I have only been in the Real Estate industry for the last 5 years, since March 2007 and have had my own agency since July 2007. It didn’t take me long to realise that it might not have been the best time to start an agency as this was also the time when the market started to go for a bit of a “dive”, if you know what I mean. The bond lending rate was at 11% in July 2007 and went up to 15.5% (June 2008) before coming all the way down since then to where we are today.
The market and business as we knew it was changing and then the new National Credit Act came into play. There were no more 108% loans where the banks financed your loan, your deposit, your costs and your new lounge & dining room suit. Many prospective buyers become tenants and the words “qualified buyer” took on a whole new meaning. The “boom” was no more and the property industry became a touch place to make a living. Many agents and agencies have gone “walkabout” to find greener pastures and the industry became a lot more regulated. We have also been through a recession and many economists are predicting more of the same to come.
So, what should we do now? Well, I might not have 30 years experience in the property business but I have enough experience in life to know that our situation is not unique and that many before me and even more after me will be able to make a success in tough times. Looking at 2012 and remembering my brief 5 years of experience, marketing and selling houses on the Westrand, I am very positive and looking forward to a great 2012. Will it be tough? Yes! Will buyers struggle to get bonds? Yes! Will there be less stock? Probably! But the fact is that there will always be people who need to sell their properties and there will always be those who see opportunity in buying property for themselves or for investment purposes. Economists all over agree that property in SA is still a good long term investment. There are also less qualified agents to assist buyers and sellers so those that make the effort will get the listings and take the offers.
My focus will be on learning, finding more effective ways of marketing to buyers, sellers and agents, building business networks, delivering great service and being more than just an agent. We have so much to be thankful for in this country where owning property is a great privilege for most. Helping someone find a new home or selling there’s so that they may start a new chapter in their lives is what I love doing …….. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, may you have a fantastic Festive Season filled with love, warmth and happiness and may 2012 be THE year, for you, your family, loved ones as well as your business.