Anyone interested in the market would have to dig deeper to find the real meat of the report, which actually provides a much more nuanced snapshot of the market. According to the survey, a “significant percentage of respondents” – 12.5 percent – actually saw an increase in their foreign clientele in the past year. In Florida, California, Texas and Arizona—the biggest recipients of international buyers—more than 35 percent of agents reported increases in international business. In Arizona a whopping 44 percent said they saw a jump in international contacts from a year earlier.Perhaps most importantly, international sales continued to represent about 9 percent of total realtors’ business.The study found “a relatively small share of Realtors appears to account for the bulk of international sales.” Ten percent of Realtors claimed six or more international clients. Five percent reported that “more than 50 percent of their transactions were with international clients.”Now that’s news. In the midst of the worst market in generations, a “significant” number of Realtors actually grew a segment of their business. And even though the number of sales dropped from 170,000 to 154,000 in the year, international sales still represented a key chunk of revenue for brokers The image of a core group of savvy agents in key markets expanding their international operations, even during the worst period in modern industry paints a much different picture than a slight decline in overall numbers. If anything, considering the industry basically stopped for six months, anything less than a total meltdown in any sector could be presented as miraculous news. The real news of the report—the man bites dog angle--is the finding that, in some markets, the international business remains strong, even buoyant. Some agents are even bucking the tide, thanks to their international clients. Now that’s news worthy of headlines.
It's time to stop feeding the little birdies and teach them how to feed themselves. Some will starve. For those, starvation would have been the outcome in any case.
The key is in outsourcing. Most of the broker's traditional roles have effectively been outsourced anyway, so embrace it. Instead of showing your new hires to a computer bank, tell them they will need their own.
Rather than trying to be a trainer, coach, technology provider, marketing department, and office supply warehouse, provide them in exchange for their license a thumb drive with links to all of the resources they could ever need to start and grow a business.
It will cost you about five bucks, and you can imprint your familiar logo on the side.
My agents know that they can choose from two dozen classes a month offered by our member association on everything from contracts to computers to marketing. There are enough seminars, webinars, coaches and "bar camps" to go around.