REAL ESTATE: THE MINDSET
Real Estate: The Mindset
By Anita Italiane Hearl
Picture this: It is a late weekday evening. You walk into a stranger’s home. A dog greets you by depositing a smear of saliva on your newly pressed black slacks while trying to smell your crotch. The hus band hits the dog while swearing and takes him outside.
He comes back, crosses his arms and leans back in his dining room chair as he eyes you up and down. The wife is a tad bit more approachable. She states that her husband lost his job six months ago, they haven’t been paying their mortgage and they need to sell their house.
Unfortunately, this has been the scene I have walked into more times than not in the past couple of years while selling real estate. Yes, some stories are happy where clients are having twins and need to move into a larger home. Some are buying investment property or are finally able to afford that second home now that prices have dropped dramatically. But the majority of the sellers these days are not taking advantage of this market and are needing to sell.
I can honestly say that every time I walk through that door, I believe that I am the BEST realtor out there and person to help
them. I am a professional who knows her market. I know the contracts inside and out, am detail oriented, have a killer marketing campaign and love to negotiate. I possess a great reputation with other agents and do not thrive on ego. But most of all…I love all different kinds of people and genuinely care about the whole person. I thrive on meeting new people, finding out what makes them tick and how to best communicate with them!
Those that know me best say that my compassionate heart is my greatest strength. Because I ruminate and internalize things, sometimes this can also be my biggest source of angst. I remember helping the divorced mom of three young boys sell her home in November. She had accepted an offer from a buyer who was nickel and diming her to the point where through her tears she told me that if she took this offer then she could not buy any presents for her kids this Christmas . We received a back up offer that was considerably higher and it was up to me to get her out of the first offer. I had many sleepless nights wrestling with her dilemma yet was determined to get her out of that first contract. Finding the loophole she needed was a gratifying moment in my real estate career and it did not come easy. We had bosses calling each other, lawsuits threatened, etc. In the end, she sold her house, the boys had a Christmas and we are lifelong friends out of it. I think of her often, and am grateful she entrusted the sale of her home to me!
Home buying and selling is emotional. Some folks are moving towards their dreams….others are having to abandon theirs. People often buy a house because…“it felt like grandmas home!” …or had the same floor plan as when they were growing up. It brought up a feeling…an emotion. Often, there has been a life- time of living that took place in this home. Dreams were made there, milestones celebrated there, bad news received there. I honor and respect that! I tread lightly there.
Everyone comes to the table with a different life situation. Marriages and individuals are all unique and I love them all. Some want stats, some want you to take control, some are controlling.
Most of the time I will learn more about their finances and situations than close friends and family. One thing is for sure…I know that at the closing of their sale or purchase, I will have earned their trust and have helped them transition to the next chapter of their lives with grace, hope and encouragement. And you know what? Nine times out of ten we will have had fun in the process and become life-long friends.
My four “L” logic tips for successful real estate sales are below: You won’t find a system, a marketing plan or the latest “formula.” You will find a mindset and a belief that home sales is all about serving the whole person!
1. LOOK! Pay attention. Learn to read people. Queue into their verbal and non-verbal communication and AD- JUST yours.
2. LOOKS! Sellers and buyers rarely meet. When I list a house I represent the sellers. When I present an offer to a seller I represent the buyers. Be the person they are proud to have representing them. Dress up and act professional. This will probably be the largest financial purchase your buyers will ever make and the largest financial sale your sellers will ever do. Treat it as such! First impressions are hard to change.
3. LISTEN! What is motivating them? Being able to hear what they are saying and meeting their needs is HUGE! You are their counselor, coach and advocate. Paying close attention is the way to create value on a number of different levels!
Get into their heads a bit! Sometimes it is NOT about the house. There are times where folks are so caught up in the emotion of a lost dream (divorce, foreclosure, a death), that it is up to me to relay to them that this situation does not define them. This is a blip on the lifeline of their life. There are better times ahead. Help them to focus, take control of what needs to happen, and move on!
4. LEAD! People want clarity and confidence all the way through the process. So take charge, maintain control and keep the momentum going!
In conclusion, it comes down to the ability to maintain one’s focus and strike a balance between the client’s emotional and financial dynamics while keeping a sure hand on all the details, including guiding the process through the inevitable “bumps along the road” that are part and parcel of any real estate transaction.