In Real Estate, It’s Not Only What You Know, But Who You Know

by Christine Lutz

Christine Lutz

Christine Lutz, director of residential brokerage, Kinzie Real Estate Group

Remember when all available inventory was listed on the MLS, when sellers and buyers shook hands at the closing table, and buying and selling homes was a relatively straightforward proposition? Me, neither.

Today’s real estate landscape is more complex than ever before – especially when it comes to luxury properties. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of inventory in the million-dollar-plus range. While this is good news for our sellers, it is a different story when working with buyers. So what do you do when your clients’ luxury dream home simply isn’t on the market?

For a recent sale in which I represented the buyers, this was exactly the situation we faced. My buyers had a generous budget and were quite flexible in terms of home style and location, yet there wasn’t anything listed that was right for them. That’s when I went back to basics by making calls to my curated contact list.

Oftentimes as a Realtor, it’s not just what you know, but who you know. Luckily, I know many great real estate professionals, having worked in the industry for more than 20 years. And one of them just so happened to have a home that was recently taken off the market, but the owners had not closed the door on selling. We had a deal and my clients’ had their dream home – an East Lincoln Park home that closed for just over $5 million.

This particular sale highlights the importance of an agent’s network, and how it can be the key to finding that hidden gem of a property. One of the most important things I have learned in my career is how the time spent cultivating relationships with my fellow Realtors has paid tenfold. When it comes to having access to pocket listings or other “not quite on the market” properties, having a reputation among peers as a collaborative partner and consummate professional will always open doors – both literally and figuratively – for you and your clients.

In this fast-paced, 24/7 industry, being an outstanding Realtor is more than just showing properties or putting a home on the MLS. To be an invaluable asset to your clients, it is about being a trusted advisor and a problem-solver. And, especially in the high-end market, it’s about building a strong contact list of equally committed – and in-the-know – professionals.

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