For all the efforts to clear the U.S. housing market, the sheer scale of the real estate crash defies even the most aggressive approaches like short selling. What’s needed to get the country out from under a crushing debt crisis and inventory glut is an idea that’s been keeping markets healthy and wealthy for decades, Down Under.
According to the Wall Street Journal real estate blog, a “W” or “U” shaped recovery is shaping up to be the most likely curve for the real estate industry, if not the economy as a whole. According to one property mortgage insurance group, there’s still another 12% drop to go in most markets. And even though some economists think prices will remain flat as inventory stabilizes – and we all know that’s also to be tempered with regional biases, since some housing markets have remained reasonably healthy – the chance for another full year of slow or flat growth will Read more
Real estate is essentially a research industry: trouble is, most agents and brokers think the most important research is about houses, prices, square footage and such. Considering the data that sits in most MLS systems – unverified and incomplete – you’d think they would know better by now. In fact, the best research for any sales industry isn’t the commodity data but the customer specs and competition capabilities. Knowing everything there is to know about the consumer – and the competitors who are trying to beat you to their door – is far more fascinating. And given the state of Read more
For some time now, I’ve been asking myself if I’d missed the point about Twitter. Give it some time, I told myself. Sometimes these new technologies just need to shake themselves out. Originally, Motorola shelved the mouse as an input device, only to have someone dust it off years later and make it the tool of choice for personal computers. So I gave Twitter a chance. I tried it myself, and even started to “follow” some people online. Alas, with the release of a new study, I now know that I should have stuck with my initial reaction. Twitter is Read more
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
Which is harder to spot: The Loch Ness Monster or the housing industry recovery? Given the number of false sightings for both, it’s not hard to imagine that we’ll ever see either. It seems that few people can tell if they’re looking at a recovery or not: Even the “Voice of Real Estate” changes its mind every month. Should we call a recovery just because downward trends are slowing, or do we have to wait for them to actually rise? Is a one-month rise sufficient, or should we wait for two quarters positive balance? Can housing recover if consumers continue Read more
Why do some agents make more sales than others? What makes some agents capable of creating sales when others struggle for a single lead? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a cool web tool or a more expensive marketing plan. Almost always it comes down to a single, consistent factor, no matter what company or place in the country: A great manager.
Imagine if real estate brokers and managers could stop endlessly recruiting. It’s not a dream; it’s a definitely reality for modern companies. Yet for too many brokers, it remains a far off possibility – unfortunately. To stop recruiting, brokers would have to address a big question: Why do they recruit in the first place? Some would say because they were “told to” by other brokers, or trainers, or people-in-the-know, or their franchise. Few would say, “I recruit because I’m currently running my company at 100% efficiency and my agents are using their maximum capacity and the market opportunities warrant our Read more