What Every New Transaction Can Teach You
Whether or not a transaction in real estate comes to close there is some new factoid or valuable negotiating skill you can learn from the process. You may have an aha moment about an unusual piece of property that you have never delved into before (horse property was my most recent), learning from a buyer who investigates like Columbo.
There will always be something that you haven’t dealt with before that gives you the opportunity to stretch your expertise past your present knowledge base. In one of my first transactions I had to come up with a structural engineer right away to come to our small Fishhawk Lake community. I made calls to firms located about 90 minutes away. They were all too busy to come in a timely manner and they would be incredibly expensive. I got creative and called The Chamber of Commerce in Astoria, about an hour away. They had someone and he came out on a Sunday and charged half of what we would have paid for a more urban engineer!
Don’t Be Afraid of I Don’t Know
When I started in this business 7+ years ago, I thought I would seem stupid if I didn’t have a ready answer to every question asked. Since then, I have learned that there will always be a question that is new that I can’t answer. That is part of the joy and excitement of this business is that you can’t know too much! With every new transaction, it will give you the opportunity to add to the foundation of real estate wisdom you’ve already accrued. It’s far better to let a client know that you will go find the answer rather than guessing and later having to retract a statement that turns out to be false, because that erodes at the trust you are establishing with your client.
Build Your Resource List
There is no way that a realtor can do it all. We need experts in every facet of the transaction and constantly you will be searching for new ones to fulfill the needs that your clients have. Because Fishhawk Lake is so remote, there are many who won’t make the trek out here, whether they’re carpet layers or concrete layers. So, I compiled a list of people from A-Z that have only come recommended or that I have personally used. This can also relate to mentors and other realtors who have a different area of knowledge than you and can either give you pointers on how to write something in a contract or tell you who to go to who specializes in that area.
Hone Your Negotiating Skills
This involves the art of effective communication. Be a great listener. Read body language. Talk with all parties involved. Speak the truth with kindness. Find out what your client really wants…what’s their bottom line? If they need guidance or sometimes a gentle push, do it at the right time. Don’t placate or patronize. But, be a leader. You can never EVER learn too much about how to be a great negotiator.
A Sale Fail Isn’t a Failure
Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t come to close. Instead look at what you’ve learned for the next client that comes along. Babe Ruth was one of the best hitters in baseball history. You don’t hear about how many times he struck out. He struck out 1,330 times in regular season and another 30 during World Series games! He had 2873 hits. He had 714 homeruns. Obviously, he didn’t look at himself as a failure and neither have we.
Interestingly enough, yesterday after writing this, I was reading Margaret Rome's book "Real Estate The Rome Way" and she used Babe Ruth as an example, too in Chapter one--we are on the same wavelength! (Good book by the way--excellent for new realtors and seasoned ones alike).