In this video, Adam sits down with Patricia English of Style Sells in Kingston, Ontario, to talk about why Home Staging makes a difference when selling your home .
I'm Adam Koven, Koven Lifestyle Real Estate, Royal LePage ProAlliance. I'm here with a very good friend who started as an extension of our team, Patricia English. She is the owner, proprietor, the leader of the brand Style Sells, staging, design and all of the good stuff that we seem to be fortunately known for, with some of these gorgeous properties that I have the privilege of selling. The reason why they look so great is because of this lady and her company.
Today we're going over the secret sauce, what is it that makes success in selling a home? So, when people are working with us, they're also working with you.
So what is it that we do? This is a really important element, and you said something funny, and it was sort of a ‘Why?’. Like why can't the real estate agent do the staging for the house? I think back to that joke of your expectation of me changing the lights in your house, and one of us not dying. So, I keep myself out of a death battle, I bring in somebody that knows better.
So tell us about your business and tell us about how you help our team, how you help our sales process going forward, as a client?
Perfect. Well, one of the things I love most about working with you, Adam, is that you just give me an address, point me in a way, I go into a person's house who's selling. The way we sell is so very different from the way we live. To the point that even when I sold my house, I did the best that I could and even then I had a stager come in because there's so much that we are used to seeing every day, it just seems like things have to be there because they always have been. Having that new set of eyes come in is really important and I always think how I'm the best test of what your buyer's going to see because when I come in, I've got fresh eyes. It's as if I'm coming in to buy the house.
The difference is when I see something that doesn't work for me, a room that looks too small, it because it's too crowded or looks too big because there's not enough, whatever those things are and any flaw that catches my eye, not that I'm a knit picker because I'm in being as artsy as I am by nature, a very big picture person. It's a good guide right there from the second I come in the door, I'm working. That allows me to make a pass through the house, see what’s too much, what's not enough, what's looking dated, what's looking like it needs to be refreshed and I then can relay that to the clients. I think this thing that sets me apart from my peers and other stagers is that I'm very practical, I'm very thrifty, I'm a communicator and a leader.
So, when I apply all of those things together and give direction to a client, I'm delivering that message in a way that they can get to where I need them to be. I'm not overwhelming them, I'm not leaving too much to their imagination, so that's what I do. I come up with a plan, we work on the plan together and generally come to a quick agreement. As you know, if there are larger things to do where that starts to become a cost-benefit decision, then you're back engaged because then I'm coming into an area where I need the realtor's input.
Yeah. I admit, you know, I always sort of prep my clients, because there's the, ‘is it there?’. It's a unique system where I always feel bad. I walk into somebody's house. They want me to look at it for sale. All of a sudden I'm opening up their closet doors and their drawers and I stop myself because I shouldn't be and they always say “Oh Adam, it's okay, open wherever you want.” Whereas you go in and you tell them, ‘I'm gonna switch everything around. I'm gonna move things in your house,’ which is even more invasive than what I am.
I'm always so happy it's you, not me doing this, but I prep them and I always say you taught me this the first time and I thought it was so unorthodox. I'm like, I should be there and you said, I don't need to have you there. I'm there with your clients and they will be more at ease with me there because we're gonna do things to the house and it might involve some expense on you, and they'll feel guilty, which is true.
I've always been on the mindset that in many cases we do the staging and we work with you. The clients, we take that expense on, but I always want to say “Look, she's going to come in. She's gonna make suggestions, you're gonna love them, and you'll agree with them. She doesn't want me there because you'll be worried about certain expenses, but ultimately at the end result, when she's finished and you come back and you take a look at what she did, you're gonna say, why are we moving?”
My biggest fear is when you're finished, they don't wanna sell. It hasn't happened, but they always say the same thing. I didn't realize or I wish I did this 20 years ago and it's a wonderful awakening. Then that just shows you we're ready for market and that's sort of something we were talking about, which was okay.
So in this market, everything sells itself. Like if I put a cardboard box in the middle of the road and put it for sale, you would get three offers, which means it's easy to sell, but that doesn't mean that quality and expertise happens just because the market returns.
