By Karen Monroe
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Everyone is so smart. Buyers and sellers do their homework. Lots of it. Thanks to the amazing power and global reach of the good ol’ worldwide web, it's easy access to information. Sometimes, way too much information. And the quest for information can be addictive, taking a simple search to the serial TMI level.
The good news here is that the Internet can help educate the curious about the real estate market, interest rates, available properties, neighborhood prices, and beyond. Knowledge makes us feel prepared and powerful. But there's another side to this. Information can give us the false comfort that we have become experts in all things. Let's apply this phenomenon to real estate.
Real estate professionals are licensed. While we are certainly not curing cancer or building rockets, we are duly prepared to conduct a real estate transaction. We go to school, take classes, pass tests, graduate, then pass the state exam before we are awarded a license to practice real estate in the state of New York. Then we hit the streets, solicit our personal and professional contacts, get on the office walk-in list and start building our business. If we are good self-marketers and get an ounce of luck on our side, we're off and running.
However, education, books, exams and the Internet aside, the only real way to learn how to speak the language of real estate is to do it. As Nike tells us, “Just Do It.” It's really that straightforward. Experience makes us wiser, and, well, experienced. In real estate, every situation is distinctly unique. So the way we get really good at our jobs as agents is to go out and make real estate deals happen. Learning from the outcomes – the good, bad and otherwise – and making adjustments on the next go-around is how we become experts in our field.
It's when we work with clients who come off as too empowered by the information they have gathered online that things get tricky. They come to us for help buying or selling a property, yet they already think they know everything. First of all, that's impossible. None of us know everything. Period. Secondly, allow us to help you. We are trained, experienced and ready to guide you through the complicated process of trading real estate. On top of that, most of us really love what we do.
I applaud anyone who comes to me all smarted up on the ins and outs of real estate. But let's develop a partnership. For being so smart, sometimes we let our knowledge stand in the way letting others help us.
On the Run
It's spooky out there. It's also getting super harvesty. Have you noticed the stoops of Brooklyn's brownstones? From the Heights to Carroll Gardens in particular, residents have embraced the fall with color and creativity. Halloween ghouls and goblins, mummies and skulls, bats and spiderwebs are everywhere. Sporting a full harvest and Thanksgiving theme, the corn, husks, mums and pumpkins rule. Pumpkins of every size and color line streets and steps. Personally, I love this time of year and how welcoming it can make our homes feel and smell. No tricks; it's all treats for me. That is, until the really scary holidays hit in December.
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 [email protected].