Moving on: Transitions in Real Estate

Every day someone in our company is required to help with a transition in someone else’s life.

The purchase of their first home, second home or subsequent homes. The sale of property because the owners are parting ways – harmoniously or acrimoniously – the purchase of investment property as a platform for wealth creation or, what I personally find the most moving, the transition from a private home into a retirement property or facility. 

There are also two other significant categories that can’t be overlooked: mortgagee sales and estate realisations. 

All these different moments in a person’s life need very specific skills from the real estate professional who’s been engaged. At the forefront should be an empathetic approach, but what else is needed to manage all these deeply emotional moments? 

I asked friends and clients, and here’s what they said … Millennials had these pearls. 

• They want to feel special. It may be the first home they have ever purchased but they don’t want to be treated any less than someone who is purchasing a home worth vast sums and a price that has seven zeroes. Like everyone else, they want to be appreciated and recognised.

• Transparency around all information is critical, as is consistent – not conflicting – advice at all times. You may have forgotten what you said, but they haven’t! Resale advice is deeply valued as a future-proofing method. It allays anxiety for the millennial client and the parents who are so often involved.

• Speed is also an element they expect: they want to be contacted immediately and that doesn’t necessarily mean by phone call. It could be text, Messenger or Facebook (yes), as long as it’s expedient and correct.

Investors, what do they want?

• Information. Again, factual, current, realistic, detailed information.

• Rental income (if it’s already rented), tenancy agreements, expectations and legal requirements of being a landlord, and locational details that could mean the difference between finding a tenant and not. 

• For this client I’d sum up with the phrase ‘Meticulous And Documentation’!

Sometimes one agent will have the skill to cover all these roles, at other times they will require a niche specialist.

What about the often fractious and sometimes highly difficult scenario of clients ‘splitting up’, going their own ways or simply parting? 

• Here the word ‘equality’ was repeated most. Treat each party equally when distributing information, both verbal and written, and at the time of an offer.

• The other important word was ‘confidentiality’. Without a client’s written permission, you cannot divulge any personal information. Casual discussion about relationship breakups is not appropriate or acceptable.

Finally, I’d like to discuss the category of ‘first time on the market after decades in the same property’. My parents come to mind immediately. Not because they wish to move but simply because I know what would be required if they ever decided to. What do you think this group asked for? To a man (and woman) it was patience.

Gentle, kind, caring, ‘take all the time needed’ patience. Their families will often encourage them to engage the top person in the marketplace, which is a great idea but doesn’t necessarily work when an elderly client wants to talk and walk their way through a completely new process. Sometimes it takes years to develop the empathy, skill, patience and expertise to make all the various real estate phases seem actionable for clients. For others it’s second nature, and some will never truly have it.

I’ll leave to you to decide who’s best for you or your loved one’s needs.

-Lynette McFadden, Harcourts gold Business Owner


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