That means that there's a bigger brass ring to grab in my opinion, but if you don't want to do all of the work that you normally do, that's fine. The expectation is, okay, we're going to sell, we're going to have three or four offers and we're gonna go 10% above ask, but we would rather have eight offers and go 15% above ask or more. I don't think that you diminish the quality of the product just because it's easier to sell. You know, if there's less, I always use toilet paper, I won't use that, but you know, because of the pandemic, but if there's only so many oranges and they're all bruised and you put the price up, they're gonna sell, but wouldn't you rather have a better product to sell in a better market.
Exactly! The example I always use is a sandwich, right? Like if you make a better-looking sandwich, it'll attract more people, it'll sell for more. I'm a real fan of consignment stores and clothing consignment stores, because it keeps things up-cycling. Like if I'm gonna put a dress into a consignment store to get a good price, wouldn't I at least iron it before it went there?
That's a great example!
When we get it looking better and then this is a good place for me to segue because it's not so much, but doesn't this look better than that? It changes the feel of a house from someone else's house, so the buyer comes in and they feel a little bit like they're snooping, particularly bedrooms, if there's a lot of personal things, they'll kind of look in and come back because that feeling of being in someone's house is keeping them from engaging. So by the time we are done staging it, it no longer feels like somebody's house, it feels like anybody's house.
Like a five-star resort condo that you would check into, if you walk in the door and you're ready, you feel like it's for you. If you went to check into a condo and there were toothbrushes and coats on the back of the chair, you'd stop and think, oh, wait, someone's already here. You'd go back to the desk and say you know, I need a different room, someone's already checked in. So we're changing that love of how personal the house feels.
The second part to it, it's absolutely huge and it's what you pay me for is the sense of urgency for the buyer to make an offer. Yes, because when it looks like the homeowners are happily living there today and you smell food cooking. If you're happy living here today, why would you not be happy living here a week from now, a month from now? So the buyer feels like, yes, I like this house, this is nice.. hmm, not sure I like the yard... They feel that they have all the time in the world to go look at many other houses and then when they're ready, this house will still be here. You talk about staging, but you also talk about design.
When I talk about staging and the design, I know how a bedroom should be set up, but when I look at how you design and maybe you can sort of, I know there's a contrast and I probably, I don't think I can put it into words myself, but your take your staging vs your design elements of what you do in a house.
Exactly! So, when we're staging, we're minimizing, we're getting the focus onto the aspects of the house rather than what's in it and we are making choices to appeal to the broadest spectrum of the target market. So, that means that things can't be too plain or too colourful, or too really anything is where we dial it back and get it again to where now it's ready to sell, it feels like anybody's house. There's a sense of urgency if I don't get an offer right now. Forget going to look at the other two houses on our list, let's offer now, or once the next person comes in, the house will be gone. Yes, that's what we're aiming for.
In design, what we're doing there is we're looking at what exists in a space. Does it function? Is it the right colour, shape, and size? If it isn't, what are we gonna do about that? Then keep in mind so many variables of function, budget, timeline and all those sorts of things. So, we do that, and then completely apart from staging and selling, we do all levels of design, right from looking at floor plans of new builds. Does this make sense right down to small things? Is the door swinging the right way? Would a pocket door be better here?
Right down to make that what's being built is the best we can do on that particular house, that budget and then we are able to take it right through to the end where you know, many houses that we've done in the recent past, if it's in it, on it or near it, it's there because as we picked it.
So, with home staging, I think one of the big questions, because some people look at this, as we said, it's a bit invasive. Somebody's coming in to change the home. So for everything, everyone looks at a cost-benefit analysis, and that would be, why are we staging? What do we hope for now? Obviously what we hope for are better results.
So you've been doing this for how many years now?
So we've got 16 years experience. In those 16 years, what do you think? You know, we like numbers. I like numbers. What do you think that the staging has resulted for the client? What's the end result in price point and offers and that sort of thing? You may not be a realtor, but you are the one that's looking at the results of your work and we are the ones benefiting our clients. How is your staging affecting the seller?
Well, undoubtedly, we are getting houses sold faster in a shorter period of time and for more money so what's happening there is that sense of urgency gets you offers faster. So the sooner your offer comes in, the closer the accepted offer is and the closer you're gonna get to your asking price. Now in a slow market, that's huge because if it lingers and you start cutting your prices to get somebody to come and purchase the house, depending on the size of the house, you're gonna have to draw $20,000 to get anyone's attention and to get them back again. So that $20,000 is a fraction of the state cost. So just the first reduction is gonna wipe out any cost that you have in a market. Like what we've seen now, we are seeing the difference between an un-staged house and a staged house is turning at least $50,000 higher.
