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Fight Your Way Out of the Doldrums

October 28 2011

Contributor Peter Toner of Web Real Estate Marketing shares this post:

money eyes

Have you seen this agent recently? Not necessarily greedy, in this current market they are more likely to be desperate

Really great real estate agents uphold the principles they live by – honesty, integrity and solid morals.

Working diligently for their clients, day in day out they provide a level of service that is unwavering even if they have demanding or difficult clients.

These experienced dedicated agents are part of the 10% that do 90% of the business.

On the other hand it’s true that some agents struggle because they are lazy, some are nasty, mean or even dishonest.

But it’s no wonder more agents are struggling when you examine these charts -


zillow chart

This chart represents the percentage of all homes in the US compared to major Metro markets that were sold in the past 12 months.

The results are pretty consistent, especially the past 2 years.

home sales

This chart tracks both new and existing home sales since 1999. Existing home sales peaked at over 700,000 units a month in 2005 and have been on a downward trend ever since (with the exception of the the tax incentives) – they barely manage 500,000 a month right now – interesting that is at 2000 levels.

realtor numbersThis chart shows how many US residents there are for each realtor. Annual population data from the US census versus the membership of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). (Not every agent is a member of NAR, but it is a pretty good proxy for the overall market.)  Graph was built by Kevin LisotaKevin Lisota

Between 2000 and 2006, the US population grew by 6% while the ranks of realtors grew by a whopping 77%!  Given the crash in the number of sales since 2005/2006 you would have expected the numbers of Reators to have dropped further considering sales volume.

So from the peak of 2005 we are loosing 200,000 units a month, or close to two and a half million a year in lost sales.

If you take the lost number of sales 240,000 per year, less maybe 30% fsbos’s which leaves 1.680,000 in lost sales and multiply by say 5%, with a median price of $200k the industry is missing $1,650,000,000,000 in commission income every year – no wonder Realtors all feel poorer!

So there are still too many real estate agents trying to capture the smaller and still decreasing number of actual sales.

These circumstances can bring out the worst in some agents – short of money and needing to put food on the table isn’t the best recipe for fiduciary duties to be performed.

What’s an agent to do?

Ask a close friend if you have the dreaded dollar signs in your eyes – it’s a sure sign that things need to change and fast.The immediate problem is that clients can smell fear, greed and desperation from a mile off.

You have options that you should explore but you must get busy making changes:

  • Find a mentor and change your mindset
  • Take a position with a successful team who can provide leads
  • Take a second job to help pay the bills
  • Build up your online presence – that’s where the eyeballs are
  • Get busy and take new skill courses – short sales, negotiating, prospecting etc
  • Sign up at your local college to train for a new career while you ride it out. You might even meet some new clients while you are there.

You must fight your way out of the doldrums

If none of these options work for you maybe your best bet is to get out of the industry now, maybe comeback later when things get better.

What advice would you give a struggling agent? Please feel free to share in the comments.

To view the original post, visit the Web Real Estate Marketing blogWeb Real Estate Marketing blog.