We live in a world of ready access to all kinds of information. In real estate, you can look at MLS listings online at any time. For more general questions about virtually anything in life, there is always the refrain - “google it”. In this environment, it is easy to think that maybe the services of experts are no longer as important as they used to be.
But it is also true that as much as a person can learn on his/her own, there really is no substitute for the knowledge of an expert. This is especially true when it comes to one of the most important financial and emotional decisions most people make – the decision to buy or sell real estate.
I have built my business on providing my clients with specialized expertise. Much of my work is in the older part of town, where Heritage is often an important consideration. Planning concerns are also frequently critical, as many clients in this area are considering major renovations or new construction when they buy a property. Having lived in this area for 33 years, and with my experience as a specialty home builder and former chair of Heritage Oakville, I provide my clients with in-depth guidance to ensure they have all the information to make sound decisions. I also use my analytical and negotiating skills from my previous experience in mergers and acquisitions to help my clients negotiate the best deal.
When it comes to finding the right property, I work closely with clients to help them through the buying process. This process is often like a funnel, where we start with a broader idea of what they want – in terms of location, price, house type, feel and size – and narrow down to a tighter list of criteria over time. It helps to “kick some tires” and check out a broader range of home options to stimulate their thinking and bring clarity to what is really most important to them. It is always a question of tradeoffs – every client has a different hierarchy of needs and every home has a different set of attributes. The job is to find the best match. This can take some time, so I encourage clients to get out and start the process well before their desired move date.
I make it my business to stay connected to the market in a way that a buyer cannot on his/her own. This includes maintaining very close relationships with the other agents and brokerages, so that I am plugged into what is coming on the market. I also have my ear to the ground for homes that are not for sale per se but could be if the right buyer comes along.
I view myself as a service provider, not a sales person. My approach is to look after the long-term needs of my clients at all times. Aside from finding satisfaction in serving, I have found that it is very good business to take this approach, as my clients are my best source of new business through enthusiastic referrals!