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East County Friday, Apr. 8, 2022 2 months ago

Longtime Realtor still values human element

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Matthew Good is taking over this month as the managing broker for Premier Sotheby's International Realty in Lakewood Ranch.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

If you have lived a little, you might have experienced the feeling.

The one where you are staring into a computer screen, you need to accomplish something important, and you are wishing your son or daughter was around to help.

It's a new world, and, of course, dinosaurs don't have fingertips to pound a keyboard.

Those of us who have a hard time breathing when we appear to be locked in a computer escape room have seen the reliance on online fluency seep into every aspect of our lives.

And now navigating the internet has become key when it comes to buying a home, too.

Why oh why has buying a home evolved into anything other than a personal inspection of a home and a face-to-face bargain session with the seller or the seller's representative?

Competition is the answer. We're in a market where if you don't move lightning fast, you've lost. Or so it seems.

It all made me glad to meet Matthew Good, who is taking over this month as the managing broker for Premier Sotheby's International Realty in Lakewood Ranch. In the current market, where a buyer online in Europe can pull the trigger on a Lakewood Ranch home, sight unseen, before a bidding war forms for the property, it would seem relationships have taken it on the chin.

Good, however, says not so fast.

"It is far more stressful during the bidding process," Good said of the current home-buying market. "But our No. 1 job still is walking consumers through the process, and at the end of the day, you have to get from the contract to close. I still believe in reaching out and talking to people on the phone and in sending them a lot of hand-written notes. It's about relationships. There is a human element that can't be replicated online."

Bravo. Sounds like an "I, Robot" fan.

You can tell that Good, who has been in the real estate business for 26 years minus a couple of short breaks, still believes his job involves putting his personal stamp on a transaction, and that certainly makes him a good guy in my book. Also in Premier Sotheby's book, which had good notes about him when he handled the same job he has now in Naples from 2019-20.

Although Good is a native Minnesotan, he has lived in Sarasota and has had lots of ties to Florida, such as his parents owning a condo in Siesta Key. Over the years, he did the old Florida two-step, or three-step or four-step, where people romanticized that life was better at old home sweet home, in this case Alexandria, Minnesota. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Good and his wife, Paige, watched as their 10-year-old son, Hanson, struggled with online learning and especially the social aspect of being off campus. Note that the Goods also have a 22-year-old son, Mac, who lives in Minnesota.

They packed up and left, and Good left the real estate industry to manage a manufacturing company for a friend.

It took some 10-degree-below days for Good to reconsider his future in real estate.

"I had to own the fact I made the wrong decision going back (to Minnesota)," he said.

But how could he return to a kill-or-be-killed market? Some real estate agents are making major scores while others are dying on the vine with no inventory to sell. In the very least, it's a tough go.

"The fast pace also makes the opportunity exciting," Good said. "There are inventory issues everywhere. But there is no question there is pressure like we've never seen for people who do this for a living."

He said one problem real estate agents face is dealing with clients who are ultra frustrated by failed attempts to buy property. He said they "say they are done getting their teeth kicked in."

Perseverance is key, and Good has to make sure that resonates with his brokers.

"You provide you clients with the data," he said. "Every single piece so they can make good decisions.

"Then we have to keep our agent engaged, convince them that activities breed success. We support them in that way, and we have the benefit of having a global network."

With that, Good launched into a brief commercial for his employer, noting Premier Sotheby's International Realty is the 19th largest real estate group in the nation along with being associated with Sotheby's Auction House, which has been selling cars, art, homes and "stuff" since 1744. OK, not bad.

But really, Matthew, is your approach going to be good in this dog-eat-dog market?

"We've been through this before. In 1999-2000 in (Washington) D.C., they were using escalation clauses then," he said of where a buyer's bid automatically increases when someone bids higher. "The 2019-20 market in Naples was a lot like this too.

"There's a lot of cash here now, but are we going to see 50% annual appreciation? … I don't think so. But I do know this is a people business and (Realtors) are as important today as they ever have been. You need to have an online presence, but interaction is critical.

"I'm excited because this is what I know."

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