Being a Real Estate Agent based out of San Jose, Capital of Silicon Valley has its benefits.
You are right in the middle of the innovation buzz which happens next door; You feel connected to the entrepreneurial spirit which abounds around here; You need to be "agile" about your business; You deal with customers who think big while behaving daily very much like any other down-to-earth person; And of course, you feel good working every day under the almost-eternal Sun of California!
While wheeling and dealing in Silicon Valley, here a few tips and skills that I have observed, read about and learnt from Silicon Valley that Real Estate Agents, Home Buyers and Sellers should remember and/or start adopting.
Buying or selling a home is no small task for all parties involved.
Just like a start-up, it requires availability (week-end in particular), flexibility, dedication and long working hours from everyone involved, from staging to hosting open houses and making the house available during Real Estate tours' times.
Your Real Estate Agent is focused on building the right "Consumer to Consumer (aka C2C) as well as Consumer to Business (C2B) product to ensure the best "Customer Experience" for visiting Buyers and Realtors.
In order to do that, your Realtor will ask for your help to showcase your home under its best curb appeal. Painting as well as gardening and minor housing renovations may be required at the homeowners and Realtor's cost.
Everyone will tell you: in Silicon Valley, it is not about the idea or concept, it is all about the design and usability of the product. No viable product, no backers, no money.
3. Create the Buzz
I often read that Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists like to see personal financial involvement from start-up entrepreneurs. In other words, they expect them to come up with working capital to cover starting costs (legal, hosting, early development).
Many of of these entrepreneurs forfeit most if not all of their financial and real estate assets to cover these costs. From the perspective of Real Estate, this can be translated as follows:
- Sellers, you will not be able to sell at the price you had in mind, you will not recoup upgrade costs, you will need to pay for staging, etc;
- Buyers, you need to save a lot to come up with as much cash as possible (usually 20% down payment but more is better as cash is king in Silicon Valley), you'd better reduce your debt-to-income ratio before getting further indebted, etc.
A house like a new website needs to be visible and recommended by promoters, including yourself.
More than 90% of home buyers begin their search online. It is the job of your Realtor to make sure that his/her listing is syndicated to all pertinent Real Estate website as a starter. 360 Virtual Real Estate tours are a must for most homes these days. Making sure that your listing is added to your web profiles on all relevant professional websites and directories is a requirement.
Allowing other agents to upload your listing creates a viral buzz and enhance the presence of your listing across the web.
Blogging about your listing on your own blog or social networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter is recommended.
Finally, buying Google or Facebook ads should also be considered in some cases, in particular to achieve first page search results or cater to targeted audience needs.
I am hopeful that many Silicon Valley Realtors as well as homeowners are already familiar with such concepts and recommendations. One last tip inspired again from Silicon Valley accepted behavior: Remember that things do not always work out immediately and/or take time. Be patient, perseverant and keep your customer focus. As Charlie Chaplin once said," Victory always comes to the worthy".
© Sophia Delacotte CDPE, SFR, CHS
San Jose Realtor
Cell: (408) 717-2575