As 2014 ends, my thoughts are naturally on an upcoming and exciting 2015. My number one goal every year on my goal list is always the same – professionalism. Every year should be exciting from a business perspective because it gives us a clean canvas to re-paint our business goals but most importantly, how we do and grow our business.
Let me take this a step further….. I see the biggest mistake companies in EVERY industry are making is putting less emphasis on professionalism aka, customer service. Customer service (overall) is getting absolutely horrible in every industry I can think of. Are there exceptions? ABSOLUTELY! So don’t come through your laptop, tablet or phone screen to strangle me. And we could go into incredible detail regarding companies that outsource their customer service departments but we don’t have the time here.
My favorite company for customer service? Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare and Gaylord (Michigan). Their customer service is off the charts! And my opinion is it is almost impossible to “teach” great customer service. You “hire” people with the heart, attitude and personality to support your goals of customer service. Jay’s does it better than anyone.
How does that relate to real estate? It really doesn’t but every time I stop at Jay’s, it reminds me that no matter how good we are, we can always do better in servicing our clients.
The flurry of 2014 has calmed, with the real estate market leveling to “more normal” levels. I have to be honest that I was getting a bit nervous this past summer as homes in certain communities were selling at a frantic pace and many WELL above list price with multiple offers. Many people love to see fast recoveries, but those of us that worked through and endured the market meltdown several years ago remember how dangerous a market “bubble” can be and I personally think we were headed there again. Fortunately (although many Sellers on the market right now may not agree and I certainly mean no offense) the feeding frenzy has subsided and it is getting a little easier and much less stressful for a Buyer to find a home. My idea of a “perfect” real estate market? Not a Seller’s market or a Buyer’s market, just a slow and steady value growth market which benefits Sellers, Buyers and the respective communities they live in. A market where listing Agents and selling Agents work cohesively to make the transaction a “win/win” for all involved. And a market where lenders give sound and ethical advice to their clients so their home purchase becomes an easily sustainable part of their retirement or investment savings.
Recently RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan projected the Top Real-Estate Trends for 2014. I completely agree with all points made in this article.
Demand is sky high due to a lack of homes available for sale and it continues to push prices higher. While so many people have complained that “mortgages are hard to get”, I just didn’t see that in 2013. Now I may be one of the few, but my clients ranged from $75,500 to $728,500 so my demographic is very broad and it isn’t like I was in a select market.
2014 is going to be an excellent year again for Sellers, our area values and for Buyers, but homes will be harder to find. Buyers have to be made aware that homes area a bit harder to find, but if they are patient we can find that perfect home for them! If you are a Seller and have been waiting for values & prices to come back, now is the time.