Services for Real Estate Pros with New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker

As part of the annual Swanepoel TRENDS Report that is published every year during the first week of February, the research team wraps their four month study of the real estate industry by announcing the top 10 Newsmakers, Events and Trendsetters for the year.

The second list to be released is the top 10 events that during 2008 had the largest impact and influence on the real estate brokerage industry. Events are defined as those occurrences that transpired during the previous calendar year (2008) that made headlines and captured the attention of the real estate industry.  The selection of these events was based upon their potential future impact on the industry rather than only their 2008 impact.

The Top 10 Events impacting Real Estate for 2008 are:

1.     The Bailout: September 17th

Most notably the one single event of the year was the announcement of the "Silver Bullet" designed to save the country from the subprime collapse itself and the failure/buyout of major Wall Street firms and national banks.  Depending upon how effectively the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's $700 billion is going to be allocated and managed it may prove to be the beginning of the turning point in the current economic recession.

2.     The Presidential Election

In one of the most competitive, contentious, divisive and yet historic political campaigns the country responded with the largest voter turnout in history to elect an African American, Barak Obama as president.  The "I have a dream" has taken a huge step toward fulfillment.  However, the new administration will have little time to reflect on victory as it faces serious economic challenges and a trillion dollar plus debt that will take years to resolve.

3.     In Memory Of: Countrywide, IndyMac, WAMU, Wachovia And Others

Barely one year ago in 2007 these companies were not only household names but were considered financial giants.  In one short year they have become a factoid of history.  Some filed for bankruptcy while others were acquired by the likes of Bank of America, the federal government, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.  2008 reminded us that nothing lasts forever and everything is replaceable.  

4.     Facing Foreclosure Frenzy

As a direct fallout of the subprime collapse, the foreclosure rate in the U.S. hit staggering levels in 2008.  At the opening of the third quarter foreclosures were up 25% over the previous October with a reported one in every 452 of the country's homes in foreclosure.  RealtyTrac reported last October that there was a sharp decline in foreclosure filings but it still estimated that by the end of 2008 there would be more than one million REOs on the books.

5. Home Prices Spiral Downward

The recession devastated many real estate markets across the country with the worst-performing towns and cities in places like central California, Miami and Las Vegas posting declines of 40% in 2008. The stranglehold on financing continued to drive home prices in many other places back to 2000 - 2002 levels, with predictions of continued declines in 2009 as unemployment reaches record highs and the financial meltdown spills over to other industries.

6.     NAR - DOJ Settlement

Finally the long and protracted 2½ year legal battle between NAR and the Department of Justice (DOJ) was put to rest as Judge Kennelly issued his final judgment in November.  In the end, NAR's longstanding Internet Data Exchange (IDX) policy was validated as NAR was deemed to have not admitted any liability or wrongdoing and no payments were made in conjunction with the settlement.  In addition, NAR has been cleared to reinstate an updated version of its Virtual Office Website (VOW) and the MLS has been preserved and strengthened in the process.  Now it's back to business.

7.     Brokers Go Bust

Changing names, merging, consolidating, filing bankruptcy and closing branches was on the order of the day throughout 2008 as literally thousands of real estate brokerages companies went out of business during 2008. This included many independents as well as franchises from just about every major brand including Century 21, EXIT and RE/MAX. Also filling for bankruptcy is national franchise Help-U-Sell and Web 2.0 newcomers such as Igglo. 2009 may see even more brokers closing up shop than 2008.

8.     Keeping It Short

Founded in 2006, Twitter moved into the mainstream this year as the next evolution in the social networking and micro-blogging environment.  By using short text-based posts (affectionately named "tweets"), staying in touch has been given a whole new meaning.  

9.     ActiveRain Explodes Past 100,000 Members

As we discussed in last year's report (Trend #1 - Two Worlds; One Industry) ActiveRain has moved to the head of the social networking line in the real estate industry.  With as many as 35,000 users logged on at the same time, no one else has even come close to reaching that many Realtors® at one time.  It goes without saying that ActiveRain has proven that social networking has made a home in real estate.

10. NAR Celebrates 100 Years

In May 1908, 120 men gathered in Chicago with the goal to "unite the real estate men of America." Today the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is America's largest trade association representing more than 1.2 million members. For 100 years, NAR and its members have established homeownership as a cornerstone of the American Dream and advocated private property rights as one of the fundamental principles that unite us as Americans. 2008 marked NAR's centennial birthday.

