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Selling Real Estate In Today's Tough Market: Become A Student Of Markets

As the real estate market declines with no bottom in sight, record numbers of brokers, agents, and associates have moved on to other vocations. But for the passionate and dedicated real estate sales professional, tough markets are filled with opportunities.

Unless you've been in the real estate industry for over a decade, you can't even recall a real estate market as tough as this. It's not surprising, then, to not know what it takes to sell in it.

Yet somehow, somewhere, someone is still selling real estate. Here's how you can too.

Become A Student Of Markets
In his Boron Letters, Gary Halbert once told his son, "The very first thing you must come to realize is that you must become a student of markets. Not products. Not techniques ... (T)he first and the most important thing you must learn is what people want to buy."

With that in mind it's also important to remember that you’re not really selling a product or service. You’re selling a result, a benefit, an outcome, and an advantage.

Depressed Market Perception Makes Selling Real Estate Even More Difficult
In addition to the 'hard' causes of the real estate market decline, the selling environment is made tougher by the public's perception of market conditions. Conventional wisdom, whether one is in the market or not, is influenced by:

    1. A continuation of declining real estate market indicators with no end in sight

    2, The incessant way the media intensifies public perception of the problem

    3. General fear and apprehension about what is known and predicted for the future

As a result, sellers grow depressed and discouraged while potential buyers often overestimate their market position-- making offers that even the most desperate sellers find insulting. This is the selling environment of today's market. Tough, yes, but not impossible.

Somehow, Somewhere, Someone Is Still Selling Real Estate
So who's making money under these adverse conditions? Some very resourceful real estate auctioneers for one.

Having found a way to monetize declining real estate market conditions, property auctioneers' sales have, in some cases, more than doubled over the past 12 to 18 months. The ways in which they've accomplished this increase in sales hold lessons for other real estate professionals whose own sales have fallen drastically over the same period.

One way is by convincing owners of high end properties --on sale in a declining market for a year or more-- to consent to an auction to a group of potential buyers. Many owners have landed 'a price that they can live with', even if it's less than the price they originally hoped for.

Educate Across The Board
A lot of educating has to be done on both sides of the equation to get sellers to understand and accept a real market value of their property. An additional obstacle is the emotional involvement that most people, understandably, have in the properties they own. They also have to be helped to come to terms with the probable opportunities cost in delaying a sale until sometime in the future.

On the other hand, potential buyers need to be educated to the realities of their actual position in the market. They can easily overestimate their own market leverage if they come to the table with misconceptions formed by what they've heard or read.

Who Else Needs To Sell?
According to Crain's Chicago Business, amateur developers have greatly contributed to the 5499 finished, yet unsold, homes in the Chicago area. This, according to Crain's, has driven the amount of unsold new homes to it's highest level in 17 years.

Many of them are spec built and take longer to sell, so the monthly interest costs eat into the profits the developers originally anticipated. Some developers are choosing to sell now rather than wait until prices fall further. As more come to grips with tough market realities, "break even" may become an attractive proposition.

Opportunities Multiply When They're Seized (Sun Tzu)
Selling real estate in a depressed market is tough but not impossible. It requires the best marketing strategies, time management methods, and a feel for developing the alliances and partnerships needed to deliver complete value-added solutions to your clients. These are the same components you need in a hot market to actually rise to the top-- a hot market is just more forgiving.

A tough market is filled with opportunity for real estate pros who rise to the occasion. Build a high precision marketing strategy and you can sell your way to the top.

About the Author: Kamau Jackson is a Chicago marketing consultant who helps business owners leverage their existing assets to dramatically increase profits—without increasing advertising costs. Get more info about online and offline small business marketing strategies at © 2006 Internet Knowledge Solutions. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the "About the author" message).

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