Our homes are stitched together out of pieces of personal history, aesthetic taste, and the fabric of comfort, continuity, and support. Home is our little corner of eternity.
by Alexandra Stoddard, Gracious Living in a New World
As Realtors you are business people, after all, and you have a tendency to look at things in a businesslike way. Whether you’re working with a buyer or a seller, you are considering things like finances, square feet, lot size, number of bathrooms etc. A house is, of course, the largest single investment most people ever make. But it’s not just a house—it’s a home, and it’s intensely personal and meaningful to the clients you’re working with.
How can you as a Realtor manage the business details efficiently while at the same time working with each client to create their personal vision of home?
- Recognize the style
- Paint a word picture
- Be a co-creator
Recognize the style
People come in all different varieties and a person’s style greatly influences their choice of a home. Analytical types, for example, look for neatness bordering on perfection. They are likely to be drawn to clean lines, neutral colors, something that requires a minimum amount of work to be done before move-in.
An entirely different style is the creative person who probably wants something they can play with. They might want to paint the walls in bright contrasting colors, put in skylights, or build a fishpond. They want to imprint their personal flair on any home they choose.
Then there are the sentimental folks whose focus is on charm and relationships. They want their home to be a place where family and friends gather, a place to show off their favorite things such as art, collections, and family photos.
In many situations, of course, you’ll be dealing with more than one person. You’ll want to know who is the primary player, if there is one, or how different styles might be need to be blended together. Figure out who will have the most influence over what the home will look like and who will make the final purchase decision.
Paint a word picture
Of course you have a written list of the client’s needs and wants. As you consider those in the context of their personal style, think about how you might present potential properties by helping them visualize what it will be like to actually live in the space. Here are some examples of how your conversations might go.
This kitchen is absolutely state-of-the art. Brand new appliances throughout.
The bathroom has recently been redone. Check out this flooring—it’s the latest in low maintenance and durability.
Don’t you love the way the light comes in these windows? This would make a great office or studio.
I can see this room totally redone in that pale yellow you were showing me.
This dining room is big enough for your harvest table—perfect for family dinners and parties.
Can’t you just see some built-in bookshelves next to the fireplace? It would be a great place to show off your antique glass collection.
Be a co-creator
Never equate a home with a house. They are not the same thing. A home is an environment where all members of the family can thrive. That means a good school district for kids, a safe neighborhood to play in, support services for elders, and yes, even a fenced yard for the dog. As a realtor your job is to be both business-savvy and imaginative. You are the big picture person, taking all your client’s needs into consideration. If you start with a house that meets their basic needs and is financially affordable, you can work with any client to create a home that will be their “corner of eternity” for years to come.