How many of these events impacted you or were/are you aware of?


Re-Blogged 16 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 12/17/2008 12:50 PM
  2. Ronnie Margolis 12/17/2008 12:58 PM
  3. Frank D'Angelo 12/17/2008 01:07 PM
  4. Gary McNinch 12/17/2008 01:23 PM
  5. Roland Woodworth 12/17/2008 01:29 PM
  6. Debbie DiFonzo 12/17/2008 01:52 PM
  7. Jon Washburn 12/17/2008 02:10 PM
  8. Jeannie Kontis 12/17/2008 02:17 PM
  9. Pippa Mac 12/17/2008 03:36 PM
  10. Isa Alwazzan 12/17/2008 09:31 PM
  11. Everard Korthals 12/18/2008 12:10 AM
  12. Ken Snyder 12/18/2008 03:08 AM
  13. Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton 12/18/2008 12:56 PM
  14. A. Keith Hebert 12/19/2008 06:48 PM
  15. Audrey June-Forshey 12/28/2008 03:09 PM
  16. Dana Devine 12/28/2008 06:30 PM
  17. Bo Kociuba & Buster Elliott 02/25/2009 02:17 PM
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Janet Guilbault,

Agree with your comment about lack of financing.  See underlined text from link submitted in comment above:

Then & now: Best & Worst of 2008 from the real estate consumer's perspective

...Resorting's list from different perspectives -- the Best and Worst of 2008 from the Professional's perspective versus Consumer's, and Best and Worst of 2008 from Buyer's perspective versus Seller's -- reveals additional insights. For example, the credit crisis does not appear on the list, but more stringent lending standards had a negative impact on buyers, sellers, and professionals which will extend beyond 2008.

With prices falling back to 2000-2002 levels, then and now retrospectives are another way to reveal trends. Home buyers and sellers, use these wiki links to recollect your own "Best and Worst of 2008" from the real estate consumer's perspective:

    * Consumers win some, lose some: 2002
    * Then vs Now wiki template for Best of 2008
    * Then vs Now wiki template for Worst of 2008

Comments are welcome on The Real Estate Cafe's blog and will be added to new wiki pages for the Best and Worst of 2008.


Dec 18, 2008 06:41 AM #51
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Great list.  It certainly is true that we live in interesting times.  I'm curious to see what 2009 brings. 

Dec 18, 2008 08:22 AM #52
Ron Tiller
Star Referral - Grand rapids MI - Grand Rapids, MI

Number 11 has to be the near demise of newspaper advertising for real estate. It has all but dried up in Grand Rapids Michigan

Dec 18, 2008 12:15 PM #53
Isaac Bensussen
Pacific Coast Real Estate Group - La Jolla, CA


Fabulous list. It is sad to think that some of these major events took place because of the greediness of many institutions and individuals that became extremely wealthy in the process, through cheating, deceiving and destroying our economy and have not paid for it yet and doubt that they will.

Isaac Bensussen- Best Homes in La Jolla


Dec 18, 2008 01:59 PM #54
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Wow I didn't know Bush was up for re-election though. Did we vote him out? The NAR - DOJ was just an illusion not worth mentioning and 100 years ( did anyone notice). 2008 will go done as the great rip off by the government and the great bail out by the government. But 50 years from now people will look at these headlines and think Oh Well, the government did it again but only bailed their self out.

Dec 18, 2008 02:38 PM #55
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Hmmm...If you didn't score perfectly on the "Did you Know..." above you should probably think hard about what you DO know....and that may/may not include real estate....Happy Holidays !

Dec 18, 2008 10:25 PM #56
Scott Guay
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty - Ocean Pines, MD
Associate Broker. Ocean City and Ocean Pines MD

Great list. Lots of major events in 2008.  What will 2009 bring?

Dec 18, 2008 10:40 PM #57
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

To all who were questioning the inclusion of NAR and their centennial anniversary here is some clarification.

The motivation is that very few organizations of any real substance have survived 100 years in real estate. That a pretty long time. Not only did the NAR survive but have they been the backbone of the real estate brokerage industry growing into one of the largest and most influential trade association is the US today.

