I was thinking about the real estate profession and have come to the conclusion that our business is really made up of an endless series of meetings. To the casual observer, or real estate consumer, it may appear that real estate agents do little more than ride around and show property. But there's a lot more to it. Let me explain.
I was in yet another meeting this morning. The weekly sales meeting. Every agency has one. That's where we discuss everything real estate including market trends and statistics, listings we have, buyers we may be working with, better ways to do things, new regulations, new processes or procedures, and so on and so on. We also tend to do a lot of problem solving at these meetings. Sometime, problems are created at a meeting and we have to have another meeting to solve them. We also have monthly Board of Realtors meetings, annual state conferences, and the National Association of Realtos annual conference. And this is just the beginning.
We have periodic company regional networking events as well as annual company conventions where we also learn the latest and greatest ways to help consumers buy and sell real estate or how to practice our trade more professionally, efficiently, and creatively.
We have meetings through the internet using Skype or "go to meeting." It seems that in a Skype meeting it is important to see the other party and in a "go to meeting" meeting the subject matter may be more important and we don't care what the other guy looks like.
While most of these meeting are all educational in nature, we also have even more meetings to meet the required continuing educational requirements in order to keep our real estate licenses. Sometimes these meetings are used to catch up on sleep, but most are quite valuable. These are three hour meetings with breakfast that turn into four hour meetings.
For those agents that don't get enough meetings through the regular channels, the Realtors Association sets up special committees that you can volunteer to join. You know like finance committees, professional standards, public relations, and grievance committees. Not that anyone ever has any grievances. In this business, when you are not riding around showing property, you can turn into a professional go to meeting person if you want to.
We also have meetings with mortgage companies, bankers, title companies, lawyers, home inspectors, mold and radon remediation companies, appraisers, and a variety of home repair companies. Did I mention psychiatrists?
But there are two meetings that I feel are the most important ones in our business. Those are the first meeting with our client or customer and the last meeting at the closing table to consummate a successful real estate transaction. The first meeting is important because that is where we (hopefully) learn about the client or customer's goals and desires, set expectations, educate, and begin to build that all-important personal relationship with the consumer. The last meeting, at the closing table, obviously is the most important to the person buying or selling a property. But to an agent it signifies that his work, on that transaction at least, is done and that all of those countless hours of meetings and psychiatric help in between weren't for naught.
And now for a little bit of news on how the Lakes Region condo market is fairing this year. For the first four months of the year there have been 41 condominium units sold at an average price of $134,409. Now, that compares to...drum roll please... 41 units for the same period in 2013. I was hoping for more, weren't you? And, unfortunately, the average sales price dropped to just $134,409 and the median price sale price dropped from $165,000 to only $113,000. That means that there were more low priced units selling this year and fewer on the high end of the scale. Maybe we need to have a meeting about that...
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System as of 5/23/14 Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.