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RISMEDIA, August 31, 2010—Slow month? I’m sorry, slow year? As any agent knows, it’s tough out there in today’s housing market. But others around you are not only surviving, they’re thriving. So what is it that is keeping you from achieving success? Here are four potential reasons you’re not tapping into your potential.

The Economy
Okay, so this one is a given, really. With the housing market currently weighing down the entire economy, it only makes sense that your grand days of selling a neighborhood of houses a month are over.

But for those of you who have been in the game for a while, you knew that the all-you-can-sell buffet was not going to last forever. Now that the plates have been cleared and the bus boy has wiped the table clean, it’s time you learn how to cook for yourself. Luckily, you’ve probably been through this before.

And for those who joined in when the getting was good, you’re now seeing how hard it is to be an agent in a down market.

Just think, though: there was a time when interest rates were at 19%. If agents could move houses then, you can move houses now.

Your Approach
Over-the-top selling is so 2006. Nowadays, people are craving honesty, not salesmanship. Gone are the days when you could convince a home buyer that the ticky-tacky two story on the strawberry lot ten miles from the highway would only increase in value. Buying was more about leveraging and less about lasting consequences, since staying in the home for five or more years was not too likely.

Today though, you need to sell a home, not just a building. Buyers today are not looking for a quick turn-around or a beefy boost to their portfolio. They want a haven. And with the old adage that ‘home values can only rise’ having been thrown out the second story window, if they’re buying, it’s to settle down for decades, not years.

Your job now is to perfect the tie between house and human, to make sure that the building you’re selling is a home and not just bricks and mortar. Your approach should be to listen more, talk less and seek out the perfect fit.

Your Tools
You don’t get it—that bus stop bench is in the perfect location. So why hasn’t anyone called?

Maybe it’s because you’re still mailing out postcards to potential clients with nary an e-mail address or website listed. With more than 90% of home buyers using the Internet to search for a home, if you do not have a Web presence, you might as well be using smoke signals to get your name out there.

New home buyers are looking to stay connected with you just like they would with anyone else in their lives. They want online access, so friend your clients on Facebook, use DotLoop’s text-alert system when negotiating a deal, and create an informative and helpful website for yourself.

After all, the only time a client is going to connect with you via a bench ad is when they are texting you while waiting at the bus stop.

Your Passion
Okay, you’re online, you’re genuine and you’re using all the right tools and online channels to communicate with your clients. So, why are you still stuck?

It may just be that you’re no longer interested in real estate. At least, not like you once were. And that’s okay. Before you declare that you’re an agent and always have been and that real estate is in your blood, take a minute to really ask yourself: do you care anymore?

Maybe you don’t, but perhaps you will again in the future. Or maybe it’s time to move onto another career path. With today’s shaky housing market, only the most fervent and passionate will be able to wade through.

The real estate industry is in the midst of a radical transformation. How you leverage technology, your approach and your passion will determine whether you will be an agent five years from now. Change is inevitable, but not always easy. But remember: change always starts with you.

Are you ready to crush it once again?

DotLoop was designed specifically to overcome the challenges of the traditional real estate negotiation process. DotLoop marries the technological with the traditional, creating a collaborative online environment that uses the Internet as a tool agents can use to connect with their clients, saving them time and money. Our system allows the agent and client the ability to interact on their own terms, dissolving distance and sending fax machines further into obsolescence.

For more information, visit