I am happy to say that for my birthday (Halloween yesterday) my present to myself is to plan on being more open minded and to think outside of the box for continued success in our industry. I am such a positive person and I see many of you are also, that I felt compelled to change my current path of thinking and gain insights from so many of you knowledgeable folks...
Here is an E-Mail we received from a Realtor in September 2007. It has since inspired me and I thought it may touch a few of you. I know their team is succeeding in this market as I attempt to do the same. I thought for my very first Blog/Post you can see how some Realtor/Loan Officer relationships are about working together and by no means are adversarial. We are all in this together and should work together no matter what...AGREED?
Here is the aforementioned (oooh, big nice word for the day) E-mail:
We are in the period of time right now in most markets that I refer to as the 'inba" period. This is short for "in-between". I have seen this occur 4 times now in my 18 years. This is the period of time between the low interest rate refinance cycle and before the housing market picks up steam. Generally we hit a period when the low interest-rate refinance/purchase cycle gives way to higher rates and an eventual economic slowdown. Then the mortgage rates start to come back down and the Fed lowers rates which then spurs the housing market and eventually the next wave of refinancing and new purchases. Those that can weather the temporary slowdown by adopting the following attitude will be the ones to reap the rewards. Do keep in mind that there is alot of mortgage business out there right now. Up to a trillion in mortgage loans that are set to adjust and people that need to refinance. There are also pockets of good Real Estate activity and people purchasing homes. I know a few Agents having record selling years. It is a smorgasbord out there for buyers/investors right now.
10 things you have to do to survive right now
1) You have to get and stay positive
You have to see the opportunities! You have to stay motivated now. You have to think good, clean, powerful thoughts. You have to stay away from negative people. You are going to see some pretty tough things happening in the real estate industry. An all out, and unified negative media blitz is underway on housing. YOU have to stay positive. It will continue for many months to come. You will see real estate companies biting the dust, merging, failing. YOU have to stay positive.
Tensions are running high. People are scared. Angry. Confused. Uncertain. Apprehensive. Your co-workers are, your Broker or Sales Manager would have to be clueless not to be chewing their nails a little right now too. YOU have to stay positive.
You will see massive job losses throughout the entire housing sector, from loggers to construction workers, to retailers, to finance, people are losing their jobs. YOU have to stay positive. How you get your motivation matters little to me, but now is the time to get back to it. And I cannot tell you how serious I am about this attitude thing. It is the foundation. Everything emits from it. YOU have to be positive every day, and that will take some concentration.
2) You have to get and stay focused
You can't just wander through the day, now you have to plan and execute. You have to break your physical work cycle and find a different, more effective process. You have to work on those things that further your goals and eliminate time wasting and meaningless activities and motions. You have to learn to say, "no!" You have to learn to keep your mind of "finishing" the transactions you're on and working on those transactions that have a high probability of closing in your pipeline.
3) You have to get and stay competitive
One of the things I have always kind of felt bad about in my career is that we are hired, literally, to help a company and its agents take business away from other companies and other agents. Companies don't hire us to continue to get what they have been getting, they hire us to get what they haven't been getting. And the only way-let me say that again in a more emphatic way-the ONLY WAY we can help them take business away from their competitors is to get them in a far more competitive mode. And if you're going to be successful in this business now, and in the near future, you need to really think this through. HOW are you going to be more compe titive? WHAT are you going to do that is different? All of them, all of the who, what, why, when, where and how have to be covered now. YOU have to be better in salable, identifiable, and meaningful ways.
4) You have to get and stay creative
You can't do more of what's not working. You have to think! You have to think about what the consumer wants. Not what you want. You will get what you want when you help enough other people get what they want. (Zig Ziglar). But none of that will happen in the old school way. You need new ways to do old jobs. It's just that simple my friend. You have to come up with a truly better way of doing business because your way isn't working.
5) You have to get and stay smart
You have to work with the "haves " now. You have no choice about this. You have to work with buyers who have down payments, and 700+ credit scores, and jobs. And if they don't, you have to walk. This is not the time to be a bleeding-heart, help everybody out, agent. You're in a tough market, you're going to have to toughen-up if you're going to be successful in it. That means rules, with few or no exceptions.
6) You have to get and stay picky
You have to take listings that will sell and walk away from those that won't. You have to find sellers who really want to sell, enough to cooperate with you in every way, and they have to live in a home that is salable, and that home has to be in the price ranges that are selling-or walk away. You're going to have to take better listings, not just more listings.
7) You have to get and stay involved
Now, buyers are nervous about the financial side of buying a house. Stop sending them to the lender first. Sit down with people, talk to them straight about finances, credit, down payments, monthly payments, assets, liabilities, income, debt, all of it. Then, based on your determination, send them to a lender who can help them. But stop saying to people, "have you seen a lender yet?" two minutes after you meet them. Work with people, solve their problems. You'll get paid.
8) You have to get and stay realistic
The market is going to be tough for a while, work harder and smarter. You are now as much in the finance business as you are the real estate business. If you need to learn more about finance, do so, now. In everything you do you have to ask yourself, "does this make sense?" The new, post credit crunch economy will require mostly that things make sense.
9) You have to get and stay visionary
This will fix itself eventually. And housing will become a stronger economic force with a more solid foundation, which will add up to even better things. There will be far fewer active agents you'll actually have to compete with, companies like Keller Williams, and now Prudential, will grow in terms of the number of licensees that call them home, but their structure is suicidal in this market. Smaller is the new bigger and Broker/Owners will have a very hard time making this paradigm shift, they are so stuck on "body count" - their vision has to change, or they will go under, that's all there is to it.
10) Most importantly, you have to get started
Enough of the dull-witted, ambiguous speculation as to why all this happened. Figuring out why your buyer can't get a loan won't earn you a commission. Now it's about working on what will work, and getting started. What has happened, has happened, now what are YOU going to do about it. You have to get started at least thinking about these things. Sorting them out, prioritizing them and getting rolling in the new real estate economy.
--End of e-mail
On a few notes it does seem a bit harsh, but we truly are being pounded from every possible angle right now. He is close when he mentioned a down payment and a 700 credit score. Yes there are the Flex 100's/My Community and Home Possible loans out there, but did you know that the monthly MI is about to NEARLY DOUBLE on those programs (some MI companies are starting 11/15/07 to nearly double the MI premiums). I live in Minnesota and this past August many new lending laws/practices were passed that I whole heartedly accept. The cream shall rise to the top!
I have what used to be a sphere of Realtors/Builders that I established excellent realtionships with over the years, but they are buying into the negativity of our surroundings right now. Remember how fun this business is? IT IS FUN! I love what I do and the people I work for. I will continue to do GREAT things for all folks that I come in contact with, I wish you to do the same.
Have an awesome day and thanks for stopping by----
***How's my first Blog? Do I get it? or do I need some remedial help here? Thanks for Looking and I am open to all of your thoughts***