The Real Estate Mystery

By
Real Estate Agent with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249
http://actvra.in/kng

I've been selling homes full-time in Austin since 1997. I've trained dozens of local agents, and coached many others around the country. As a broker and owner of my own independent real estate firm, I've helped with hundreds of transactions. Through my online networking efforts and "in person" conferences, I'm thankful that I've met hundreds (maybe thousands) of agents. 

 Why do I mention this?

Well, it's pretty straightforward. Having encountered agents and clients of all types, I've noticed one trend:

Real estate is neither as easy as clients think, nor as hard as agents think.

Allow me to explain:By and large, I think the general perception from the public at large is that we real estate agents have it pretty easy. Show a home or two, help with some paperwork, then coast into commission town. I'm oversimplifying things, of course, but I know that I'm not far off here. I wish it were true that my job was that simple. It involves being really patient and diplomatic even in the face of major adversity, often from your own colleagues. Sometimes, clients aren't loyal. Often, lenders make mistakes that jeopardize sales. Frankly, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to real estate sales, and a lot of juggling has to occur.

Having said that, real estate isn't rocket science, either. When agents are struggling (I've been there), it's easy to blame outside factors:

"The economy is in the tank."

"Banks have tightened guidelines, so no one can get a loan anymore."

"The media won't quit talking about how bad things are."

Believe me, I've had the same thoughts myself at times, but the bottom line is this: In any given market on any given month, people are buying homes. They might be buying fewer homes than they were 5 years ago, but there is business to be had everywhere. 

If you're a consumer reading this post, know that most agents work hard and a solid number of us are good at what we do and conduct business in a professional manner. If you're an agent, grab your share of the pie. The pie may not be as large, but neither is the number of people who want a piece anymore. Too much analogy? 

There's the paradox as I see it, and of course it's just my opinion. I've always found it interesting how different the perspective is from the outside vs. the inside of our industry. In my own naive way, I think it's probably the opposite of how doctors are perceived by others ("Wow, being a brain surgeon has to be a really hard job.") compared with their self-perception ("Brain surgery ain't hard."). Alright, in fairness, they probably don't say "ain't".  

What are your thoughts? I welcome your feedback.

Photo: rrenzoo Creative Commons 2.0

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  1. Scotti Jowers 09/29/2011 08:38 AM
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Ambassador
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Tammie White
TW Realty Group, Franklin TN, South of Nashville
Benchmark Realty, LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.TWRealtyGroup.net

Jason, I just had a conversation yesterday with a builder. He has been in the business since 1980. He said even back in the early 80's when interest rates were about 14% people were building homes. The interest rates now are hovering around 4.5% and people aren't builiding. He asked how I was doing. Like you said, the pie is smaller but I'm still getting my share of it.

September 29, 2011 09:59 AM
Ambassador
1,258,062
Debe Maxwell
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Savvy + Company Real Estate

Ohhh...I love Missy's analogy!  Excellent post, Jason and I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly, as usual!  You get from this what you put into it.  Many aren't willing to put in the time and effort these days, leaving a good deal for those who are.  I don't think it's a 'hard' business but, these days, it's harder to get to the Closing table but, your Realtor®, if good at what they do, will take that burden on themselves, leaving the consumer with the same non-stressful transaction as 5 years ago.

Okay, I will disagree with you on one thing---neurosurgeons will tell you that what they do is hard!  The ones that I know have LARGE egos!!  LOL

September 29, 2011 10:12 AM
Rainer
230,323
Daniel H. Fisher
MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC
www.FisherHermanRealty.com (704) 617-3544

For Sale By Owner real estate is generally not like "For Sale by Owner" of other assets.  Ask yourself: Why do banks use Realtors to dispose of their assets instead of selling themselves?  If maximizing the profit from the sale is the goal, all options should be explored, including discount, flat fee and other brokerages.

September 29, 2011 10:22 AM
Rainer
83,644
Heather Littrell
ABR,GRI,SRES Cabarrus County NC
Keller Williams

This is a good and timely post that helps us all to be reminded we are so full of excuses.  I am upset with agents un our industry making our piece of the pie smaller by reducing their commissions to ridiculous levels that will only hurt all of us in the long run.

September 29, 2011 11:11 AM
Rainmaker
1,203,318
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca

It is a business built around people and for people and if you like people, Real Estate just compliments the journey and delivers a paycheck as well. Helping people with large purchases remains hugely rewarding

September 29, 2011 11:18 AM
Ambassador
625,591
Doug Rogers
Your Pineville Louisiana Agent
Bayou Properties Realty

Even during the Great Depression people bought and sold homes. I remind myself of this during particularly nasty days in the business.

