This Post Syndicated from e-Partner
Ours is an industry with legacy. The brokerage business has seen many booms and endured many busts.
Many have come and most have gone.
Road kill has always been a part of the mix; the strong eat the weak and the weak find refuge in other endeavors.
The real estate industry has always been a town occupied by heralded gun slingers whose reputations have become the stuff of legends. Sometimes these are brands, other times they are movements, fads or personalities that come and go with the wind.
We have always been a tad reckless; that’s why we are a business model willing to predicate its economic viability on the unpredictable and unenforceable productivity of independent contractors. Let’s admit it, the business cultures we have created have typically been less than IBMish.
Nonetheless, we have moved from era-to-era, cycle-to-cycle and shifted from mode-to-mode, surviving the financial droughts of summer and living through the long, frigid economic nights of our many winters. We are an industry that could legitimately lay claim to squeezing blood from turnips.
We have historically endured and outlasted our most caustic critics who have mocked us at every turn and likened us to dishonest snake-oil salesmen.
Yes, we’ve been brought back from the dead a number of times. We are a cat with nine lives and most of them have been used up.
Are we now reaching the termination point? Are we, Tenus Terminatio Cuspis?
Syndicated from e-Partner
Owners are engaged in the delicate balancing act; walking on the razor’s edge, barefoot.
Slicing into Profit
The razor upon which owners must balance themselves is now slicing so deeply into revenues that profitability is now proving more and more illusive. Today’s Broker/Owners are confronted with an economy that is not rebounding fast enough to enable them to survive.
e-Partner has long held that Broker/Owners are the financial backbone of the real estate industry and that their survival should be one of the top priorities of our industry through 2010.
Our Bleeding Feet
The razor’s edge takes no prisoners and yields no concessions to owners who are struggling to meet their ever increasing general operating expenses. Trapped by the same economic factors faced by other businesses, owners are looking for ways to decrease fixed and personally guaranteed obligations.
e-Partner talks to owners from every brand and those who are independent and the story is generally the same. There are simply too few closing and too much bricks-and-mortar operating expenses. “There is just not enough transaction commission to meet the monthly demands we have,” one broker/owner told us.
Agility, created and sustained, is the first of the Ten Commandments of the New Real Estate Economy.
Although we are not quick on our feet, the razor’s edge is sensitizing us to perils of standing still for too long in one place. Our bloated organization body weight presses down on the sharp stainless steel edge and this slices away large chunks of capital required to sustain retail models.
New principle: the razor’s edge is now an owner’s continuing reality and he/she/all of us will learn to walk on this edge nimbly and quickly or, we will be cut to pieces.