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07-06-2012, 08:49 AM #1
Resort Real Estate: Opinions? Advice?
After living in Crested Butte for the past 15 years, I'm at the point where I really need a career change. I can't work in the trades anymore- they provided me a solid lifestyle, but I never loved or even liked the work, and I'm old enough now for my body to tell me daily that it's time for a change.
My dad was a RE agent, as is my brother. So I have an idea of what RE is all about, and how crappy my weekends and evenings could end up being. But I'd have a mentor, which is awesome, but he's in Denver and obviously that's a much different market. I've already spoken to some local agents and have a bit of a pulse on the local market. There are now half the number of agents as there were at the peak, and the total market is 1/3 the size.
In addition to any general comments anyone might have for me, couple questions- How do successful RE agents find their clients in places where most of the clients are from out of town. I have ideas but I'd like more marketing ideas. and 2- What should I look for in a firm? What would be a good deal in a resort environment as far as desk fees/percent the house takes?
Again, any other advice appreciated. Thanks
07-06-2012, 10:05 AM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
With the uncertainty in the CB market, due to the bankruptcy, how are things moving? It might be a good time to get into RE, because once that is resolved, there might be a little jump?
I think your experience in the trades could fit in well too! Do you have access to capital? Find a distressed condo, fix it up and then list it yourself?
I got my license in Aspen in the 80's. I didn't sell a lot, but I was in property management for ten years. I did learn a lot and I was in the right place, at the right time and picked up some prime property. I think what I learned, has paid for itself many times over, even though I didn't get many commission checks!
I'm still pro RE, mainly because I like owning nice places and I don't really trust Wall Street!
07-07-2012, 12:04 PM #3Mack Master William Large
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
- Billyburg, NY
It really depends on how your market yourself. My stepmom is a RE agent in northeast florida and a lot of her business comes from the website she has. She spent like 30k building a fairly significant site with some solid branding. I believe it's one of the first couple sites that pop up when you google real estate in the city she lives in. The first year is always the toughest as you struggle to get your name out there. Network every opportunity you get and if you can, get hooked up with an established firm.
07-08-2012, 09:37 AM #4
Shredhead- So far, the only place CBMR is bankrupt is here on TGR. Everyone seems to think the Muellers are hurting though, so who knows how long they'll hold on. The real owners, CNL, will have someone else running the show in a hurry. I don't have the money to try a fix'n'flip, and even if I did I think there are too many properties right now anyway. I know of a couple people commuting from CB to Denver to do it there and they seem to be doing quite well with it there.
Gman- Yeah, the internet seems to be the place to start with this. The top couple of agents both have their personal sites in the top 5 when I search google. Nice thing about that is that I have some experience with my blog and my blog comes up first for quite a few different searches, so hopefully I can use that to help me.
Thanks for the thoughts, I'd love to hear more before I pull the trigger and sign up for classes to get my license.
07-09-2012, 08:45 AM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
I just mentioned the developing, because they seem to make the most. They also take the most risk and I've know more than a few that have gone bust.
I have a good friend that is one of the top agents in Aspen and he works for the top agent in the US. I sent you his number, give him a call!
07-12-2012, 10:10 AM #6Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
07-12-2012, 10:39 AM #7....................
- Join Date
- May 2005
I think that having a professional and informative web presence is huge these days in that business, especially for grabbing buyers, which is where the young agents usually make their money.
Invest the time and energy in building and schmoozing a referral network - as an attorney I refer clients listings to agent friends here all the time. Title companies, shuttle drivers, landscapers, property managers, interior decorators, they all get asked by potential clients for referrals.
Raise visibility in town with a couple of board seats on nonprofits with missions aligned with your interests.
Chat people up on the chairlift. Buy a book of comp tickets to give away when you meet people who fit the profile of a potential buyer.
When you get in over your head, and you will, don't fake it, get help from an experienced broker or an attorney. You wouldn't believe the amount of litigation that never would have happened if agents didn't shoot from the hip on contracts, disclosures, etc.
07-12-2012, 10:43 AM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- North Vancouver/Whistler
gb - if i needed a CB RE guy I'd hire you.
