New Year: Timeless Tips for the Real Estate Industry

Written by Posted On Saturday, 28 December 2019 05:00

As we approach the New Year, experts aplenty offer their tips and suggestions for success. The premise of this annual ritual is, however, wrong because it rests on the idea that this coming year there are certain novel and never-tried-before techniques that will produce instant rewards. I write these words from experience, as a franchisee for HomeVestors-Dallas, because, in providing my own recommendations (to colleagues and potential clients alike), I keep returning to the essential rules - the classics, so to speak - upon which a brand earns its prestige and an industry can thrive.

In truth, there are only two types of tips: Those that work - the timeless principles responsible for individual achievement and professional credibility - and those that are a waste of time, resources and money. The challenge is to distinguish between the two, which is not always easy, because some tips seem basic and practical when, in fact, they are nothing more than empty assertions; and other tips bear the approval of consistent, measurable results.

Bear in mind, too, that, while these tips are a good way to prepare for the New Year, these proposed tactics do not have an expiration date: A REALTOR® can enact these policies today, and popularize these themes and reorder the way he or she does business now. With that point of qualification, and with an understanding about the need to avoid temptation and other predictable forms of human nature, let us make wisdom - not avarice, pride, stubbornness or economic blindness - our guide, by first distinguishing between working with investors versus speculators.

1. Work with Investors and Avoid Speculators or Be Practical, Not Greedy

This tip is both the most essential and effective I advice I can reveal to sellers, particularly owners of distressed properties, because speculation is a very alluring illusion -- but, like any illusion, it requires suspension of disbelief. Put another way, the answer is: No, housing prices do not appreciate 20% (or more) every year for decades.

That illogic is the origin of many financial bubbles, worsened by the idea that you, and you alone, will get the maximum price for your home moments before everything collapses. I can assure readers that, by that calculus, a bubble will pop; timing its rupture is just gambling by another name, as fate becomes the ruler of chance.

My tip to readers, therefore, is the same one they can follow in 2019, 2020, 2021 and for time immemorial: By accepting the false arguments of speculators - that prices will continue to climb, unabated by a spike in interest rates, debt, joblessness and limited access to capital - a homeowner causes a self-inflicted wound against their own financial freedom.

In contrast, an investor offers a sober, detailed, analytic and justifiable valuation for your property. And therein lies the difference between wisdom and greed, as someone who embraces the former is realistic, while a person consumed by the latter will dismiss the facts, attack the bearer of good (or not-so-good) news and simply say, "More!"

To repeat: An investor will enable you, the owner of a distressed property, to move out and move on, while a speculator uses cautionary words to prolong a bubble, always telling people to wait.

2. Branding Matters and Reputation is Invaluable

This tip is applicable to investors and potential clients because my brand, which is part of the HomeVestors group of franchisees throughout Dallas and across the nation, precedes me. That is, before a homeowner calls me - before I have a chance to summarize the current marketplace, dissect existing offers and counteroffers, and deliver an educated overview of forthcoming trends - my brand conveys an image and sends a message.

So, without engaging in self-promotion or cheerleading on my own behalf, allow me to make a broader point about branding: It matters - a lot - which is to say, it is more than a series of slogans, mottos, catchphrases, commercials, billboards and sponsorships. A brand thrives or dies, mere survival is no achievement worth celebrating, based on integrity and results, period. One begets the other, and there is no way - and there shall never be a way - to manufacture "integrity." A brand either embodies the word, or it uses it for advertising copy, only to stand exposed as devoid of having any integrity.

My tip, then, is to research a brand's reputation and longevity in the marketplace. Educate yourself about that brand's respect among former clients, as well as the professionalism of its franchisees, myself included. Also, that brand's respect for you - in person, over the phone or via email correspondence - will immediately inform your judgment. In not so many words, manners matter.

3. Know Your Market and Empower Your Clients

This final point reflects an investor's personal brand - it symbolizes any individual realtor's sense of character - and depends on knowledge. Again, there may be ways to temporarily conceal one's ignorance about the marketplace, but the truth always prevails. My advice, which I follow in word and deed, is to know a city, neighborhood-by-neighborhood and street-by-street, for the benefit of buyers and sellers.

That intelligence allows me to counsel prospective clients, defend my conclusions (about pricing or demand) and assuage any concerns these individuals may have. In other words, be a voice of reason by using reasoning - state the facts - by which people do not have to speculate whether you are right; they will knowyou are right -- and right for them.

These fundamental principles are an excellent way to build a foundation for success, and chance the individual and collective success of the real estate industry as a whole. With resolution and trust, we can all prosper in this environment.

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Kevin Guz

Kevin Guz, owner of Clear Key Property Solutions (, a HomeVestors franchise in Dallas, Texas.

Contact Kevin at: 214-729-1383

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