Inman’s Coast to Coast Facebook community weighed in on their memories of the housing crash 10 years ago, and the response was incredible.

This morning, I posted this on Facebook Coast to Coast: “Are you 12 years plus in real estate? Share your stories with the Inman community of how you survived the housing bust 10 years ago, please.”

The response was overwhelming. We edited the comments down to 50 responses. Proves how willing this community is to help others. 

  1. Andrea Webb I doubled down on keeping in touch with past clients. Now, I am checking in with all my clients, friends and neighbors to see how they are doing in light of COVID-19 and if there’s anything I can do to help them.
  2. Jeff Echo Lichtenstein Take the negative in, let the negative out. Focus and get to work.
  3. Boyd Campbell Really straightforward. Identify essential employees, systems, other expenses and shed the rest. Tap into reserves as needed and be mindful it’s only a cyclical market event.
  4. Ben Heisler Change with the market. I did a lot of short sales, foreclosures, BPOs, worked with a lot of buyers, investors and continued to be a resource for my clients.
  5. Lisa Scher Abrams Online lead gen. I was at the cutting edge of lead gen sites. No one was doing them.
  6. Andrea Geller I thrived during that downturn. There were still sales happening. Reworked things to capture them. It’s especially true during a down market that those who have the inventory control the market. Cut back on expenses including my own housing.
  7. Lee Arnold Moved into property management.
  8. Joy Triglia Back to basics, remember the business is me but the subject is everyone and everything around me.
  9. Michael Daly The Five C’s: confidence, commitment, closing skills, contacts and compassion.
  10. Sara J. McMurray Used up every dime I had to feed the fam and keep the lights on. Spent downtime improving online presence and on education.
  11. Tony Vitale Advertising, advertising, advertising.
  12. Ashley Lunn Cut all business and personal expenses to essential only. Moved to cheaper space. Ran leaner with staff.
  13. Suzanne Des Marais I worked with a lot of developers. I did the same consistent weekly marketing to my neighborhood that I still do today. I joined a small brokerage that operated as a team (before everyone was a team).
  14. Brenda Noffert My husband and I had a great 10-year career in real estate in Detroit, Michigan, where we were born and raised. In 2005 we felt it coming. We knew we would lose everything if we stayed in Detroit. We did some research, packed up our life and moved to Wichita, KS.
  15. Ashton Coleman Long and and short sales, rentals, and I became a blogger on all things Miami.
  16. Gwen Daubenmeyer Canceled and sold everything we could. Lots of Kleenex, Xanax, and frozen burritos. Still almost lost my own house and we lived modestly for our income.
  17. Anne Meczywor Treat it like it’s actually work. Have a plan. Do the things you know you need to do. Keep doing them. Your competition won’t.
  18. Jennifer Preddy Egbert Honestly, I was supporting our family. My income dropped from $600k/yr to $80k and I was paying for a divorce and a business partnership breakup and my dad dying for 11 mos. My mom sent me $5k/mo for about 10 months. It was awful.
  19. Roni Laub Saved money like crazy, short sales, lots of BPOs, and invested in foreclosure homes.
  20. Melissa Rose Zavala Side hustle: hired a bunch of out of work escrow officers and we processed and negotiated short sales for agents throughout California.
  21. Nelene Mayo Gibbs I worked extra hard with past clients, friends and family and stayed extremely positive. Business grew in spite of the downturn year after year.
  22. Marguerite Crespillo Did so many BPO’s my eyes bled but it was milk money for my kids and taught me statistics and how to do high volume by creating systems.
  23. Wendy Lynn Open houses, floor time and started building our internet presence. In 2009, my husband joined me as he had been laid off. In 2010 we almost lost everything and then 2011 our 24/7 grind started paying off.
  24. Todd Miller We survived by getting into REOs in 2006 right at the beginning. Ended up having 31 different banks or asset management companies, including Fannie and Freddie. It was the best thing that ever happened to us in the business.
  25. Richard A. Rector Wrote the “Short-Sale Foreclosure Blues” song and played it in front of 200 of my agents.
  26. Carolyn Runkle Triebold Adapt! Read and learned asvmuch about the market and sale or REOs.
  27. Deric A. Rangell When you have a bust, there is always an imbalance. In 2008 I went all in doing probates. Recession proof, market declines don’t alter sales. I’m insulated.
