We were listing Wellington short sales when Countrywide was still in business. Nestor successfully closed his first short sale in 1995 and I did some short sales back during the 80’s recession.
When we started blogging about short sales in 2007 very few agents knew what a short sale was or how to do one. In fact, many of the agents who are now doing short sales were saying in 2007 that they would not even touch one with a ten foot pole. Worse than that, attorneys and title companies who do closings had no clue how to close a short sale or how to properly do a preliminary HUD1 to be sent in with our short sale packages. We helped train our favorite title company in properly closing short sales and understanding exactly what the prelim HUDs need to be like.
There were no designations for short sales, there was no CDPE or SFR or any other designations. You either knew how to do the or not.
When 2007 came- actually it was May of 2007- right before we joined ActiveRain- the world stood still here in Florida. The Florida real estate market came to a screatching halt. The listings were not selling and buyers stopped buying. Sellers refused to believe the market crashed and buyers refused to pay the prices that properties were listed at. The air here was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Doomsday reporting by the local media did not help matters in these parts either.
By the time the 2008 NAR and MLS dues were payable- thousands of agents in Florida left the business. Unless you had money saved up in the bank- you were not going to make it through 2007. There were the exceptions of certain areas that are immune to most market changes.
Since Nestor and I had experience with short sales we embraced the new market because we always do well in recessions. Most of the listings back then were with Countrywide. Nestor mastered the art of making people feel good about themselves years ago and this one negotiating skill has got us to the top of the major banks and servicers to get our short sales closed. My skill in negotiating comes with my talent of empathy and being able to get two parties to see each other’s viewpoints and then compromise on a settlement.
Nestor has a way of knowing what is coming down the pipeline in real estate and has always been right on the money when he says the market is going to do something or a well is going to dry up soon so we have to find a new niche or a new twist on the real estate business in order to stay on top.
Six months before the real estate market here crashed he was warning us that we had to strategize about where we would be working in the real estate business. Prior to the crash we specialized in land assemblages that we would put together and present to builders and developers. We and especially Nestor was instrumental in getting some very nice townhouse and single family home development projects and plans sold to top notch large developers.
Obviously developers put a halt on their buying and building when prices sank by nearly 50%. This is when we said we needed to find a way that we could add value and still be profitable by returning to the residential side of the real estate business.
That is how we got started in listing Wellington short sales and helping homeowners avoid foreclosure by helping them complete a short sale. It was as Nestor calls it, ‘the wild wild west of real estate’. From the third quarter of 2007 and all through 2008 and 2009 we listed more than 99% of the other realtors® in our markets. We listed short sales all over the state of Florida. Our title company drove down South to Miami and up as far north as Tallahassee in order to assure our short sales closed.
There is a time and a place to make changes to your business plans. If you are too stuck in to a certain plan with no flexibility you will go down with the rest who don’t make their move when the iron is hot. It is even OK to leave the business if it is not what you are passionate about. That is more than fine. Only you and those who are affected by your decision can decide what the right path for you to take is.
Katerina Gasset is the author of http://www.wellingtonfloridashortsales.com. Katerina Gasset is the homeschool mother of 9 children and wife to Nestor Gasset. Katerina Gasset is also a writer, author, speaker, Realtor®, SEO coach, blogging coach and business entrepreneur and consultant.