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2010-01-27 17:48:30

Economic Reality for REALTORS


We all paid close attention to the recent election that was held for the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat in the Senate. I don’t think it came as that much of a surprise to anyone that a Republican claimed the seat held by Democrats for over 50 years.
Our country is fed up with politics in general; rather you’re a Republican or Democrat. The “sleaziness” of Washington with bribing Senators and Congressman with special deals to get legislation passed is beyond anything we as Americans are willing to accept from our representatives in the future.
We’re done and we’re mad as hell.
However, how does this election and the mood of this country affect our industry? In my opinion, which isn’t worth the price of a cup of coffee, we are probably stuck with a lame duck President for the next three years.
Our President and congress has lost the trust and the faith of the American people. With his promise to put the health care debate on C-Span to all the bribes for the Health Care bill, this congress is not going to get down to the people’s business anytime soon.
NAR just published the resale housing report today and sales were off by over 16% in December. In tracking our internal reports, I knew the NAR report wasn’t going to be good. So what is the Realtor to do if I’m correct, and this country suffers through a malaise for the next three years?
I can guarantee you the one thing that all Realtors that survive will want, and that’s 100% of their commissions. With less sales happening, the Realtors are having to work harder and harder for sales, and they are in no mood to let a Broker keep 20%, 30% or even more of their commissions.
The Realtors that we speak with everyday, that are still making sales and surviving, are doing so by generating their own leads. They are surviving by going back to the basics and grinding it out, the same way all old time Realtors have always done.
These Realtors generate their own buyer referrals; and their sellers are their own referrals.
I suspect that we’re going to experience during 2010 even more Realtors just giving up and retiring from the business. Just this past Friday we heard from a Realtor that has always produced between $15 million a year and $25 million a year and he just said he’s tired. He puts in 80 hours a week just to survive. A Broker can no longer expect to take a part of these Professionals commissions.
Now, with everything I just wrote, we are seeing a phenomeum that I have to contribute to the unemployment in this country. We are getting probably 20 to 30 people a week contacting our company that are in the process of getting their license. We don’t hire new Realtors, but these new Realtors all expect to get 100% from day one.
It should be another very different year in our industry.
James A. Crumbaugh III is CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes and may be reached at

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