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Sunday, October 3, 2010

A "Team" of One

"What You See is What You Get"

I've written previously about real estate teams ("Teaming Up"), and the pro's and con's.

So it was interesting to me, during my most recent listing presentation (they hired me), to hear my now-client express a strong preference not to work with a(nother) real estate team.

Their reason(s)?

On their previous deal, they never seemed to talk to the same person twice, and nobody seemed to know what was going on with their transaction.

One vs. Many

Of course, not all real estate teams are chaotic or unwieldy.

But as someone who operates "solo" (kind of -- see next), I can assure my clients, honestly, that if they hire me . . . they get me.

That means I'm the one who walks them through the Seller disclosures; analyzes the Comp's and helps fine-tune the list price; prepares the marketing materials; instructs the photographer; debriefs other Realtors after showings; hosts the Broker Open and most (if not all) of the Sunday open houses, etc., etc.

In brief, I always know what's going on, and my client(s) will have exactly one point of contact.

Not Really Solo

Of course, it's also the case that, through my association with Edina Realty, I actually have a huge organization of professionals supporting me (sort of like the Sprint network, pictured above).

That includes a superb office manager, Josh Kaplan; an outstanding front desk and OA (Office Administrator); Edina's knowledgeable legal department; great tech support, etc.

And although I don't refer to them as "team members," I have also developed a circle of expert stagers, photographers, and desktop publishers that I regularly work with.

Down Time

So don't I ever take a vacation?

Not often enough, but yes, I do take off an average of 2-3 weeks a year, usually a long weekend at a time.

Who covers for me then?

Like other veteran Realtors, I'll typically "trade" coverage with another colleague for those things -- like doing a showing -- that can't be done remotely.

In return for their backstopping me when I'm out of town, I'll do the same for them.

Virtual Real Estate

But the surprise the last several years is, thanks to technology ("Look Ma! No Hands!"), how many modern real estate tasks can be done remotely ("virtually").

Even when I'm out of town, I'll regularly scan MLS for new listings that meet my (Buyer) clients' criteria, and won't hesitate to email them if something promising pops up (I'm actually not such a fan of searches that automatically email clients directly -- I like to weed out the "chaff" first).

It's also the case that, for something critical like fielding or negotiating an offer, my clients know that I'm never more than a phone call away.

P.S.: it's accepted real estate wisdom that the best way to sell a property is to head for the airport on vacation.

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