I had my sights set on it and then it passed by ever so quickly. January 24th was a day of note. It marked my 19th anniversary of being licensed to sell real estate in Colorado. The business and especially “the market” were changing fast in January 1992. Much of my life was moving at warp speed; since chronicled in my book, “You Used To Live In My House”.
I attended the Colorado Real Estate Institute, was granted a license and joined Washington Park Realty, Ltd., while the Denver market was being jettisoned. Most people would say that I got into the business at a great time because houses were literally flying of the shelf. It would be hard to debate that. It also meant that I had to learn fast. The real estate licensing course prepares one for exactly that; passing the licensing exam. I was blessed that Dale and Linda Southworth took me in at WPR, Ltd. While they didn’t have a training program in place, they are people of integrity with a solid relationship and work ethic; willing to let me learn on the run. I closed 5 transactions that year, which they said was a good start.
Now, 19 years and a week later I am thinking about the changes in the business and the market(s) during that time. It is one thing to watch a roller coaster. It is quite another to ride it and to bring the family along for the ride. I have seen market inventory as low as 6,000 and in excess of 20,000 for houses and condos/townhouses combined. I have also worked with as many as three purchase contract revisions in a single year.
One thing that has not changed over the years is that the foundation of one’s real estate business is relationships. Technology is a great tool, but people do business in this business with people they know and trust, first hand or through referrals from people they know and trust. My clients depend on me to keep my word. When they refer people to me their word becomes a part of the experience. Virtually everything else is in a constant state of flux.
In 1992 buyers were gaining representation for the first time, with a Buyer Agency agreement, and many agents were opposed to it. Real estate transactions were rooted in a philosophy and practice of Caveat Emptor. Interest Rates had DROPPED to 8.5%! The real estate book, even larger and heavier than my own book, was fading in usage as technology was growing with each passing hour. It was in mid-1992 that we purchased our first computer. It was another area that I had to ‘learn fast’ because many of my clients were engaged in some form of technology in their careers.
In 1998 my wife Louisa joined me in an affiliated business relationship, when she became a mortgage loan originator. Her tenacity is outshown only by her integrity. Other Realtors have found that their tranactions are never at risk because she is married to a Realtor.
I begin each new year with a look back at the transactions I’ve had, not only the previous year, but also through the years. In the aspect of technical education, my continuing education requirements keep me plugged in and up to date. Beyond that I look at what I could do better, more effeciently and there is always something new there.
Over the course of the years, I’ve learned to make only three promises to prospects and clients. I promise to conduct myself with Integrity, Communication and Diligence. The continuing education requirements include those applications, but to make and retain relationships I have to be aware of each on a personal level with my daily thoughts, words and deeds. Being active in this business helps me improve as a person, as well as a professional.
If you have a question, or a friend of yours has a question regarding real estate in Colorado, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am easy to reach and always open to conversation…let’s say, over a cup of coffee. I offer my education, experience and the support of the company I keep.