Yesterday was my birthday and next month we celebrate Thanksgiving – a good time to say thank you for more than I could ever have imagined.
Let me start with my wife of nearly 40 years who has stood by my side through two careers, three countries and seven cities. She will tell you that she’s not the adventurous type but prizes steadiness. Instead, I took her on a wild ride that ended in Seattle where she had never been before. In fact, my wife had been to Europe but never west of the Mississippi, save our 1980s vacation to that paradise called Hawaii.
Thanks to the family
Seattle was also the place where I changed careers. After 20-plus years of design and writing, I was found suddenly to be too old to be a creative director. Not necessarily by design, but by His plan, I entered the world of real estate. At about the same time, my wife found work in the mortgage business. Her practical and emotional support were immeasurable. So was the support we received from our church.
Another thank you goes to our son, who re-entered the public school system here after being home schooled by his mom in North Carolina, one of the four states in which our family has lived. When he was five, I introduced him to the world of computing only to have him teach me later a thing or two about the digital world. These days, I know not to bother him with a technology question because I know to consult first the all-knowing worldwide web. Google it!
Thanks to the clients
Last but not least, I want to thank my clients. Real estate is a demanding and rewarding business. As a profession, it is demanding because, taken seriously, the multi-faceted aspects of the work require constant attention. It is rewarding because shelter is, next to food, a basic human need. To find the right shelter, be it a manufactured home or a mansion, is what I do for buyers. For sellers, my goal is to sell that shelter in the fastest possible time at the highest realistic price.
Thanks to the doers
Looking back over this year and the last, I noticed that the ratio of my buying and selling clients is about 50/50. What’s more important is that 85 percent of the transactions involve clients with whom I’ve worked before. That easily beats the industry average. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2014 only 22 percent of buyers and sellers used the agent they worked with previously to buy or sell a home. So a special thanks goes to the buyers and sellers who have come back to me for more.
Looking ahead, let me cite another statistic from the same NAR report. “Eighty-eight percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend to others…” The operative word here is WOULD. There is a big difference between what buyers and sellers would do and what they did do, specifically what eight of ten people said they would do and what two out of ten people actually did do.
Thanks for the recommendations!
There’s no resting on laurels. Real estate is a competitive business. I prefer not to spend the majority of my time on self-promotion and chasing after “leads” but instead in the service of my clients.
To accomplish that, I rely in large part on the recommendation from my existing clients. The NAR report says that 83% of sellers and 63% of buyers would recommend their agent to other sellers and buyers. Judging by the actual use of agents, the recommendations either are not voiced, or if they are, they fall on deaf ears.
I know that many of my clients have recommended me to other buyers and sellers. This is very gratifying. Thank you![:]