My Donald has a saying about this and it's "Perfect practice makes perfect"
But what happens if you practice wrong?
"Practice makes perfect" can be an accurate phrase because the more you do something, you build up that procedural memory and your brain can quickly instruct your muscles to carry it out. That muscle memory doesn't judge whether you're doing good or bad, however, and so if you practice a song poorly for hours on end you're going to be really good at making the same mistakes over and over again.- a quote from How Muscle Memory works and how it affects your Success.
What does this have to do with real estate and being prepared for the busy season you might experience? Well, everything!
As agents we "practice" real estate and if we practice wrong or poorly then our brains just get used to doing it wrong. So it's my (many hats job) as the broker to make sure that I do it right and that my agents do it right. As the owner/broker in my office I act in many roles. I've been misidentified as an "assistant" to one of my agents by an agent in another firm and it didn't bother me one bit. I don't care who anyone thinks I am. I care that my agents get it right for our clients. So we try to incorporate the same methodology my Donald does on the range when practicing with his firearms... perfect practice. We try to do it right over and over.
I work very hard in my office to keep on the pulse of the market. I know which direction prices are trending, which direction days on the market is trending. I also know to watch for things that because of a unique out of of the norm property or a simple typo should not be included in the data.
Recently I read a social media post about the price per square foot and days on the market. Two of the items in the stats were 1) a property with -600 days on the market and another with a price per sq. ft. of $677. Both made me head out the MLS to see what the deal was. Well when an agent typed the "contract date" they entered the wrong date. Because I'm pretty sure a property that went on the market in January did not go under contract 420 days prior to that. And trust me when I tell you that no property in our market brought $677 a sq. ft. That property was a 19 acre parcel on the lake that will likely be torn down and 19 acres developed into a best use. But no, that little fishing cabin built in the 70s was NOT the value on that sale and .8 acres is the average size of our lake lots on Sinclair so you can that a 19 acre parcel simply doesn't fist the mold to "average" into the stats.
But making sure that my agents working with sellers are using accurate comps for pricing and making making sure agents working with buyers know not only current pricing, but specifically the average sales to list ratio for the most recently 30 and 60 days, but also for the listing agent. That's right, I even when it comes time to write an offer look up the agents stats. If an agent's listings have sold for 96% of list they are pretty good at pricing, however if the listing agent has a 79% sales to list ratio, we simply use that knowledge to our advantage on first offer price.
Knowing my market, really knowing my market has helped me to help my agents help clients for more than two decades now. The best way to prepare for the busy season in our market is knowing current pricing and trends.
Of course there is more to helping clients than just the numbers. Also very important is:
- lead generation
- available technology
- systems in place
Having agents who can easily adapt to the clients preferred method of communication is key to keeping clients happy. If the client wants to call, we answer, if they want to email we email, if they want to text we text.
Lead generation is NOT about just having the clients find you and contact you. It's about offering them a product that works and is user friendly and keep them up to date
Technology includes so much stuff, from having an e-signature program that is easy for clients to use to an app that is beyond awesome. We offer our clients an app that has "insta view". They down the load the app and are driving around or even out on their boat and find a property that they are interested in knowing more about and open the app the bingo... touch insta view and there it is with interior photos and all the details. They can also use the app from work or home and search by address. It also communicates to the agent right through the app if a buyer wants an appointment or has a question.
Our systems are more back end. We have listing check lists, we have contract check lists, we have buyer follow up checklists and closing day check lists. We utilize them all. And our office assistant is amazing at keeping us on task and keeping things running smoothly. She has brought some new office checklists to us that help so much. She keeps all of our lockboxes giving notifications to the right agents and helps us make sure we have a certain number of "touches" to past clients each year.