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Why Many Real Estate Agents Will Be SCREWED In 2 Years

real estate agent screwed
Creative Commons License photo credit: Public Domain Photos

You have seen sensationalized headlines before, “woman gives birth to two headed baby!” They certainly get our attention, even if its just a chuckle.  “Why Many Real Estate Agents Will Be SCREWED In 2 Years” may seem sensationalized but it’s not.  I believe it’s a fact.  I am a business development manager for a national title insurance company, I help real estate professionals-real estate agents and loan officers-get found on the Internet.

Lets get to the Meat of this post. Why many real estate agents will be SCREWED in 2 years.  First of all, let me tell you that I am not 100% positive they will be “screwed” inside of two years but I am most certainly certain they will be “SCREWED”.

Let’s back up.


Back in 2004 there was a refi boom.  Real estate agents and consumers needed a lucky number to reach a loan officer, the loan officers were focused on low lying fruit – consumer refinances.  Every where we looked, TV, Radio, Online, Grocery Carts, Back of receipts, the stoppers at grocery stores (stoppers, if that is what they are called, are the thingy-ma-jigs that separate your order from mine), everywhere we looked there was an ad, a solicitation to refinance.  “Save thousands!!!” they said.  Many loan officers neglected their bread and butter – real estate agents – to focus on what was easy – refinances.  Then, the refi market ended, not with a whimper, but with a bang.  Rates went up and all of a sudden, the refi’s were gone.


Next there was the housing explosion of 2005 and 2006.  Everywhere we went, someone was talking about how much their house, or rather ATM was worth.  Buyer, Seller and Investor seminars popped up everywhere.  TV, Churches, Radio, Your local bank, late night info-mercials, Everyone was focused on flipping homes.  I personally saw my business increase over 400%.  I went from closing 40 deals a month to over 160.  It was crazy.  Then, the investor market ended, not with a whimper, but with a bang.  Rates went up, property values started to slip, inventory levels went up and all of a sudden, the investors were gone.


Next there was the REO or bank owned market of 2007 to present.  Every real estate agent wanted to know one thing “how can I get into REO or bank owned sales”.  The agents that were doing business, were plain and simple – REO agents.  I personally saw my business crash.  National banks signed deals with national title companies to be the exclusive title insurer, locking many title reps and title companies out of what would become a HUGE part of market.  This market is still in effect by the way.


While the REO market was in full effect, we started to hear about a new kind of transaction – the Short Sale.  It probably should have been called the Un-Short Sale, these deals took months and months to close.  Real Estate agents started targeting anyone and everyone they could to inform them about the possibility and advantages of a Short Sale.  It was really easy to identify candidates for a short sale.  Simply, look at the Notice Of Default or Notice Of Trustee Sale list, or even look at the tax records.  Anyone who purchased a home or did a cash-out refi in the above markets was an ideal candidate for a short sale.  Why?  because property values here in Arizona slid backwards close to 50%.  A home purchased in 2004, 2005 or 2006 for $500,000 could and most likely is worth close to $250,000 or LESS now.

The Short Sale market is where we find ourselves today, along with the REO market.  80% of all sales in the Phoenix metro area are distressed – SHORT SALE or REO. Traditional sales involving a READY WILLING AND ABLE buyer and a seller are so few and far between that most agents completely neglected their database’s and focused on the low lying fruit – short sales. I personally don’t know any agents that don’t work short sales.  The ones that don’t work short sales most likely are making a living by helping foreclosed consumers find rental homes.  There is a huge market for that as well.


Now, let me tell you why many real estate agents will be SCREWED in 2 years (or there abouts).  Sales people are creatures of habit.  I am a sales person so I know. Given the choice of reaching for an orange on the 1st branch of a tree instead of the 2nd or third, most sales people, most real estate agents will choose the 1st branch.  Its easily accessible right?  What many real estate agents have failed to consider is what happens when the REO and short sale markets end, not with a whimper, but with a bang. A visual aid for you.

Red Marble
Creative Commons License photo credit: Fatback[Dale]

Green Marble Reflection
Creative Commons License photo credit: Andrew Morrell Photography

Imagine you are looking into a bag full of RED marbles.  Those RED marbles represent consumers – home owners.  Now, imagine that half the bag (or more) is filled with GREEN marbles.  These GREEN marbles represent consumers – homeowners – that need or most likely need to short sale their home.  If you are a real estate agent, it’s pretty easy to identify those consumers – those homeowners – that need your services right?  Now, fast forward 2 years from now and imagine that same bag is filled with all RED marbles.  No GREEN marbles.  What will they do then?  All consumers – all homeowners – now look exactly the same.  How will a real estate agent pick out a consumer that needs their real estate services then?  The answer is pretty simple, they can’t.  They are now officially SCREWED.

You will notice that the title of this post is “Why Many Real Estate Agents Will Be Screwed In 2 Years”, it isn’t “Why ALL Real Estate Agents Will Be Screwed In 2 Years”.  You know why?  Because there is a very small group of real estate agents that get it.  They are working short sales, rentals, maybe even REO’s but they are doing something else at the same time.  They are building up their inbound marketing.  Many of them are my clients.  I am helping them get positioned for the next real estate market – the traditional real estate market.  That is the one where consumers again have a choice of who their lender is, who buys or sells their house and most importantly for you – which real estate agent they select.

When the market recovers, these RED marbles that need to buy or sell real estate won’t go to their mailbox or their front door for a traditional real estate agents solicitations – NO, they will go to Google, YouTube, Bing or Yahoo.  Now before you say, No, No, No Stephen, real estate is still a relationship based sales industry let me tell you that you are absolutely correct.  Only, those forward thinking real estate agents, the UN-SCREWED if you will, will be using inbound marketing real estate strategies to meet consumers that need their services online and then meeting them offline, at a coffee shop, their office or in front of a home for sale – they want to buy – the listing that another agent “thought” he/she was getting. :-)

So, how do you not be one of these agents that will be SCREWED in 2 years?  Open your eyes!  Consumer eyeballs are not on their mailbox or even TV anymore, they are online.  Forward thinking real estate agents will get with someone (like me) that can add real value to their real estate business, not with embroidered coffee mugs, fly swatters or golf shirts but with the ability to compete in 2 years when consumers again have a choice.  Want to know more about using inbound marketing strategies for REALTORs?  Want to know how to have your ideal client find you online?  Call, text, fax, tweet, email, fb email, bat signal or better yet, Google Me -MyTitleGuy.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Get SCREWED!

And Now You Know. I’m Out!

I Want To Talk About Working With YOU

Are you a Realtor or loan officer in the Phoenix metro area that wants more business? From WordPress to Video, Content Marketing to Social Media for BUSINESS, I can help. Please fill out the form below. Let’s talk.
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Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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  • Luz Ibarra Ceballos

    Hey, Stephen! You have a great way of telling it like it is!

  • MyTitleGuy

    Thank You Luz! My mommy always told me that honesty is the best policy…. I am happy to say that you won’t be one of those agents that gets “SCREWED”. Your new WP looks great.

  • Irma Veloz

    Your information is always great. Too bad you office is too far from me.

  • MyTitleGuy

    @Irma, what are you talking about “too far”? I’m virtual! Look to your left-there I am. Look to your right-there I am again! I can work with you anywhere and partner you with a title office that is close to you and your clients. Let me know. Look up…yep, there I am again! LOL