It’s official–the brokers in my office consider me a “stats” guy. This moniker has always bothered me a bit, because I don’t consider myself a numbers person at all. Far from it, I was likely that annoying kid in math class trying to look over your shoulder during the test on dividing fractions.
No, I’m not purely a numbers lover…but I do love the stories that numbers can tell. And lucky for me, most people like stories.
At some point in 2012, someone is going to ask you “how’s the market?” What will you say? “Better!” “Great!” “Improving!” “Terrible!” All of which might be accurate…but none of which have the power to validate you as an expert.
What if you instead said something like “Improving…you know, it surprises a lot of people to hear that this was the best December for local home sales since 2006”.
I have started many, many conversations (stories) in my career with “It surprises people…” then dropping something, well, surprising on them. Here are a few more examples of current stats that could qualify:
“4th quarter sales in Washington were the best they’ve been in some time…in fact, in the last dozen years or so, only the 4 ‘boom years’ have been better.”
“…while some neighborhoods still have serious issues with foreclosures, this might surprise you—there are only 5 bank-owned properties for sale in all of West Bellevue right now.”
“It surprises most people to hear that foreclosure filings in Bellevue are down over 75% this past year! That’s really good news if you’re in the market…are you?” (Always gotta close).
All of these statements could have been drawn from easy-to-access reports from the NWMLS, foreclosure websites and the internal reports from CBBain, such as the one shown here.
Of course, not all stories are happy ones, with warm fuzzy endings like the examples above. But here’s a New Years resolution that might help you ring in a few more sales in 2012; when you find an interesting stat, think to yourself–is there a story to tell? Once you begin to think of stats as stories–and not math—you open up a whole new way to convince people you’re the exact type of knowledgeable, engaged and informed broker they need. Even if you flunked that test on fractions.