That's a huge number.
Absolutely. Even back in the day when things were not slow, not fast, just hovering in the middle, the minimum increase that realtors were seeing was $20,000.
Seconds after a buyer comes into a vacant house, they turn into building inspectors. All of them! They've forgotten, they come to buy it and they just start zooming in on, why did they cut the trim like that? Why is this loose or whatever, they're just focused on that.
When we're done staging, they're like Ooh, look at this, Ooh, look at that, and they start heading in the direction to get more of the feel of that. When they come into a house that isn't staged, they know what this house is selling for, or before they go in, they've looked at the paper, the realtors told them.
As soon as they're not even in the house, they're coming up to the step, they're looking for reasons to pay less for that house. They're almost hoping to find it.
They can then have a reason to feel that they can offer less. So as they begin to walk around the house, they'll add those things up and come back to this house is only worth X, right? Yeah. What happens after they've staged? You know, you have seen the value of our work, which is why I'm at the table with you and in all your houses. What happens is then they come up hoping to be able to find something, to drop the price. But instead, they're just like, Ooh, look at this. Ooh, look at that again. Right? Next thing you know, they're going through the house and now they start to switch to where we could get this for only that, and even better than that, what's very good for the seller is whatever their criteria is, whatever they plan to spend, it's out the window now, because they want this house. They always start and you must get it all the time. Ooh. This feels so right. It feels so open. It feels so homey, it feels, feels, feels right?
So then they're like, well, you know, we wanted a garage, but we never had a garage on any of our other houses. So this is the kind of moment that's when staging comes. When someone really wants something, it always reflects in the price.
Yeah. It never ceases to amaze me, you'll generally have a bunch of things that you're doing, but you'll always pinpoint something out. I was at Point Crescent and you said the problem there is this kitchen is so dark and so what I'm gonna do is I take up the old dark, granite backsplash and we're gonna do a nice light opaque. I think it was like an opaque white tile and I'm like, we are the second or third agent in this, almost $2 million house. There's so many facets of the house, but go right ahead. You know this is one of our first, you know, few deals and I remember you did this and walked in, I thought, wow, this really looks great. The people that bought it came in on an open house and she looked at it and she said, gee, I thought that the kitchen was so much darker, this looks fantastic! I'm like, oh my God, I can't wait to tell you! But then she proceeds to say, okay, we're gonna put an offer in and then they say, well, you have to sell ours, we live over there. So you had people that walked in the place, they really loved the house, but the only positive comment they made, was the thing that you had mentioned was wrong with the house that we had it on first and we had, you know, interest, but we weren't getting the offers we wanted.
These were the things that maybe start to go, oh, okay, you know, we always hire people that are experts in their fields that we know we're not, and so when it came to the staging and in the design concept, these were real proof in the puddings that I could actually utilize in my little bag of tools to say, I know you're not interested in staging but let me tell you a few stories and they were true stories and they were the things of real success. So look, I'm a realtor, so we try to make sure that we're, you know, we are, we are a bit frugal, but nothing sells better than a true story of success. Right?
Speaking of being frugal, what people are paying for is not just my ability to know what to do, but how, because as I mentioned in the beginning, I'm very thrifty, right? So I don't wanna spend time, effort or money on anything that isn't going to give us the return we want.
When I'm gonna ask somebody for something to do, I don't wanna waste their time, effort, or money. So there's an experience that I had like that current backsplash in the house on Point Crescent that you're talking about, it was travertine. Travertine is a porous surface, such a natural rock. So what I knew, we did not have to pull off that old backsplash, the tiles are weird, some of them are ready to fall off and others put up a massive battle. I knew that because of the type of stone that was, we could just put the new backsplash right on top of it. And it was effortless, it was inexpensive and it went up and it was done in a day, but like what a change!
There was also dark choppy paint colour and we put that white now in there again. I can't stress this enough, those clients got the return that they needed quickly because they just said, okay, Patricia, and did what I said and that's why you get the return.
