Well, friends, it’s been a year that we won’t soon be forgetting. Leave it to Texas to be leading the charge on an interstate electoral lawsuit, our state really is the ‘Alamo of America’, a phrase that has ruffled some feathers in the past, but one that we feel aptly describes the current situation quite accurately. Without trying to restate all the obvious high and low-points, and avoiding the newly cliche key phrases that we’re all a little worn-out by, we wanted to still practice up on the all-important skill of: remembering.
Every year gives us some important takeaways, every year is a chance to learn, or re-learn some of the basic principles as well as the more subtle ones. Everything is slowing down, so it’s a good time to pause, go back, and make sure we are taking from the year the stuff that makes “experience” worth anything at all.
Real estate moves more like a river than a rocket. Especially land, ranches, ranchettes, hunting property, and recreational land. It’s not just a house you’re buying, it’s a lifestyle. Typically, it’s the “ideal” lifestyle someone has been dreaming about acquiring for about the past two decades, so you can’t rush things.
In a hot market, people get impatient, though. Everyone thinks that every pig in the pen’s going to be sold for top dollar, next-day, just because pork is so desirable. Not the case. This is all about matching high-character people with high-character land and you can’t just shove a square peg in a round hole and expect to charge a million bucks for it. That’s too aggressive. And even in this wild market, stuff sits.
So we wait. When you keep high-character relationships as the main focus, eventually the right one turns up, and in our case-study this year, the right one did turn up at the eleventh hour. It was an extremely unique “spec” ranchette that just couldn’t get traction, but when you keep your relationships active and engaged, the right match can occur. So what did we learn? Don’t try to “market” something that doesn’t have mass-appeal, stay focused on a few of the right people.
Also, don’t be scared of failure. We were ready to give up! But, with enough brainstorming and resourceful, relational engagement, sometimes the hardest problems turn into the most simple solutions.
Be Outside the Box
We were handed a really challenging opportunity this year that stretched us in all the right ways. Parading dozens of folks onto this ranch wasn’t going to be an option, we weren’t even allowed to market it in traditional channels. We had to be creative, and this was all about finding a really good fit with a buyer who deeply understood what they were acquiring, and appreciated the opportunity. We needed to find the needle in the haystack, blindfolded.
We fought, no, we killed the urge to think inside the box, we reduced the volume of inquiries via a rigid prequalification process, and made every effort to not waste anyone’s time (buyer or seller), only zeroing in on opportunities that seemed to be a very good fit with high potential for connection. This required really bold disclosure, a lot of “No Bullshit” conversation, and in the end, we have a really fine matchup. People selling to buyers who are fully engaged, excited, and well-prepared to steward the vision of that property.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the traditional model, but we learned that where there is risk, there is also the chance for reward.
Don’t Predict, Respond
We were dead-wrong about how this year’s international deadlock would affect our industry. We swore up and down that we were headed for a locked-wallet economy and a rapid slowdown. But we were absolutely wrong and aren’t afraid to admit it. Just goes to show what a waste of time it is to live in fear of the future.
But what came out of it was this “effort=care” energy and hustle. Rather than slowing things down, we sped things up, thinking we were going to have all this time on our hands! It’s never the crisis that defines a person, it’s their response to it that shapes them.
We are all learning all the time and we hope this makes you feel strong and excited for the year ahead. We also hope this encourages you to take a minute and think about three things you have learned from the year on your own. In fact, we’d love to hear it! Just hit reply and let us know what kinds of insights you have from 2020.