How to Thrive in a Challenging Market - Part 1. Perspective

Mortgage and Lending with Chartwell Mortgage Corporation

Man with BinocularsIsn't  it striking how every morning as you wake up to the morning news all you hear is how bad the real estate market is, or how the sub-prime mortgage melt-down has cost yet another CEO to bite the dust, or how the equity crunch is solely to blame for the woes of the economy. My advice is to start your day with positive personal development and forget about watching the morning news; you will approach your day with a much more proactive "can do" attitude.

 I want to share with you three golden nuggets that I picked up from one of the premiere real estate sales trainers in the country. Consider this, the person that shared these three key ideas recently lost his home, cars and most of personal pocessions in the San Diego wildfires yet he has ability to stay focused on the big picture - amazing. I hope that you will find these tips helpful in your pursuit of excellence in a challenging market.

#1. Perspective

To place our market environment into proper perspective you must know the numbers; your personal historical production numbers, the historical numbers for your immediate market and the historical numbers for the broader national market. If you have been a real estate agent for less than eight years, you only know how to function in a growing real estate market, let me say that again; if you have been a real estate agent for less than eight years, you only know how to function in a growing real estate market.

The 2007 real estate numbers will come in as the 4th best market based number of transactions closed since 1952, it may not feel like it but those are the facts. Here are the numbers based on sales closed by year: 1988 3.5 million; 1991 3.1 million (-10% lowest in 20 years); 1998 4.2 million (start of the boom); 2002 4.6 million; 2004 5.7 million, 2005 7.1 million (speculative buying begins as 40% are non-owner occupied transactions); 2006 6.4 million; 2007 5.5 million estimated.

Consider these facts in the wake of the overly hyped media view of foreclosures: 1.) In the US 30% of all homes are free and clear of mortgage debt. 2.) The total US mortgage market is 9.9 trillion Dollars of which 75 billion is sub-prime debt or .0075% of the total market.

Having the proper perspective will allow you to avoid being stricken with "market apathy," in your business and allow you to thrive as many of your competitors flounder. By having the proper perspective your buyers and sellers will view you as the expert and as someone capable of offering viable solutions to satisfy their objectives. If you have not developed the proper perspective it will be impossible to translate perspective to your clients.

So what do you need to know about your market?

  1. Number of active listings 2006 compared to 2007 (month to month)
  2. Average listed price 2006 compared to 2007  (month by month)
  3. Average sales price 2006 compared to 2007 (month by month)
  4. Average sales price 2006 compared to 2007 (calculate listed to sale price ratio)
  5. Average 30 year Freddie Mac interest rate 2006 compared to 2007 (present month)

Once you have the market numbers, develop your personal numbers and commit them to memory. If you know your numbers you can control your emotions.

  1. Average sales price
  2. Average commission (both dollar amount and percentage)
  3. Average monthly expenses

Having the proper perspective will allow you to settle your client's fears with facts allowing them to gain perspective as a buyer or seller. Part 2 will cover "Patience," which is an essential ingredient of success in a challenging market.

Contact James A. Holmes, CMPS, CML, Director of Private Mortgage Banking, Cherry Creek Mortgage Company or by calling me Toll Free at 888-850-6100 or email at:

Comments (7)

Ray Sherman


Thanks James - I'm passing this to the ALC tomorrow and at Sales meeting next Wednesday.

Nov 12, 2007 10:47 PM
Sharon Harris
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Hanover, PA
Thanks I am going to figure out what the market here in Hanover PA is doing . Sharon Harris
Nov 12, 2007 10:54 PM
James Holmes
Chartwell Mortgage Corporation - Denver, CO

Ray - Thank you for your comment and for sharing this with others. Part 2 will appear later this week.


Nov 13, 2007 12:06 PM
James Holmes
Chartwell Mortgage Corporation - Denver, CO

Sharon - Thank you for reading my blog. I think you will find knowing the numbers is a powerful tool.

Best wishes,


Nov 13, 2007 12:08 PM
Jim Peterson
Ok - I made it here looking for UFirst and am embarrased that I can't seem to find it - ???
Nov 28, 2007 07:40 AM
Kelly St. Germain

Hi James.  Your post was picked up by BlogRush!  BlogRush updates it's featured posts rapidly so in case you missed your feature,  I took a quick snag of it.  Congratulations! I can't seem to find a way to add a picture in this comment section so I will email it directly to you should you want to promote it in some way.


Dec 04, 2007 04:39 AM
James Holmes
Chartwell Mortgage Corporation - Denver, CO

Kelly - First of all thank you for sharing the BlogRush feature link with me. I missed that and I am honored and thrilled that my blog post has provided value for others. The fact that you would invest the time to send me an email means allot and I appreciate it.

Secondly, I invested some time to view your website and I would like to speak with you at some point to discuss what I am doing with my websites with the thought that we might be able to work together. I think your expertise could prove very useful for us.

Best wishes for your continued success!


Dec 04, 2007 09:10 AM