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Yesterday my real estate company decided to have a roundtable discussion on ways to generate more sales. We talked about everything from lease/purchase transactions to selling bonuses to price reductions along with many other marketing gimmicks and ideas. Wow, what a refreshing and needed experience! The agents who did take time out to participate shared their troubles and issues facing them in today’s real estate business. The ironic part to all of this is that everyone struggles with the same trials and tribulations, and we all need help discovering new ideas on what can jumpstart our real estate careers. As a real estate survivor from the 1980’s, it brought back a vivid memory for me called “creativity.” No, I’m not talking about the creativity in financing that I believe contributed to this mess a few years ago, but rather our approach to selling real estate in the early 80’s when interest rates were near (if not at) 20%, and millions of people were without work. During that time era real estate professionals had to get creative in many ways to sell property. Back then, buyers did not want to participate in buying real estate because interest rates were too high and most people were fearful of losing their jobs. Owner financing and loan assumptions became popular avenues to help sell properties. Sellers offered extra incentives to the selling agents hoping their real estate would stand out among the crowd, and holding a buyers seminar was as common as holding an open house. The bottom line back then (and is applicable today) is that you had to become creative and you had to stay focused and work hard to get business. If you failed at either of those areas, you left the business.

Our meeting yesterday put a shot of fresh air in all of our team members who participated and it generated several “great” ideas on how we can sell more properties during this economic storm. We identified our current problems with how buyers and sellers were facing the real estate market and then put possible solutions to solve those barriers. The exciting part for me, was the reminder it brought to my life in how this was the secret to survival in the 1980’s, working together as a team, becoming creative, and discovering new ways to help buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.

If your team has not spent an hour or two brainstorming ideas on what might work for your marketplace I encourage you to do so today. For some excellent ideas on brainstorming with your group, visit I love his 35 Game. Best of luck! John Mayfield –