Scott’s Thoughts: Watch the Traffic

Scott's Thoughts: Watch the Traffic

Watch the cars, not the signal.

“Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain’t never killed nobody.”

Jackie “Moms” Mabley (born Loretta Mary Aiken), American standup comedian

“But I had the light,” is probably one of the most common phrases spoken after a car accident. Green means go for me, red means stop for them. Before you know it, you’re on the phone with your insurance company.

Who doesn’t remember an adult reminding them to “look both ways before you cross the street”? It seems like common sense so basic we wouldn’t even need to teach it. But it’s funny how that lesson, which seems so obvious, is often lost in other areas of our lives.

Take, for instance, the raft of market data you float on every day. What’s new construction looking like? How did pre-existing sales do last month? What’s it look like in the greater metro area for condo prices? To a certain extent, these are just the traffic lights of real estate. Your value as an agent comes in your ability to look both ways before you act on those “trusted” signals.

Knowing your market doesn’t mean knowing the big numbers. It means knowing the specifics. It means knowing how to interpret market activity tailored to the needs of your client. Metaphorically, it’s your job to be a good scout and protect their interests as they “cross the market” (and that includes not getting hit by a bus-sized bad move).

Reporting always lags behind reality, though the delay may be small or large. You’re the best real-time reader of your neighborhoods and inventory, the very traffic of real estate. This is a good point to bring up with buyers and sellers who are nervous about “what they’re hearing in the news.” You don’t report the news… you’re the one making it.

Keep your eyes on the cars out there, and best of luck this week!

Photo credit: My Buffo

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