Watch an Inman Real Estate Connect video and by the end of it you will be ready to catch that falling knife and use it to cut your wrists. The glass half full people, including Dottie Herman, are stretching the positive aspects beyond the point where it's possible to suspend disbelief unless you have been asleep for the past few months. I wish it were not so, but for families struggling with reset mortgage payments, for traditional real estate brokerages that have high office overhead, even in an area that markets itself as a high end resort, the situation does not look like it's going to be painless. I am surrounded by people who are trying to make sense of the extraordinary dynamics of our times.
Add together the credit crunch, the social networking revolution, falling house prices, territory marking by traditional brokerages, ludicrous print advertising rates, not to mention the insurance crisis here on long island, and really, there is no point in even looking for any historical comparison. We are in unchartered waters using a new map of reality.
The smart money is on new ways of doing business. The smart consumer is working on their savings account, not spending money on coordinated bathroom towels. The smart seller is looking to save closing costs by only paying the agent for the services they use.
Having lived through several recessions on more than one continent, I already know that the way to make money in real estate in a recession is to go for the renovations - first, you need to have money in the bank off which to live for a while, then use the extra to buy while prices are down. Accumulating cash is the number one priority right now, for families and developers alike, everything else is secondary.