There are times where I will defer like I just did one, it's a big house coming up on the lake in the spring, it's gonna list very high and it did not have AC and who wants to spend that much money on a house that doesn't have AC. So I know that that's the answer, but now I'm just over here, a little in the weeds, right, that's an expensive thing to put in. It's a great big house. it's not making it look prettier, which is, you know, my area. So then it's like, this is what I think we need to do, but you need to talk to the realtor because what's important to me is are you gonna be able to get their money back in that length of time? So I'm very careful about what is my lane and what is the lane of the realtor.
Yeah, but I think you understand these markets because, you know, we sell everything we sell. We're happy to sell the $200,000 condo, we're happy to sell the $5 million house, but each has expectations. So the $2, $3, $4 million houses that are missing something that you would find in a $200,000 apartment is sort of the obvious, but somebody's gotta say it. It's like the elephant in the room, and sometimes that's where you are our voice. I can walk into a house now and there are colours that I know and in my head I say, oh, Patricia's not gonna like this and there are certain colours, especially, I'll say it now, like red, especially red paint in most scenarios. I know you're gonna come in and say that. So I usually prep them and I'm the bad guy and then I almost always hear that you've obtained new paint for them in those scenarios.
Exactly. Sometimes though, what I find is if I get realtors who give too much upfront, they'll say, oh, she's not gonna like that paint, you’ve gotta change a carpet, you’ve got to do this, got to do that. By the time I arrive now there's resistance, so I have to spend half an hour breaking the resistance down before I get them to start.
So I'm not going to tell them.
Yes, you're not allowed to do that. I'm surprised you didn't get that lecture. I had one of my realtors, the home seller, tell me that they had asked him something very specific about, do we have to paint this? And he was like, oh, I'm not allowed. She doesn't allow me to say that.”
I see that, but you see the resistance that builds up.
Well, it sounds like he's better trained. So wait.. there are other realtors that you work with...
There are other realtors that I work for. Yes. I'm sorry, Adam. I'm not a one-woman gal.
So how do you, how do you choose? You work with a bunch of men and women. You know, we all sort of do the same thing. It's a busy market out there, there's a lot of us. How do you choose?
I love that word, choose.
It's not luck to draw because I do choose, I am incredibly careful who I attach my name to. I put a lot of myself, everything into this business and I only work for what I consider the best realtors in this city and there's a lot, I think last I heard 475 or more realtors.
Yeah, we are a big group.
I only work for the good ones and to me, what makes a good realtor is can they price? Can they manage their client? Can they sell? and more importantly, because you can always get somebody who wants to buy the house at the end of the day, can the realtor get it closed? That's why I'm working with you because you fit that criteria and really the number one thing that makes a good realtor in this town.
How many people want to work with that realtor? respect them? know that they're gonna work hard? know that they're gonna be available? Are they gonna answer questions? Are they gonna come in from a barbecue on a Sunday because papers have to be signed now.? That is what matters to me because if I'm working for a realtor that doesn't fit that criteria, I have now put my client through extra time, effort and money. They've had the joy of me, but also you can see I'm not a shy gal. I'm focused when I want things done, they're happening. I don't wanna put my client through that and then have them knowingly linked with a realtor that is not fitting that criteria. So this is why I am very, very particular about who I work with.
So what I'm hearing is that there are other realtors you work with, but you love me the most!
Okay, not fair, but, but we'll move on. Next question. Let's go with that. I like that answer.
Yeah, you're very good at this.
Now. Let's talk about that because, over all the years that I've done this business, I've had realtors try to recruit me to be a realtor. I've had realtors, right from the very beginning that said, oh, you need to be a realtor and no I don't because...
There are 475 realtors...
This is very important too because every single house that I'm in, the buyers will say, well, my realtor says I can list for this. What do you think? And I say, I think you should listen to your realtor, you've chosen wisely, you have a good one. I only work for the best. I don't know and don't want to, I don't know how houses sell, whether they're all brick? Are they this? What insulation? How old are they? How, there are numbers, I'm an artsy gal. I don't know numbers, I'm around figure gal. You must have seen that in my quotes, I throw things around.
