In today’s market many real estate professionals have to decide whether to wait it out or reinvent themselves in a different business. What options do they have? Here are some coach-style ideas to consider.
The state of real estate market has been in the news constantly in recent months, and not in a good way. The prices are down from 12 to over 20 plus percent comparing to last year and there is a huge slowdown in buying. The bubble has officially burst and we are faced with the flood of foreclosures and dropping prices. Obviously, this situation is affecting homeowners, real estate investors, homebuilders, construction professionals, and myriads of others. The groups of professionals affected the most directly are realtors and mortgage brokers. For a lot of them their work and income situation has turned 180 degrees from what it was not long ago.
Joanna has been a realtor for Coldwell Banker in the suburbs of Chicago for seven years. She loves selling homes and she has done very well financially doing it. In the past few months she has listed six properties and she sold one. The obvious market slowdown is putting her more and more in a financial crunch. Her husband owns a construction company and the market is not too kind for his business either. They are finding themselves cutting expenses and dipping into their savings.
Steve has been a mortgage broker for four years. He made very good money while the market was hot. He has closed two loans in the past few months and he is struggling to make his own mortgage payments.
When I interviewed them for this article, I sensed a feeling of uncertainty, disappointment and despair that represents the general climate at their offices. It is an uneasy situation to work in the industry that is going through a big downturn and not knowing how long it will continue. There is this sense of loss and sadness. It feels like a slow death to a lot of people.
I can relate to it to some extent – in my college days I used to be a maitre ‘d for a big restaurant whose owners were going through bankruptcy. All the people who worked there loved the place and we hated to see it close. We all knew that’s what would happen sooner than later but we were in a kind of denial about it and were hanging on to the end. The sense of doom was slowly building up and we were finding ourselves more and more paralyzed by it. The longer we waited the more drained we felt and the more difficult it was to move on.
These days many real estate professionals are finding themselves with no or limited income, bleak outlook for the future, discouraged, disappointed and worried. When they go to their offices, they are met there with discouraged, disappointed and worried faces of their coworkers. Not a happy place to be.
So what is a real estate professional to do in the downturn of the market? Since I’m in a business of coaching, which means supporting people in achieving their goals and living the life they want to live, I will give you some coach-style ideas to consider:

1. Accept What Is
Fully accepting what is is a crucial first step to any good changes. The market is down and will not come out of it for some time. It might be a matter of six months or six years, nobody knows. Ask yourself if you are hanging on to any false hopes that somehow miraculously it will turn around tomorrow and this whole situation will go away. Take an honest look at the income you have produced in the last few months and decide if you can afford and want to continue at that rate.
It is what it is. Arguing with reality never makes sense and the best you can do with it is to love it the way it is. It might have some great things to offer you if you allow it to. So read on.

2. Consider Your Options
There are only three ways to effectively deal with any difficult situation: accept it and do nothing, change it, or leave it. Let’s look at your options.

Option I: Accept It and Continue
You have an option to simply accept it for what it is and live with, or, as I’ve heard some real estate professionals call it, wait it out. This is a viable option if you can live on a limited income you are producing now and can be happy about it. If you decide to wait it out, I would like you to be very specific about setting your financial and time boundaries around it to guide you. Sticking to these self-imposed guidelines will allow you to relax into the situation. Your guidelines might be as simple as: “I am perfectly OK waiting it out if I continue to make $___ (fill in the blank) per month. If I have four consecutive months during which I don’t meet my goals I will consider other options.”

Option II: Change It
You cannot change the market but you can change you position in it. There are number of things you can play with: new marketing strategies, new niches in the marketplace. Let’s mention just a few ideas here. New marketing approaches could involve writing articles for Internet publication or public speaking about buying and selling real estate in the down market. These approaches will set you up as an expert in front of your potential clients and attract them to you. Of course, creating new effective approaches takes some time, commitment and effort on your part and what I call “stepping out of your comfort zone” so you have to be ready to do some work.
Exploring new niches in the marketplace is worth mentioning here. An example might be educating oneself on dealing with foreclosures, becoming an expert in short sales, etc. The market is going in this direction and you might decide to follow if you are interested.

Option III: Leave It
This “bad” market might be an excellent opportunity for you to reinvent yourself completely. Realtors and mortgage brokers are en entrepreneurial bunch, they are adventurous, less resistant to risk, self-reliant, responsible, enthusiastic, and they do very well in a variety of professions as well as in their own businesses. Think about it: Do you have a dream business or a dream job you might want to consider? Or, even if you don’t have a concrete business idea, do you feel that you have that entrepreneurial spark in you to explore the unlimited possibilities that the Universe is offering you? If yes, maybe the Universe is simply inviting you to go down this path now.

3. Make a Decision
None of these options is perfect for everyone, so you have to make your decision based on what you want and are ready for. Use your mind, use your logic, and above all use your intuition. When you consider different options, ask yourself how each of them feels in your body, whether the energy you feel inside is tight and constricted or if it feels open, spacious and free. The things we are ready for and are meant to do make us feel open and joyous.

4. Get Into Action
Once you decide, get into action to make it really happen. Ask yourself what you need to do to get where you want and create a solid action plan. Remember, anything is possible, just be open to receive it.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret Moczkowski is a certified professional business coach and consultant helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Get a FREE copy of her Evolve Your Business NOW: Action Plan Workbook designed to help you wrap your mind around your projects, big and small: