Humanity in Real Estate

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Upon closing the last several listings, It never ceases to amaze, the human connection in real estate. Houses are houses are houses. They entail a living area, bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a patio, a doorbell. All of which stand upright on a foundation from a parcel, wherein humans gathered together. Turns out, the construct of building a house begins with humans.

Each listing, different. Different homes, neighborhoods, zip codes, elementary schools, landscapes. Each listing, a different story. Each person; buyer, seller, agent, escrow officer, different. Yet, all the same, wrapped up in each transaction: humanity.

Sitting at open house, humans wander in and out. Some are more open than others, light chatting, ask a few questions, share their son’s winning run at his baseball game.  Some prefer to turn away, not make much eye contact, saunter throughout, quietly slither away before barely saying ‘hello.’ Which is why browsing for housing on line is so attractive: incognito and anonymous, albeit the websites that require one sign away their DNA. On line or real life, each party, couple, family, all want the same things: safety, security, community, a home. 

My recent listing stories run the gamut:

  • Senior moving from a condo to a senior community.
  • Adult children selling their parents’ home through a trust after their dear mom passed away.
  • Sellers no longer needing a rental property they cherished for years.
  • Selling a residential home in Orange County CA in order to begin a new chapter in Texas. 

What’s most important to think about is the house is somewhat incidental. My mom used to tell me this often. “It’s the people who count the most in real estate.” The variances of selling and buying a home can not be underestimated. It’s because of all the human interaction, real estate is no piece of pie. Anxiety, trepidation and frustration are all part of the fun! Unbeknown to many, there are a few of us Realtors who care deeply about you humans. Humanity is the biggest asset in every transaction. 

Clients like Kimmy keep real estate real. 

Cheesy Appreciation Box

I’d like to personally thank the following for entrusting me over the past few months:

Peggy
Clair
Geoffrey
Quin
Cindy
Kimmy
Carlos
Frankie the Pooch

 
Thank you for bringing it, working together and being the awesome humans you are. (Frankie, in her own way)
 

Real Estate Referrals of the Lasting Kind

When my dad told me he and his wife were thinking of putting their Cottage Grove, Oregon house on the market many years ago, first immediate thought: I have NO idea of a real estate agent within the Eugene area. That was two real estate brokerages ago, a time when I didn’t quite understand the importance of referrals, let alone where to look. As it happened, I found this cool dude of a real estate agent online. Long hippyish hair, kind smile, his profile mentioned how he saw his clients as people, not merely part of hitting a high volume of business. Bingo.

Enter the beginning of a virtual professional relationship with Bobby Stevens, agent of ALL agents in the state of Oregon.

This story rocks on a number of levels. Let’s begin with two dedicated real estate agents who uphold humanity above all the regular details of a transaction. Right from the beginning of our correspondence, Bobby demonstrated the key to any great agent: attentive listener who puts a clients’ needs way before what he deemed important; an advocate with keen knowledge of his given neighborhoods and the kind of compassion not easily found in other agents. Pretty fine start, I’d say. 

Our story involves such issues as quick claim deeds, attempted refinance, horrific tenants, property management, city ordinances and two agents who deeply cared about a seller. 

Without delving into the particulars, which would make an interesting tale of its own, the point of this post is a reminder of all that is right with real estate. 

Just last April, years after our virtual relationship started, I finally met the man who would bring closure and comfort to my dad. We met for lunch, I saw the exterior of house (I’d never seen it and tenants were still residing at the time), and toured a bit of downtown Cottage Grove. Bobby and I left each other, a whole new appreciation for what we do for a living.  Thanks, rock n’ roll man. {Side note. He plays in a band, too. Married to an awesome woman with two beautiful girls they adopted from China. The coolest of cool.}

The house closed this month. Dad is breathing more easily. I developed a friendship with a Realtor from Eugene. Try as one might think otherwise, as my mom used to say, “The house is incidental. It’s the people who matter in real estate.” 

