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Update – Adapting To a New Reality – Some Results

To some in real estate brokerage, hearing the ‘R’ word — that would be results, causes them the same stress as my son’s mom felt the first time she read his lips on the mound, and didn’t like it one little bit. She didn’t buy my explanation that he was talkin’ about the umpire’s new truck. Go figure.

When agents are talkin’ about what they’re doin’ to generate business, helpin’ more clients to achieve their goals, things get quiet when some jackass wants to know how it’s workin’ out for them. In other words, has any of their prospecting or marketing, you know, produced empirical results? Are they helping more people?

I’ve been writin’ a lot lately on the changes in marketing, and strategy I’ve been implementing this year. It generally breaks down into two broad brush categories — my local market — the rest of the country.

I’ve now been back in my local market for three weeks. Cat skins are now adorning my special wall. It’s a new wall, specifically set aside exclusively for local cats. In the few weeks in which talkin’ has turned into walkin’, my firm has put $500K into escrow. Considering I’m not even outa second gear yet, $15,000 ain’t bad for the first month.

I’ve had to adapt to what I’ve described as the new normal, (don’t like sayin’ paradigm shift) in the real estate investment world. It’s gained traction big time with thinking investors who realize, in fact, we’re not in Kansas any more, and unlike Dorothy, it’s pretty unlikely we’ll return any time soon. Some of what I’ve been sayin’ the last year or so about the general real estate investment arena might be considered tough love. Still, the folks with whom I love doing business, believe what I’ve been saying is universally true.

The takeaway here is that I’ve had to adapt — many times, on many fronts in the last seven years. Not all of my changes have been successful, but the ones that failed pretty much showed me where the right path was.

I’m already thinkin’ my new office is too small, and will expand when/if any adjacent space becomes available. I think it will, probably by the first of the year, which will be just in time.

Also, though I won’t expand upon it here with any specifics, I’m doin’ some other things that should allow me to expand even more. There is a God, and He loves me. :)

My prediction is that by no later than Halloween I’ll be forced to bring on a full time assistant — ah, the good ol’ days. Though 80% of their work will be generated by what we do locally, the conservative projections show two assistants by spring if not sooner. The ‘Assistant’ business model is still my favorite, as it allows me to do the $1,000+/hour work as many hours as is reasonably possible. You can check it out in this post, written several weeks ago.

The ability to adapt to changes, especially the extreme changes of recent years, is critical to our success. Regardless of how hard we work, if we’re playin’ by the rules no longer applicable, we’re doomed to fail miserably. I know, cuz I’ve seen me do it.

What’s always helped me be able to adapt more quickly to relatively extreme changes has been my ability to assess my results with a brutal lack of mercy. We’re either producing results or we ain’t. If it’s the latter, adapt quickly or die. If we’re not armed with the right tools, applying the right concepts in the context of the current reality, those cats will eat us alive.

What have you done to adapt to all that’s happened in the last several years?

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  • 7 comments

    7 Comments so far

    1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Brown and Real Estate Feeds, My REALTY. My REALTY said: Update – Adapting To a New Reality – Some Results: To some in real estate brokerage, hearing the ‘R’ word — that w… http://bit.ly/b4Xs3Z [...]

    2. JB September 4th, 2010 9:31 am

      Jeff good post I think it makes me stop and think. The biggest shift for me is if I’m going to survive and prosper I need to become an expert on short sales and I feel I have done that. At this point I don’t do anything but short sales and it is looking good I think for the next 5-10 years.

    3. Jeff Brown September 4th, 2010 9:36 am

      JB — Smooth move. Kinda reminds one of the carburetor rebuilder who became an expert in fuel injection. Makes excellent sense.

    4. Bob Hunter September 4th, 2010 9:08 pm

      Jeff, I have stopped being lazy.

      Looking up from the hole I’ve dug for myself, my old life of dairy and row crop farmer is giving me the basic lessons of how to cope now and turn this thing around: Put your head down, get to work, and dont stop until it’s done. Every time I want to take some time off, I just remind myself or how incredibly easy and soft I’ve had for the last 15 years.

      Simple stuff.

    5. Jeff Brown September 4th, 2010 9:16 pm

      Well Bob, if anybody knows how to put their head down and flat get things done, it’s gotta be an old dairy/row crop farmer. Holy cow. (Sorry, couldn’t reist.) You’ll do very well.

    6. Bob Hunter September 5th, 2010 2:22 pm

      You mean the one sitting at the top of the hill in the lotus position with incense burning, sipping alfalfa tea?

    7. Jeff Brown September 5th, 2010 2:26 pm

      Grin