The Realities of Today's Less-than-Vibrant Real Estate Market

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I've been thinking (and writing) a lot lately about the realities of today's real estate market. While I'd love to be all Rah-Rah and Positive and Enthusiastic and Optimistic, I just don't think such emotions are necessarily warranted in many parts of the country. I'm lucky to work in a market (Denver) where real estate IS moving - there ARE buyers; there ARE sellers and there IS money to be made by the real estate community. In fact, I've even played in a few bidding war games the last several months for retail properties (that is, not underpriced REO's).

But that doesn't mean I'm not worried or stressed, and so is everyone else I know whose livelihood depends on real estate closings. And I can't even imagine what it must be like to work in markets like Detroit, Tampa or Phoenix. Or, for that matter, to be a brand new, green bean rookie agent.

Fact is, it's tough out there. Not impossible, but tough.

Don't get me wrong, I think this will pass and that there will be a tremendous backlog of business unleashed upon the agents who are still around. The Good Old Days will very likely return to some degree, hopefully sooner than later. But the challenge is to still BE around six months, a year, two years from now when those days are here again.

So, in my own self-interest, I've been examining some of my pet teachings to see if they still apply "as written" in this less-than-vibrant economy. I'm willing to make some changes to my business model in response to changing market conditions. But what changes exactly?

That'll be the theme of this week's blogs! Stay tuned and Happy Monday!





Just Released!
The Seduction of Your SOI Starter Kit

Posted by

It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!










This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
RE/MAX Active Rain Bloggers
Real Estate Rookie
Selling Soulfully
Coaching-Personal Development
tough market
all blogs

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Jennifer, You know I love ya and I loved your book. How about this for your next title "From SOI to REO. How to evolve in today's market" Just a thought:)

Dec 08, 2008 08:48 AM #37
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

HA! Wouldn't that be a switch! Although I disagree that REO is the way to go at this point - too many people on that bandwagon! But speaking of SOI, these days are great days to nurture your SOI in anticipation of future better times. I really do think that those of us who hang in there will get a HUGE reward at the end!

Dean - some great stuff in your comment! When you talk about not spending time with water-testers - are you referring to buyers or sellers?

Linda - yeah, it's tough and I can't fix that - no one can. I've been thinking about this topic all day and am coming up with some interesting (in my mind anyway) ideas...

Dec 08, 2008 08:55 AM #38
Ray Cox
ERA Brokers Consolidated - Saint George, UT


Survival is the key.  I'm in a fairly hard hit market in St George Utah, and we've got agents dropping like flies.  Lots of second jobs, and lots of agents who are losing their homes.  I really hope to see a Southern Calif / Las Vegas recovery, as those are major feeder markets for people relocating to St George.

Dec 08, 2008 08:56 AM #39
Bethany Phillips, MBA
Fredericksburg, VA

If more agents leave the business, the rest should work to capture that market share!

Dec 08, 2008 08:56 AM #40
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


I'm sorry but I don't agree that things will go back to the good old days. Should that happen it would mean no one learned diddlee from this mess. Changing the business models is exactly what needs to happen. What once worked, doesn't anymore. There is so much room for change in this business it's amazing. Those of us who are willing to make the changes will be the ones still here next year selling you a book :)


Dec 08, 2008 09:01 AM #41
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Now see BB had a book remark for you too. That's kinda why he and I have been together all our adult lives. We think alike :)


Dec 08, 2008 09:02 AM #42
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

TLW - Maybe the good old days won't return, but the good new days will... with different rules, customs and expectations. And hopefully, VASTLY different training methods! I'm so fed up with the focus on PROSPECT PROSPECT PROSPECT with barely a nod given to being exceptional managers of a real estate transaction - I'm hoping a refocus in this direction will be one of the fall-outs of the shake-up. Because frankly, if more real estate agents were actually trying to sell houses instead of get new business, houses would be selling. The inventory in my neighborhood is abysmal. I have REAL buyers and nothing decent to sell them. I blame the real estate community for that. But that's a different soapbox...

Dec 08, 2008 09:08 AM #43
Bill Brannon
Beach Bum Productions - Hilton Head Island, SC

Your post and the following comments I found to be very interesting.  Personally I am positive this is a great market to make money in if you are working with buyers, and sellers if you are pricing property correctly.  With so much inventory and prices the way they are, I am all but jumping up and down when I am in front of someone. 

Having done this since 1978, I can't remember anyone who was not looking for a deal.  It is no different now, only the deals are better and there are more of them.  I think the work ethic and habits of a good agent work in a market like this or any market.  However, you have see where the business is and focus on that.  Who in your area is making any money?  Where are their deals coming from?  It is not just luck.  They may be working harder, smarter, whatever, but they know where the money is being made and they have positioned themselves right in the middle of it.  If it is a listing agent, you can bet they know that price is king and their listings are the best priced values around, and they are the ones that are selling.  These folks know all the marketing dollars in the world will not sell an over priced listing and if it does not sell they do not get paid.  If it is a selling agent, they see all the deals out there and they have zeroed in on the best ones and they are telling everyone they know about them.  When this market turns, and I agree with you it will, they will be heroes to the people they got involved in something now. 

