I’m going to be posting my previously-written monthly notes. Since starting these in early 2013, the only thing that I’ve lamented about the notes is the lack of search- and link-ability. I’ve written before that the blog is my pensieve, and, simply, I want to be able to link to these stories for my clients (and for me).
So, apologies for the cluttering of your feeds for the next few days (fixing formatting from the notes to the blog is time-consuming). This one is from February 2013.
Last month, I mentioned that I was debating attending a forum on population and growth controls put on by ASAP. I ended up sitting on a panel with two of the gentlemen from ASAP and Jay Willer; Jay and I were pitted as the “pro-growth” contingent on the panel. It was an interesting discussion, but I remain unconvinced – until they say “the population limit is X and when we go beyond X here are the consequences” the “managed growth” conversation will remain theoretical. I have no doubt that there is a limit on how many humans can reasonably exist in X square miles … but what is the limit and how do we deal with the population?
The market. It’s inconsistent at best.
– I can show you this with statistics (37 of the 273 sold transactions in the MLS – as of this morning – are either short sales or foreclosures)
– Of those 273 sold transactions, 25% had days on market of less than 15 days, 25% had days on market of more than 180 days
– or with anecdotes – I wrote a Contract with an escalation clause, competing with another offer and the intangibles were among the reasons my clients’ offer was ratified.
If you’re buying, be ready to move. Fast. If you’re selling, get advice, and be prepared to work. Hard. Buyers expect you to.
The homogenization of Charlottesville – Albemarle depresses and saddens me. Shenanigans moving from Barracks Road to West Main Street, the Barracks Road Shell closing, The Markets becoming 7-11s and local homebuilders going national and hiring out-of-town contractors … frankly, I’m not as confident anymore as to how to define “local” in this global economy. I know this – I’m have been making a more concerted effort this year to shop and to buy local (excepting Amazon Prime of course 🙂 ) – trying to buy food locally, to go to local restaurants and to evaluate homebuilders’ local impacts. Hiring locally matters, and I think consumers would consider a “scorecard” if you will of how “local” their homes are … What do you think? Would it matter? At all?
Choosing the A-Team
A few years ago I wrote about how I help assemble the right team for my clients. As every client and transaction is different, the A-Team isn’t always the same. But this year, the A-Team shifts. I’ve added a new home inspector to my team. After several chances, I’m removing one or two (and this hurts) members. My goal is to make each of my clients feel that they are the only client I have. That’s the goal, and I know I fall down on that sometimes, but I’m really trying. My clients come to me for solutions; if I can’t offer solutions with 99% confidence that they’ll work, why come to me?
Example: a few years ago I recommended a home inspector to my clients; I’d used this person for years. At the end of the inspection, I asked what were the top three or four actionable things my clients should do in the next six months … reasonable request, right? His response:
“Jim, I am so tired. This is my second inspection of the day. I’m just too tired to answer that.”
He’s not on my good list anymore.
The A-Team needs to be evaluated and improved constantly (as do I …)
We went through a DUI checkpoint a few weeks ago, and the questions were infuriating … Where are you going? Where have you been? You drove all the way here to pick her up at the airport? How do you say “Cro-zett”? When really, they had no business stopping me, nor did I appreciate the phalanx of photographers taking my picture the entire time. There has to be a better way to enforce the laws than interrogating those who aren’t actually suspects. And I’ve seen arguments that the checkpoints themselves are illegal. Freedom matters, folks.
Two things (about real estate this time):
1) – Don’t get excited. Really. Until closing. I mean it. Seriously. Buying or selling a home is an inherently stressful and emotional process. I counsel my clients to minimize the emotions as much as they can. Things happen. Petty things happen. Big things happen. There’s (almost) always a reasonable solution, but emotions cloud and distort judgement.
2) – Detachment – keeping that professional and not personal association with my clients is crucial, yet still being empathetic. I’ve heard it said (and I’ve said it myself) that competence + empathy are the killer combination.
One person can negatively impact the real estate industry. Two instances, coincidentally with the same agent – highlighted just how impactful a real estate agent’s actions can be.
Realtors have a unique opportunity to influence consumers in a powerful way, and here’s the kicker – usually only once every seven years or so. This is a powerful responsibility that I take extremely seriously.