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Opinion Editorials

It’s Not the Market Stupid, It’s You




I’ve been hearing a lot of stories lately, and I’ll tell you they aren’t very good.

“If I get one more low ball offer…”

“When will these ‘agents’ realize that they need to get serious with their offers.”

“Who do these people think they are? Trying to steal my seller’s house?”

Funny isn’t it how quickly we turn on each other in an attempt to make a buck? Well not funny – ha-ha, but funny, you know ironic.

When things were going well and we were tripping over the money – well other agents, I was still in that salaried job – things flowed like wine. Now the market is slow, and it is flowing like day-old concrete in the Texas sun. So what happened?

Is it really that the market slowed down?

I understand that making ends meet is harder than ever for real estate agents, but why is the first thing we abandon our ethics and morals? Unless of course we never had them to begin with.

“I refuse to change the way I operate,” an experienced and dear agent friend said to me this morning. “I’m not going to change me.”

Don’t think that means she isn’t doing well, in fact, she’s kicking some major butt in this market. Why? Because she’s true to herself and people respond to that.

So, keep in mind it might not be the market that’s so bad — it might just be you.

Photograph by Steve Woods and used via license of Stock.xchng

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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  1. Benn Rosales

    March 19, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Negativity breeds negativity.

  2. Toby Boyce

    March 19, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Amen Benn. You believe what you hear.

  3. Bill Lublin

    March 20, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Toby – Having been in the business through outher tough times I can only say you’re right on the money – and the most ironic part of this is that the good guys win over the long term – you don;t make more money doing the wrong thing, you make less over the long term – And people who have done this is tough times know that when you say you can’t do something you’re always right!
    Good Post!

  4. Daytona Beach Florida Rentals

    March 20, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Great Post and your right and this is what I like to call the seasoned realtor they know it’s part of the job ups and downs and have learned to do what it takes in any market to get the job done. People flock to them in any market because they are like the wise old owl for there wisdom.

  5. Real Estate Ponte Vedra

    March 20, 2008 at 6:24 am

    You have to believe in the ‘Law of Attraction’ and keep on going. Negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds sales!

  6. Aria Schoenfelt

    March 20, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Well put. Times are indeed challenging, but I have a positive outlook on things because I really hope that those agents who are out to make a quick buck will move on to other ventures (leaving only the truly good, ethical agents in the business). Then the business has a chance to redeem itself with honest agents providing good services. However, only the ones willing to adapt to changing times will stay at the top (where they belong). I am realistic, and I know that some will never leave the business for fear of trying new things. But I do think that there is a dying class of agents in a technologically evolving industry.

  7. Adrian Salgado

    March 20, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Amen, Real Estate Ponte Vedra.

    The law of attraction is very real.

  8. Heath Coker

    March 20, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Agents need to relax and not feel guilty about values. There is no one reason for the economy – except maybe the press’ decision to only report the gloomiest and doomiest. Agents who know their market use numbers to indicate value, not emotions. If they are up they are up, or if they are down they are down. Offers by buyers that are lower than expected are only offers and can be accepted or not. They aren’t personla attacks. And when someone who is caught with less value than they owe, Americans have been taught that there is someONE to blame when it is soMANY that affected it.
    Agents can still be “tripping over the money,” but there isn’t as much in each transaction as there was, and the deals aren’t as “easy” to put together.

  9. houses for sale in Toronto

    March 20, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Sometimes real estate agents are hurry to sell more houses. I agree with posted comment #8. It is not easy to be successful in house selling. But if you work hard and effectively, you may become lucky home realtor. The success comes with many years of experience. Lucrative houses for sale in Toronto is easy to sell because there is nice place to live in Canada. But real estate agents do not offer just lucrative houses to rich people. I think, the key to increase sold houses is to make good deals with your clients.

  10. Toby Boyce

    March 21, 2008 at 6:27 am

    Heath – I’m a little confused by your “not to worry about values” comment. Are you talking about housing values or moral values?

  11. Thomas Johnson

    March 21, 2008 at 8:35 am

    There are always homes selling. People need to move for various reasons. If you select clients that need your services as opposed to the house daytraders, there is business to be had. We have no control over the ultimate offer price and we have no control over listing price-that is what the client chooses with our counsel.

