Florida RealEstate Agents Need to Accept to Succeed in 2012
Florida realestate agents, like realtors across the country, have been heavily impacted by the downturn since it began in earnest in 2006. The effect of the economic downturn on Florida realtors has been so dramatic that there's even a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Hillsborough County Real Estate professionals "rebound and rebuild their lives" (check out their excellent work at RealEstateLives.org).
Many pros have had no choice but to flee the industry. For instance, Real Estate Lives reports helping over 500 people find new jobs (presumably in new fields).
Those remaining in the field have been buffeted by the twin trends of continued real estate price drops, and still-high unemployment rates. The Tampa Bay area for instance, suffered 2 record-low price drops in 2010 (so-called "double dip"), and unemployment rates at around 10%.
However, all is not lost. There are still brokers and agents who are finding success in this market. These are generally people who have come to terms with some of the following realities listed below.
1. The Booming Seller's Market Is Over
If you got your start during the seller's market that prevailed in the early part of the last decade, you probably went through a bit of a shock when you realized that the downturn in prices was going to be here for a while.
If you were a listing agent who did not even have to sell for your properties to get moved, you probably already realize that those days are over. It is no longer enough to simply list your property in the MLS and move on to the next thing.
Smart Florida Realestate Agents are doing what the rainmakers always did. They are creating personal brands, attacking niches, and building relationship marketing databases.
2. The Sky Is Not Falling
Success under current economic conditions also requires that you not over-react to dismal headlines and trends. There have always been people who built amazing fortunes during times of economic recessions (and even depressions).
Remember that the U.S. economy is still a Multi Trillion dollar economy and that people are still buying and selling houses. What you have to do is find your niche and develop a marketing plan that you can work with. Don't let negative thoughts linger. Seek out people who are experiencing success and see what you can learn from them. Offer to take them out to lunch if you have to.
3. Florida Realestate Agents - Differentiate Or Die
Jack Trout wrote a book of the same title to emphasize the importance of developing a unique selling proposition when you operate in competitive markets. Develop your differentiation by taking a closer look at the opportunities in your local area, or the advantages you have by being in Florida.
Florida remains a destination for many retirees every year. Its business-friendly tax policies also make it a magnet for independent entrepreneurs and investors. Use these facts to your advantage, and develop a niche specialty or some other differentiators to help you get even more referrals than you had during the boom times.
4. "Flavor Of The Month" Positioning Doesn't Pay
With the fast changing conditions, different areas of real estate specialty have become popular. Differentiating yourself does not mean that your brand should continually hop from one real estate market trend to another. So today, you're the "Miami beachfront foreclosure king" and tomorrow you're the "Miami short sale guy".
Florida Realestate Agents - identify a target market that you can consistently cater to and grow with. Identify how you can use your knowledge of Florida real estate market trends to meet their needs, and then promote yourself to them within their networks, associations, and communities.
Be sure to stay within fair housing guidelines in your prepared materials and your marketing as you follow this strategy.
5. Florida Realestate Agents - It Pays To Give Back
Since the start of the real estate downturn, it has been estimated that over 1.2 million Florida homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure. The subsequent economic crisis also cost many more Floridians their jobs.
Over the next few months and years, these members of your community will be looking to overcome the consequences of the current financial distress on their personal credit histories.
The most proactive Florida real estate agents are already leading the charge in arming their clients and audiences with debt management, credit restoration, and consumer protection resources to help them bounce back. While it often takes more time, effort and energy to educate clients in this way, you will find that it often makes good business sense to do good.
Final Thoughts on Florida Realestate Agents
The points above are not just for managing a recession; they actually reflect age-old business success principles. By taking these realities (or philosophies) to heart, you not only improve your chances of surviving the recession, you can build a business that thrives for years to come.
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