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Real Estate Broker Contemplating Move

 
skighee
(@skighee)
Advanced Member

😎 I am a highly successful real estate broker involved currently selling foreclosures stateside that is contemplating a move to St. Thomas in two years after the foreclosure boom is over. I am wondering what my competition might be, as the market I am in in Reno, NV is easy to beat. All I have to do here in Reno is work 11 hours a day, seven days a week to beat the competition, be honest, answer my phone, get back to people and just get the job done here. What would be my competition be there in St. Thomas? I am web and marketing savy and last yr alone sold 78 homes in a city of 300,000? Would I do as well in St. Thomas? Reno's work ethic is to work about 35 hours a week and to get by with the minimal amount possible. I have a work ethic, honesty and the ability to just get the job done. I am used to sub-par customer service and the feeling of that I am the only one who cares how the customer is treated (Ever had that situation where you are waiting to be waited on to spend money, but the employee is talking on a personal phone call and whispers to you, "I will be with you in a few minutes?" ). I am originally from NJ, and seem to do well in areas where there is the "B" personality.

Is there anyone out there that believes that I would be as successful on the "Rock" as I am now in Reno, NV?

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2009 4:57 am
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

All depends on how much you want to work. You said it yourself. So you think it will be two years before things get better? We here are sometimes behind whatever happens stateside by a year or two, but then again, we are very resilient and may never reach that foreclosure stage.

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Posted : April 10, 2009 10:24 am
sherri
(@sherri)
Advanced Member

I just had a girl who works for a Realtor ask me if the Wedding company I work for needed help! She needed a "paying" job!
Hope this helps!

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Posted : April 10, 2009 11:00 am
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Well you have part of the skill set, you do need to be able to answer phones and get back to people. But this is a population of 55,000. Much smaller then what you're working now. You have to get out and met people, network all the time. The successful realtors here have been her at least 10plus years, usually 20 plus years. It takes a long time to really build it up. But the biggest problem right now for realtors is hardly anything is selling. The market is at a standstill. If you want to work here as a real estate agent I would wait till the market gets better.

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Posted : April 10, 2009 12:40 pm
Ms Information
(@Ms_Information)
Advanced Member

Well you have part of the skill set, you do need to be able to answer phones and get back to people. But this is a population of 55,000. Much smaller then what you're working now. You have to get out and met people, network all the time. The successful realtors here have been her at least 10plus years, usually 20 plus years. It takes a long time to really build it up. But the biggest problem right now for realtors is hardly anything is selling. The market is at a standstill. If you want to work here as a real estate agent I would wait till the market gets better.

Betty's comment just about sums up the current market. It will take years (maybe decades) for you to get established here. The USVI sales price has not fallen as far or as fast as that in Nevada, but it is very very slow. I can't imagine anyone, even well established professionals selling 78 properties in a year here.

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Posted : April 10, 2009 3:24 pm
skighee
(@skighee)
Advanced Member

I have done some research and really can not find any foreclosures on STT, so my assumption is your market is doing a heck of a lot better than NV. I have noticed some of your prices on STT are coming down some. My guess is you did not have many people buying homes there with mortgages or if they did buy, the lenders there required a 20% down payment or cash? Although the downturn here stateside will probably trickle down that way, I am still not seeing too much of a decline in your prices. The stateside decline began in late 2007 and two yrs later I think if it did hit USVI, you would be seeing some more declines. My gut feeling is we are nearing the bottom here stateside, I am getting 4 to 5 multiple offers on homes again, but of course it is related to price and interest rates.

I am hoping that it wouldn't take ten years to make a living there doing real estate, we moved to Reno in 2004 and by 2006 I was the top listing agent at a mega brokerage and finished in the top 10 out of 3500 other agents after being here for 2 years. When I moved to Reno I noticed those "successful" agents were pretty complacent.

People are always buying and selling no matter what the economy is, there is that old saying that 20% of the agents do 80% of the sales. I would probably be coming with a year's living cost (essentially double what is stateside I am budgeting for).

Does anyone have a favorite brokerage house there?

Any further advice would be appreciated!

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2009 4:11 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"My guess is you did not have many people buying homes there with mortgages or if they did buy, the lenders there required a 20% down payment or cash?"

Correct. Some locals build houses bit by bit over decades, with cash. Many transplants and locals have traditional loans with at least twenty percent down. Lenders here were not involved with sub prime mortgages and the other shenanigans that got people in trouble in the states.

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Posted : April 10, 2009 5:46 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Exactly what dntw8p said. No foreclosures here. There are precious few lenders here. You have the local banks that do mortgages and I want to say 3 to five others. Its like getting insurance here, we have few backers. Scotiabank, first bank of the vi, banco popular, etc..

