I had an interesting conversation with a lady from a title company yesterday. I'm glad to say it wasn't the title company I typically use. Actually, I'm not even referring to the conversation part of it but what came out of the mouth of the lady to whom I was speaking. She said something about the fact that they use a wonderful transaction management system and here was my username and password, since we are in the middle of a transaction together. Then, she said they use it, (not to make everyone's job easier to check the status of the transaction, which is what it typically is used for! but--) to make it easier to get in contact with the real estate agents because:
"It's such a bad market right now, all of YOU agents are getting day jobs and can only be reached at night after those other jobs!" She went on after that but I blanked it out due to shock. WHAT?! I have a day job b/c I can't cut it in selling real estate?! That's news to me. ALL of the agents in my office are getting real jobs? Yes, some are getting part-time jobs but certainly not all. I'm sure it's a similar situation in other real estate offices. However, I take a real issue with the statement that ALL of us real estate agents (and other industry professionals) are having to look elsewhere for gainful employment.
Yes, I know the market is a little tough right now. Some people made poor choices 2-5 years ago and overpaid for their properties and/or got adjustable-rate mortgages that they cannot now afford, sending them to a speedy pre-foreclosure once those rates adjust. There is also an oversupply of properties right now, making the prices go down in many areas (not all, just many, areas). But the market is simply that--the market--and there are a lot of GREAT opportunities in the market right now. I also am privy to the fact that mortgages got a little harder to get at the beginning of this year but--guess what?!--lenders are simply asking for people to have 1. a secure job 2. a decent credit score (sometimes Borrowers don't have to--there are always exceptions) 3. the ability to pay back the huge debt they are incurring (NO, homes are NOT assets to people with mortgages--they are liabilities to the Borrower and assets to the BANK) and 4. unless you have a large down payment, say 10-20% for a loan you can obtain with little or no proof--no documents-- then the Borrower will actually have to provide bank statements, etc.--Proof--that they make what they say they make. Yep, the lender wants to make sure the Borrower is the real deal with the real income so they can actually afford to pay a mortgage for the house. So, it's not so much that the loans got harder to get--it's just that they are not as stupidly easy to get as they once were. I'm also understanding of the fact that title companies are either closing or downsizing but that's happening in most aspects of the real estate industry. It goes back to the 80/20 rule, which is probably more like the 95/5 rule.
Oh, back to the blanket statement that we can't make ends meet with real estate:
Are you finding it so very difficult to prospect and keep just a full-time real estate career going? Now, I have had the experience that I'm prospecting 2- and 3-times as much to find people who are ready/willing/able to move and who can afford me. Some people say that they want to list their property at X price b/c they "need" to, regardless of the market. I am having to tell them the truth--that they property will NOT sell at an inflated price--and mostly passing on those properties. Buyers are having a field day, both good and bad, with all the inventory, so I'm having to say, "No, we're NOT looking at Everything that's available in your price range, b/c then we'd be looking for another 2 years and your lease expires within 2-3 months..." But, even so, I'm finding people who need to move and are realistic about the "bad" market (I'm saying "bad" with tongue in cheek!) and who actually have equity in their properties. What experiences are YOU having in this market?