Ever been frozen by fear?
This past week, I made a change. I moved brokers for the first time in my career and to be honest about the situation, I was scared to death as I considered the possibility. Change brings with it a lot of fear and uncertainty and probably ten times as much when you’re a new agent. Some of the more experienced agents have probably moved multiple times and are experts at it now, but when you’ve only know life under one broker, the prospect of the move can literally bring things to a crashing halt.
I spent some time thinking about my broker, my career, and my direction over the past few weeks (@LaniAR can attest to that) and it was rough on me. Hints of self-doubt and questioning “am I doing the right thing” were common place, but I knew something was missing from my current position. I wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t feel right. I was uneasy and therefore not as productive as I could be. I like my broker and learned a ton from him. I liked my fellow agents. I liked the office staff. I was getting good support, but I was lacking the key ingredient that I felt was necessary.
Self-motivation. I was motivated to succeed and to give the best to my clients, don’t get me wrong, I just seemed to lack the magic something that pushes a person to exceed. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was what was missing. I knew I had to do some thinking on the subject, but when I bumped into soon-to-be new broker at a meeting, I immediately knew I had to get serious about the thought. Having spent my entire career under one broker, the thought sent chills down my spine. What would I do? Could I do it? Should I do it? How is it done?
Shaking like a leaf.
A few days after we met, my soon-to-be new broker scheduled an appointment with me to sit down and chat. I was nervous, my mouth was dry, and my hands were sweating. I worried that I wouldn’t be good enough for them or they wouldn’t be good enough for me. I worried if the shirt I was wearing had any wrinkles in it. I was sure I was going to spill coffee all over myself and have to excuse myself from the meeting. Doubt. Fear. Uncertainty. Ridiculous thoughts. They were all a part of the day.
The meeting was great and I did relax eventually. What amazed me was that Sheila Moran (my now-new broker) had a certain spark to her. We discussed fear and the prospect of change. She spoke from her own experience. She understood my need to be pushed in just the right way in order to make me more successful. And she was willing to take on that challenge. I didn’t sign up right there and then, as I wanted to discuss it with my wife, but I called the next morning and said “I’m in.”
I’m still settling into my new office and getting used to all the little difference between it and my last one. I’m still nervous at times, but that has been overrun for the most part by an extreme determination to far surpass my goals and the knowledge that I have the tools and support system to do it. I am getting comfortable again and am already seeing the results of change on my mindset. Although I feared it, I knew in the back of my mind that it was the only way.
Stop and think.
Real estate agents always talk about “getting out of your comfort zone” by doing activities that force you into a slightly uncomfortable position, but will pay off in the end and boost your confidence in those activities. When you’re a new agent, there’s plenty to be uncomfortable with – everything that surrounds you is new and different. Out of that discomfort, you are forced to find your way and as you do, you find that it really wasn’t anything to be afraid of in the first place.
Switching brokers is no different. It’s a hard step to take, but sometimes you need to make the switch in order to seek out what you value as an agent. I value knowledgeable agents/broker, a love of technology, an encouraging atmosphere, and a broker who’s not afraid to crack the whip when it needs cracked. I don’t need to be patted on the back every five seconds, but I do need someone to recognize the value of what I do right and is willing to correct what needs improvement.
As agents, we are all taught how we are “independent contractors,” but in many ways, we need to be able to rely on the people around us. Yes, I’m independent, but I am part of a bigger whole as well. And if that “whole” is not providing me what I need, I must question it and change or face certain failure. I didn’t come here to fail. When was the last time you looked around yourself and thought you couldn’t bear one more minute of your situation, but when the fear and uncertainty crept up on you, you settled for what you had instead of reaching for what you want. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to be afraid in order to succeed.
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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