The Alimond Show

Charles Wade of Wade Sells VA

December 14, 2023 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Charles Wade of Wade Sells VA
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Unlock the enigmatic world of the current real estate market with us! We promise valuable insights from our expert guest, exploring market corrections, oddities of golden handcuffs, and the role of the federal government in property values. Discover the evolving dynamics in the world of real estate and the measures the industry can take to better accommodate first-time homebuyers. A new era is dawning on real estate, and we're here to guide you through it.

Switching gears, we plunge into the realm of marketing tailored for small business owners. The mantra for success is persistence, consistency, and an undying passion - and we show you how to harness these traits. Learn from the pros how to convert missteps into opportunities for growth and effectively engage with your target demographic. Find out the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and practising gratitude, even when dealing with challenging customers. Ignite your entrepreneurial spirit with these invaluable tips from seasoned professionals.

Speaker 1:

Tell me a little bit about the market right now.

Speaker 2:

Well, the market right now is a little bit strange for buyers. One, because the interest rates have gone up so much, and the other thing is you have buyers that would potentially buy, but they have a golden handcuff. And what I mean by golden handcuff is they have an interest rate that's below 3%, and it's very tough to want to go and buy a more expensive home, have a higher mortgage payment and sometimes pay more for less. So the thing is, people figure out a way to make it work for them, and often it means renovations like updating bathrooms, kitchens, replacing flooring, maybe changing a room around, or even finishing a basement.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what's the solution? What do you think is going to happen over the next couple of years?

Speaker 2:

Well over the next couple of years. I see the rates continuing to stabilize. I'm really hoping with the coming election that the rates may actually drop a couple of percentage points. But what people have to realize we're actually in the middle of a market correction. And what I mean by market correction was it was unreal for us to have 2% interest rates. We had an interest rate sub 3% in 60 years. So right now things are just leveling out back to what they're supposed to be. Because I often make this example of people, my first home that I bought back in 1982 when I was living in Houston, I paid 12% interest for it.

Speaker 1:

But how much was the house?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the house was a lot less than because my first home was $60,000 and it was a 2,000 square foot rancher.

Speaker 1:

That's what I'm saying. When I hear people say that, I'm like, yeah, but the houses were probably half the price as well, because I remember just a couple of years ago when I bought my house, or not a couple of like four years ago when I bought my house. So what was it? What it was then versus what it is now is like $400,000 difference.

Speaker 2:

And you're right. And that's the rub, because for me it's frustrating because I want to help first time home buyers and often they get priced out of the market because this is such an expensive area. I mean we basically turned into the Northern California of the Mid-Atlantic because it's so expensive to live here. But I mean we've also been insulated because during recessions or times where the economy has been bad, washington has been insulated because of the federal government, the jobs that are related to the federal government. So prices are going to continue to go up and for the people that say, oh, I'll wait, the market's going to crash like it did in 2007. I don't really see it happening right now with all the detectives we have in the area.

Speaker 2:

You have the Dulles corridor, you have Tysons. Tampa was actually talking about building a campus in the Tysons area. There's a lot of development out here in Ashburn because, well, they said that probably 80% or more of the internet traffic in the world comes down Lowndon County Parkway with all the data centers. So there's always going to be some work here, but it's a matter of just finding affordable housing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, how did you get into real estate?

Speaker 2:

Well, I got into real estate after I retired from the federal government. This is like a third career for me. I find myself reinventing myself over and over again and the thing is, what made me interested in real estate was I've invested in some rental properties and between the rental properties I've owned and my personal properties that I've owned in the past, I probably owned about 15 homes, so I'm kind of familiar with the process. And to even piggyback on that, my first home that I bought when I was in Houston back in 1982, at that time I was probably 24 years old I went to the builder. I didn't use a realtor and they basically said when I got to settlement well, sign here, sign here, sign here or you don't get the house.

