Top Tips for Realtors in 2010

Posted by: Carl Medford on January 3rd, 2010

I’ve seen many business plans in my day. Although I’m a great advocate for planning and setting goals, I believe there is something even more important. In fact, I believe that without this critical ingredient, no great game plan or strategic goals will get you where you want to go.

It’s adaptability.

This past year is a great case in point. Our team duly met prior to the year’s beginning to lay down the tracks new-year-2010-tipsfor the coming year’s business. Since we’ve historically focused on home listings, listings were at the heart of our discussions. We fine tuned our listing presentations and geared up to handle all the details that would come from an increase in listings.

Who knew that normal listings would go into the toilet because home sellers were afraid to compete with REOs and Short Sales?

Had we stuck with our game plan, we would have ignored the long queue of home buyers lining up at our door to cash in on record low prices, rock bottom interest rates and the first-time buyer tax credit. Our business would have slammed to a halt.

Bottom line: We quickly switched our focus and game plan. By reacting to the market and adapting, we ended up doing 2 ½ times the total business we’ve ever done in any previous year.

A great example is a football running back. The play is called in the huddle, the ball is snapped and the running back swings into motion. What if the planned hole in the line doesn’t materialize? The truly great backs are the ones who read the field, quickly adapt and make up a plan of their own. If the planned hole isn’t open where it’s supposed to be, they find one that is or make one of their own. They get “in front” of opposing players. It’s that split second ability to read and react that sets the great ones apart from the rest of the pack.

Hockey’s Wayne Gretzke was called “The Great One” – not because he was the fastest skater or best shot on the ice. It was because of his ability to read the flow of the game and think a few split seconds ahead. Due to his ability to read and adapt, he managed to always be in the right place at the right time. He consistently got “in front” of the puck.

To succeed in the current economy, you need to figure out how to read market trends and “get in front” of the market.

A number of years ago, Tom Peters coined the phrase, Ready-Fire-Aim. Although not a good philosophy for the space shuttle, for day-to-day businesses it means the ability to analyze the moment and respond accordingly. It means the capability of getting in front of the market no matter which direction the wind is blowing. Peter’s contention was that many companies suffered from paralysis-of-analysis prior to executing any new game plan or business strategy. He insisted that the truly great companies started new programs, then tweaked them as they went.

The current real estate market has been hardest on those who have been in business a long time. It’s totally different than any market we’ve ever seen before. Those just entering the business only know what they see right now and react accordingly. Those who’ve been around a long time are still trying to operate by the old rules and are baffled and stymied at every turn because nothing seems to work anymore.

Preparing for 2010, I’ve heard a lot of rhetoric from established real estate agents. Common themes have been, “We need to reestablish our geographic farms,” “We need to hold more Open Houses” and “We need to increase our coverage in the local newspapers.” Some have switched brokerages hoping to strike new fire in a different location.

News Flash: The successes of the future are not anchored in the methodologies of the past.

Just yesterday I submitted an offer to an agent of thirty something years who’s done next to no business in the past 12 months. His current listing has been on the market too long, is overpriced and going nowhere. They’ve had a number of offers, but the seller is holding out for full price. Since we’ve submitted so many offers this past year to REO agents who specifically tell us “Do Not Call,” we’ve developed the habit of emailing for property status and then submitting offers by email. Having been notified that the property was available, I emailed my offer to this agent and received a phone call from him about half an hour later. Instead of thanking me for the offer and telling me he was going to work on getting it accepted or working on a counter, he bawled be out for not calling prior to sending in the offer. I was dumbfounded. He then ranted that he didn’t like the apparent fact that the way of doing business has changed and he wants things to go back to the way it used to be.

Get over it. Adapt. Now is not the time to put your head in the sand and hope that when you pull it back out, everything will be like it used to be. Pollyanna platitudes will not prevail. We’re not in Kansas anymore. And, unlike Dorothy, we’re not going back, either. Since I was born in Kansas, I’d say that’s probably a good thing.

Looking to succeed it 2010? Learn to adapt. The real estate business is no longer like it used to be. Whether you like it or not simply doesn’t matter. What you do about it …




4 Comments on “Top Tips for Realtors in 2010”

Marissa Myers

Carl, I’m with you – and Tom Peters – 100%. Get a read on the market, start the new program and tweak it as you go. It won’t go off perfectly. You’ll have to make adjustments. I’m helping a broker shift gears and focus on buyers this year by rolling out a buyer lead generation system. Sometimes it feels like we’re running this thing by the seat of our pants. But better to take a few left turns, gun the engine and burn rubber than put your head in the sand.

Carl Medford

Marissa – totally agree – thanks! We’ve burned out the seats in all our pants …

Brad Officer

Marissa – seems I’m always re-adjusting my business plan to meet the market demands. My dad always says, “work what is closest to the money”.

Property Dealer

I agree…current real estate market is much different and difficult than before. So the people who have been in this business for long time are also facing problem. These tips are really helpful for the estate agents to deal with people. People, who want to buy property in India, can visit this site or call at 800-232-2343 or 0120-4338222 for any query or further detail about the various projects, price or location etc.

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