We're just three weeks from the beginning of yet another year. So guess what I've been doing lately? Reflecting. I am embarrassed to say what my real estate production has been in 2010, but it has prompted me to sit back and ask myself, "What happened?"
Here's what I've learned.
1. I am not a tour guide. If a buyer has a house to sell but doesn't either have the house on the market or ready to put the house on the market today, we won't start looking at houses. If the buyer does not have or refuses to get a letter of pre-approval, we won't start looking at houses.
If a buyer is new to the area and wants to see the different neighborhoods and attractions but is not interested in purchasing a home for "6-12 months," they will have to enlist themselves to drive around and get familiar.
2. It is not my wish to have the title "Queen of Overpriced Listings." Part of the services I offer is to provide sellers with a market analysis -- a summary of comparable homes currently on the market and that have recently sold. I offer tools and advice to help them price their home to sell, not sit with a sign having my name rider dangling from it for the next several months or even couple of years. I know it's their right to list their house at the price they want to list it at. But it's also my right to walk away.
3. If a seller says, "Well, we don't have to sell," I am going to listen to that little voice inside my head that says, "Turn around and run!" This kind of goes along with #2 above. With the mindset of "I don't have to sell," comes the mentality that it's not necessary to listen to and really hear the feedback from buyers or to acknowledge that the lack of showings is likely an indication the market simply cannot handle the house at the current price. If a seller really doesn't have to sell, then I really don't have to list the house.
4. I need to walk away from those individuals who complain about not having any business sooner rather than later. "Making it" in any business takes dedication, hard work, a positive attitude, and enthusiasm. And in a tough economy, multiply the needed dedication, hard work, positive attitude and enthusiasm by a hundred. If you don't follow up or do open houses or go to sales meetings or stay in touch with past buyers and sellers or send out regular mailings or make phone calls, you won't have any business. It is that simple.
I will not wait until the new year to start making changes. I'm making those changes now. And things are already heading in a better direction.
Yes, 2010 was a tough year, but it also provided many learning opportunities. And for that I am grateful.