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Our real estate world has atrophied all the glitz and glamorous professionals and the hunkering down hard-working folk remain. Those qualities are not mutually exclusive but can not go hand in hand when transaction numbers have plummeted & fancy cars returned to their senders. So what was once a high fashion professional has had to scale back the lifestyle changing realty that the money is just not there as it was in yesteryear. So one can still be a hard worker but without the glossy images (the norm with exceptions).
Our mid-west real estate market pales in comparison to the traumatic sequences of events on the bi-coastal fronts. Sure we see plenty of foreclosures and bank-owned distressed condition properties like everywhere else in our great American landscape, but our’s appear in areas that had it coming. The quaint areas that have charm and character still perform well and appreciate in many cases through this free fall economy. Most of our sales in ’09 were in the higher end markets for Kansas City that possessed said attributes of desirability. It’s not science that large communities of oversized boxes amidst prairie grass & saplings had their moments of popularity just long enough for its over-leveraged occupants to limp back to consistently stable areas where every convenience is not a franchise or the vacant strip mall stamp imprinted along the overbuilt developments now ghostly (long live Mom & Pop outfits). This is the blight of areas not landlocked, sprawl = those occupying the outer edges are subject to the destructive elements. In our dailies we call it credit crunch, mortgage meltdown, corporate greed and many other pithy phrases that point fingers at everyone but the person signing the document that sealed their own fate. We became a country of gamblers and we all who know which entity wins while gambling. Enough of the “I told you so” overtones, let’s just leave it at licking our wounds to move on. The money that was once available is no longer there and to survive we have to adjust the approach and understanding.
As a broker in this mess I had the good fortune to take on a small portfolio of rentals prior to the big momentum shift in market conditions. The not so glamorous property management piece turned out to be a saving grace in the declining sales market and how we really weathered the storm. But just as the tide appears to be turning we have decided to release the management responsibilities to focus on sales, acquisitions and building a better brokerage in a real estate world beleaguered by struggling brokerage houses. Those that have seen the opportunity have jumped aboard the trend to build a team of professionals with the remaining survivors of the real estate ranks. We are no exception although our slow approach may seem one-legged compared to the command and conquer exploits of big name franchises that depend on a pulse more than a professional in a strictly numbers approach to growth (ouch, sorry about that). My observations in the real estate world is that there are not many real estate “professionals” out there working ethically (with or without the knowledge they are violating a rap sheet of rules and regulations in their audible public interactions I overhear at the corner eatery, coffee shop and entertainment venues). The way I see it the “professionals” are worth waiting for and the larger the number the greater the liability.
Timing the shift in this market is crucial to the success of our team, we want to ramp up our efforts when the market will yield commensurate results for the maximum efficiency. Follow the market trends and sales data to target the right audience and punctuate your arrival with a classy brand the people will remember. That’s the aim anyway.
As for me, I will be removing the concrete blocks etched with the word “landlord” shackled around my ankles & turning them in for ones that read “broker” to re-energize my sales & acquisitions skills once again. I look forward to helping families purchase and sell homes, continuing to assist investors as they build portfolios and reposition their acquisitions, and keep revitalizing neighborhoods/properties through our rehabilitation efforts and flips. It looks to be a good 2010 thus far and as we make progress you are all invited to navigate in our wake or better yet teach us how we can serve more effectively and efficiently the market we serve: you.
Broker for Chief Properties LLC