One of the tenets of being a professional REALTOR® is knowing your market.
How can someone possibly help their client buy a property in an area that is unknown to them 75-100 miles away in a very different environment?
I often ask myself this question when I receive calls from agents some distance away asking for information on property here at Lake Anna. They have never been here and yet plan to work with clients interested in buying at the lake.
One day I received a request from an assistant to a "high producing" Northern Virginia agent. I was asked to do a CMA for Lake Anna. Lake Anna is 17 miles long with over 250 miles of shoreline and pproximately 120 subdivisions. We sell waterfront homes, water view homes, access homes, waterfront lots, water view lots, and water access lots with or without assigned boat slips.
Would you like to do such a Comparative Market Analysis? Would it tell you very much? Would you be able to help your clients with this information?
I suggested to the assistant that I would be very happy to accept a referral. That seemed like the logical step to me. The assistant said the agent preferred to work with her own client.
Who's best interest was paramount on that agent's mind?
When I first became an agent I worked in Northern Virginia. I had been living there for several years and there was still quite a learning curve getting to know the area. It is huge. My office was located in what is known as inside the beltway, fairly close to D.C. It was the area where many people chose to start their search for a home. At that time most of the jobs where in D.C. or close in. Little by little we would venture further out when they realized they were able to buy much more home for the money.
After moving to Lake Anna I experienced another learning curve. This time I had to learn about the lake. Lake Anna has it's own story. Then I had to learn about surveys, septic systems (alternative and conventional), about wells (drilled and bored), the building permit process, and other things that were more unique to Lake Anna. Just getting to know where the nearest towns and shopping areas were as well as medical resources and schools took some time.
There definitely is a case to be made for referrals and they do not necessarily have to be just across state lines or outside a MLS.
Do you provide the best service for your clients even when that may mean not working with them?
Please think about that the next time someone tells you they are interested in an area you do not know.
If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling property at or near Lake Anna, Virginia please contact Kathleen "Kate" Elim, REALTOR®.
Kate lives at Lake Anna, knows Lake Anna, loves Lake Anna, and specializes in Lake Anna area real estate.
Copyright © 2008 By Kathleen "Kate" Elim, All Rights Reserved. *Should REALTORS® Actually Know the Areas They Sell?*.