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.
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?