I have been asked many times why I became a real estate broker and am willing to work so hard. I rarely have time to sit and ponder this but will share my thoughts with you in regards to what it really takes to be successful in this highly competitive business.
Few jobs are as time intensive as the job of being a real estate broker. It’s somewhat like being an executive in an office, a luxury salesperson, a delivery driver and a psychologist all in one. I (and my wonderful brokers) have to handle all the tasks of running a business (phone calls, meetings, etc.) while also learning everything we can about neighborhoods, HOA’s, club memberships and dues, zoning restrictions, etc. We also have to be on call and ready to show properties at any given time of day or evening if that’s the only time a buyer is available. Being in a tourist town gives us a very small window of opportunity indeed. The weather adds another variable in itself. Sometimes trips by buyers get cancelled after brokers have arranged access to sellers’ homes. Home inspections are cancelled due to snow and icy roads (this happened last week) so MANY phone calls are made and rescheduling is necessary.
Market trends, home features, neighborhood features, buyer preferences – there are hundreds of things of which I must keep track. I either need a fantastic memory or a detailed note system. I have been known to pull the car over and write on the back of a grocery receipt many times when I have received calls!
I’m frequently asked to do a CMA –comparative market analysis- for sellers who never call back and will list with someone else who gives them an unrealistic sales price. Each morning I start my day researching our MLS system to see what is new on the market, what has sold, what is pending and what is in due diligence. This allows me to guide buyers and sellers with up to date, accurate and reasonable market values.
I network with colleagues to learn what is coming on the market and to make them aware of my listings and any changes that are forthcoming. I create flyers and email blasts to do the same. Flyers are time consuming to say the least. I schedule professional type photos –an iphone just doesn’t do justice to a home! I write a detailed description for each of my listings that verbally creates a vision that invites you to come and see the house.
I have “dreaded” deadlines for ads in both newspapers, WHLC radio, the Buyer’s Guide, The Laurel, and other magazines. I also advertise on the online version of the Highlander newspaper. Our website must be consistently updated and hundreds of other websites must be checked for accuracy. The list goes on and on!
My weekends are rarely free since weekends are when most buyers come to town. Also, sellers who live out of state usually schedule listing appointments on Saturdays or Sundays. I work many holidays since potential buyers are in town then.
With all this said –I LOVE my job. I meet so many nice people and the fact that they allow me to help with such an important decision in their lives is very rewarding. I make lifelong friendships with clients-we often share meals, struggles, joys and goals with each other. People are fascinating to me and the fact that I can help those with serious health problems sell their home quickly or help prevent a foreclosure by dealing with banks for 4 years (yes, this has happened!) is my motivation to continue. The best closing is a “win-win” for both buyers and sellers and that is what I strive to achieve.
So I have concluded that the real estate industry in Highlands and Cashiers is as much a part of the hospitality industry as it is a sales profession. Success at the job requires a hospitable attitude, self-discipline, flexibility as well as a bit of tenacity-if those characteristics come naturally to you then you are already ahead and could potentially rise to the top.
Pat Allen is owner and Broker-in-Charge of Pat Allen Realty Group located at 295 Dillard Road. Contact phone is 828-526-8784 or visit patallenrealtygroup.com.