Being a business owner is never easy but during these uncertain times it certainly is very trying. It’s even more frustrating in the fact that you can’t get together with other business owners to bounce ideas off each other or share some of the challenges (whine usually with wine). This is the reason I decided to write this blog this month – Business Owner Blues (aka Realtor® Rant). These are some of the things that can really drive a person to drink; and, a person maybe totally unaware how they hurt/bother/anger/frustrate your local business owner.
First and foremost, we want everyone to know we so appreciate each and every one of our clients. Without you, we would have no business. Every business owner wants to please their clients and customers but realistically needs to make enough money to pay the bills and be able to stay in business. We have seen so many businesses not be able to weather this pandemic storm; and, I’m sure we will see more closures in the future. Even if you have a solid business model, you may have been rocked by Covid.
This is when we need to support local Orangeville businesses even more. Think of your favourite restaurants, clothing shops, home décor shops, travel companies, hair salons and the list goes on and on. Make sure to support local every chance you can. These are the people who have supported your children’s sports teams, community initiatives and give back in so many ways. I know it can seem so easy to shop online right now and sometimes we justify that it is safer, but look for online options from local companies. We are small business owners and we can accommodate easier than the big box stores.
For services such as real estate, continue to support your local Realtor®s. Call them to help with your purchase or sale. If you have a pre-existing relationship with a Realtor® be sure to reach out to that person FIRST! Here are some of the things that I have come across with clients/friends/family and I do not think they even realized that it mattered.
- CALLED THE LISTING AGENT – You may think that you are not bothering your real estate agent with petty questions and you are saving them the hassle until you have done your research ….WRONG!!!! We want you to call/message/text/email/send up a smoke signal if you have to! This is what we do! We gather information and give you an honest, unbiased opinion of the property. You may not be getting the same information from the Listing agent because they are working for the Seller. You think what harm is it if I go look at the property with the Listing agent? It could cost your Realtor® friend commission for one thing (we will talk about commission a little bit later). Many times people who look with the listing agent feel they got “too far down a path” to make any changes.
- DIDN’T EVEN GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO INTERVIEW – I understand just because you are family with someone or know someone who is a Realtor® doesn’t mean they maybe the best fit for your real estate needs; but, the least you could do would be to interview them and find out what they offer in terms of their services. I have had occasions where people who I know thought ….oh they are busy enough. They won’t miss this deal. WRONG!!! Every deal is important to us. Every deal makes a difference in our financial viability. You may know us on a social level but not realize how we operate on a business level. Give us a chance to show you our marketing plan.
So you want to sell your home. You decide to contact real estate agents. Remember not all real estate agents are created equally! You definitely need to find someone who aligns with your values and someone you trust with probably your biggest asset. Someone or a team of people that have a great reputation, know the local market and are top negotiators. You really should interview people if you do not already have a pre-existing relationship with a Realtor®. They should impress you from the time they arrive (on time), looking professional, not talking all about themselves and listening to your needs. They should really be able to convey to you that they know what they are talking about and not just trying to sell you some system or gimmick. Do not get caught up with how much they charge. I have seen people choose someone that was cheaper and they have told us time and time again how much they regretted their decision because a penny wise made them a pound foolish! It’s not how much it will cost, but how much you will net at the end of the day. Peace of mind and decreased stress, is also worth something.
If you are a buyer, you need to hire a Realtor® to work on your behalf. Today the market is crazy. Things can list in the morning and be sold by night with multiple offers. You need to have someone who is committed to you, to be on the look and hunt for a perfect place for you to call home. Why would a real estate agent commit to you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, if you do not want to commit to them? Hiring a buyer’s agent is signing a Buyer Representation Agreement. That is telling the Realtor® that you are committed to work with them if they are committed to work with you.
I mentioned commission earlier so let me expand. In a typical real estate transaction, sellers typically pay the commission to the listing agent and to the buying agent. If you really wanted to dissect this, the buyer ends up being the actual person who pays. It is through their purchase price the seller has the money to disperse commission to both listing and buying side. Keep in mind many of us work 100% off commission. We do not have a base salary and added commissions. For listings we invest in staging, photography, marketing, advertising all on the speculation we will broker a successful sale and at some point, get paid. In a hot market, this doesn’t seem as bad; but, in slower markets, sometimes homes do not sell and the agent is out of pocket that money. We do not go back to the seller and get reimbursed. We do not have an employer matching RSP contributions; nor we do not have health insurance or any pension plan. We do have many expenses before we even have our first deal. We need to maintain our licenses, we pay insurance, we pay board fees, we pay association fees, we have brokerage fees and then if you have office space, you pay rent. Hire any administrative services, advertising, staging, etc, etc. One would ask why you would ever want to be a Realtor® in the first place….trust me, many of us have asked ourselves that many times. We do it because we love people. We love helping people achieve their home ownership dreams. There is nothing sweeter than helping a first time home buyer get into the home of their dreams. Helping navigate the muddy waters of a divorce and having both parties feel represented fairly gives a warm feeling in the pit of your stomach. All these warm and fuzzy feelings are great. But at the end of the day, we still need to pay our bills and make some sort of a living.
I believe strongly in the saying….To whom much is giving, much is expected. I believe in giving back to our community, whether it is time, talent or treasury (money). So if our business is successful, we are able to give back to our fabulous community. Many business owners in our community do!
So I guess I’ve been on a little bit of a rant. I just want to make it absolutely clear that EVERY business owner does not take your business lightly. WE ALL truly appreciate each and every one of you. The greatest compliment you can give a business is to choose their business or services; but, even bigger than just patronizing the business is to refer to everyone you know. Word of mouth goes a very long way!