Reflection of the past is of great importance. It allows me to shape myself, my business, and my goals for the future. With that, I have written down my “TOP 10 LESSONS from 2016″ to hold myself accountable going forward.
Walk away from bullies! People use Jedi-mind-tricks to try to “convince”, “rationalize”, “explain”, that being compensated less than market standard rate is FAIR. Bottom line, if someone is not willing to play ball with me for going commission, costs for staging, photography, marketing etc., I am not going to play.
If on a ONE WAY communication street, back up! If communication is closed, I am shutting it down. Those who are not willing to respond, omit information, or just display lack of transparency, have proven they cannot be trusted. This is my livelihood, and when people are willing to put it in jeopardy for their own gain, it says a lot about their character. Toxicity is contagious – staying far away from these characters going forward. Working with like minded invididuals with shared values is the only way for the future.
Plan for the best in order to avoid the worst! Having only spent one year thus far trading real estate, I can attest to the fact that it can be financially fruitful. That said, I can also see how without planning or lack of commitment, it can lead to times of uncertainty and extreme stress. Awareness of the potential of financial instability is enough to keep me motivated.
Be conservative! Anyone who knows me, knows that I like fast cars, fancy watches, travel – what many deem luxuries in life. I have treated myself to many luxuries past/present, but my focus in life has changed. My possessions do not make me who I am.
Travel less and vacation more! The act of getting on a plane in and of itself is not vacationing. Disconnecting is part of the deal I have made with myself. I welcome it and am getting much better at doing this.
Connect with others face-to-face! This one almost seems silly, but in this day and age with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc, there is a significant loss of human connection. I am guilty, as I stay in contact with many via these modalities, but with a year of many losses, I know I need to connect in person with people of importance to me.
Take calculated risks!It is true that no one moves ahead without first taking a step. Not all steps need to be dangerous, but there is something to be said about taking a plunge here and there. Step one for me was leaving my corporate job. I left fear on the burner and launched forward, and have not looked back since. Whatever it is, if I desire it, I am going for it and plan to get it.
Be comfortable with saying NO! Not sure this needs much explanation. Saying “no” does not make me a bad person, and only I need to believe that to be comfortable enough to do it.
Live a healthy lifestyle! Listening to my body and having the awareness to do so is a great gift. The days of pushing myself beyond repair are long gone. I see a healthier (mind and body) future for myself that I am working towards – exercise, eating habits – it is a lifestyle.
Believe in myself!I am my greatest motivator. Just as quickly as I can create blocks for myself, I can create openings. The possibilities are endless.
The years have taught Buyers that when the Spring market unfolds, being in a position of strength will increase the odds of a successful outcome.
So, what exactly does this mean?
Prior to the market unravelling, there are several things that Buyers can do in advance, so that when they are at the negotiating table, they have all of their ducks in a row. Examples are:
Obtaining a Mortgage Pre-Approval and/or Mortgage Committment
This ensures that a buyer is aware of what type of budget they are working with. Having this information can alleviate a lot of discomfort/stress when it comes to purchasing a new home. Versus ending up in a egotistical match (a.k.a. bidding war), buyers, with the help of a trusted agent, can steer clear of the potential to spend beyond their means
Cost of Living Difference Calculations
Time and time again, I hear my buyers express that their new purchase with be “different” than their current situation. If so, take the time to sit down and calculate the financial differences that you may be exposed to, and pressure test yourself – as the bank will do it for you regardless.
This is the one that I find often pauses or slows down the buying process for many. An informed buyer is extremely STRONG at the table. Many of my buyers have been successful in bidding wars because they didn’t “need time” to become familiar with a neighbourhood. Of course, your agent is responsible for showing you what may be important to you in the neighbourhood (schools, transportation, accessibility, leisure etc), but there is not better way to confirm your comfort and interest, than immersing yourself in an area. Determining if you can and want to live somewhere is more than half the battle.
This is is no way an exhaustive list of suggestions. Each buyer can in effect come up with their own pre-check list. The learning here though, is that it can be taken away from the heat of the negotiation and potentially be done in advance.
If you are thinking of selling your home, it is important to keep in mind that there are multiple steps involved.
Recently, I had a client contact me to let me know that she wanted and needed to sell her home – the time frame provided was less than two weeks. Behind the delivery of this ask, I could hear and feel the panic in her voice. Needless to say, she was extremely surprised when I said, “It can be done, BUT we have a lot to accomplish in the next couple of days.”
Luckily, years in corporate sales led me to develop a CRITICAL PATH in my first weeks of real estate, which I share with my clients at the juncture that they decide to sell their property. Within this document, task ownership and timelines are identified. After an initial glance at the document together, it becomes crystal clear if the deadline in sight is attainable or unattainable.
