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Surviving Today’s Market

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By Lesley Geary

TOP 5 IN REAL ESTATE NETWORK, March 2009-Mark Boyland
Keller Williams
Years in real estate:
14
Region served: Northern Westchester and Lower Putnam Counties, New York
Average sales price in your market: $800,000
Average number of days on market: 163
www.markboyland.com

What philosophy does it take to survive in today’s market?

There are a lot of agents not doing well because the market is constantly changing and you have to look out six months and see what’s coming down the road. Basically, if you adapt to this market, you can thrive. You have declining values, therefore you have people who are under water and now have a house they can’t get out of. Two years ago, I saw signs of short sales on the horizon, so I started researching them, got a coach and started working on developing best practices on short sales. This week alone I have met with four people who are in that situation. Three have already listed with us and the fourth is about to sign on.

How have you had to adapt your strategies?

I am aggressively pursuing short sales and am getting the word out that I am a Certified Distressed Property Specialist. I send out e-mails to my SOI (sphere of influence); I speak on it at my Lions Club and BNI meetings; and I am putting it under my “status updates” on Facebook. I am aggressively pursuing short sales business everywhere I can.

How important are strong, basic skills in today’s market?

Getting back to basics is where it’s at, so it’s very important. You have to re-connect with everyone you know and, to that end, I find that online social networking is an important trend.

How do you need to change your approach to getting listings?

You have to be out there aggressively working harder than ever, but there will be rewards down the road. While a lot of people are crawling into a cave and waiting for this market to pass, the smart agents are being more aggressive.

How do you need to change your approach to working with buyers?

You have to be very good at screening and educating buyers. Are they truly serious about buying in this market? A lot of people are sitting on the fence and just looking, but are not really comfortable about buying in this market. You must build a relationship with these people and keep them informed, but not run around with them if they are not of a mindset to buy right now. The key is to do it in a way that preserves the relationship but doesn’t waste their time. For those who do want to buy in this market, you work very hard at educating and helping them make the right decisions.

How do you prepare for the future while taking care of business today?

I try to set aside a little time each week to focus on something for the future while honing my basic skills all the time. Right now we are setting up a very high-profile blog as well as a low-budget studio to build video web content.

Why did you become a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®?

I have known Top 5′s President Allan Dalton for a long time and saw his progression. He has always been a very good marketer, and anything he attaches himself to has been very good. I find this very appealing because, as the market shifts, people will look for this type of branding.

How are you utilizing Top 5 consumer materials?

I put the link on my website and the Four R’s of Short Sales brochure in our pre-listing packets. We also use the What Every Home Seller Should Demand…of Their Real Estate Agent brochure in our pre-listing packets.

What is your philosophy for a successful life in real estate?

You have to constantly reevaluate what you are doing and adapt yourself to the market, thereby always looking for the next opportunity while honing your basic sales skills.

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