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2008-10-02 20:13:12

Life After the Fannie Mae - Freddie Mac Takeover

We’re all well aware now of the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And yes, we’ve read all the articles and seen all the news reports of how much it’s going to cost taxpayers to clean up the whole mess.

But what does this really mean to you, the average real estate agent, working hard to make a decent living for you and your family? What are the ramifications of this strange yet historic event for you? What specifically can you take from it? And more importantly, what can you do to capitalize on it?

As bad as the words bailout and takeover sound, there is some good news real estate agents can take solace in. Here are a couple of pertinent points I’d like you to consider:

1. Mortgages make the world go round. Mortgages are obviously the critical gear in the machine of real estate. The bailout not only keeps mortgages available for homeowners who need them, but also has kept mortgage rates down, and some say possibly forever. Remember the situation before the takeover? The Fed had been attempting to lower mortgage rates to help the real estate market rebound but with little to show for its work. In fact, over the last several months, the rates had risen. But now rates are lower. And typically, low rates mean good news for real estate values. 

2. A cleaner house is a better house. Basically this takeover allows the government to clean up lender balance sheets. And again, that will keep mortgage rates and fees cheaper. The move also allows for more flexibility to those with delinquent loans to work out their payments – something that wouldn’t have been done without the bailout. What’s more, government officials have said that credit will continue to flow and they will not let this disrupt the flow of capital to the housing sector, or harm the national and international financial system. And insiders have said the takeover will lead to “a major reorganization” of the two entities as privately owned models, and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has stated strongly that it has already started planning ways to help shape that process.

So that’s my one-two punch of good news. Now, what can you do? Here are my A, B, and Cs of advice to weather the storm:

A. Stay positive. As you can see from my earlier points, there are valid reasons to be positive. If I had to choose just one thing to get me through the rough times in life, I would have to choose my attitude. And the beauty behind that choice is choice. You get to choose your attitude. Choose well and you’ll do well.

B. Remember the fundamentals. When times get tough, sometimes we make silly moves to compensate. I believe those who go back to fundamentals of good service and solid business practices come out ahead. I’ve seen it work before and I have no reason to doubt I’ll see it work again as things settle down in the coming months and years. And never forget the four dollar-productive activities: list, prospect, sell and negotiate. Stay focused on those and you’ll do fine.

C. Continue to be the real estate expert in your market. Always remember to take time to invest in yourself by taking an extra class or two, reading the latest motivational book and rejuvenating your spirit and drive. You have to keep reading, learning and renewing yourself so you can continue to grow to be the best person you can be for your friends and family and to be the best agent and advisor for your clients.

(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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