by Melanie McLane
Chair, 2012 Resort and Second Home Real Estate Forum
I’m a gardener by inclination. In a perfect world, I’d be a full time gardener, with unlimited funds and time. In the real world, I’m an early morning, late evening and weekend gardener, fitting it in when I can. I am a full time REALTOR®–doing sales, appraisals and education. One of the specialty markets I sell in, and love to teach others about, is RSPS. I have in my yard a perennial border with huge daylily on the corner. I remember when it was a measly twig like stalk. Here’s where my perennial gardening and real estate are alike: both can take years to cultivate, and both are worth the effort.
We know one of the unique things about our specialty is that our buyers are seldom in a hurry. A second home is a discretionary purchase. They can live without it. My perennial border is completely discretionary as well. I’d pay a fine if I let my grass grow long, but I don’t HAVE to have flowers. I don’t have to invest time and effort in flowers that don’t reach their peak for a long time. But, the payoff on that investment, like the clump of daylilies, is spectacular when it comes to fruition.
Our second home buyers are like that. We need to cultivate them, sometimes for years, making certain they get information (sunlight), advice (water) and keep ourselves top of their minds (weeding). If we are patient, they bloom beautifully when they are ready. Perennials, after a certain amount of time, get too big and need to be divided. That clump in the picture will get divided this fall—probably into at least four clumps total. I’ll give some to friends and family, and make another border somewhere in my yard—just like how, in real estate, we keep growing our business, sending and getting referrals—all because we gave our garden sun, water, and kept it weeded. Patience! It’s a byword for gardening and for second home buyers.