In the past month, I have given speeches to some of the nations top Real Estate agents, and a few days later, to executives from the largest Mortgage companies. As you might guess, none of them were very happy. This isn’t hard to understand when you consider that in Nevada, one in eight homes are in foreclosure, and soon mortgage lenders will own 25% of all the homes in the entire United States. Every day the news gets worse with no end in sight. In both audiences, the mind set was a mirror image of their entire industry – crisis.

I asked both groups; “Is the dramatic downturn in the housing market and the accelerating rate of foreclosures a permanent change or a cyclical change?” I could see on their faces a sigh of relief when they all agreed that what they were experiencing was a cyclical change.

What I did with a single question was help them to see light at the end of the tunnel – there will definitely be an end to the current situation.

Next I asked; “Will people continue to both want and need to buy and/or sell homes?” Once again they said yes! Will they need an agent and a mortgage? Yes! At this point, in both cases, you could feel the energy shifting in the room.

I asked the agents if there were opportunities in helping lenders liquidate foreclosures. This question seemed to open their minds to look for hidden opportunities they could act on today. And, when you have a room full of top sales professionals who have a mindset of opportunity instead of crisis, positive ideas begin to flow.

I asked the mortgage lenders if they wanted to own 25% of the homes in the entire United Sates due to foreclosures on their loans? No, they all responded.

Will the value of homes go back up again if we look beyond two to five years? Yes they agreed.

To stimulate their thinking further, I suggested that they provide an option to refinance mortgages by extending them to forty or even fifty years giving the homeowner the ability to keep making payments – a lower payment they can afford – and more time for their house to regain its value. Lenders could even add a mandatory life insurance and/or unemployment insurance policy. Continuing to collect billions of dollars in mortgage payments might be better than experiencing billions of dollars in losses.

As with the real estate agents, the room started buzzing with positive energy. The suggestions stimulated their thinking and their crisis mentality started shifting to identifying new opportunities.

Are daily bad news headlines keeping you from seeing the unlimited possibilities that are right in front of you? Ask yourself if the challenges you are experiencing are cyclical or permanent. Look for opportunities. The more you look, the more you will find.