There’s a lot of talk about how crummy the residential real estate market is and how agents had a rough go of it during 2010. There are fewer agents in the business compared to years prior and the ones who stayed are making a lot less money.
Seems like a logical result of the economic meltdown and real estate bubble burst. The only problem is it’s not true across the board. Agents are definitely working twice as hard for half the money. But there are plenty who adapted to the market and had huge years in 2010. Here are a couple of examples.
Carol Wolfe, a veteran agent in Encino, Calif., is on track to do more than $40 million in combined sales for the year. She has been in the business since the mid 1970s and said this is the second best year of her career. She sells homes from $140K condos to multi-million dollar estates.
The thing is she never stops the marketing machine, even in the good times. Name recognition, having an excellent reputation and providing a high level of customer service are key, she said.
She sends out approx. 5,000 postcards each month to her farm area, advertises on the Internet, advertises in local movie theaters, schools and car washes, and writes a weekly blog at: http://encino.patch.com/articles/keeping-the-slow-economic-recovery-in-perspective
Oh yeah, Wolfe knows the value of her work. She gets 6% commission on most listings where many competitors settle for 5%.
Ken Marker and Corey Brown, agents based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., closed more than 120 deals in 2010. The team sells property in the San Fernando Valley area ranging from condos to high-end estates. These guys are consistently top producers for Rodeo Realty.
In 2010, they adapted to the market by placing extra emphasis on selling new construction condos. Sales were strong because many builders have been liquidating condos. Many of the new developments are FHA approved, the HOAs are clean and there are no defaults. About 98% of the buyers are owner/users.
The new condo market will be less in 2011, they said, because there’s very little new construction happening in the San Fernando Valley. But Marker and Brown are sure to adapt and prosper.