Long term vision will drive property success over the next 10 years

Even with its ups and downs over the past fifty years, real estate is still the best investment people can make and the only opportunity people have to generate any real net worth for themselves.

This is why real estate will always be a good investment, despite changing market conditions. This is according to Brian Buffini, Founder & CEO of Buffini & Company, who was the keynote speaker at the RE/MAX of Southern Africa Stars Convention held at Sun City during February.

As the largest real estate training and coaching company in the US, and as a well respected authority on creating a successful real estate career, Brian and his team at Buffini & Company have developed a system to help service industry professionals, such as real estate agents, consistently generate leads and grow their business.

The powerful referral system that Brian Buffini developed helped him to become one of the top realtors in the US.  Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the Buffini training programmes are designed to position entrepreneurs for success and are ranked as some of the most successful agent training programmes in the world. “RE/MAX of Southern Africa is now the only trainer of the Buffini 100 Days to Greatness program, which has already assisted over 60 000 agents across the globe and more than 800 RE/MAX Broker/Owners and agents in Southern Africa to become more successful,” says Goslett.

Buffini provides keen insight into the ins and outs of property sales. He explains: “In the US in 1980, the average realtor concluded four transactions. These days, even though there are approximately 100 million more people living in the US than in the 1980s, with access to more technology, the average realtor still only concluded four transactions during 2012.”
Buffini goes on to say that property prices have gone up, they’ve gone down, they have stabilised, and will continue to change all the time. To illustrate his point, he refers to the US market in 2007, when there were around 7.1 million property transactions concluded annually. By 2010, only around 4.1 million transactions were concluded because the market plunged.

“So what happens to an agent that relies on good market conditions for their business success?” he asks. “Many agents have a good year because the market had a good year. The market generated their business; they got the leads because of the activity in the market. At Buffini & Company we teach realtors to create their own market, whether the general property market is at a high or a low.”

Buffini notes that good, strong markets mask the flaws of real estate professionals and their lack of good business practice. Buffini says: “Be suspicious of a good market, but at the same time, don’t believe everything in a negative market. Our real estate clients have still enjoyed tremendously strong years through the recession in the United States because the competition shrank. The competition shrank because those people who are all about the transaction didn’t maintain a relationship with their buyers and sellers. The people we work with build a database of relationships and stay in constant touch with their clients. So when there are no realtors available and the market is low, who are the buyers and sellers going to talk to? The person who has built a relationship with them. That is how our clients have generated even more referrals during an economic downturn.”

According to Buffini, while people cannot control the market, they can control what they do on a daily basis and who they work with. He says: “If you know what you are trying to do and you are focused on your goals, you will see great results. Look at Warren Buffet, for example. He buys a stock and doesn’t look at it for three years because he is not an emotional buyer. After three years he will review it and then analyse whether or not he is going to keep that stock, reinvest that stock or see a good return on investment. Often, people who invest in real estate, or who work in real estate for that matter, are like most people who invest in the stock market in that they base their decisions on the current state of affairs.  The daily stock market figures reflect some companies having a good day, some companies having a bad day - it’s a roller-coaster. Stop, take a look at the long term prospects, focus on the activities to get there and the results take care of themselves.”

Buffini says that over the last few years, people in the US have realised that the only time you have equity in your home is when you sell. Up until that point, all you have is your mortgage and your debt. “The realisation is that people can’t control the level of appreciation they get on their property every year as a home owner, but they can influence the level of indebtedness that they have.”

Talking about the future of real estate, Buffini says that while many real estate companies are going to be rebuilding themselves over the next five years, in the US there is hardly any inventory available, which is a good indicator to the rest of the world that property is once again on an upward trend.“The population is going to continue to grow, inventory levels are low because there hasn’t been much new construction over the past five years, so I’m very excited about what the property market holds in the next ten years.”

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