Real Estate in my 40's
That's right, I crossed a major milestone this past week as I celebrated my 40th birthday on September 23 (check out the picture on the Southwestern Real Estate Facebook page, be sure to like us while you are there). I have to say, I don't feel quite as much like a youngster when I tell people I'm 40, but given the average age of a first year Realtor is 55, I think my youth is still a refreshing change.
One of the goals I have for this year is to join the ranks of the top 20 agents in DuPage County. Based on last year's numbers, we are already there, so we'll have to see how things finish up. One really cool thing I see when I look at that list is that I will be the youngest person in that group. See, old/young is relative. Being a top agent at 40 is still considered young. I'm still young, that feels nice.
As so many of you know, I'm building a company designed around the referrals from those who know and trust me, and the ever growing list of satisfied clients. The only reason I have found this success is because of how much you all have been consistent in sending your friends my way when they need real estate help. Being the youngest agent in the top 20 suggests a really bright forecast as we continue to work with our clients with a long term perspective. We don't want to just help someone sell or buy a home, we want them to be so happy with the way we helped them that they become our inspired sales force, and the business grows year after year.
When I look at the various ways top Realtors work, it is very common for top producing agents to turn their business into a machine, which can be effective in churning out more transactions, but it can also become cold and distant. My goal is to make sure that we never lose the personal touch that is so critical when buying or selling a home. The home sale transaction usually has a high degree of emotions involved and having someone to coach you through that process is critical to the lasting feelings that generate referrals. So not only is it the right thing to help our clients, but it's the right thing to grow the business. I know that when you refer me, your reputation is on the line to a degree and I'm all about making you look good.
Now, for a market update: This spring we saw something we hadn't seen in over 7 years, prices went up in most markets. Since July we've seen a major slow down in the number of transactions, which is very common due to seasonal trends. The inventory is still below 6 months, so advantage to the seller. The number of buyers is very low right now, so it can still be a bit of a gut check for sellers as average market time is creeping back up. The biggest take away that affects most of you reading this is that prices are not falling right now, they may not be climbing as they were this spring, but they are not falling, so that's a good thing.
Now that I'm 40, I think I'm entitled to pass out advice. I guess the take away that I have from this letter is if you want to feel young, hang out with older people.