As my 15 year old daughter and I watched the NCAA Basketball finals last night, I once again was reminded that fundamentals and basics matter. In this case, free throw shooting.
After an amazing season and a spectacular run to the NCAA finals, including a spanking of our very own UT Longhorns, Memphis had the game won. All they had to do was make a couple of free throws – 2 out of 5 would have put the game out of reach for Kansas in those last two minutes. My 11 year old daughter can make 2 out of 5 free throws 90% of the time. All Memphis had to do, in the end, was shoot better than an 11 year old girl. Instead, they missed 4 out of 5 critical free throw shots.
Then, Kansas did what champions do. They made an incredible, improbably 3-point shot with seconds remaining to send the game into over time. And they never looked back.
In real estate, basics matter too.
Most of the biggest problems we encounter in transactions are the result of someone not taking care of a basic fundamental task. The Realtor equivalent of a free throw, such as following up with a buyer’s lender, making sure the appraisal is ordered, checking up on the repairs, and the biggest one of all – filling in the paperwork correctly.
We’re all human and we all make mistakes occasionally, but when clients are relying on our expertise and ability to execute deal related tasks, there is no room for avoidable errors. In 2006, more than a dozen of our buyers got free surveys, paid by the seller or listing agent, because listing agents didn’t know how to read the new contract language. Basics.
It’s tough enough getting the hard stuff done without making the easy stuff difficult also. Watching Memphis lose reminded me that at the end of the day, after all is said and done, it is still the basics and fundamentals that separate the champions from the losers.