Rejoicing in the teachable moment

I find myself musing on my identity lately. Be it the drab late winter/early spring weather, or my recent birthday, or just…just. Two weeks ago, I looked for the changes that come with thinking of myself as an artist. Last week, I was looking at justice and my real estate career. This week, I am thinking about how teaching is baked into my style.

Many of my artist friends say that they can’t go through a day without thinking about art. I am more that way about learning. I spend a lot of time picking up new bits of knowledge. I read a lot of non-fiction and fiction set in different times and places. I don’t get through a day without thinking about who might want to know about what I just learned about.

The teachable moment on the day job

Yesterday, I started a comparative market analysis (CMA) for one of my former clients. They are considering buying the other condo in their two-unit association.

When my agents do a CMA for an active buyer, they have a listing sheet for the subject property of the market study. They have an asking price of that property, created by the seller or seller’s agent.

When I do a CMA on a property that isn’t for sale, I have to start from scratch, like the listing agents do. I need to create an offline listing sheet, put in all the descriptive data, then use that to compare to recently sold properties that are like the one upstairs from my clients.

Ah, a teachable moment… I am doing what listing agents do. This in not part of my typical experience as a buyer’s agent.

    1. Creating a listing sheet. All of the information that is on a listing sheet gets inputted by a listing agent. I made fun of how bad MLS listing sheets were in a recent real estate blog post. I still don’t have sympathy for white lies and overt lies that show up on those sheets. However, I do have a renewed empathy for what it takes to create a listing sheet. They need to click the right boxes to mark whether a room has wood floors or carpet, room by room, over and over. It’s tedious. I hate it. I am glad I am not a listing agent. I did not ask my agents to create a listing sheet. It is not something that they need to learn, at least not today. 
    2. Finding the right comparable properties. That was the teachable moment. When I went to find comparable properties for the one my clients might buy, there were three obviously best choices. I want my agents to know how to find those three.
    3. Setting a value without having an anchor price. That’s a lesson for another day. Maybe I will ask my senior agents to give it a whirl. Maybe I’ll save that for sometime next winter, when they aren’t that busy.

What struck me about this process was that I noticed, instinctively, that I was learning something new. I thought, instinctively,”I should have my agents learn this.”

It struck me that I am a teacher, like my artist friends are artists. I don’t know if I will ever be an artist in the way they are. Time will tell.



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