Comparisons, Feelings, Connections | Jim’s Note – May 2024

Happy May. This month: I’m writing about comparisons, perspectives, and connecting. A bit about the Charlottesville real estate market, too. And I didn’t even get to single agent dual agency; that’s next month. Subscribe to my note at

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I rode 33 miles on Sunday. Some of my friends rode over 100 miles. One didn’t ride at all. I started to think how I wished I’d ridden longe, and then thought about the breakfast I made for my daughter and the hike I went on with my wife.

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I’m happy with my ride; see the foggy perspective at the bottom.

23 of my clients bought in 2019.16 in 2020, and 31 in 2021. Each of them bought for the reasons that were important to them, not because they wanted to keep up with others, but because the timing was right for them to make the life choices they did.

Feeling the Market

I think and feel like the Charlottesville real estate market is slowing. I know I’ve written this story before. Is the slowdown seasonal? End of the school year. Buyers who wanted to buy, have bought, and are closing soon or have closed. Buyers who wanted to buy and couldn’t have renewed leases. This is the typical slowdown, right? Interest rates settling around/above 7% have something to do with it, but how much?

Charlottesville + Albemarle Resales From 5/1 – 5/20

2019: 212 homes listed, 171 went under contract.

2024: 143 homes listed, 135 went under contract.

I find that I feel the numbers and market more when I study the numbers and write them by hand. I have spreadsheets, too, but pen and ink work well for me..

Wrapping My Head Around the Need for Printed Materials in Listings

Floorplan, yes, information sheet, yes. 8-page color brochure with photos? I absolutely see the value of beautiful print materials (we do beautiful stuff at Nest), but I’m struggling with finding the balance of the right amount of print. (We touch on this in the Sweat the Details podcast.) I can’t justify the waste associated with so much paper and ink, and suspect that a lot of real estate consumers agree.

I have an idea for a flyer, a version of which my wife and I saw in France and Denmark. Hoping to have a draft next month.


Market Comment From a Client

Regarding seeing a house on the first weekend, a client sent this: (bolding mine)

Irrational exuberance sounds about right. [that price] is still a lot of money despite what the market looks like. I’m just afraid of what prices will do if interest rates go down.  Though maybe too many sellers are holding off the market waiting for those days, and then there will be more supply as well as more demand.  Anyway, thanks!  We’ll see if it’s on the market first week of June.



There’s a father and son who often walk to the coffee shop when my bike club are having our post-ride morning coffee. I don’t know that we’ve seen them say more than a few words to each other. They walk up, both staring at their phones. They leave, both staring at their phones.

Yes, I’m a bit of a hypocrite, and yes, I’m trying to be better about engaging with my family. And yes, I have a rule that I hold to when I’m with clients, that if my phone is out when I am with them, I am doing something for them.

I don’t have a moral or a closing other than to ask you (and myself) to be better at engaging with our fellow humans. Or dogs. I am not going to look, but I bet there are stories and data about dogs feeling left out because their humans are on their phones.


This is related to above.

Humanity matters.

I’m tired of hearing about AI. And yet.

Relationships matter. Loyalty matters. Top of mind matters.

When I ask Perplexity AI a question, I usually get a great, thoughtful, well-sourced, and researched answer, with links. And I almost never click those links. Google has essentially Declared the End of the World Wide Web.

We’re entering a new era.

“The change will soon spread to other countries, arguably reducing the importance of links and web pages for more than a billion people.

And bloggers, news outlets and others who benefit from people clicking on their links via Google’s search results could see audiences dwindle if people are sated by what its “AI Overview” serves up.

“It’s going to create a negative impact on brands and publishers who rely on organic search traffic for sure,” Marketing AI Institute CEO Paul Roetzer said of such a scenario.

“We just have no idea how much, and we don’t really know what you can do about it.”

I was talking about this with my younger daughter who said that her generation has grown up with technology and is exhausted by it. Speaking for her generation (with my paraphrasing) she said that they are craving human connection and authenticity.

I feel like we’re at a turning point (aren’t we always?) where the people seeking such authenticity will need to do more work to find it, and those who are providing the same will have to do more work to create, nurture, and build those trusting connections.

Or, AI will eat us all; it’s definitely one of the two.

So, if you like this note, please read it, share it, and tell your friends about it.

Thank you for sharing!


1 – A new way to search for homes in Charlottesville; try it out, and let me know what you think. (it’s an app)

2 – Next month: Inertia, buyer agency, sub-agency, equal and opposite reaction.

What I’m Reading
Blue Ridge Tunnel


What I’m Listening To

Perspective Matters

Foggy yesterday, about a year ago: less fog.

Cloudy view of Rockfish Valley, and a clear view with blue skies and white cloudsCloudy view of Rockfish Valley, and a clear view with blue skies and white clouds
2nd Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway

If you’ve made it this far:

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