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60 Minutes’ Doom Story & Forward Movement

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Please welcome AG’s newest contributor, Linsey Planeta, Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey is a highly analytical real estate professional with an impressive coaching background and has a passion for improving the profession with each client and colleague she speaks or writes to, with and for. Linsey is the Founder of the “Why Didn’t My Home Sell?” site, helping consumers navigate the waters of the current economy. We are proud to have her here and look forward to the power of her unique voice.

Forward Motion Breakthrough

Looming foreclosure tsunami…

As the end of the year approaches at break-neck speed, I’m thinking about my plans for the coming year both personally and professionally.  It’s not easy to evaluate business plans for next year with so many uncertainties in the profession and in the economy as a whole.

Last Sunday my husband and I watched the now much discussed 60 minutes segment predicting the looming second tsunami of foreclosures.  Although I don’t always highly regard some of the reporting on this particular show, it was not good news and it got to me.  I vacillated between jumping off a cliff, drinking heavily, or going straight to bed – I went to bed.  It was the end of a long weekend.

  • I had shown a home in foreclosure that belonged to a colleague and friend in real estate
  • A client shared a ‘funny’ quote advising people to hold off buying – they could soon buy their broke Realtor/Stock Broker/Lender’s much nicer home for cheap
  • Two of my active buyers opted to rent – no question the right decision for both their circumstances
  • I showed 21 homes to 4 clients.  Only 3 of the 21 homes were not distress sales

Avoid the negative news?

Monday morning my husband chastised me for letting the piece get under my skin.  To be fair, I have to describe our personalities – he’s a dreamer and always a big thinker.  I’m a pragmatist or in other words – the bummer.  He dreams and I figure out the particulars.  In many ways, we are a wonderful complement to one another but it confuses him to see me work this kind of stuff over.  And after the weekend I had just been through, I was working it over.

I’ve read about Realtors that say they no longer tune into mainstream media to avoid the negativity.  I feel compelled to stay as informed as I can – my clients expect it from me.  In addition to that, avoiding the negativity on the news won’t protect me from witnessing people I care about lose their home.

Results of my catharsis

When I sat down at the computer Monday morning, it was time to get back to work.  I wrote a post on my blog about the 60 minutes report (which was rather cathartic), I followed up with my clients, and I thought about what might be in store for me in 2009.  Ironically, when I looked closely at the numbers, I have twice the amount of active clients in my pipeline today than I did this time last year.  I’ve cut my costs and increased my ROI.  My commitment is strong and the direction my business is heading in is one that I have never felt more sure of.

In the very early stages of my real estate career a great agent and soon good friend, shared with me, “If you show up for the business, the business will show up for you.”  I know he didn’t just mean hanging out in the office meetings or standing around the water cooler – but really showing up.  That has been true for me.  Whenever I fail to really ‘show up’, business has faltered.

As agents, we are surrounded by not just tough media stories, but often real-life stories in our own backyards.  Clearly, there can be excellent opportunities for our buyers in this market; there can be wonderful opportunities for agents in these times, but it often does take that extra commitment to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and get back to work despite some of the challenges.

For me, as a pragmatist, it’s about a creating a plan and a direction.  It’s about being honest about what’s working and what’s not.  It’s about getting back to work in spite of the ‘noise’.   It’s all about forward motion.   So what’s keeping you in forward motion?

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Jay Thompson

    December 26, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Welcome to AG Linsey! Great first post!

  2. Elaine Hanson

    December 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Way to go, Linsey! Glad to see you here on AG. Your pragmatism is a welcome tone to help interpret this market. I look forward to hearing your voice.

  3. BawldGuy

    December 26, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Lani and Benn never cease to amaze me in their ability to land quality people for AG.

  4. Bob

    December 26, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Lindsey,

    We work markets with similar characteristics, so I read your post with interest.

    I like the fact you haven’t elected to bury your head in the sand. Being uninformed about the world won’t change it, and in fact it keeps one from being able to contribute to positive change. That said, there is a threshold to how much one can handle before our perspective gets warped beyond repair, so how we deal with that info is important.

    I think that we will see that tsunami, but charging forward with a plan and a purpose is still the only viable option that allows us to focus and survive while the waves crash around us.

