It has been a bit since I really sat down and expressed what in happening in regards to Real Estate in Haywood County North Carolina. I would like to say that we are taking it all in stride, but I will not lie. It has been a challenge. All year we have been looking towards the next "busy time" that will bring an influx of customers into the mountains to buy that special get-a-way. It started in the Spring, the flowers and trees started to bloom and we said "ok, it is coming. The visitors will be back and the sales will increase, but the market did not pick up. So , we said school is not out...When it gets out "they will be back" . Well this went on all Spring, Summer, and now fall. Unfortunately, we never had that "rush" of customers.
I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that the market continued even though it was slow. I know there are agents out there that are having a very tough time. Our company has maintained a steady flow of sales. We are ranked #3 in our county and have had over 80 transactions to date (typically we do 150 or so in a year). We have about 15 transactions in the pipleline so we are better off than most. That said, it has still been a challenge to get from month to month. When your company is set up with an overhead based on a average of 150 transactions and you only do half of that, it creates a problem. I believe we have been proactive for months and knew that the market would be slow, but nobody knew that the global economy would crumble around us.
All parts of the economy have been affected, but is there a profession hit harder by this than the 1.2 million Realtors in the US? We hear daily of bailouts for the banks, for other financial sectors, for the automakers, soon the airlines, and on and on. It has been the housing downturn that has caused all this so who do you think is affected the most? Yes, anyone associated with real estate especially the Realtors. Are we asking for a bailout? No way! I do not think it is the way our professionals operate. In good times we are accused of making to much money for doing very little work and well folks it is just not true. This is my "second" profession and I can tell you the professionals in this business work as hard or harder than any. Throw in a housing crisis and we have had to work even harder for little or no pay. We come to work each day and try to find answers to a general lack of buyers. How do we get people off the fence, what incentives do we offer, and how do we reach more potential buyers are just some of the questions that we face.
I hope that the bailout monies make it into the system, the financial markets rebound, and the housing industry rebounds. If it does not the unemployment numbers will go up and there will be many that are not accounted for such as Realtors who are independent contractors and many times are not see as having "real jobs". Call your local Realtor today and tell them you appreciate them and send them a lead! :) Their families are depending on it!