From the St. Petersburg Times:
After the bubble bursts
By DONG-PHUONG NGUYEN
Marc Stern was a commercial airline pilot for 29 years. In 2005, the year homes sold in a day and buyers lined up at the door, Stern did what lots of career professionals did: He ditched his occupation to sell real estate.
He set up shop in the manicured suburbs of New Tampa. In similar communities across the bay area, real estate agents were making a lot of money, and those who had toyed with career changes took the plunge.
As a result, agents popped up almost as quickly as homes were selling. Now, they’re dying under the collapse of the real estate bubble. Some who left their longtime professions are either going back to their old lives or finding different ways to stand apart from the rest of the crowded realty field.
“Houses are on the market for more days, and the inventory is growing, ” Fuentes said. “I imagine many of our members who have other careers will go back to them and sell real estate part time.”
Stern, who never fully left the airline business “because pilots like to have a backup, ” is glad he didn’t walk away. He had sold real estate for 10 years, in addition to flying, before making it his full-time job during the boom.
“We’re making less money now, ” he said. “We hope and pray that the market turns by next year. Obviously, having a another career as a backup is always good.”