In one of my earlier blogs I wrote about time as a resource and the ultimate value of time and how we each cherish it as the integral “counter” in our own human experience. I believe we make a ton of decisions every day and often we factor “time” into these decisions. We are prioritizing things that bring us the greatest pleasure and in contrast we prize efficiency in tasks that we see as menial or necessary yet less than enjoyable.
Selling or buying a home is often filled with just such tasks. Anyone who has recently completed the process can make a huge list, such as compiling financials for the lender, preparing your home, possibly staging it, and obviously moving our belongings is fraught with small tasks, each of which is tedious, in order to achieve the higher good of living in a different home that’s more comfortable, a better location, maybe more affordable, or often times less maintenance.
I understand, like most professional Realtors, that clients perform these tasks reluctantly and prize efficiency in the performance of all of the small pieces that add up to a huge life change. As professionals we perhaps see a bigger importance in the curb appeal, contractors you use to freshen up paint or that long neglected roof, and ultimately we see a lot of importance in how you choose your Realtor. In a pure commission field of sales, like Real Estate, belief in ourselves as a valuable resource is paramount to success and we constantly are searching for ways to express our competitive advantage to our client base; i.e. marketing.
Recently I have had several conversations with both acquaintances and friends that chose a different Realtor to buy or sell their home. In each case, the damage was done, I had lost the deal and transitioned into being congenial and supportive in order to show that I value the relationship, but I fear I might have done a disservice. Sometimes it’s easier to agree with someone who has just made a difficult decision rather than invoke language that might inspire them to question their decision. I am results driven, and for the people I care about, that’s what’s ultimately important. Sometimes believing in your process and the decision you’ve made is of greater value than the actual decision. Perhaps X, Y, or Z Realtor wold have all given excellent service, comprehensive pricing information, and ultimately a reasonably good net result. But, in the future I think I will have a different conversation because I pride myself in stepping up to challenges and effectively communicating even when the pill is difficult to swallow.
So, what’s the medicine you may ask? Why is it difficult to swallow?
Because choosing a Realtor and preparing your home for the market, or pre-qualifying for a note as a buyer, does not give us that short-term pleasure I see friends prizing the efficiency of using the first person that comes to mind, or hiring a contractor because they recently completed work on the neighbor’s house, and making that decision “feels” good. It’s similar to an omen that they’re making the right decision. And, that very well may be true. Sometimes the contractor that just painted the neighbor’s bathroom is affordable, insured and bonded, does excellent work, and is timely and professional. But, how do you know? The answer is simple, but sometimes difficult to swallow… you use some of your most precious resource, your time, and you call two more painters.
Often I close a communication with a potential client by emphasizing that I would like to interview for their business. I am sincere in seeing each client relationship as a professional interview and you should expect as much. In a world that seemingly detaches us from the intuitive “gut instinct” that we all should trust, it can be difficult to gather more information when something “feels right.” Why get two more bids? This guy or gal was in the right place at the right time and their price is great. The answer is also intuitive. We gather information through working a process. Sometimes that information is not exactly what we set out to find. The yard maintenance company owner recommends a great plumber or we find the perfect dining room table from the second staging company who bid our home. Three bids whether it’s a plumber, Realtor, or new car is about the process, not the bid, and it should be a starting place, a minimum of three. It’s about finding out what you really want and who can deliver it. It’s about learning. Don’t make the mistake of going with whomever is in front of you and regret denying yourself the process. Making a huge life-changing decision does not happen every day. Slow down. Enjoy the flow of power and energy and feel confident you are making the right decision. The process is life, and more often than not we can save some of that very valuable commodity we call time by doing it right the first time.