Reflecting on the five days I spent in San Diego for the National Association of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtor Conference, I think about the relationships I built, the people I met, the outstanding classes I attended and the organizations that made it possible.
What I Learned
It has become clear to me that there is no magic lead generation bullet in this industry. Actually, if you think about it, referrals and word of mouth are the best lead sources there could ever be for a Realtor. They are the hardest and most difficult to obtain because that means the way leads are generated needs to be turned on its head. It means that we cannot rely on a home to generate that lead.
Yes, Realtors sell homes, but if we take that as our only commodity, then we sell ourselves short. Wait a second, we have sold ourselves short, hence the game of selling lead generation tools has us scrambling after Tiger Leads, Zillow Leads, Realtor.com Leads, etc. Realtors need to start talking about our services and turning our clients into giant megaphones. This is how we beat the lead generation system game that has entrapped us for so long.
If a Realtor is defined by the home they represent and not the clientele they represent, is that the right Realtor for you?
Living In Service
I cannot adequately put into words how totally impressed I have been with your services as our real estate agent. From the time we first discussed with you our idea to buy a new home in Columbus, you have offered us outstanding representation. You have fed us with all the information we needed to make informed decisions about our new home purchase. And because of you, the whole house hunting experience has been a pleasant one! Now we are excited to close and move into our new home! Thank you so much for all the extra work you put into doing your job….or rather I should say going way above and beyond your job. As far as my husband and I are concerned, there could be no better agent ANYWHERE! We will of course recommend you. Thank you for all your help.
I received this review from a recent client and had to stop for a second. I went above and beyond my job? I don’t think so. What I did for those clients is what I feel is every inch my job. I live in service for others.
Now, living in service for others does not necessarily mean that I take on a subservient role. It’s more about empowering others to make their own decisions with facts and information that I can provide through research and industry knowledge, and being respectful and supportive of those decisions.
It’s hard for me to understand how other Realtors® view the job. It’s not finding or selling a home. The job of a Realtor® is so much more. It’s providing hand holding. It’s guidance and understanding. It’s giving the client the freedom to be a knowledgeable adult.
It is the journey of the Real Estate experience that I am on. It’s not about how quickly I can get the “transaction” done to move on. The authentic individual experience is so necessary to keep the role of the Realtor® essential to the public. When you are competing with cut rate brokerages and resources to “find” the home online, it is essential to provide an intangible value when the tangible value becomes a commodity.
I live in service for others. It is something I have always wanted to do. I strive to make the experience better and provide something beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary. I enjoy helping others. It is beyond the dollar. It is beyond the transaction. It is where the client becomes a part of my extended Real Estate family.
My extended Real Estate family knows it. They understand it. Then they talk about it. Are you receiving an authentic individual Real Estate experience?
Buh Bye Foreclosure Market
An era in Real Estate is finally ending. When I first started in 2007, all I heard about was how Real Estate was “getting worse” and how crazy I was for getting into the business now. One in four properties were “lender-mediated” property (in the public eye this genre were the foreclosures) in 2010. Three years after I started, I will be honest, it was bad. My family and I survived as a team and that is the only way we got through this period of time. The year 2011 was definitely the bottom of the market. I was seeing how it was affecting our industry. To see something come to a complete standstill and have very little time to build up a referral business, was quite scarey.
Now, flash forward to 2015. We are looking at one in ten homes classified as “lender-mediated” properties (i.e. foreclosures). Wow, what a difference. The market has picked up for the majority of homes. The decline in prices has, for the most part, ceased. There are a few areas left but, in most cases, the Foreclosure Market as a dominant way to sell a home in Central Ohio is at an end.
So what does that mean to you, the consumer?
The real estate market is headed towards normalization, I hope. We measure how quickly homes are selling by calculating Months Supply of Inventory. Basically, this is how long the Realtors have to sell out the inventory in the Multiple Listing System without adding new properties. September 2015 still has the Months Supply of Inventory at around three months for Central Ohio. That is on the extreme end of low. A normal, healthy market is around six to seven months supply of properties.
No cause for fear. Low numbers generally mean that the sellers have an upper hand in the market. It means that there are buyers who are out there looking with little inventory to view. It doesn’t mean that there is nothing on the market. There are some things. Buyers just need to be more patient. Sellers… Well, sellers, if you play your cards correctly you could be sitting pretty. But, if you are doing a sell and a move within the same area, it could be tricky. Back up plans, contingencies, and possession times are highly recommended if your wish is to move up.
If you are a numbers enthusiast, take a look at:
Central Ohio September 2015 Stats from the Columbus Realtors® Area September 2015 Stats from the Columbus Realtors®
Q3-2015 Lender-Mediated Properties Report