Ewan's Blog

Breaking the reliance on records.

Wednesday 10 Aug 2016

As we all watch the Olympics and wake up each morning to read of another amazing sporting accomplishment our obsession with judging achievement through records is very clear. There are records for everything. And it isn’t just in sport. We have our own record obsession in real estate which I think can be dangerous.

Of course it makes sense to be watching out for world record times and distances during competition in the Olympics. The world beating and world record result achieved by the amazing Aussie girls relay team earlier this week is something to be celebrated.

I understand that records help contextualise achievement. It’s interesting to learn about the oldest competitor, youngest competitor, fastest time, fastest split, highest jump, longest jump, but it does makes me wonder. Does the focus on the pursuit and glory of a 'record' dilute the value of achievements where a record is not set or broken?

Don’t forget to acknowledge the value of achieving a personal best..a PB.

In the property market the records we read about are clearance rates, interest rates, listing rates and prices. Just like those presented as part of the Olympic coverage they can be interesting but they're really quite irrelevant because it is true; not everyone can be a winner or break a record.

Think about it for a moment. A record price achieved in a particular street or suburb does not automatically mean the same result can be expected for every property. It is an indication of what could be achieved but it can't be taken as automatic.

Perhaps the obsession with records goes some way to explaining the undersupply of listings across the market. Reports about the potential for a market slowdown raised the potential for a drop off in record breaking sales so potential vendors have been reticent to list?

Of course every Olympic athlete is there with the ambition to win gold and set a new record but the reality is every competitor at the Olympics has achieved amazing results just to get there. For the vast majority who don’t win gold their results will still be extraordinary by the very fact that the platform on which they are performing reflects the best of the best. And ideally they will set a new Personal Best.

And so it is in the Sydney property market. It isn’t possible for every property to achieve a gold medal record setting price but there will still be an entire field of contenders achieving significant, successful individual results.

Don’t focus on the world records. Instead talk to your agent about how to achieve a personal best for you and your property.