I think you're selling yourself short. You've been good at things and you've had your predictions on things too. Like it's gonna be this, but I think we should stage it, Adam, if you stage it, and I think I've heard from you where it's like, I think that you're gonna command this much more and that's bold because you're putting fuel into that fire. You're like, not only am I gonna do this work for you. Here's what I think my work does. I don't see a lot of that. You know, past performance is not indicative of future, you know, of future gains, whatever, all of that. No, I think that you put it on your sleeve like, look, what I do has value. What I do is valuable because I do what I do well, I do what I do for you because there's value to your client. Let's face it. We're not doing this because we're trying to cure any disease or world hunger. The end result we're looking for is to buy and sell houses. The only criteria in the end result is, it should be without difficulty. It should be without legal issues and it should be clean. The end result, we all want to know is how much am I getting or how much do I have to pay.
On this side, we're selling. You know, the old joke is how much is it worth? Are we buying or selling? When in this scenario we're selling and at the end result, the seller wants to know the ultimate thing at the end. How much are you gonna get me?
Exactly. And one thing that I love about the business that we're in is it's one of few where how much money everybody makes is entirely determined by how clever you are, how smart you are, how hard you work, how quick, and I feel so privileged to be part of that because my background prior to this. I worked in business in commerce, usually in a finance environment, even though I'm joking about numbers, I was always managing the admin people in those environments, but some of it rubbed off on me. No matter how much money I saved the company or made the company or did for them at the end of the day, this is how much money I made.
So, to be able to work in this industry where we are in the business of making people the most amount of money, that's what I do for my realtor. That's what I'm focused on all the time. How much do we make for our sellers? As you know, we see a lot of very desperate situations where people are coming out of this, they need to get into that and how are we gonna get them there? Knowing that what I do and what my team does, gets those people to where they need to be, that is incredibly rewarding! Which is another reason why I love the job that I do because I am in an instant gratification business This is how this looks by the end of the day, it's this singing and dancing, right?
We never get tired of it, we love what we do, and that again comes back to why I do this business instead of being a realtor, because I like the get 'em in, get 'em out. I'm there for a day or two days. Some projects, like our Nighthawk project, was a much longer haul, but a wonderful job that we did together.
For realtors, this is where we started and then there's family business and there are renovations and now somebody got sick and you can't list. You're in a long-term relationship with your clients from start to finish.
Well, you have to understand, some clients need to sell, they're moving, that has to go, we've only got so much time, but then you have the clients to say, look, I don't have to sell right now, and a lot of clients are like that. They are selling, but they don't want to give the impression that they need to sell quickly, but that they can wait. So here's a scenario about Nighthawk, and it's a story I love to tell because it's a great success story where we had a beautiful waterfront property, we list the property for, I believe it was 900,000. We had offers pretty close and they just weren't happy. So they came to me and said, what do you think we should do? And I said, you need to talk with Patricia and you need to listen to her.
So I thought we'd be looking at some staging. He came back and said, she's suggesting siding, leveling the floors, re-flooring the kitchen and it was a huge undertaking. I thought he was going to look at me and say, Adam, I can't. But he said you know what? I think she's right. I think it's brilliant. He said, what do you think? And I said I need a date. I wanna look at some comparables and take a look at that. So I came back and I said, I think that you're looking at probably about a $200,000 lift in the value of $250,000, so it brings you about $1,100,000.
So, he worked diligently with you. I didn't hear anything, and here's the long span, so sure enough, five months go by and he didn't want me to see it until it was ready and unveiled. I walked through that door and I walked around, I did the inspection and it was gorgeous. I have to say the outside, the inside, it wasn't the same place or anywhere near it. Every issue that we'd ever had from feedback was looked after. He said, so we're gonna go on the $1,000,000. I said, no, this is unbelievable, we're at $1,250,000. Not only that, we'll hold offers. I think you'll have a fight, and not only that, we had 3 offers and sold over asking, then the rest of the story writes itself.
There's a situation where sometimes if you can, and you can take the time to not rush it, and you kind of find your pace and you find the right time to hit the market. If you can do all those things and not be in a rush, you get the most money. Same for buying, if you can not be in a rush, you won't pay too much for your property too. This was a success story, which I have to hand over, and not only was he listening to you, he was thanking you and thanking me for introducing. I've never seen such a project, you know, taken on in such a quick response. He drank the Kool-Aid so to speak.
