A recent Businessweek article featuring Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz should be required reading for REALTORS. Its main point – that the Starbucks that told its employees “do anything you feel like” has finally met the cold reality of customer expectations. With sales dropping and stores closing, the Seattle-based giant has had to wake up and smell the coffee. Gone are the boom years, when Starbucks opened a store a week, hired “partners” not employees, and left it up to them to “organically” figure out how to pour coffee and make customers happy. Turns out that was a stupid business model. Read more
What one phrase has done more damage to the housing industry – consumer and practitioner alike – in the last two years? “I’m waiting for the bottom.” Buyers have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for prices to hit their lows. Those REALTORS who didn’t just quit (200,000-plus of them did) similarly stuck their heads in the sand, waiting for everything to just blow over. “When the market changes,” was the favorite phrase of meetings, workshops, articles and convention speakers. A few out there – the Harneys, the Stavers, even yours truly – continued to plead for sanity. Nobody has Read more
Why is it impossible for anyone – REALTORS, banks, media or economists – to accurately describe what is going on in the marketplace? If buyers are going to feel confident about moving back into the market, we should expect all of these groups to be providing clear, verifiable market facts that back up the “best time to buy” sloganism thrown at consumers. Yet most of the punditry has left consumers – especially skeptical Gen X’ers and impressionable Gen Y’ers – more confused than ever. And with a few trillion extra dollars sloshing around the economy and gas prices already moving Read more
I think I’ll apply for the job as Federal Treasurer next month. Apparently, all you need is an abacus and a few simple thoughts and you can at least blow a trillion or so taxpayer dollars. If you’ve actually studied economics, – well, hey, maybe consumers can just fix this mess by making one small change in their approach to purchasing a home… .
For some months, REALTORS have been fretting that buyers are “sitting on the sidelines” waiting for the market to “hit the bottom.” We constantly hear news reports with interviews of “savvy” sellers who are trying to “time the market just right” to get the most for their home’s sale while getting a “bargain” for their next home. Timing the market – to sell high, and buy cheap – is a strategy for buying and selling stocks or bonds. But when it comes to housing, it’s the entirely wrong market model. It’s time REALTORS started saying so.