Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon
I hope my legs don’t break, walking on the moon
We could walk forever, walking on the moon
We could live together, walking on, walking on the moon
— The Police
Most real estate folks today are earthbound. They walk the solid ground of tradition. They need gravity. Even though it weighs them down.
Many have bought into a doomsday reality. But not everyone. In some of the worst markets in this country, beacons of inspiration are thriving. They are busier than ever.
They are the moonwalkers.
Their feet hardly touch the ground.
These are their stories.
He is an agent with EWM in Miami, a market hard-hit according to some. Not Kevin Tomlinson. 21 days into 08, he is about to surpass 2007 in net income.
Kevin isn’t a flash in the pan agent that flaunted his early-decade success on European vacations and fancy sports cars. He didn’t bail on his broker either. He stayed put and invested. He knew order taking wasn’t going to last.
While listening to an Inman audio conference in â€˜07, Kevin emailed one of the speakers. Asked if she could teach him what she knows. Ardell responded. She brought him to Active Rain where this expert from Seattle mentored a novice in Florida. It says much about the new online real estate mindset. It says quite a lot about the Active Rain community.
Today, the rewards have paid off. While some of his peers spend their time selling off assets, Kevin’s spends his blogging, learning and selling. “Everything I know I post”, he says. “I never lead generate. I never drip email anyone. And I have more business than ever.”
Ten seconds into playing Tracey’s homepage video, my wife walked over and said “Who is that? I want to buy a home from her”. Lori isn’t alone.
Tracey Thomas sells real estate in Calabasas, a city filled with agents wondering what to do next. A 20-year veteran, Tracey came online in â€˜96 because she was fascinated by it. Most of her peers didn’t “get it”. Tracey had no idea where the web was going but she grabbed on for the ride.
Now that the “hobbyists” are leaving the industry, Tracey is doing better than ever. When she lists, the home immediately goes to postlets. It gets enhanced on Zillow. It’s marketed with a vflyer. She blogs about it along with posting a video she shoots herself.
Tracey is a doer. She walks the walk. On the moon of real estate.
When Kris entered real estate in ’97 with a Masters in Civil Engineering she was “marginally web savvy”. Unclear what a domain was, how it was hosted, or what a server was, she nonetheless knew mastering technology was critical to success.
In â€˜98 she bought a book on building Websites. Her first attempt wasn’t great or gorgeous, but the URL went everywhere. And business followed. Mid-decade, when there was enough business to go around for everyone, no one worried about the future. Few planned for it. Not Kris. She stayed up late and studied. Learned how to program. And began uploading floor plans to her site â€“ something no other agent considered and something that became highly sought after when the fires of â€˜03 destroyed many San Diego subdivisions.
In â€˜06, she started blogging. 3 months later the blog surpassed her Website in traffic. Her business increased without the help of any lead generation gimmicks or drip email. She finds these things disrespectful to her readers and customers. As a result, 2007 was better than 2006. 2008 will soon surpass 2007.
“I don’t want to be left behind” Kris told me. “If I see that something is going to be the wave of the future… surfs up!”
Wishing my days away
Imagine building a company with agents like this. Imagine turning your current agents into success stories like this. This is real estate in 2008 and beyond. These people and others like them are real estate’s hope. It’s agents like these – people who know how to get clients, advise clients and make transactions happen – that will fuel the entire real estate industry.
Brokers, vendors, franchises, lenders ” you feed your families off the business these people create by virtue of their brains, their tenacity, their vision, their hard work and their desire to bring an elevated , holistically new real estate experience to the table.
Imagine a real estate industry filled with only the best of the best. I do.
Tomorrow ” more.