Recently I had the pleasure of a luncheon with some folks from another brokerage. Great people that have been in this wonderfully crazy business for much longer than I. I'm so glad I spent some time with them as I took away a different perspective on the business in general, as well as some tips on how to be a little more successful.
During our conversation I was asked a question that I thought was sort of odd. "Since you haven't been in this city all that long (only 7 years now) how do you know so much about the issues and the politics?"
This was odd to me because I can't imagine living anywhere and not knowing who is in power, what their ideals are, what they stand for and what's happening with my tax money! Then toss in the school systems, health care, hospitals and institutes of higher learning. When you have digested all that start digging into the emergency services, funding sources, staffing issues and the alignment of services vs tax dollars.
In my mind if you are cognizant of all these issues, aware of the impact each issue has on the neighborhoods in your area, and the direct correlation of services impacting home value then you are outfitted with some tremendous tools.
I don't know about your area, but around here one of the first questions a potential buyer asks is, "What school district is the home in?" Followed by, "What elementary/high school is in the area?"
I shudder to think of the reaction if I couldn't answer these basic questions. But....there are some agents that can't. They just don't know - and have never found it to be important for them to know.
It just makes me crazy when people are apathetic about their surroundings and don't bother to know the area they are trying to market. For me....it's incomprehensible.
And during the lunch I also got asked, "How did you get so outspoken?" For a minute I wasn't sure that was a good thing, but then the person asking said, "A person always knows where they stand with you, and that's a plus!" I guess my matter of fact take on life hasn't alienated everyone. :)
If you are not informed or involved with your local politics, please make the effort to be better informed. It will only help you in the long run. You don't have to campaign for anyone, or contribute unless you want to. But to listen and read up on what's happening in your own backyard is imperative to your success.
All the best to all of us!
***images courtesy of Google Images