Train for a bad market with a lot of competition. As a senior level director in a new home sales and marketing office, that was my mantra. At the time, my boss didn’t believe in spending the money for training. In fact, the cheaper the talent (that’s what he would call sales agents), the better it was for the bottom line. That was when we had almost seventy-five agents working for the company and projects spanning from
I’m not known to rub it in anyone’s face, or jump up and down screaming that I told you so…but come on, can’t I just this once??? From a company that was once one of the largest new home sales companies in California to barely hanging on to 10 agents (and I hear they would all leave if only something better came along) in slightly over a year, I would be willing to bet my old boss wishes he would have spent the money to train for a bad market with lots of competition.
I no longer work for the company. In fact, after realizing some strategic differences, I left about two years ago…just about six months before the market really took a dive. No resentment, no bitterness, simply a belief that I could do it on my own, only better.
In 2004, the California Department of Real Estate reported record high numbers sitting for the real estate licensing exams. They also reported the average age of those examinees to be just 24 years old. Just a couple of years out of college and maybe a couple of years into their professional life, these young and impressionable real estate professionals were looking to make a career. And quite the career it was since many real estate professionals in
That was the glaring red flag for me. I’m all about making a good living and I wasn’t going to hold anyone back that had the potential to sell. But from where I was sitting in that gloriously successful company, I could count on one hand the number of agents that had experienced a bad market.
I used to call it the fat-cat syndrome. The company would provide a desk, complete with business cards, cells phones, computers, a secretary to take messages, and even, at times, a clothing allowance to help them dress the part, all contained within a sales office attached to a beautiful new hi-rise, multi-million dollar condominium development. The company would even pay for all the advertising, PR, and any bills associated with the sale of the development. But even after being spoon-fed the expensive wet cat food (this is where the whole fat-cat syndrome analogy comes in), the fresh new agents would still complain that it wasn’t enough.
Today, many of those fat-cats are out looking for other jobs. I can certainly appreciate those that have stuck it out, however. In the end, those that survive will come out with an entirely new outlook and approach to a bad market. After all, they are the true survivors of the perfect storm…don’t you think?