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Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011: The Year of Change

Change.  We either hate it or embrace it.  One thing is certain - we'll always have it.

How fortunate I am to hang my license at John Hall & Associates.  Each year, my brokerage hosts an annual meeting – an event that the attendees actually look forward to attending.  The event gives the state of the state, the newest and the latest, where the industry has been and what to look forward to in the year ahead. 

The special guests and speakers read like a who’s who of the industry.  Judy Lowe, Commissioner, Arizona Department of Real Estate; Richard "Rick" Mack, Phoenix-based real estate attorney, Michelle Lind, General Counsel, Arizona Association of REALTORS, and John Hall’s own Jim Sexton and Marge Lindsay got the prime billing.  But there was so much more:  Key leaders from the Phoenix board, Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, AAR, SEVRAR also joined us.  I can honestly say, all brokerages are NOT created equal.  To have such talent and wisdom all congregated together to share their insights and expertise was truly inspiring.  I am proud to hang my license with John Hall & Associates and work with such a talented and dedicated group of professionals where access to the industries greatest minds is always available and they're eager to assist.

Frankly, most of us are delighted to kiss 2010 goodbye.  We welcome 2011 with open arms but all need to embrace change. 

Change.  And how!  I’d say.  And for most – we’re talking more than just a new zodiac sign.

It’s a different time today than it was when I started in this crazy, exciting, fun and rewarding business.  How we did business 5 years ago – or even 2 for the matter – is no longer the case.  Short sales and REO’s have gone for less than 5% of the transactions several years ago to well over 80%.  If your agent hasn’t done or isn’t willing to do a short sale, chances are he or she should find another profession.  Short sales and REO’s are going to stick around awhile – Brace yourself, understand the facts and be prepared.

The number of licensees has dropped significantly the last couple of years.  And, still many of the “active” ones aren’t in it full time or involved with the direct buying and/or selling process.  Make sure your agent is devoted 100% of the time to real estate.  It’s the only way an agent can stay on top of things and give his or her very best fiduciary to the clients they serve.  If there not willing to do that, they should pack their bags.

Another change just around the corner is a new Arizona Purchase Contract.  At our meeting, the new proposed changes were unveiled – mainly dealing with the financing section.  Changes this past year with the lending institutions necessitate contract revisions.  AAR anticipates Executive Committee approval this week with the new changes going into effect February 28, 2011.  A word to the wise:  Make sure your agent knows how these changes will affect the buyer and the seller.  Significant money is on the table that could now be forfeited.

Technology is another roller coaster ride we all need to embrace.  Blackberry’s still hold the market but are quickly being challenged by the Android and other “smart” devices.  FLEXMLS, our computerized MLS system rolls out a new change nearly every week.  We’ve now got QR codes, digital video, new apps, digital signatures and oh-so-much-more that are allowing consumers greater access to more information on a daily basis.  Sellers should quiz their agent on how they are maximizing technology to get their property sold.

It’s going to be an exciting year – see ya later, 2010.  You’re outta here.  Change is here and we’re ready! Let 2011 bring renewed hope and optimism to us all. 

©2011 Tom Weiskopf, PLLC.  Tom Weiskopf, PLLC is an AZ licensed real estate agent with John Hall & Associates serving the Phoenix area. For more information, Tom can be reached at (602) 953-4000 or via e-mail at


  1. Awesome wrap up Tom! Thanks for posting your take-aways from the event.


  2. I fully agree with this blog post!! Great Job! It is great to be at John Hall & Associates! The Kick Off was Top Notch!
    Thanks, Marci Harwood

  3. Tom

    Thanks for being there and reporting on it! Glad you found it informative. It is challenging to find an effective way to communicate all that's happening.