Should REALTORS® Actually Know the Areas They Sell?

By
Real Estate Agent with Dockside Realty

One of the tenets of being a professional REALTOR® is knowing your market.

How can someone possibly help their client buy a property in an area that is unknown to them 75-100 miles away in a very different environment?

I often ask myself this question when I receive calls from agents some distance away asking for information on property here at Lake Anna.  They have never been here and yet plan to work with clients interested in buying at the lake. 

One day I received a request from an assistant to a "high producing" Northern Virginia agent.  I was asked Lake Anna - Photo by Kate Elimto do a CMA for Lake Anna.  Lake Anna is 17 miles long with over 250 miles of shoreline and pproximately 120 subdivisions.  We sell waterfront homes, water view homes, access homes, waterfront lots, water view lots, and water access lots with or without assigned boat slips.

Would you like to do such a Comparative Market Analysis?  Would it tell you very much?  Would you be able to help your clients with this information?

I suggested to the assistant that I would be very happy to accept a referral.  That seemed like the logical step to me.  The assistant said the agent preferred to work with her own client.

Who's best interest was paramount on that agent's mind?

When I first became an agent I worked in Northern Virginia.  I had been living there for several years and there was still quite a learning curve getting to know the area.  It is huge.  My office was located in what is known as inside the beltway, fairly close to D.C.  It was the area where many people chose to start their search for a home.  At that time most of the jobs where in D.C. or close in.  Little by little we would venture further out when they realized they were able to buy much more home for the money.

After moving to Lake Anna I experienced another learning curve.  This time I had to learn about the lake.  Lake Anna has it's own story.  Then I had to learn about surveys, septic systems (alternative and conventional), about wells (drilled and bored), the building permit process, and other things that were more unique to Lake Anna.  Just getting to know where the nearest towns and shopping areas were as well as medical resources and schools took some time.

There definitely is a case to be made for referrals and they do not necessarily have to be just across state lines or outside a MLS.

Do you provide the best service for your clients even when that may mean not working with them? 

Please think about that the next time someone tells you they are interested in an area you do not know.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to Lake Anna - Photo by Kate ElimIf you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling property at or near Lake Anna, Virginia please contact Kathleen "Kate" Elim, REALTOR®.

Kate lives at Lake Anna, knows Lake Anna, loves Lake Anna, and specializes in Lake Anna area real estate. 

Contact Kate at 540-226-1964 or lakeanna.kate@gmail.com. Be sure to check Kate's Web site http://lakeannacountry.com/.

Copyright © 2008 By Kathleen "Kate" Elim, All Rights Reserved. *Should REALTORS® Actually Know the Areas They Sell?*.

 

 

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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Location:
Virginia Spotsylvania County Spotsylvania Lake Anna
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Ambassador
470,881
Kate Elim
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land at LA
Dockside Realty

Holly...I am sure you received the help you needed to find the right place.  Good decision.

AJ...That's right.  No one benefits when we aren't able to do a proper job.

Tammy...Glad to hear you live on a lake also.  You understand exactly what I mean.

Tony & Libby...Thanks.

Joan...Makes you wonder how those agents can expect free services like that from fellow agents.  I'm sure you disclose to your clients the areas you know the best and which ones you don't.

Trish...I've had concerns about appraisers also.  Not all of them understand waterfront/water access property and the values.

Pat...I'm glad to hear that you are feeling much more knowledgeable and comfortable with your new location.

Charles...Thanks, Friend.

Kate

January 11, 2009 08:18 PM
Ambassador
470,881
Kate Elim
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land at LA
Dockside Realty

Brenda...You're doing the smart thing.

Missy...It is a shame that it seems to be happening all over the place.

Martha...Smart choice.  It doesn't feel good when you are trying to be an expert in an area where you are not.

Carole...Hope that person took your advice.  They will be much better off with a local agent.

Cynthia...We all feel so much better when we really know what we are doing.

Cindy...Our reputation is the best thing we have going for us.  Knowing what we are doing makes a difference.

Regina...So that's what is happening in California.  You will probably find some agents drifting out of their area of expertise.

Steven...It is what we owe the buyers and ourselves.

Adam...Make the most of the area you know and understand and people will want to work with you.

Jason...You have the right idea.

Eunice...I will be sure to think of you in return.

Kate

January 11, 2009 09:03 PM
Ambassador
470,881
Kate Elim
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land at LA
Dockside Realty

Gayle...That may work for you and I sure do not know how many square miles there are in eastern Tennessee but few agents would believe they are experts in that much territory.  It must take a considerable amount of time to cover that area.

Dawn...I think it may be easier to list out of your area simply because you can do a CMA that gives you a feel for that neighborhood, etc.

Deb...Should I worry that I understood what you said???

Scott...Yes, we do want our listings to sell, however, I would rather the "distance" agents would refer their clients to agents that know more about the area.

Tim...In Atlanta 15 miles probably does cover a lot of territory.

Leesa...It is best to work where we are the local experts whether it is part of a county, the whole county or a couple of them.   We just need to be honest with ourselves and our clients.

Lenn...Thanks and I hope you catch some whoppers down here.  Enjoy!

Kate

January 11, 2009 09:27 PM
Ambassador
470,881
Kate Elim
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land at LA
Dockside Realty

Brian...I appreciate your vote of confidence.  Fortunately you seem to have plenty of business in Northern Virginia.

Caren...You are exactly right about the waterfront values.  I lived in Kent, OH for years.  Which lake are you referring to?

Kelly...That agent had no idea what they were asking for which convinced me they shouldn't even be thinking of doing any work in this area.

Michele...We have agents near state borders that work in more than one state.  As long as they learn what they need to know it can work.

Sandy...I would think that is especially difficult in a heavily populated area such as Brevard County.  Where I am, the counties are quite rural and not heavily populated.  The lake I live on is on the border of two counties.  The line runs down the middle of the lake.

Karen...You are so right.  There are nuances that some people would not understand.

Mary...Farm property is another specialty with its own complexities.  Not all of us know how to sell this type of property. 

James...That's right, all real estate is not alike. 

David...Smart move.  Hopefully they all refer back to you.

Jane...That's doing the right thing for you and your clients.

Loreena...When you are you doing a much better job.  How could you not feel better also.

Kate

January 11, 2009 09:51 PM
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470,881
Kate Elim
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land at LA
Dockside Realty

Cindy...I really appreciate that.

Andrea...It does reflect badly on our profession when agents provide substandard service.

Amy...The main reason I did not do a CMA is because we sell waterfront land and homes, water access homes and land, water view homes and land, we're talking about a few CMAs not one.  It simply made me realize the agent had no idea what she was asking for and I wasn't about to do a huge tutorial when she really should be referring her client.  It didn't really matter to me if she referred to me or someone else.   Referral was what was called for in that case.

Tim...I'm sure the distances vary from location to location.  We only need to be mindful that we can not do it all.  We are very fortunate to have a referral mechanism.

Georgina...The important thing is to do what you do well.  Your reputation is what counts.  Hopefully you receive referrals from those in other parts of Maui.

Gabrielle...One thing we do not need is to be out of our element.  There's so much comfort when working in our area of expertise.

Karen...Anyone that has looked at your posts will understand that you know Lake Ridge.  No doubt about it.

Kate

January 11, 2009 10:06 PM
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Additional Information

Kathleen "Kate" Elim
Dockside Realty
4634 Courthouse Road
Mineral , VA , 23117 United States
540-226-1964

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