Friday, February 22, 2008

Advice for real estate agents (quit now!)

Seth Godin has an excellent post that all real estate agents should read. His advice is that you should either:

1. Quit.

2. Specialize, and become the best at one small niche of your market.

#1 is easy. #2 is scary and hard. There is also option #3 which is to keep doing what you've been doing for the past few years, and watch your business die slowly.

#2 isn't that hard as much as it's scary and counterintuitive for most people. And for those that say they don't have time, I found the time to build and contribute to this blog, and I have no incentive other than to help other frustrated buyer's like myself who are tired of the status quo.

I see Charles Turner doing an excellent job at #2, and I have seen a few other Realtors starting to specialize. But I see plenty of others that are still trying to take orders in a the new sales world.

I'd love to hear stories of Realtors that are reinventing their business during the downturn.

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17 comments:

Patient Renter said...

This post reminds me of many flipper shows I've seen on TV. I always get a good laugh towards the end of the show when they bring in a Realtor to appraise the property and the Realtor says something along the lines of "I specialize in residential real estate". Oh really? You mean you're a Realtor that sells houses and you specialize in selling houses? I would have never guessed.

As to the general idea behind this post, I think there will always be room for some Realtors, but I imagine only the good ones will survive. The whole specializing thing doesn't mean much to me.

skeptictank said...

Time for most Realtors(R) to move onto doing some kind of productive work.

Anonymous said...

As to the general idea behind this post, I think there will always be room for some Realtors, but I imagine only the good ones will survive. The whole specializing thing doesn't mean much to me.

I agree. The two Realtors I know have been working for years all over Portland (though they naturally gravitate to the areas they live in - Lake Oswego and NW Portland) and will be working years from now if they want to. They understand the business has cycles and they're good at their jobs.

Anonymous said...

What's Charles Turner specialized in? Can't figure that out from his web page/blog.

PDXOutsider said...

i'm not sure of his specialty, but he's adopted new marketing tools (his blog) better than any other realtor in the area, and from what i've read he seems to know the local market well.

good realtors will do fine, but those who were just riding the bubble will struggle or have to quit during the pop. i'll be curious to see the stats on how the ranks change.

Perplexed said...

The previous post links to a program download. DO NOT click. Spam of the lowest type.

PDXOutsider said...

sigh, what motivates these idiots? i've changed the comment structure to help avoid spam, but i'm not sure it will help. we'll see.

thanks perplexed for pointing it out, i've deleted the comment.

Anonymous said...

i'm not sure of his specialty, but he's adopted new marketing tools (his blog) better than any other realtor in the area, and from what i've read he seems to know the local market well.

Charles Turner is one of the bubble-only realtors and is also a flipper. It's only because of his high visibility - and providing one of the only local blogs to discuss PDX housing - that he doesn't get the hate reserved for most flippers. I forget how many flips he owns, but.. it's a few.

I wouldn't be surprised if he both gets washed out of RE and loses money on the flips. I mean, I have nothing against the guy. But he's only been doing this a few years at most and has never been through a down market. In effect, his actions are "part of the problem" that's caused both the runup and now the downturn.

Perplexed said...

Has anyone ever used an exclusive buyer's realtor?

In this day where it's a buyer's market agents who only represent buyers should be in a great position.

KevBo said...

If an re agent is suppose to represent your best interests, why do you believe that a buyer's agent would represent you best? if that agent is not the listing agent on the house you wish to buy, I would think they are working as a buyer's agent for you.

I feel that your agent should be a very aggressive agent in this market. One that wishes to research the market and pass that information onto you, is what I personally would be looking for. If an agent does not wish to pass on 'hard copies' of real estate statistics for you to review, that is an agent I will not work with.

There is no need to trust an agent to make the biggest financial decision of my life. No, I will gladly pay for the most current infomation and use their expertise for writing a contract but in the end I will review the data myself thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever used an exclusive buyer's realtor?

In this day where it's a buyer's market agents who only represent buyers should be in a great position.


I've never heard of an agent who was exclusively a buyer's agent and never worked as a seller's. In any case, if such a thing exists, the competition for buyers must be fierce.

Perplexed said...

Here is what I found. I know of no one who has ever dealt with any of them, which is why I asked.

http://www.carlahomes.com/

http://www.dreamstreetre.com/

http://www.worldstar.com/~pdxpro/

Read the document at the lower left on the last link. It is an interesting discussion of what to watch out for.

Anonymous said...

That's very interesting, perplexed. Thanks for the links - gotta wonder what the angle here is.

Anonymous said...

Charles Turner definitely jumped into the realty areana recently--his profile on Linkedin says 7 months ago: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/7/11/a91

Anonymous said...

Apparently he specializes in "your transaction". I guess that answers that.

I would be worried.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:10 am - I did find his linkedin profile and figure it must not allow for overlapping, because he started his realtor's blog in 2005, so he must've been working in RE in some capacity back then.

Anonymous said...

Why Charles should be extra worried is that his wife is also a realtor...not very diversified if you ask me.