Time & The Realtor’s Psyche
Well, it’s that time of year when arbitrarily we, as realtors, pressure ourselves to get our first sales in the books and begin to rebuild our statistics that are mysteriously cleared off at midnight on January first. You feel as if in that one day, you have reached an imaginary finish line and the gun has gone off to immediately begin another race. Will this be a good month, a good year? Or will this be an EXCEPTIONAL month? A GREAT year? Everything is a possibility right now. We feel renewed and energized from a holiday break and excited about the year to come. How does this affect our interactions with clients? How does this affect our interactions with everyone? I wanted to take a moment and reflect on a few people with whom we interact differently according to when we encounter them in our “selling cycles” or seasons or whatever time frame surrounds how you hold yourself accountable and measure your fiscal success.
First, I want to think about sellers. How do I act differently now compared with how I acted to folks I signed to represent in May or November. We’d all like to think that we ALWAYS act the same and provide the same intensely dedicated levels of service without regard to when we encounter new clients. Reality says we cannot help but act a little differently if we feel pressured to “hit the ground running” or conversely if we feel that the race to “close as many contracts as possible before the end of the year” has ended and we can relax the frenzy a bit. I don’t think this difference goes as far as to affect our professional advice or judgment… but, could it make us willing to guide the sellers to be more patient for a better offer or more willing to negotiate on certain things? I don’t know, but I want to think about it.
Second, let’s think about buyers. Is there any difference in my procedures or interactions according to what month it is? Sometimes, I want to make certain and “check in” with myself…. “Am I urging them to make an offer on THIS home because it meets most things on their must have list and is a sound property within their budget?”…. or…. because “This is the fifty-sixth house we’ve seen in the past month and they need to make a decision because they’re wearing me out.” OF COURSE, real professionals NEVER feel this way, right? …… hmmmm. OK. Maybe. Realistically, the timing within the local market, how fast things are selling, and the amount of inventory can legitimately affect our urgency and advice but that comes from a more selfless place in the psyche – you don’t want them to keep waiting for “perfection” and miss out on “exquisite with a minor flaw” along the way. They are depending on our professional experience and historical filter to help them avoid disappointments.
Finally, the “Lookie Lous” or “Nosey Neighbors” or “Toe Dippers”, how do I act toward and respond to this element? Inevitably, people have been watching HGTV over their breaks and are inspired to ….. MAYYYYYYY-beeee want to move. They’ve been surfing the internet and have been stricken with the “grass REALLY is greener” syndrome. This is not at all bad for real estate professionals if they are seriously inspired and have truly done some level of financial self-analysis….. However. If these are folks that want to look at other homes as if they are part of a real life Pinterest Board to be inspired and acquire decorating tips or convince themselves they are content and there is nothing better for them out there (you know, casual and serial “lookers”. “Lookie Lous”.) Then there are the Nosey Neighbors who have no real intention to buy or move but admit they just want to take a look. Seriously…. I try to figure someday they may “see” something that motivates them beyond their voyeurism, said with silent prayer and eyes turned skyward. Then there are the “Toe Dippers”. The, “let’s just see how much we could sell our home for and if that’s enough for us to maybe consider listing it” people. They call and are interested in moving, MAYBE, but have an inflated idea about their home’s worth so they’re disappointed in reality. OR. They want to see a market analysis of comps to assure themselves they are financially on the right track as they annually assess the state of their investments. Am I more or less patient with these time suckers who seem like dead ends? Personally, I try to consider each interaction a long term investment (like the stock market) and the return may not happen for years, but I’m still making deposits (buy low – I’m only losing time ;)). That is my cerebral position on it, but there are days…..
I’m not making any accusations, nor am I confessing any misconduct, but I was reflecting and thought it would be worthwhile to be more cognizant THIS year of my interactions and motivations and make sure I’m as consistent with my customer service in January, or November as I am in May or July. If you know of someone in the greater Knoxville, TN area who is thinking about buying or selling a home, I’d love the opportunity to invest some time and energy into earning their trust as their realtor. Blake Rickels, The Blake Rickels Group, #KellerWilliams 865-966-5005. If any of these points have resonated with you or if the new year has caused you to reflect on anything…. well professionally…. please share it!