Three mistakes that I’ve made in my real estate career could probably
turn into a novel of 1,000 mistakes I’ve made over my twenty plus year real estate
career. But in the essence of time and
lack of space in this blog, I’ll keep it to three mistakes! Don’t get me wrong, I’m very good at my
job. My expertise happens to be in
writing contracts, interpreting what provisions mean to a buyer and seller and
analyzing the financial side of a purchase or sale. That said, I’ve done some things that, while
they didn’t really hurt anyone, caused me and all of the parties involved a lot
of unnecessary stress. I’m hoping this
will help some of you newer agents out in your quest for a successful real
estate career. First, let me give you some background of the type of real estate in
which I practice. I’m a broker/owner
with an independent real estate company (meaning not tied to a national
franchise). We are a very busy,
energetic and knowledgeable real estate company that works in the resort real
estate market in Winter Park, Colorado.
We’re in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, home to the
nationally recognized ski resort Winter Park Resort. We’re located in Grand County, which is also
home to Rocky Mountain National Park. We
primarily work with second homeowners, which brings along it’s own special
challenges in the real estate industry.
Currently, while we are certainly not the largest real estate firm in
Grand County, we hold the market share so far in 2014 for total property sold. We’ve held that position for 7 of the last 8
years that we’ve been in business. The buyers and sellers that I work with on a regular basis do not necessarily
live in this area. That brings me to my
first mistake. Because my clientele is
not in the area, we tend to communicate via email. It works well with busy buyers and sellers
and is a wonderful way to document what’s been said. The problem is that sometimes, it just works
better to PICK UP THE PHONE! I know that
most of us live and breathe by our smartphones and can be alerted asap when a
text or email comes in. But the general
public does not necessarily live like this.
A quick phone call, even if it’s to leave a message regarding the gist
of what you want to discuss, can be a life-saver. I’ve actually had potential clients tell me
that if I hadn’t called them, if I had relied on emails to try to garner their
business, they would have gone elsewhere.
I’ve noticed that when I respond by email when I should just pick up the
phone is when I’m trying to avoid a difficult conversation. Suck it up and make that call! What can they do, throw a shoe at you? When I was fairly new in the business, our industry was not as
technologically savvy as it is now. That
said, I have always been very interested in technology, gadgets, etc. My second mistake was jumping on every new
techno-gadget band wagon that came along.
I was the first in our office to have a Palm Pilot, I thought I was all
that and a bag of chips! I spent a lot
of money that I really didn’t have, in buying the newest, best, fastest gadget
out there. Learn from my mistake, be
very careful in spending your hard-earned dollars on technology. There are a lot of resources out there that
can help you sift through all of that information. But I really did like that darn Palm Pilot! That was actually one of my good decisions
but I had a lot of others that didn’t work out as well. Finally, and I still do this from time to time, is that I don’t always
set the proper expectation with buyers or sellers. In the State of Colorado, our default relationship
to a potential buyer or seller is Transaction-Broker. That’s a very neutral status and means we are
the advocate for the transaction, not for one party or the other. The seller or buyer can then hire the
licensee as “their” agent. In the case
where the licensee has a seller agency agreement in place on a listing, and
then brings in a buyer, the licensee then needs to switch the seller back to
that neutral Transaction Broker status.
This is a possible scenario that needs to be discussed PRIOR to a seller
signing a listing agreement.
Unfortunately, sometimes I haven’t really listened to whether or not the
seller (or buyer) understood what this means to them in the scope of a
transaction. Invariably, there are a lot
of emotions brought out when a buyer or seller feels they have been misled, as
unintentional as it might have been.
What I am really saying here is that you need to LISTEN to your buyers
and sellers and do not be afraid to discuss these legally binding documents for
as long as is needed for them to be fully informed. That’s all for now, even though I could go on for days! Thank you for reading and good luck in this
wonderful world of real estate sales!
Author:Janene Johnson Phone: 970-531-2284 Dated: November 13th 2014 Views: 2,110 About Janene: Raised on the east coast, Janene moved to Colorado after falling in love with the area while here on...
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