During this time of year I try to start thinking about my business plan for the coming year. I’m supposed to figure out what my goals are, what I want to continue doing, what I want to change, etc. A big part of my plan has to include a budget, which means I have to figure out how much money I have to spend to keep my business going. This includes, but is not limited to, license fees, association fees, required education costs, marketing costs, etc. I also have to try to project what I will make the coming year, and set goals. I am not good at doing this, and I think it’s because I don’t really think of what I do as a business. I don’t think of people as a business.
When I take buyers out looking at homes I don’t look at the commission payout and if I notice it I am not influenced by it. I look to see if the seller will accept a certain type of loan, for example, FHA. I try to tell what shape it is in and whether that will impact the buyers loan. I look to see that it has at least most of the specific’s the buyer is looking for (or doesn’t have in some instances). Then, if there is not time for me to preview I do my best to at least drive by it. If a buyer is really int3erested I will run comps – do a market analysis, to ensure that not only are the buyer’s not paying too much for the home, but that it will appraise at the accepted price so the loan can go through.
I also don’t care if the buyer purchases the first home they see, or the 52nd home (this happened) they see. I didn’t mind because I had so much fun looking and spending time with my client. To me, everything is a learning experience, and one can never have too much learning.
I have to know about different types of contracts, what’s standard and what’s not; different types of loans because although I’m not involved with the financial aspect, I have to know how it might impact an offer or the possibility of getting that loan given the circumstances of that home. I also have to be familiar with earnest money, negotiations, inspections, appraisals, addendums, amendments, closing costs, to name a few. I have sold some properties that were farms, with wells instead of city water, with sewage treatment on the property or toxic items, variances, laws in the specific county/city to ensure what the buyer wants to do conforms to the ordinances. The list goes on. This short list are just some of things I think about every day.
So, when I have to develop a business plan and Market myself, I am at a loss. The marketing part does not sit well with me. I feel like prospective buyers think I’m about to attack, like I feel when I walk by a store in the mall and a sales person is standing in the doorway ready to pounce. I honestly will walk far away from that store, even if I wanted to go there! I have no intention of trying to make someone buy a home, any home, but especially one they are not ready to buy or is more expensive than they are comfortable with. I would just like to have a chance to be interviewed by prospective clients to see if we would be a good fit. I know I am very good at what I do, and that I go far above and beyond what many agents will do. But how do I convey this without frightening people? I don’t know…another thing I will have to work on in the new year!
And so, I will work on this business plan, and I will try to be better at marketing myself because do have to earn money to support my family: Voice lessons, guitar lessons, help pay for my son’s flying major in college (very expensive), food for the kids and animals… I know, you get it. But at the end of the day, I will spend most of my time representing my clients needs because thatis what this business is really all about to me.
"My business grows from your referrals…Thank you so much!!"
Laura Hadden, J.D., SFR
Prudential Lovejoy Realty
17305 Cedar Ave. #110
Lakeville, MN 55044
Cell: (952) 303-1842
Office: (952) 854-2888