Thursday, January 31, 2013

Call me Crazy.

January 31, 2013


"Call me...maybe it's late but just call me. Call me and I'll be around"*'s the deal. If you call me, I will talk to you. Ask anyone who know me. You call, I talk, we talk. If you ask me to help you, I will ask how, when, why, where, and WHO....Who the heck are you?  I am not being "sales-y" I am being me. I really want to know who is calling then we can deal with the "why" you are calling. You can just say, "It's me." Do you know how many people call me and begin by saying, "It's me."?  (But be warned: if you do this I'll be halfway into recounting my day before I realize I don't know which "me" I'm on the phone with.)

I'm finding more and more folks who call me as a "real-la-tour" ((LOL - there is a whole group discussing how they hate mispronounced words -- a form of the Grammar Police for Orals? Topic for another blog...LOL)) anyway, there is a whole breed of folks who call me for real estate and want to treat me to an active case of passive/aggression. You called me, ya Dingdong. Tell me who you are, what you want. Let's have an actual conversation and, surprise, you might find I'm an all-righty-type person.

So there ya go. Call me on my phone. It is listed right there on signs so you will call me. Hint: it is a major source of passive advertising. That sign. In the ground in front of a listing. My name and phone number are on the listing so you will call me. That doesn't mean you have to use my services as your broker but I would appeal to you to treat me with a little dose of respect, 'cuz, dahlin', your broker will have to bargain with me.

And here's the word on who to use as your very own broker. You get to choose. You are hiring a person to bargain for you. A person who you trust to get you through one of the most stressful actions of your adult life. Seller's pay the commissions in Illinois at closing.

Buyers skate. Brokers are on thin ice with buyers until there is a contract in play. I like to tell my buyers I want a commitment from them not to see other brokers while they are running around with me. ((hum "Who's that Girl?" Anne Lennox)  And this part always gets a snicker: Full disclosure? I will be running around with other buyers while I'm seeing you.

Your broker should be able to belay doubts, help you make a decision, help you understand the inspections, hold your hand, offer suggestions about bankers. Your broker should have the gift of moving financial loan officers to concrete closing dates. A good broker can make the 30 (45 - 60 days for HUD/longer for short sale) days before the closing a smooth slide into (your new) home.

It is not just glib talk. It is contracts, bargaining chips, giveandtake, deal making charm, fine lines and wrinkles, issues and non-issues, when to walk and how to walk without losing your earnest money, and getting the win/win. I like all deals to be win/win. If you want to crush the seller, you will insult them or bully them with someone other than me.

So there ya go. Call me on my phone. Text me. Let's talk about what you want, when you want it, how you plan to pay for it, and for the love of Goodness and everything Holy, tell me who you are when you dial my number. Even if you're just calling to snoop. Really.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 2013

I'm taking the plunge. I'm off the dock and in the water. It is sink or swim....can you tell I am longing for summer so I can hit the beach?

Having toyed with the idea of a blog for literally years I have finally committed and what do I choose to write about? Real Estate! Can you believe it? Everyone has an opinion about real estate -- even those who haven't had an actual interaction with real estate (other than paying their rent or property taxes) in decades have an opinion about real estate.

Surprise alert! I had no thoughts whatsoever about real estate before about 2006 when my career as a news reporter was stalling out for the final death dive. I wasn't the last one out but I did shut off most of the lights in the building. But I'm not bitter...yeah, right.

Moving on and moving to out of Michigan, I came home to SoIL feeling like a big ol' failure only to find my huge extended family and network of old friends were thrilled to have their Wanderer home again, home again. And not because I was viewed vanquished warrior, no, here I was welcomed as the one who saw the world then came to her senses and came on home where I belonged.  See -- I was never shown the door. When I left people were sad to see me go so were happy to see me return. Who was I to let them down now? Even as broken as I felt, as lost and scared as I was...these homies of mine believed I could still do great things. Wow.

Invited to a friend's real estate office, I was given the tour of the town. Handed some office space and a few weeks later was offered a challenge to get my realtor's license. Ha! I knew there was a catch to the free office space. But I gamely accepted the challenge, bought myself an online product and started the work that started my new career. 

Got my real estate sales agent license in June 2009 and immediately set about selling a house. My first ever client was a floor call from a man in Chicago looking to buy a country place to raise Portuguese Water dogs. I should have known right then that my new career was going to be filled with usual circumstance. As it turns out, I was able to find Mr Chicago a property right off the bat (we wrote a contract over the phone; Mr Chicago never seeing the property in person until weeks later) but found this deal wrought with conditional issues. It also proved to be the first of many times my skill as a former people manager in broadcasting (where everyone is an ADD drama addict) came in useful. We didn't get the first property but Mr Chicago didn't fire me; now has a lovely kennel located in Alma.

Since that first foray, I have found out that classes in real estate teach you nothing you will use in your daily practice of real estate.

What I do deal with on a daily basis is clients horribly misinformed by national news, their friends, family and co-workers. This misinformation is fueled, I believe, by two things: gossip (which is always better if it is about bad things) and misinformational effect.

The misinformation effect refers to the finding that exposure to misleading information presented between the encoding of an event and its subsequent recall causes impairment in memory.[1][2] This effect occurs when participants' recall of an event they witnessed is altered by introducing misleading postevent information.[3] It is a prime example of retroactive interference, which occurs when information presented later interferes with the ability to retain previously encoded information. Essentially, the new information that a person receives works backward in time to distort memory of the original event.[2] The misinformation effect has been studied for over 30 years. Elizabeth Loftus is one of the most influential researchers in the field.
The misinformation effect reflects two of the cardinal sins of memory: suggestibility, the influence of others' expectations on our memory; and misattribution, information attributed to an incorrect source. Research on the misinformation effect has uncovered concerns about the permanence and reliability of memory.[4]

I plucked this from Wikipedia but I believe it is mostly accurate for my purposes.

Mostly is is about "suggestibility" which is, I believe, the bully of the gossip world. Once you decide to forge ahead with your plan to buy a house you will find a whole host of "helpful friends" ready to bless your fledgling efforts with their urine while coyly suggesting rain is falling behind you. These same friends will tell you wonderous stories of friends of friends who were able to buy fabulous properties for pennies directly from sellers (thus bypassing those pesky realtors who are wasting your time with  paperwork, titlework involving lawyers, bankers, inspectors, and appraisers). Yep. Those licensing efforts where all for show, people.

Worse yet, the bullies will tell you realtors are like used car salesmen, telemarketers: selling some form of modern day snake oil. Titlework?? You don't need no stinking titlework! Taxes?? You don't need no agreements on taxes!! Inspections?? You don't need to pay some licensed inspector when Cousin Zee can come take a lookie. Contracts?? You don't need nothin' writ' down. Them reeel-terrs is just tryin' to scam you so's they can make that big commission. Yep. Like I said: those licensing efforts where all for show.

Frankly? If you believe those bullies, I cannot help you. I don't want to help you. You will always believe I am somehow dishonest and I don't want to be around folks who think that of me. Here in SoIL, I don't have to be around folks who think that of me. I have enough extended family who would be soooo disappointed in me if I was dishonest it keeps me honest.

Long story short? Real estate has become my new career. It isn't rocket science but it isn't thievery, either. I have come to respect it and have made some great friends out of clients. It isn't hard work but it is 'trying' work. I have to set up mind games with myself to keep it interesting and challenging. More on those coming up.