Typically, the end of the year for those of us who make a living selling real estate can be slow. Usually by November, potential buyers and sellers put their home plans on hold to accommodate the busy nature of the holidays. This has been my experience for the past few years anyway. We drop our super hero capes off at the cleaner and take the time to rest and recharge our selling super power muscles until the early spring selling begins.
After a very productive fall, I assumed that the slow down would follow. I was never more pleased to be wrong in 2015. Naturally, I decided to plan some vacation time right before the holidays expecting that I would be able to put down the phone and just enjoy a well-deserved break.
I was reminded very quickly that the laws of real estate are as unpredictable as a lender making a decision about a short sale. When I assumed that I would be less busy during the holiday season, I broke the first law of real estate, expect the unexpected.
This law should appear front and center on the membership card for the National Association of Realtors. I was both surprised and grateful when my calendar from the beginning of the New Year included closings that I had not anticipated but could not help to chuckle a bit as I sat at a river house and answered email and scheduled inspections.
My spouse did not find it as entertaining as I did, but thankfully she understands what the life of a real estate broker is like, and is especially understanding of the inconvenience when the bank account grows after a successful transaction closing.
Which brings me to the second law of real estate. Planning a vacation is the sure fire way to guarantee that unexpected contracts or listings will materialize. This is as certain as the laws of physics. I have taken informal polls of my fellow agents and all agree that this one is a given. We all also have come to the consensus that there are worse things to deal with than having to be on the phone and answering email while on vacation.
I am seriously considering the risk benefit analysis of scheduling vacation at least once a month, but suspect that testing this law may be a sure fire way to tempt fate and render the law ineffective. Which brings me to the third law real estate.
Do not attempt to manipulate laws one and two. Never. Doing so increases the chances of inviting another well known law to walk right in the front door of your real estate career. Murphy’s Law is a terrible guest in any home, business, or situation. I am positive we can all agree on this one. For those who need a refresher, Murphy’s law states if anything can go wrong, it will, and usually at the worst possible time.
As real estate professionals, we deal with this law more times that we can count and often on a daily basis. It comes primarily in the form of difficult and uncommunicative lenders, indecisive buyers, and unrealistic sellers but can pop up at any point during a transaction from any number of possible sources. For example, I once had a meddling mother in law kill an entire deal because the “feel” she got in the house was not acceptable. You just cannot make this stuff up.
We all know the dread of waiting for an inspection, appraisal, or final loan commitment while sitting at the closing table or Title Company’s office. Definitely not the most fun aspect of what we do. I believe that this career is not for the faint of heart, or the impatient, but I also believe that there are few career that are as rewarding as real estate.
Most agents I have encountered agree and believe that this group is among the more determined class of workers. I also mention that as a group we have very healthy egos, which works for us, most days anyhow.
As we begin the process of creating and implementing our carefully thought out marketing plan for the upcoming year, I implore every real estate agent, broker associate and broker/owner to remember and consider these laws. These particular laws, however tongue and cheek they may be, exist to remind us all that while the job of a real estate professional may be challenging and often times frustrating, it is also ripe with countless opportunities for growth and success.
My business plan for the upcoming year definitely includes a heavy dose of gratitude for the laws of real estate land and a healthy respect for each of them. Wishing my fellow real estate super heroes a healthy and prosperous 2016!