December is awards season in real estate.
It’s a time to look back and reflect on all of the people we helped, and the things we achieved.
Everybody pats each other on the back and says, “Great job!”
Some people will compare themselves to others, which is a really tough game to always be playing. Others will compete with their previous years to see if they performed better, worse, or the same.
For the 8th time in my career, our team was ranked in the Top 1% in Canada – an award given for being in the top 183 Realtors out of 18,300 with Royal LePage.
It’s the top of the real estate mountain.
But it doesn’t make me happy. It never has.
I’m extremely competitive, but awards don’t seem to matter to me.
In fact, this year I told everybody NOT to vote for us for the annual newspaper awards. I can’t stand popularity contests, and there was too much “campaigning” for my liking.
On the other hand…
I’m happy about having nearly 200 5-star reviews, and the clients who REALLY love us. I love hosting events to see many of them all having fun together.
I’m happy that I have a great relationship with my wife and kids.
I’m happy that our team all fought their own battles this year, and survived all of them. We experienced broken body parts, we found confidence where it was low, we stood by each other when it mattered, and we dug deep when the struggles came.
There were lots of close calls behind the scenes, and things that didn’t go our way, despite our best efforts.
But some great things happened, too. Amazing leaders have appeared in our organization. In fact, one of our agents sent this to our group chat last month:
When I read it, my heart skipped a few beats.
This is EXACTLY the kind of team that I want to be associated with. The kind of group where there are NO weak links. Where we all trust each other completely, and have each others’ backs.
I’m no boss.
A mentor? I’d like to think so.
Someone loyal, who is willing to help, work hard, and never quits? Now you’re talking!
Back to 2019. The to-do list kept growing, with no shortage of great ideas.
Time seemed to pass either too quickly, or not quickly enough.
We tried some things this year that worked well, and others that failed miserably.
One of the things I’m excited about is working closer with condo owners and condo buyers in 2020. Stay tuned for more about this!
Expectations of sellers are much higher. We’ve made huge strides with our Home Stying/Smart Staging business. We have 13 storage units full of furniture, accessories, and artwork. The team basically owns a HomeSense store!
But it’s expensive, and every time we improve our game, our competition is right there improving theirs. It’s like an arms race!
Speaking of competition, we’ve always seen it as a positive thing. It keeps you on your toes, and we’re fortunate to have some of the best agents in Canada right here in our community. I would put our Top 5 Milton agents against any other community in Canada. We go out there and battle, but behind the scenes, there’s a whole lot of respect.
Our buyers are struggling, too. They’re finding it harder to get into the market right now, with the challenges of stress tests, and the AVERAGE price for a home in Milton now hovering around $750,000. When we came to Milton in 2004, the average price of a home was closer to $250,000.
Many buyers, despite having dreams of home ownership, have had to hit the pause button, rent for a while, and save even more money. That’s a tough one, because the longer they wait, they higher prices seem to go. Like chasing a carrot on a stick. Or some will choose to buy further away, increasing their commute time in order to find an affordable home.
So… we can all agree that 2019 was tough for everyone. Just like the years before, and probably the years after. But we made it through.
To the ones that didn’t make it, rest peacefully and always remain in our memories and our hearts.
We learned some lessons, and we made some great memories.
The challenges served us, and made us better.
2019 was about SO MUCH more than any award we received.
I’m excited to see what the new year (and the new decade) looks like, to face the challenges head on, and explore new things, meet new people, and take care of what matters most. I’m delighted to share it all with YOU.
When we win our awards at the end of the year, I’ll tell you, “Great job!”
And we’ll both wink at each other, knowing there’s a bigger game that’s being played.