If you are a Real Estate Professional or Mortgage Broker, how has the current market affected you financially?

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If you are a Real Estate Professional or Mortgage Broker/Loan Officer, how has the current housing/mortgage market affected you financially? Are you considering making any short or long term changes in your career? How are you coping with the current economic situation as to how it affects your business? What other lines of work, business or career have you considered? I’ve heard from a lot of professionals in both fields that have, for the time being anyway, “bailed out”…. Thanks!

John C. Venezia, CLU, ChFC, CITRMS

  1. Reply
    Julie H
    April 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I have a friend that has been a realtor for 10 years. She had to bail out because she can’t earn a living. She is now working at a hotel as a sales manager. She is selling the hotel sleeping rooms and meeting space for conferences.

  2. Reply
    DJ B
    April 30, 2011 at 12:07 am

    John, my husband and I both are in the business. Realtors and I am also a licensed Appraiser. We noticed the change 3 years ago this September. We were selling only new construction homes at the time and had been for 12 years. We’ve diversified since then and are working the existing market too. But the existing market is different and it is like starting all over again. We have tried to position ourselves to have more Internet tools to help our clients, some of which cost a good deal of money each month. My appraisal business has all but stopped indicating to me that my market was the sub prime market. I have positioned by self to handling FHA appraisals, but that market hasn’t begun in earnest yet.

    Financially we are nearing a breaking point, and are considering supplement work for income. But due to our age, that is difficult. Yes there is still discrimination out there on age.

    We are hopeful that the Federal Government is making the necessary changes to infuse the economy and kick start the real estate market again.

  3. Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I’m out. Thank god my wife found a job. I am a stay at home dad, going back to school and waiting for the market to turn around or I stumble into something else.

  4. Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I’m an investor – so I’m excited – bring on the blood! But I work with several agents – this is what’s happening with them . . . Agent Number 1, Orlando area – has been working as a waitress at a large golf resort for about the last year. She still has one or two closings per month (but commissions are small – not expensive homes). All of these sales came from existing clients – she said it’s been about six months since she landed a new client from a walk-in or call-in. She has been in the business for 20 years and is the best agent I have ever had. Agent Number 2, Tampa area – In the business for about four years. Owns twelve investment properties. Her husband is filing for divorce and they are actually fighting over who gets to NOT keep the houses . . . Neither want the properties (and mort.). Funny, since people usually spend months fighting over who gets to keep the house. She’s selling a home a month and hanging in there . . . It’s not pretty but it’s not yet terrible. Agent Number 3, Tampa area – also a licensed mort. broker. Just talked this week about possible purchase. Phones are ringing off the hook for refinance . . . Said about 6 of ten applicants are approved (credit seems upward of 700 seems to be the determining factor) and about four of the six actually close. Nothing is selling and has stopped taking new listings because it is financially stupid to pay for advertising and new electronic lock boxes. She is only taking water front right now. Agent Number 4, Miami area – retired. She made a crap load of money during the past five years and banked it all . . . Agent Number 5, greater Philadelphia – Almost refused to work with me last year . . . said I was too “doomsday” on the market and that her area was unique. Put in a cash offer for 450K on a 600k house “as is” – the owner still calls me . . . I’ve told both of them to shove it. I am currently begging agent number 1 to hang license in Philly . . . .

  5. Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 2:29 am

    I am in North Texas and have been a Real Estate Broker for 29 years. We went through some horrible times in the late 80’s and early 90’s. When I look back at those tax returns I wonder how come I stayed with this.

    We did not have the boom of the last few years and so far at least don’t seem to have the crash. But we do have a large number of foreclosures right now.

    I sell mostly existing homes. They do not seem to have slowed down around here…at least not yet…but I do hear people worry about the things they see on the nightly news.

    Back in the eighties I had to look around for people that really needed to buy or sell regardless of the market and grab them before anyone else did. (relocation or pre foreclosure mainly but also changing family structure with remarriage, divorce and adding children was a sizable part of the market).

    I also find that around Christmas a lot of Realtors seem to take off because of the slow market and I get some of their clients. I hope and pray and plan that if there is a slow down around here I will get more than my fair share of clients the same way. This is my life, I have no plan “B”.

  6. Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 3:07 am

    I was a loan officer a few years ago in 2003. Sales was not my thing so they put in admin. It worked out for them because they had given me training to be a loan officer so I knew all about the terms and paperwork. The market turned sour a year later so they laid all the admin guys off they had hired to handle the boom. I could have decided to try and get a job within the industry again, but something in me said “no”. I thought the industry was too shaky and searched for something more stable. And now I’m glad. I hear things like greenpoint going under, countrywide in big trouble and all these foreclosures! I’m blown away!

    On another note, my mother and sister are Realtors. (The sales gene was not something I received I guess.) They are not making much money. Their spouses make money so they are just trying to ride out the bad times. When things get better they’ll both be back in the game. They know what is up.

  7. Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 3:11 am

    When I first started in real estate 16 yrs ago I never thought of getting my real estate license. As dumb as that sounds,it has been quite profitable even though I don’t make commissions. I started out as a receptionist and learned the business by having the opportunity to work with over 300 agents. That tends to make you either sink or swim in itself. Over the years I have also worked as several agents assistant, transaction coordinator, new agent trainer, title and escrow, loan originator,processor and signer. I have also gotten in to foreclosure solutions, and work with FSBO’s as their virtual assistant. Since I have had the chance to sink or swim by literally being thrown out into the field, I have thankfully been swimming this entire time. I am now doing buyer and seller seminars, have a agent referral service and I also am a identity theft, small business and personal legal service associate.

    I haven’t stopped doing anything in the real estate world and am working on actually getting my real estate license in Indiana.

  8. Reply
    Amanda H
    April 30, 2011 at 3:19 am

    I have been in lending for 10 years now and was wise enough to switch from a broker to a banker 2 years ago. My business is still fine because the brokers have lost most of their programs. Since we are a bank with a strong financial backing and a plethora of programs, we are actually getting more business than before albeit lower loan amounts.
    My mother in law is a real estate agent and my sister in law is her assistant. Mom has been in the business 26 years so she has been through tough times before. Their business has declined but because of their existing customer base they are still the number one or two agent in their office depending on the month.

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