To some, being handcuffed and locked behind bars in a small room may sound like the consequences of a social hour gone seriously awry. For seven other real estate agents and myself, it proved to be a fun team-building event. While the agents at Foundation Reality do enjoy our social hours, we recently changed things up and spent an afternoon together at LOCKED MANHATTAN. The only way out of the locked room we found ourselves in was to solve puzzles that provided keys to open doors. While reflecting on our experience, I couldn’t help but draw several parallels between our experience at LOCKED MANHATTAN and what we do every day for our real estate clients. Initially, everyone was put in handcuffs and led to a barred room. The first room was small with few items on the walls and floors. Beyond the bars was a larger room with various objects and furniture. Being handcuffed felt paralyzing, like our clients might feel when they need to buy or sell a home.
When a client is faced with a process he or she may not understand very well or at all, it can be difficult to get started. A real estate agent knows how to start the process of buying or selling a home and guides a client through each step. While in the smaller room, we had to use the items on the walls and floors to find clues, which revealed keys that unlocked other clues. This process ultimately led to opening the door to the larger room. A real estate agent helps clients follow the sequential steps that lead to a positive outcome – getting prequalified, finding a home, or determining a list price. They help limit distractions for clients to simplify the transaction as much as possible.
Once we unlocked the first door, we were in the larger locked room. There were many objects in this room that could serve as clues and distractions. With eight real estate agents working together, we quickly utilized our problem-solving skills to find all of the keys needed to unlock the door and make our escape. We needed a clear strategy to find the different keys using the clues provided in the game while avoiding the many distractions that could lead us to a dead end.
At that time, we really felt the clock ticking and the limited amount of time we had to escape. Our clients are also working within a time frame, which can be stressful. Real estate agents are there to ensure that all steps in the home buying or selling process are completed by the established deadlines so that their clients can focus on their work and transition. While in the large room, the Foundation agents juggled many different clues at one time. Many clues overlapped, so we found communication to be the key! Juggling the steps of home buying and selling process is what real estate agents are experienced with. Our job is communication-based. We are in constant contact with clients, lenders, inspectors, appraisers, and the agents on the other side of the transaction. We keep the gears moving.
The puzzles in the larger room sometimes felt frustrating and overwhelming. Some clues were very difficult to piece together, but a real estate agent is there for their clients when things don’t go as expected. They provide professional as well as emotional support to their clients throughout the process. Real estate agents also rely on a support network—their broker and other agents—to help with problem solving strategies. Ultimately, our clients have a team of agents working on their behalf.
Once all the puzzles were solved and all the keys found, we were able to successfully unlock the door and make our escape! How freeing it felt to be out of that locked room! We congratulated one another with high fives, shoulder pats, and “woo-hoos”—much like how our clients feels when they are handed the keys to their new homes or are pulling a U-Haul out of their driveways on to their next home.
Need to Buy or Sell your home? You can trust Foundation Realty to help you unlock that door!
Until next time,
Barb Meitler, Foundation Realty