...It is what it is...but, there's something very important that seems to have been forgotten:  The only constant is change in our business.

Are you rolling with punches or lagging behind, waiting for a return to normalcy?  If you're doing the latter, you may soon be lagging so far behind that you'll never catch up!


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  1. D B 01/25/2011 11:40 AM
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Kimberly Brandon
Smart Moves Real Estate - Venice, FL

I cannot see how some agents are supporting themselves and their families.  And I never have understood how someone could 'just do this part time"  You start everyday prospecting.  We all have our favorite methods.  Bottom line if you do it everyday - you will be successful.   Great blog - wishing much success!

Jan 25, 2011 10:36 PM #35
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Debe, I find myself working more than ever.  We remain pretty active and each transaction seems to have more headaches, problems, etc., so it's a chore for every deal.

Jan 25, 2011 11:12 PM #36
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

You are waking up a giant Debe.. I adapted just perfectly to this new market. .had a great 2009 and even better 2010.. please don't wake them up. .. I got 5 listing on January so far. .;)

Jan 25, 2011 11:44 PM #37
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Constant change seems to be the only clearly predicable matter in this business.


Jan 26, 2011 12:17 AM #38
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Hi Debe, I cringe when I hear from agents and sellers that they wish it was 2005. 2005 is gone. It will never come back. I think living in the past is the problem here.

All I know is that I'm busy as anything since November. Now that has been constant!

Jan 26, 2011 01:20 AM #39
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Debe, I was talking to a colleague yesterday about the market and have come to the conclusion that normalcy is the current market.

Jan 26, 2011 01:22 AM #40
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

The days of low hanging fruit are over. You have to scratch hard for the business now.

Jan 26, 2011 01:25 AM #41
Joshua Vensel
VENVISIO - Real Estate Photography - Atlanta, GA - Marietta, GA

Debe - Fantastic!  I've been wanting to write a post exactly about the phrase, "It is what it is."  What a give-up attitude!  It reminds me of "Who is John Galt?" from Atlas Shrugged.  I've heard "iiwis" utter countless times in the past 3-4 years, and I still remember the very first time I heard it.  It sounded so ridiculous to me because it's not, "it is what it is," rather, "it is what we make it!"

Jan 26, 2011 02:14 AM #42
Victoria Stankard
Get Found Now - Tampa Palms, FL

Hi Debe, Great post!

Jan 26, 2011 02:42 AM #43
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

If anyone is waiting around for "normal" they're going to be waiting a long time. The worlds ever changing around us and we better learn to grow and change with or like you said, we'll be left so far behind there may never be a chance to catch back up!

Jan 26, 2011 02:56 AM #44
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan - Morristown, NJ
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ


I couldn't agree with you more.  As a new member to AR, my initial research across my local area tells me that the overwhelming majority of agents simply do not take advantage of internet / social media marketing stratagies.  The few agents who are doing it are doing so at a low to mid-range level.  I truly believe this is an untapped niche market just waiting to be "worked". 

Jan 26, 2011 02:59 AM #45
David Selman
Selman Home Inspections, Inc. - Dallas, TX
Certified Master Home Inspector
I think it is way past time that we all realize that this market is most likely "the new normal".
Jan 26, 2011 03:00 AM #46
"Jayne" Focused on Finding the "Right" Home For You
Georgia Residential Realty, LLC - Smyrna, GA

Our team takes an approach that the market isn't what is it instead "it's what you make it". Just this past week we've picked up 3 pre-approved buyers as well as 2 listings. We have noticed that agents showing our listings want perfection and for pennies on the dollar. Most of our homeowners are just trying to get out of their home and hope to not have to bring money to the table, yet agents continually compare our listings to bank-owned homes & short sales. It's hard to get agents and some buyers to see the value of a home in a neighborhood that has been hit hard in terms of comps. As a team we live by the motto there is a buyer for everyone home, we just have to find them or in some cases find us!

Jan 26, 2011 05:03 AM #47
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Hi Roomie, I've been meaning to text or email to check on you and Ray! great post as always. Are you going to RETech South? how's Ray?

Jan 26, 2011 05:38 AM #48
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

This statement really caught my attention in your post: I cannot imagine playing catch-up after the changes during the last three years. 

It's sobering to reflect on the implications of that stance today.  And if one has not been actively engaged, even if there was a license hanging on some Broker's wall, it was for all intents and purposes a non-event with regards to being in the business.  Unfortunately, many agents who have this mind-set are experienced veterans and may not appreciate the fact that it will not be business as usual least not in the near future.  The yardstick and playing fields have shifted...big time.

Jan 26, 2011 01:03 PM #49
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Debe, I hope hubby is OK, you know I started in 2008, I have no idea what it used to be like "in the good old days"  Now, if I went back after 3 years to my old job would things be changed?  You bet! That's a lot of catching up to do!

Jan 28, 2011 03:34 PM #50
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Debe, Like anything, I believe you create your own life and success, provided you work to achieve it... 

Jan 28, 2011 08:36 PM #51
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Debe - Just checking in to see how Ray is doing.  Congrats on another Feature!

Jan 30, 2011 03:13 PM #52
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Debe - Just checking in to see how Ray is doing.  Congrats on another Feature!

Jan 30, 2011 03:13 PM #53
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thanks, Gail!  He's hanging in's been a long 16-day hospital stay but, hopefully we won't have much longer to go--they said that we only have 9 more days to go.  I'm ready to go home so, I KNOW he is!!  Thanks for asking!

And, thank everyone for your comments...I agree, it is what WE make it!  There are exceptions to the rule as far as sales go but, for 99% of us, we have to roll with the punches and make our adjustments to our businesses accordingly.  Sitting back waiting for something to change, isn't going to help propel our business upwards and onwards!

Have a great week everyone!

Jan 30, 2011 07:18 PM #54
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