Today is Drop Dead Day for Many Austin Realtors

by Steve Crossland, REALTOR in Austin TX on December 15, 2008 · 6 comments

Today is the deadline for Austin Realtors to pay annual board dues. It cost $347 to remain in business as an Austin Realtor for 2009. That may not sound like much, but many agents don’t have the money, and they don’t have any listings or active buyers. For some, it’s a very depressing decision to make – stick with it or give up. Many of course do give up, which is probably the best decision.

Looking at the dues I’ve paid into the Austin Board of Realtor and the MLS for 2008, the total is $1,133.50 in ongoing dues and fees. So agents who do pay the $347 due today, will have to cough up another $393.25 in Feb, and that amount again 6 months later.

The thinning out of agents is healthy for our industry. Those who monkey around doing a deal or two a year part time really shouldn’t be practicing real estate, in my opinion. I don’t see how anyone can maintain an appropriate level of expertise and knowledge if they are not in the mix day in and day out, closing sales, dealing with problems, helping people and learning. And that means that the people they do help are not receiving a level of perspective and knowledge that busy, experienced agents can provide.

So, while I don’t wish ill will for anyone, a lot of Austin Realtors won’t pay their dues today, and good riddance to them. They need to go find something they can approach with more passion and success. This business isn’t for everyone. In fact, given the failure rate of Realtors nationwide, year after year, good markets and bad, it’s a business for very few.

Why do so many fail?

For the same reason so many people can’t lose weight. There is NO SECRET to succeeding in real estate. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, just like losing weight. But for reasons I can’t explain, very few actually do what is required. Instead, they try something different, or focus on inconsequential ancillary issues, such as how their business card should look, or what contact management software to use. Meanwhile, they are doing NOTHING to generate leads. This is an amazing thing to witness, but I see it over and over again.

Then, when failure becomes apparent, the blame game starts. “This market is just too tough right now”. Or, “what’s wrong with these buyers? They can’t make a decision”. Or, “I can’t get my sellers to price the home reasonably”. And on and on.

Sylvia and I feel blessed and lucky, but we work really, really hard. And a lot of the hard work is pure grunt work, making phone calls, staying on top of things, talking to past clients, calling FSBOs and Expired listings, previewing homes, attending training and economic functions, networking, prospecting and planning. None of it is easy, but it’s not complicated.

Fairwell fellow agents. Good luck in whatever you do next.

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