7 goals for the real estate community this year (as illustrated by Star Wars)

Here we go. It’s a brand new year. A blank slate. What will your life and business look like in 2016? I know we all have plans for the year ahead, so as January begins I wanted to pitch in some thoughts on potential goals for the real estate community. These are meant to be fun, helpful, and provocative, so take them for what they’re worth. I snapped some photos of Star Wars actions figures to help tell the story too. I’d love to hear your take in the comments below.

1)  Say Something Different About The Market:

strorm troopers - by sacramento appraisal blog

If you’re in the habit of saying the same thing about the market all year, consider studying the market carefully and adjusting what you say throughout the year. It’s easy for both agents and appraisers to fall into the trap of using the same stale phrases, but getting more specific about the way the market behaves tends to build credibility with clients.

2)  Make it About Connections on Social Media:

storm troopers on facebook - sacramento appraisal blog

Let’s be honest. One of the sins of the real estate community is too much self-promotion, and this comes across loudly on most social media platforms. It’s easy to treat Facebook, Twitter, and other spaces like the yellow pages where we simply broadcast our services. Yet social media is all about building connections and creating conversations. Think about how you can add value to people’s lives this year online while avoiding nauseating self-promotion. Maybe take a look at what you said last year too. Have people been engaging with what you are saying? If not, maybe it’s time to mix things up or get back to a focus on relationships.

3)  Speak Graciously About Neighborhoods:

sacramento appraisal blog - star wars blog post

This might feel a bit touchy to say, but I can’t tell you how many times I hear things like, “I would never live in this neighborhood,” or “I don’t know why anyone would ever buy here.” It’s easy in the real estate community to gloss over statements like this, but the truth is they come across a bit arrogant because they demean neighborhoods and residents. Why is that person buying there? Probably because that’s what the person can afford. Let’s respect that and find ways to speak graciously about places people call home (even if we really don’t like the area). I’m not saying to be fake, but only to find ways to speak more positively about communities instead of ragging on them. Remember, your next client might want to buy in one of these neighborhoods.

4)  Learn How to Make Quick Market Graphs:

Looking at market graphs strorm troopers - sacramento appraisal blog

If you don’t know how to make graphs, why not make that a goal this year? It sounds like a scary thing to learn, but it’s very doable (seriously), and frankly it’s a skill that can help propel your business and understanding of real estate to the next level. I have a brief tutorial here, but send me an email too for some other suggestions.

5)  Remember to Say “CO” instead of “CO2” Detector:

CO alarms in appraisal reports - star wars - sacramento appraisal blog

When it comes to talking about carbon monoxide detectors, this is an easy mistake to make, yet still very important to nail for the sake of sounding professional. Remember, “CO” stands for “Carbon Monoxide” (a dangerous gas), but “CO2” stands for “Carbon Dioxide” (what comes out of our mouths when we breathe). Here are 5 ways to remember the difference in case it’s relevant.

6)  Be Generous:

being generous in real estate - sacramento appraisal blog

A generous person is a rare find. Be known this year for altruism, compassion, and responding in care when people need something. Not only does it feel great to live a life focused on others, but it’s actually really good for business. People want to work with others who are great at what they do AND generous.

7)  Be Prepared for Real Estate “Bubble” Conversations:

the force - by sacramento appraisal blog

Values have risen dramatically in recent years, and many consumers are wondering about a real estate “bubble”. Whether we are in a bubble or not, it’s important for the real estate community to expect and navigate this conversation well. How will you answer your client’s questions this year when “bubbly” conversations arise? In case it’s helpful, here are some quick points to shine some perspective on the topic.

Interview with Channel 13: By the way, here is an interview I did with Channel 13 in Sacramento a few weeks ago. Check it out if you’d like below or HERE.

Happy New Year! May this be a wonderful and rich year of life and business.

Questions: Which one did you like best? What are a couple of your big or little goals this year? By the way, did you see the new Star Wars?

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  1. says

    All great stuff Ryan. To add to the CO discussion, people should say, “alarm” and not “detector”. Detectors are different than alarms and alarms are what appraisers look for and are what are required by law.

  2. says

    Thank you for the hard laughs and big smiles. Great analogies and I love your pictures. Though, pardon my critique but did you mention, “you don’t have to take out anyone, just because you disagree with their view point on the market trends.” *insert Hans Solo and his … son character, whom I am forgetting at the moment.* (I’m heading to the store to buy you Princess Leia and her daughter).

    • says

      And NOW Star Warts is following me on Twitter, after I tweeted this post. I am laughing even harder now. (By the way, my favorite hope is “talking nicer about neighborhoods” – really, we can control our words as professionals – you could be breaking someone’s heart – not cool). Love where you live, comes in different ways.

      • says

        That is so funny. I can only imagine what they tweet. I see there is an Emo Kylo Ren out there too. Thanks so much for sharing.

        Well said, Heather. I totally agree. We can and ought to control our words. After all, we are the only ones responsible for what comes out of our mouths. When we bestow respect on others and where they leave, it is just good on so many levels.

    • says

      Thanks Heather. Ha. I like that you mentioned that. There is certainly room for differences in explaining the market. Nobody has a monopoly on explaining the market, and nobodies methodology is going to work for every single person either. That’s the beauty of it.

      Funny that you mentioned Princess Leia and Rey. My wife told me yesterday there has been some merchandise coming out without them (which is really too bad). After she said that though, I told her I didn’t have either in my post. Doh! In truth, I do have a picture of Rey that I hoped to use, but it just didn’t turn out well enough. Next time. 🙂

    • says

      Thanks so much Bev. I appreciate it. My family loved the movie. It was so fun. I was thankful to have seen it before too many spoilers came my way too. I hope you can do the same (if you are even interested). Happy New Year!

  3. says

    I love this post Ryan, especially with the Star Wars theme. I saw this movie over Christmas break and it was awesome and true to the series. By the way, I really like #2 because it’s something we can all get caught up in. I think if we all work hard to provide value to others the business will come naturally. Thanks for making these types of discussions fun.

    • says

      Thank you, Tom. I’m so glad you liked the movie. We really loved it. My kids saw it in 3D the other day too (though I’m not a fan of 3D). I think you’re right about hard work and business coming our way. Having an agenda to provide value instead of getting business smells so much better. May we all do that in 2016!

  4. Emilie Barnes says

    Reminds me of a story my dad told me. He was an agent in Yuba City. His client was a field worker. They went to a house in the guy’s price range – it was not well kept. As they walked the floor boards creaked and swayed. The place was a mess. But my dad smiled at his client and asked, “What do you think?” The client smiled wide and said, “I love it!” Sale made -happy client.

      • Emilie Barnes says

        Exactly – Dad told me another story:
        A realtor was out all day with his clients showing them home after home. Nothing struck their fancy. Finally, there was just one other house he could think to show them, but he wanted to warn them first…
        “I have one more to show you, but you’ll need to use your imagination and look past the decorating. It’s pretty bad. I mean, the only taste these people have is in their mouths.”
        So they drive up and the agent steps out and starts to walk up to the house when he realizes his clients are still in the car. He walks back and pokes his head in the car and asks if there is a problem.
        “This is OUR house.”

        • says

          Yikes. That is a foot in mouth situation for sure. I’m guessing the agent got fired on the spot. Hopefully it was a valuable learning lesson. I didn’t know your Dad was an agent too (and in Yuba City).

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