VACATION, ALL I EVER WANTED
Gotta Get a Get-Away
Happy Memorial Day weekend, y’all! Summer just snuck up on little cat feet, didn’t it? I hope everyone’s about to enjoy a wonderful long weekend, participating in whatever it is that you love most.
I know I’ll be doing my favorite thing–selling real estate, of course! I can say that because I just had the best time on a relaxing beach vacation with my entire extended family and now I have to work to pay for it. That’s why this week, we’re going to discuss all things vacation homes/vacation rentals/vacation strategies.
But before we get into it, I need your help. Please do me a big ol’ favor and answer the poll below. It will help me make this newsletter more useful for you. I don’t want to be talking about why I can’t drink tequila anymore if what you’re really here to find out is how to lower your lead cost to conversion ratio. Conversely, I don’t want to tell you how to be more effective cold-calling if you just want a laugh about the time I sold the wrong house.
Thanks a whole bunch!
I hope I don't sound rude, but exactly who are you?
THE REALITY OF REAL ESTATE
Glennda’s Guide to Getting Away
You’re thinking about investing in a vacation home, maybe a cozy cabin in the woods, or a beachfront on the gulf. Oh, my stars, I am so excited for you! But do be advised–if you buy ocean-front, you’re about to become super popular with your family, friends, and me. That’s right, I’m more than just a charming house guest. I have real estate friends all over the world! #GlenndaGoesGlobal. If you're thinking about buying or selling, I can assist you anywhere and everywhere!
In terms of buying a second home, we’re experiencing a very different market now than we were at pre-pandemic levels. Looking at the data, the second-home market mortgage-rate locks reached the apex in August, 2020, because who didn’t want to get the hell out of the city at that point? As of March this year, those mortgage-rate locks were down an eye-watering 75% since its height. Whoa.
Now, just because all the cool kids already bought a beach house doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Buying that second property can be a great way to enjoy your favorite getaway spot more often. I mean, how many times have you and your beloved strolled down the main drag, eating ice cream cones and saying, “How great would it be to have a place here?” This is your chance! The best part is, you can even recoup some of your investment by renting it out when you're not using it.
Once you’ve worked out your budget, I don’t want you to make a single move without first considering these factors, too:
It all comes down to location. The location of your vacation home is one of the most important factors to consider. Popular tourist destinations are generally a solid choice, but you’re gonna pay for the privilege. If you're looking to spend a bit less, consider a smaller town or a less-crowded area.
No, wait, it all comes down to size. What size space is going to suit your lifestyle best? If you're planning on having a lot of guests, you'll need a larger home with more bedrooms and definitely more bathrooms. (BTW, nothing says “vacation” like an outdoor shower. Why is it so satisfying to hose off in front of God and everyone?) If entertaining is not your bag, you can definitely opt for small but mighty.
Consider the amenities. What extras are most important to you? When you picture that dream getaway, what do you see? Pools, hot tubs, golf courses, walking trails through fall foliage that look like a spilled bowl of Froot Loops? The world is your oyster!
Be prepared to write a check or two. When you’re doing the math, remember to factor in the cost of maintenance and repairs, as well as the purchase price. Not to be a buzzkill, but there’s also always property taxes and insurance to consider, too.
If you aren’t yet committed to buying, or you don’t think you’d use the space enough to be cost-effective, or maybe you only want to write one damn check and that’s it, why buy at all? Especially because this year, there’s a glut of vacation homes on the rental market, specifically in higher-end communities.
Now, who’s up for a road trip to the Hamptons with me?
The whole crew!
Find yourself a beach to dance on.
Calories never count on vacay.
The Eternal Question
I get this question so much that I can’t post a head shot of every agent who’s asked me, especially at this time of year.
How do you handle going on vacation and taking care of your business?”
The simple answer is that I have a team who supports me, and all of my clients know that it's not just me they'll be working with. It's critical that you manage the expectations of the client up front, whether it's a buyer or a seller. (I learned this the hard way, as you’ll see shortly.)
Whether you're a team, on a team, or an individual agent, letting the buyer or sellers you're working with know exactly how you handle your off time is crucial. When I was an individual agent, I always buddied up with another agent in my office. That way, when I went on vacation, they would jump in for me and when they went on vacation, I would jump in for them. Pretending like you're not out of town and just hoping and praying that the client won't find out you're not available is a recipe for disaster.
SUGAR & SPICE REAL ESTATE ADVICE
I Sure Hope All the Cats Convey
If I were buying a vacation home for myself (following all the above rules, of course), you might be surprised at the kind of house I’d pick.
Grandma’s flocked wallpaper is much easier to deal with than new electrical,,, #GlenndaBaker #RealEstate #AtlantaRealEstate #GrandmasHouse #Wallpaper
ONCE UPON A TIME WITH GLENNDA
Why I Do What I Do
One thing I learned about business and vacation is that they do not mix.
One very specific vacation with my family was at Amelia Island at the Ritz Carlton during the World Cup. I had just listed a house and I went out of town. I informed the seller, but that caveat was apparently meaningless to him. That seller was blowing up my phone—not about anything super important, but just wanting to know what I was doing to get the house sold if I was out of town, and how it was going to be shown. All his questions were both irrelevant and self-explanatory from all of the pre-listing and listing information that we had given him.
I had wisely put a system in place, but to this guy, it did not matter.
I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this man kept me on the phone the majority of my vacation. And even though I wasn’t physically in Atlanta, we got the job done, because by the time I’d returned home, we’d subsequently gotten him a good offer on his house.
I texted him and I called him, excited for having completed the one important task I’d been given. But for some strange reason, he didn’t respond. I texted him again and said, “Hey, we've got this great offer on your house, but there's a time limit. I really need to chat with you.”
Do you know what that man had to audacity to day to me? He told me, “I'm on vacation with my family. The offer will have to wait. And don't bother me again.” I swear to you, my head spun around and snot flew out my nose. To this day, I still remember his words so vividly.
I mean, that man had stolen my vacation with my family.
I will never get that vacation back. My son was a preteen and a huge soccer fan. Part of the reason we planned the trip was so that I could watch the World Cup with him. But instead of giving him a core memory of mother/son bonding time, what he’ll recall is that every five minutes, I had to excuse myself to deal with that man.
My terrible client had me so upset that I went to his house and I ripped my sign out of the yard. I took my brochures back. I removed the lock box and I left the key under the mat. Then I sent him a text message and I said, “You don't have to worry about me ever calling you again. I wish you the best of luck with the sale of your home, but I'm firing you. Enjoy your vacation.”
People think that time is your most valuable asset; that's not the case. What’s crucial is your attention. Think about how much time you spend in the room with someone while you’re on your phone. Just because you're sitting next to them doesn't mean that you're engaged with them. (And that is what this week's Glenndaism is all about.)
My stars, I’m still ticked that man was so mean to me, so I have to tell you, it was so amazing to have the power and the ability to walk away. On that vacation, I learned a very important lesson that nobody you’re doing business with is more important than the time you spend with your family.
Try to take a minute of my time away from them, I double-dog dare you.
Word to the Wise
Don't be distracted from something you should be devoted to.”