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Stayin' alive in a shrunken real estate market
Diary of a Real Estate Rookie
By Alison Rogers Monday, September 15, 2008
Here are the things I am trying to do:
- I keep towards a tight geographic focus -- I am not yet quite ready to "farm," but you might say that I'm definitely picking out the right 40 acres of land. And I am constantly thinking about how my brand ties in with this focus. I want people to think of me when they think of downtown, so as I am going through my day, I think, "does returning this call tie me in more closely with downtown? What about returning that one?"
- I am constantly thinking of my competitors' weaknesses. They are legion, but one that is fairly easy to attack is a stereotype of the industry -- many of them would say or do anything for a transaction. I try not to be that person, and in fact try to swing over to the opposite side -- I try to move mountains for a relationship.（愚公移山﹐士不可不弘毅乎﹖）
- Stay alive. My mother was a politician, an elected judge, and I was proud that she was so successful. I learned many lessons from watching her work, and one of them was: "Outlive the bastards." Well, depending on what market you're in, around 80 percent of new agents won't make it past their first year. Lots more won't make it past this downturn. The ones who stick it out will have a leg up on the next business cycle. If my profession is going to reward endurance, I try to position myself for it -- I go to the gym (not as much as I should), take vacations (not nearly enough), and take time every quarter to congratulate myself for just continuing to survive.
- Figure out what works, and do more of it. If this seems screamingly obvious, try talking to five other real estate agents about their business models and note how many are missing this step. I get a lot of client capture from chatting on the Web, but I track it -- if a site is fun for me but doesn't bring in leads, I stop visiting it. Similarly, I'm a recent-enough newlywed that I connect well with young, soon-to-be married couples. Once I learned this about myself, I trained myself to spot an engagement ring at 30 yards. I don't necessarily grab brides-to-be on the street and try to sell them apartments -- but I know that if I end up chatting with enough fiancées, some of those conversations will end up coming around to real estate.
Take that, competitors.
Last weekend, I watched "24 Hours," A CIA agent Jack said, "Die for something, Live for nothing" keeps him alive in Chinese Jail. Very enlightening, isn't it?
Treat UDN the same, "write for something you believe and leave for nothing" is surely the case, unless, you conclude that UDN is a totally hopeless idiot play ground.