Realtor Redesigns Her Business Model

Allyson Roberts is a wife and mother in Alpharetta, and a Realtor whose business is evolving – if not evaporating – before her eyes.

So she did what anyone might do to keep a job that has provided a good income for 23 years. Roberts changed her business strategy and cut back on personal spending.

She didn’t want to be among the real estate agents who are bailing out of the business in large numbers, according to records of the state real estate commission.

“I dumped the Lincoln Navigator – period, end of story,” Roberts said. “One night in November, I couldn’t sleep and turned on Fox News. They said gas was going to $4 a gallon. I believed it.”

Now Roberts, 42, wheels clients around north Fulton County in a Nissan Maxima. But only after they’ve narrowed down their list by browsing through her Internet page. There’s no need to window shop for a house that may be pretty but won’t meet the buyer’s needs, she said.

And she doesn’t have as much use for her leisure travel books.

“The vacation two years ago was Hawaii for 10 days in a beach resort that was to die for,” Roberts said. “Jet Ski and horseback rides. Mountain climbs and boat rides and snorkel and scuba dives. It was amazing.”

This summer’s trip isn’t one to sneeze at. But it’s different, she said.

“This year, it’s four days at my in-laws’ house at the beach [on Florida’s Panhandle], and we’re driving,” Roberts said. “It will be walks through the neighborhood and tennis and the pool. Much, much different.”

Different indeed. Roberts intends to outlast the current slump in housing sales that seems to be driving out thousands of her colleagues.

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