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  • Writer's pictureKim McLaughlin

The Influencer: A person or thing that influences others.

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

“A person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.”

As I see it, that description has now crept into real estate, and I don’t use “creep” as a positive term. We’re all being driven by some sort of influencer on a regular basis, and it’s becoming the norm. For some, being influenced into decisions absolves them from taking full responsibility for their decisions. You’ve now bought into a type of behavior and method of making decisions based on someone else’s idea of what's good, bad, important, chic, or, possibly, “the right MOVE for you.”

Pioneer Square Seattle is festive during the holidays — and so is downtown Bainbridge Island! If you're looking to buy or sell a home, be thoughtful about which Influencers you listen to.

My youngest son told me years ago, “You know mom, your words have a lot of weight.” Not a bad observation for a young man who at the time was in his early teens. I’ve thought about those words for years as I try to make clear recommendations to my children, other family members, and clients. I know what I say may or may not influence someone to make a decision that may be packaged as a well-honed explanation, a clearly stated fact, or a simple sigh. Influence comes in many packages, which is appropriate for this time of year!

Here’s an example: Your friends stop by for dinner. They know you’re about to sell your home. You tell them you’re going to have it professionally staged and they ask, “Why would you do that? Your furnishings are beautiful.” They’re right that they’re beautiful. However, current real estate marketing has influenced our opinions of what we should do and why we should do it. We’ve slowly moved to the full-on staging of homes, all professionally photographed with manicured grounds and a pre-inspection. Brokers are competing for listings and sales to achieve that signed contract. We are influencing our clients based on our experience; we want our clients to win, we want them to receive the top price on a sale or win with their bid for a home. We are becoming influencers on top of all the other hats we wear.

“Phew!” you say, “I hadn’t thought of that. Hmmm … I’m not sure I like that idea.” Well, there’re other parts to this story. I know at times you may think we ride around in fancy cars and show homes, however, there’s more to what we do than meets the eye. I’m also educated regarding ethics (a requirement for agents who are members of NAR — not all agents are.) NAR stands for the National Association of Realtors and binds us to a code of ethics. I must take an involved mandatory class on ethics. This is on top of the 40 hours of clock hours I undertake every two years to maintain my broker license. I pay for this privilege of being a NAR member and embrace the additional responsibilities it brings.

I do influence my clients with my preferred processes; sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t, and that’s fine, as I’m flexible to a point. However, if you ask me to bend the rules on something that protects you, I’m out! For example, you want, love, and think you need a particular home that has just come on the market. You’re willing to waive all contingencies to get this home! I will not let you waive your title contingency. (Ask me why and I’ll let you know!)

I’ve been in this business for over 23 years and have developed valuable relationships in order to give full service to my clients. I bring my bag of contacts with me (Ho ho ho …) covering all the bases during a transaction. I have relationships with a large range of service providers, including licensed home inspectors, contractors, attorneys, title and escrow providers, photographers, lenders, landscapers, stagers, notaries, housekeepers, roofers, plumbers, electricians, home warranty providers, septic pumping services, septic designers … I could go on and on, you get the picture.

To all my clients, friends, and family: Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family; be safe and take some time to reflect on how fortunate you are.

Bainbridge Island real estate over the past 30 days

  • 5 active residential listings High $2,950,000 Median $695,000 Low $518,000, Average days on market 9

  • 16 pending residential listings High $3,195,000, Median $911,500 Low $698,000, Average days on market 38

  • 27 sold residential listings High $3,600,000 Median $1,275,000 Low $289,000, Average days on market 15

  • 0 active vacant land listings

  • 0 pending vacant land listings

  • 4 sold vacant land listings High $737,000, Median $475,000 Low $155,000, Average days on market 30

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