Teem’s TOP 10 Lessons Learned in 10 Years

Heather TeemsIt’s exciting and hard to believe that I’m celebrating TEN years in real estate! As I reflect on the last decade, there are many take-aways that come to mind, but in honor of 10 years I came up with a “Top 10” list of the most important things I’ve learned. 

1) People remember how you treat them.

2) DO THE RIGHT THING, even if it's hard. In fact, a good friend of mine told me that "just because it’s hard doesn't mean it’s bad.”

3) Answer the call, make the call. This is something I still am struggling with, but in our digital world I've found at times that a text message (or emoji LOL) can be misread or misunderstood. Texting is convenient and totally fine for most simple conversations, but don't avoid the hard ones by hiding behind a text. A call is worth the time and energy and can prove to be effective at damage control!

4) Listen, sympathize and be prepared to offer a solution. The home buying or selling process can be a roller coaster of ups and downs (and upside downs)! As the client's REALTOR® and confidant, I've found that a huge part of the relationship can be managing emotions and stress. When there is a curveball in the transaction (which I can almost guarantee that there will be), I do my best to listen and empathize with the client first, but then be quick to present a solution so we can get past it as soon as possible.

5) Just because there are balloons out in front of a home doesn't mean it's an open house! I once walked into what I thought was an open house only to find it was a small, intimate family gathering for Grandma's 90th. Talk about awkward…

6) Go to your daughter's soccer game. I'm embarrassed to say that this one took me too long to realize. About a year ago, I was always quick to say yes to a showing over my daughter or son's soccer game (or really any event) out of fear. I reasoned that there will be plenty of soccer to see but I can't always guarantee that there will be buyers or business. I will never forget Labor Day 2020 when my daughter's newly formed soccer team had a stellar tournament and made it all the way to the finals. It was pretty monumental considering they were a new team in the year of COVID and hadn't won many games. On the day of the final game, I got a call from a brand new, high price point “cash” client wanting to see a home that day. Of course, I said yes and left the fields, but about half-way to Fort Worth I questioned if that was the right decision. I ended up calling them to apologize and reschedule, explaining my need to be at my daughter's game. As I drove back to the game, I made peace with the thought that I had lost these clients forever. Seeing my daughter's surprised face as she ran over to give me a hug was all the assurance I needed. I had made the right decision, and it's one I will definitely repeat. Oh, and if you're wondering, those sweet clients totally understood. We met the following weekend and they closed two weeks later on the perfect home!

7) Build a strong network of experts. I'm the first to admit when I don't know something, but I'm quick to follow up with a question to someone who does know the answer. I'd much rather have a roofer out to tell you about your roof then try to pretend I have any clue what a composition roof is and if it has hail damage. Over the past 10 years I've found wonderful title companies, lenders, appraisers, inspectors, surveyors, bankers, contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc, that I love working with. As you can imagine, I've also got an equally long list of not so good ones. I think it’s important and valuable to be able to provide quality contacts to help my clients throughout (and after) the process!

8) It matters where and whom you work with. There are so many options for REALTOR®’s these days: individual, team, big name, boutique, your friend who has their broker license, etc. It's okay if it takes you a while to find your fit...I sure took some time trying things out. My search ultimately led to a group of people whose vision lined up well with my own. Plus they are supportive, kind, and non-competitive! I have PTSD from my time with a big team I was a part of and how our meetings would go. Let's just say I had to use a green marker if I "hit my sales goals'' that month and a red marker if I didn't... no, thank you. Hard pass. 

9) Treat every client the same. I've worked with clients who spanned the spectrum from a $7,000 lot to a $3 million dollar home. After 10 years, I still get excited about it all! Home ownership is something to be celebrated regardless of your price point or who you are. My motto really is this: I just work with kind people. I don't have the time or energy to work with those who are not.

10) Keep the process fun and flexible! I constantly try to remind my clients to be proud of the fact that they are at the point of home ownership. I've learned not to bother them with "behind the scenes" details that may only worry or cause unnecessary stress unless absolutely necessary. It's my job to handle as much of that as possible so that the process itself remains a positive one! 

It’s such a gift to love what you do. I love my clients, my co-workers and my company, and I want to thank all of you for the love you’ve shown me over the past 10 years! I’m here for you and #ReadyToServe.

Cheers to the next decade!

About Heather Teems

Heather Teems is a licensed REALTOR® serving the Fort Worth, Texas area. Learn More about Heather Teems