A letter to realtors
Howdy partner (did you imagine me saying that like a cowboy?),
If you know me, you know I'm about as far from a cowboy as someone can get. I'd last as long on a ranch as an underpriced townhome in Dupont would last on the market. The partner part, though? Let's talk more about that...
For about 15 seconds back in 2011, I was a realtor. I worked under Dottie Crago at Long & Foster in Bethesda. At the time, I thought (naively) that I'd be able to have a full time job remodeling houses, have a new baby, and also be a great realtor. Unsurprisingly, trying to be a phenomenal architect, a super dad, and a great realtor all at the same time did not work out for me. While I didn't have a super star (or any) career as a realtor, I learned a lot about how the process works, sat at a ton of open houses, and helped my sister-in-law sell her townhome in my one-and-only deal.
My biggest take away from the experience is how hard it is for buyers to see the potential in homes and feel comfortable with the remodeling process. They often walked out of an otherwise fantastic house because they couldn't imagine how incredible the kitchen would be if we only took down a wall, or if they saw the potential, they were intimidated by the remodel.
In my time working at design/build firms, I would sometimes tag along with a realtor on what was called a pre-purchase consultation. In concept, it was great - the realtor would have an architect (me) at a house tour with a prospective buyer, and I would discuss the home's potential and help the buyer see a vision of an exciting future. Because I worked at a design/build firm, we could also discuss the particular process and pricing structure of that firm. Sometimes that aligned with what the buyers wanted, and sometimes it didn't.
Here's where the partner part comes in. Designed Happy is specifically set up to be as flexible as our clients need us to be. Whether it's design/build, design/bid/build, or design/stash-the-drawings-in-the-attic-for-20-years, I provide unbiased advice on the pros and cons of particular design and construction paths. At a house tour, that gives me contortionist-level malleability in tailoring a design and remodeling experience to exactly what a client needs.
Given my experience as a realtor, architect, remodeler, and author, and because Designed Happy isn't tied to any one specific construction experience, at a pre-purchase consult I can help you:
- Educate your buyer:
- About the house - what is easily attainable and what might take a bit more effort.
- About the process - the different ways to navigate a remodeling project and the pros and cons of each.
- With a free copy of Designed Happy, The Book
- Build excitement by:
- Understanding what their needs really are and distilling them down into a project that fits into the home we're looking at (I have a lot of experience with this - it's what made me a top remodeling salesperson).
- Offering unconflicted and unbiased advice (when you and I chat, ask me about the pre-k fundraiser).
- Building their confidence in the potential, and the process.
- Knowing they have a design/remodeling advocate on their side.
- Get into escrow:
- Assuming it's the right house (neither us are going to try to sell someone something they don't want), an educated and excited buyer is able to make a decision that is both rational and emotional.
So what does a service like this cost? Well, nothing. We're hoping that by providing an excellent experience and helping the buyer make decisions they're comfortable with and excited about, they will choose to hire us when it comes time to remodel.
If you'd like to chat more about this, or already have buyers that could benefit from this service, please feel free to text me at 571-422-2286 or email me at TJ@DesignedHappy.com
Thanks, and happy escrowing (that's a word, right?)!