Property Management, Rentals and Short Sale: The New Niche
From the time we sign up for real estate school, to the most experienced agents with 30+ years under their belt, we have all heard that to be successful in real estate, we need to find our niche. Well, I am here to say that’s a bunch of hog wash. I would go as far to say that by “finding your niche” you’re a signing, your own business’s death certificate. Many of our colleagues found out in 2007 – 2008, when the real estate bubble burst, having a niche meant you didn’t know how to work in a shifting market place. I understand that for most all of us, real estate was steady and predictable so, this niche thinking was rampant, accepted and promoted amongst our ranks however, now we have learned that being a niche Realtor means certain death as real estate become more and more volatile each day.
Now, I say all this but, let’s be honest, REO is definitely a niche, I like to think of it as being the undertaker of the real estate world. Yes, by extension, that means I am a housing mortician. As such, we see highs and lows and we are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in the market place. For some, that’s just fine, we have learned to work with these convulsions and have shielded our lives and business from times of drought however, a vast majority of us ended up in the foreclosure lines ourselves when the real estate market heard those fateful sounds, snap, crackle and finally….POP!
As a Realtor and full time Broker, I have found that taking a more diversified approach to my business offers me and my family a more stable outlook to my career. This means, I have done away with the niche and expanded my income streams to include things like; Property Management, Rentals and yes, Short Sales. I do have some other things I do in real estate like, investing however, that is another conversation for another time. Let’s stay focused on the whole “niche” thing.
True, you can say that each of those three I just wrote about are niches amongst themselves and, you would get no argument out of me here however, all together as a part of your service portfolio, they become more, much more. All together they become an inoculation of sorts, from the market place unpredictability. By adding more services you can offer, you are riding out the waves of instability in the market place by being able to quickly and effectively shift your business to more profitable ventures. Ok…yes, you are still working the “distressed property” niche so…..yeah, it’s still a niche but, it’s a niche with diversification.
Right now, many markets are seeing short sales take over and even outpace REOs however, we don’t see a flood of agents clamoring to do short sales like we did with agents clamoring to get REO assignments and, why is that? Have you thought about that? If not, why not? My argument is, the skills you learned to be a kick ass REO agent are really the same skills you need to be a kick ass Short Sale Professional. I would go as far to say, no real difference exist between the two required skill set that would stop any outstanding short sale agent from being a outstanding REO agent and vice versa.
Granted, short sales are much more time consuming and require much more paperwork but, these things shouldn’t scare you away but, should entice you to add short sales to your service portfolio. Let’s face it, if you can close a complicated short sale, you can close any REO. My bigger point is, due to the complex nature of a short sale, becoming a Short Sale Professional will build on skills you already have or at least, develop skills you don’t have and therefore, making you better in the long run.
Don’t be afraid of short sales, they are fast becoming the new REO. As REO agents, you already have the basic and even advanced skills to be a great Short Sale Professional so, grow a pair and get to work. Your area has hundreds or even thousands of homeowners who need the help of an experienced distressed property agent who knows the front and back of the foreclosure process so that they can avoid the foreclosure if at all possible.
As an idol of mine says, “You beda weeerk!”