Summer is right around the corner, and
most of you probably have your summer vacations planned or are in the planning
stage. What will happen to your business while you are gone? Does your business
go on vacation when you do? If so, you are losing valuable leads and momentum. Your
business should be able to run without you. What if you or a family member is
sick, do you still work? With today’s technology and the numerous types of assistance
available you should not have to be a ‘hands on’ operator. Your business should
keep running in your absence.
The key is to find a system that will maintain consistency.
If your business is dependent on when you are working it will never grow. Using
assistants, whether virtual or in person is necessary to grow your business and
maintain a personal life. Vacations and time off from work are necessary to clear your mind and recharge
your body. However, your time off will not be relaxing if you have to play
‘catch-up’ when you return or work twice as hard to find clients because your
Here are some processes that can be implemented to run your
It is an investment in your business.
If you don’t have
enough work to keep them busy, share your assistant with another agent in your
office until you have enough work to support them.
Hire a Virtual Assistant to work on an as needed
Keep files in a secured cloud environment so you
and your assistants both have access.
Use a shared schedule for business appointments.
By implementing processes, your business will run without
you. This will allow you to take time off but will also give you time to work ON
your business instead of IN it. This is necessary to grow the business and be
successful. If you are still working independently and doing all the work
yourself, look at the agents who are the top producers in your company or
market area. How do they become a top producer? They have a team that helps
them get there.
“Lean on me”, when I hear these words, I think of the number 1 hit from
1972, written and sung by Bill Withers. The famous chorus goes “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll
be your friend, I’ll help you carry on, for it won’t be long, till I’m gonna
need, somebody to lean on.” I’m sure right now you can hear that melody in
your head! The song talks about relationships and how, at times, you need to
lean on other people in your life. The same holds true in business. We may be
experts in our field of work, but there are times when we need to refer to
other experts in their field of work. The Hampton Roads REALTORS Association is
a perfect example of this. They allow affiliate membership as a support system
for the REALTOR members.
I am proud to be an affiliate in this organization that supports our
real estate industry. Over the years many great relationships have been formed.
These connections are a great resource and are always available when needed.
Think of all the professionals that are necessary to conduct a real estate
transaction. Experienced REALTORS typically have a large database of professionals.
This database took years to build and has been purged many times. Sometimes
there is a need for a professional that’s not in their database. Newer REALTORS
don’t always have a source for experts. The best source is HRRA’s website
(hrra.com) when you are in need of a professional in the industry. You can
search for an affiliate member by their specialization, company, personal name,
or even city.
As an affiliate, we want to do business with REALTORS. We know the you
see the importance of being a member of HRRA and choose to abide by the ethics
and standards of NAR. Doing business with an ethical professional is far more rewarding
than just doing business. Affiliate members give back to REALTORS through
sponsoring events, meetings and classes which keep the cost down for those
The next time you are in need of an auction service, home stager,
handyman, appraiser, or office space; go to hrra.com, find-an-affiliate-member.
We are a “Circle of Experts” that are ready to support you.
Fannie Mae guidelines state that “Appraisal reports must reflect adverse conditions that were apparent during the inspection or discovered while performing research, such as, but not limited to, needed repairs, deterioration, or the presence of hazardous wastes, toxic substances, or adverse environmental conditions. Detrimental conditions of the improvements must be reported in the appraisal even if the conditions are typical for competing properties.” A highly cluttered home is a detrimental condition. Interior photos are required for all lender appraisals. If the condition is not properly noted in the report, it will show in the photos, so it is best to be upfront and report the true condition of the property.
An estimated 3 to 5 percent of Americans suffer from hoarding, which in May 2013 was listed for the first time as a distinct disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There is professional help available for people living in such situations. I know many fabulous organizers in our local market that would love to help these homeowners. The hardest part is for the homeowner to take the steps to move forward and have the desire to live in a healthier environment.
With all that said, we must take a moment to remember that we are mere real estate professionals who were hired to perform a specific job. We really do not know this homeowner, who has allowed us to intrude into their personal space. We do not know the circumstances that have led to this situation. It is not our place to judge or ridicule anyone. Sometimes, we need to take these situations and look at ourselves. How do we compare? Do we have clutter in our own home?