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Discussed: June 2015 – Who’s the Best Builder? Improving & Community | Note from Jim
- The Market – approaching mid-year
- Millennials and their pets
- Building community
- 4 Builders, 4 experiences. Humans matter
- Confidence and room for improvement
- Blog roundup
4 Builders, 4 experiences. Who’s the best?
The “best” builder is the one who builds yourhouse. Accept it.
This year I have represented buyers who have built (and are building) with several builders – from small custom to larger not-so-custom. Each has its own advantages (handholding, quality, choice, price, size) and disadvantages (price, size, quality, handholding).
The biggest, more relevant consistency is that humans matter. Personalizing the process, making each buyer feel as if they are the only one who is building a home, is fundamentally important. Conveying this feeling – empathizing in this way – is, to be simple, really hard, and harder for some than others. Knowing whose buttons to push, and when, is a skill that takes time to hone, and the appropriate emotional detachment to not push said buttons at the first sign of a challenge.
Challenges arise with each and every build – Every. Single. Time. What matters is how that challenge is addressed and resolved. I’d like to think that over the past few years, I’ve learned when and how to nudge and push as necessary.
Millennials and Pets
I’ve written about millennials and pets before, but last month brought further evidence of pets’ importance to my millennial clients. A few days after closing and moving in, I received this from a client:
We moved a few small things in over the last couple of days and have already made about a hundred trips to Lowe’s. 🙂
Thanks again for being so helpful and making buying our first house a breeze (or as much as it could have been)!
I took this photo of (our dog) enjoying the back yard. He is thrilled! 🙂
Yep. Pets are family.
Confidence & Room for Improvement — nearly 5 Stars
A former client wrote a bad review about me recently. It hit me, hard. As in, a drop kick to the stomach and then an uppercut to the chin. And some kind of crazy movie-style drop elbow to the back of the neck.
I’m not going to address the merits of what he wrote due to client confidentiality (I really do take what I do seriously). I will say thank you. Thank you for the reminder to not be complacent. To not take for granted that I’m communicating effectively, to not allow my focus on market value, resale, the risks inherent in overpaying in this market, keep me from following my clients’ wishes.
For a moment, my confidence was shaken. This market (one part of it, at least) is rife with multiple offers, escalation clauses, massive increases in values prices over the past few years, and my experience of life happening, of short sales still in our midst does color my counsel.
What I can do is apologize, learn, and move on, doing better at what I do. I welcome and embrace the opportunity to improve.
Building community – actual community where people care about themselves and their surroundings is hard work. As the real estate market has stabilized over the past few years, I (hopefully) suspect that people/citizens will increase their time investment in their communities rather than abdicating responsibility solely to those with an immediate financial interest.
Next month’s note is going to be a bit more data-heavy as I dig into the mid-year numbers.
May in Albemarle County:
# of New Listings – 2015 vs. 2014:
Single family homes: 157 vs. 184
Attached homes: 45 vs. 39
Condos: 16 vs. 17
Total: 218 vs. 240 — 9% up; optimism by late-to-Spring market sellers?
# of Contracts:
Single family homes: 109 vs. 112
Attached homes: 47 vs. 37 (10 of the 47 were new construction; 13 of the 37 were new)
Condos: 14 vs. 7 (Contrast with last month’s 8 vs. 16 shows the perils of trying to draw conclusions from limited data sets.)
Total: 170 vs. 156 — up 8% isn’t bad.
# of Solds
Single family homes: 101 vs. 110
Attached homes: 41 vs. 47
Condos: 13 vs. 11
Total: 155 vs. 168 — up 8% isn’t insignificant
May in the City of Charlottesville
# of New Listings:
Single family homes: 46 vs. 62
Attached homes: 3 vs. 8
Condos: 11 vs. 9
Total: 60 vs. 78 — up 23%. Interesting.
# of Contracts:
Single family homes: 44 vs. 44
Attached homes: 9 vs. 7
Condos: 7 vs. 12
Total: 60 vs. 63
# of Solds:
Single family homes: 53 vs. 41 (I still think this is driven by pocket listings not being entered into MLS. And I’m still working on sussing this out.)
Attached homes: 8 vs. 10
Condos: 5 vs. 7
Total: 66 vs. 58 — Up 12%
On the Blogs
- The Charlottesville Look Back – anyone who’s lived in Charlottesville knows what this is.
- Nearly $1 Billion of real estate on the market in Charlottesville + Albemarle.
- I think now prospective buyers in Charlottesville/Albemarle should visit a Wegmans before buying.
- Google’s “Leave Now” is awfully useful.
- Negative Buyer Feedback Matters (often more than the positive).
- The string mystery was solved, a house burned down, and other Facebook updates.
- The Crozet town hall was a big success. (if you’re interested in Crozet, please read this)
- The Crozet farmers’ market is open!
- Recap of the CCAC meeting; restaurant coming to 240/250.
- Dave Oberg is running for School Board.
- WAHS’ new principal is Darah Bonham.
- Crozet Pizza’s Bob Crum passed away.
- Riding a bicycle in Crozet is fun.
- Summer camps in and around Crozet
- An artisanal turkey farm is coming to Crozet.
That’s it, folks. Have a question? Story suggestion? Comment? Best comment response gets a gift card to a Charlottesville coffee shop.