May 7th, 2014 Categories: Random Topics
Crofton residents might enjoy reading about my first real estate experience, written for a challenge on Activerain. I’ve inserted the street names in parenthesis, since Crofton readers are familiar with the area.
There was little or no training for agents in the early 70’s. It truly was baptism by fire, trial and error, or the school of hard knocks – whatever you want to call it – or just good old fashioned luck.
With only one black and white photo in the MLS listings delivered to our office each week, agents learned about local listings the old-fashioned way: same-day tours of new in-house listings so we would be familiar with them if someone should see the sign and call our office for information about them, and weekly caravans of other companies’ new listings in nearby communities.
Lesson learned: Tour new listings so you know the inventory, or at least carefully review every online listing in your target market.
After my first caravan, I called a friend to tell her about the fabulous antiques I had seen in a nearby townhouse. At 7 a.m. the next morning, my phone rang (scared me to death, since my husband was deployed in Vietnam at the time). It was my friend saying that she and her husband had been talking about it all night and decided they didn’t want to see townhouses, only detached homes.
What? Are you kidding? Is this a prank?, ran through my mind. I didn’t know my friends were looking for a house and I certainly hadn’t intended to hint anything about real estate sales or listings to my friend when we spoke the previous day about antiques. But here was my first client!
Lesson learned: Anyone you know could be thinking about buying or selling a home, so talk about real estate with them – at least indirectly.
One problem… they wanted a house like mine and none were on the market. So I knocked on the door of a For Sale By Owner on my street (Jordan Avenue) and told them about my clients’ desire to purchase that model, and they invited me in. I had no idea it would be THIS easy to list a home! Before I left, they had signed the one-page listing form.
Lessons learned: Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and don’t be afraid of FSBO’s!
My friends didn’t choose this house, but another agent in my office did buy it for his own family a few days later. Meanwhile, I listed my friend’s house (on Walleye Drive), which sold within days.
Another home came on the market across the street from me (also on Jordan Avenue) the very next day, and my friends decided to buy it. I contacted the listing agent who told me to bring my buyers and their children into her office to meet the seller.
What???? I thought real estate agents were supposed to keep buyers and sellers apart, I said to the old pro. She said no, they would work it out. And they did… in about 15 minutes. The one-page contract was written and signed before we left the office.
Lesson learned: It’s okay for the buyer and seller to meet and talk… in some cases, it’s actually a good strategy!
Just to refresh… A casual conversation with a friend resulted in my first buyer, my first sale (after showing just two homes), two listings, and my first two listings sold – all in one week. My first real estate experience truly did multiply like bunnies!
Ka-ching, Ka-ching, Ka-ching… is that the sound of a cash register being stuffed with all the money I would earn in real estate over the next 40 years?
We all know the rest of the story. It’s NOT that easy! I was just “lucky.”
LUCKY to get into this business when there was no Internet (consumers NEEDED us to buy or sell a home because there really wasn’t a viable alternative)… LUCKY that paperwork was simple (one page), and… LUCKY to learn good habits that have contributed to my longevity in this business and to the success of agents I mentor today.
Today, my business is built on 40 years of experience, training, and evolving technology – and I’ve never enjoyed it more. It would be a privilege to put that expertise to work for you, and disappointing you is simply not an option.