SOLD: IT’S THE GOAL BUT NOT THE GLORY
Realtors are not sales people! There I said it. Contrary to public opinion, reputation and all the negative attention that gets dumped on us we don’t “sell” property. We manage and build relationships, guide clients through complicated and emotional transactions and creative problem solve. Realtors wear many hats but have one focus – our clients. What is best for them, how we can help them, how we can make their real estate dreams come true and hopefully with joy and the least amount of stress.
Some clients don’t make it easy
My most recent closed transaction was one of the most difficult transactions of my career and nothing about preparing the home, managing my client, marketing the home, securing a buyer and then collectively managing the entire process until we closed escrow felt salesy for even one second. Realtors don’t “sell” properties, we solve problems. We guide our clients through complicated and sometimes frustrating processes. Moving forward and staying positive even when they cannot. Realtors manage relationships. We match up buyers with lenders, buyers with sellers, buyers with insurance agents, buyers with inspectors, sellers with financial advisors, sellers with contractors. We see the finish line and often carry our clients over it while they drag their feet or worse just lay down and give up.
My seller clients said to me, at the end of the transaction, literally on the day we were finally going to close and after dragging her through every step of the process kicking and screaming, “There is a 1% chance the buyer will close”. Yes, the buyer was extremely difficult and created delays every step of the way. I understand why my client didn’t have faith in the buyer but until the end of the transaction the buyers actions didn’t indicate they were trying to back out. They eventually moved through all the necessary steps and displayed commitment to purchasing this home. The difficult part was she also didn’t have faith in me and the process. I could see a clear path to the finish line but she chose to be negative and to doubt every step. I literally had to cross the finish line for us both.
Our focus is our client not our paycheck
Realtors are crafty and experienced creative problem solvers. Yes, there are some realtors that only care about the sale. The numbers. Being a top agent with impressive sales volumes. Most of us love helping people realize their real estate dreams. Most of us are really good at matchmaking but not just finding a property, finding the right property or putting buyers and sellers together and guiding them through a successful transaction. A Win-Win solution. We truly care about our clients and focus on how we can best help and guide them and not on the paycheck at the end of a transaction. The paycheck is necessary but it’s not what we focus on, it’s not what I focus on.
My personal rule. Once in contract I never think about the commission. I don’t calculate it, even in my head. Even roughly. I compartmentalize it so it’s not part of the process for two reasons. First, I focus on my client and doing my job the best way I can and whether the property is $500,000 or $5,000,000 my service is the same. Second, until escrow closes there is no paycheck. A fact many clients and potential clients do not know. Realtors are independent contractors with 100% commission based income. We often work 100’s of hours with one client and often for several months to several years before closing a transaction with them and sometimes that client vaporizes, changes their mind, changes their plans. We have to walk away, heads high, smile on our face and move on to the next opportunity.
And sometimes…we are the only ones who can see the finish line
This last transaction challenged my resolve. When you are faced with a transaction falling apart at the very last minute and after months and countless hours of work and risk not getting paid it messes with your head. It’s a distraction. It’s there, floating around in your brain and trying to color your decisions but you have to push it back and move forward with only your clients best interests as the leading force. In those moments you have to ask yourself (over and over), what is best for my client? Feelings and egos get in the way. If the buyer delays or hesitates the sellers take it personally. If the seller doesn’t agree to a concession or to allow more time the buyers get offended. Realtors are constantly managing expectations, egos and conflicting personalities throughout the entire process.
Your Realtor is your advocate
I love what I do! I get to help people realize their real estate dreams. Help them buy or sell the biggest asset they have. Thats a big fricken deal! I am grateful for this job that is different and surprising every day. A job that allows me to meet, work with and get to know some of the most interesting and lovely people I probably would never have met. Some even become friends. I care deeply about my clients and what is best for them. Probably more than I should. We, as Realtors, are tasked with an enormous undertaking. The buying and selling of property is complicated and each transaction is unique. We have to take our fiduciary duty to our clients seriously and look out for their best interests before, during and after the close of a transaction as there are 100’s of opportunities for things to go wrong.
A successful close whether on the buy side or the sell side is something to celebrate. So much goes into the process. It’s exciting! Probably similar to running a marathon. You train, prepare mentally and physically and then run for what must feel like forever, pushing forward until you reach that finish line. Handing the keys over to a buyer client that has looked at 100’s or even 1,000’s of homes online, toured homes every weekend and during the week for months, made and lost a few offers, a client I have gotten to know through the process and truly care about – that is the ultimate reward! That is the Glory! Seeing the excitement, hearing about their plans for the home and just sharing in that moment. That is why we do this job. We don’t sell homes. We match homes and people. We manifest dreams while managing complicated processes and relationships. We make real estate dream come true!
If you are thinking about buying or selling in the next year, the time to start the process is now. Reach out and we can get started on making your real estate dreams a reality!
A few of my Sold Listings
84 Oak Springs, San Anselmo CA 94960
435 China Basin, Unit 430, San Francisco CA 94158
620 Canal Street, San Rafael – Floating home