Where Did All the Really Big Agents Go?

By
Real Estate Agent with Crye-Leike REALTORS® 165062

"When the going gets tough... the tough get going!"  I was at a company mixer the other evening in Atlanta, and was talking to some very successful agents that were in the Atlanta real estate market much longer than I have been!  It was interesting to talk with locals that have seen good and bad times and reflect on the industry and the changes we all saw!  It was more than reminisicng, we were taking stock of the current market and where it was going!  Recently we had a whole bunch of real estate offices close!  In the past it was entire companies that dissapeared! Nothing stays the same forever.  Companies like Merrill Lynch, Buckhead Brokers, Northside Realty to name just a few were a major part of the Atlanta real estate landscape and have disappeared into obscurity!  So too have many of the really big real estate agents, and their teams!  These were real estate names that were almost household words!  Through billboards, mailings, newspapers, and cold calling and classifieds everyone knew their names!  You know the ones that dominated everything!  At awards ceremonies they picked up every possible award, and left no trophy left to claim for the "Johnny come lately!"  The question is now, where are they and what happened to them?  Where are those superstars now?

High overhead, and top heavy marketing has claimed a lot of unsuspecting victims with big egos that did not see this downturn coming.  They kept spending like a sailor on a spree at shoreleave!  Some of the big names no one knows what happened to them, a few are no longer living, a few... have died of suicide!  The scary thing is that some of these were indeed very successful looking at least on the outside!   Now I think differently about them!  Oh and the one that everyone forgot about was the one big agent we all competed with - who is in jail for 10 years for fraud!  It is interesting to sometimes sit back and reflect and see that sometimes success is elusive, while for others that have a small operation, and watch their expenses are still doing OK.  They are making good money, and paying the bills.  The difference is that they left their egos at the door!  Longevity, and success are planned destinations in the life of a successful real estate agent!

Posted by

James Crawford ABR, Broker Associate

 

 

 

 

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Anonymous
Phil

If sales are down 50% and not forecasted to recoup anytime soon, then it stands to reason at least 50% of the real estate agent machine will disappear as well! Yes, those slow to adapt go the way of the dinosaur!

Just like newspaper RE classifieds... the RE slowdown and CL iare killing the newspapers as well!

How many of "todays" builders will be around in 3 years! Kind of scary! Too many want to continue to "build their way out of this problem"!

Jim, You can have the last laugh by offering some of the former high profile  superstars a position at your firm and telling them they will have to earn it to stay!

 

 

 

 

Apr 20, 2008 02:58 PM #34
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Frank Rubi Louisiana Real Estate-Homes for Sale   It is interesting, and it will be more interesting as this market unfolds.  There are normal dips and dry spells, this time it seems a lot deeper!  If I drive down a street in our area that was once dominated by very successful agents...the streets are now littered by agent names and company signs that I've never heard of!  Quite a change in a very short period of time!

Apr 20, 2008 03:12 PM #35
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Patty & Scott Carroll - RE/MAX, Vancouver WA  I do not think it is limited to any one area. The national Association of Realtors almost doubled the amount of agents in 6 years!  725K to almot 1.45 Million.

Apr 20, 2008 03:14 PM #36
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Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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MrMike Parker  We think alike!  I have pared expenses, finished education courses, embarked on several new Internet marketing ideas and more!  I work the North Atlanta suburbs!
Apr 20, 2008 03:18 PM #37
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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PHIL  The interesting thing about Independent subcontractors  we all do our own thing!  My thing is Internet marketing.  24/7/365 and not worrying about the price of a gallon of gas because I refer out a lot of our work!

Apr 20, 2008 03:23 PM #38
Rainmaker
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Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Nice post. I like your concept of 24/7/365 marketing. I have been thinking of refering out buyers who are not from close by.