  5. Chris Shouse

    December 26, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Welcome to AG Lindsey I can tell you will do a wonderful job in motivating when we get down. I loved this post. I too felt way down by the 60 min. report which I also watched. Then I said to myself hey there are still too many unknown factors out there to say this prediction will ever come to pass. My glass will continue to be half full.

  6. Dale Chumbley

    December 26, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Linsey, Great job and welcome to AG! Keep your head up and focus on the positive and show up!

  7. Ken Brand

    December 26, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Welcome Linsey:-)

    I also walk in the gloomy shadows of doom-news and the sunshine of possibility.

    I watch the news so I know what others are hearing, seeing and feeling – the challenge is not be sucked into paralysis or semi depression.

    What keeps me moving forward – the thought that the more difficult it becomes the richer it will be for the survivors. Stay positive, realistic, visible and remarkable.

    All the best in 09″

  8. Vicki Lloyd

    December 26, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Hi Linsey –

    Congratulations on joining the AG group! I’ve enjoyed your writing on your other blogs and believe your “OC Real Estate Voice” will be appreciated here too!

  9. Katie Minkus

    December 26, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Aloha, Linsey. Mahalo (thank you) for your thought-provoking post! I am a Broker/Owner on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii and my market sounds very similar to yours, with equal doom and gloom regarding tourism and our local economy – not a spot of “good news” until 2010, “they” say. I’ve found that watching things like the 60 minutes piece really does send me over the edge as it affected you and honestly, I’ve found it’s better to simply not watch. It’s not a matter of burying my head in the sand, I still get ALL the news – especially bad news – I could ever want simply by following the blogs and social networks that are a part of my daily routine. I have found I sleep better at night and have a much more refreshing attitude when dealing with my clients if I do everything possible to stay positive despite the circumstances. My glass too will continue to be half-full and I look forward to reading your future blogs. Warm aloha, Katie Minkus, R(B). It Takes Courage to Live on a Rock!

  10. Bridget Magnus

    December 26, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    You found 3 non-distressed properties? Good for you!

    Seriously, here in Vegas we have roughly 1/3 REO, 1/3 Short Sales, and 1/3 private sellers. Somehow I almost never get to show those privately owned non-short sale homes. I have not tried to run the numbers to see how many of these private sellers are in fact investors who bought the property as an REO or Short 6 months ago! I am guessing it is a non-trivial percentage.

    I can’t speak for all markets, but locally we’ve turner the corner and are treading water. I suspect it’s the dark before dawn in a lot of other markets, even if some places are just barely starting to see problems. If you would like a great contrary view of why 2009 will be better for all of us than 2008, check this item: reason one is that the NAR says it will be awful after years of parroting”it’s a great time to buy a house.”

  11. Karen Highland

    December 26, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Linsey,
    Like you, I feel its important to keep up with the news, for my clients, and interpret as best as I can what it means to us locally. But, honestly, it can be very depressing. Also like you, I feel like this next year my business is very promising. My solution to ward off any bi-polar tendancies is to give a nod to the negative, but focus and end the day on the positive. To practice my preaching:

    In closing…I think ’09 is going to be a good year! I think those of us who will have survived, will have done so by changing what we do, streamlining, and sharpening our ax. All the better for us:)

  12. Matthew Rathbun

    December 26, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Great way to make an intro! Welcome to AG!

  13. sheilabragg

    December 26, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    60 Minutes’ Doom Story & Forward Movement: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PROMIS.. https://tinyurl.com/86v586

  14. Mark Eibner

    December 26, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    we’re at it again 60 Minutes’ Doom Story & Forward Movement: Get out of your feed reader .. https://tinyurl.com/86v586

  15. Doug Lindstrom

    December 26, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Great job kid! You were just a wee babe in the blogosphere a year ago. Now you’ve hit the ‘big time’. Congrats!

  16. Linsey

    December 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Jay – You have always been one of the most welcoming voices in the blogoshere. Thank you.

    Elaine – Thank you Twitter friend.

    Bawld Guy – Such a compliment. Thank you.

    Bob – You are so right – at a certain point, it gets to be too much. I think the 60 minutes piece was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Chris – The only thing I know for sure is that no one knows for sure how this year will take shape. 🙂

    Dale – Thanks friend.

    Ken – I counting on that attrition rate being the silver lining here!

    Vicki – My Orange County colleague – thank you for reading and being such a warm voice early on.

    Katie – Mahalo – Great outlook makes all the difference.