Speaker 2:

And I never wanted anybody else to have the same experience, where you're just frustrated, where you feel like you're being held hostage and it's like, if you want this house, just sign this, don't ask any questions. So I'm there for my clients from the minute we have an initial meeting where they reach out to me, or I may meet them at some event or some networking or something, or it's past friends and family or even past clients. But what I do is, I'm there from the very beginning. We'll have a consultation where there's buying or selling and I actually walk them through the process and after that I'm there with you, from putting the house on the market to settlement and answering any questions and all calls and texts. That's been huge for me in building my business, because often people will say, well, I don't care if I text you at 9 o'clock or 10 o'clock at night, you always respond. And I said, well, I have to, I care about my clients.

Speaker 1:

So what are your thoughts on boundaries?

Speaker 2:

Boundaries? In what way?

Speaker 1:

Boundaries between you and your clients.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean, the thing is I have to at some point tell people that, depending on what's going on, if we're in the middle of writing an offer, I'm going to be responsive all through the night, but if it's somebody that just wants to see houses and have a discussion, it's like could we do this in the morning, because after eight o'clock I'm trying to have dinner, I'm trying to relax, I'm trying to have some me time, so that can be a challenge, but I try to give people the attention that they deserve.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think I'll continue to be a top producer, but I mean at some point.

Speaker 1:

I like that humble brag.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm just saying because I work hard to be able to have a continuing business, I'm always networking. I do events with my friend Gary Clark, the Farmer Washington Redskins player, and Gary helps me out a lot with my business too. I mean, we're great friends, it's a great business, partnership and friendship. And again, with these different funnels I have for my business, I see myself continuing to be busy and I'm actually considering getting my Maryland and West Virginia licenses, and if I do, I'm going to have to build a team at that point because it's going to be more than I can handle by myself.

Speaker 1:

How does that make you feel about building a team?

Speaker 2:

Well, kind of mixed emotions on that, because for my past clients, I have to work with them because I've earned a level of trust with them and I can't just hand them off to somebody, even though I've trained them to do things the way that I do it. But I mean for people that are new leads that they bring in on their own, you know they would work with them. Or if it's somebody that's a new lead for me that's reached out to me from my website, from my social media or from some networking or however I met them, I would work with the team member to take care of them so we could make sure and give them the I guess Wade Sales VA experience.

Speaker 1:

There we go. What's something about your industry that you wish more people understood?

Speaker 2:

Well, we just had this discussion yesterday at NVAR, as a matter of fact, because I'm on two committees there. I'm on standard forms and professionalism and ethics and we were just talking about how people need to understand that when a realtor has a listing and asks for a commission to pay themselves and the buyer's agent, that they have to understand we have expenses because I mean, I do reels, I do social media marketing, I do digital marketing, I take pictures, I do video tours at a home. I don't just hang a sign and then just wait for MLS to sell a house. People are under the misunderstanding during COVID that these houses were just selling themselves because of the interest rates. But there are a lot of good agents out there that put a lot of work into advertising and promoting your home.

Speaker 1:

I agree with that. But I think there's also a lot of not so good agents that literally do just that. They will take really crappy pictures that I swear that. They just grab their phone, left all the junk in the corner, left everything that like the house as is, and then just snap some pictures, threw it on the MLS and said, all right, we'll wait and see. And then you just see it like two weeks later, minus $10,000. Another month later, minus $20,000. Versus hiring an agent that's going to, like, give it the marketing that it deserves. That way you don't have to keep cutting. We asking price.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I agree 100% on the whole thing of there are some agents that will take cell phone pictures. But on the pricing, that's often a mixed bag too, because sometimes the buyers because they have I mean not the buyers, the sellers because of their emotional attachment to their home, they feel that their home is worth more than it is, whereas I can show them comparables in the neighborhood and say, well, listen, this house sold for this and it's like, yeah, but my house is nicer than theirs. And that's one of the challenges of being a listing agent that you have to get people comfortable, that because you do this every day, you're knowledgeable of what you're doing and you're not pricing the house to give it away because, I mean, you have a vested interest too, because your commission is higher if you could sell it for more. So you're not going to give away someone's house.

