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Getting Back to the Core

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, Feb. 9, 2008-Thayne Houston is well aware of a trend sweeping the industry. As broker/owner of ERA Brokers Consolidated, he has witnessed the fallout of “part-time” agents for himself-so that’s why today, Houston is saddled up, ready for the market to get back to business. Here, learn what Houston says is the secret to staying in competition just as the industry is getting back to its core.

houston_thayne.jpgThayne Houston
ERA Brokers Consolidated
St. George, Utah  

Region served: Southwest corner of Utah, about 100 miles north of Las Vegas Years in real estate: About 24 Number of offices: 6 Number of agents: 130 Average sales price: $290,000 Average time on market: About four months How I got into real estate: “My dad was a real estate broker so I came into the business under him and eventually bought out his company.” Philosophy: “‘Do the right thing.’ I have tried very hard from the beginning to build the company on integrity.” If I weren’t in real estate: “I would probably be a real estate attorney. I also enjoy the outdoors, so I could see myself being a guide in Southern Utah.”

Describe your current market conditions.

Our current market is relatively flat right now. Over the last two years, we have seen ourselves in a declining market and we have finally bottomed out. Right now, we are beginning to see more activity, but we aren’t in an upward swing yet.

What’s on the minds of home buyers and sellers in your region?

The main trend that we have seen with buyers in our market is that they are holding. They are reticent to make the move and step forward into the market because they hear that the market is going to go down again. Our sellers are struggling to get their homes sold as well. At this time, there aren’t enough buyers for the homes that are being sold. There is a lot of opportunity to pick up equity at this time, but you have to have staying power. You have to be willing to hold the property for a few years in order to make money.

How do you set your company apart from the competition in your market?

We mostly compete with ourselves. We try to keep our heads down and look for ways in which we can improve. We are constantly looking for new ways to market our homes and other ways in which we can improve our real estate company. The changes that we make are put into place so that we can keep up with the marketplace or even stay ahead of it.

What are some of the current trends you see in your market right now?

We are seeing a lot of agent fallout as agents who recently got into the business are moving on to other industries, allowing our market to get down to the core people again.

What do you like best about your job?

The thing that I like best about my job is that everyday is a new challenge. There is always something new going on within the industry and there is always another twist and new way of doing something.

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