The following segment aired on O2 Media’s The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. Joining the show was Tami Bonnell, President of the U.S. Organization of Exit Realty International to discuss the current housing market and some career opportunities for women who are thinking about rejoining the workforce.
O2 Media’s The Balancing Act Host, Kristy Villa: Many Americans right now are either buying or selling their home. According to research by Marissa Miley, a reporter at Advertising Age, despite record foreclosure rates and depressed home-sale prices, the real-estate industry anticipates selling 5.3 million homes this year and many to first-time homebuyers. So there’s still a consumer market to fight for out there.
O2 Media/The Balancing Act: Tami Bonnell, President of the U.S. Organization of Exit Realty International, is here to discuss the current housing market and some career opportunities for women out there that might be thinking about rejoining the workforce. Let’s first talk about the residential housing market. How do you see it today?
Bonnell: I think the biggest change—if you looked at the market as a whole, is probably technology. We’ve gone greener and faster and more efficient. As far as today’s current market goes, prices are love. Interest rates are low. The first-time homebuyers are out with a vengeance because of the stimulus package—getting that $8,000 tax credit.
O2 Media/The Balancing Act: Everybody wants the house—that’s the American Dream. Let’s say I want to buy today. I want the dream – or maybe even sell, for whatever reasons. What kind of information should I share to my real-estate professional?
Bonnell: The most important thing to share is why—why are you moving? Are you moving because you want to take advantage of the first-time homebuyer market? Are you relocating? Are you under financial duress? The more you share with them, the better they can give you a good return on your investment.
O2 Media/The Balancing Act: It’s really building a relationship with that person…
Bonnell: Absolutely. Last year, the real-estate professionals that grew their business – 32% of them grew their business in a downward-turned market for two reasons – technology and building relationships.
O2 Media/The Balancing Act: Why do I choose Exit Realty, as opposed, maybe, to another company, or as opposed to me selling it on my own? Why?
Bonnell: For selling it on your own, it’s too personal. It’s really hard to negotiate when you’re personally involved. You probably don’t have all the accurate market knowledge—what the vacancy rates are, what everything else is selling. Your home is competing with other homes. As far as Exit and unitizing an Exit professional, we focus on teaching, training, coaching, and mentoring. We stay ahead of the curve. We actually have a technology specialist full time that teaches them all the tools to use and how to be more effective and efficient with them. So we really focus on representing you, putting ourselves in your shoes, so that we can represent you to the best of our ability.
O2 Media/The Balancing Act: I will admit that there was a time that I thought of being a real-estate professional and I still think about it. Why should women approach Exit for a career?
Bonnell: First, we were one of the top-10 trendsetters in the industry, so we’re ahead of the curve. Current market – we’re ahead of the curve. We stay ahead of the curve with technology, tools, training, teaching, and mentoring. Those are all really important. We have great leadership in our company. But probably the most important reason, especially for somebody just coming in—we provide residual income, single-level residuals.
O2 Media/The Balancing Act: Please explain more about these residuals.
Bonnell: We reward people for the percentage of the company they help build. Well, in real estate, that’s agents. We get good agents. We do good business. That’s the asset of a real-estate organization. Additionally, let’s say you introduce me to the real-estate company—you introduce me to Exit. As a reward for introducing me into the company, you receive the equivalent of 10% of the gross commission, up to $10,000 a year every year, for as long as I’m with Exit. You get rewarded for your own personal efforts.
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