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Advise a rookie – is summer our last chance of the year to earn money?

In my short four month career as a REALTOR®, I’ve become more and more familiar with the processes and activities of this job. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I don’t understand things, but when that happens, I ask questions – plenty of questions.

Not just how and when, but why. I don’t mean to come off as the rebellious new kid on the block who challenges authority and changes tradition. But this platform provides me with an opportunity to ask questions that others may be pondering and well, I’ll gladly be the lone guy who raises his hand on behalf of the class. With that said, us newbies need some guidance on the current state of things as well as the last half of this year.

Timing and its Effects on Expectations

I came in this business during a down market. I have no idea what it was like for a license to be an automatic lead generation tool or how it feels to see progression in an upscale neighborhood where empty lots are like constant reminders that we’re still not there. Sounds like bad timing right? Well, it depends on which way you spin the story. I see it as a blessing that I got into real estate during one of its toughest seasons. To me, it’s not tough, it’s normal. It’s the only market I’ve ever known as a real estate agent so when it does recover – when it becomes average – hopefully I’ll feel like it’s booming!

As professionals who have lived the ups and downs of  this industry, has the market as of late really had much of an impact on your earnings? I’ve heard the horror stories, yet I’ve seen the perseverance and it seems to pay better. Has your business just been trucking along or is there an obvious difference between now and then? As new agents who just came into the business this year, should we expect to ever experience the golden days?

The First Year Finale

When I say first year, I don’t mean in terms of work experience, but in terms of a calendar year. We are seven months into 2010 and with about five and a half months left, what would you advise a rookie do to wrap this year up on the right track? Is the summer our last chance to make a run or does old man winter have friends in the market for a new house?

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The comments are yours and your advice is not only welcomed, but encouraged.

Written By

Michael is a copywriter turned social media maniac who digs marketing. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he has a degree in advertising with a minor in psychology. His theory: combining traditional advertising and old school values with the technology of today is a great way to go about your business. So what's he doing here? He's a real estate agent trying to find his way. He's taken his license and marketing ideas to @Homes Realty Group in Huntsville, Alabama. He's here to learn from you, the AG community, and hopefully share useful information with you in return. You can find Michael talking marketing at MichaelBertoldi.net and his real estate blog is ThisisHuntsville.com

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Ken Brand

    July 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Nice questions.

    Here’s my 2 cents.

    Yes, there are fewer sales, and listings taken in the Fall and Winter. So what, check your MLS, people by and sell everyday. It’s not like there is nothing going on, just less. The good news is, the weak and lazy use less as an excuse.

    All the same rules apply, you’re doing all the business you’ll ever do, based on the number of people who are aware of you. You job, my job, our job is to create Top Of Mind Awareness so people think of us when they need help, or refer us.

    Our other job is to collide with opportunity, we do this by getting out and about, and online, making in-person, and on-purpose contact, conversation, and engagement. When we do this, we discover what people are needing and how we can help. Boom goes the dynamite.

    My advice to me, and you, and anyone who want to achieve, amp up the relevant contact, and conversation, share like maniac, mix, mingle, and follow up.

    Cheers. The beginning.

  2. Joe Loomer

    July 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    What Ken said.

    I do not – unfortunately – have his articulate gift – but what I will tell you is that some of the best months of our real estate careers have come during the winter – for the reasons Ken states.

    Do Open Houses every weekend. During the preceeding week, take a flyer for the Open House to at least 50 homes in the subdivision of the property – knock on doors – ask the homeowners you meet for contact information to keep them abreast of neighborhood developments, give them your card and let them know you are the EXPERT. Arm yourself with all the data you can gather on the market conditions from Macro to Micro level. Focus your Open House efforts on the “sweet spot” of the market – homes that are in the most-sought price range (in our area, that’s 120K-180K) – you’ll see more traffic.

    This is the market of NOW – it doesn’t matter that there are fewer sales – there are fewer agents out there doing anything in the fall and winter too.

    Then treat yourself to something nice for Christmas with all the abundance you’ll reap from taking it up several notches.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Erica Ramus

    July 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Don’t ever stop prospecting. Don’t slow down. And don’t become negative. Don’t hang around with negative people and don’t listen to their whining. Just keep working and working.

  4. Matt Stigliano

    July 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Michael – First, take all the advice above. Then, take mine.

    Don’t ever stop prospecting. No matter how busy you get, no matter how easy the business seems to be flowing, no matter how fruitless it may seem. I learned that lesson the hard way. I went from hero to zero very quickly when I let the prospecting slack.

    I love Ken’s advice about “people buy and sell everyday.” He’s right. Even in a “bad” market, there are still sales. You just have to be the agent for those sales. Sure, the ratio of agents to consumers may be a bit more daunting than in hot markets, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there waiting to find you.

    Last year, I actually had my best times after summer had passed (of course, our summer lasts until December sometimes, so summer is a very relative term here) – and I only had one client who was trying to nail the first time home buyer tax credit deadline before it was extended in November 2009, the rest were excluded from the tax credit, but still were looking to buy. I also cleaned out my listing inventory at the same time – my days were long and busy, while some other people I knew were struggling. Never base your production on the guy sitting next to you – the minute you believe there’s “no one buying or selling” is the minute there is no one buying or selling…with you as their Realtor®.

  5. Joe Loomer

    July 24, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Meant to add how important it is to lead with revenue. Stop paying for things that are not getting you leads, and invest the savings in the things that are getting you leads. Agents are some of the most gullible suckers for the latest and greatest – I will tell you that one of the most important things I learned is to never stop doing something that was making me money in favor of something that MIGHT make me money.

    Your Sphere of Influence (database) is your #1 go-to source for leads. Call them every day, and grow that database daily.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  6. Karen Brewer

    July 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    NONoNO…this has become a less seasonal business.Last year here in CT we sold right up until the holidays! 2009 is no ones idea of something to be replicated but people still need ot have their kids in school and want to be settled for the holidays

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