Good Luck with the real estate but seriously expect to have an alternate job plan. It really does take time here. A year will just about see you though the end of your honeymoon. You have to remember when you moved to reno you were still in "America". While this is a terrorty of America that is NOT the dominate culture at all. Everything takes time. I think it really takes 3 to 5 years for people to believe you're going to stick around. And when you're asking people to put a big investigate like their home in your hands they want to make sure you will stick around. And the other side of that stick is, to get anything done here you have to know people. I've done the books for a couple of different agents here, and I would never pick a rookie. Sorry but that is definitely how I feel.

A good plan is to hook up with a more experienced agent as their licensed asst. for a couple of years and get to know people and how things work.

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Posted : April 10, 2009 6:34 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

How are your time-share skills? Might check into signing up with the Marriott Frenchman's Cove project. I've been off St. Thomas for a couple of years, so I don't even know what stage they are in, but I do know the salespeople make big bucks (if they are good).

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Posted : April 10, 2009 6:54 pm
skighee
(@skighee)
Advanced Member

I do have a back up profession, elementary school teacher, but my guess that is a tough field to get into there? I also have done group sales for a ski resort near Jackson Hole, WY.

Out of curiosity, what is the percentage of primary home owners vs. 2nd home owners?

I have also noticed the lack of attention to detail with the agents that are practicing real estate there already (same as here) such as on the MLS website and craigslist. You have a beautiful home and then they are only putting 5 pictures of the home on the mls, and a two sentence description of the home. As I sit here stateside, I want to see more more more and want know more more about a property. As I have said here time and time again, didn't know digital pictures cost that much to develop and publish on the internet?

After this next year or two, I don't want to be selling 70-100 homes again, it is way too much work and money doesn't always buy happiness, although it sure helps to eat, especially with the food prices there. What would you need to make there annually to have a decent lifestyle, we eat at home most of the time, and are not very extravagant people?

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2009 7:24 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"I do have a back up profession, elementary school teacher, but my guess that is a tough field to get into there?"

Teaching elementary school is not a tough field to get into here because the attrition rate is extremely high and the pay extremely low.

"As I have said here time and time again, didn't know digital pictures cost that much to develop and publish on the internet?"

Many people here do not want lots of photos of their residence online because they do not want criminals to be able to case their home and belongings.

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Posted : April 10, 2009 8:30 pm
Captain Jay
(@Captain_Jay)
Advanced Member

If you are serious about the move and staying in Real Estate I would plan on using your back up profession for a year or two and have enough money saved to make up the difference. Plan on teaching and selling part time. It will take time to develop the contact, regardless of your marketing ability, that it will take to be success full here. In the current market it is very little movement. My wife and I looked at Condos six months ago and all the same ones that were on the market then are still on the market. We decided to continue to rent for a while to see what the market is going to do. This is hard for me to take as I bought my first house when I was in my twenties and have been collecting rent from tenants since then but I still don't know the market here and don't want to make an expensive mistake. It has already been said but the locals tend to hand down property form generation to generation and build as they have the cash. The lenders are not nearly as aggressive as stateside lenders and that explains the limited number of repos.
Jay

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Posted : April 11, 2009 11:14 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Also, check out the requirements for selling real estate. I think you have to be apprenticed to a locally licensed person for a period of time (a year maybe?) before you can take the test, etc.

I would think that a large number of condos are second or third homes. They don't have to sell, so they don't lower the price. I have seen some units sell quietly, by word of mouth. I don't know about homes.

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Posted : April 11, 2009 3:57 pm
skighee
(@skighee)
Advanced Member

Hey Jay, I am in the process of reading your blog, Live de Life, I have made it to Sept 2008. Your blog has really given us an idea o f what it is like to pick up and move there. We appreciate your work on it! Any Griswalds coming soon? Are you guys planning to stay there? Market here stateside is showing signs of life again, may be time to sell off the W. Virginia place soon?

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Topic starter Posted : April 12, 2009 12:48 am
Captain Jay
(@Captain_Jay)
Advanced Member

The long and the short is yes we are staying. We just signed a one year lease on a new less expesnive rental here and will be moving next month. We are also fortunate to have a waterfront home there that tends to be imune to most market ails. As for our properties in WV the Charleston area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and the market there is very stable. We have not seen any great appreciation in the last two years there but it isn't backsliding either. So our plan at this point since we have good tenants in our properties is to just hang in there for another year with them to see what happens. We will likely sell one or both of our properties there the following year and buy something here. I am glad the blog has been of some help to people. We actually started it as a way to let our friends and family know that we are still alive and it has taken on a life of its own. It is actually averaging around 250 hits a day.
As for state side economy I talked to a friend of ours this week that is a mortgage banker in the states and she is busier than she has been in years and is looking to hire a personal assistant due to her current work load on the Refi business. So maybe that mess is getting better. I don't think we will return the wild west finance anyone with a pulse era any time soon.
Jay

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Posted : April 12, 2009 10:35 am
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