In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
With 28 years in real estate, Julianne C. Ward has seen it all and experienced the ups and downs of the industry. This award-winning Realtor puts her knowledge to work for her clients every day.
Find out how she learned to trust her own inner voice to create outstanding results for buyers and sellers in her market.
How long have you been in the business?
I was unhappy working as an accountant and decided that I wanted to go into sales. A girlfriend suggested that I take an appraisal and real estate course. After my second class, I was hooked. I have been working in real estate for 31 years, and I love every aspect of it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Enjoying working in real estate sales and marketing. There have been many exciting changes in the industry in the last few years and technology continues to evolve.
While online real estate sites provide an opportunity to spread the word about a listing, nothing can take the place of an agent’s market knowledge, understanding of how best to prepare, showcase, market a home, ability to navigate the ebb [and] flow of different markets and experience with negotiation.
We know what is needed to help clients present their home in the best light, and we know the competition. That breadth of knowledge is why it is so important to hire a real estate professional.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Trust your knowledge, and be patient with clients as they go through the process. Buying/selling a home is a big financial decision, but it can also be very emotional for a variety of reasons. A good real estate agent knows how to guide a client seamlessly through the entire process.
How did you learn it?
I was doing a listing presentation for a seller who insisted on a higher price than the comps could support. He also wanted to discount the commission. I stuck to my guns, and he ended up listing his home at the higher price, at a discounted commission, with a discount broker.
After the home had been on the market for a year, with no offers or bites, he called me. We priced the home correctly, offered a full commission to the buyer broker, and the house had quite a few showings and sold in 4 weeks, close to asking.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Stay in motion. Always be focused on building your business and expanding your client base through networking and marketing. Act decisively.
Are you an agent with a story everyone can learn something from? Reach out to us (contributors@Inman.com). We look forward to featuring more of our best agents and brokers in a future edition of “Lesson learned.”