What is important to you?

If it is important to you, do you nurture and protect it? Do you feed it and help it grow? Do you lock it up at night and create layers of security so it will not be taken away from you? If it is important to you, could you exist without it? We all have things that are very important to us. And my point is that someone who does not recognize and understand what is important to you maybe should not be your associate or friend.

We know you cannot pick your family, but we also are comfortable in the feeling that we can pick our friends. Business relationships and associations might be a little different. Sometimes we are required to do business with someone or a company that is disrespectful of us and our needs and values. Maybe they have the only game in town, so shopping at JimmyBob’s for blood sausage, if that’s what you must have and they are the only purveyors, might mean you are stuck shopping there, no matter how they treat you.

Working with a Realtor is not limited by supply. After all there are some 700 members of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors. The general belief is that maybe 250-300 of them are actively engaged in listing and selling and actually have commission income on occasion. I have not really studied the current figures, but historically many dues paying Realtors did not list or sell property. When I was Managing Broker of Sothebys International Realty in Santa Fe (which took over French & French Fine Properties), I did not have commission income as I was managing sales people not selling directly.

But lets assume that there are many actively engaged Realtors to choose from: say 250 as a good guess. If you need the services of a good or great Realtor, how do you determine whom to work with. Studies show that many real estate customers will work with the Realtor that they worked with before, providing they know how to find them and that Realtor did a reasonably good job the last time. Then there are a myriad of ways Realtors promote themselves; sometimes by running large and colorful advertisements for listings (which also say “work with me, I know what I am doing!”). Some Realtors actually run print ads for their services, promoting their specific skills and talents, usually with a photo. Many others have websites and are trolling the internet for leads and customers, proving their value by a lightning fast response to an email inquiry or maybe publishing extensive and historical statistics (like I do in this blog) proving whatever that proves.

But what is important to a customer is not always what the Realtor recognizes as important. Would it be helpful to ask “what is important to you?” if you are promoting yourself to a customer or group?  I can go on all day about what is important to me, and I am stubborn enough to say with confidence that I am not likely to get involved in an activity that is not important to me in some respect. Rather than my telling all of my prospective customers what is important to me, probably better that I ask what is important to them.

Whether it’s the golden rule or the seven deadly sins (or is it eight?), most of us know the list of positive attributes and character traits. Honesty is usually at or near the top. Ethical is a particular key word in the real estate industry since many seem to think many of us are not ethical. Hard working is a popular handle to have. Smart can really come in handy as can being a great negotiator. Someone once said that they are a lousy navigator but an excellent negotiator.

Being well-connected and computer savvy can be a real plus. Realtors spend so much time on their keyboards these days that if your Realtor cannot email photos or set up electronic signatures for you quickly and easily, that is very unfortunate. How many websites would your listing appear on if you list with me? Would you be willing to bet it is over 300 sites? How about over 400?

Get your money’s worth from your Realtor. It will be a long time until you buy or sell again and the cost of selling or buying means you should expect quality service from start to end. Tell your Realtor what is important to you and then see if they can deliver.

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