For buying places in ski hills if I'd known the person beforehand I'd have used him or her. I almost always look at the realtor's website. FWIW
07-12-2012, 10:28 PM #9
I will go with the web site suggestion also, been looking at Driggs, Victor area for awhile now. I had the name of a friend of a friend realtor who contacted me, probably someone I could hang out with. However the after initial contact he had never followed up. Another realtor sends me listings everyday, anything new or that changes price. My son was just down there with my sister and that realtor showed them around. My son reported she drove a Hummer. I'm not really a Hummer crowd person but if I buy it will be through her. I guess it is ok to link to her site. I think it is a great example of a good site.
http://heather.tetonpropertysearch.c...source=Listing Update Email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Listing Update&utm_content=Townhomes&utm_term=1440956
they checked this place out and the price just dropped so I got update rapidly.off your knees Louie
07-12-2012, 10:41 PM #10
Obviously, web presence is hudge as has been mentioned, but be on top of those web contacts. Lots of people sending emails are like many mags, on a computer all day, and the faster you get back to them with responses, the more likely that lead will turn into business."fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
"She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
07-17-2012, 04:15 PM #11
A good website that gets real traffic is important if you are selling in a town where most buyers are from out of town. You can also look into advertising on sites like Trulia or Realtor.com so when people search for Crested Butte on those sites your info shows up.
Another thing I would do is do some mailings and cold calling to the out of state owners. I'm guessing a lot of people buy property in resort towns and end up using them a lot less then they thought they would. There might be a good amount of people wanting to sell. Get the listings and let other agents bring the buyers.
07-17-2012, 06:07 PM #12
The old adage says the top 20% of the agents make 80% of the money.
Those in the top 20% would probably say things like:
1) Spend a fuckload on advertising. A metric fuckload. Search engine optimization costs money and you better have it to start.
2) Be available. Every realtor can tell you stories of how they lost thousands when they were out of town or returned a call an hour late and lost a huge commission.
3) Be a natural salesperson, no matter what you are selling.
4) Be cool with selling yourself constantly.
5) Know everybody.
6) Have a substantial nest egg because it takes time to build up any volume, let alone substantial volume. Those first few sides will probably take months to close and will probably be eaten up by your desk fees.
I am sure I will think of more later.
As far as commission splits, it varies wildly even in the same town. Some places the agent keeps 100% of the commission but pays a gigantic monthly desk fee, and some places have minimal fees and provide support but do up to a 50/50 split. Even then, different agents have different arrangements with broker/owners based on their production.
07-17-2012, 08:04 PM #13
Thanks for all the replies. My gameplan before I posted this thread was to get a good website going- it sounds like that is probably a good strategy and happily it coincides with some things I already know how to do with my ski/bike website.
It's going to be a tough game for me to play to fully commit to this while still trying to make some $ as I transition. Gotta do it, though.
Anyway, back to studying uniform contracts. good times.
07-17-2012, 09:29 PM #14
If they take 50% make sure it is only up to a certain amount. Once you reach a certain amount of commission paid into the brokerage they should raise your split higher than 50%.
07-17-2012, 10:02 PM #15
let me know if you need any help on the website since it's pretty much what i do for a living.
07-19-2012, 02:42 PM #16Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
- Sandy UT
I spent some time in RE outside DC (NoVa) and did well out of the gate. Rather than focusing on passive marketing an spending all your money, I'd look for the ideal firm ~ commission/prestige balance. That plus the way you present yourself is all it takes to get listing agreements signed. To get appointments I made 50-250 calls a day (3-4 days/week), focusing on expired listings, FSBOs, contacts, etc.
The idea being, I could spend $1k and 40 hours making and distributing a mailer or spend that time calling 800 people in the market asking for appointments. Active prospecting is a great way to understand a market, get appointments and come across as proactive to potential clients.
That being said, your situation is unique and calls for possibly a tailored approach. I highly recommend calling every expired listing every day though.. It's a numbers game just like passive marketing, only you spend less money. There is no better way to generate signed agreements than speaking with a potential customer face to face or on the phone.
From the listing end you can have more predictable/manageable income and ease into the buyer side with referrals, repeat customers or *the holy grail* a double transaction sell/buy or dual agency. Just be careful about your local Realtor regulations to ensure you're operating within the ethics, etc.
Last edited by KarlStall; 07-19-2012 at 02:58 PM.
08-22-2012, 04:24 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
I'm late to this thread, so it might not matter.
I'm in real estate in Denver and the foothills - it sounds like you're covered with resources from your family members - but if I can answer any specific questions let me know.
My family owns a brokerage firm and I manage the new agents, talk to them about building their business, ethic and legal implications, etc. I'm not going to fill up this whole thread with what our processes are, but again, if I can offer anything, shoot me a PM.
I'm sure you've heard it, but your sphere needs to be your biggest focus. Who do you know, who do they know, what can you offer them. Unless you have big cash to burn up front, get a website, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and ignore print ads and other cash heavy marketing. Funnel people to one spot - your website. Facebook updates? Link your website. LinkedIn connections? Steer them to your website. Twitter updates? Repost or hashtag your website.
Anyway, PM if you'd like to chat at any point - you can also just email me - firstname.lastname@example.org