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My Heart May Be Two Sizes Too Small

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Every now and then, something strikes me absolutely the wrong way. Okay, maybe more than every now and then. Maybe more like every few minutes. Some things roll on by, some truly stick in my craw – and I mean, “private jets to Washington to beg for money” kind of annoying.

While I could be missing the point, I always had assumed that Inman’s Real Estate Connect conferences were geared in large part to real estate agents and brokers. I’m crazy that way. Put the words in the title and sure enough, I’ll think that’s the actual meaning.

Which is why I really confused by this almost certainly well-intentioned offer …

In the spirit of keeping our community strong, we want to extend a special opportunity to any industry professional that has recently lost their job to attend Connect and take advantage of this unique networking opportunity.

Clearly, this offer is meant for those who are connected to the real estate industry – just not on the sales side. Because those of us on the sales side don’t “lose” our jobs. We either opt to remain in business or to not remain in business. Unless the person in question is a part-timer who lost their gig working at Wendy’s that allowed them the financial freedom to list their cousin’s house in the MLS.

This strikes me as awfully similar to the “Slow Day Specials” I keep seeing at the local car wash. My own translation … “Business sucks, so we’ll knock $3 off the price if you’ll stop your car here.” Look around at the advertising these days and tell me how often you see that type of theme.

But back to Inman RE Connect.

Since real estate agents and brokers presumably are a large portion of the target audience, and since we don’t have the ability to lose our jobs and thus take advantage of this offer, maybe the folks at Inman ought to have some other, more real-estate specific, possibilities …

We understand it’s tough being a real estate agent. So if you’re one of the 400,000 members of the National Association of Realtors who did not and will not receive a commission check this year, we’re here to help.

That’s not a bad start. Maybe even throw in a line that says you’ll make up for the cost of the conference, the airfare and the reasonably priced NYC hotel room on the first transaction you close based on what you learn and the networking you do at Connect. Agents LOVE that line. Hell, we’ll buy almost anything when that kind of logic is presented to us.

It could just be that I’m cynical. Or maybe it’s that the sheer number of agents unable to put food on their families’ table has risen exponentially but, given the nature of commission sales, there’s no government bailout – or even an Inman discount – in sight for us 1099ers. “Can’t cut it? Go get a real job.”

Not that a real estate agent bailout is a good idea in any way, shape or form. Quite the opposite, at least for those who want to see higher standards and to see those who maintain those standards thrive with less of the onesy-twosy competition out there.

The barrier for entry is low. The watermark for survival is much, much higher.

In case anyone’s interested …

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Bob

    December 5, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Oh dude, I busted a gut on that one.

    If it will make you feel better, I’ll hire you for a week, then let you go.

  2. teresa boardman

    December 5, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Jonathan there is a misconception out there that the best and most professional agents will survive this and the lousy ones will leave. I am not finding that to be true. A new batch of specialists have cropped up. They work with banks, they don’t market homes, they don’t remove the sign when the sale is over, they don’t return phone calls and I just had one lie to me and her lies hurt my clients.

    Like the post, agree with what you are saying. Wondering how many agents will be eligible for food stamps.

  3. teresa boardman

    December 5, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Oh forgot to mention. No way is your heart too small dude. 🙂

  4. Jeff Bernheisel

    December 5, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Hey Jonathan,

    Jeff from Inman here…

    Normally I don’t comment on posts like this, but feel the need to clarify a couple things.

    You are correct in that this specific offer is geared a little more toward our industry partners. Our sponsors, our advertisers, marketing partners, etc. But, if you were an agent that was working for a brokerage that closed its doors, or downsized, or whatever, feel free to contact us and take us up on the offer. We know times are tough for a lot of people right now, and we’re doing everything we can to help. (See below:)

    You are not correct when you say that there is no Inman discount “or bailout” for 1099’ers. We’ve offered some pretty steep discounts through NAR, several Realtor associations, Point2, ActiveRain, and will even have a similar offer here on AG shortly as well. We’ve also held our pricing instead of raising it like we normally do.

