Douglas Heddings, senior vice president for New York City’s Prudential Douglas Elliman brokerage company, is also owner of the Heddings Property Group LLC and he blogs at TrueGotham.com, which carries "dispatches from the front line of New York City real estate," according to a site tagline.
A Manhattan resident since 1989, Heddings will speak during the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9, 2009.
Heddings responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:
What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2009?
Further depreciation to a point where buyers return to the market and transaction volume increases. Credit will also loosen up and become more available but obviously never at subprime-like levels … thank goodness.
What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?
Integrity. Don’t fall into the "it’s always the right time to buy trap." Become an analyst of the market and not a producer of information. The consumer has ALL of the information sometimes before you so it is your job to make sense of it and analyze prices for both buyers and sellers to help them achieve their goals.
Why did you choose a career in real estate?
My acting manager suggested that I have a career to fall back on. (Was she trying to tell me something, perhaps?) I chose real estate 16 years ago because of the low barrier to entry.
What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?
Structuring the pay for my team members in a way that incents them to do more business. I think we have a winning formula now.
Can you share any future plans, goals?
I would like to expand on my TrueGotham television concept. Currently there are five episodes on square footage and why we can’t seem to get real numbers. I would like to expand this to other areas of the business and do some investigative reporting as well.
What lesson did you learn in the last year?
Your perception of reality has a great deal to do with your success. Positivity (but realism, too) attracts positive things and negativity is the kiss of death for anyone in this business.
What would your second career choice be and why?
Elementary school teacher. Preferably kindergarten. I did this for two years and loved the kids but couldn’t stomach the New York City public school bureaucracy or salary.
What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?
I still believe the public has an innate distrust for the real estate industry and I believe that more should be done to change this perception — not by more deception but by raising the bar in the industry through more ethics training by the major brokerages as well as more policing and governing by the (regulators) in each state.
What do you most enjoy about working in the real estate industry?
Every day is absolutely different and you meet great people and make lifelong friends.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you …
Although I was born and raised in Baltimore, Md., (and a New Yorker since 1989), I have been a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers football fan since the age of 4. I can be really annoying to both my family and friends in Baltimore to this day and I really enjoy pushing their buttons.
Hear Douglas Heddings speak during the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9.
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