Is your 'foreclosure and short sale expert' a former cheerleader?

Most people in the real estate industry are in the midst of a tough run, but there's one segment of the market that's booming: foreclosure specialists.

The New York Timesreports that the 2009 Reomac conference in Palm Desert, CA attracted 3,000 real estate agents and property managers specializing in distressed properties. With foreclosures and short sales at record heights with many more in the pipeline, it's a great time to be working in distressed housing.

With the real estate market at large performing poorly -- 45% of February home sales were foreclosures or short sales -- many down on their luck real estate agents are looking to re-brand themselves as distressed property specialists. In his book Shift: How Top Agents Tackle Tough Times, Keller Williams Realty impresario Gary Keller to "master the market of the moment" and develop expertise and a market position in distressed properties.