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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys
So I've been pondering, its about time I get my ass in gear to find a job that I can actually live off of, rather than silly kiddie jobs where I live pay cheque to pay cheque. So I was browsing along and noticed that UBC offers a correspondence course for Real Estate and a family friend of mine took this route and in all places, Port Alberni, is booming for her business. So I was just looking to all of you real estate agents out there, what kind of advice and tips do you have, how hard is the competition, and when starting out, how hard is it to get your name out there? Give me all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly...
 

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When I was a kid my mom was in real estate. Expect to work 12 hour a day, weekends too. I recall her complaining that asian people liked to do business late at night - 11:00pm. She also often complained that the majority of agents were 'slimy' and dishonest.
 
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take the "earn your real estate license in 5 weeks" course you see advertised on street lights and in skytrain stations.
 

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long hours, long days
either you make it or not will be determined in teh first 2 yrs.

you do get to get all ur commission and you get to write off yoru expenses however, u do get ur commission cut, you have to learn how to lose money in order to earn a few bucks just to close the deal.

learn ur cell phone plans and make sure you get a voicemail / text messaging system so you don't have to take calls late at night..
my dad has been in tisbusiness for over 30 yrs...
 

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Mortgage Pimp
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I'm a mortgage broker so I've taken the same course... it's easy, way too easy. Which results in a lot of shitty realtors and brokers out there. It's not as easy as it looks, and you have to work VERY hard to make it, especially now with rising interest rates less product and more realtors and brokers than ever.

The rewards are good and it can be a very fun industry, but be prepared to have some tough years, learn to manage your money and one day it'll pay off.

Just under 5 years in the business and it has worked out for me... but I had to work my ass off to get here.
 

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Definatley a tough profession. A friend of mine is in Real Estate and I actually thought about doing this as well. But with me having a family and all, it just would not work out. My friend was saying that he is out the door at 7am and home at 9pm everyday. Alot of Marketing yourself and money to do this. He said from April-July of last here made $60,000.00 and after all was said and done he saw $7000.00 out of that 60. Last year was his first year.
I also talked to our Realtor about it and he was saying if he new what he knows now back when he started this, he would not do it. Just to much time away from the family. When we where closing the deal to buy our house, he was at our townhouse signing papers at 12midnight. If wanted the deal that's what he had to do. Good luck eith your adventure.
 

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In this market the homes sell themselves .. all you do is sit back and collect your six percent. Sounds easy.
 

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Brendan said:
In this market the homes sell themselves .. all you do is sit back and collect your six percent. Sounds easy.

ahhh yes the good times! For every up there is a down unfortunatly, it is the individuals that make it through the down times that pass the test.
 

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yes, i'm sure no one is going ot bargain the 6 % and making you cut your commission.

either you cut 3000 dollars from your 9000 commission or lose the deal and lost out 2000 a month from the advertising on newpaper already..
 

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NO more realtors! d:

But seriously, don't do it just because you think it's all money and no work. YOU WILL HAVE NO LIFE for the first however many years it takes you to get going. TRUST ME.

And ya, some chinese dude just called me last nite at 1130pm to ask about a property i have for sale.


scubaphil said:
yes, i'm sure no one is going ot bargain the 6 % and making you cut your commission.

either you cut 3000 dollars from your 9000 commission or lose the deal and lost out 2000 a month from the advertising on newpaper already..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
doug said:
take the "earn your real estate license in 5 weeks" course you see advertised on street lights and in skytrain stations.

for real? that's not the same course they offer at UBC through correspondence is it?
 

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The housing bubble has popped

Reports of falling sales and investors stuck with properties they can't sell are just the beginning. Property owners should worry; so should their lenders.

By Bill Fleckenstein
MSN
Monday, April 24, 2006

A recent story in the Wall Street Journal, "Hot Homes Get Cold" (subscription required) offered lots of its useful vignettes that serve as a microcosm of manic markets -- starting with the bravado-cum-denial displayed by a medical-equipment salesman in Stuart, Fla.

Concerned about his real-estate investment apparently going sour, he can't afford to reduce the price to what homes now sell for in his neighborhood -- which is about $100,000 less than he's asking. Says the salesman: "If I got in a jam, I would have to drop the price, but I am not at that point." His game plan: Rent the house, so as not to "lose my shirt."

That's the mentality often seen in manic markets -- the belief that you can't possibly lose, and, when the price goes against you, you don't have to deal with it, because it will come back. This fellow (and millions more like him) is going to find out that his belief is a mistaken one, in the same way that folks did when the stock bubble burst.

