How to Rely on Creative Problem Solving for Sacramento Real Estate
Creative problem solving can’t really be taught in schools or silly seminars, you’ve either got the ability or you don’t. If you have the ability, it can be developed and refined, but if you don’t have the ability to employ creative problem solving, then your next best bet is to align yourself with somebody who does. It’s especially helpful to have this ability when you’re selling Sacramento real estate, because no two situations are ever identical.
If I were to try to teach another agent, though, how to hone in on creative problem solving, I would begin with exercises. You know, set up a fictional situation and then ask for solutions, see how many different types of approaches the agent can come up with. First, one identifies the players: their strengths and weaknesses; next the final outcome desired. What is left over in the middle is how you do it. It’s called critical thinking. It’s like those diagrams with lines and arrows predicting outcomes: if you do A and B then proceed to C, unless you do B without A, then go to E.
I realize this sounds overly simplistic to many but many complicated things appear simple when they are broken down into separate components and analyzed. I’ll give you an example. Say a seller has moved out of state and a buyer’s agent goes over to check on the house and make sure it is ready for an appraisal. Perhaps she discovers the key won’t open the door. That’s a common scenario with keys and it happens a lot. One thing I always do when given a set of keys is lock the door, insert the key into the lock and turn to make sure the key works. Then I place the keys into the lockbox. So, when an agent calls to say the key doesn’t work, I can pretty much figure the odds are it is operator error.
Unless it is not. When construction crews have been into the home to make repairs after squatters broke in and vandalized the place, though, the odds of operator error go way down. I left the buyer’s agent a voice mail message and suggested she give it the old college try, but if the keys don’t work, then she has my permission to call a locksmith and change the locks. I called the seller and asked if the keys had been changed. Not to the seller’s knowledge. But the seller was perfectly OK with changing the locks, anything to get the transaction closed.
The agent called back and left me a voice mail saying she did not own the home and did not feel comfortable changing the locks. She wondered if the seller had other keys. This is where creative problem solving comes in. I called the agent, got her in person this time, and relayed the conversation I had had with the seller. It went something like this: I told the seller that the buyer’s agent is one of those agents who needs to follow all the rules and will not change the locks, so you might have to drive a couple hundred miles to change the locks yourself . . . when the buyer’s agent cut me off and said she would gladly change the locks. Could I recommend a locksmith? You betcha.
See, nobody wants to be accused of always following the rules. Nobody wants to be a pansy. There is getting the job done and there is following the rules. Sometimes you’ve got to focus on getting the job done. If you need a creative Sacramento REALTOR who solves problems daily, you can call me anytime, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916.233.6759. I answer my phone.