A seller's market

General Advice

MAY 14, 2022

The central air conditioning in the office suite hummed with the same tenor as a distant construction site, omnipresent yet easily melting into the background of passive aggressive emails typed over water cooler gossip. Try as much as I could, I couldn’t do anything about the questions that I would be asked, the responses I’d give, the way I’d walk, the subtle cues in body language I’d pick up, and the laugh I’d push out in order to make her feel as if I’ve done this 100 times before.

Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve been working with my first high intent and qualified buyer. The experience has been eye opening because I’ve learnt a lot about what buyers look for when it comes to balancing their budget vs. wants vs. needs. For example, my buyer would be willing to pay a $20k premium if a house has a separate dining area!

Fast forward to earlier today, as I slammed the red call button and ended the conversation, my smile faded while the phone glided off my table and onto the floor. I swung my legs to the carpet and flared my nostrils. It’s frustrating to work with someone that has no perception of what the market’s like.

For those of us that aren’t house shopping, here’s the 411: If you’re lucky enough to schedule a viewing for Monday, you better make your best offer then — by the time you’ve scheduled another viewing, the sellers have already accepted an offer and are waiting for contracts.

Although it’s frustrating to work with a buyer that’s unrealistic, I always err on the side of empathy and patience because after all, the decision to purchase a house is the most expensive choice the average person will make.

What I’ve learnt after being a full time agent & investor is that most agents simply aren’t good at what they do. I don’t know how to write it any other way; compared to the level of customer experience you get for transaction size — the experience most agents deliver is absolute garbage.

Imagine trusting an agent with a $1M house, who in turn doesn’t even show up for viewings, or is constantly late. That’s the experience my buyer had with her previous agent. I’ve grown to detest the term side-hustle because by definition, it doesn’t get 100% of your focus. Good luck working with an agent that does real estate part-time; even if you’re a super laid back person, when you trust someone to handle a large transaction, you’ll want them to answer your phone calls immediately.

I think most agents fail because they stop learning. They stop learning how to market themselves, how to stay on top of files, what’s happening in their markets, and what buyers & sellers are looking for. From the 100+ agents I’ve interacted with, I’d personally trust just 5 of them with my own transactions. Only 1 has gone above to ensure his clients are getting the best, even when it meant a lower commission.

My frustrations with being a new agent, while trying to separate myself from the crowd, come with the added pressure of slow progress. It’s incredibly difficult hammering away on all pistons 10+ hours a day while losing money. It sucks and takes a mental toll, but is infinitely better than working for someone else.

Although the progress I’m making seems minuscule day-by-day, over the last 2 months: I’ve successfully sourced 3 independent buyers, co-hosted 2 open houses, and am actively following up with 2 high-intent homeowners. It takes patience, but consistency is the key — so all I have to do is keep sucking it up, great.


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