Let me tell you about my first year in real estate as an agent! It was 2009, and it was a mess. I joined a real estate firm in the suburbs, close to my hometown. The market was in free fall. Downtown Boston withheld the financial crisis incredibly well. The suburbs however, were hit hard. Especially the first time buyer market.
The first home I ever sold was $198,000. Sounds impossible today, doesn’t it? Prices were down significantly, and many sellers were being foreclosed on, or selling as a short sale.
I remember going into a mostly empty office. Agents were dropping like flies. I would go in, and see another emptied out desk. Our company took us out to dinner one night as an attempt to raise our spirits. There was such sadness at the dinner, it felt like attending a funeral.
It was a crazy time to get started. No deal was easy. Everything was so hard. Financing regulations were changing on the daily, and many buyers who were under contract, were suddenly losing their financing. Deals were dying left and right. It felt like it would never get better. It sounds awful, and it was. But I wouldn’t trade any of it.
It was the best learning experience I could have asked for. In business, when times are tough, you find out what you’re made of. I was lucky I had multiple mentors at that time who were teaching me how to navigate that market. The skill sets developed were invaluable.
Today’s market is nothing like 2009, but it is a challenging market. Pricing is very intricate. Seller’s have to prep their properties for sale again. Buyers are difficult right now, and are very gun-shy. Many also have unrealistic expectations. Negation skills are more important than ever.
While the market isn’t nearly as bad as 2009, it is a market that who you hire, matters. There are many inexperienced agents who hopped into the market over the past few years when money was cheap, and prices were skyrocketing. They were successful due to the timing of the market, not because of their skill sets. Seasoned agents are more valuable than ever.