A few months back, some big changes started happening it my business. It all started with a car ride with one of our interns at Spyglass. She was on a rather long drive with me to a home where we were going to shoot a video together, and she asked me a question that really took me off guard.
It was, basically, "Why aren't you more successful already?"
It's a sticky question to pose to someone, but I could understand it. I've posed the same question to a mentor in my life. He's done incredible things, but I always felt like he was capable of much more than coaching people like me. I remember asking him "How come I still get to coach with you? Why aren't you on Oprah or something?" So I got it.
My initial reaction, for about five seconds, was to get defensive. The response in my head went something like this: "What the heck are you talking about? I am successful! I built a small business from scratch! I negotiate a large volume of real estate transactions! I've been in a magazine! You're still in college. What do you know?"
But once I got my ego to sit down and shut up, I was open to the conversation. So we talked about it. She wanted to know what my vision was for my life and business. What I wanted to do but was afraid to do. What was holding me back? And why I didn't just go do it already.
I never imagined that by the tender age of 30 I would have lost my youthful optimism and "why not?" attitude, but apparently complacency had started to creep in. And it took a college student, not yet worn down by adulthood, to inspire me to change.
In a pretty short time, my team went from 2 people (me and Emma) to four. I hired a business coach, Kelly Garcia Kilmer, through Hero Nation. I agreed to run a 6-week coaching program for new agents at Spyglass. I accepted a speaking engagement at a women's event called The Inspiration Lab in November. And I started writing a book.
It's been an interesting few months. There have been moments where I feel like I'm on top of the world, and others where I'm terrified this is all a huge mistake and that I'm not actually good enough to make it all work. But coaching with Kelly has been crucial. She insists that instead of indulging in my dramatic predictions of failure, I pick one or two important things to do this week, and go do them. She suggests "Just try it for six months. If you decide after that it was all a big mistake, what will you really have lost?"
I can't overstate the importance of having someone to talk to who has been where you want to go and who can hold your hand, and kick your but, along the way.
I don't know just where all this will land, but I know this. I love what I do. I've poured my heart and soul into this business and into my clients. I don't regret any of it. I also want to be present as a mother when that time comes. And in the meantime, I'd love to take more than one day off per week and quit working through all my vacations. My business is not currently built to thrive with me working part-time, or taking a few weeks (or even days) off. So I'm on a mission to change that.
Hero Nation Mastermind
At the end of September, I spent a few days at a mastermind outside Austin with several people from my business coaching group. We spent 2 days together talking about our businesses and our lives, sharing insights, and getting clear on what we want. There are few things as powerful, I believe, as being surrounded by great people who have enough in common with you to connect, and are different enough to challenge you and cause you to think about familiar things from unfamiliar perspectives. I realized during that week that I absolutely love things like this, and should do more of them in my life. I don't know yet just what that looks like, but it's on my list to figure out.
The market in Austin is still a strong seller's market, with prices up this August over last August. We're still seeing some multiple offers and pretty quick sales. But the pattern we see is that it's not quite as competitive for buyers in the fall as it was in the late spring and early summer. So if you're a buyer wondering when to buy, these months tend to be a great time. Usually, inventory is still pretty high, meaning there are lots of homes to choose from. Those homes that didn't sell in the summer are probably still on the market, hoping for a buyer before the holidays. Usually, if the home is occupied, sellers will start to pull their home off the market as we approach Thanksgiving, to avoid the inconvenience of showing their home during the holidays. So August-mid November tends to be a sweet spot for buyers with decent selection and a bit less competition. If you want to discuss, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Book of the Month
Contracts and Closings
September was a bit slower than the summer months. After 10 closings between July and August, that was okay with us!
In September, our client Ali went under contract on a brand new detached condo in East Austin. Ali was referred to us by our clients and friends Dan and Lauren, who have sent us so many awesome clients I think I've lost count. We're headed to closing in mid-October.
We also had some clients go under contract on a property on S 5th Street in 78704, just a block from Thai Fresh. It is a two-unit property in need of some love, and they're excited to put some work into it and make it their own.
We closed out a lease listing for a condo in Clarksville for our client Cheryl, finally, after much waiting and price adjusting. Weirdly, we waited almost a month for an application and then received three all at the same time. But regardless, we got it done and the tenants are happily moved in.
Client Success Stories
Client success stories are a new thing we're doing. I'm constantly on a mission to make real estate marketing less boring, and while client reviews on Zillow and Google are great, they're not the most interesting or personal. So we decided to try something we're calling "Client Success Stories." It's an interview we do with clients at the end of the transaction and then turn into a blog post. Our delightful client Caitlin was kind enough to do our first one with us. You can read her story here.