  28. Ashley Willis I was 22 when I got my license, the following year was 2008. After 2 years I had to take on a full time job for more stability. I never gave up on real estate. I’ve been back at it full-time for 8 years now.
  29. Ryan King I started a foreclosure magazine with a distribution of 50,000 magazines per quarter.
  30. Jesse McGreevy Doubled my prospecting efforts and expenses. Others slashed their expenses to save money.
  31. Ines Hegedus-Garcia Our business boomed when it happened. When you develop a business based on trust, people feel comfortable with you. It wasn’t about the transaction, it was about the relationship.
  32. Tim Brown Opportunity allowed us to purchase a RE/MAX office at bargain price and grow from there.
  33. Derek Eisenberg I waited too long to cut staff because I cared about the lives of my workers. We got a SBA loan, paid off bills, dropped out of a bunch of markets and ran a leaner meaner machine until things rebounded.
  34. Sarah Bytyqi Look for the opportunities. Be flexible and hustle
  35. Kendall Butler Adaptability and be an expert.
  36. Erica Ramus Added property management to our slate of things we offer – and the income from that paid the rent.
  37. Denis Murphy Used my marketing skills to hunt buyers who needed to buy. Wedding shows were a big part of my business. Plus I was still in my 20’s, so being able to live with my parents helped me survive also.
  38. Amber Montanio Licensed since 2002. When the market busted previously, I cultivated my relationships with investors who had the ability to buy large numbers of properties to turn into rentals.
  39. Erika Hansen Set reasonable goals, pounded the pavement, worked hard and made every year a better year while building my business.
  40. Karen Stone I did 35 rentals in my first 9 months. I put in every effort I could. People still need homes, we just had to adapt and meet them where they were.
  41. Donna Redd Elder It was a buyers’ market, so I concentrated on attracting buyers.
  42. Susan Jean Horne I built my online presence, bought several domain names and did a Web page to reach the European market.
  43. Jeannette Spinelli I survived 9/11 barely. I had to take out a home equity line of credit because I wasn’t prepared. It took me two years to pay $200k back. From there on out I always saved a chunk of money. I knew it would be inevitable that there would be another slow down so when it happened in 2008 I was fully prepared.
  44. Gloria Commiso Started working with my 12-year-old son to really clean up and stage my short sale, pre foreclosures and foreclosed listings. Helped people negotiate loan mods so they could keep their homes and built very strong relationships.
  45. Erica Muller I was 18 years old when I was licensed. I was only a few years into being licensed when the housing market collapsed. I shifted my model into selling vacation rentals. When our economy is bad, our dollar is weak against international buyers so they get a lot more bang for their buck when they invest here. I was selling so many vacation homes to them I couldn’t even keep up with the demand — buyers from Europe, Canada, South America etc.
  46. Isabel Elsesser I sold many foreclosures, HUD homes, and short sales. My deals were very small — just 52k-140k. But I had volume selling to investors and lucky buyers.
  47. Mary Simmons-Maloney I will never forget my first short sale negotiation at Countrywide with Shelly Chase,  Her voice was like Roz from Monsters Inc. She would call me and say “Mary, Mary, yay, where’s your paperwork?” I pictured her sitting at a desk in a windowless basement office, chain smoking cigarettes.
  48. Missy Mullen Caulk You adjust to the market you are given. We don’t control the market we work in. I spent hours on the phone with banks for short sales, and re-faxing them documents multiple times because they kept losing them or hiring a new person. It was NOT fun but we made it work.
  49. Teresa Fisher Boardman We barely survived. There was a year where I made less than $10,000 selling real estate. My husband lost his job and retired early. Housing prices sank and so did my commissions. We made it but we deferred maintenance on the house. 2012 was the best year I ever had selling real estate, and the years that followed were good too. We paid off the house and I was able to help family members. We made it because we are resilient.
  50. Racheal King Worked harder than ever. 

Have a story to share with the Inman community? Visit Inman Coast to Coast and join the conversation.

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