Lana Swanson

Not Your Mother’s Real Estate

January 20th, 2010

I became a realtor over 20 years ago. I had always had admiration for realtors and was
under the impression that realtors were extremely smart. They had a language all their
own and they were so knowledgeable about things that seemed important to almost
everyone. Let’s face it most people live somewhere and in most cases they have to pay for this privilege of living somewhere.

Life was easier back then. You would put your home on the market, people came to see it and eventually you negotiated a contract. You had no idea what the realtor was doing. The only time you saw the realtor was at the listing appointment and at the contract presentation. As a matter of fact the real estate world was made up a community of a handful of very successful people. If you lived in a particular neighborhood there was most likely a realtor who was well known in that neighborhood.

I was so taken by the world of real estate that when I met my now husband we both
decided to throw our businesses into the wind and go into real estate. We immediately signed up for the course, passed the test and looked for a company. My husband, who owned a pest control and roofing company for years decided to develop the home inspection business aspect of real estate (www.waltoninspection.com). I had owned a very successful manufacturing/retail business with 35 employees, three retail stores and a factory. I sold everything and began selling homes. Interestingly enough I could take all of my business acumen and apply it to real estate. Something I did not see many of the then sales associates doing at the time. But still, life was much simpler 20 years ago.

Today life is very different. My parents would not recognize the way business is
conducted. Even the terminology that I was so impressed with is totally different: “Short
Sales”, “loan modifications”, “seller contribution” — what happened to “here’s my money — ok here’s my house?”. Before “Andrew” as it has affectionately become known, as the motto in life was: first born, second wife, third realtor… simple. After Andrew it was
find me a home NOW. Now who knows what it is. I have cash …. good luck. I owe
$500,000 and my home is worth $300,000. I want the first time home owner’s program
but I can’t find a home. Foreclosure is no longer a dirty word. Banks are no longer your best friend.

So basically what does all this mean today? It means if you are a buyer or seller in real estate you better do your homework. You no longer choose the realtor with the best outfit, the prettiest picture, the one who lives in your neighborhood …. you choose the savvy realtor. You choose the one with strong business and negotiation skills and the one who knows who to find their way around the banks. This is the time for survival of the fittest. Make sure you choose the fittest in this industry.

Lana Swanson
Lana Swanson
Coldwell Banker