Al is correct. I’ve worked with my last home buyer.
It’s not like I’m retiring or anything. While there is probably nothing I would enjoy more than sitting on a beach or a boat, fishing rod in one hand, chilled adult beverage in the other hand; the simple fact is I’m not in the financial position to quit my job and relax for a living.
At least not yet.
But I am going to stop working directly with home buyers.
Those that know me well are probably saying, “Huh? You worked with home buyers?” Sure, my individual work with home buyers has dropped off significantly since we opened Thompson’s Realty, but yeah, I do (or did) still work with buyers on occasion. I’ve got a lock box key and I even know how to use it without asking Francy to train me.
Being brutally honest though, working with buyers is something I’ve never been terribly enthralled with since Day 1 in real estate. I can admit it, I’m just not that good with buyers. Perhaps I don’t have the patience. Maybe it’s just that the idea of driving about town when it’s 115 degrees outside, looking at homes with no air conditioning that smell like cat urine or baby poo isn’t all that appealing. The fact that I am directionally challenged and get lost even with a GPS doesn’t help. Heck, I almost killed a buyer once. I can’t “read” buyers. My wife, a world-class buyer’s agent, can visit a couple of homes with a client and peg exactly what they like in a home. I’m talking down to the point of knowing what floor coverings and cabinet colors they both like, and abhor. I’ve never been able to do that. My man-brain is too simplistic. You don’t like the carpet? Buy new carpet. And who really cares what color the kitchen cabinets are?
Granted, there are few things more satisfying than handing the keys to a new home owner or getting an email like this (from the last buyers I had):
We just wanted to say a big thank you to you both for everything you both did to help us find a new home. We moved in over July 4th weekend and are still working on getting settled, but it’s so nice to have the certainty of where we’re going to be living and all.
Thanks a ton!
I will miss that feeling of accomplishment that comes from helping someone buy a home. I will still list homes for sale on occasion. That aspect of the real estate business I have always enjoyed, and it helps keep my client-side skills sharp. But buyers? No more. I just don’t have time to serve them at the level they deserve.
You’re a real estate agent and you don’t help home buyers. So what exactly do you do?
I run a real estate brokerage. A damn fine real estate brokerage if I do say so myself. At Thompson’s Realty we have 30 agents that are a whole lot better at working with buyers than I ever have been or could be. My job is to help them increase their business, to keep our brokerage humming along, to grow and expand (or potentially contract) the brokerage when needed.
One of a real estate broker’s primary duties is to monitor and supervise their agents activities. I’m fortunate to work with some of the best in the business and as such, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to supervise them (though if some of them were a little better at turning in their damn paperwork on time, I would not complain”¦).
So, what exactly is it that you do?
I am, and I have never liked this word, the “rainmaker” in the operation. (See, it really is kind of a stupid word in this context.) Webster defines “rainmaker” as, “a person who brings in new business; also : a person whose influence can initiate progress or ensure success”.
That’s my job. I am a “contact generator” (if you think I don’t like the word rainmaker, ask me how I feel about the word “leads”. A “sales lead” has always sounded so impersonal to me. I want to generate contacts from prospective clients. You know, real people who may be interested in buying or selling a home at some point. Almost every day some sales guy calls me and attempts to “sell me leads”. I don’t want leads, I want contacts. Maybe it’s just semantics, but I know there are people out there that feel the same way I do here. But I digress.
“Rainmaking”””generating contacts, which we distribute to our agents, is a full-time job. Working with buyers is a full-time job. Listing a home is a full time job. Keeping the brokerage running and growing is a full time job. There is only so much time in the day for full time jobs.
Something had to give.
Doesn’t it make sense to give up the parts of the business that you aren’t as good at, that you enjoy the least, in order to focus more time and effort on those parts that you do enjoy and that you can excel at?
You’re a quitter! You don’t like working with buyers and you suck at it so you’re just giving up!
Sure, I could get better at working with buyers. I could suck it up, maybe even learn to like it more. I am no quitter. Personally I think it is smart to evaluate your business model, your wants, needs and desires and to apply that tired business clichÃ© of “laser focus” and do what you do best and what is best for your business overall.
There is not one potential client of Thompson’s Realty that will suffer from my decision to stop working with home buyers. Quite the contrary. I can direct someone to a stellar buyer’s agent that will serve them far better than I can. That helps the client, and it helps my agents. And that oh avid reader is ultimately what I do. Help our clients and help our agents.
And I love that part of my job.