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Lessons learned from Adam Carolla

Tue, 23 Jan by Pauline Relkey

Some of you may have watched his show called To Catch a Contractor.

Before launching a successful career as a TV and radio personality, Adam Carolla was a master carpenter and home builder, so he knows the work of skilled craftsmen when he sees it. Likewise, he can spot shoddy construction, and in this series he trains his eye on building blunders and the contractors responsible for them. With the help of no-nonsense builder Skip Bedell and his wife, private investigator Alison Bedell, Carolla seeks retribution for homeowners who have experienced a construction nightmare, by tracking down unscrupulous contractors and forcing them to face the wronged parties. The contractors are then given a chance to redeem themselves by fixing messes they left behind — all while under Adam’s and Skip’s watchful .

I watched a few of his shows lately and was pleasantly surprised by some of the lessons that rang so true for me.

The first lesson hit home – Don’t work out of your area of expertise.  This is so true for most, if not all occupations.  If you’re not sure of what you are doing, get some help from an experienced person or refer the job/client to them.  I have experienced this situation many times over the last 26 years in real estate and I do feel badly when I have to tell one of my clients, “No, I don’t work in that area of real estate, but I can connect you with someone good that does work in that area.”  I have chosen to work residential in Regina and close areas around Regina, but real estate in commercial, acreages, cottages is not my area of preference or expertise.  Yes I was licensed quite a few years ago and even though my license does include those specific areas, I have not pursued them because I don’t have the interest in them and haven’t pursued more training in those areas.  I let the people that know what they are doing in these fields handle the clients.

Another lesson he talked about was “Don’t undercut your competition to get the job.”  So true.  Real estate commissions are a high number and we turn blue explaining why (our costs from advertising to insurance to memberships to our split with our company and with the buyers company, etc.)  The costs are a lot of money and thankfully they usually come from the sale price of the house as most property sellers don’t happen to have that amount of money just hanging around, waiting to be spent.

Undercutting happens a lot in my business and it hurts all of us.  Usually the agents that undercut other agents will also undercut their work for their client.  Maybe they don’t advertise as much as others, maybe they don’t spend time following up on showings and leads, maybe they don’t keep in contact with their seller, don’t keep on top of the real estate market and share that info with their clients, etc.  Unfortunately the seller doesn’t find this out until it is too late and they have listed with the agent who offered the lowest commission.  Food for thought – if that agent was so quick to give up their money (commission), how quick do you think they will be to give up your money (sale price of your property) when an offer comes in?  I’ve always believed in the saying, you get what you pay for.  Thanks Adam.

Why do Realtors Change Companies

Wed, 09 Nov by Pauline Relkey

Over my 26 years of selling real estate in Regina, I have watched several agents move companies.

I was usually disappointed to see some agents leave the company I was at because I thought they were good decent people and I hated to lose touch with them, but I felt that they had their reasons for moving and I wished them well.

I can only guess as to the reasons why other agents changed companies.  Maybe they felt they were in a sales slump and needed a change. What is that saying? “A change is as good as a rest”.

Maybe they were asked to leave the company.  Yes, this business has unscrupulous people as does most, if not every, other business out there.  Unfortunately these few bad apples spoil it for everyone else.  Goodbye to bad rubbish as another saying goes.

I was asked years ago by my past broker, what would it take for a company to offer me to move to their company?  My answer was “it’s not what they offer me, it’s what my present company wasn’t doing for me, that would make me leave.”

I planned on staying at the same company for years and years until I retired.  I consider myself to be a team player, whether it’s a company fundraiser for the charity of choice, or a fun event to let off some steam or an in-house contest to get us motivated and selling, or weekly sales meetings, etc.  I participated as much as I could, even including my spouse and children in conferences and some events over the years.  We could make a conference a family vacation with extra days taken either before or after my work convention duties were done.  This way my family could meet some other agents and hopefully understand my business a little better plus we could enjoy some fun family time together.  I think you always have guilt when you are working parent and try to do what you can to lessen that guilt.

I chose my first company 26 years ago after very carefully interviewing with 4 companies.  One broker told me point blank to go to the company I chose because they had the best training for new agents at that time.  One broker made me feel too much like his daughter and didn’t give me the right feeling as business associates.  One other broker seemed blown away by my interview answers and wanted to hire me on the spot, but I wasn’t ready to make my decision yet.  Plus this broker had me write his company’s real estate agent test.  I was supposed to hear back from this broker a few days later as to the results of my test, but when he didn’t call me, I called him instead.  He was a changed person because he said that the test showed that I wasn’t independent enough to be a good realtor.  Well, the company that I did go to work at, told me that they sent this broker a copy of my stats to show how much business I did (for someone that wasn’t independent enough).

I enjoyed my first 23 years at the company I chose, learning and growing as an agent.  I met other agents and lots of clients, learnt a lot, increased my business every year and won a bunch of awards based on production and also on client and peer recognition.  I loved what I did.  Yes I put a lot into my work and got a lot back.

But then in the last 2 years, I wasn’t happy.  Things had changed.  These changes were probably meant to be better for the company but I wasn’t feeling it.  Too many chefs cooking.  Not sure who to turn to in times of need.  Questions were left unanswered.  Were they too busy, or too busy for me, or did they not care anymore?  I wasn’t enjoying myself.  Things were happening that I didn’t agree with. I felt like a past client who wasn’t being acknowledged for all the business I had given them.  The emphasis was on getting new agents to work at the company and us ‘oldies’ were forgotten about.  This isn’t what we were taught to do with our clients, yet the company was doing it to their agents who were the company’s clients.

Then one day it hit me like a bolt of lightening.  I could change companies.  I had talked to various brokers over the years.  Not that I was planning on moving companies back then, but I feel that it doesn’t hurt to talk to others and keep abreast of what is out there, just in case.  It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I made this decision to move.  I felt that I still had quite a few years left in me to keep on working and I should be happy doing it.  Was it an easy decision? Yes and no.  I cried a few times because it felt like I was ending a relationship and it hurt, even though it was the right decision to make.

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Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence? Maybe, maybe not. But I do know it needs the same watering and cutting and fertilizing that the other grass needed.  I’m happy I made my move.  Life is what we make of it.  Make yours great today!

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