Last Thursday, we did a little show in the SWS Virtual Studio about Mastering Your Market for Fun & Profit. The format was that my guest and I (thank you, Chiara Petro!) took turns sharing our tips for Market Mastery and asked the audience to vote on their favorites.
(I wrote about the Favorit-est Tips here.)
By far, the most favorit-est tip was to “Leave the GPS at home.”
Here’s why you might want to do that. To become a true “master” of a market or neighborhood, you need to be able to get TO it and THROUGH it, and understand how it fits into the Big Picture of the area, without relying on that little computer on the dashboard to guide you.
When I started selling real estate in Denver in 1996, we had no choice but to learn our way around town, or risk looking like idiots when we put buyers in our cars. And that knowledge served me well, very well, throughout my career. To this day, I can draw a fairly accurate picture of the City and County of Denver, placing all neighborhoods, major cross streets, parks and shopping districts. I understand how the neighborhoods, highways, attractions and commercial districts relate to each other geographically which gave me tremendous credibility and confidence when talking with buyers about their location preferences and needs.
The funny thing is… now that I don’t live in Denver and I don’t sell real estate anymore, I have no clue how the town in which I currently live is put together. After more than two years here, I still need the GPS to get to Walmart, the health food store and the dog park. If someone tells me they live “west of downtown” or “north of I-10,” I have absolutely no mental picture of where that might be. And if I were trying to sell real estate here, that would drive me nuts.
One of my definitions of being a Master of Your Market is that when someone tells me where they live, I can mentally “place” their home on a map and have a reasonably accurate idea of what their neighborhood is like. If you’ve been relying on your GPS to navigate your way around town, it’s likely that ability and familiarity will never fully develop.
So, as you’re working toward Mastering your Market, try it the old fashioned way. Yeah, it might be a bit frustrating and take more time, but you’ll be glad you made the effort, I promise.