Are you someone that seizes opportunity when things are going good and when things are going bad? No matter what the situation or circumstance success requires us to see the opportunity in all situations and take action. Opportunity is knocking, will you answer? This past week MSN posted an article from Forbes magazine that listed the “Top 5 cities where home prices are plummeting”. The article lists the Portland Metro area as #5 on the list. This is the overall market where my team and I serve clients every day. The article will be fodder for the naysayers and general pessimists in life and will cause many people to disengage from the real estate market. The reality is that this is probably the best thing for some buyers and sellers right now, but for others it is an opportunity.
I’ve asked my team to consider the reality and the hope of our current real estate market and to think outside the box on how they can differentiate themselves and their services during this challenging time. The standard approach by consumers, real estate firms, and real estate agents will be to see this news as depressing and add it to a long list of excuses of why their company is not profitable, their business is slow to non-existent, and why they just can’t be successful in this market.
REALITY: The reality of the situation is that the real estate market is very challenging right now. Every area in the Portland Metropolitan Market experienced depreciating prices in 2009. Credit is tight right now as there are stricter guidelines for buyers interested in getting a loan. There are many homes on the market making it difficult for sellers to differentiate their home and demonstrate value to a potential buyer. The market is tough but it is not hopeless.
HOPE: Whenever there is a problem or challenge there is an opportunity for innovation. Now more than ever the consumer needs a professional to help them with the purchase or sale of their home. Real estate agents must be prepared to offer new solutions and advice to frustrated sellers and anxious buyers. All real estate is local, so we must know the nuances and trends within our specific market and how they differ from city to city. Interest rates are extremely low, home affordability is high, alternative solutions to conventional financing are returning, and the move-up potential is AMAZING. Marketing properties has never been easier or more affordable with social networking and the use of the internet. Your hard work and discipline will pay off and separate you from others that are busy adding to their excuse list.
ACTION STEPS: Don’t shy away from sharing this article with your past clients, prospects, and sphere of influence. Remember, the tendency will be to not bring it up. Be different. Ask yourself, how can I use this article to my advantage? If you are a listing agent spend an hour today researching how you can use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the Internet to market your listings to more buyers. If you are a buyer’s agent spend an hour today researching the benefits of buying in a declining market. Identify five reasons why now is the time to buy vs. waiting. Remember; do not make stuff up just to sell someone on something. Have the courage to say, “now is not the right time for you”. Put the consumer first, discover new opportunities for clients and prospects, and keep yourself engaged in being a part of the solution not the problem.
Make it a great day!