    Bridget – I’ve had an eye on your market too. Glad to hear that things seem to have leveled off.

    Karen – I think there may be something to the fact that we are seeing a little strength in our businesses as compared to last year. Regardless of the performance of the markets, many of us that have remained committed and active will see a stronger ’09. Nice job!

    Matthew – thanks so much.

    Doug – Thank you. I started in May and still can’t believe the ongoing evolution. Such a great ride and always appreciate you reading.

  17. Missy Caulk

    December 26, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Welcome to AG, Lindsay. I know you will be an awesome contributor here.

    I take what the MSM says with a grain of salt. But, I do love FOX.

  18. Prof. Samuel D. Bornstein

    December 26, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    RE: The Housing Market, Foreclosures, and Job Loss:

    On December 14, 2008, CBS’s 60 Minutes had a segment on the 2nd Wave of Foreclosures. They indicated that experts were expecting another wave of mortgage defaults on ALT-A and Option ARMs mortgages which will dwarf the Subprime Mortgage Crisis.

    Many fail to realize that there are millions of self-employed smaller businesses, who employ from 1-10 employees, that are holding the mortgages that are going to reset in 2009 through 2012.

    These borrowers are Prime and Near-Prime borrowers who hold ALT-A, Option ARMs, Interest-Only mortgages. There are $1 Trillion ALT-As, and $500-600 Billion Option ARMs.

    So, here we have a major problem… Not only will these small business owners lose their homes, but there will be the resulting JOB LOSSES on their business failure.

    Although President-Elect Obama is stressing the need to create 3 million new jobs, we must understand that “JOB RETENTION IS AS IMPORTANT AS JOB CREATION”.

    The NASE survey is at https://www.nase.org . See the NASE News for the Survey on Toxic Mortgages.

    According to this survey, it is estimated that 3,709,800 small business owners hold Alt-A and other toxic mortgages, and 1,279,800 are already delinquent as they have missed one to three or more monthly mortgage payments at mid-November, before the expected Resets that are scheduled to begin in 4th Quarter 2008 through 2012.

    The solution lies in the hands of Congress as they meet in January to structure an economic stimulus package. Congress should take note of this survey and be “proactive” in addressing the situation, rather than “reactive” as the case has been in the Subprime Mortgage Crisis.

    We can’t afford another shock to our economic system at this time. This 2nd Wave of Foreclosures which will be caused by the ALT-A and Option ARMs will not only result in Foreclosures, but also Job Loss.

    Samuel D. Bornstein
    Professor of Accounting & Taxation
    Kean University, School of Business, Union, NJ

  19. Lisa Sanderson

    December 27, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Welcome to AG, Linsey! And congrats on not getting sucked in and bogged down by the news. It will only kill you and your business if you let it. I look forward to reading more of your stuff-I like your style!

  20. Alice Riehl

    December 27, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’m new here and new to real estate. I was glad to hear that you do not shut yourself off from the news. I have been told to ignore all the negativity on TV, but that just did not sound right to me. I have always felt that knowledge is power. I don’t want my clients to be telling me things that I didn’t know. It can bring you down sometimes, but you need to know all the facts before you can fashion a plan to win. At least that’s my philosophy. Am I kidding myself?

  21. Ben Roberts

    December 28, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Great post Linsey…I have seen the 60 minutes segment as well. My first thought was, “What can I do to insulate my business from this fallout and help people out at the same time.” Whether tsunami happens or not, there is alot of fallout left and we all need to come together to minimize the hurt.

  22. Paula Henry

    December 29, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    HI Linsey and welcome to AG! I watched the 60 minutes episode, because, like you, I believe we need to hear what our clients are hearing.

    Yes, these are tough times, and the cream rises to the top. No doubt you will be there in 2009.

  23. Vicki Moore

    January 6, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Guess I wasn’t the only one who noticed your marveloso writing! Welcome to the clan.

  24. linsey

    January 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Alice – I don’t think you are kidding yourself. You and I are on the same page. As a new agent, you are will have great success if you can prove yourself in this market. You can do it! Hang in there!

    Ben – I love that attitude of coming together and working through the collective fallout. That’s the kind of attitude that I want to surround myself with.

    Paula and Vicki – Thank you so much for the warm welcome!

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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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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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Highlights

My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape

If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…

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Keeping organized

I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.

But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.

Not just shelves!

It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.

No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!

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