Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Spirit of Cooperation Among Agents - But Will It Last?




Remember the "old" days of selling real estate? When competitors didn't talk? When agents put themselves on pedestals? When they bragged about listings and sales? Or thought they had a "niche" no one could touch? Those days are over. The market has changed. Many real estate agents have been knocked down a peg or two, or left the business. In the "old" days, some agents wouldn't deign to show listings under certain price ranges, like under $300,000 or $200,000. Or they just limited themselves to certain towns- they wouldn't drive 25 minutes to show "regular" properties.

Now, no one is "too good". Everyone in this new economy has been affected by the down real estate market, job losses, home devaluations. And, I must say, they are a lot nicer for it. There is a new camaraderie, a humbling. In my last year of selling real estate on the Emerald Coast of Florida, I have made many new friends. We talk, share and discuss the market. We help get each other's listings sold. I don't mean from my office at Rulnick Realty, I mean from other COMPANIES in Destin and throughout the Panhandle. I regularly have conversations with other brokers about short sales, our multiple listing system, market statistics and ethics. I field phone calls from agents with questions about their own short sales- ones I have nothing to do with. In fact, many agents have referred short sale listings to me, or even their own properties for sale.
Yesterday, I closed on a listing referral I received from Mark A. DeSalvo of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties in Destin FL. He emailed me: "Great job! And you got the full asking price. You are the best." Mark's office is one street over from mine, and he sent a short sale listing to me.

Just this week, I sent a referral to Jimmie Greer, of Destin Beach Realty, for someone who was looking for a resort rental in Destin. I also received an email from an agent at Re/Max Paradise Properties in Destin asking for advice on her short sale. I listed a referral from Marno Wilson of JW Watts Properties for a Fort Walton Beach condo. I contacted Jayme Nabors, a commercial broker with NBI Properties, to send him a Niceville Florida business listing referral of one of my own sellers (no fee asked). That was just this week. This story has been repeated dozens of times in the past year.

There really is enough business to go around, as I wrote in How I Helped My Competition - On Purpose. On the Emerald Coast alone, there are over 13,000 listings for sale. I just hope this attitude of kindness and sharing can continue after the market normalizes.
Although we are competitors, as Mark DeSalvo said to me:
"All us agents should be working toward the same goal of making the customer happy. It's a fun business when we have co-operation. It's what makes the world go around."

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

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