In Real Estate, A Little Tweet Is a Dangerous Thing

A few years ago, when the internet was prized for the depth of knowledge it placed at the average person’s fingertips, this article would have been titled, “A Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing.” Now, the small-screen smartphone is replacing laptop computers and social media has made “less is more” the new “dangerous thing” for those who want or need to be savvy real estate buyers and sellers.

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Texting and tweeting, which involves sending and receiving 140-character social media messages, combined with the small-screen devices that enable mobile computing, play significant positive roles in real estate and almost everything else. Convenience, immediacy, and inclusiveness are valuable communication attributes for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals to build on during the house hunting or selling process. Problems arise when this type of truncated communication becomes the model for knowledge exchange and the depth of knowledge required to excel.

I paraphrased writer Alexander Pope’s 18th-Century work in our title by substituting “tweet” for his “learning” (“A little learning is a dangerous thing.“) to emphasize how shifting communication values can increase danger arising from what you don’t know you don’t know about real estate.

#1. False Confidence can be expensive.

When you think you know all you need to know to buy or sell, you don’t understand the depth of complexity involved in real estate transactions. Knowledgeable, experienced professionals realize that no one can know everything. Their job is to continually anticipate danger and opportunity for their clients. When everything goes well, naive buyers or sellers may not even realize the number of “bullets” their real estate professional dodged for them. Unless professionals can communicate fully with their buyer or seller client, assumptions and unreasonable expectations can not be addressed to reveal a buyer’s or seller’s significant hidden knowledge gaps. When issues eventually arise, it may be too late for the professional involved to perform more than damage control. Let’s hear from you: Share your example of a time when what you didn’t know came back to haunt you as buyer, seller, or professional. Add your comment below this article and start us thinking…

#2. Simplification comes after detailed knowledge is acquired.

To achieve full understanding, have concepts and details explained in detail by your real estate professional. Then, short-hand references, embedded with full knowledge of all implications, can facilitate communication.

Examples of simplification masking vital knowledge:

Simplifying market value down to the street address or the cost of construction is dangerous since neighbourhood sales history, pending local development, and noise problems like changed airline-flight paths are among key location factors that tell the the real story about a property.

Simplifying the value of a buyer’s offer down to the purchase price, may significantly undervalue or overvalue the offer when it’s “net price” that really counts. The full value of an offer is represented by how much the seller nets not the purchase price stated. Seller costs associated with closing date, like storage or rental fees, and price inclusions, like appliances and furnishings, can represent replacement costs for sellers. On the other hand, a closing date ideal for the seller could mean substantial seller savings. Purchasers who don’t ask for appliances, seller financing, or other concessions save sellers money. For more: The Offer: There’s More to It Than Price.

Simplifying the seller’s acceptance of the buyer’s offer to purchase as “just sign and date here” is only acceptable after all the implications, ramifications, and responsibilities of signing and of not signing are explained to and understood by the seller. Share your experience, good or bad: When were you (or your client) distracted by over-simplification? Add your comment below this article and prove that a little learning is a dangerous thing…

#3. If buyers don’t understand their own “hot buttons”

triggers that cause the emotional “buy now” reaction to kick in – they’ll be vulnerable to advertising, marketing, and sales techniques, and may act when it’s not in their best interest. These triggers rely on emotions to get reactions, not on logic and the depth of understanding that lead to informed decision making. Sellers can also be vulnerable to lack of self-awareness.

Social media has ramped up communication for many aspects of real estate from marketing to viewing listings. Be careful that the fast-paced, less-is-more approach to content does not undermine your commitment to self-education. As a savvy real estate buyer or seller, you protect yourself by digging deep into detail, so the advantage of knowledge will always be yours.

Real estate transactions cannot be understood in 140 characters or less.

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AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

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