By Karen Monroe
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Summer is winding down. Labor Day is upon us. The kids are going back to school. And where, oh where, did the time go? Last I looked, we were barely springing forward for daylight savings. Now Halloween decorations are making their way into our favorite retail shops. Get ready, here come the holidays.
Now that September is upon us, this is the big question: Did you take a vacation, stay-cation or weekend getaway this summer? I'm a big believer in the importance of taking time off to recharge our energy, attitude and creativity. No matter who you are and what you do, vacation matters. Everyday life and demands are more easily approached when we pause to take a break from it all once in a while.
Real estate is no exception. August is historically a slower time in housing. It's a good time to get out of town to take advantage of the calm before the hectic fall season begins. The reality is that real estate never rests, but your agent needs to once and awhile.
Many of us have professions that afford us the ability to work remotely. Whether from home, a cafe in Paris, or a cabana on an exotic island (to name a few of my favorites), we can respond to emails, take phone calls and Skype meetings. But that's the bad news, too. We've got to stop and enjoy a holiday. For real.
I take my role as a real estate salesperson seriously. I work hard to play hard. The world will not come crashing down if I take a vacation. But my world will be enhanced and my clients will benefit from a rejuvenated me. Most likely, a way-too-tanned version of me when I return.
The thing is, most of us in real estate live it. Even when we are away, we want to investigate, view and compare other real estate markets. It's not only educational for regional market knowledge, it's also fun.
Enjoy your last bit of summer. Take a trip. Get outdoors. Relax. I'll be doing the same, from an undisclosed location in the Pacific Ocean. For real.
On the Run
Experience makes us stronger. Listening to others makes us wiser. Real estate makes us crazy. All of us, regardless what side of the transaction we are on. As I said last week, real estate is an emotional experience. We are dealing with people and where they live. That's about as personal as it gets.
Every situation is unique. Every client is special. And every resolution is largely the result of how well we, as real estate pros, handle ourselves. There are various ways to handle challenging circumstances: get defensive, play the blame game, or stay calm and neutral. I rely on the grown-up me to select door number three as often as humanly possible. Calm equals calm. Crazy equals crazy.
Strong people skills are what differentiate the good from the great in real estate sales. Plus, you've got to be a tough negotiator. A huge part of our job is understanding and embracing different personality types and basic human nature. How we determine to handle a situation as it unfolds affects the outcome. Of course, many aspects of the transaction are completely out of our control, so we need to focus on what we do have the power to manage.
I'm all about the happy ending. Any experience that does not kill me always makes me stronger.
Karen Monroe practices real estate at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 156 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. She lives in the neighborhood and represents buyers, sellers and renters in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Karen can be found walking her dogs and running the parks, paths, streets and bridges of Brooklyn and beyond. For feedback and all of your real estate needs, contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.