It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks of our jobs and forget that our real estate clients are relying on us to shepherd them through a complicated, emotional and sometimes stressful, transaction. Wait…transaction? Yes, it’s a transaction. We are managing many at one time at many different points in the timeline. Lots of balls in the air. But to our buyers and sellers, it is NOT a transaction. It’s their HOME. The most significant thing we own.
We believe that keeping up with what is happening in our real estate industry, which is finally coming into the 21st century, is important. It allows us to educate our clients, collaborate with our colleagues, and simply be informed with what’s happening in our profession. Recently, the founder and owner of Inman News, Brad Inman, our source for all things real estate, published a reminder to his readers about the importance of our role in the largest purchase a person will make, their home.
As I tried to read Brad’s sentiments out loud to Rick that morning and I couldn’t make it through it without crying. It reminded me why I chose this profession and why I love it so much. I’d like to share with you Brad’s beautiful reminder of what our homes truly are…
“A home is the most significant thing that we own. It is not merely an investment like a stock or a bond and not a depreciating asset like a car or a boat. A home does not have a limited useful life, and it does not become a fad that we can live without.
Homes are where we feast, enjoy and grow and where we experience the most exciting and sometimes troubling events in our lives. They are something we pass down, something we treasure, protect and care for. They are the coveted place where our friends and family gather. At home, we can say and do what we want. We can dance naked in the living room, sob uncontrollably in the kitchen or sing an operetta at the top of our lungs in the foyer.
To invade the privacy of our homes, law enforcement must present an airtight case to get a search warrant. Outside of our homes, personal privacy has been compromised. We are tracked by video networks, and facial recognition software identifies us. On average, American citizens are caught on camera 75 times a day, according to one estimate.
And with a smartphone, any stranger can snap a video of our actions. No doubt, new home technologies can also be invasive, but we have the power to prevent such intrusions in our homes, not elsewhere.
We walk down the street next to strangers and sit near people who we do not know in restaurants and cafes. At home, we only let people in who we trust and who we care about. They can crawl into our beds, blow off steam on the stoop, laugh loudly in the hallway and brew in the basement.
Since the beginning of humankind, like food and water, our very existence depends on the safety and security of our homes.”
Brad went on to remind us, as real estate agents, that we have an important role in this industry. As I said earlier, real estate is changing with light speed and it’s way overdue. As part of this evolution, some newer companies are selling services of “streamlining” the process to save sellers and buyers money by trying to remove the real estate agent from the transaction. This may sound like a good idea. But if you speak with most people who have bought a home, they will tell you they can’t imagine having done it without their Realtor® by their side.
You may or may not know, real estate agents are independent contractors or 1099’s as we fondly refer to it. We are self-employed. Yes, we hang our licenses with a brokerage, ours proudly with Compass, but we are responsible for our own healthcare, marketing, taxes etc. And, we do not get paid until the end of the transaction, after closing. Sometimes that can be a very short period of time like a month or two, and sometimes that can be years if it takes that long for a buyer to find a home. Or never if the buyer or seller changes their mind. I don’t believe there is any other industry that is like this. Many people think agents choose this profession to “get rich quick.” I invite you to spend a day with us before making that judgment.
Brad reminded me with his editorial that regardless of the challenges our industry faces, at the end of the day, we have made a career choice to help people – human beings – find their special place in the world. The sacred space where they will have security and peace. Thanks Brad. As this new decade begins, I am excited to continue to help everyone find their place in the world.