If it didn’t work last year, it probably won’t work next year

Broker Notebook

Time marches on image via Shutterstock.Time marches on image via Shutterstock.

The year is almost over, and it has been a good year. It’s possible that 2014 will be even better. In fact, I am planning on it.

Here are some of my resolutions for the new year:

  • I will take inventory of what worked in 2013. If it did not work last year, it probably won’t work next year. Now is the time to stop doing it, or stop buying it.
  • I will take three vacations instead of just two.
  • I will spend less time looking at computer, tablet and phone screens, and more time with my camera.
  • I will sell more houses. (That is on my list every year.)
  • I will spend less time in real estate-related Facebook groups in 2014.
  • I will spend more time reading books, electronic or otherwise.
  • I will spend more time standing and less time sitting.
  • I will spend more time listening and less time talking.
  • I will keep up-to-date on new technology, and find new ways to exploit existing technology to save money and to provide the best customer service.
  • I will attend at least one workshop or class that is not directly related to my business.

One thing I have learned over the years is that if I plan on having a good year, I am much more likely to have a good year. It isn’t about magical thinking. It’s about deciding to have a good year, and then putting together a plan that will help me accomplish that.

The real estate industry is changing, and it has been changing for a long time. There is always enough work and enough business, but some years it is harder to find.

Consumers literally have more information at their fingertips than they have ever had before, yet they still have just as many questions. They just aren’t the same questions.

Homebuyers can find the homes that are for sale and see how much they are listed for. They don’t need my help to find out how much the last owners paid, or to get automated valuation estimates. But they still don’t know how much to offer the sellers, or how to structure that offer.

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Sellers don’t seem to know any more about how to sell a house today than they knew a decade ago. I see homeowners trying to sell their homes themselves using a for-sale sign and some newspaper advertising instead of the Internet.

Consumers literally have more information at their fingertips than they have ever had before, yet they still have just as many questions. They just aren’t the same questions."

Even though they have more data than ever before, I am still finding sellers who overprice their homes by 30 percent.

As agents, it is our experience and knowledge that consumers want — someone who can help them make sense out of all the data and information they find. They want our advice and expert opinion. So far, the Internet has not replaced us and we have not been disintermediated.

Now is the time to have a solid plan in place for 2014. It is going to be another amazing year filled with opportunities.

Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.

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