Happy House, Happy Spouse
You know that old saying, “Happy wife, happy life?” Well, I joined Milestones to make my wife happy.
Let me explain.
When we were shopping in late 2020 for a house with a bit more space and amenities to make quarantining with two toddlers and a mother-in-law more bearable, my wife would frequently mutter a sentiment that was shared by millions of other would-be-buyers: “Searching for a house sucks.” Unlike most other consumers, however, my wife would throw in an added zinger: “Aren’t you supposed to know a lot about real estate and technology? Why can’t you fix this?”
And so, like any good real estate agent would, I cobbled together a solution with what amounted to bubble gum and paper clips to satisfy my client: real-time alerts from my MLS paired with research from a number of additional websites and portals for a more complete assessment of each house, plus an awful lot of listening, intuition, experience, and therapy to find the best house.
Thankfully due to having cute kids and unashamedly using them to pluck at the seller’s heartstrings, we won a heated multiple offer situation on a beautiful house. But, as we all know, finding the house is just the beginning. As broker/agent representing myself as buyer, the oftentimes tedious escrow process of coordinating with the listing agent, seller, lender, appraiser, home inspector, contractors, escrow company, title, home warranty, personal banking, attorneys, insurance company, corporate banking, etc. etc. via communication channels that are most expedient to each of THEM becomes time consuming at BEST. But thankfully, after a 30 day escrow that was about as smooth as it could be with a great listing agent and sellers, we closed.
NAR has a statistic which I quote a lot: 90% of consumers say that they would work with their agent again immediately upon closing…but only 12% actually do after 7-9 years of home ownership. So what the heck happens in that 7-9 years that causes agents to lose their clients?
Having just recently completed my taxes (extension, obviously), I think I have some insight: Forget about 7-9 years. Less than a year and a half after purchasing this house, I’ve already completely forgotten pretty much all of the key names, dates, and numbers. Thankfully I’d filed away the closing statement, or tax prep would have become a frenzied hunt for contacts and docs.
I’m also thankful that the prior owners, and the owners before them, took great care of this house, with one particular cabinet drawer over the last 20 years serving to keep track of every paint color, vendor, appliance or system manual, wiring diagram, flooring specification, and endless other minutia. It’s like that book of secrets that each POTUS hands down to his/her successor in the lower right hand drawer of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. Or was that just something I saw in a movie?
The point to this meandering story is exactly that: the homeownership lifecycle, which includes not just buying and selling, but everything in between, is currently a meandering hodgepodge of activities and relationships that come and go.
While there are solutions built or being built around specific phases of the lifecycle, Milestones is the first platform built from a clean slate that has the ability to span and integrate ALL of them — providing for a unified B2B2C experience which keeps consumers at the center of their home ownership experience with the support of their trusted local experts: real estate agents, loan officers, contractors, etc.
Telling my wife that I’m helping to make the homeownership lifecycle suck less is why I’m thrilled to join Milestones as a strategic advisor. That’s probably not going to become a formal marketing tagline…but it should be.