People from all walks of life enter the real estate profession - college kids, housewives, stockbrokers, attorneys - all for different reasons, and all with different goals.
Experience, knowledge, professionalism and communication are the things that both buyers and sellers most look for when selecting a realtor.
A Realtor’s Life
There are some common misconceptions about the real estate industry circulated by both the consumer and those who choose to join our ranks.
Surprisingly, agents that don’t communicate effectively or in a timely manner is one of the most frequently cited consumer complaints.
In the “I want it now” society in which we live today, most consumers expect instant gratification. Whether it is 7 a.m. or 11 p.m., if a realtor doesn’t answer his or her phone on the second ring, many people will simply dial until someone answers.
As realtors, we check our email at 6 a.m. when we wake up and often make sure we’ve left nothing to chance the moment before we turn the light out at night. Working on weekends, holidays and after-hours? Yup.
We are a customer-service industry that is backed by experience, knowledge and negotiation skills. Our job includes aspects of psychology, engineering, general contracting, pest control, financial analysis, marketing, IT experience and, frequently, marriage counseling.
The art of the deal is understanding. Who is your client? I mean, really, who
are they? What are their particular needs, hobbies, activities and professions? What are the actual housing needs, preferences, hopes and wishes?
Finding the balance between suitability, affordability and location while meeting the emotional and practical needs of our clients is the essence of practicing in the real estate profession.
Anyone can open a door, but opening the right door is what differentiates a professional realtor from the rest.
Putting In The Time And The Work
It might surprise you to know that, according to the National Association of Realtors®, 51 percent of home buyers find their home on the internet before they ever speak to a broker. On average, it takes 12-18 months from the point of registration for an internet consumer to purchase a home. Of those that take the time to register through a consumer-facing website, the average realtor will produce a closed transaction one out of a hundred times.
If we assume that an agent procures 100 internet registrations per month, each with a 12-18-month cycle and at a conversion rate of one percent ... do you see where I am going with this? A realtor must also remain ferocious about maintaining meaningful contact with thousands of people who may never buy a house!
Our team averages about 400 new “leads” per month and we currently have an active database of nearly 10,000 consumers who may buy a house sometime
in the foreseeable future. Last spring, we helped a family that had been active in our database for nearly five years!
Whether you’re considering your first home purchase or your last, whether you have a $200,000 or a $2,000,000 budget, there will be compromise, negotiation, frustration and challenges. The real estate journey is not for the faint of heart nor for the uninitiated. Make sure you hire a professional, check him or her out and ensure that person has a servant heart, savage negotiation skills and takes the time to understand their client. Our job is to be proactive, a facilitator and the calm in the storm.
Kirk Pugh is a 25-year hospitality professional turned real estate broker. Licensed since 2009, together with his partners Becky Brown and Tyson Emery, they own and operate the KBT Realty Team, a division of Keller Williams Realty. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Kirk has been blessed to live in some amazing places during the course of his career and has called Wilmington home since 2001.
“Seek first to understand before being understood" is one of the more recent quotes on Kirk's list of favorites. Understanding his clients, who they are, how they live and where they are in life’s journey is most important in determining how he can meet their needs.
• Past Board Member of the Coastal Carolina Real Estate Investors Association
• Sixteen years of immersive local real estate knowledge
• Attend Port City Community Church
• Volunteer Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity
• Access Wilmington
• American Heart Association
• Avid Tennis Player
• Consumer of fine wine
Kirk makes his home in Landfall with his wife Janine, my step-children Ryan and Samantha, and his son, Austin. Their two dogs and three bunnies allow us to stay there with them.