NAR has many faults, and sure there is significant room for improvement. But without NAR, the real estate industry would not have achieved half of the successes they have. We owe a huge amount to organized real estate.

So their inclusion was more the culmination of all the many different and significant milestones over the last 100 years (Check on Association History on Real Estate Wiki).

Today NAR finds itself at a critical juncture in its existence and the direction they take going forward will have a major impact on all of us. I actually believe that the CEO, Dale Stinton, has with his second century initiatives, set NAR on a very exciting course for the next decade (details on what they are and what they mean to the industry in my 2009 Trends Report).

Stefan Swanepoel
Author: Swanepoel TRENDS Report

Dec 19, 2008 03:14 AM #58
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

Wow Stefan! Outstanding summary! I'm actually very happy about #6 and frightened perplexed by #8. Nonetheless, it has been a freakish year in our industry and the economy as a whole. Let's hope the world in '09 will settle down and we can all get back to business, find some stability and realize our dreams.

Dec 19, 2008 03:56 AM #59
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Those that make it through this will be on top when the market begins to flurish.  As you know real estate is local.  In Austin, we hit this wall in 2002-2005 while the east and west coasts were flurishing.  Most people that bought in 2000 have not recovered their purchase price...and then the market fall hit.  That is why we are put at the top of the radar screen for the quickest recovery as we had been hit way earlier than anyone else.  Thus, we are in a much better picture.  Foreclosures here are up 2.4% from last year.  So don't feel jealous when we take off first as we were crying why you were going to the bank every day. 

This is a great time to gain market share.  We have moved from 101 in the country with Keller Williams to 18 this year....yet our revenues are a tad down. That tells the picture of what is going on in the rest of the country.

Dec 19, 2008 04:25 AM #60
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

@ Tim

You are 100% right. A down market is the best time to gain market share.

Here's to everyone who plans on improving their market share in 2009!!!



Dec 21, 2008 03:16 AM #61
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

@ Monte

Sorry, I missed your request to republish the list. Sure youmay.

Happy holidays.



Dec 21, 2008 04:10 AM #62
Thanks for the invite to the blog!

You've always got great info, Stefan!

Darryl Baskin, Tulsa OK


Dec 21, 2008 06:07 AM #63
Phil Sexton
Phil Sexton - John Hall & Associates - Phoenix, AZ


Thanks for posting the link on twitter!  Without it, I might still be waiting for the book.  The most facinating part of twitter for me is that it has made live news interactive.  I sent a reporter a tweet during her report and she responded to me during the commercial break.  Unreal. Who would have thought you could have a conversation with a reporter on live TV from your couch?

I'm glad to see it made your list.

Dec 23, 2008 03:56 AM #64
Courtney Brown, Realtor (S) Vice President
Island Sotheby's International Realty - Lahaina, HI
Live a Maui Life!


Thank you for your posts, and concise explanations of real estate trends.  I heard you speak at the Pacific Rim Conference, and had the opportunity to learn more about Active Rain.  Sometimes living and working in Hawaii, I feel isolated from the real estate industry and, at times, events of national concern. 

These social networks have allowed me to keep up on trends, know what my clients are concerned about on the mainland, what events are impacting our industry, and learn new marketing techniques.  It has been invaluable.


Dec 23, 2008 08:03 AM #65
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

Fir this those who would like to get real estate trends updates via Twitter you can do so by following me now @Swanepoel

New Year everyone!


Dec 26, 2008 08:38 AM #66
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Thanks to Missy Caulk for the heads up on this post and you picked up a new subscriber. Excellent points and now I will need to spend some time going back through your blog. @thekencook

Dec 28, 2008 11:21 AM #67
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
Rochester, NY

Same here, thanks to Missy Caulk as well, I am also a new subscriber.  Like the list, thanks for letting us republish, will do as well with proper link back.  Thanks.  It's great you are on Active Rain.

Dec 28, 2008 11:13 PM #68
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

Welcome Ken and Miriam and thank you Missy for introducing them to the Rain.



Jan 04, 2009 03:12 PM #69
Everard Korthals
---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors--- - Lancaster, PA
Mountain Realty

UPDATE: added to the Top 20 - Top 100 Realtor Links Compendium

Again, thanks for your continuing contributions.  You are a great asset to realtors all over the world.

Feb 06, 2009 01:39 AM #70
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