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Welcome to your constantly updated resource for news and views on the Brookline Real Estate market. Here you will find commentary and statistics to explain the daily changes in the Brookline specific housing market.

Whether you're looking for an estate in Cottage Farm, a condo in Brookline Village or are just stopping by please feel free to read along and comment at will. If you are interested in speaking about renting an apartment, buyer representation or listing your home please feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A day in the life of...

Everybody knows that if somebody got to live a day in their job they would suddenly have significantly more respect for that job and the people who do it. I happen to work in a field that fills its own section of the newspaper, gets the "most emailed" status on on a regular basis and generates millions upon millions of dollars in advertising revenue for all sorts of people and businesses. I spent a whole sick-day (we don't actually get those) on my couch watching real estate tv shows on about seven different networks. Obviously people are interested, and many think they know what goes into the process. What gets overlooked often is that the majority of the country hasn't actually worked with a REALTOR in the last 5+ years. For some, jobs don't change much in 5 years. I can tell you right now that the way I have to do my job has changed a lot in the last 5 months. So, I'll risk boring the 30-50 people who will see this today by describing a day in the life of a REALTOR.

6:15 AM - Up with the dog and a check of the Broker Open House schedule for mid-day.

8:00 AM - Tessie goes to Doggy Day Care every Wednesday to free me up for Broker Tour and our in-office afternoon round-table training session.

8:15 AM - I can't speak for America, but I run on Dunkin'

8:45 AM - Arrive at the office for "floor time." To ensure informed people are available to answer the phone in our office we each have 1-2 three hour time slots a week in which we sit at the front desk and take "floor calls."

9:15 AM - Confirm final list for Broker Tour and make sure my listing is positioned well on the list.

9:30 AM - Prepare Sunday Globe Ad. We try to advertise 3 out of every 4 weekends in print and then distribute to all of the various sites. Our Globe ads usually generate 1 out of 8 open house guests each weekend. This is a major expense and a big answer to "where does the 5% go" question. Unfortunately Globe ads are seen more by sellers checking up on their agents and less by the buyers who might be interested in taking a look.

9:45-10:45 - Scan the major listing search sites like Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, etc... and make sure that the listing information is accurate and up to date. While I do this I cross reference the MLS listing and the LINK (Downtown Boston MLS) listing. If I get the listing into LINK by Wednesday the open house will be featured in the weekend version of Boston Homes.

10:45-12:00 - Review of new, price changed, expired, withdrawn and under agreement property on MLS. While Thursday is a good day to add most property, the savvy agents will post on Wednesday to get a pre-Open House buzz going during broker tours. Also, since most Globe ads are due by the end of the day a lot of the price changes will go into the computer system today. I use the new information to touch base with my selling clients to use for pricing comparison. For my buyer clients I try to put in initial phone calls on listings that look like they might be potential matches. Without the benefit of going to weekend Open Houses to view available property it is critical that I know as much as possible at all times what has changed about the marketplace. The two listing presentations I've done this week would not have been possible without knowing this information off the top of my head.

12:30-2:00 - Broker Open House at my listing. This once or twice monthly opening is essential to allow brokers to not only preview the listing and hopefully mention it to their buyers, but more importantly to gain their feedback on pricing and condition. I build a list of comments that I try to convey to the seller. These comments help us make any changes in advance of the open house leaving my sellers in a good position to compete with the other listings in their range.

2:15-3:15 - Weekly office round-table discussion about market strategies and difficulties. This week we discussed methods for developing an appropriate amount of urgency on the part of buyers or sellers who might be on the fence.

3:30 - 4:30 - Returning phone calls on showing requests and feedback from my buyers' viewings of other listings over the weekend. Friday - Sunday get very busy so Wednesday and Thursday are the only prep days we get for the weekend. Tomorrow morning I'll have to produce all of my print marketing for the Open House and showings. I'll also be in a meeting of the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS Tech Committee, so this phone time is a critical element to ensuring my schedule is freed for my clients.

5:00 - 7:30 - This is the time left open most days for after-work showings. Most buyers in the initial phases of their search don't take time off from work to view property the first time. Any time they become interested in a specific property a daytime second showing will usually occur.

While every day is different in real estate, and most days are a reflection of the needs of the specific clients I am working with at the time I try to stick to this template as much as possible. In the past the prevalent attitude was less focused on the constant evaluation of active listings because listings didn't remain active that long. Today the average days on market is close to 100 and there is a constant effort needed by all parties to make sure that time frame stays as small as possible.


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The views expressed on these pages are the opinion of the author and any public contributors. They do not substitute for the advice of a legal or financial professional. These opinions are not representative of any firm or business. Please always consult an attorney, financial professional or sign a contract with a Buyer Agent or Seller's Agent for specific advice.