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Friday, April 27, 2012

A 10 percent increase in home sales! But are you even ready?

The pit in your stomach is slowly dwindling.

It has been there for years, and you wonder if it’s just that you’re starting to get used to the feeling, or if there’s really a reason.

You don’t really care, either way. It seems cliché, but the real estate industry is sick and tired of being sick and tired.

It was 2007 this thing hit. 2006, depending on which market you were in. Some areas were hit harder than others, but virtually all were affected in some capacity.

Needless to say, no matter where you are you’ve felt that pit in some capacity or another.

But it’s going away a little, which seems unusual. The job market is still uncertain, the country has a fast-growing debt and it’s an election year. Some talking heads are saying the real estate market is coming back. Others say it will take another bad turn. You don’t know what to believe anymore, aside from your own gut instinct. And your business has wavered just enough that you don’t know what your instincts are trying to tell you any longer.

The new news is good, at least from the National Association of Realtors. NAR is predicting a 7-to-10 percent jump in existing home sales in 2012, which would bring about the most home sales in five years.

It’s difficult to say if the spike will play out. Maybe the recent 9.2 percent higher existing-home sales rate over 2011 will continue. Maybe some form of decline will follow it.

But things are looking up, as you’ve been told will eventually happen for years.

Then you start feeling that next pit. You wonder if you’re even ready for an increase in sales.

How have you spent the past few years preparing your real estate business? Have you set up a new real estate website, or are you still operating off the antiquated six-year old one you had before the worst came to be? Have you adapted to new communication technologies, or did you stick with the tried-and-true methods of yesterday? Do those still work in this new, ever-evolving, on-the-go market?

Many real estate agents and brokerages hunkered down when the market turned. They made sure not to spend at all rather than spend wisely. For some, that meant losing money due to utilizing out-of-date, out-of-touch technologies that were not only inefficient, but ineffective.

But now the market is reportedly turning. The direction is a different one than you’ve gotten used to, and the pit in your stomach is being replaced, but you’re worried you might not be where you need to be in 2012.

The market news is market news. Sometimes it seems to be good one day and bad another. But preparation is the key to taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. The type of preparation that gives you an elite real estate website with the most intuitive property search functionality and the best customer communication channels.

Odds are, you’re probably on the go a lot more than you might have been six years ago, and you’re used to using mobile technology to help aid your lifestyle. Does your old technology give you the ability to subscribe to your CRM calendar with that in your smartphone, so you can have all meetings, follow-ups and other calendar notes with you wherever, whenever, all in your pocket.

The market might be changing, and that pit in your stomach might be going away, or might be replaced with another. But regardless of what the market’s doing, be proactive in your career. Step up to the plate and put an end to your nerves on your own.

Then maybe you can spread the positive news about the market’s improvements and how they impact your own business, rather than waiting to hear what others are saying about theirs.
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