Hello to you all!
A new year is upon us all, a year that as usual promises new successes, the fulfillment of ambitions and dreams and, of course, a year in which our real estate project will come into being.
With the approach of the New Year, I thought I would give you all a small taste of one day in the life of a realtor. Just a regular day, no different from any other day I have experienced in the course of my 18 years as a realtor. It could have been any day; my inspiration came from Wednesday, two weeks ago.
A brief explanation: Apart from meetings with sellers, a significant part of the work is setting up coordinated activities with buyers. The heading is usually “Responding to Buyers and Presenting the Apartment.” Behind this innocent heading lies considerable activity. One visit to the property often requires many phone calls – confirmation, cancellation, cancellation and confirmation of a new date. With each visit, I arrive early, prepare the property for the visit, and prepare the tenants and myself for an encounter with the unknown: I come sharp and purposeful.
In addition, I invest considerable resources in advertising and marketing – what one might call “office work” – I like to call this “advertising activity”.
This relates to an entire system of subcontractors, some of whom are extremely expensive and who primarily make their living from real estate offices like my own;
National media – ‘Globes’, ‘TheMarker’, ‘Yediot Aharonot’; local newspapers – ‘Arim’, ‘Haluach Habatuach’.
Representatives of “Yad2”, and other publications, Signs manufactures, technicians who maintain the website of the company – technical support of Facebook, Google, B144, ZAP, video art, 3d professionals, etc.
All of these are recruited to advance the sale of properties under my care.
One Particular Wednesday
07:30 – Having finished my family morning responsibilities, I rushed to my office duties. The previous evening I sent the video editor 8 films I shot at a new property for sale that I had just received. He promised to send me the edited film the following day. There was already a message on my smartphone telling me I had an email. My computer was already impatient to let me know the bill for the film was waiting although there was no sign of the film itself. I left a message for the video editor and quickly set about updating photographs of the new property on the company website and on the Yad2 website – rather disappointed that I couldn’t yet upload the new video.
08:10 – Off to a meeting in the city. WAZE reports a 12 minute journey including a brief traffic jam, garbage truck, and a nice old man who was having a hard time parking in a particularly spacious spot.
An attempt to talk to the buyer I was supposed to meet was blocked by an annoying buzz – “call waiting.” Another attempt. Still call waiting. Niv Ruskin and the Galgalatz radio station broadcast for another 10 minutes. When I reached the address at 08:25, I again called my client to find out where she was. Her phone was closed and I was diverted straight to the answering machine. “She is probably trying to call me”, I thought. I went into the apartment, opened the shutters, the door to the verandah, even switched on the air conditioning and waited. It was 08:33. Our appointment time passed. I called again. A sleepy voice answered – “Who is it?” It’s Yaniv, I responded, “We set up a meeting yesterday to meet here at the garden apartment…” “Oh, good you called, I wanted to let you know that we’d prefer an apartment with a verandah on a higher floor…” I smiled to myself – getting annoyed so early in the morning was simply a shame.
08:40 – I switched off the air-conditioning in the apartment, closed the shutters, the doors, and went out to my car. I had time to reach the café where a pleasant young couple was waiting for me to tell them how to turn all their money – 180,000 NIS – into a sound pension fund in 30 years’ time. I enjoy these meetings; they give me a sense of really being able to help young people. According to the slogan – “live where you like and buy what you can afford”, I persuaded many to buy cheap apartments in modest neighborhoods and rent an apartment in more expensive areas that were in demand. “Beware of gigantic mortgages,” I warned them, and they listened. Did I say a boutique real estate office? I did indeed!
08:55 – I join the traffic, the phone rings from a blocked number: “It’s about the house in Ramat Hasharon.” “Certainly,” I answer, “Who am I speaking to?” “Someone,” came the hoarse voice at the other end. “Okay,” I answered, “does someone have a name?” –
“How much?” “6,750,000 NIS,” I answer resignedly, no point in trying to teach manners. “That’s a lot of money,” the voice grumbled. “Where did you see the ad?” I asked, “Yad-2.” “Wasn’t the price mentioned there?” “It was, I just wanted to ask.” And the telephone went dead without a goodbye. I recovered quickly. Ruskin signed off and the ads came on.
09:00 – I parked near the café. Set the ‘Pango’ parking meter. Got a table in a quiet corner and told the waitress we’d be three. At 09:13 the phone rang, “Well, are you on your way?” I asked genially. A worried voice said “We’re calling to let you know that we’re on our way to the doctor, our child has 37.9 fever, and I don’t want him to go to kindergarten. I am so sorry, another time.” The phone clicks. “Okay”. My schedule was free until 12:30 and I had a great deal of office work waiting for me. I apologized to the sleepy waitress and went back to the office.
