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2010-01-20 22:18:42

How To Get 2010 Off To A Profitable Start


Want 2010 to be profitable? Remember these two words: Get busy.
That’s because you have between right now and the end of April to make what might be the biggest chunk of your income in 2010.
My prediction: This year is going to be about as different as any year real estate has ever seen. And the first four months will either make or break you. In other words, winter (right now) is your new spring and summer.
That’s a pretty bold statement, but I’ll back it up with some observations and then top it off with tips on how to profit from the strange goings on.
Our best friend in the market right now is the tax breaks and that ends essentially on April 30 when deals have to be under contract (and closed by June 30). I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a record number of listings in March. Because in my mind, the tax breaks salvaged the market.
I also believe the housing market is headed toward some interesting times in the next two to three years. I’m feeling if the tax breaks aren’t extended a third time (and I doubt they will), it could be a long, lonely summer. Foreclosures are still plaguing the market and short sales will continue to be an opportunity if you want to travel down that road.
But for now, the market is as primed as it will ever be. The National Association of REALTORS  is hitting the airways hard with its campaign to push buyers off the fence, and people are thinking about the money they can save. 
Another item that might help move buyers toward a purchase is interest rates. Analysts are predicting rates will begin to rise this year. 
So here are some tips to maximize your profits while the maximizing is still good:
- First, align your business plan and goals with the realities of the market. If you haven’t planned to hit it hard between January and April, my plea to you is do it. And don’t be afraid to alter your plan if you need to as the year progresses. In fact, it’s likely you will need to do just that.
- Then, commit to knowing your particular market better than anyone else. In uncomfortable times, people want experts at their side who can share the latest and best information out there. 
- Next, multi-task your marketing efforts. This is a must for these next four months. That means focus on both the first-time buyer (this will be the last, best time to convert them into real estate owners) and those current home owners eligible for the $6,500 tax break. And within that current owner market, go after your past clients who bought from you five or more years ago from you. They may have added to their family and need a bigger home. And don’t forget the baby booming empty nesters who are looking to scale down now because their kids have moved on.
- Think mail, then phone. Hit your target markets hard with direct mail and then follow up with phone calls. It’s still an ear-to-ear and belly-to-belly business. 
- Consider seminars. To improve your chances of getting face-to-face with buyers, pair up with a mortgage lender (or go it alone) and hold a free seminar to educate your farm area about the advantages of buying now. 
Whatever you do, don’t let the year get away from you and lose on this opportunity to make 2010 a profitable year.
Let me hear from you. Please share any questions you have about this article. Send me an e-mail at
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.
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