We have been in the business for 5 years, and got in at the tail end of the huge surge of the market. By the time we built out our client base, we hit the 2005 stall, and then the downturn of the market. We were first a little apprehensive about staying in Real Estate. Especially, as we saw a lot of the more experienced agents looking to take 8-5 jobs to make ends meet. My wife an I have struggled to make ends meet for a while until everything kind of came together from all different areas of experience.
Both my wife and I studied martial arts and grew up in the generation with Bruce Lee as the martial arts icon. The one thing that hit home during this time was his statement " Be like water. Water can fit into any container" This reminded me that instead of fearing and fighting the market that we should see how we could fit into it.
I also remember a graduate marketing course. The professor asked us if we had a product, then who should we try to sell it to. Answers came abound - Manufacturers, Retailers, Europe...you name it and it was thrown out. He stopped us after 5 minutes of everyone campaigning for their suggestion. He said something so simple it blew us away - "Do not waste your time trying to sell to everyone - you sell to the people who are buying your product". This came at a great time for us since we were spending $1000 a month in mailers. We were spending 4 hours a day door-knocking....all pretty much wasted. We then stopped to asked the question- "Who is buying right now, and how can we simply just target them?" This cut our budget down to $200 a month, no door knocking, and no outbound calls.
The last piece came from my studies in Investing in the stock market. I took some classes on how to make money in any market. They taught us is that if we could identify the direction of the market, Up-down-sideways - that we could make money in the market. They also taught us that money is made faster in a DOWN market...think about this - Prices rise slower than they fall. So if we can see prices dropping - how can we capitalize on that to make money faster.
We continually look at the market to see if their is a change of direction. For example, what is happening right now. We have a historical number of foreclosures on the market. Banks are giving out deals all day long. So simply we need to focus on those buyers that are looking for deals!! Isn't that everyone???? Who does not want a deal.
Here is another thought: Where are all these people going to live who have lost their home. These are not bad people - they simply were not educated properly on the loan that they were getting. So while the could afford to make a $2000/monthly payment, when it adjusted it they simply could not afford $3500. So what if we could find those buyers who were capable of buying right now, and advised them to buy Income properties. To buy units or SFRs at a discount and provide housing for these unfortunate displaced homewonwers. We know the affected credit will limit their ability to rent. Making a $2000 payment is not out of reach for them.....could we then provide a SOLUTION that work for everyone- and for doing so - we are able to increase our income.
These are some ways that we have been able to survive this market. Like we said before, the way to make it through it to adapt quickly to the market, and identify who is buying or selling - so you can make your advertising efforts payoff!! Good luck everyone - may this be a prosperous year for all of us!!