    If a buyer’s agent brings an offer, that is what their client hired them to do. We just need to do our job-represent our client, abide by the Code of Ethics, and do what they hired us to do. If the buyer/seller client doesn’t like the price, they are allowed to say no. Every body shakes hands and moves on. Thank you for considering this listing/offer.

    This is how we add value to the transaction. As Russell Shaw so eloquently puts it, people don’t hire agents-they want to buy or sell a house.

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Opinion Editorials

The truth about unemployment from someone who’s been through it

(EDITORIAL) Unemployment benefits aren’t what you thought they were. Here’s a first-hand experience and what you need to know.




Have I ever told you how I owed the government over two grand because of unemployment in 2019, and only just finished paying it back this year?

This isn’t exactly the forum for memoirs, but this is relevant to everyone. So I’ll tell y’all anyway.

It all started back in 2018 when I came into work early, microwaved my breakfast, poured coffee, and got pulled into a collaboration room to hear, “We love you and your work, April, but we’ve been bought out and you’re being laid off.”

It was kind of awkward carrying my stuff out to the car with that Jimmy Dean sandwich in my mouth.

More awkward still was the nine months of unemployment I went through afterwards. Between the fully clothed shower crying, the stream of job denial, catering to people who carried rocks in their nostrils at my part-time job (yes, ew, yes, really), and almost dying of no-health-insurance-itis, I learned a lot!

The bigger lesson though, came in the spring of the following year when I filed my taxes. I should back up for a moment and take the time to let those of you unfamiliar with unemployment in Texas in on a few things that aren’t common knowledge.

1: You’re only eligible if you were laid off. Not if you had quit. Not fired. Your former company can also choose to challenge your eligibility for benefits if they didn’t like your face on the way out. So the only way you’re 100% guaranteed to get paid in (what the state calls) “a timely manner”, is a completely amicable split.

2: Overpayments have to go back. Immediately. If there’s an error, like several thousand of Texans found out this week, the government needs that cash back before you can access any more. If you’re not watching your bank account to make sure you’re getting the exact same check each time and you have an overpayment, rest assured that mistake isn’t going to take long to correct. Unfortunately, if you spent that money unknowingly–thought you got an ‘in these uncertain times’ kinder and gentler adjustment and have 0 income, you have a problem. Tying into Coronavirus nonsense is point three!

3: There are no sick days. If ever you’re unable to work for any reason, be it a car accident, childbirth, horrible internal infection (see also no-health-insurance-itis), you are legally required to report it, and you will not be paid for any days you were incapacitated. Personally, my no-health-insurance-itis came with a bad fever and bedrest order that axed me out of my part time job AND killed my unemployment benefits for the week I spent getting my internal organs to like me again. But as it turned out, the payment denial came at the right time because–

4: Unemployment benefits are finite. Even if you choose to lie on your request forms about how hard you’re searching for work, coasting is ill-advised because once the number the state allots you runs out…it’s out. Don’t lie on your request forms, by the way. In my case, since I got cut from my part-time gig, I got a call from the Texas Workforce Commission about why my hours were short. I was able to point out where I’d reported my sickness to them and to my employer, so my unpaid week rolled over to a later request date. I continued to get paid right up until my hiring date which was also EXACTLY when my benefits ran out.

Unemployment isn’t a career, which is odd considering the fact that unemployment payments are qualified by the government as income.

Ergo, fact number five…

5: Your benefits? They’re taxed.

That’s right, you will be TAXED for not having a job.

The stereotype of the ‘lazy unemployment collector burdening society’ should be fading pretty quickly for the hitherto uninformed about now.

To bring it back to my story, I’d completely forgotten that when I filed for unemployment in the first place, I’d asked for my taxes NOT to be withheld from it–assuming that I wasn’t going to be searching for full time work for very long. I figured “Well, I’ll have a tax refund coming since I’ll get work again no problem, it’ll cancel out.”

Except, it was a problem. Because of the nine month situation.

I’d completely forgotten about it by the time I threw myself into my new job, but after doing my taxes, triple checking the laws and what I’d signed, it was clear. Somehow…despite being at my lowest point in life, I owed the highest amount in taxes, somewhere around the 2k mark.

Despite being based on a system that’s tied to how much income you were getting before, and all the frustrating “safeguards” put in place to keep payments as low and infrequent as possible, Uncle Sam still wants a bite out of the gas-station Hostess pie that is your unemployment check. And as I’m writing this, more and more people are finding that out.

