By Dave Robison
“Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson is an easy but great read. The narrative is a simple story that describes the trials and tribulations of two mice—Sniff and Scurry—who always rely on getting their cheese from the same source. When the cheese source is moved, they wonder why it disappeared and promptly go in search for more. But cheese was easy to find when they knew just where it would be, and Sniff and Scurry had much more trouble locating food once they weren’t sure where to look.
And so it is with the real estate industry, especially as it relates to REO/short sales. We had some mice who were in the right place at the right time and knew exactly where to find the cheese so they could feast. In this case, the mice were some advantageous REALTORS® and the cheese was the REO/short sales market. In my opinion, the REO/short sales industry seems to have come and gone. When the market flourished, the top producers of the REO/short sales boom were certainly finding their cheese, (and why wouldn’t they? They knew exactly where to look). Today, with the boom waning, the REO/short sales top producers are telling me they’re going to have to sell real estate the “normal way.” What’s the lesson learned here? Now that they’re not sure where to find the cheese, they’re having much more trouble making a sale.
What are the clues as to when there will be cheese and when the cheese will be gone? Marilyn Wilson with the WAV Group recently spoke to our Utah Associaiton of REATLORS® and left many clues. The following are statistics she quoted from her research, (mainly conducted in the Houston area):
1. Based on her own survey results, when the general public of Houston was asked about the first company that comes to mind when they hear the words “real estate,” the most common answer was Zillow.
2. Only 12 percent of those surveyed said they would rather work with a REALTOR® instead of a real estate agent.
3. WAV Group called 1,000 listings and only reached 30 percent of agents immediately. Another 30 percent never even returned the phone call.
So, if you’re type of mouse who banks on the fact that cheese—or the latest hot trend in real estate—will never go away, you may say these facts are interesting and move on with your life. However, if you’re the type of mouse who knows the importance of dwindling cheese sources in the real estate industry, you may sense the winds of change from these bits of information. Which type of mouse do you want to be? Where do you see change happening now? What’s the latest real estate trend ready to disappear?
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is broker/owner of UtahDave.com Neighborhood Experts.