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Carin and Rock n’ Roll Realtor Bobby Stevens, Cottage Grove Oregon – April 2015

 

The Philosophy of an Uncommon Agent

Ah, real estate. Us agents are making the big bucks, right? What’s in selling a home anyway? Put a sign up, mail a few hundred postcards, fill the calendar with multiple open houses, get fellow brokers and agents to come view the home..easy, peasy. With all things virtual and mobile today, geez, notwithstanding good ‘ole MLS, there’s tons of websites and your listing is virtually alive until it’s sold. How difficult is all of this? I mean, what is the big deal of selling a house and why pay so much to sell it? Besides the obvious answer being, oh, there’s a lot of money and legalities of selling or buying a home, some issues have very little to do with either of those. It’s called human connection.

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Yep, people are human. It’s a strange concept, though this REALTOR usually prioritizes that issue and people come first. We do a lot for our sellers and sometimes our sellers aren’t quite aware of our service until their house gets sold and they’re on their way to their next place of residence. As frustrating as this biz can be, it becomes apparent we need to do more to educate our sellers, including yours truly.

I am not a high-volume agent. You can’t mass produce the intimate service I provide to each of my clients. I don’t work in a large brokerage. I work with a small, yet mighty team who support each other, though each transaction is my own.

I serve clients. I earn listings, one at a time. 95% of my business comes from referrals. My services are not for everyone, I know. Some people want the marketing and their price, bottom line and could care less about actual service. Yet for those who need a good dose of human connection with their agent while selling their home, I’m your girl.

There’s a place for high-volume philosophies. Some agents are out there hustling, working their various listings, consistently prospecting, jumping in full force. I do all of that too. Only my energy goes out to one person at a time: you. I much prefer taking on what I can chew well, without sacrificing my integrity or ability to be there for my clients when needed. My “prospecting” approach is reaching out to those who know me and continue building on relationships that are meaningful.  In terms of a client, most of my prospecting involves caring for them at that time and not concerned about my next listing. It’s full force – individually.

Money matters. I like making money. I like earning what I believe I’m worth. Like others, there are financial responsibilities to take care of. Money is a fascinating phenomenon. When it comes to real estate agents, we all have our own philosophies of our business and how we like to operate. One equates success as a top producing listing agent, while others enjoy the search representing buyers. I equate success as doing both. Clients have different needs; gotta do what’s best for them. That’s the beauty of building a business as a real estate agent. It’s taken years to discover I’m right on target with the kind of business I want, the kind of business where I can work for the best broker that aligns with my philosophy and make a difference in each clients’ life, one transaction at a time.

What’s most important in your relationship with a real estate professional? Why did you choose that person to work with? What traits did you like? I love hearing other experiences. Carry on. 🙂

Cherish an Antique Day

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Still have that pocket watch Uncle John gave you on your seventh birthday?  Convinced that circus painting you bought at the flea market must be worth same as your Prius?

On Saturday April 12th, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Kirkwood in Orange will host “Cherish an Antique Day”!

Come and share your family antiques and discover the stories behind them. Bring up to two items and have a free appraisal from Mr. K’s Estate Sales.  Enjoy complimentary refreshments and musical entertainment too!

Where: Kirkwood Assisted Living  1525 E. Taft Avenue Orange CA 92865

When: Saturday April 12th, 2014

Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm 

To RSVP or more info: 714.262.4737

 

Fall Rummage Goodness @ Orange Senior Center!

Hey all! Time again for Orange Senior Center’s annual fall rummage sale!  Twice a year, Rita and Company host a array of goodness, including, clothing, handbags, kitchen items, small furniture, jewelry, holiday things and many fun tchotchkes!  As always, every single dollar goes right back into the Orange Senior Center, where seniors love to dance, gather with friends, play bingo with aplomb and partake in our local community events. Hope you can join us either Friday, Saturday or both days!

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Orange Senior Center is at

170 S. Olive

Orange CA 92866

Friday Oct. 18th – 8:00am to 1:00pm

Saturday Oct. 19th – 8:00am to 1:00pm

714.538.9633