By Gary Kelley, Realtor
I struggle when asked at a party, “What do you do?” While the question is often aimed at determining socioeconomic status, many people don’t have a positive perspective on “REALTOR®.” Heck, it starts with the title REALTOR® being all in caps like it’s being shouted, and is always supposed to have the trademark symbol.
“I sling houses,” is a phrase I stole from another agent. It’s disarming, and frankly it trivializes the role.
To make it easy, here is what I do:
Project manage: buying or selling a house requires a large cast of characters all pulling on the same rope. Loan officers, attorneys, photographers, drone pilots, inspectors, electricians, plumbers, painters, carpet, movers, fire departments, public works (water and sewer bills), etc., etc., etc. All need to come together and know their goals, roles and responsibilities. And we make sure they get paid…so the next time we call they answer the phone. It is only right.
Help with transitions: a change of abode is often driven by a life transition. New job, new baby, a spouse, a death, a divorce, a need to downsize. We see people at their best and worst. We are there for tears of joy and sadness. We never know when someone might be happy or sad or both (both when they sell the home and realize it’s not their home anymore).
Negotiate: a lot of what we do is negotiation. Yes, the big things, like the price and, just as importantly, the terms. We also negotiate dates, inspection items, extensions, etc.
Deal with emergencies: We recently had a home inspector flood one of our listings. Yup, he left two faucets running with the drain stopper in and walked away. A mistake, with two floors of water. While the inspector sadly fled the scene, we called ServPro and made sure the property was protected. ServPro arrived with two trucks and three men and went about their work. The owner was about an hour away, and did not return. “I trust you, Gary, you will do the right things for me,” the owner said. I didn’t call and ask permission; I took care of the issue.
Move furniture: MoveWithGary (dot com) is my domain name (I stole it from Move With Arthur). I don’t run a moving company…and when staging a house often get called upon to move stuff around. The stager has the vision, I have the aging back.
Stay current: we need to stay up on laws/regulations and meet a continuing education requirement to maintain our license. We need to know what’s going on in the neighborhoods we service. We talk with other professionals.
Develop business: our business is largely referral based. We need to attend networking meetings and give back to the community. It can’t all be one way. We need to be available. These articles in the Community Advocate are written by me – they don’t come from a service. Last year we sold 34 houses…so we need to develop transactions at a similar pace. Honestly, I’d rather develop relationships and trust the transactions will follow. We try to help people, not slam people into houses.
Work weekends: yup, we work most weekends between showing houses and doing open houses. My last vacation was interrupted by a closing (a joyous occasion) and a house inspection got tacked on.
Drink coffee: you might see us having coffee at LalaJava or Red Barn. It’s probably because we are between appointments and are working late and a little caffeine boost is a help.
So what do I do? I help people make the right move. I listen. I advise. And sometimes I cry, too.
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call. We’re also going to be exhibiting at the Southborough Heritage Day on Columbus Day.
Kelley is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS) and award-winning Realtor. He invites you to follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoveWithGary/.