Jay Thompson, broker-owner for Phoenix-based Thompson’s Realty, is a prolific blogger and a published poet. He is self-described at his LinkedIn profile as a real estate professional and "chronic blogger" and a "man with a blogging problem."
He responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:
What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2009?
If I had a crystal ball, I’d be on a beach in the Bahamas sipping cocktails out of coconuts. That said, I expect price declines to slow and flatten and listing inventory to slowly decline. And I reserve the right to be completely wrong. Foreign nationals, particularly Canadians in my market (Phoenix), will continue to be a strong source of prospects, clients and sales.
What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?
People are still buying and selling homes every day. Brokers need to evaluate hiring practices and stop taking on agents simply because they have a license and a pulse. Hire the brightest and the best. Agents need to expand their areas of expertise, and define — and demonstrate — what sets them apart from all the other agents in their market.
What sparked the idea to start your company?
We started our independent real estate brokerage in February 2008, during a period that some are calling one of the worst markets in history. Our "virtual brokerage" is not encumbered by the costs of maintaining a "brick and mortar" presence. We can pass that cost savings on to our clients and our agents, as well as reinvesting it into the brokerage.
What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?
Fighting the status quo. Print is dead. Open houses rarely sell the home. The Internet and social media marketing are the wave of the future. Some people get that and take advantage of it — others … not so much.
Can you share any future plans, goals?
Some have a goal to simply survive. To that, I say "phooey!" My goal is to (slowly) expand my brokerage by hiring bright, innovative agents. Leveraging social-media marketing and further increasing our Internet presence are crucial. Eventually I’m going to own the local market.
What lesson did you learn in the last year?
If you want something badly enough and you work your butt off, anything is possible.
What would your second career choice be and why?
I’d be a fishing guide on the Texas Gulf Coast. If you’ve ever filled a boat with redfish and speckled trout or watched a big kingfish rip 100 yards of line off a reel, you wouldn’t have to ask why.
What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?
Unrealistic expectations from buyers, sellers, agents, brokers and lenders. Education is the key.
What do you most enjoy about working in the real estate industry?
The freedom to run my business how I want to is exhilarating. Helping people through the intricate process of buying or selling a home is very satisfying. The fact that no two days are ever the same and the business is very challenging are big pluses.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you …
I’m 48 and still act like a kid most of the time. Wait, you probably already knew that. How about this: I am a published poet.
Hear broker and blogger Jay Thompson speak during the Bloggers Connect workshop at the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9.
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