Well...some of you may have noticed...I have decided to start my own business. Its something I have thought about for a long time but honestly never had the balls to do.
So shortly after the holidays, Organamx was born. After several years of doing a lot of this work for fellow real estate agents and simply enjoying it, it was the time.
So I was so anxious over so many things with this first closing and really this first deal. Like I said in my last post, this was an up and down deal and that is being nice. Well about 2 hours before closing all hell broke loose. The sellers are from out-of-town and their lawyer had to send them the documents to sign, well he did not send all the right ones. Then the HUD was wrong; then the listing agency got our deal confused with another and sent over some wrong information and told me some wrong things. Add to that I find out that the agency does not have any keys for the condo. The only key is in the lock box. We were just going to give the keys to the lawyer and my buyer was going to pick them up from his office today. The list actually goes on, but I won’t go into full detail. It took 2 hours of mass confusion, hand holding and getting everything straighten out to get this deal closed. It was horrible. It was one of those situations where when you think you have put out one fire a new one pops up. And then everyone starts getting confused as to what is going on and what they are supposed to be doing. It was ugly. I never thought to be anxious about finding out at the last-minute that people who have been in the business for longer than you know less than you and that everything is messed up. But it all got fixed and we were able to close on time and that is that. So it is a win in my column, but as they say in sports-it was an ugly win. This whole process was a definite learning experience from beginning to end. I will remember next time that prior to 2 hours before closing that everyone has everything they need and all is well so that I do not have to go through that again. Never assume that just because people do this for a living and have been doing it longer than you that they know more than you or really know what is going on. I am finding that some people around here work this way. I am just not used to it. Everything crashing at the last-minute over things that should have been taken care of a week ago, not really what I like to deal with. So I was anxious over so many things with this closing, but I never saw the disaster that ending up happening actually happening. And the things I was anxious out, I found out that there was no need to be. The closing itself was like I remembered when buying other homes-it is really not a big deal and the agent does very little. The only thing I really did was sit there and sign 1 document as a witness. So my first deal and closing is behind me, now I can just file it away and move forward to the next one. Of course now I have to get a next one. That can cause the anxiety to come back.
So I have my first closing at 4pm today and I am nothing but a ball of nerves. I am anxious over everything. I don’t know why, I don’t really do anything. But this deal has been so up and down that I don’t think I will be able to calm down until all documents are signed and recorded. I mean I am anxious about what to wear. Is this normal for your first closing? I thought waiting to see if our offer got accepted was stressful, but for some reason this just seems a lot more stressfull. I just want everything to go right. Like I said we have had some up and down moments with this deal, so I am really hoping that nothing comes up in closing. I just want everyone to sign the documents with no problems and be able to walk out of there happy that I got through my first full deal and closing. But then of course hanging over you is when are you going to get another one. Real Estate Agent Anxiety; I think if could be a real psychiatric diagnosis. Of course if you looked it up in the dictionary I am afraid you will find a picture of me beside it. I have done a ton of deals before and sat through closing type situations, I don’t know why this one is so different. Well compared to my other sales job, real estate is a completely different business. I just really want this closing to be over with. I know I feel so much better. People keep asking if I am excited about it; how do I explain to them that I am not sure if what I am feeling could be considered excitement. I really don’t know what exactly it is that is causing this anxiety, but I am feeling it. It is more than just it going smoothly, I guess it is also that I don’t screw up. Although based on being the buyer in two deals, my agent did not do a whole lot during the closing. This deal has been a real learning experience for me; good and bad. But soon it will be over and may be then I will feel some excitement. I will let you know.
So when you get into this business many things are thrown at you, especially being at a young age. It is ten different social networking sites you must be on, a webpage, a Facebook fan page plus running an ad, blogging and the list goes on. Then add to that you need a slogan, a mission statement and of course a business plan (which is hard to do when you have nothing to really go on.) And did I mention all the non-social media marketing you need to do-farming, FSBO’s (I have not had any luck with that), expired listings (haven’t had much luck with that either), post cards, expos, networking events, committees you must join, floor duty and this list goes on as well. As you can tell there is a lot thrown at you that you are told you must do in order to succeed. However there is one other marketing and lead tool that I have realized stirs up much debate-Open Houses. Do they or do they not work? I have done many open houses in this past year and a half, and while I still want to stay positive and say that they will work I have not had much luck with them. People do come by and take a look at the listing, but when I follow-up with them it is like they have no idea who I am and what I am talking about or I just never hear from them again. I have yet to gain a lead that actually goes anywhere from an open house. But many people reading this will completely disagree with me and say that they have gotten a lot of business from open houses. And some reading this will say that open houses are just a waste of time. However, there was one open house I did where this nice, sweet old woman accidentally brought me pot brownies and got me higher than a kite. But of course I did not get any business from her either. Brownies where good though. Some days I think I should go and get her recipe and serve them to my clients who are sticks in the mud and the people who stop by at my open houses. But back to my point-do open houses really work or not? And if they do work for some-how do you make them work? I would love to know other people’s opinion on this, because I myself am not at the point where I can answer this question.
I received a call from Real Estate Today a couple of weeks ago to be a guest on the show. I was very shocked to get this call and it made me extremely nervous. They were looking to add more YPN’ers to the show and someone apparently mentioned my name to them
I felt a lot of pressure to be perfect. I felt that I needed to represent my fellow YPN’ers well. I had severe anxiety leading up to it and had even more anxiety when I went to listen to it later. In all, it went ok. I am very critical of myself but felt like I did an ok job. Feel free to listen here. Let me know what you think!
