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Viewpoints Part II

RISMEDIA, January 17, 2009-Continuing our January Viewpoints series, this week, J.L. Winn, VisualTour’s vice president, Marketing & Business Development, takes the stage, offering his input on what 2009 and its structural changes mean for real estate.

J. L. Winn
Vice President, Marketing &
Business Development

While much of our industry was not in favor of the September bailout, fortunately, it wasn’t just a blip on the pre-election radar. The good news is that the Bush and incoming Obama administrations have continued to put real momentum behind this taxpayer-funded effort.

Toward the end of 2008, the credit markets became more liquid, mortgage rates fell and energy prices dropped considerably. Unemployment is still up and the stock market indexes are way down. Without a job, a down payment and good credit (imagine that!), people won’t be able to purchase a home. Regardless of these macro-economic issues, it seems that about 5 million American families still need to move and will buy and sell homes in 2009. That’s a lot of business to support the savvy, smart professionals in our industry.

For example, many of our 100,000-plus Realtor customers have used current economic conditions to build their businesses by working with lenders to sell REO- and HUD-owned properties. Today’s market demands more cost-effective advertising solutions, and our customers know how to use this permanent shift to their advantage in surviving and prospering in 2009.

On the other hand, in 2008 many broker/owners found out the hard way that “business as usual” put them out of business. Broker/owners will need to change their business models to exclude agents who don’t want to practice professionally and productively.

We applaud the ingenuity, intelligence, skill and perseverance of real estate professionals who understand how to succeed in today’s market conditions. We believe these people will make buying and selling less stressful and more satisfying for consumers in 2009. Realtors who stay on top of the new economic reality, its laws and incentives will be justly rewarded for their hard work, creativity and initiative.

Next week, we’ll hear from Obeo’s President and CEO Glade Jones who says “a proactive plan and positive attitude go a long way.”