Dwelling takes a little shelling
The story went on to note that many formerly hot markets in California, Arizona, Washington, D.C., and Florida are now "languishing without buyers or even prospects. Many once-booming markets are seeing double-digit declines in sales." The magnitude of the drop in Florida home prices (once the frothiest market in the country) is striking. Single-family home sales declined 20% in February, year-over-year. Similarly, California sales dropped 15%. Some of the hottest towns in those states were off twice as much.

I loved the point that what seems to be really alarming is how "real-estate agents in some of these formerly red-hot markets have been surprised at how suddenly (my emphasis) market conditions have deteriorated in the past few months." Of course, that's what happens when manic markets and bubbles turn. Prices change radically and, seemingly, for no reason.

Many people will say that the real-estate market has turned due to higher interest rates, and rising rates have hurt. But the real-estate market ignored rates going up for quite some time. Its topping was caused by exhaustion. Same with the stock bubble -- many folks think it was rising rates that caused the implosion. That isn't true. The stock bubble ran until it popped in March 2000, having ignored everything up to that point.

Symptoms of the doldrums
To me, it's not debatable that the real-estate bust is starting to gather steam. The top was approximately when Time Magazine published its June 12, 2005, cover story: "Home $weet Home: Why We're Going Gaga Over Real Estate". (For more, check out my June 13, 2005, column, "Straight talk on what the Fed has wrought," and my Aug. 29, 2005, column, "It's RIP for the housing boom.")

After having leveled off for a while, the real-estate market is now starting to slide. We're seeing signs of sales slowing and inventory accumulating, which are all quite classic, even though the timing of when this would begin was not possible to predict in advance.

Continuing on, the article noted that Florida is "ground zero for the housing market" and as good a laboratory as any to watch. The real power behind the housing bubble, i.e., irresponsible lending, was "exacerbated in Florida." Quoting from Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com: "There were more lenders, more realtors, more foreign investors" than the rest of the country -- which is how a hot market gets really wild.

The story cited the plight of investors who'd purchased homes in formerly hot housing developments that now resemble "ghost towns." One such individual is Paul Zani (no pun intended, I'm sure), who'd bought a couple of condos, listed them for more than he paid and now can't sell them. However, he doesn't want to reduce the price (even though he'll probably have to). This mentality is an example that many real-estate "investors" seem to share -- heads we win, tails the bank loses. (Some people are sanguine these days because, as the article notes, "while sales are slackening, they aren't collapsing." To that, I would add: "Yet." They will.)

By and by, heartburn for the bankers
It is indeed the financial institutions that are most at risk in the real-estate market (which is not to say that consumers and speculators won't get hurt). The lenders will bear the brunt of the pain, because in many cases, they loaned the entire purchase prices of many homes. As I have said often, the housing bubble has been more a lending bubble. It will be the impairment of the financial institutions that will stop the flow of credit to the real-estate market. In turn, that will accelerate the collapse in house prices somewhere along the way.

The story closed with a description of how slow the market has recently become in Florida -- via the following comments in an e-mail by real-estate broker Mike Morgan: "We went three days this week with not a single showing. That's incredible. I have 35 listings. We usually get 2-6 showings a day. ... I received more desperate calls from sellers than ever. One lady broke down into tears. Her husband bought two investment properties, and they are now going to lose their 'life savings' if they sell the homes in today's market."

Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, a lot of people around the country are going to be badly hurt as this bubble unwinds. And, after they have taken their losses, the financial institutions that were the engine behind this folly will take their own hits. 'Easy Al' Greenspan at the Fed tried to bail out one bubble with another bubble. While it bought some time, it will end in far-worse pain.

A vision of mean reversion
Finally, a recent edition of The Liscio Report, the economic newsletter, put into perspective how wacko the current climate is. It said that the ratios of (a) stock value to GDP and (b) real-estate value to GDP are both nearly twice their averages from 1952 to 1970. As the report noted: "If mean reversion still has any role in market valuations, then both markets have plenty of room to fall."
Since the name of my investment partnership is the RTM Fund (which stands for "reversion to the mean"), I obviously believe that plenty of mean reversion lies ahead.
 

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radmtnbkr said:
a bunch of crap
As much as I agree this housing market is way overextended and can no longer sustain the growth of previous years... Can you keep your posts to one thread? We already have a forum littered with your "end of the world Oil crisis" bullshit, we don't need any "end of the world real estate" threads popping up.

I think I speak for most of the members here when I say this.
 
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