18 November 2011

Real Estate 101 – Lecture 1: Never use the "F" word

Have you ever wondered what happens at training courses for people joining the real-estate industry? Well I can’t be 100% sure, but I reckon the first session would go something like this:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Good afternoon and welcome to this first lecture on real estate.  In today’s session we look at the golden rule of the industry: NEVER use the
F word. 

That’s right – you can wipe the “F” word from your vocabulary because you’ll never need it again.  I assume you all know which “F” word I’m referring to?  I’m not allowed to say it myself, but as a clue, it starts with “F” and rhymes with “mall”.

When used in relation to house prices, the “F” word gives people the idea that property is like any other asset class and that it can go up AND down.  Of course, this must be avoided at all costs.

So what CAN you say to describe when house prices are, er, malling? 

Well, you could try to get away with saying that house prices have “plateaued”, “flat-lined” or “stabilised”, or that “growth has slowed”.

If price drops are a bit more obvious, you might need to say that house prices have “moderated”, “eased a little” or “come off a bit”.

And if there have been large price reductions, simply turn it into a positive by saying that “affordability has improved” or “rental yields have increased”.

Regardless of which phrase you use, always follow up with “now is a great time for buyers”, or “for sellers” if you are talking to a vendor.

Well, that’s probably enough for the first lecture.

For your homework tonight, I’d like you to think of, and write down, three of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a property. And for those of you struggle with this task, and can only think of one factor, feel free to repeat it three times.


  1. My favourite i read in an article once was "We are currently experiencing NEGATIVE growth in some areas". Wtf?

  2. I am looking forward to Lecture 2. What to say when your home is in , er not in postive equity, or er... slightly below the breathing line....

  3. Lecture 3 is a swimming lessons so the so the 'land rats' don't drown when the ship sinks

  4. Some guy on a laptop19/11/11 5:18 PM

    Lecture 4 - Moral bankruptcy: suppressing the urge to act ethically

  5. Some other guy21/11/11 11:44 AM

    Lecture 5 - Propaganda: How to control media reporting by advertising Real Estate in your local paper.

  6. Lecture 6: Fear as Motivation: "Buy now or be PRICED OUT FOREVER!"

  7. I think the three L's were - lift, livingroom and latrine if you are buying an inner city high rise apartment.

    Remember there are plenty of overseas people with short trades on the banks just hoping that "fall" becomes "route".

    Perhaps if we invented a way for real-estate agents and banks to profit from falls in house prices you would see more policies encouraging a healthy gyration in the market...

  8. I can hardly wait for lecture 2!

    Come on Drew ... stick it to 'em! ;p

  9. Will do JB :)
    By the way, did you notice there's a response waiting for you under my previous post?

  10. Thanks Andy - i had a quick look at the previous one's comments and saw the comment by Anonymous ... made me smile.

    I wonder what he's thinking now - with prices continuing their downward trend, and the world economy on the edge of a cliff!?

  11. Good call. I'm partial to "softened"...

  12. You still alive Andy???

  13. Hi JB. Still alive. But no time for blogging. I post occasionally at APF. Are you posting anywhere else?


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