We spent some time down at ‘the coast’ last week. I tried to shut off work and play defense for a bit. Of course, that’s always a challenge when in the midst of two contract negotiations. But alas, we had a good time. Relaxed. Got plenty of sun and took a number of strolls on the beach.
This was Collin’s first time. But Maddy, she’s an old pro. We took her for the first time at 18 months and this, I believe, was her 4th trip to the beach.
I wrote about the last one here.
Without a doubt though, her favorite thing to do is to search for and collect seashells. At first pass, it seems, just about any small, plain, white cockle shell will do. Tossed into the bucket without a second thought. The novelty of simply being on the beach, not yet worn off.
But as the week continues, the quest changes. Each morning … each subsequent trip down to the sand … it becomes a hunt to see if something unique has washed ashore.
Something different, amongst the sea of uniformity.
Having since combed through dozens of similar shells, one’s eye becomes trained to spot a conch, a king’s crown or even a sand dollar. Something with ‘wow-factor. Something worthy of hauling back home.
And as I watched the kids scurry about the beach collecting shells and as they whittled it down to the 10 shells that each would take with them, I couldn’t help but draw lines of parallel to something that I witness on a daily basis.
You see, at any given time, I have a dozen or so “property searches” open. Some for myself, to monitor segments of the market. Others, for clients who are searching for something specific.
As I flick through the listing inventory, I see many of the same things. Fundamental mistakes.
Listings tossed on the market at a moment’s notice and without a second thought … Crummy, dark or sideways photos … awful or nonexistent staging … poorly written property descriptions … and incorrect information.
Listing agents picking up and putting out plain, white, tattered shells just to make sure their bucket is full. Taking a “let the market do the work” approach — adopted either through inexperience, apathy or conditioning.
Every so often though — maybe once or twice a week — I’ll come across a new listing that stands on its own. Like the one we had on Silvermine Drive, where cars were lined up down the block, on the first day of showings.
A friend of mine often uses the analogy of “dog, dog, zebra.” You’re walking down the street and you see a dog darting between two houses. You don’t give it a moment’s thought. You may not even notice.
But a zebra, on the other hand, grazing someone’s front yard … now that is sight to behold. And that is the same mentality that we take when coaching our clients.
Our approach, different than the norm.
While almost all real estate agents are taught to fixate on a price-driven approach … to dwell on the price of the home down the street or what the neighbor’s house sold for … instead, my team and I choose to focus on ways to help homeowners extract extra (sometime hidden) profit from the sale of their homes. A true differentiation strategy.
In other words, we help them find their stripes.
Because chances are each buyer that comes through the house has probably already combed through dozens of listings — maybe even looked at 5–6 others.
And we want our listings to be the ones that are sorted into the keeper pile. Ones that buyers are excited to take home. Proud to make home.
In our business, we focus on working with quality shells because the last place we want our clients to end up is back in the ocean.
Amongst the sea of uniformity.
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