A Chilly Start to a Hot Year

Happy January!

Today we’re going to talk about managing expectations, both our clients’ and our own. But before I get into that, I suspect some of y’all may need a quick pep talk. I understand it’s hard to keep up your spirits when it’s so dark and dreary outside, especially when you’re seeing snow in places like Dallas and Nashville. January is the coldest month in Atlanta, but oh my stars, it’s nothing compared to the kind of low temps that shattered Patrick Mahomes’ helmet on Saturday in Kansas City. I feel for everyone experiencing that kind of bone-chilling weather.

Can it be difficult to motivate yourself when the last thing you want to do is brave the elements to work an open house or go on a listing appointment? Of course! Still, the Arctic blast didn’t stop the NFL teams from playing outside, or the fans in the stadium from watching in weather so cold their beers literally froze in their cups! Let that be a lesson to us that we can’t let the weather stand between us and our dreams.


Sunny Skies Ahead

I have been promising you that the forecast is improving. Let’s review the recent good news:

  • Applications for a mortgage to purchase a home rose 6% last week. (Yes, they’re still down from this time last year, but momentum begets momentum, and don’t y’all forget that.)

  • The volume of total mortgage applications rose just under 10% in comparison with the previous week.

  • The recent pullback on mortgage interest rates is bringing buyers back into the market.

  • Per Mark Palim, Deputy Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, homeowners are choosing to believe that rates are headed down, not up, and are acting accordingly.

Here’s what I liken this to—remember during COVID when everyone just stopped traveling? We reached a point where COVID wasn’t yet gone, but everyone said, “I can’t wait anymore. I’m done with staycations. I’ve got to head someplace tropical and finally defrost,” and they did, and the travel industry bounced back stronger. They’re now calling this phenomenon “revenge travel.” This is what I truly believe is coming to the real estate industry, so feel free to tell everyone y’all heard the term “revenge home buying” here first.

In other news, I’m packing my warmest coat and heading to New York next week to record the next season of the Glitter & Gay podcast, so stay tuned for more of the content guaranteed to brighten your day!


Have you jumped on the Glitter and Gay train? We kick off season two next Tuesday! #GlenndaBaker #GlitterAndGay #TylerWhitman #Podcasts #… See more


It’s Not Me, It’s You

One of the hardest things we have to do as agents is to manage the clients’ expectations. Often, their expectations are unrealistic because they're not knowledgeable about the market. They’re so dialed into HGTV that they're living the Fixer Upper dream. You know, the one where they can buy a $50,000 house and put $50,000 worth of shiplap and have a $500,000 modern farmhouse.

Well, buckle up, buttercup, because that is not reality.

Bottom line, clients aren’t always aware of the market. The good news is, we can typically overcome this false expectation just by showing them what they're going to get with the money they have. Another strategy is to get their wish list and say, “Okay, if this is everything you want, I'm going to show it to you,” and it's so far out of their budget that they're finally like, “Oh, yeah, okay, now I get it.” The best way to manage an expectation is by showing clients that they don’t have the foundation of knowledge on which to base that false hope, and then getting them to accept that reality. (I see this the most with those doing their first through third home purchase.)

In terms of managing expectations, the most difficult buyer or seller is typically the person relocating. Generally, they’re buying what I would call the upper middle class price range, from $600K to $900K. That buyer will kill me. That seller will kill me. Because on the seller side, they believe that their $900K house is worth over $1M. And there's such a huge difference mentally and financially between $900K and $1M and they refuse to get it. A buyer is an absolute nightmare because it’s not that the house that they want doesn't exist; it's that you can't find it. Oh, and it's your fault. They literally believe you are hiding all the “good” houses from them. And very similar with the seller, it's your fault that their house isn’t worth what they want. Yet almost all of the time, it boils down to champagne taste on a beer budget.

So what do I do when we reach that impasse and I can neither manage nor meet the clients’ expectations? As hard as I work for my listings, there have been a handful of times where I have had to tell the client, “It’s become apparent to me that I'm not going to be able to bridge the gap between your expectations and the reality of the market. Therefore, I'm going to give you the opportunity to go work with a different agent.”

Sometimes it's just not a fit. I have an agency agreement with anybody who works with me, buyer or seller. But I've been married three times and I don't want someone in a relationship with me because of a piece of paper. I want you to be excited to be in a relationship with me. I want you to believe in my abilities. I want you to believe in my expertise. I want you to believe in my knowledge. And when you lose that type of trust and bond within our relationship, I don't want you to be with me. (That’s the Glennda Guarantee!)

If we’re talking about managing expectations, this is something we also must do for ourselves. If it were December 31, 2024, and I were looking back at my year, I wouldn’t assess my year by home much money I made. My metrics would be about how much I ended up with. My expectation of 2024 is that I am now smart enough and I have my systems in place for huge growth. The wheels have been greased. I should be able to do everything on autopilot without major capital expenditure. Really, my expectation of 2024 is that I will have been be forensic with the money and I’ll have met my earning goals, my equity goals, and my investment goals.

When I set my expectations in 2023, I realized I’d reached all my goals by October, and that made me think, Should I make my goals harder? Am I playing small? What is it that's gonna push me into that next realm? I realized I’d coasted a little bit last year, and that made me all the more determined to go far bigger this year.

And with that, I want y’all go out there, refreshed and renewed, and ready to blow everyone’s expectations—including your own—out of the water. 

Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash


New Year, New Mantra

I don’t want to leave my kids handbags and shoes; I want to leave them houses and land.”

Glennda Baker