Chronicles of a Silicon Valley Real Estate Evangelist - Day 2,952

This Saturdy was one of those half work/half home days. It's possible (but not easy) to turn completely "off", but today was not one of those days. 

Started the morning contacting someone interested in selling their family's home in San Mateo and relocating to the Palo Alto area. Played a little phone/email/text tag, but we were able to connect and schedule a tentative meeting for Tuesday. I know there are some agents that think that they must pick up every phone call otherwise they will lose business. I'm not one of those agents. Our business is hard enough as it is with just returning phone calls! If someone is not willing to wait for me to call them back at a more appropriate time, then what value do I have as an agent? Chopped liver is all that I would be. What's your value?

A past client emailed me inquiring about selling her rental property. Had a nice 5 minute conversation with her and given that the she just renewed the tenant's lease for another year, might be better to shoot for going on the market next year. We can definitely sell the tenant occupied property now, but selling a property with a tenant inside versus a property that is vacant and staged is a huge difference. One thing that I was amused about was she said, "Alex, you are expensive, but I know you are worth it." :)

Got a text message last minute from a client asking me to hold off on moving forward on a negotiation strategy that we agreed upon yesterday. Hmmm... it's ok to hold off, but I need to know why in order to better position ourselves in the negotiation. Communication is one of the most important factors of a good client/agent relationship. Without that, you will be toast!

11:15am - annual memorial service for a close friend that passed about 8 years ago. I decided to take my 3-year-old son with me so I can share with him about my experience and have some good one-on-one time. They don't give you a parenting manual when you have kids. How do you expain life & death to a kid?

Finally finished up the late morning just in time to head out to a friend/client's (is there a difference anymore?) daughter's birthday party at Ponderosa Park. It's hard to balance which kid's birthday parties to go to when there are multiple occasions in one day, but when the people are 'cool beans' and good people, you want to do everything you can to be present. Brought the whole family there and we had a blast. Wrestling with eleven kids in the jumpy house, shooting water guns, cotton candy, great BBQ, arts and crafts, this was one of the best 4-year-old birthday parties I've been too. I was the biggest kid there.

Dropped the family off at home and headed to the local German bakery for a couple of nice half liter glasses of German pilsner, do a little emails, writing, work, and then pick up some pastries to head home for dinner with the family.

One conversation that I had with an agent before heading home stood out to me. As agents, I can be very judgemental of others. It's an ego-business and that ego, or rather my ego, can be rather hard to control. The conversation about my North Los Altos listing went a little something like this:

Me: "Yes, we have a lot of interest in the home and currently have offers on the house, though the agents are not local (full well knowing that I was speaking to a Los Altos agent and I was implying that the agents are not aware of the customary practices in our market and therefore the agents and their offers may need some coaching/guidance), so if your clients are interested, would love to work with you."

Agent: "They are not local? Are you a local agent?"

Me: [immediate reaction is to put this agent "in check" and talk about how much real estate I have sold and how dare she make this type of comment, do you know who you are talking to?? ... blah blah blah] Ummm... I live in Los Altos.

Agent: "Oh, OK. I guess that means your local too."

I think sometimes, as real estate professionals, that our egos get in the way of doing what's best for the cleint and the industry. Anyway, I hope her client does right an offer. She said, it was an "all cash offer". That's great, the other two offers are all cash too. :)

Communication stats:

48 calls

9 voicemails

34 emails

15 text messages

3 website inquiries

2 referrals