Speaker 1:

Agreed, and I think that's how you can tell, though, is if it's dropping prices and the pictures look like absolute poop.

Speaker 2:

Oh, it's definitely Asian. Oh, it's definitely.

Speaker 1:

Asian. First of all, the wealth is in at home and then it's having to go down. It's like I should have listened to your agent.

Speaker 2:

Exactly Because I mean, I've had situations too, where I've actually, well, I never charge my client, well, I take that back. It depends on the price point. I typically will pay for the staging myself.

Speaker 1:

Oh, the staging, I forgot about that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because I mean I have staging and decluttering, because often I tell people, listen, you're. You are people who picture themselves in your home, so you have to depersonalize your home. Sometimes it means moving some things around or taking things out of a room so you can show the spaciousness of it, and other times it's just family pictures make people say, oh well, I'm caught up in. I think that kid goes to school with my child, or something like that. Or I saw this guy at the gym, or I saw this woman at the grocery store. Take those pictures down, because people have to picture themselves being in your home and making it their home, whereas they come in and get caught up in looking at all this other stuff. And you haven't gotten over the emotional attachment of this isn't your home anymore. It's on the market to be sold, so you can move on to next.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's such good tips. Personal life how do you balance the two, between business and personal?

Speaker 2:

It's often a challenge because, see, I have grandchildren and now that I have grandchildren I try to make time to spend with them.

Speaker 2:

But this is also a convenience industry. People are usually seeing homes when, after they get off work, after between three at five o'clock or later because I show homes until nine o'clock at night, often when I'm working with buyers and the thing is being available to people like that it often becomes a challenge for me to go out to dinner. I'll be out at dinner and I'll have a text message come in Somebody just called me they didn't text us and say well, are you busy? Are you enjoying dinner? Are you in the middle of something? And I have a nice polite message telling them that I'm probably busy and I will get back to it. And I'll do get back to you. But I mean, even on vacation, I'm working, checking on people that have been to my website, following up on emails, but I try to enjoy myself. I try to limit it to one or two hours. While on my vacation and on a good day I don't have to do any work.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, gosh, that's as long as you enjoy it and love it. Right, I know it can probably be hard, but as long as you're loving what you're doing, I know, like me personally, I've been in like faces where I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm so excited, I love everything. And then I've been in faces where I'm like I just need like a week of not talking to anybody.

Speaker 2:

No, well, it does get like that, but the thing is, I'm passionate about helping people and I think it comes from our public service background. What Tell?

Speaker 1:

me about that, if you don't mind.

Speaker 2:

Well, the public service background is I actually retired from Congress 10 years ago. I worked as a congressional staffer on both the house and the Senate side, working as a software developer first, then working as a system admin for email and for websites and then, last of all, project manager and just the whole IT background. It makes me analytical and I try to be details oriented. But I try not to overwhelm people with information, because I just had this discussion yesterday at NVAR because they were talking about trying to have a scripted buyer or seller presentation and for me I think it goes case by case, because sometimes you can flip people with too much information and often, if they have too much information or too many choices, it confuses them and it can't make a decision. I'd rather respond with answers and let you lead the conversation by giving me questions. That way you get the information you need.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, now, that's so true. That's so true. Why are you so involved with NVAR?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's actually made me a better agent and I wish I would have done it sooner because I had gone to NVAR for a few events and the guy that was president at that time, reverend Reggie Copeland he encouraged me. He said you seem like a good guy, do you enjoy working and helping with others? And I'm like I'm probably the oldest boy scout you'll ever meet. I mean, I've always wanted to help people. I was involved in a church growing up. I was in civic groups and all. Growing up as a kid especially in high school when I was a player, sports and studying I was all helping.

Speaker 1:

What sports did you play?

