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Despite the difficulties real estate has faced in the past several years, most real estate firms remain optimistic about the future of housing, with 69 percent of all firms expecting profitability to increase over the next year, according to the 2013 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Real Estate Firms.

Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of Research, said the industry sees greater competition in tandem with the housing market recovery. “Two out of three real estate firms expect competition in the marketplace to increase, both among firms and nontraditional market participants,” he says. “Because real estate is an entrepreneurial field, some experimentation in business models is likely when the market is in a recovery phase.”

“In order to succeed, I find that I have to watch the market, study the market, then transition with it,” says Trish Nash, a real estate professional with EXIT Realty Gallery of Homes. “As the market deteriorated, I needed to focus on whatever business there was. At the time, this was distressed sales.”

Nash, who works in Henderson, Nev., continues with “Up until very recently, we didn’t have any traditional sellers because they were all upside down, so we were working with a very depressed market. But thankfully that is changing.”

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