Posts Tagged ‘ personality ’

Homebuyer Blues: How To Avoid A Terrible Realtor Experience



About a month ago, my wife called me up while she was at work asking me for some business cards and contact info.  A coworker of hers, Jenny* (*all names are changed), wanted to pass my information along to another person in the office because she heard them mention that they would be looking into buying a home soon.  (In the Interest of full disclosure, Jenny and her husband Jim* have been friends of ours for a few years now.)  Geesh–it’s like the Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon over here!  “So, how’d you meet Jeff?”  “Well, it’s kind of a weird thing…”  Heh.

Flattered as I was, Jenny later told me when we next met that she and Jim had a really terrible experience with their Realtor, and since she couldn’t refer theirs, she wanted to refer me instead.  Always wanting to learn and grow in this business, I asked her why their realtor hadn’t been up to snuff.  These are hard-won lessons sometimes, and I wanted to make sure I was providing the level of service that was opposite of what their guy had been.

“Oh man,” she said, “he didn’t listen to us at all.  It was like we were taking up his time when we had questions, or any time we weren’t out looking at homes.”

Jim chimed in, “He kept taking us to places that were either out of our price range by sixty or eighty grand or dumps that were way under, the places we did like were already under contract when we got there, and it seemed like he could care less about us.  I almost punched him once, I was so angry at him.”

Woah.  At first I thought, “This guy really makes us look bad,” but that was quickly followed by, “This guy makes my job really easy!”  

As we’ve covered before, it’s generally in your best interest to hire a Realtor, but there is an easy way to avoid service like this.  Choosing a Realtor like me is not as roll-of-the-dice as you would expect, where you have to just hope you’ll “get a good one”…it really comes down to three simple things:

First, when you are getting into the process, I want you to treat your Realtor as someone whom you are hiring.  The truth is, you are hiring them as an independent contractor for their services.  Find someone who wants to earn your business, not the commission.  Interview at least three — preferably five — before making your final decision.

ImageSecond, make sure the Realtor you pick is either independently experienced, or backed by a mentor or support team if new.  That’s what I did.  I want to give every one of my clients the most stress-free experience possible.  Being new in the industry, I knew that couldn’t happen until I had a couple of transactions under my belt, but I wasn’t willing to let my first few clients be guinea pigs.  I hired a mentor to help me handle the things I didn’t know or wasn’t prepared for, and it has served me all the better for it.

And finally, pick someone you like.  Pick someone you get good vibes from during the consultation.  Everybody’s personality is different.  It is entirely possible, for example, that two Realtors are equally likable and equally qualified, but their personalities and approaches are different.  One agent might be trying to give you the speediest transaction for the least (or most, if he’s a listing agent) amount of money, and has a plan to do so.  The other agent might spend more time learning the story of how your oldest dog (three dogs ago) lost its hind legs, and that’s how you came to have Fluffy III.  If your personality lends itself to wanting a more intimate Realtor/client relationship, choose number two.  If you are someone who is more focused on wanting results, number one is your best bet.

As a short fourth point, I’ll mention that you can always choose to fire your Realtor if he or she is not performing.  I’ll cover the ins and outs of this in a later post, but just keep in mind that no part of your relationship with this person is forever, unless you want it to be.

I hope this helps ease your mind.  Have a great weekend, and Happy Home Hunting! 



“Become Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable.”

I interviewed recently for a position with a company that really seems to embody the spirit of good business in today’s world:  They invest in their employees heavily, look out for each other, and promote a very healthy-yet-very -professional work environment.

I was immediately attracted to this job because of one single statement, made to me by the company’s owner.  During the interview, he said something along the lines of, “We work a lot of different aircraft here–pretty much every corporate aviation airframe they make.  You will have to accept that it will take a very long time before you can feel like an “expert,” with so many different planes, and you will have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

My first thought was honestly to prick my ears up and prepare for a challenge.  Not an attack, but a challenge. In truth, I’ve never been someone who has the patience to become an absolute expert at just one single thing–I like variety, I like breaking up the monotony.  I’m the guy who has to rearrange my living room furniture once or twice a year, just so I can have a fresh space to walk into every once in a while.

In the past, I have been guilty of loving my work, and hating my job.  The reason was simple:  While I became a relative expert on the airplanes, the work was always the same, day-in, day-out.  The same set of inspection requirements, over and over again.  I even did my best to advance within the company as well, just to attempt new things.  (I kept my eyes peeled for something new, but never really got the opportunity.)

I guess it’s telling of my personality that I reacted this way; it really taught me that I don’t like “comfortable” at work because it usually makes me “bored,” which then leads to adjectives like, “restless” or “unhappy.”

I suppose that’s how it is in life as well.  I mean, think of it:  How many of you have ever met someone who has done the same job for thirty years and hates it?  I have asked a couple of them as they complained one day why they didn’t do something else at some point, and they give me the grandparents-generation mantra of, “Well, then the kids came, and so did the mortgage, and you just did what you had to do.”  This was typically followed by a defensive “Bills don’t pay themselves, you know” variant, and I usually would say nothing more.  I just…disagree, is all.  Sure, money doesn’t grow on trees, but over time and with proper planning, nearly any goal can be accomplished.  Thirty years later these men and women have raised kids and paid off their homes and are still at the same job hating it.  Why?  I think it’s because they never got comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I am hopeful for this job because it seems like my cup of tea.  How do you all feel about this subject?  Do you feel it is important to develop a sense of flexibility to adapt to the world?  Or do you feel that becoming comfortable with your position makes you more of an authority and gives you credibility among your peers?

Further, can tolerating being consistently uncomfortable be taught or learned, or do you think it is more of an innate instinct of personality trait?  I love your comments, and don’t forget, if you like content, don’t forget to click the subscribe button on the right!

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