Are You An Order-Taker in 2014?

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I enjoyed today's Active Rain headliner - "I Have Multiple Offers, What Do I Do?" by Sherry Scales - very well-written and well-thunked out! But I also enjoyed reading through the comments most agreeing that yes, multiple offers are common and are, frankly, a bit of a pain in the backside. 

The blog reminded me of one I wrote back in 2011 toward the end of the Tough Times called "Were You An Order-Taker During the Boom? I wasn't!" where I vented a bit about how real estate agents at the time seemed to think that... well... you can read it below and see for yourself. 

But I'll go ahead and ask you here... in these more robust times, do you now consider yourself an Order-Taker now that the recession is a thing of the past? IS real estate so easy even a cave(wo)man can do it? 

I would love to hear your thoughts - especially those who have "enjoyed" both kinds of markets! 

"Were You An Order-Taker During the Boom? I Wasn't!" (originally posted December 15th, 2011)

Every once in awhile I hear or read something along the lines that those of us who worked in the real estate industry during boom years (or even stable ones) were simply "order-takers" who showed up to work most days and cashed juicy commission checks. That all we had to do was put a sign in a yard and voila! Perfect offers from well-qualified buyers poured in, we sorted thru them at our leisure, selected the most perfect one and scheduled the closing. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am and we were off to our next sign-in-a-yard installation and another easy payday.

Um. Well.

I don't know about you, but that's not how I remember it. I worked damn hard in the 1990's and early-to-mid 2000's to earn my paydays, while agents all around me were dropping out like flies - perhaps not in the numbers they're dropping out today, but certainly in the 80% and higher range. I had my share of difficult sellers and demanding buyers and remember, the flip side of a strong seller's market is the challenge of trying to even GET to a new listing to show it before it's under contract.

Was it "easier" to make a living in real estate back then than it is today? Yes, it was, absolutely it was. But it was never easy and the abysmal drop-out rates from the time attest to that.

What's my point? I dunno, really. Maybe to ask those within our own industry to stop publicly disparaging and disrespecting what we do. Maybe to assure those who were successful in years past that it wasn't just luck and good looks. Maybe to alert the agents who have entered the field during these tough years that when things improve, this business will continue to require hard work, creativity and a willingness and ability to deal with frustration and disappointment.

There's so much more to enjoying a successful real estate practice than simply being able to find clients to serve. And a heck of a lot more than just putting a sign in a yard. Don't insult yourself and your colleagues by implying anything else!

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Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Every market has its share of challenges and learning opportunities.  

I started my career during the boom, when it was a seller's market. So, what's wrong with that? Well, nothing, except I had no track record, so buyers were far easier to get than listings.  So, while there were advantages to working during that heady time, yeah, I had a ton of buyers, while navigating a seller's market. 

IMHO, it has never been an easy career, if you are dedicated to doing it well. 

Mar 21, 2014 07:16 AM #1
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     I have my own Sales stories about "The Boom" of the mid 2000's here in Florida, but the craziest one I ever saw was this:

     I was visiting my brother in Scottsdale (McCormick Ranch area).  We were driving into his neighborhood, he said "Hey Look!  A new For Sale sign went up since we left this morning... come see this."   

     There were half a dozen SUV's parked in front of the subject house; Real Estate agents (mostly women) were standing in the street talking on cell phones while waving their arms frantically.  I don't recall the price, but I remember my brother saying it would sell for $100,000 over List Price before the day was over... and it did!  

Mar 21, 2014 10:45 AM #2
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Susan - I love that concept - this job is NEVER easy if you're doing it RIGHT!

Fred - Wow - that's crazy... I've worked in boom markets, but never one quite like that!

Mar 21, 2014 08:26 PM #3
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Real Estate has always been hard. When the times are good everyone and their dog gets a licenses and the easy pickings are picked!

During th ehard times, well, it is hard! The idiots drop out, but there isn't a lot of buyers/sellers left. It is still a fight for every bit of business.

Mar 22, 2014 12:03 AM #4
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Those who claim Real Estate is easy never got out of the Builders model to look for clients.   These were also some of the first to fall.

Mar 22, 2014 08:28 AM #5
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

It all runs in cycles.  I remembers plenty of deals in 2007 and 2008 where you could not give a house away.  Prices were dropping $5,000 or more per month some times. 

Mar 23, 2014 09:59 AM #6
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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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