Some of You May Know
Pulled from the drafts, thanks to some inspiration … Some of you may know that I’ve been sitting on a Group for the National Association of Realtors tasked with Realtor Professionalism, or, what should it take to be/come a REALTOR? Education, experience, apprenticeships, these have all been discussed, on and offline by many professional (meaning this is our career, not our shared hobby) REALTORS for years.
One component of any conversation about what a Realtor should know that never seems to fade away is this – Good Realtors should know better and should know more than their customers and clients. Know more about EVERYTHING local (as well as state and nationwide) that is applicable to real estate. And most importantly, embrace the “be the source of the source” concept; it’s impossible to know it all, but knowing where to send your clients so that they can educate themselves is key.
A few examples:
- What’s going on there?
- How long has that building been vacant?
- Where are the local music venues?
- Why does this area smell funny? (“it’s part of the local charm” doesn’t fly).
- Are they ever going to widen this road?
- Why are these buildings all (fill in the blank)? Answer: they rezoned this a few years ago to drive University development into this corridor.
- Why is there so little parking? Answer: in an attempt to drive (get it?) people to use alternative transportation, developers have to put in only 1/2 parking space for every one unit.
If nothing else, be a better Googler than your clients.
Here’s a Tip (or Two)
Subscribe to the email newsletters or RSS feeds for
all as many groups in your local market that discuss pertinent or peripherally relevant real estate matters. For instance – pro- and no-growth groups, any other local news or news-blogs or transportation blogs or anti-development blogs/sites.
Our clients demand (whether they outwardly know it or admit it to themselves or us) for us to know more than they do – so do it!
My market is blessed to have a very active local blogosphere – the television news stations are on Twitter, the editor of one of the local weekies is on Twitter as well, another weekly has actively embraced blogging for a while … every market is different, but every market has information waiting to be digested, analyzed, and put into context for our clients.
Another tip – Encourage your local city councilors or members of the Board of Supervisors to blog – teach them how to do it. (Our mayor blogs!)
Here are some of the feeds/ subscriptions to which I subscribe locally:
- Free Enterprise Forum – a pro-growth think tank partially funded by the local Realtor association
- Rivanna Conservation Society
- Piedmont Environmental Council – Recent emails included information on power lines and mountaintop removal.
- Charlottesville Tomorrow – local group that relentlessly attends, reports on, and produces video of nearly all local
- Buy Fresh Buy Local –
- C-Ville – Local news weekly
- The HooK – Local news weekly
Of paramount importance is this – be confident saying “I DON’T KNOW … but I’ll find out.” Your clients will respect you and you won’t look like an ignorant/incompetent fool.
Lastly, get involved. Get on a committee that discusses affordable housing, economic development, zoning – something that involves your community (it all comes back to real estate eventually) – you’ll know more and eventually be able to play the role that our clients (should) expect.