Yeah. He was wonderful and there are some factors there too, that we should talk about. We started our first time in that house in the winter. So, you know, we had the time and time is everything. How much I suggested was also factored in by the length of time we had to accomplish that, as was the budget, because the budget was there. Finally you know, the trump card was that he himself is a builder renovator.
So all of those things were fantastic and that house had been built in chunks from an original cottage with things adding on. So what I saw was every time something was added on, the flooring changed.
Not just the colour, but there were like three different cottages pulled together.
The direction of the colour, the direction of the wood was engaging with control disorder and then the colours had nothing. There was no flow, no continuity going there. The thing that really surprised me is that there were just so many windows that were in the wrong place of the wrong size, on the wrong wall.
Oh yeah and high, like here's the water and you can’t see.
I know, and again, I think that's because of how it had been gradually built. I always ask them, you know, so what are you thinking? What are your plans? What kind of conversations have you had with Adam, for example? Well, I'm hearing what they're thinking because if he's already got there, that takes a bunch of my work off, all I have to do is agree, right?
Use someone else's head and steady your own whenever you can. This was the information that I had coming in and the outside was a very tired, very weather-worn Cedar.
He said Adam and I talked about residing, so I jumped on that. Absolutely. Then again, what makes me unique in my position is I've had enough experience to know that if you're doing that, why not this, et cetera. So if we're gonna reside anyway, then let’s get rid of a bunch of these windows that are redundant. Instead of having them here everywhere, let's get rid of those. They're gonna be covered by the new siding, open those to where windows should be enlarged and look out on the lake.
I'm always budget-conscious. By taking off some windows, I increase the available money to put in bigger windows where they really needed to be. One of the best places was in the master bedroom, where we took out four little windows, put in one wall of windows, facing the lake and aimed the bed at it. Like, this isn't just good staging, this is common sense.
These are the things that made a difference, but by eliminating a large window from a wall in the kitchen, we were able to remove the L-shaped cabinets from one side of the kitchen, which was against a wall blocking the view of the lake and just take that whole bank and flip it over onto the now new wall that we created by getting rid of a window and then remove that wall and open that kitchen to the lake.
Yes. So we lowered that living room, that, you know, to him did not seem like a big job.
Which was the whole idea of why you're buying it in the first place, but when you walked in after I couldn't get over it. So as we reuse the cabinets, we did put in a new island, but because we reused all those cabinets, there were so much cost savings getting rid of windows, which seems counterintuitive when people want light. Up above the window, we took out the triangle transit windows, so we had plenty of light coming in just that was probably responsible for a hundred thousand dollars increase in your sales price. When you looked and said, 'no, we can take it up to $1,250,000.', a large portion of that came from that kitchen undoubtedly.
The kitchen, the windows, and those elements, which aren't basic. It's not easy for a realtor to come in and say, "Okay, I think you need to change your windows, you're siding and your floor."
Yeah. Adam, you know, sometimes it really has to come from an expert.
Let's talk about that! Again, that comes back to why can't my realtor tell me what to do. I think not specific to you, but just real estate in general, most people aren't that happy to pay a realtor any money, especially when you sell fast, they'll complain that you got paid all that for what, you know, they're motivated to give you more. When you sign your deal with them, they're done. They don't want to give more money. When I come in the door, I am a completely separate entity here. I'm like any roofer, plumber or electrician coming in, of course, they expect to have to pay for me.
So that is the biggest stumbling block, I think, for realtors to try to get more investment out of the client. Whereas for me, that's literally what I'm here for. I have some clients who will start to put up resistance, but when I start to get resistance, I will say to them, you asked me here, remember? Yeah and I have only one goal and that's to make you more money.
That's our result base. Right?
Let's take a minute and think about that and then we'll proceed.
Yeah and because we're a result-based business so at the end of the day, we give you an estimate of what we feel we're gonna get. With the variables that we bring in like staging and design, we can say they’re key because we don't use it everywhere, we use where we can and especially where we should. When the result commiserates with the cost, it always far exceeds not just your fee, but my fee. So all of these fees that we have for selling real estate, if the end result is X plus 20% and we're charging 5%, we did our job.
Exactly. Okay. So we were talking about results-based, you know, how much money that I've heard it described before as with them, what's in it for me. Right? Yeah.