09:30 – “About the ad in the newspaper…” They asked for an appointment to see the apartment. I sent a text to the owners of the property to coordinate a meeting and sat down at the computer.
I had to renew ads in “Yediot Aharonot” for the coming month. “How many ads this time?” asked the energetic secretary who was clearly under pressure from phone calls. “I have an offer for you – instead of 4 Tuesdays and 4 Fridays I can give you 2 Tuesdays and 6 Fridays for 360 NIS per apartment for a month… How many ads this time?” I was slightly confused by her pace and number of details. I tried to figure out how much I’d paid the previous time and for how many ads. I succeeded. I asked for a 5% discount and once the manager confirmed this, we agreed on a deal. Just to make sure, I immediately sent off an email confirming the wording of each relevant ad.
09:50 – I called “Globes.” “You have 42 ads left,” came the voice at the other end. “Great,” I answered, “that’s a lot isn’t it?” “Well,” she began, “every week you have 4 on a Tuesday and 4 on a Friday, so all in all you have a month. Better to renew before the holidays…” Okay, I thought. “What was our previous deal?” After she told me, I drank a great deal of cold water and asked for a 5% discount. Without anything to drink, not even water, she refused. “I’m the manager,” she chuckled. I paid and called TheMarker. Their ads are simple – once a week on Friday. And the price is consistent. I paid for more and relaxed. The ads would be sufficient until after the holidays.
10:30 – I’m still in the office. I munched on a large apple and updated the ads on the website, added photographs, updated texts, and spoke to two clients who wanted answers to various questions. My peaceful work was disturbed by a text: Pango subscriber + a personal reminder… the parking would end at 11:00. Oh no! This was the payment for the parking I had activated at 09:00 that morning…
By 12:00 I’d tidied up all sorts of loose ends, which included deciding to collaborate on the sale of a property with a polite realtor – we agreed to meet the next morning when I would show the apartment.
12:00 – Left for my noon appointment pertaining to a Tama 38 project. They needed a coordinator for all the various people involved and approached me to handle this. We sat down to a light meal and discussion until 15:00, setting down the principles of our collaboration, and parted with satisfaction on all sides. I went back to the office. At 16:00 I had a meeting with a buyer, Moshe, who was interested in buying an expensive house. The gap between him and the seller was significant, although not impossible to bridge.
Coffee, three short miles and two texts passed the time. I left.
15:50 – At the neighborhood café. The air-conditioned space was filled to overflowing. The cool space half-full and “outside” was empty.
Who could possibly sit outside in this weather? I sat down in the covered cool area and waited for a waitress. When she appeared I asked for a place inside when one became available. I ordered a soda and she disappeared. At 16:15 Moshe arrived, damp, sweating and panting, “Sorry I’m late, I couldn’t get out of my meeting.” “Order a soda, we’ll get a place inside any minute now,” I said with a smile. We chatted for about 10 minutes – I told him my idea (complex, I admit) and we went inside to the air-conditioning. He went off to freshen up and I was left musing about how negotiating deals in real estate sometimes appears to be about money, yet this is not necessarily so. Negotiating is always about some resource that is lacking. When I look at the subtleties of a deal, the lacking resource is sometimes personal time, family time, mental calm – people set their priorities in a way that sometimes pushes money aside. When he returned, we sat for a few minutes before leaving, each one to his tasks and thoughts.
18:00 – A meeting in a mall. Easy parking, excellent air-conditioning. Another coffee with a pleasant woman close to 80 who had the energy of an 18 year-old and who was interested in renting out or selling an apartment she’d inherited. Or leaving it empty for “the children” to deal with. Or, we can do Tama 38, she said, “everyone does it, I also want to, what do you say? Tell me what to do!” The conversation went on and on. At 19:30 I suggested we stop, I divided between us the tasks to be done, and we planned how to continue. I received a fee for an hour’s consultation, paid for our coffee and we parted. On my way to the car I saw I’d received four calls, got back to the first quickly and spoke to the others on the way back to the office.
20:18 – A small sandwich and a shower. Had to get ready in time for a meeting at 21:00 with clients who were interested in selling an apartment in Haifa and buying a smaller apartment in Ramat Aviv. I made an appointment with them a week earlier and from our conversations sensed they were clients after my own heart. We talked until 22:00 and I informed them of all the possibilities at their disposal. We determined the work procedures, filled out the forms and parted, satisfied.
22:30 – Back in front of the computer, erased unnecessary emails, responded to important ones and remembered that I still hadn’t received the new image video I had ordered. Advised by the video editor, I checked my “spam box” – and there it was. “Google is unbelievable,” he said tiredly. And there were actually two mails there for me, the first was the video and the second from Moshe who, at 16:30, having gone to “freshen up,” actually spoke to his wife and they had agreed to the complicated deal I’d suggested…the mail was a confirmation of the deal.
May we all know such satisfaction!
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