This time of year, I start to get the warm and fuzzies, I start to feel thankful and appreciative of everything that has happened to me, or everything that has come about in the past year good and bad, because all of the experiences are a life lesson and help you grow. I think everyone feels a variation of this near the holiday season, and nearing the end of another year come and gone.
Personally speaking: I am happy to have married my best friend this past Summer, I am thankful for my solid group of companions that are always there when I need them, I am glad that our get-togethers happen as frequently as they do, and I am thankful for supportive families near and far.
Professionally, I am proud of my sales year. I am also thankful to have met all my clients that brightened up my day, worked with me in such a progressive fashion, and I am very excited to be part of the process each and every time, even if some require a little more energy and time. It's all worth it when you get into that home of your dreams or move on to new life goals!
A few things I have discovered with yet another year of real estate under my belt:
- Running a biz is nothing short of hard work, long hours and sometimes many sleepless nights
- Your biz is like a child or an animal, you have to nurture it, care for it, feed it, spend money for it every day
- Adapting to change on an ongoing basis is what is going to make me successful in this career
- I really love marketing country property - probably because I grew up in the country, and plan to return very soon myself, but I have a soft spot for country homes, and every time I get the opportunity to showcase country, I jump on it aggressively, boom goes the marketing, and they do sell immediately... (at least this year they did!)
- There is a clear difference between property marketing and property advertising (more to follow in a VLOG)
- Team work is essential to growing our business, even if I am not on a team. What I mean by this is even though I am not partnered with another Sales Rep, I consider the Century 21 office and all its Reps and Admin staff my team. Although they may not be aware of it every day, we all work together towards a common goal which is selling the most real estate, providing the best client service to our clients, providing the best in-depth knowledge of the local market to our clients and constantly bouncing ideas off one another, listening for each other's upcoming listings and buyers that may connect with another's. This is how we move the line, this is how we are number one in market share for the past 12 years, and as long as I continue to be a part of this team, my career will be successful and my clients will receive the best I can give.
- There is a huge disconnect with first time buyers and their knowledge of the real estate transaction/ process of buying a home. I think that it's a shame that we didn't get a crash course on purchasing and selling homes as adolescents or young adults... whether it's a segment in a high school course, or a mandatory elective in post secondary education... I think anything would help. This is the biggest investment most individuals will make in their lifetime, not just once, but probably many times, and first time buyers know nothing about it. It is our jobs as real estate sales professionals to teach them, and I found it helpful giving them a First Time Buyer Package and going over the process with them from start to finish. But it's a lot to take in all at once, so I find myself verbalizing each step again and again, and often times, I am asked to take care of things that are not part of the service. I also believe that first time buyers should be informed and prepared for home ownership, more specifically, knowing that: they will own the home, it will be theirs, so if anything happens, it will be their responsibility to fix it, improve it, and likely spend money on the home. It will be their responsibility to call resources to figure out certain things about their home i.e. service their furnace, if in the country - pump out septics and maintain wells for drinking water. It will also be their responsibility to know their home: know where the water shut-off is, know where the furnace switch is, etc.
- My job is not only to be a professional Realtor, but be morally competent, ethical, be the cheerleader, be the lending hand, be the specialist, be the referral system to other partners in the transaction, sometimes be their friend, their companion, their family member. I am also the life coach, the counsellor, the pat on the back, and the boost you need. So you see, many responsibilities under the umbrella of Realtor.