I learned in a leadership training course, one time that to get anything out of anybody, you have to answer the quip of what's in it for me. So when I look at the numbers that you just pointed out, if this is how much the preparation cost and this is how much we make for you, it better be worth it. Right? My commitment to my clients from the very first time I started doing this work is I am always either gonna make or save you more money than I cost.There has not been a single time in 16 years that hasn't been true. Nowadays, it's true by a multiple of 10, but that's okay. That's the market we're in, and everyone's making hay while the sun shines and I'm happy for us all at this time.
Well even in markets like this, where it is a seller's market, that means nothing to lose your edge. So that's why we don't stop advertising because houses are selling quicker or higher. We don't stop creating a better product because there's less variety or inventory in the market. If anything, this is a time to show that, as an organization or team we'll shine further, even when things get easier.
So just because there's an easy road, you can still take the harder road, because at the end of that, is that result, that result gain for the seller. That really is the benefit in an easier market and a seller's market. If you're still giving that effort, even though you don't have to, technically, because you can have a result, which is to sell, if your result is only to sell, you know what I mean? Then you're not really looking at it the right way. Your result is to sell for the most possible profit that you can because this it's probably the single largest transaction that people will have in their lifetime. You'll supply and sell cars, you might pay for a wedding, you might buy a nice diamond ring. You're, on average in this market, not spending a half-million dollars many times in your lifetime.
Well, this one it is, and if we can increase it by 10%, 20%, then it's life-changing. We've had clients that exceed expectations by quarter-million dollars. I always stop and I say to them, how much do you win when you win? And they're like, quarter-million dollars. It's almost like winning the lottery sometimes. And that's when, you know, that's when you feel like you've really had the effect for your client, you've earned your pay and you've created a team that has results that are what people are looking for, and hopefully, they seek us collectively out.
Exactly. Yeah, and I think Nighthawk is the perfect example of everything is selling, I could throw this up at an old sale tomorrow. Why should I do anything? Sure. If he had stayed with that attitude, he would've made $800,000, $900,000.
Instead, we, as I said, made a better sandwich and of course, you make a better product and it sells so he's way above increasing his profit by almost 30%.
Exactly, that is the biggest thing. My favourite analogy is, imagine mom cooks the most beautiful Turkey dinner, everything that you're always used to having at a Turkey dinner, and you sit down, you dish up and you look for the gravy and there isn't any. You say, ‘mom, what happened to the gravy?’ And she goes ‘I did enough, I've done enough, I would say that was enough.’
You know, enough is, it's good enough when it's done. So yeah, this is, this is the joy I'd have, but I do want to clarify too, not everybody is our type of purse and gets to these things quickly. I talk about what sets me apart from my peers is my ability to communicate. Every place is different and we see people who are like, yep, we staged in Toronto, and I know exactly what you know, yet I'm gonna be downstairs painting, you guys do what you want. That's, you know, one end of the spectrum.
The next is, seniors who have lived in the house for years, you know, for years and years, they're invested in the placement of every Elvis statue and they need to get there and it needs to not be a horrible experience for them.
Then I think, okay, what if this was someone coming into my mom's house? How would I want her managed? We have dire situations as you know, where there's been sudden death and we're dealing with grieving. We have other situations where there's a lot of consternation in the house. Marriage, breakdowns, trauma sides, children. Every one of these is unique, and again, that balance between the realtor and myself and being able to manage these situations, that's at the end of the day, what I'm most proud of because, in my business, it doesn't matter how good my ideas are if I can't get the client engaged, then I might as well not be there.
Yeah. Well, you've become an integral part of our team. The results are obvious to us and the members of our team. Again, we wanted to take the opportunity to share you with our audience and with our sellers, and with whatever this podcast becomes. But, you know, just from myself and the people on our team, on behalf of us, we love working with you. We are hoping for many, many more transactions, a long business relationship, and I can't say enough about you. We're happy that you're with us!
Well, thank you so much and thank you for inviting me to do this. It's been a pleasure. It's the only social interaction I have gotten.
Thanks, Patricia! Thank you team and thank you for joining us. Certainly, if there are questions or anything like that, we're happy to field them, but, thank you for being a part of this podcast! Stay tuned for more table talks like this for more experts within our city!
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