I am pretty sure that by now, there is not a single organism living and breathing in the United States that doesn't know the real estate market has shifted. The competition for qualified buyers and sellers has become greater as we wait for the law of equilibrium to kick in, to a point where the average number of closed transactions per year balances out. We are seeing drastic drops in agents staying in the business, and as a result not only are the wallets getting thinner of many associates, but many brokers are also feeling the purse strings tighten.
I am regularly visiting with agents and coaching them on re-margining their business, upshifting their lead generation activities, and being relentless on lead follow up. We believe it will take twice as many leads in order to close similar numbers of units in previous years. In order for you to survive and thrive in 2009 you need to be willing to be flexible enough to adapt your business practice in a fashion that will enable you to plow through these next few years and to come out on the other side with a smile on your face and the medal of survival proudly pinned to your lapel.
So it stands to reason that if you have to be flexible enough to adapt then your broker needs to be able to do the same. I have spoken in the last few weeks with several independent broker/owners who more than ever are trying to retool their business model in order to eek out a profit. It has become a time of lowering splits, or raising expenses, or decreasing amenities for many of them or they will suffer losses that may not allow them to stay in operation. Many agents are beginning to question the value they receive from their organization and are expecting more. It will be interesting to see what companies are left standing after the next 12-18 months.
This market is one where the swift to adapt will survive and grow, much like evolution in the environment this will force evolution within our industry. It is one that I welcome and I must say I feel incredibly blessed to be with an organization that embraces change, that listens to the heartbeat of the associates on the streets, and that strives to implement the changes required to help our associates survive and actually increase their market share during this down cycle. Because after all, it is just a cycle, but if we learn from history and don't simply sit on our laurels, we learn it is during adverse times that greatness develops!
Always Remember, There Are No Limits!