If I could give you one piece of advice heading into the new year, it would be this: align yourself with quality.
If you are a real estate broker, this means that you should align yourself with the strongest company you can find, the most skilled and ethical lender you know and a title company with the resources to be here ten years from now.
If you are a buyer or a seller, you start by hiring someone who can show you proven results, backed by a strong company, with a competent and well-developed network of problem solvers to help you get through your transaction in one piece.
Since 2007, nearly one-quarter of Colorado's real estate agent population has been re-careered. Over 200 title and closing companies have disappeared since 2005. And although it's not possible to pinpoint the exact number of mortgage lenders who have left (mostly because Colorado was one of only two states which required NO licensing or registration program of any kind for mortgage originators prior to 2007), estimates are 50% of the loan originators in business five years ago have quit the business since things got rough.
In short, this is a professionals' market. It is a consolidating market, and it is going to continue to consolidate for the next few years.
I am working a transaction right now with one of the most convoluded and crazy title issues I have seen in 16 years as a broker, one that involves a glaring error made by a title company eight years ago, and it is only because I have incredible support from a strong, supportive and influential brokerage and excellent resources in the title and lending arenas that we have a chance to save this deal.
You need a strong network right now because if you're going to be a part of this market, you will have to solve problems.
"Team" is the most important word in real estate right now, and whether you are a buyer, a seller, or an agent, you need a good one on your side.
In 2011, there is going to be a run on quality. And if you're doing things the right way, that should be reassuring.