Thursday, January 31, 2008

Salespeople vs. Order Takers

The old saying that "a rising tide floats all boats" is true of all industries and this was certainly true during the real estate bubble. Almost every real estate agent looks good when the market is growing by 20%, but in a flat or declining market, the true sales experts really shine. A true salesperson can can continue to grow their business and close deals even as the market declines.

This year will differentiate real salespeople from the order takers. The real estate agents that know the real market conditions, know how to properly price and market a property, and know how to negotiate will survive the slowdown. Those that jumped in during the past few years for the easy money (the order takers), or those who have become lazy over the past few years of easy sales, are starting to find out if they have the skills to survive or if they were really just taking orders.

One reader (Neal) recently asked if I know of any good real estate agents. In order to remain neutral I don't want to recommend anyone, but here is what we are looking for in our ideal agent to help us find an investment property:

1. Knowledge of the neighborhoods we are interested in, their appreciation potential, as well as rental potential;
2. The ability to identify comparable sales for target properties;
3. Excellent negotiating skills;
4. An insider's network to help find deals that might not be on the MLS; and
5. The ability to see opportunities that we might miss.

Whether you are looking for a buyer's or seller's agent, make sure you interview a few different agents to ensure they have the experience and skills that match your needs.

4 comments:

elneal said...

It looks like it may be harder to weather this storm- have ya'll read this article; http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/104340/Housing-Meltdown

Don't know if you can open it by clicking, but you can copy/paste.

Ian said...

Ouch. Not a pretty picture. It wouldn't surprise me to see prices fall 25-40%, especially in some areas of the country. You can't have 20% annual growth for years and years without an eventual correction.

Kirk Coburn said...

Did you write the "Salespeople VS Order Takers" yourself? That is amazing! Highly motivating and 1,000% accurate!!!

Ian said...

thanks! yup, that's me, plus my editor. i see the same situation at my day job, then the market is growing sales is easy, when the market gets tight, sales gets hard.