Is my attitude one of finding something positive in others misfortune?  I don't see it that way.  I see myself as realistic with my sellers that the market sucks from their standpoint and if they want to sell they are going to have to be price sensitive or else they will own the house 6 months from now and the odds are very good the price will be even lower.  If I am working with a buyer, I am a screaming lunatic of excitement on why they should take advantange of this market.  Like I said earlier, in a couple of years when the market turns, I will be a hero to people I help pick something up now.

Someone in an earler post mentioned re-tooling.   I think you have to re-tool occasionally, but don't change the things that got you here.  Don't re-tool the service, follow up, attention to detail, etc., but do re-tool your thinking as to where the business is and jump in feet first.  It's not like you have anything to lose. 

Good post, look forward to more. 

Dec 08, 2008 09:28 AM #44
Ron Spanton

Jennifer, here in Western Kentucky I specialize in waterfront property on Kentucky Lake and back in October I kept hearing from buyers, "we're going to wait to see what happens with the election". Then the bailouts started and I heard, "we're holding off", and now I'm hearing, "we're going to wait until the new President takes office".

As far as dollar sales are concerned I've have the best year of my real estate career, but as far as numbers of closings it's not so good. I think that indicates that vacation and retirement waterfront property holds it's value. And although we didn't get *hot* like other areas of the country as this market is more conservative, I'm also worried as to how far this is adjustment is going. I think waterfront property is always a good investment and I'm staying optimistic! Better now than ever!

Dec 08, 2008 09:36 AM #45
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Jennifer, good post, great comments! I too believe that we will come back with new lots of things. And that's ok. I, personally, am learning here at AR and am looking to expand my knowledge of internet marketing, SEO, twitter etc.

Dec 08, 2008 09:43 AM #46
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

It's starting to pick up here in the North Carolina area, but a lot of real estate agents are going out of business. I see a lot of inventory and I am ready, willing, and able to take any buyers that want to move here!!! I am ready for the "backlash"!! bring it on!! :-)

Dec 08, 2008 09:43 AM #47
Kris Kombrink ~ The Kombrink Team
RE/MAX Excels - Chicago's Western Suburbs - Geneva, IL

Jennifer, it is true the market isn't what it once was.  But this IS a time to remain positive if you really love this industry and what you do.  Find other means of income, cut your expenses and when the market comes back you'll be ready and better then before.

Dec 08, 2008 09:44 AM #48
Debbie Hutchins
Birmingham, AL

I sure hope that you are right1  I am ready for a tremendous backlog to fall on my shoulders!



Dec 08, 2008 10:20 AM #49
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jennifer stressing only makes things worst.  Enjoy what you have and don't buy into the doom and gloom that the media keeps on reporting.

Dec 08, 2008 11:25 AM #50
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

I am here in Detroit and I am surviving!  It's very tough but homes are selling and being bought. 

Dec 08, 2008 12:04 PM #51
Marc Rasmussen
DWELL Real Estate - Sarasota, FL
Sarasota Real Estate

I know how you feel Jennifer. It is tough to be positive when things are bad. Perserverence is the name of the game today.

Dec 08, 2008 01:04 PM #52
Monica Walters
Weichert, Realtors - Marlboro, NJ

Thanks for sharing, and more importantly thanks for being REAL! Looking forward to your next post!

Dec 08, 2008 02:15 PM #53
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Read Shift  by Gary Keller.  You will see that there is a direct correlation of the amount of potential commissions on the market and the number of agents at any given the top of the market and at the bottom of the market.  That is why it is actually easier to gain more market share at the bottom of the market.  i.e. This is your time to shine to dominate the market when all turns your fellow competitors are dropping like flies.

Dec 08, 2008 03:31 PM #54
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Jennifer- I too, like TLW, hope the good old days in that same way don't return.  Too much falsehood, too many bloated transactions, I saw them come right thru my door and to the closing table.  I shook my head, sometimes I turned the business away, in the end, I wondered if I really did enough.

Now we are all learning.  What I take away is that it is good that everyone is waking up.  It hurts but it's a big step in the right direction.  I choose to be positive, but that is what propels me to work smarter.  The alternative stinks.

Dec 08, 2008 11:57 PM #55
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

I think it will continue to be difficult for agents who depend on this business for their sole income but it is possible to make it through this tough time.  Looking forward to your posts...

Dec 09, 2008 12:03 AM #56
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
Ask me a question
Spam prevention