My feeling about people who fail with their social media efforts is that they lack the ability to obtain a true connection with someone. How are consumers supposed to trust you if they know nothing about you.
I recently commented of a status of Jimmy Mackin where he asked the question “What percentage of your Facebook Friends have you met in real life?’. My answer was 80%. I am not on Facebook, adding random friends. I am meeting someone first and requesting them later.
My main focus in my social media efforts is simply “being real”. I don’t try to pretend I am a certain way. Some things I may say may not mesh with everyone but it’s who I am. By doing this, when the few people who I havent met IRL do meet me, I am the same person they got to know on any social media site.
Personally, I value my friends whether online or IRL. I try not to be fake. Most of you that know me very well understand this.
While at the NAR conference I attended this past weekend, I met Jared James for the first time IRL. We had known each other for years on Twitter and Facebook. You would have never known by us meeting that we hadn’t met each other previously. We chatted like we would have any other time. We didn’t have that awkward feeling when you meet someone for the first time.
It’s all because of how we connected in the first place. We had conversations. We took the time to get to know each other. You have to take everyone you meet online the same as if you met them in person. Ask questions, figure them out. It’s really not that hard
Ok…So I seriously wanted to use “Breaking News” just once in my life and well…here’s my excuse.
As many of you know, I have been taking a deep look at my career path. I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not I should stay in the business. It weighed on me deeply.
However, a couple of months ago, I ran into Brian Bolier at Rebarcamp. I had known him since my title days but honestly never knew what he was all about. We had the opportunity to chat a bit. We seemed to have the same ideals as far as our business goes.
After many conversations with Brian, I felt that Coldwell Banker Burnet-Woodbury would be the perfect fit for me. I feel that Brian will be a great mentor for me and can help me improve my business. In return, I hope to share my knowledge with him as well.
I look at this as a fresh start. I feel it’s a good, positive change.
I do want to thank everyone who contacted me recently and offered to help. It was truly humbling and I can’t even begin to express my appreciation. I am so lucky to have such a great group of friends and colleagues.
I also want to thank Edina Realty for all the support over the years.
I am looking forward to my new adventure. I have a feeling that there are great things to come!
It’s very weird to me to even discuss what I am about to in a blog. I am a very private person. This is something that is extremely personal. However after talking to someone at NAR about this, they recommended I blog about it as it is a real life issue of why the dues increase will affect me and so many other agents.
Most of you probably have no idea because I have not made some social media press release but I am currently going through a divorce. What does this have to do with the increase? Well, my average sale price is $90,000. I could close many of these within a year and still not pull in a significant enough income to support my family.
A lot of things have weighed on me. I really took a deep look at the costs I incur as an agent. I looked at many of them and thought “these are just stupid”. Then I got to thinking about the dues increase. While you could say 40 bucks is 40 bucks, when you are someone like me, its enough to make me concerned. In order for me to stay in the business, I not only have to increase my sales, but I have to pinch every penny.
While talking to a friend within NAR, I was told to tell this story as this is the kind of story that NAR should have heard prior to the passing of the dues increase. While I am glad that I didn’t have this story to tell prior to now, I wish I had heard stories similar to mine. There is no way that I am the only person who feels this way.
I guess you could say the dues increase affects me more now as I wonder if I’ll be able to stay in the business. While its extremely hard for me to imagine not being an agent, I have my children to think about. Letting my license go is something that is not out of the question. I will do anything for my children. At the same time, I’m a deeply saddened by the though of giving up my career and everything I have worked so hard for.
So my dear friends a NAR, this is my story. While the issue no longer matters now, I wanted you to hear my story. I wanted you to understand what I, as well as many other agents feel about it.
So doing an open house last week in the nice small neighborhood near the beach and with a nice neighborhood private pool. Perfect location, great home and the neighbors just seem so sweet. Everyone came by to meet me and speak to me. This dear, LITTLE, older woman who was in her mid to late 70’s comes over with a plate of brownies for me. I had seen her at the pool with her grandchildren earlier and she told me that she just hated thinking of real estate agents at open houses getting hungry. So I am thinking what is the harm; I have seen her with her grandchildren; and the brownies looked to die for. And yes I was hungry. So while talking to her and showing her the house I eat 4 of them, then she gives me 2 more to take to my husband and well I ate those too. Small problem, eating them was the last thing I remember and according to my husband came home stoned off my rear end. He was worried and called his uncle who is a doctor and his uncle confirmed that I was stoned and those must have been hash brownies I ate. The only thing I can think is that she could have something like glaucoma and puts the pot in brownies and then having her grandchildren staying with her for the week made a regular batch, but brought me the wrong ones. She had grandchildren, so I doubt she was feeding them pot and she was so sweet I don’t think she would really try to poison me nor if she knew they had pot in them would have let me eat so many. So yes another crazy story-I got doped at an open house. I am glad I didn’t get pulled over because how would I explain my behavior to a cop. Especially since I don’t remember getting home and kept swearing to my husband that nothing could be wrong with me. They were REALLY good brownies, pot aside. I work with some strange customers and seem to end up with the craziest stories. I really thought I had seen it all in sales with an engineering firm and in life insurance. However, I have been told that the craziness just doesn’t ever stop coming. Pot brownies are a new one in my office, but crazy stories are part of the job. Lesson Learned, I will just know in the future to NEVER take food from someone no matter how old and sweet they seem.