 

Apr 20, 2008 11:27 PM #39
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Jim Crawford
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GITA BANTWAL, REALTOR BUCKS COUNTY, PA HOMES  The reality of the "24/7/365 marketing" is that there are not as many buyers out there in this current market.  The good news is that I have plugged up a lot of Internet marketing holes that existed!  I have very good web position, and poised to capture buyers on every search when the market starts to move again!

Apr 21, 2008 01:47 AM #40
Rainmaker
394,850
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS
Jim, I think a few of the "big" hitters, certainly  not all, are one hit wonders. They don't build relationships, which is what are business is all about. I've worked with a few top producers in my day that go in for the kill, and it's off to the  next one. If we have relationships with our clients, our jobs are so much easier. They seek us out, we don't have to seek out the business.  I agree with the 24/7/365 marketing on the internet! Print advertising is becoming a thing of the past in most areas.
Apr 21, 2008 03:09 AM #41
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Jim Crawford
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Huntsville, Alabama Real Estate Agent Elizabeth Ramsey Cooper   Elizabeth, you are so right it is just as you mentioned..."relationships with our clients"
Apr 21, 2008 05:27 AM #42
Rainmaker
593,482
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Jim,

I get calls from some of those biggies asking me what I'm doing to stay in the business....I already told you my secrets but I think what happend in they were used to selling those very expensive properties and spending all that money on the nicer luxury's in life...I guess they got spoiled because they can't wait for the big sale and have the other things they had that they are hiding from the repo man. My suggestion is take any deal you can such as rentals or little deals...at least they close and you can survive. The others were arrested for conducting business with the wrong people.

Apr 21, 2008 05:32 AM #43
Rainmaker
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Ken Tracy
Keller Williams Realty Infinity - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005

Hi Jim.  Interesting to see it affect the big guys, not just the wee little ones like me:)!

I liked your comment about us all doing things differently.  I like our flexibility to do things OUR way.

Ken

Apr 21, 2008 02:15 PM #44
Rainer
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Bart Whitmore
Keller Williams- Louisville - Louisville, KY
Real Estate Agent
Jim, thanks for a well thought out post, yes i agree that the superstars that are spending most of the money they make on advertising and self promotion may be in troubled waters--bart
Apr 21, 2008 02:36 PM #45
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Ken Tracy, RE/MAX - Naperville Illinois Real Estate It is like it say in the Bible...we all have our talents!
Apr 21, 2008 02:53 PM #46
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 BART WHITMORE REAL ESTATE CONSULTANT  I think that this current market has caught many off guard.  I have been writing about the market shift since 2004, and my seminars are about cost cutting, and net profits!
Apr 21, 2008 02:56 PM #47
Rainmaker
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Judy Greenberg
Coldwell Banker Long Grove - Buffalo Grove, IL
Coldwell Banker - Buffalo Grove - Long Grove Homes
Yes, I always say that hardwork pays off and that's what you need in this type of market! 
Apr 21, 2008 04:14 PM #48
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Judy Greenberg- Coldwell Banker Long Grove/ Buffalo Grove Real Estate  Hard work does pay off, we have to just remain patient!
Apr 21, 2008 04:19 PM #49
Rainer
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Iriana Shiyan
Artazum, LLC - Bellevue, WA
Atazum Seattle Real Estate Photography

Real Estate is like searching for gold in the 18th Century. People come in this profession without education, ethic and they expect to make lots of money. Wrong concept...

Apr 21, 2008 04:27 PM #50
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Irina Fernandez I totally agree! Yes they pay us big, but we earn every cent!
Apr 21, 2008 04:40 PM #51
Rainmaker
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Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
consistency, relationships and ethics will get you a long way - thanks for the reminder
Apr 21, 2008 05:57 PM #52
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Central Oregon Real Estate | Thesa Chambers, Broker  So true!  Some friends of mine that are excellent and very big are hurting, but because they have always run real estate like a business they are doing OK,a nd they will survive because they look at this practically.

Apr 22, 2008 02:29 AM #53
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