The point? Work WITH your realtor to determine if your end game can be realistically met.
Consider that the “Spring Market” kickoff can vary with weather patterns being sporadic, and all of the pre-work prior to the season, versus during the season, can put you ahead of the curve.
Back to the title question… Thinking of selling? If the answer is yes, feel free to reach out to me for a professional consultation to help you prepare for your sale. Trust that the success of a sale is a result of the work that goes into it prior to the sign hitting the lawn and the listing hitting the market!
Whilst travelling on a lengthier vacation this past month, I realized even more so how much communication is KEY. An entire network of individuals (brokers, realtors, clients, lenders, solicitors) must all be on the same page in order to reach an end state together. When one part (or multiple parts) of the equation step out of synchronicity, things can easily become chaotic. Setting a deal back on the rails can be very trying and sometimes impossible.
That said, there is no need to beat this one senseless, simply a reminder yet again to work with like minded COMMUNICATIVE individuals. Doing so leads to positive results with far less stress.
Having worked in a sales a capacity for more than half of my working life, one thing I know with certainty is that RESPECT is a TWO-WAY STREET. It is interesting that even with this knowledge, I find that I am constantly reminding myself of this.
Standing my ground… I am committed to working for those who want to work with me.
My time is valuable too!
I am becoming far more stringent when it comes to working with clients who are prepared vs unprepared. Planning is essential and I am happy to provide guidance, resources, and timelines to clients interested in buying, listing, or leasing property. Qualifying clients is my first step!
Sorry, I do not work for free!
This is my career – what I have chosen to do for a living to support myself, my family. It is apparent that people will without fail push for you to “cut them a break”. In my world, cutting a break translates to cutting-a-break and sending these individuals to someone who is willing to devalue their worth.
Open communication is critical!
I am as straight forward as someone can be and I seek the same from my clients. It is incredible how surprises come out of left field in this business! I am grateful that I am trained to see the smoke and react accordingly. “Hello, 911?”
THE BOTTOM LINE… The birth of anew hashtag – #realrespect
The days get longer and crazier in this hectic real estate market, and as this happens, I reflect on who I have “at my table”. When I look back on all the deals I have had the privilege of being part of, what stands out about my brand, is that it is highly dependent on those that I bring with me.
I manage my internal network like a tightly run ship. Although my extended team are separate entities, when it is time to come together, we move in sychronicity like a gold medal swim team!
Whether it be buying or selling, it is an understatement to say that having a reliable network counts. From cleaners, stagers, photographers, lawyers, mortgage brokers, contractors, home inspectors, appraisers… The list goes on and on… I take a deep relaxing breath knowing I have (warning, 80’s reference) a “Rolodex” of contacts from these areas of expertise. LUCKY ME = LUCKY YOU!
All in all, my real estate has developed into a one-stop-shop for me and those clients I am so grateful to represent. There is definitely no stopping me now!
This ideation of a “spring market” takes on new meaning for me this year. I truly realize and acknowledge that this nomenclature has almost nothing to do with the Spring weather season itself; it is the time of year that property prices SPRING up and rise… Think of a good old slinky from the 1940’s – stretching and re-forming itself with the aid of gravity and its own momentum, and appearing to levitate for a period of time after it has been dropped…
What does his have to do with #real? Well, this is a critical time in the market to understand what is “real” and what is not – be that list prices, bidding wars, valuations, etc. This so called “spring market” reminds me of how and why my branding of #realrealestate and #realrelationships came to fruition.
When developing my brand in real estate, I did not spend countless hours thinking about how I wanted to represent and be represented in the marketplace, I closed my eyes and easily decided that I was going to do what I have done for decades in my sales career, and that was be #real – it was a simple as that. In a marketplace that unfortunately often prides itself often on selling fiction, I knew my differentiator would be that I would be myself and nothing else. These hashtags are my commitment to my clients both buying and selling. How they are defined by me?
#realrelationships (Authenticity is me. I know no other way. What you see and feel, is exactly what you get. No surprises, absolute transparency.)
#realrealestate (I commit to providing sound and knowledgeable advice regarding properties, supported by qualitative/quantitative and psychological data… as well as intuition. I never want a client to be disappointed or second guess their decisions.)
I am honoured to work with all of the clients I have, past, present, and future. It is very reassuring to see that across all of my testimonials there is a theme around my sincerity. Knowing this leaves me feeling confident that if the art of “hashtagging” dies, I will just rejig my my brand to read REAL.