Monday, July 2, 2012

You Mean I Have To Be Organized, Too?

Math has never been my strong suit. Frankly, it scares me. I can do it, but I always do it with a sense of unfamiliarity, like ordering dinner in Italian. Maybe I can do it, but don't ask me to deviate from the script. The wheels can come off this bus with little encouragement.

Making a schedule, for me, resembles math. It's organized, linear thinking. It is foreign to my nature. But I've had to learn. And here's why: I'm selling real estate.

Let me explain.

A couple wants to see twelve houses in one day. They're on a mission; they've seen houses they wanted go under contract while they considered their options. This time they want to be first in line.

Twelve houses in one day is akin to planning a military campaign. It stretches the limits of possibility.

Organization is everything. Clients have a limited amount of time to look - they're from out of town.  Sellers will not sit around all day waiting for a showing; they have things to do and lives to live. It's my job to create a schedule that marches us swiftly and efficiently through a long line of homes, giving the clients enough time at each to really look around. And I have to build in the room for them  to linger, to dawdle, to fall in love.

Without complete adherence to the schedule, it all falls apart.

I've been the client on one of these marathon runs. I've seen it done poorly and I've seen it done well. I've been disappointed when the sun begins to go down and three to four unseen homes remain on my list. I've gone home exhausted and overwhelmed by a massive flood of information, realizing I can no longer remember which house had the bathroom in the basement and which house was near the train tracks.

I have to make this marathon useful to the buyers and the sellers.

I have to develop a system - effective ways to help the clients keep all the properties straight in their heads, while avoiding overloading them.

Food? Sweets? Verbal cues? Sense memories?

It's a trick of the trade I have to learn - and the fun part is coming up with my own style.

It's a challenge. But it's part of the job.


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