September 29, 2011 11:39 AM
Ambassador
876,211
Larry Bettag
Regional Vice-President
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage

Nice star.  Let's be honest.  Any of these potentially really rewarding fields are hard.  We all know the rules, but we can't control a lot.  All we can do is master it the best that we can and make sure that we create a good, honest, servant leader mentality when representing clients.  Good question!

September 29, 2011 12:45 PM
Rainmaker
773,991
Mike Cooper
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc

Jason, Pat Kennedy made a great quote on my blog the other day that I just have to share along this line, "What's that old saying, that real estate is the highest paid hard work and the lowest paid easy work?"

September 29, 2011 01:14 PM
Ambassador
672,173
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522

Jason, such a delight to see your post on my blogroll this morning!  And you're right...  things are sometimes perceived in odd ways.  It has been tougher this year I've found though.  People seem to be more on edge... Or maybe it's just my attitude.  In any event, it is what it is.  Period. 


Pamela

P. S. Don't stay away so long this time my friend...

September 29, 2011 01:58 PM
Ambassador
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Patricia Kennedy
For Your Home in the Capital
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.
Jason, you make so many great points, it's hard to pick out the best of. If it was as easy as a lot of people think it is, we wouldn't get paid as much for doing it.
September 29, 2011 02:02 PM
Rainer
146,715
Coleen DeGroff
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL
eXp Realty
Hi Jason, Love your analogy. There may not be as much pie as there once was, but ther IS pie. We just have to work a lot harder for the slice we get. If whining were considered work, a lot more agents could have slices. But whining gets us nowhere. We need to work hard to find the business we get and just as hard to keep the business we have. Thanks for sharing!
September 29, 2011 02:29 PM
Rainmaker
282,815
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty

As with most professions, some real estate agents make it look easier than others because they are buttoned up and professional on the outside no matter what is churning on the inside! I totally agree that there are still pie slices to be had, and always seeing the glass half empty is self fulfilling. Many people do think real estate agents don't work that hard...some of those people decide to try it (since it's so 'easy') and fall flat. Just keep positive, be conscientious and go with the flow...some transactions will always be easier than others and things have a way of balancing out over time...if you're in the game for the long haul!

September 29, 2011 02:51 PM
Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd

Hey jason,  Terrific reduction to simplest terms : Real estate is neither as easy as clients think, nor as hard as agents think.

Both sides need to walk a mile in the ...

Well done !

September 29, 2011 04:10 PM
Rainmaker
398,592
John Cannata
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com

I has to go back to read Missy's analogy since everyone liked it so much. :-)  And I have to say, I like it too. You make some great points Jason. There is a lot to be said about perception. Clients are going to think what they want before the transaction happens. Its up to you to show them why they hired you and why they should refer you to their family and friends.

September 29, 2011 06:14 PM
Ambassador
1,658,105
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome
Broker/ Owner HomeRome Realty-Author "Real Estate the Rome Way" 410-530-2400

Glad to see this post featured. It is a bit like ice skating. The better the skater the easier it looks! Those that do not glide with ease make it look like a difficult task! There have been numerous people who have gotten into RE because it looked so easy...very few of them stayed.

Margaret

 

September 30, 2011 09:34 PM
Rainmaker
1,001,173
Conrad Allen
Webster, Ma, Realtor
Re/Max Professional Associates

Hi Jason - The grass is not greener on the other side.

October 01, 2011 06:48 AM
Ambassador
1,658,105
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome
Broker/ Owner HomeRome Realty-Author "Real Estate the Rome Way" 410-530-2400

Jason, Thanks for the inspiration...my latest post has a link back here....Jason Crouch's Real Estate Mystery.

Margaret

October 01, 2011 07:00 PM
Ambassador
535,529
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905
"Your Gateway to the Lake" Birkenfeld Oregon
Vernonia Realty

Jason, it's so ironic that I happened to read this right this very minute. I just got off the phone with a seller and it's been a complete nightmare. It just keeps comin', too. Anyway, thank you for the feeling that I'm not alone out here.

And this is one of those things I tell people ALL OF THE TIME. It's NOT like the "reality shows" where the client looks at 3 homes, chooses one and VOILA! six months later, they're all settled in with no apparent glitches.

Not so, folks!

October 04, 2011 02:12 PM
Rainmaker
275,750
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID

Looks like a beautiful home!  I wouldn't mind selling that....I'll let you know if I find a buyer moving to Texas, looking for a 4.2 million dollar home :-) Kasey

October 10, 2011 12:19 AM
Rainmaker
233,907
Kim & Kristine Halverson
Realtors, Santa Monica Real Estate, CA
www.KimAndKristine.com, Santa Monica Real Estate :)

I think it's a great macro perspective.  Short sales and the banking fraud are throwing this macro view off quite a bit.  We are really skilled in short sales, and it still is A LOT of extra work whether you are representing sellers or buyers.  Otherwise you are spot on.  Kristine :)

October 16, 2011 08:20 PM
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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