Video…You Make Me Feel Like a Na-k-ed Woman (thanks Carol King)

When I was a kid, I knew all the words to every song on Carol King’s album Tapestry.   Tapestry won the Grammy for best album in 1972. It is one of the best selling albums of all time. And at 9 years old, I knew every word to every song…not just the biggest hit, I Feel the Earth Move, but the words to Tapestry and Smackwater Jack too.

It must have been in 1971 that my parents gave me a Panasonic tape recorder and microphone for Christmas.

I remember the day I took my tape recorder up to my bedroom. I put Tapestry on the record player, plugged my headphones into the receiver and  pressed “record” on my Panasonic.  As Carol sang in my ears, I sang into my microphone.  I belted out the words…

“I feel the earth-move-under my feet, I feel the sky tum-b-ling down, tum-b-ling down,

I feel my heart start to trem-b-ling whenever you’re around.”

I sang right along with Carol. Our recording session didn’t end until we finished every song, sides one and two. We started with I Feel the Earth Move and I didn’t press stop until we made it through the last note of You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman. With our similar alto voices, I was sure you wouldn’t be able to tell us apart.

Until I played it back.

OMG.  I sounded nothing like Carol King.  Awful is an understatement.  What was I thinking?? I was horrified. The horrible sounds from that playback have been heard by no other ears than my own, and yet I actually feel embarrassed for myself just thinking about it. It was at that moment, at just 9 years old, I knew I would never, ever, ever have my voice recorded again.

Or so I thought.

The demands of a real estate agent are ever changing and growing. It’s not enough to have market expertise, it’s not enough to just know how to do the job. “Doing the job” is changing all the time, and an agent has to keep up.

Assisting sellers with the sale of their home and marketing that home demand that the agent keep up with the demands and habits of the buyer consumer. Where are buyers looking? What mediums do they prefer? What information do they want? When marketing a home for sale, a wide net needs to be cast, a multitude of mediums and venues must be considered.

You Tube is now the world’s second largest search engine.  You Tube is transforming the way information is searched for on the web. The statistics are astounding. I read somewhere that there are something like 6 billion hours of video viewed every month. Real estate agents must respond, our marketing must consider and embrace this reality.

So…what am I thinkin’? I’m thinking video.

Property videos are not commonplace in my neck of the woods, but I believe they’re coming.  Property videos are becoming more popular among buyer consumers. Photos, even professionally photographed, great photos are not enough. A photo slide show set to music, well that’s not video. Buyers want to walk through a house, get a sense of the ‘feel” of the property…and they want this before they make their first appointment.

So…from here on out…I’m doing video. I’m breaking that promise I made to myself at 9 years old. I don’t like the sound of my recorded voice, but so long as I don’t sing, maybe I’ll be alright. For now, they won’t be big productions,  no major equipment used. My Iphone is as easy to use as that Panasonic tape recorder. I’m a little nervous. Getting in front of a camera (even if it’s just an iphone) won’t be easy…it’s almost like being naked. And for me, it does bring back that  really, really, embarasseningly  bad memory of my Carol King wannabe voice.

I made my first attempt. It’s not perfect. (I forgot to shoot the bedrooms)…the camera work is a little shaky…it’s almost as if…”I feel the earth move under my feet…” Don’t worry, I’ve spared you that….

There you have it.

Here’s my advice…

For sellers:  Video may not be the be all to end all yet. But hiring an agent that’s keeping up with the ever changing demands of today’s buyers is important. Choose an agent that’s up to the task.

For my fellow real estate agents:  To those that are already rocking it with video, thanks for the nudge!  And for those that haven’t tried it yet: You don’t have to be able to sing like Carol King…just grab your Iphone and press record…we can do this!

Had an “I love my job” week

 
I had an “I love my job” week in real estate this week.

 
I got a new listing, sold one of my listings and had a buyer sale. That’s a good week. Selling houses means the promise of future paychecks and that’s a good thing. But a new listing, selling a listing and a buyer sale in and of itself isn’t what made it an I love my job week.

 
What made it an I love my job week was…Anna, Linda, and Joe and Britany…

 
This week I met Anna. I was interviewed and hired by Anna’s son Bob a couple of weeks ago. This week I was meeting Bob at the townhouse to have the photographs taken and to sign the listing paperwork. The townhouse belongs to Anna so she was there. Anna is 90 years old, born in 1923. Anna has moved to an assisted living community, she can’t really live on her own anymore, so she is sadly selling her beautiful townhome. Her age, her pretty white hair, the unsteadiness in her hands, as she signed the paperwork in that perfect handwriting you just don’t see anymore, the vulnerability of her demeanor…Anna moved me and I liked being near her. The townhouse is lovely and it will sell, but Anna was beautiful and getting to spend just that little bit of time with her…that was an I love my job thing.

