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Top 5 Challenges Facing Agents Today

“The boom is over, let’s celebrate, get rid of a few hundred thousand non-selling agents and start being more productive,” says real estate visionary and best selling author, Stefan Swanepoel.

“The receding tide of sales volume has exposed some pretty nasty stuff. Lopsided splits, crazy costs, a Frankenstein monster of timeworn technologies and a stable of yearlings still in need of training,” says Marc Davidson, founding Partner of 1000 Watt Consulting.

“There are too many people with opinions instead of facts. Too many that ‘think’ instead of ‘know,’” says Bob Hale, Executive Director of the Houston Association of Realtors®.

These are but a few of the bold comments from the new 2008 Swanepoel Trends Report as the author delves into the need for agents to increase their productivity, despite the slippery slope of a declining housing market.
The 170-page Report covers another nine equally important aspects impacting real estate agents and brokers. The Report is widely acknowledged as the only document of its kind tracking trends and change, interpreting the events and making objective recommendations and how to address them. “Stefan is always right on with his trends. I enjoy watching new ideas pop up around the industry and it's great to find them all in one place,” says John P Reinhardt
President, Fillmore Real Estate.

Currently, according the a survey conducted by RealSure, publishers of the Swanepoel Trends Report, the top five challenges (percentage that ranked this item important or extremely important) facing real estate agents are:
1. Unreasonable Price Expectations by Sellers (84.4%)
2. Too Few Buyers (83.3%)
3. More Informed Consumers (81.4%)
4. Subprime Loan Fallout (72.6%)
5. Too Many Agents (64.6%)

Overall, all current surveys show that agents’ productivity is down. This is of course not surprising, taking the declining housing market conditions into consideration. However that said, studies by the National Associations of Realtors®, RealSure, the Department of Justice and others all indicate that the average agent earns somewhere between $34,000 - $47,000 annually. And this is before expenses, be they for administration, promotion, technology, transportation or professional development. These operating expenses can easily range between 30% – 50% of an agent’s gross income, thereby reducing the net income considerably.
The Swanepoel Trends Report discusses numerous strategies brokers and agents can follow to increase their income and maximize the opportunities created by the shifting market conditions. Five strategies provided include:

1. Maximizing Technology and the Internet to the Fullest
2. Participating in or Building a Team
3. Creating and Following a Well Conceived Business Plan
4. Using Virtual Assistants to Assist with Less Critical Tasks
5. Diversifying and Assisting Home Buyers on Numerous Levels of the Home

“As the licensee ranks begin to thin out, smart agents and brokers have an excellent opportunity to add to their knowledge, skills and grow their market share,” says Swanepoel.

Steven K. Randall of Welch Real Estate Services in Utah uses the Swanepoel Trends Report in almost every weekly sales meeting as a basis for helping agents understand the big picture. “This allows us to stay a step ahead of the market,” Randall says. So to stay ahead of the market, make sure you too read the annual Swanepoel Trends Report. The 2008 edition is now available with no shipping courtesy of National Realty News by clicking here, or copy and paste this link in your browser: http://www.realestatetrendsreport.com/NRN.htm.
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