Posted on Leave a comment

Bussing Broker: Week 3

This was a busy week full of client meetings and showings, so I didn’t make it to much of tour.  I did squeeze in two Capitol Hill properties today, though.  I’d hoped I’d get a chance to test out the new street car for tour, but the tour options weren’t convenient to the street car route.  That test will have to wait for another day.

Instead, I went on foot to two condos near the Group Health Hospital.  Both were cute, but neither had cats.  I’ll get to ride the street car this weekend, but this catless tour will never be repaired.  Alas.

Location: Capitol Hill
Time: 1 hr
Transit modes: Feet
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: None
Properties Viewed: 2

Posted on Leave a comment

Bussing Broker: Week 2 Part 2

There were four properties in Fremont and Ballard I wanted to see today.  The weather was okay and I was pretty excited because today was the day I was going to try biking to showings.  I was so excited, in fact, that I went rushing out of the office and left my helmet in the office.  I didn’t notice until I’d gone far enough that I did not want to turn around.  My office is on Capitol Hill – leaving is a much more pleasant experience than coming back by bike.  So I chased down a bus and still made it to Fremont in time for the first property I wanted to see on tour.

Half way between property one and property two, I noticed that my front tire was going flat.  I had just changed the tube in my front tire, so this was rather inconvenient.  I was already sticking to low traffic residential streets because I like my brains to stay securely inside my skull, but even I am not so stubborn as to try being a bicycle rider with one tire and no helmet.  I walked to the second showing, then hopped a bus back to the office.  My first great catastrophe of the experiment, but I still made it to half the tour, so I’m feeling more put out about missing a chance to get in a daylight bike ride when it wasn’t pouring down rain.

I’m counting the cost of the new tube against this tour, though.

Location: Ballard, Fremont
Time: 1.75 hr
Transit modes: Feet, Bus, Bike
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: One bottle water, no tea
Properties Viewed: 2
Cost: $7.98

Posted on Leave a comment

Bussing Broker: Week 2 Part 1

Lots of paperwork at the desk planned for today, so I ducked out around lunch time to take a look at two condos downtown and I only got a little wet.  One of the condos was in the Escala which usually leaves me snickering over certain literary associations.  The unit had some different finishes from most in the building, so that was a worthwhile trip on its own.  The other had a great view but suffered some noise from the viaduct, which means I’m really glad I visited – some clients will take the noise to get the view, others won’t, and now I know who to steer away.

It made a nice break for the day and I can honestly say I’d have skipped both rather than deal with parking downtown, so this is a clear win for the non-car column.

Location: Downtown
Time: 1 hr
Transit modes: Feet
Cats petted: 2
Tea consumed: One mug
Cost: $0
Properties Viewed: 2

Posted on Leave a comment

Creating Homes

You don’t have to look far to find news articles about how younger generations are approaching home ownership and household formation.  This is definitely something I’ve seen in working with my clients.  Gone are the days where every potential home owner is a member of a married couple with kids.  I see friends, roommates, multiple families combining resources, just to name a few of the more common variations.

Breaking out of traditional molds to find a situation that works for you is awesome, but it can also be daunting.  Most advice and infrastructure out there is built expecting a married couple with kids, and when you don’t fit that mold, it can be hard to figure out what to do.


That’s why I’m super excited to announce a pilot of a new seminar, “Creating Homes.”  It’s meant to be a pragmatic informational session about the different options, challenges, and strategies out there for people who are doing something a little different.  I’m especially pleased because Patrick McAuliffe is an accountant and most of the questions I can’t answer for my clients are of the, “You should talk to an accountant,” variety.

If you’d like to come, please to RSVP.  I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Posted on Leave a comment

Bussing Broker: Week 1

I may have been slightly too enthusiastic about this project.  I dashed through my work for the morning and then hopped a bus up to Fremont with a plan to see four properties.  The bus got me there much faster than I’d expected it to.  So much faster that I was awkwardly early for the open of the first property.  I was forced to pass some time browsing the cookbooks at the Book Larder.  I’m feeling generous, so I’m not counting the expenses involved in that diversion against the project.  This time.

The weather was pretty pleasant, and I was armed with a thermos of tea which I sipped quite contently while wending my way from one property to the next.  It was definitely a bit slower than if I’d driven from property to property, but as anybody who’s tried to park in Fremont can attest, I saved a bundle of time by not having to park.  Probably a net loss for time by the clock, but definitely a huge gain in terms of avoiding frustration.

All told, it was an excellent and very encouraging start to the project. I’m excited to see how next week goes.

Location: Fremont, Green Lake, Ballard
Time: 2 hr
Transit modes: Feet, Bus
Cats petted: 1
Tea consumed: One Thermos
Cost: $5
Properties Viewed: 4

Posted on Leave a comment

The Bussing Broker: An Experiment

5639847368_c60cb7c283_o_dLate last November my car, my silver hybrid vehicle of client transporting glory, had a grisly encounter with a speeding teenager.  My poor, innocent car was parked innocuously in Capitol Hill.  It didn’t survive.

This presents a rather significant challenge to anybody in my line of work.  I had clients I needed to meet in two different counties over the next several days, and it took some time to determine that my car was, in fact, beyond resurrection.  (“There’s a chance,” the repair folk kept saying.  “You had it in such good condition, the insurance company will value it really well.”  *sigh*)

That was rough, but it was also enlightening.  I spent some time pouring over showing logs and reviewing client interactions and realized something: I only actually need my car for about 25% of my clients.  Nearly everybody else either wants to use their car, or walk from one showing to the next, and my car was serving only to get me to and from our initial meeting point.  Everybody knows that if you’re going to be a real estate broker you have to have a car.  But there are lots of things everybody knows about real estate, and most of it is either wrong, or only true most of the time.  I have five years of car-weilding real estate experience under my belt.  Now I’m going to snag a year trying it to the other way.

As invested as I am in doing science well, making sure I can gracefully take care of all of my clients is absolutely the most important thing, so there are constraints.  I’ve got memberships with Zip Car and Car2go, and unless the client indicates that a car won’t be necessary, I’m going to show up with one.

But not all the showings I do in a week are with clients.  During the week, different neighborhoods will do Broker Opens, where I can go to see new listings ahead of the crowd.  If something goes terribly wrong with getting around, it’ll cost me time and frustration, but it won’t directly hurt my clients.  Every week, I’ll document my trials, travails, and triumphs for you to follow along.

Here’s to an adventurous 2016!