 
The listing I sold is a house that’s been on the market for what seems like forever. The house belongs to Linda, it’s the family home; it’s her inheritance. Linda lives in Kentucky,  her husband is in Wisconsin where he was transferred over a year ago. The house selling means that she and her family can buy a house in Wisconsin and be together again. It’s been a long and difficult time for her and I am so happy that her wait is almost over. Listing sold…great. Seeing Linda get to finally be on her way…that’s an I love my job thing.

 
And then, just moments ago, I heard from the listing agent that the offer my buyers made on a house this week has been accepted. My buyers are Joe and Britany. They are a super sweet couple; been married for six years and are so ready to start a family. And they want the family they start to be close to Britany’s family…not 45 minutes away let’s make a plan for Sunday close, no, they want to be coffee close, stop by close. Showing them houses has been a family affair. Sometimes Britany’s mom and dad have come along; sometimes brother Ryan and his wife Kate have popped in to check out the house too. And whenever they all see one another, there’s handshakes and hugs all around.  Their affection for one another fills a room. They are all really good people so working with Joe and Britany has been a pleasure. And now they have a house! The house needs all kinds of updating: There’s wallpaper and paneling everywhere, bathrooms need to be updated, and the kitchen has awful fluorescent lighting that’s gotta go…and yet it’s perfect. Sold a house…great. Joe and Britany being over the moon happy and 60 days away from coffee-close…that’s an I love my job thing.

Definitely an I love my job week.

Happy Friday!

 

Top 10 Reasons I Love My Job

With the spring market underway, my days have been long…working from sun up to past sundown, each morning passing a quickly accumulating pile of laundry as I walk out the door, and coming home at the end of long days with my personal to do’s left undone. I’ve not been out with friends, or gone to the show in quite a long time. There’s an ebb and flow to working in real estate…this is a “flow” time of year. So for now at least, it seems that “work” is all I do.

And yet, I’m happy. I won’t go as far as to say, as the expression goes, find a job you love and you won’t work a day in your life.  It’s work, but I do love my job.

Most people have long days, and work really really, hard and yet not everyone has a job they love, not everyone is lucky enough to be happy in their careers. I was just thinking about this the other day, when lo and behold, Forbes publishes an article that says real estate agents are among the happiest in their careers. Who would have guessed? You can check it out here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/22/the-happiest-and-unhappiest-jobs-in-america/work

The article sites a study that was done that “scored” a variety of factors that affect workplace happiness: one’s relationship with their boss and co-workers, work environment, compensation, growth opportunities, control over the work one does on a daily basis and others.

There’s truth in the “happiness” factors though they aren’t things I’ve “scored” or even conciously thought about. But because of the article, I have thought about it. Forbes and its study had their happiness factors, and I have mine. With maybe some overlap…here are the top 10 reasons I love my job.

1. People and their stories.

Everyone has a story, and each one fascinates me. It’s the people I meet, that I would otherwise not have known, and the life stories they share with me that I love, love, love the most about my job.

2. Each day it’s something new.

Sure there are regular tasks but every day brings a different combination of things. New people, new properties, new obstacles to get past…no two days are ever the same.

3. You never stop learning.

While it can be intimidating to not have an answer for everything, as someone that loves learning, my job provides a smorgashboard of things to learn.   Market trends, new technologies, social media and the things that just pop up in every deal, means there’s always something to learn.

4. Real Estate Agents are a hoot…and I get to hang out with them everyday.

I think real estate agents get a bad rap. We’re mostly  genuinely good people.  While we may be in competition with one another we’re generally a pretty try to be helpful to one another bunch, we’re fun and funny…a real estate office is a great place to work. At least mine is.

5. A chance to do good.

Moving is high on the list of stressful things to do, so when I’m able to ease  stress and burden for my clients and to help them get where they want to go, it feels good.

6. You can let your freedom flag fly.

There are laws to obey and rules to follow as a real estate agent but there’s also plenty or room to run your business as you like. I’m my own brand, so I’m free to be me.

7. You get to solve mysteries.

He likes newer construction, she’s drawn to vintage homes…what house will we find that they will agree on? It starts as a mystery, but you get to help solve it…and always do! Solving mysteries is one of the more fun things I do.

8.Outlet for Creativity

I’m not artistic, but I like that my job provides an outlet for creativity…brochures, choosing the right photos, listing verbage, writing a blog…they all sort of scratch the creative itch.

9. You won’t get fired or layed off. 

Starting up, building business, surviving downturns…none of that comes easy…on the contrary…it’s really, really hard (at least it was/is for me). But if you can do it, you can make a decent living…and no one can take your job away. I like that.

10. I do love houses.

Any agent will admit, liking people and houses is not reason enough to do this job. Liking people and houses is only the tip of the iceberg! But with that said, I do love houses. Old houses and new houses, dated houses and rehabbed houses, big houses and small houses. I do love houses.

So…those are the top ten reasons this” happiest in their careers” agent loves her job.  Would welcome hearing why you love yours….