C’mon, you can talk to me.
From the crazy hours and sandcastle pipelines to douchebag underwriters and incompetent colleagues to unappreciative prospects and just-above-vampires popularity, there’s plenty of reasons to not be a real estate agent. After all we have all picked a field where income can be volatile and anemic at the same time while the fluctuations in business require an astronaut’s stomach. Who does that, on purpose?
So I ask you again, why do you do it? Answer that not according to what the promotional brochure in your broker’s office says you should say. Answer it sincerely because in that honest answer is the response to many of your business woes and questions.While you ponder that, I’ll share mine.
The early days
I remember sitting in that waiting area, palms sweating, not knowing what to expect but having a feeling that this would be big for me. Which was extremely strange since I had zero clue about real estate. And I don’t mean, I was a little unclear about it. I had no idea. In communism, there was no private property hence no transfer thereof. But as I took my classes, got my license and started helping out on deals around the office, I was like a damn duck in the water.
Why do I do it?
Reason 1: I am a geek that loves people.
Real estate combines my need for numbers, technology and gadgets with the ability to help friends make smart decisions. If I had gone the path of my degree and become an accountant, I’d get plenty of numbers (and a visor) but very little “human” touch. Real estate was my golden medium.
Reason 2: Putting together a deal makes me happy.
I live for the idea that I can wake up in the morning, find a client, the perfect property for them, and put a great deal together from scratch. Weird? Maybe, but this is my list. 🙂
Reason 3: When great marketing works, it’s a thing of beauty.
A while back, I wrote Marketing Love Story about this very concept. Read it and you will understand.
Reason 4: Building a real estate business has been the most rewarding professional experience of my life.
I’ve loved every bit of the business building process: From designing a simple logo to rolling out a whole new marketing strategy. I have learned so much in the process and I’m a better, more complete professional today because of it.
The Why can be the answer to many of your business questions and knowing it clearly can lead you to the right path. As short as life is, living it miserably makes no sense. I find that people that work in areas they’re not passionate about, eventually end up burned out or miserable. Is real estate your true passion? If it is, share your why, if you don’t mind. But if you are only doing it for one of its by-products, trust me, it’s not worth it. When I read some real estate blogger’s posts, I get this distinct feeling that if the author was given a book deal, they’d drop their license tomorrow. If that’s you, set your sights on your true passion and pursue it. You are likely to be more successful and you will definitely be happier.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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