    To say we’re not trying to help is laughable in my opinion and we would NEVER have the attitude of “can’t cut it?, get a real job”. You guys are OUR clients, and we will do everything in our power to help where we can. I’m sorry we can’t give away tickets to everyone that can’t afford to make it.

    But, realizing the importance of this event, people are finding a way to come.
    We have over 850 already registered for this event, which in my opinion will probably be the best and most important connect event we’ve ever held. I hope you can make it…

    Take care,
    Jeff
    Jeff.Bernheisel@inman.com

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    December 5, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Hey, Jeff … didn’t mean to imply that the “get a real job” was Inman’s attitude. I know that it isn’t. I put two separate thoughts too close together. My mistaje.

    But I do believe there are many, many others who do have that thought when it comes to us on the sales side of things.

    Incidentally, if you are an agent and your brokerage closes its doors, you simply move on the next one down the block. You have to, because there’s no such thing as unemployment benefits for us. If you’re not in the business because your brokerage closed, it’s because you made the decision to walk away.

    You also can’t be downsized, though it can be suggested that you move on if you don’t produce.

    I’ll unfortunately be missing this one … I have an appointment with a Mouse with the kids for the same cost. They’ve earned the reward for putting up with a dad in this business.

  6. Benn Rosales

    December 5, 2008 at 11:17 am

    @Jeff & Jonathan

    I can totally see both sides to what’s being said here, and something came to mind while I was reading.

    One thing that really hit home when I was at connect SF was just how big the profession as whole really was. I mean, ‘real estate’ as a business is vast, laterally and vertically- When unemployed or job hunting, one of the things you’re told is network and be out in front of as many people you know, your 40 hour work week is now job hunting. So imagine you’ve been laid off in the tech world, and could be open to the opportunity of working within the real estate world, inman would be an awesome place to be. I suspect the same to be true for builders looking to parter to avoid going out of business, brokers looking to merge in order to hold off bankruptcy, developers looking for investors to complete projects in limbo and on and on.

    But just so everyone knows, we all know most of the folks that makeup inman news, and I’m willing to give the bene of the doubt where their sincerity is concerned.

    I also on the other hand get what Jonathan is saying- it’s just a really crappy world for a lot of folks in a lot of places right now, period.

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers

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The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)

 

 

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Point & Purpose

What makes a top producer in real estate?

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What makes a top producer?

Stop and think for a few minutes about who the top producers are in your market?

Ok, now think about what they doing that has allowed them to continue to consistently produce in a down market, when everyday REALTORS are throwing in the towel.

Every day I scan the MLS to see, what has sold, what is active, and what went under contract (I assume that is something most agents do every day.)

Over and over again the same names pop up as the listing agent with the home that sold or the actual buying agent that sold the home.

Teams

Except for one agent in my area, all the top producers have teams. Now it may be a two person, husband and wife team or a well oiled team with a team leader, several assistants, a listing coordinator or a closing coordinator. But, they all have HELP.

In my area, the names that keep popping up are on Teams. I believe it is virtually impossible to be a top producer without help. Well, you could do it alone but if you do how is that effecting time with your family? Realistically how many transactions can you juggle and give good service?

Running a Business

The second thing I notice about those top producers is the fact that they treat their business like a business. Real Estate to them is not just selling a house, but something they brand, allocate resources for, grow and manage. Not only are they thinking of ways to grow their business but they also thinking of the future and how to sell it down the road.

I remember being told by a entrepreneur friend of mine years ago, “all businesses are built to be sold.”

Far to many REALTORS, think of Real Estate as a job they do and someday when they retire then all the hard work of creating and nurturing relationships they have built is gone. (I’m outta here)

Focused and Positive

One other observation I have observed with top producers is they are focused and positive. I never see them “hanging out at the office”, or attending broker opens, or really for that matter, serving much at all on their local boards. Oh there are a few, but really very few.

Finally, I don’t see many top producers in my market on Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue or other social media sites during the day. I don’t see them at every conference known to man around the country.

What I do see is they work everyday, on their business and in their business.

How ‘bout you?

Think of the top REALTORS in your market, what characteristics do you see?

Flickr Photo Credit

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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS

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I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)

PROOF OR GOOF, FRIENDS – I’M WATCHING EWE 🙂

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