I’d like to end this on a more positive note…so let’s say we’ve all been positively educated! That’s a net gain, surely.

Keep your heads up, and masked.

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Opinion Editorials

COVID-19 acts are unfortunately too short sighted

(BUSINESS NEWS) The biggest flaw in the CARES act is simply that it won’t last. Numerous issues have extended the life of COVID-19 but the act hasn’t matched it.



rev pay issues act

The CARES act gives an additional $600 weekly to those on unemployment assistance. The idea being that, combined with the $380 already granted by unemployment, the payments would roughly equal the wage of the average worker prior to the pandemic- about $1,000 weekly.

But on July 31st, the expansion that CARES provides will expire, and benefits will return to pre-pandemic amounts. Those currently receiving the maximum payment will see a 61% decrease in their income. In states that offer lower benefit payments, that percentage goes even higher. All of this comes during a national rental crisis, and moratoriums on evictions across the country are also nearing their ends or being extended last minute.

This isn’t the first or only “yuge” hole in the federal government’s COVID-19 safety net. Many Americans (this writer included) have seen neither hide nor hair of their promised stimulus checks. The HEROES act, which is being billed as a second round of stimulus money, remains under debate- as it has been for several weeks.

And the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires certain businesses to provide two weeks of paid leave to workers who may be sick (or caring for someone who is) has plenty of problems too, namely the laundry list of exceptions to it.

This is just the most recent push to return to the pre-virus economy before effective protective measures have been put in place for workers and consumers alike. After all, with cases of COVID-19 spiking again in the US, it’s apparent that the act is still absolutely necessary. Our lawmakers either lack patience, or compassion – take your pick. Frankly, I say it’s both.

Not only have countless health experts warned that reopening too early will be disastrous, but if a second lockdown is in our future, all of the time, money, and human lives that went into reopening will be wasted.

There is a silver lining among the storm clouds on the horizon. Because ballooning unemployment has created long wait times for benefit applicants, unemployment assistance programs are shelling out retroactive back payments to those deemed eligible.

Good news, at least, for laid off workers who have been waiting months to hear their fate.

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Opinion Editorials

Women-owned businesses make up 42% of all businesses – heck yeah!

(EDITORIAL) Women-owned businesses make a huge impact on the U.S economy. They make up 42% of all businesses, outpace the national growth rate by 50%, and hire billions of workers.



women-owned business

Women entrepreneurs make history in the U.S as female-owned businesses represent 42% of all businesses, while continuing to increase at DOUBLE the national growth rate!

Women are running the world, and we are here for it! The 2019 American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, states 13 million women are now self-employed entrepreneurs. From 2014 to 2019, women-owned businesses grew 21%. Think that’s impressive? Well, businesses owned by women of color grew 43% within the same timeframe, with a growth rate of 50%, and currently account for 50% of all women-owned businesses! Way to go! What this also means is that women employ over 2.4 million workers who together generate $422.5 billion in revenue.

What can we learn from these women that’ll help you achieve success in your businesses?

  1. Get informed: In a male-dominated business industry, women are often at a disadvantage and face multiple biases. So, know your stuff; study, research, and when you think you know it all…dig deeper!
  2. Stay hungry: Remember why you started this journey. Write down notes and reminders, goals, and inspirations, hang them up and keep them close.
  3. Ask for advice: Life is not meant to go through alone, so ask questions. Find a mentor and talk to people who have walked a similar path. Learning from them will only benefit your business.

Many of these women found ways to use their passion to drive their business. It may not be exactly what they thought it would be when they started out, but is it ever? Everyone has to start off small and rejection is part of the process. In fact, stories of rejection often serve as inspiration and encouragement to soon-to-be self starters.

Did you know J.K Rowling’s “Harry Potter” book was turned down TWELVE times? Seven books later with over 400 million copies sold, the Harry Potter brand is currently valued at over 15 billion. While you might not become a wizard-writing fantasy legend like J.K Rowling, you sure as heck can be successful. So go for it, and chase your dreams.

If you want to support women-owned businesses, start by scrolling through Facebook or doing some research to find women-owned businesses in your community. Then, support by buying or helping to promote their products. Small businesses, especially women-owned, black women-owned, and women of color-owned, are disproportionally affected by the current economic crisis ignited by a health pandemic. So if you can, shop small and support local. And remember, there’s a girl (or more) doing a happy dance when you checkout!

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