All Sacramento Real Estate Agents Are Not the Same

Fair Housing DiversityJoining the ranks of Sacramento real estate agents and selling real estate in Sacramento was never an industry that I set out to find nor really considered as a career. It was not plucked out of the clear blue sky, either. I fell into the business by accident but it’s almost like it was planned. It was a gradual thing. First, in the early 1970s, I needed a job. Unlike today’s kids, I wasn’t living at home, and I didn’t want to sleep on the street, so getting a job sounded like the best idea yet. I went back to college, and took a full-time job as a title policy typist. That job drove me insane.

I couldn’t stand it. Sitting in front of a typewriter for 8 hours a day pecking away, inserting little bits of carbon paper to fix my mistakes, typing the same thing over and over. It made me want to scream and rip out my hair, but I sat in my chair, kicked off my 6-inch heels and massaged my nylon-clad feet. I could recite a Schedule B of an ALTA title insurance policy by heart. Eventually, after delivering an ultimatum, I was promoted to title searcher, moved up the ladder again to escrow officer, then became a certified escrow officer who specialized in creative financing and tax-deferred 1031 Exchanges.

One crazy day in the late 1970s, I looked up from my messy desk into the eyes of a doofus agent sitting before me who was whining about his buyer not qualifying anymore because Downey Savings and Loan raised the interest rate on his buyer’s loan, and I realized I could do a better job than this joker, earn substantially more money and not have to work for the Man (i.e. corporate environment, for those of you born after 1985).

New clients asked me yesterday for the secret to my success over the last 40 years. They sort of hit me off guard because I wasn’t expecting that question. Mrs. Seller shared with me that she is a psychotherapist and is thinking about getting her real estate license. That sounds like an excellent idea to me, I replied. Because then she could counsel clients properly:

  • You know why you’re so stressed out? Because you need to buy a house.
  • Or, kids driving you nuts? You need a tri-level so you can stick them on all the third floor.
  • Or, you know what your problem is? You need a four-car garage.

I always wonder why other people go into real estate. Most of us have had another career and either got sick of it or were fired, or maybe I should use the correct term, downsized. Very few people, I suspect, looked around at a tender young age and said, you know, real estate is the place for me to be. Very few people evolved into a real estate agent like I did. It was such an obvious path for me to follow, like Darwinism. There is nothing better than being a real estate agent. Well, I could own a company, but I’ve done that, and I prefer selling real estate. I’m very comfortable with my career, and that makes me confident. Confidence brings me clients.

Plus, I answer my darned phone. I guess I’m successful because I am careful where I spend my time, because my time needs to be spent on clients. My focus is not on “prospects.” I talked with a seller yesterday from Fair Oaks who is interviewing 4 or 5 agents, including an agent who initially sold her the home as her buyer’s agent, but is not a strong listing agent. I pulled that agent’s production in MLS and he listed 3 homes over the past year and a half or so and sold 3 homes, and that low production didn’t seem to faze the seller. The seller said her reason for interviewing an enormously large number of agents is to get different appraisals.

I explained why that approach was not exactly useful because it only encouraged agents to come up with higher and higher numbers in hopes of getting hired. Did I see value in plucking 2 to 3 hours out of my day to prepare a presentation, go to her home in Fair Oaks and talk about selling that entry-level home so she could hire the agent she probably has decided that she already wants to hire — which does not take into consideration performance standards, service excellence, negotiation skills, experience level nor even competence?

All agents are not the same. I will fight to the death for my clients. I don’t feel that way about prospects.

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