Speaker 2:

Baseball, basketball, football and ran track. It's pretty much anything with hand and eye coordination. And then involved speed, because even as big as I am, at six foot six, I ran a 4-4-40 and had a 42-inch vertical. So I was an athletic freak, which caused most of my injuries and prevented me from going on to another level, just doing silly stuff.

Speaker 1:

In terms of marketing and building your business. If you were speaking to a small business owner not just necessarily a real estate agent, because you might be recruiting real estate agents in the future expand when you expand but just overall small business owners what's some advice that you could give them, specifically to the Northern Virginia area and what you've seen?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think the biggest thing is, first of all, try to do your research before you even get into this, because often people think real estate is so easy I know you said any other business but especially during COVID, it's like oh, I see Charles killing it, oh, I see Keisha killing it, or I see Richard killing it. I should be able to do this too. And people like Hella Williams oversimplified things and said well, you know 10 people and they know 10 people and you're able to get business that way. But often when you're a new agent starting out or even a new business, you have to work to earn trust, and I find that a lot of networking is involved.

Speaker 2:

When you first start a business, when you decide on what you want to try and don't be afraid to fail. It's just like with sports you practice until you succeed or you practice until you don't fail, because it actually becomes instinct for me when I was playing sports that you practice harder than you played in the game. So the game was easy because you didn't even have to think about it. It was like a reflex you saw a situation pop up and you reacted. You didn't have to think.

Speaker 2:

Same thing in business Try to have a plan and don't be afraid to modify or adjust the plan, because I tell people all the time, if people were honest with you, nobody succeeds 100% of the time the first time they try something. You're going to have missteps and learn as you go. Don't be afraid to fail and show up for work every day. Those things that help you to be successful, like calling people, going out and meeting people, just staying engaged with people to stay top of mind those things are very important and, like for your photography business, what did you do to get out there and let people know what you did?

Speaker 1:

Turn on the tables no. I'm just saying because yeah, yeah, yeah, it's the same thing. Everything that you're saying, the networking right. Yeah, getting providing that five-level service, being able to follow up with people consistently, showing up consistently for people face-to-face as well as online. It's all the foundational basics that's going to apply to every single business.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and I consider myself a quick study. That's the thing that's been able to help me out with anything that I do, because I don't want to be the person that's a jack of all trades and master of none. So it's going to be some missteps along the way, but the other thing is I try to learn from each of those missteps, whereas people say how could I have been this stupid, how could I have been that dumb about that? And you know what you know. If you don't know this stuff, take it as a learning experience and take notes mentally or even in a book. I do both. It's like, okay, I did this, I didn't like it, it didn't work for me. Or okay, I did this and it worked. Maybe I need to expand this a little bit and do more of this marketing and put a little bit more money or time into it, but the thing is trying to figure it out along the way and not being afraid to fail.

Speaker 1:

I love that. That's the best advice, you know. One thing that frustrates me is when people don't learn from their mistakes, they continue repeating those same mistakes again and, again, and again, and it's like at that point, it's no longer a mistake.

Speaker 2:

It's like Well, it's crazy, because why would you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results? It makes no sense at all.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, all right. So, to wrap things up, what's one piece of advice you'd like to just give the general world? It doesn't have to be out of business, it doesn't have to be about anything specific, just overall. What's on your heart? What would you like to share with the world?

Speaker 2:

Well, I'd like to say first of all, try to figure out what your passion is. As you said earlier, if you're doing a particular task or job, or even if you're trying to create a business, do something that you're passionate about and enjoy. It's going to be days that you don't enjoy because you may have somebody that's difficult or frustrated, but don't take it personally. They're having a bad day and you smiling or even just putting your arm around them sometime and telling them it's going to be okay. It's all the difference in the world. They just needed to hear something positive to get that dark cloud from over their heads.

Speaker 1:

I love that. That's so perfect. Thank you so much for being on the Alamon Show. Thank you for your time and sharing your wisdom with us.

Speaker 2:

Well, I don't know about wisdom, but these things work for me. I just try to keep it simple, but thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

Of course that was awesome, thank you.

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