I’ve been thinking about this lately. When I entered the business in the mid eighties all the REALTORS knew each other and everyone worked hard to cooperate with each other. Then the market shifted, prices rose dramatically and everyone and their mother thought it would be cool to sell real estate. One day it all came to a screeching halt. The market changed and for those that were unaware, it felt like an over night change. Those that keenly watched the market knew what was happening and what was coming. It took awhile but the market eventually improved and the up cycle started all over again.
It was in 2005 when gas prices started to creep up to $3.00 a gallon and our buyers started to spend more time looking on the Internet for homes than they did driving around with ads in their hands that we knew another change was coming. The Internet had a big impact on our business, which is why in part we left the firm we had been with to go with a company we felt was much more technologically advanced. I believe that because Jay and I have been Internet junkies for so long, reading blogs and on-line news stories that we’ve been much more aware and willing to explore new avenues. I know that has made a big difference in our business and helped us see the Paradigm shift slowly occurring in real estate.
By mid 2006 when everyone else was starting to see that the market was changing and changing fast…Jay and I had plans in place. We had been aware of something called Web 2.0 and something else called a Consumer Centric real estate market. We saw the writing on the wall and took steps to make the changes necessary to be ahead of the curve. Along the way we encountered a lot of naysayers, people criticizing us for spending so much on the internet and for doing something stupid called blogging. We kept at it.
Then 2007 came and the real estate market just about came to a screeching halt again and we once again saw agents leave the business when suddenly it wasn’t so cool selling real estate anymore or maybe they realized that selling real estate was more than just putting a sign in the ground and a lock box on the door. Being a REALTOR has always been more than just simply opening the door. How do you put a price tag on experience…and I’m not talking in age? I know some very experienced agents who have been in the business forever who are totally clueless. They have all the right REALTOR designations (initials next to their name) but none of the right skills needed to survive this shift.
It must be hard being a seller or a buyer and having to try and figure out who to trust…who to believe. So many different reports out there…doom and gloom seems to be everywhere. In reality the market and agents are all going through changes… I think calling it a paradigm shift is right on. You need to be aware enough to recognize the changes happening and I mean not only when pricing homes but when trying to reach today’s consumers. You need to change along with them.
This shift is different than the last one without a doubt. Old ways of doing business no longer works. Does it matter how young or old an agent is…no I don’t believe it does. What really matters is how they approach the market, how open they are to new ideas, are they aware of the Real Estate Paradigm shift happening right now under their nose or are they totally clueless and just going about doing business the same old way… day in and day out expecting new results but getting none. It’s not going to happen!
If you’re trying to decide who to work with, who to trust, you need to look beyond the glitz and glitter and look at the whole package…and while you’re at it try Googling their name to see what, if anything comes up.
Real Estate is not something to gamble with…take some time and really think hard about who you want to work with.