I’m A Little Bit Worried…

As of the time I am writing this, I have six active listings. Six homes for sale on the market…I’m living the real estate dream, right? So why, then, am I sort of nervous at the moment?

The general narrative about real estate is very true: it is a field with nearly unlimited earning potential, a line of work that can be immensely rewarding (both financially and personally) to those who choose to engage themselves in it. And of course, getting a substantial number of listings opens the door to quite a windfall of commission when those listings sell. But it is that “when” and the process behind it that people sometimes gloss over.

Believe me, I am extraordinarily thankful to have a half dozen listings. However, there are certain logistics that have to be kept in mind. For one thing, prepping and advertising six listings ties up a lot of resources! There are marketing costs to consider, as well as spreading out staging furniture and accessories between so many properties, and that’s just considering the physical resources. A large number of simultaneous listings consumes a lot of mental resources as well: phone calls and emails from a horde of agents with specific questions and requests about a variety of different properties; maintaining a strong line of communication with clients and keeping them happy; adjustments that may need to be made if a home sits on the market for a few weeks.

The bottom line is this: the more listings you have, the more work you have, and the more your abilities as a Realtor are tested. Those commission paychecks don’t exist until the deal closes. Until then, a listing is purely potential that takes a tremendous amount of skill and effort to bring to fruition.

One popular misconception is that, in the Bay Area, if you slap a For Sale sign in front of a house, it will sell. It’s such a hot housing market, how could it not? And yes, we absolutely have the good fortune to be living and working in an area where homes are incredibly desirable. But so much goes on behind the scenes of these sales, and so much must be done to ensure proper marketing, pricing and presentation of these homes, that it takes a skilled, dedicated and resourceful agent to guide the sales process from the listing presentation until the close of escrow and transfer of keys.

This is, believe it or not, the most beautiful aspect of a stressful situation. In times of multiple listings, an agent’s true skills are put to the test, and the additional value that particular agent brings to the table above and beyond your average Realtor really shines. For example, one element that makes me unique among real estate agents is that I own my own staging company. This allows me to have complete control over the entire staging process, from the home’s specific look to the timeline of the listing. As such, not only can I ensure that each home is staged to present itself at its full potential, but I can ensure that the cost of the furniture and the duration of time for which it will remain at the property are fully handled from the beginning. In addition, my extensive experience in real estate sales allows me to calculate optimal listing prices for these properties, and my personality and investment in my clients will ensure that no matter how hectic things may get, and no matter how many setbacks may pop up, I will always provide my clients first-rate service and keep them at ease with the process. And let’s not forget that the size of an agent’s network (and I have an extensive one) often correlates to how much exposure each listing gets and how many offers eventually roll in. In the cases of multiple listings, the pressure really helps to separate the elite real estate agents from those who think the job is just easy money.

Still, one hallmark of a great realtor is utilizing all resources at his/her disposal. As such, I would like to ask you, my readers, for your opinion on something. You can see all of my listings right here on my Zillow page: http://www.zillow.com/profile/Elena-Free-Staging/

What, in your opinion, should each of these sell for? Where would you put their market value? To sweeten the pot, I will give the first person who provides me with the price that one of these listings eventually sells for a $50 Starbucks gift card! I appreciate your opinion, so let’s have fun with this one and see who can get the first right answer!

In the end, these six listings will sell. There will be more homes to list, which will become more listings to sell, and my business will go on. But the lessons here are eternal, and keeping them in mind will allow me to consistently improve and evolve my business going forward, and help me maintain the highest level of customer service at all times. Hopefully they can help you as well.

Incidentally, if you’d like to check out video virtual tours for any of the six listings I mentioned above, there are links to all of them on my YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaiZohNWveWcm8hs1QmI5uQ

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at ejohal@kw.com. Thanks for reading!