Survival of the Fittest

By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

The Real Estate Agent’s Field Guide: Essential Insider Advice for Surviving in a Competitive Market By Bridget McCrea, (AMACOM, 2004)

Feel like the real estate industry is shifting beneath your feet? From harnessing the Internet and vying against discount brokerages, to steering clear of lawsuits, there’s a lot more to the profession today than simply selling homes. Meanwhile, competition is sizzling and clients want more bang for their buck, making it harder than ever for real estate practitioners to earn their commissions.

Former Century 21 sales associate Bridget McCrea brings you up to speed on these major industry changes in her debut book, illustrating each lesson with real-life examples from professionals who have found ways to compete in what she calls a “Wild-Wild-West-like environment.” The point McCrea repeatedly drives home: In today’s cutthroat market, you must adapt quickly to the latest technologies and consumer demands or be left in the dust. “The [practitioner] who works through these issues now—rather than pretending that they don’t exist—is bound to emerge stronger, smarter, and more successful in the long run,” the author writes.

Tips From the Book:

  • Jump on the technology train. The salesperson who wants to succeed over the next five to 10 years and make 50 percent or more gains in productivity must embrace technology and integrate it into day-to-day operations.
  • Act like a consultant. Most practitioners don’t think of themselves as business consultants, but they probably should. By embracing the role of consultant and viewing themselves as business entities rather than employees, savvy real estate professionals can create value for their clients and consumers that their competitors cannot.
  • Watch your back. A real estate professional’s best defenses against potential litigation include good disclosure, proper documentation, and an eye for recognizing potentially harmful practices like discrimination and fair housing violations.