As famed horse racing announcer Trevor Denman started each race at our Historical Del Mar Race Track with the phrase, “And Away They Go!”, I find his coined phrase very fitting as 2017 is off and running. I hope that everyone enjoyed a happy and safe Holiday Season with family, friends and other loved ones.
Market activity has come out of the gates with a lot of enthusiasm. As I predicted in December, buyers are anxious to get their property purchase completed while interest rates are still at extremely attractive levels. We are seeing multiple offers and lots of activity and competition when writing offers for our clients. Sellers on the other hand are spurred on by increasing prices, a stock market that is still long overdue for a correction and some by the instatement of a new administration at the wheel. The market should be strong from the buyer and seller perspective for the first half of the year.
This month I would like to share one of our company’s core beliefs relating to how we care for our clients.
When you as a consumer encounter real estate professionals in the community at open houses, at functions and in your neighborhood the majority of these sales people you meet are real estate salespeople/agents. They have to work under a real estate broker who takes full responsibility for all of the licensed activities that they perform. Brokers usually have a long tenure in the industry, previous sales experience and act as an air traffic controller from the office attempting to problem solve and encourage the agents to go out and cultivate more business. More and more companies are promoting the idea that real estate agents in our industry should work in teams.
What are the benefits of team real estate for the broker and agents? Well, a lot of brokers will benefit through reporting inflated home sales records when combining a team’s total sales under the broker’s name and license number. This way they can market to you the consumer that they sold tons of homes when in actuality they may have had very little to do with each transaction. The team can share in the marketing expenses for the group and more marketing should translate into more opportunities to work with clients to purchase and sell. A group of agents can handle more clients at one time. Working in a team certainly helps when agents want or need time off. Someone else can fill in and monitor phones and emails. The majority of real estate agents are part time and sell very few homes per year. According to the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, in 2016 the average real estate agent in San Diego County sold 3.25 properties. The team model allows for a part timer to have help with their couple trades and be able to show team success when reporting production figures. So, it looks like team benefits the broker and member agents with more transactions, more overall production, more earned commission dollars and more free time when this business model is boiled down.
Kristine and I are focused on problem solving and creating long term, valuable relationships. We are not focused on the more, more and more. Real estate service, from your perspective as a consumer, should be about having the ability to rely on an experienced professional who is interested in investing as much of their time as is necessary to make your home sale or purchase the best it can be. Our real estate clients are actual people to us, not some bar code on a manila folder quickly moving down a conveyer belt toward a destination which does not have the utmost duty of care at the forefront of the client experience.
I often share with clients our own story about when we worked with a team of doctors in preparation for the birth of Blake and Lolly. Kristine and I developed a strong bond to a particular doctor. She had cared for us leading up to Blake’s birth. The doctor who we worked with was not on call when we went into the hospital to deliver Blake. We were lucky that the doctor who delivered him, from the team of doctors, was caring and competent. We worked with the original doctor when we found out that we were expecting Lolly. The same thing happened when we delivered her, we went to the hospital and the doctor whom we had been working with was not available. This time we were not so fortunate with the draw from the team/group of doctors. Kristine had some complications and the doctor we were passed off to was not very informative, caring and knowledgeable as the others we had enjoyed good experiences with in the past. So, it really is left to chance when you are not working with a designated full time, committed professional. Kristine and I are focused on problem solving and creating long term, valuable relationships. We are not focused on the more, more more…Real Estate service, from your perspective should be about having the ability to rely on an experienced pro
I hold a California Real Estate Broker’s License. It is the highest degree of licensing one can obtain in the entire industry. I have personally sold 30-40 homes, on average, over the course of the 22 years that I have been selling in San Diego County. I have not held any other jobs and have been a 100% commission based wage earner since October 1995. I have been dedicated to my clients in good and bad markets full time, every day. When someone hires me, they are relying on the wealth of knowledge and experience that I have amassed over my many years. They are hiring me for my ideas, marketing strategies, problem solving solutions, negotiation skills, emotional support and advice in hopes of minimizing stress enrooted to a successful culmination of their transaction. I have never heard someone tell me that they would like to be passed around the office to less experienced minions to help them attempt to navigate their largest financial undertaking. In addition, communication plays such a huge part in our relationships with buyers and sellers. Eliminating the hassle of repeating requests and instructions to a number of people in itself can elevate stress during a property search or sale.
Although, Kristine & I own and operate the real estate business of Skoglin Real Estate, Inc. together, she works with her sphere of influence and I work with mine. With her 20 years in the San Diego Real Estate market clients are hiring her to gain her wealth of experience and knowledge every step of the way. With 42 years of combined award winning service, as many of you have already experienced, we certainly work with each other’s clientele, but we are both fully engaged every step of the way when you are trusting us to navigate your transaction.
Kristine and I established our own, independent brokerage in June of 2007. We had as many as 12 real estate sales agents and 3 mortgage brokers working under us. They were all independent, not working in teams. I enjoyed teaching the real estate business and giving back, but recognized very quickly that I was diluting our brand. Other agents did not have the same passion, tenacity, pride and higher level of expectation that Kristine and I carry into each and every day. For them, Skoglin Real Estate was a place to work, a job. For us it has always been a career, our reputation and our family name on the shingle in front of our business!
Our industry is one of the most difficult that there is. Everyone knows a hand full of people with a real estate license. It is very time consuming and often times like a fire drill. When the customer calls, emails, responds to an advertisement, completes a contact us log on a web site or even wants to tour a property the real estate professional has to be ready to work. There is no short cut or easy way to be successful in our industry.
I have relied on having one administrative assistant to help with managing the office and weekly task load. I have surrounded myself with people/companies that I have relied on to support me in our endeavor to provide an intimate experience, backed with confidence, knowledge and leadership all with the intent to minimize stress and provide a productive closing in the end. So, do your homework. This is your largest investment, one you have saved for over many years. Take your time and interview several different brokers for the job. It is not about getting the job done, it’s about getting done right! Understand how those that you are evaluating work and what their actual production figures amount to. Google their name to see what shows up. If they are full time professionals, a polished web site should be the first thing that appears on the results list. Don’t be fooled be a fancy initial presenter only to be relegated to working with the minions in a group or team! You deserve the best! Put some time into the hiring process to avoid disappointment and achieve the best results possible in the current market.
Just as the seasoned vet, Trevor Denman, coined his phrase to begin the race, I have concluded each of my home tour videos with my own brand tag line, “I am looking forward to helping you purchase or sell your piece of America’s Finest City!” Kristine and I are anxious to put our experience behind helping make your real estate goals in 2017 come to fruition!
All the Best in 2017 Friends!