The Goose Is Not Dead

Those who say the real estate market is dead are wrong. The real estate flipping market may be dead, but that market should never be confused with the profession we all share, that of understanding, dealing every day, and in my case closing, real estate.

Traditional real estate professionals, both brokers and sales people, realize that the real real estate market involves such concepts as location, quality of construction, desirability as a place to live or work, visibility if the purpose is commercial, and always accessability. The flipping game never involved any of these qualities. The only question to be asked in a flip, and the sole objective of those involved, is how much will another purchaser pay for this opportunity, and how quickly?

The real business of real estate requires knowledge, experience, and work. The professionals in our community who serve on the Chamber of Commerce and on the Economic Development Committee, those who helped the BRAC effort a success, are the backbone of our real estate market. Citizens who sit on planning committees and the professionals who advise them are the people on whom we will all rely to make Okaloosa and Walton County decent places to live and work in the future.

I recently took the deposition of a twenty-something licensed salesman who spent last year as a store clerk, this year as an active real estate salesman. His salary had gone from $20,000.00 to well over six figures in one year. Yet this young man had no idea that he had probably never sold a piece of real estate. What he has done for months is flip contracts with a promise and hope that one more purchaser will come along.

Those deals may be dead. Perhaps they should be. But the heavy lifting of making sure houses are in the right school district, making sure commercial properties are aptly located and properly zoned and planned, and in general, knowing your business, is still there. Those realtors who have continued to support their communities, who understand and actually participate in the hard work of understanding and promoting their communities, will be busy.

The purpose of this message is to say on this holiday that those who say the real estate market is dead are simply wrong. Those of us who have been around long enough to remember, understand that the service we provide, honestly and regularly, day in and day out, is the real product we have to offer, and the need for that is still here. When the smoke and mirrors disappear, knowledge, education, and service will still be important. We will all best prove our love and respect for each other, not by what we promise, but by our courtesy to each other, and by understanding, enhancing, and marketing the real value of the place we live in.

The goose is not dead.

I must take this end of season opportunity to say to Gayle Hurst, my “partner” at Old South Land Title, that I admire the fact that she and the people at Old South Land Title have put together the most professional and courteous title insurance company in the business, and I appreciate it. To Mavis Barfield and her closing department at the office of Chesser & Barr, no one is more demanding or more careful, and I appreciate that more every day.

All of you please accept my best wishes for a successful new year.